Leslie Jones McCloud's feed

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Creepy Trees


Retailer Meijer to harness the wind

WALKER, Mich. - Midwestern retailer Meijer wants to install wind turbines that would produce electricity for its corporate offices and at least two southwestern Michigan stores.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The President highlights Ethics, Education and Entrepreneurs during his Joint Session of Congress Address


What the President said about doing the right thing...
...But in my life, I have also learned that hope is found in unlikely places; that inspiration often comes not from those with the most power or celebrity, but from the dreams and aspirations of Americans who are anything but ordinary.

I think about Leonard Abess, the bank president from Miami who reportedly cashed out of his company, took a $60 million bonus, and gave it out to all 399 people who worked for him, plus another 72 who used to work for him. He didn’t tell anyone, but when the local newspaper found out, he simply said, ''I knew some of these people since I was 7 years old. I didn't feel right getting the money myself."

And I think about Ty’Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from that school I visited in Dillon, South Carolina – a place where the ceilings leak, the paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times a day because the train barrels by their classroom. She has been told that her school is hopeless, but the other day after class she went to the public library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this room. She even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp. The letter asks us for help, and says, "We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters."


What the President said about Education
In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity – it is a prerequisite. Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma. And yet, just over half of our citizens have that level of education. We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation. And half of the students who begin college never finish.

This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow. That is why it will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every child has access to a complete and competitive education – from the day they are born to the day they begin a career.

Already, we have made an historic investment in education through the economic recovery plan. We have dramatically expanded early childhood education and will continue to improve its quality, because we know that the most formative learning comes in those first years of life. We have made college affordable for nearly seven million more students. And we have provided the resources necessary to prevent painful cuts and teacher layoffs that would set back our children’s progress.

But we know that our schools don’t just need more resources. They need more reform. That is why this budget creates new incentives for teacher performance; pathways for advancement, and rewards for success. We’ll invest in innovative programs that are already helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps. And we will expand our commitment to charter schools.

It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it. And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American. That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

I know that the price of tuition is higher than ever, which is why if you are willing to volunteer in your neighborhood or give back to your community or serve your country, we will make sure that you can afford a higher education. And to encourage a renewed spirit of national service for this and future generations, I ask this Congress to send me the bipartisan legislation that bears the name of Senator Orrin Hatch as well as an American who has never stopped asking what he can do for his country – Senator Edward Kennedy.


What the President said about Entrepreneurs
...(Credit) has stopped flowing the way it should. Too many bad loans from the housing crisis have made their way onto the books of too many banks. With so much debt and so little confidence, these banks are now fearful of lending out any more money to households, to businesses, or to each other. When there is no lending, families can’t afford to buy homes or cars. So businesses are forced to make layoffs. Our economy suffers even more, and credit dries up even further.

That is why this administration is moving swiftly and aggressively to break this destructive cycle, restore confidence, and re-start lending.

We will do so in several ways. First, we are creating a new lending fund that represents the largest effort ever to help provide auto loans, college loans, and small business loans to the consumers and entrepreneurs who keep this economy running.
For history tells a different story. History reminds us that at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas. In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry. From the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age. In the wake of war and depression, the GI Bill sent a generation to college and created the largest middle-class in history. And a twilight struggle for freedom led to a nation of highways, an American on the moon, and an explosion of technology that still shapes our world.

In each case, government didn’t supplant private enterprise; it catalyzed private enterprise. It created the conditions for thousands of entrepreneurs and new businesses to adapt and to thrive.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Run for Public Office today

Look around you. You can control and do right by your peers and constiuents just like President Obama but you have to run for a local public office just like he did.

The current local administration is probably not any smarter than you are but they ran for office and you didn't. Run now.

Some of you are smart enough to do so but have not been encouraged. Some of you are tough enough but have not been encouraged. This is your future too. If you have it in you, please find a local public office in your town or city to run for and when elected do what you are supposed to do.
There is the school board, city council, mayor, county assessor, county board member etc. Just do it!
That will solve America's problems and restore the American Dream.
You can do it if you try!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Notes on President and Vice President’s meeting with U.S. Mayors



The U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting held this week in Washington D.C. was highlighted by a meeting with the President and Vice President of the United States on Friday, February 20 inside the White House East Room.

President Obama announced that he signed February 19, an executive order establishing the White House Office of Urban Affairs, where former New York City Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion will head up the agency. The office was created to, ”provide leadership for and coordinate the development of the policy agenda for urban America across executive departments and agencies;
(b) to coordinate all aspects of urban policy;
(c) to work with executive departments and agencies to ensure that appropriate consideration is given by such departments and agencies to the potential impact of their actions on urban areas;
(d) to work with executive departments and agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget, to ensure that Federal Government dollars targeted to urban areas are effectively spent on the highest-impact programs; and
(e) to engage in outreach and work closely with State and local officials, with nonprofit organizations, and with the private sector, both in seeking input regarding the development of a comprehensive urban policy and in ensuring that the implementation of Federal programs advances the objectives of that policy.”

In short, the office will coordinate all federal urban programs. The President said he is getting letters from constituents across the country about the problems they are facing. He acknowledged that mayors cannot deficit spend and that is why the recovery plan will create 3.5 million jobs and aid state and local governments to stem municipal cutbacks. He reiterated that 18 million will get health insurance and seven million taxpayers will receive financial help to get insurance after job loss.

“What makes this recovery plan so important we are putting America to work in what needs done in critical areas…it lays a new foundation,” the President said.

He said 400,000 people will be put to work across the country in infrastructure improvement based jobs. Infrastructure improvements include roads and highways, bridges, high speed rail, early childhood education, modernization of medical records and laying broadband lines

“We’ve done more in 30 days to advance health care reform than has occurred in a decade,” he said. He also said, what is required in returned is unprecedented accountability and responsibility to the taxpayer.

“They expect to see their money spent in its intended purposes without waste or fraud,” President Obama said.
He said this means he will hold both federal and local municipalities responsible for its use.
“We will use the new tools to watch the taxpayers money with more rigor and transparency than ever. If a federal agency proposes something that will waste money I will put them on notice,” President Obama said.

He said the same goes for local municipalities.
“I will call them out on it.” No compromise or shortcuts, he said.
He said the stimulus plan does not mark the end but the beginning of what he plans to do to attack urban challenges.
The President said he thinks about his start into politics when speaking with mayors--community outreach. He said citizens frequently look to local municipalities in times of financial trouble.

Reporters speaking with the mayors during an impromptu news conference on the white house driveway, after the meeting, asked about this accountability.
The mayors collectively said they welcome having their feet being held to the fire because it is what they have been going through everyday anyway. New Orleans mayor, Ray Nagen, said the money the cities will receive will go through the states to be disbursed. He said it took about three years to get hurricane victim monies. He said the legislature of each state can vote whether to take the money or not.

Questions then centered around making sure that the cities could receive the economic stimulus if the money was voted approved by each state and how they would like to see it spent.
After hearing from Democratic mayors, reporters on hand called to hear from Republican mayors.

A Republican mayor from Minnesota said, “one of the things we are now recognizing are the tools being put on the table to put our people back to work. The reinvestment act makes sure people are back to work and infrastructure is repaired and amenities offered, enriching the lives of each city’s citizens.
Another Republican South Carolina mayor said he was against the stimulus package at first but now that the recovery bill is law, he thinks, “we need to put as much of the money in long term projects as possible.”
It was apparent that the mayors who attended the meeting were on board with the President's plans.

Vice-President Joe Biden reminded all in attendance about the web site that could help shed light on how the recovery money is spent.

“Only after one month, laws have been signed to strengthen the American people. The results are clear and ready for the people to see it involves patient outreach," Vice President Joe Biden said, during an introduction of President Barack Obama.
“There is so much more to do,” he said.

Biden spoke of how for years America’s cities have been neglected and the concerns of its mayors unheard.
“We know how important cities are. Seven out of ten jobs are in (our nation’s) cities.” They haven’t been paid much attention to thus far.

He said the recovery package signed into law will provide “unprecedented investment in American cities."
“We have to make this work for our people,“ Biden said.
He acknowledged that taxpayers are trusting the government to spend the money in a way that it was intended. He said taxpayers can go to Recovery.gov to see how the money is being spent and make their concerns known.

He asked the mayors to highlight projects that need private investment and growth.
“The world is watching to see how well this will work.” Biden said.


###

Dancing with Chicago Celebs 2009 Charity Event

Our event is in its fourth year and looks to be the best ever!
When: March 13th
The centerpiece of the evening will be a celebrity dance-off featuring Chicago television, business and sports personalities. Each celebrity will be paired with a professional instructor and will receive personalized choreography and extensive coaching, all, donated by Arthur Murray Dance Centers in Chicago.

The competition will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges, led by US Smooth champion and ABC "Dancing with the Stars" alum, Nick Kosovich. He will be joined by Snow Urbin, a fan favorite from "So You Think You Can Dance," and currently performing with ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" tour.

“Dancing with Chicago Celebrities” is the brainchild of a team of instructors at the Arthur Murray Dance studios in Chicago. Jill DeMarlo, professional dance instructor and Arthur Murray franchisee in Chicago said, “Four years ago, we were inspired by the phenomenal resurgence of ballroom dancing across the country. And the popularity of ballroom dance reality television shows. We decided it would be a lot of fun to put together this event in a way that would benefit a cause I care a lot about.”

“The inaugural event was absolutely terrific – it was one of the most unique and fun charity events I’ve ever attended, let alone been a part of,” said Rick Bayless, reknowned chef and 2006 winner. “I can’t think of anything of I’ve ever done that’s been more fun.”

2007 grand champion Dan Ponce from ABC 7 Chicago said, “I had a blast at this event. My teacher/coach/partner from Arthur Murray, Amy, was fantastic and we couldn’t be happier to have contributed to a great cause.”

Kendall Gill, NBA superstar and professional boxer said, “Being part of this event was fantastic. It’s a great cause and it was a lot of fun. Not only was it a great outlet for my competitive spirit but I’ve found a new hobby.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Unity Condemns New York Post Cartoon

The New York Post is sorely misguided in its efforts to downplay the serious lapse in judgment exhibited in today's editorial cartoon by Sean Delonas. To think that the cartoonist and the responsible editors at the paper did not see the racist overtones of the finished product should insult their intelligence. Instead, they celebrate their own lack of perspective and criticize those who call it what it is: tone deaf at best, overtly racist at worst.

"I question the judgment of the editorial editors to move this to print as well as the diversity of its staff that would let them think this passes as comedy," said Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists and vice president of UNITY: Journalists of Color.

UNITY President Rafael Olmeda also criticized the explanation offered by the New York Post. "Are we to believe that the image of a slain chimpanzee juxtaposed with a comment about the stimulus package would not lead reasonable people to draw a comparison with the person with whom the stimulus package is most associated?" Olmeda said. "Surely, Mr. Delonas and the editors can't be that obtuse."

UNITY condemns the cartoon as well as the newspaper's weak explanation.

UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. is a strategic alliance advocating news coverage about people of color, and aggressively challenging its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation's diversity. UNITY, representing more than 10,000 journalists of color, is comprised of four national associations: Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Native American Journalists Association.

Some stories don't come with a share button

MUMBAI, India - They are not your typical movie stars.

Ten-year-old Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail lives in a lean-to made of tarpaulins and blankets. Nine-year-old Rubina Ali's home is a tiny bubble-gum pink shack. A murky open sewer runs down her narrow lane.

http://indiefilm.movies.yahoo.com/article-6-/

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our President really cares about America

Today, I signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law.

This is a historic step -- the first of many as we work together to climb out of this crisis -- and I want to thank you for your resolve and your support.

You organized thousands of house meetings. You shared your ideas and personal stories. And you informed your friends and neighbors about the need for immediate action. You continue to be a powerful voice for change throughout the country.

The recovery plan will create or save 3.5 million jobs, provide tax cuts for working and middle-class families, and invest in health care and clean energy.

It's a bold plan to address a huge problem, and it will require my vigilance and yours to make sure it's done right.

I've assigned a team of managers to oversee the implementation of the recovery act. We are committed to making sure no dollar is wasted. But accountability begins with you.

That's why my administration has created Recovery.gov, a new website where citizens can track every dollar spent and every job created. We'll invite you and your neighbors to weigh in with comments and questions.

Our progress will also be measured by the tens of thousands of personal stories submitted by people who are struggling to make ends meet. If you haven't already, you can read stories from families all across the country:

http://my.barackobama.com/yourstories

Your stories are the heart of this recovery plan, and that's what I'll focus on every day as President.

With your continued support, we'll emerge a stronger and more prosperous nation.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

This is what a musical genius sounds like, looks like


KANYE WEST "Welcome To Heartbreak" Directed by Nabil from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

First Clip for KNOWING

The first clip for Alex Proyas' next thriller Knowing has appeared online courtesy of Yahoo. The clip titled "Derailed" is 1:27 in length and the film will star Nicolas...

read more | digg story

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

FRAUDULENT COMPLIANCE REQUESTS TO

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2009


Dear Indiana business:

I am writing to alert you of a continuing scam being perpetrated on Indiana businesses. Several businesses have reported receiving a deceptive letter that would appear to come from an official government source. The letter solicits an annual fee of $125 or $150 and claims it will be used for record keeping and processing of a company's annual minutes. It gives the appearance of coming from a legitimate government agency and cites fictitious state law.

Specifically, copies of the letter that have been forwarded to my office appear to come from the "Indiana Corporate Compliance Business Division." They include a return by date to give the false impression that action is necessary on your part.

This letter is NOT an official correspondence from my Business Services Division or any other Indiana state agency. Investigators from my office are working with federal law enforcement to determine who is responsible for these letters and ensure they are stopped. If you received one of these solicitations, ignore it! If you have already responded to such a letters and believe you are a victim of this scam, please call the Business Services Division at (317) 232-6576.

Please also remember you can securely comply with your legitimate business entity reporting requirements to the state securely online through the INBiz portal found on my Web page at www.sos.in.gov/business . As always, my office will provide you with a courtesy reminder when your report is due to be filed. Legitimate notices from my office include the state seal of Indiana and my name.


Best Regards,

Todd Rokita
Indiana Secretary of State

P.S.- Coming soon! - To benefit you, we will be offering images of corporate documents online later this year. Watch our Web site for updates: www.sos.in.gov.

If you would like to receive other types of email updates from your Secretary of State's Office, please click the "Manage Subscriptions" link at the bottom of this email.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thank You for the passage of the stimulus bill

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan has passed the Senate and is on its way to difficult House-Senate negotiations. Just three Republicans helped pass the plan on a 61-37 vote and they're already signaling they'll play hardball to preserve more than $108 billion in spending cuts made last week in Senate dealmaking. Obama wants to restore cuts in funds for school construction jobs and help for cash-starved states.

Are Katherine and T.R. Leaving Grey's Anatomy?

By Kristin Dos Santos
Tue Feb 10, 12:11 PM PST

After months of rumors that Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight may be leaving Grey's Anatomy, costar James Pickens ("The Chief") has added fuel to the fire.

"Yes, she is," he told Us Weekly when asked if Heigl will exit the show. "Wherever Katherine goes, I wish her nothing but the best."

As for Knight, Pickens said, "He's going too."
http://ping.fm/ZNto6

Nice song and so true

Monday, February 9, 2009

Will Yall Quit FN with me and pass the stimulus bill

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, urgently pressuring lawmakers to approve a massive economic recovery bill, turned his first news conference Monday night into a determined defense of his emergency plan and an offensive against Republicans who try to "play the usual political games."
http://ping.fm/vzGqH

15 Companies That Might Not Survive 2009

Institutions fall...but I know they're not trying to close Krispy Kream!

read more | digg story

Rihanna and Chris Brown


Rumor has it that Chris Brown was arrested day before yesterday after the Clive Davis party for going all Ike Turner on Rhianna. Nether were at the Grammys and they were supposed to perform. Eventually CB turned himself in yesterday during the Grammys and was bailed out hours later.
If this is true, they are too young for that sht. Stop it now.
Don't be caught up, caught up like my man and me--young hearts, run free...
and wait until yalls parents get involved. ooooh. a mess.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The problems we have today started many years ago

chicagotribune.com — This is an archived Chicago Tribune article that is more relevant today that it was last year this time. Its topic? Crippling unemployment, a crumbling city and how blacks are disproportionately affected. Recession and unemployment started a couple of years ago within the black community and is an ongoing issue. Now what? Go tell the GOP.

The game show where nobody wins but the wife

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Don Lemon of CNN is interviewing someone who performs grassroots HIV education and she says 18-24 age group is a growing aids problem in aa community amid the down-low brothers.
Wrap it up please!
www.livingquilt.org

Friday, February 6, 2009

Spotlight 29 Casino Laughs It Up With Rita Rudner

March 5 Concert is Benefit for Gilda's Club Desert Cities

"Comedian of the Year" Rita Rudner likes to shop. "I love to shop after a bad relationship. I don't know. I buy a new outfit and it makes me feel better. It just does. Sometimes I see a really great outfit, I'll break up with someone on purpose." Now the top Las Vegas headliner is coming to Spotlight 29 Casino on March 5 for a one-night-only concert benefiting Gilda's Club Desert Cities.
Tickets for Rita Rudner are $125, $75 and $50 and are available now at Spotlight29.com and at the Spotlight 29 Casino Gift Shop. Tickets are also available at StarTickets.com or by calling (800) 585-3737, or at Gilda's Club. Proceeds benefit Gilda's Club Desert Cities.

Rudner began her career as a dancer and appeared in the original Broadway productions of "Follies" and "Mack and Mabel." While appearing in "Annie," she realized there were many more female dancers than there were female comics, and she began to study the New York comedy scene and comic structure of Woody Allen and Jack Benny. Her work resulted in countless television appearances, four books, plays, sell-out concerts all over the world and one of the most in-demand shows on the Las Vegas Strip.

She is married to husband/manager Martin Bergman. Rudner has said, "Before I met my husband, I'd never fallen in love. I'd stepped in it a few times. When I eventually met Mr. Right I had no idea that his first name was Always."

Rudner and Bergman spend their time between their homes in Las Vegas and southern California. "In Hollywood a marriage is a success if it outlasts milk," Rudner has said.

Gilda's Club Desert Cities is part of the national Gilda's Club network. The organization's mission is to provide a place where people with cancer and their families and friends join with others to build social and emotional support as a supplement to medical care. Free of charge and nonprofit, Gilda's Club offers support and networking groups, lectures, workshops and social events in a non-residential, home-like setting. For information or to join Gilda's Club, call (760) 770-5678.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Get Involved in Your Schools
I found this on an e-mail list and feel that it is worth passing along to you who are concerned. This is the best way to get vital news out to the public.
These decisions have been made by the school board. No one likes change, but it is necessary in our district for us to proceed with change and progress.
Many Wirt students, special needs students included, come from the Horace Mann area. Wirt students are not exclusively from the 1st District now.
The themed high schools will launch in the fall of 2009.
At Emerson, the student has one class/school day in their major. The rest of the school day is academic work as usual. Emerson is the only Gary high school which made AYP again this year. Emerson's ISTEP scores are the highest in Gary and are competitve with other schools in NWIN. Much of the arts activity is done after school, again requiring heightened parental and student involvement. The performance aspect of Emerson alone is community outreach. The auditorium at Wirt is beautiful, and it will be fully utilized by Emerson. Emerson hasn't had a place of its own in which to perform for years.
West Side will be taking on middle school students as will each of the four themed schools. (Emerson is already 6-12 because of its charter. It's ready-made for this configuration and is ready and anxious to expand.) This all is happening this fall.
The 1st District is not sacrificing its school. Emerson has always been a 1st District school. As it has been for years now, all the Gary high schools have been schools of choice. The kids are bussed all over the city. I have some of the same students I taught at Wirt now at West Side. At least now the movement will make some sense.

Subject: get involved in your schools


First District parents are being told that a student does not have to be a prodigy to attend Emerson. That may be true, but when I went to the Indiana Department of Education website, I did not find any teacher for students with special needs at Emerson.

Not counting Learning Disabled and those with Emotional Disabilities, there are 296 special needs students at Wirt. Where will the special needs students from the 1st District go?

Another concern is where will the students who have no desire to major in the arts go? There is not going to be a new themed schools until 2010 at the earliest, if ever.

I do agree with Nora that it takes parental and community involvement for any school to succeed. I also believe that if this community puts as much effort into making its local schools work as it does for other issues, any school in the 1st District will be successful.

Here are a few more questions:
Will the education of the children in the 1st District be advanced when the majority of them are transferred to Roosevelt, Lew Wallace or West Side? Will the majority of children in the 1st District have the same opportunity to succeed as the students at Banneker and Emerson? Should the board wait until all the schools are themed schools before closing Wirt? Why is the board asking the 1st District to sacrifice its school when West Side is a larger facility and has a state of the art auditorium? Should the school district be subsidizing the Gary Theater Guild with our taxes? Should the students have to compete with the theater guild for West Side High School's auditorium? Should the board be spending money on reconfiguring the high schools or fixing leaky roofs?

Ask questions. Get involved. Here is the link to the school board committee meetings.
http://ping.fm/Gze60

Check out this link to see the number of students at Emerson and the cost per pupil:
http://ping.fm/0Rpat
You will have to scroll down to the bottom of this page to find this information,

Then check out this link to see class sizes and courses offered at Emerson:
http://ping.fm/CYRvp

Now click on this link to see the number of students and cost per student for Wirt High School. http://ping.fm/8yz6W
Again, you will have to go to the bottom of the page to find this information.

Then check out this link for class sizes and courses offered.
http://ping.fm/zsglz
There are 14 special needs teachers at Wirt.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Local yokles brothers turn ad pros: Batesville native win big with Doritos Superbowl ad

The Doritos brand today announced that its consumer-created Doritos commercial "Free Doritos," which aired for the first time nationally during yesterday's Super Bowl XLIII broadcast, ranked No. 1 in USA TODAY's annual Super Bowl Ad Meter.

The tortilla chip brand is now giving Batesville, Indiana native, Joe Herbert, the ad's talented creator, a $1 million payout for claiming the coveted title many ad pros strive to attain each year.
Joe and his co-creator brother Dave Herbert, returned to meet the newly raised stakes of the third annual Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl." From shattering a vending machine full of Doritos with a snow globe to throwing the "crystal ball" at the Boss, the inspiration for their commercial is based on ideas the brothers felt would evoke laughter and emotion from the audience at different points of the commercial.


"To have 'Free Doritos' exposed on the Super Bowl stage was already amazing enough," exclaimed Herbert. "But, to now claim No. 1 on the USA TODAY Ad Meter and win $1 million is unbelievable and affirmation that we can and will fulfill our dreams. This means so much to my brother and I. We are very thankful to Doritos, our friends, our family and everyone else who supported us and believed in us."

Nationwide consumer votes put "Free Doritos" in the Super Bowl limelight from amongst nearly 2,000 entries and five finalist ads in the third annual Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" program. Now, too, in the Super Bowl spotlight is finalist Eric Heimbold. Doritos surprised viewers by also airing his commercial "Power of Crunch," which placed No. 5 in the USA TODAY ad meter.


"We've said it before and we'll say it again, Doritos goes big or goes home," said Ann Mukherjee, group vice president, marketing, Doritos. "We knew Joe could take on the pros and now he has the financial resources to pursue his dreams. We are extremely proud of Joe's accomplishment and believe this is the best million dollars the Doritos brand has ever spent."


The brand also announced that it will continue to give control of its broadcast advertising air time to its fans. Doritos will also air all five finalist commercials as its national Doritos TV campaign to continue to shine the spotlight on their makers and their budding careers. In addition to "Free Doritos," the other finalists' ads that will be at the center of Doritos' TV advertising campaign are: "Power of the Crunch," "The Chase," "Too Delicious," and "New Flavor Pitch."


"We believe in our fans and will continue to provide them with opportunities to be discovered and live out their dreams," adds Mukherjee. "Doritos feels, as a brand, it should break the rules for it fans so they can make the impossible become possible."

The Doritos brand put two of its talented fans in the limelight when it surprised a worldwide audience by airing two consumer-created Doritos commercials during the Super Bowl XLIII broadcast -- "Free Doritos" and "Power of the Crunch."
The USA TODAY Super Bowl Ad Meter tracks the second-by-second responses of a panel of viewers to ads during the national broadcast of the Super Bowl and ranks them favorite to least favorite. Created in 1989, USA TODAY's Ad Meter has been regarded as the most influential Super Bowl ad rating in the advertising industry.


Eric Heimbold, a graduate of the film department at Pasadena Art Center College of Design, was hoping to challenge himself as a film-maker when he rallied old friends from school to create a Doritos ad that told a sexy, Super Bowl-worthy story. "Power of the Crunch" is a comedic take on the idea that people are corrupted by ultimate power. In less than 30 seconds, his main character spirals through a series of extreme indulgences and ultimately self-destructs. For Eric, this was a great opportunity for him to do something that is of meaning to him personally and appreciated in a well-structured public forum.


The "Crash the Super Bowl" campaign is the evolution of the Doritos brand allowing consumers to be in control. In 2007, the Doritos brand aired its first consumer-created commercial during Super Bowl XLI, as part of the first Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" challenge. That same day, the brand aired a second commercial to kick-off the first-ever consumer-created Doritos brand television ad campaign, in which all five of the Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" finalists' ads aired on national television. Last year Doritos launched the music career of one of its talented fans by airing her original song in a music video during its Super Bowl XLII air time as part of its second annual "Crash the Super Bowl" program.


In addition to the Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" challenge, in 2007 the brand put consumers in control with programs such as Doritos "Fight for the Flavor," which invited Doritos fans to determine which of two new flavors survived on store shelves and which one was pulled. Then, the brand launched the Doritos "X-13D Flavor Experiment," where consumers had a chance to name a new mysterious flavor of Doritos tortilla chips, followed by "Unlock Xbox," which empowered fans to design the first-ever consumer-created Xbox LIVE(R) Arcade game.


In 2008, "THE QUEST" campaign gave Doritos lovers a unique opportunity to choose how and when to get engaged in a multi-faceted program that had online and real world challenges. Fans were in control of how they participated in "THE QUEST" in everything from guessing a mystery flavor to solving virtual puzzles and competing in real-life adventures. In addition, Doritos put control into the hands of its consumers through a programming partnership with MTV.


Frito-Lay North America is the $11 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana.

Newspaper Executives Launch New Campaign to Promote the Power of Newspapers

The Newspaper Project, a new grassroots organization started by a small group of newspaper executives to support a constructive exchange of information and ideas about the future of newspapers, launches today.

It features new print ads, online ads and a dedicated Web site at www.newspaperproject.org. This multimedia effort has been created to help provide a more balanced perspective on what newspaper companies can do to survive and thrive in the years ahead.

"We acknowledge the challenges facing the newspaper industry in today's rapidly changing media world," says Donna Barrett, President and CEO of Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. and President of Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.

"However, we reject the notion that newspapers -- and the valuable content that newspaper journalists provide -- have no future."

Other members of the group include Randy Siegel, President and Publisher of Parade Publications, Brian Tierney, CEO and Publisher of Philadelphia Media Holdings, and Jay Smith, former President of Cox Newspapers. Ads will run starting today in Advertising Age, The New York Times, The Washington Post and more than 300 other newspapers across the country. To learn more and download the ad, visit www.newspaperproject.org.

Mayo Clinic Study Finds Younger Men With Erectile Dysfunction at Double Risk of Heart Disease

Men who experience erectile dysfunction between the ages of 40 and 49 are twice as likely to develop heart disease than men without dysfunction, according to a new Mayo Clinic study.


Researchers also found that men with erectile dysfunction have an 80percent higher risk of heart disease.


"The highest risk for coronary heart disease was in younger men," says researcher Jennifer St. Sauver, Ph.D. The study was published in the February 2009 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The results suggest that younger men and their doctors may need to consider erectile dysfunction a harbinger of future risk of coronary heart disease -- and take appropriate steps to prevent it, says Dr. St. Sauver.


"The importance of the study cannot be overstated," writes Martin Miner, M.D., in an editorial in the same issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The results "raise the possibility of a 'window of curability,' in which progression of cardiac disease might be slowed or halted by medical intervention," writes Dr. Miner, who practices at the Men's Health Center, Miriam Hospital, Providence, R.I.


Erectile dysfunction is common, and prevalence increases with age. It affects 5 to 10 percent of men at age 40. By age 70, from 40 to 60 percent of men have the condition.


Dr. St. Sauver says researchers wanted to learn more about the connections between age, cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction. Two previous studies, both published in 2005, laid groundwork for the Mayo Clinic study. One found that erectile dysfunction predicted an increased risk of heart disease, but the erectile dysfunction of the study participants was not assessed with an externally validated questionnaire and cardiac events were not subjected to standardized review for diagnostic accuracy [Thompson et al, JAMA, 2005]. The second predicted that future cardiovascular disease would be higher in younger men with erectile dysfunction, but wasn't able to follow the men to determine if heart disease developed.


For the Mayo Clinic study, the investigators identified 1,402 men who lived in Olmsted County, Minn., in 1996 and did not have heart disease. Every two years for 10 years, these men were assessed for urological and sexual health.


Answers to questions from the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory, a statistically validated questionnaire, were used to determine erectile dysfunction. The baseline prevalence of erectile dysfunction in study participants was: 2.4 percent in men aged 40-49; 5.6 percent in men aged 50-59; 17 percent in men aged 60-69 and 38.8 percent in men 70 years and older. Those initial data and the increasing incidence of erectile dysfunction over time were linked to data from a long-term study of heart disease in Olmsted County residents, led by Veronique Roger, M.D., Mayo Clinic cardiologist.


Over 10 years of follow-up, researchers found that men with erectile dysfunction were 80 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease compared to men without erectile dysfunction. The highest risk of new heart disease was seen in the youngest study participants who had erectile dysfunction. In men 40 to 49 years old when the study began, the number of new cases in men with erectile dysfunction was more than 50-fold higher than in men without erectile dysfunction. Statistically, that's a cumulative incidence of 48.52 per 1,000 person years in those with erectile dysfunction compared to 0.94 per 1,000 person years in those without erectile dysfunction.


In men in their 50s, 60s and 70s, the total incidence of new cases of heart disease also was higher in those with erectile dysfunction. However, the differences were not as striking as those seen among the 40- to 49-year- olds.


"In older men, erectile dysfunction may be of less prognostic importance for development of future heart disease," says Dr. St. Sauver.


This study did not determine reasons for the increased risk of heart disease among men with erectile dysfunction. Some have theorized that erectile dysfunction and coronary artery disease may be different manifestations of the same underlying disease process. A buildup of plaque that can block arteries around the heart may plug the smaller penile arteries first, causing erectile dysfunction. Alternatively, arteries may lose elasticity over time, contributing to heart disease. This arterial stiffening may affect the smaller penile arteries first.


Other Mayo Clinic researchers were: Brant Inman, M.D.; Debra Jacobson; Michaela Mc Gree; Ajay Nehra, M.D.; Michael Lieber, M.D.; Dr. Roger; and Steven Jacobsen, M.D., Ph.D.


A peer-review journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings publishes original articles and reviews dealing with clinical and laboratory medicine, clinical research, basic science research and clinical epidemiology. Articles are available online at www.mayoclinicproceedings.com.

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