Friday, February 24, 2006

Another Silver Lining for Cohen

TURIN, Italy (AFP) - Sasha Cohen had to settle for another silver medal to remind her of yet another golden opportunity that slipped through her fingers.
A two-time world and four-time US runner-up she claimed the national title this year in the absence of the injured Michelle Kwan.Turin was supposed to be her big international breakthrough.
But like the 2003 and 2004 nationals, the 2004 worlds, and four years ago in Salt Lake City Olympics, she had a chance to medal or win in the free skate but failed to rise to the occasion.
She was leading after the short programme.
But once again under the spotlight failed to deliver.
Her Olympic challenge was over within seconds as the 21-year-old fell on her opening triple and struggled in her second.
After completing her "Romeo and Juliet" routine she went backstage, took off her dress and skates, convinced that she would not be needing them again.
But the poor performance of world champion Irina Slutskaya allowed the American to claim silver behind Japan's Shizuka Arakawa, the 2004 world champion, with the Russian taking bronze.
" It's bittersweet," Cohen said. "I tried hard. I have no regrets.
"I definitely didn't think I was going to get any medal when I finished. So it was a nice surprise."
"Of course I was disappointed and in shock. But you've got to take what life gives you.
"No, I didn't cry. I don't usually cry unless I'm angry. I'm not angry, it's more of a letdown.
"It's one night, four minutes and a piece of metal. It's more about the journey over the four years, it's not a one-night journey."
Cohen brushed off suggestions that she was suffering another injury.
She had been bidding to follow in the footsteps of fellow Americans Tara Lipinski (1998) and Sarah Hughes (2002) as the Olympic champion.
She did keep the US on the women's podium for the 11th straight Olympics.
Her silver was the eighth ever by an American woman and the second for the United States here in Turin after Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto came second in the ice dance.
Work Cited: Article Written by: Yahoo sports

Best Spring Break Hangouts

Midterms getting you down? The pressures of classes, activities and the looming real world driving you mad? For many, spring break is the solution to these problems. Swarms of college-aged kids descend on areas ranging from Florida to the Caribbean in search of sun, beach and a sea of peers ready to get their groove on all night long. For those looking for that kind of experience, options abound — complete with booze cruises, dance contests and absurd beach games. But there is also plenty of fun for those not longing for six nights of debauchery. So whether you're a spring break virgin or a returning champion, read on for the hottest spring break spots.
The top ten picks for spring Break spots are:
1. Panama City, FL
2. Cancun, Mexico
3. South Padre Island, texas
4. Jamaica
5. Lake Havasu, Arizona
6. Mazatian, Mexico
7. Daytona Beach, Florida
8. Key West, Florida
9. Rosarito Beach/ Ensenada, Mexico
10. The Bahamas
Work Cited: Article written by Jennifer Plum

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Crowds Line Up for $365 Million Powerball

People with dreams of winning Saturday's record $365 million Powerball lottery jackpot stood in lengthening lines to buy tickets that flew out of machines at dizzying speeds.
"I figure somebody is going to win it, so it might as well be me," said Casey Symonds of Omaha, Neb., after buying $25 worth of tickets for himself and four co-workers Friday. The chances of winning the jackpot by matching all six numbers were 1 in 146.1 million.
The Powerball jackpot topped the previous lottery record, which was $363 million for the Big Game — the forerunner of Mega Millions. That was won by two ticket holders in Illinois and Michigan in 2000. Powerball's previous record of $340 million was won by an Oregon family in October.
West Virginia retailers cranked out tickets at a rate of 29 per second on Friday, said Libby White, the lottery's marketing director. North Carolina and Virginia residents called the West Virginia lottery asking for directions to the closest retailer, she said.
Sales in South Carolina reached $11,000 a minute on Friday, "pretty staggering," said John C.B. Smith, chairman of the state's lottery commission.
The big buyers usually are people representing pools of co-workers, and some bought hundreds of tickets at a time, said Hope Travers, clerk at a 7-Eleven in Providence, R.I.
"They've been driving me nutty," she said.
Jerry Bono, a furniture mover from Omaha, said he averages $10 worth of Powerball tickets per week, but goes for the big jackpots and leaves the lesser games alone.
"If I lose, I lose, but if I ever hit, I'd get out of here and move to Las Vegas."
"I intend to go, perhaps, to Paris," Robert Sayon Morris said after buying a ticket at Billy and Marty's convenience store in Minneapolis. Would he quit his job at a bank? "Of course."
Powerball is played in 28 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is run by the Multi-State Lottery Association based in Des Moines, Iowa.
Work Cited: yahoo news

Deep Mud Slows Philippine Search Effort

GUINSAUGON, Philippines - Hoping for a miracle, rescue workers in the Philippines searched for survivors Saturday in an elementary school swamped by a massive landslide that buried this town and killed some 1,800 people.
No more survivors were found, however, and reports that students and teachers sent cell phone text messages from inside went unconfirmed, leaving the search effort dispirited and empty-handed.
The landslide, which followed two weeks of heavy rains, was believed to have killed nearly every man, woman and child in the farming village of Guinsaugon, which was covered with mud up to 30 feet deep.
The situation was so delicate that a no-fly zone was established over the area out of concern that blasts of air from the helicopters' rotors could send the mud oozing again in Guinsaugon, about 400 miles southeast of the capital, Manila.
Only 57 people were plucked from the mud Friday from Guinsaugon's population of 1,857. At least 56 bodies were recovered.
Air Force Rescue Group said rescue workers shouted and used stones to bang on boulders in hopes that survivors would hear. There was only silence, he said..
Everyone's only hoping for "a miracle".
Survivors and relatives of the missing had trouble even figuring out where houses once stood in the 100-acre stretch of mud. Soldiers, firefighters and volunteers were given sketches of the village as it stood just days ago, but all the landmarks had been wiped away.
"It's hard to find the houses now," said Eunerio Bagaipo, a 42-year-old farmer who lost two brothers, almost 20 nieces and nephews and a number of in-laws. "There is nothing now, just earth and mud."
The search was complicated by heavy morning downpours, the threat that the mountain remained unstable and the possibility that 750 troops, firefighters and volunteers could get sucked down into the soft, shifting mud.
Many residents of the landslide area were evacuated last week due to the threat of landslides or flooding following the heavy rains, but had started returning home when the rains let up and days turned sunny.
In November 1991, about 6,000 people were killed on Leyte in floods and landslides triggered by a tropical storm. Another 133 people died in floods and mudslides there in December 2003.
Associated Press correspondent Oliver Teves contributed to this report from Guinsaugon.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Movie Review: When a stranger calls

While babysitting, a high school student is terrorized by a stranger who calls her, asking "have you checked the children lately?" The police eventually notify her the calls are coming from inside the house.
Its a suspense/horror movie

Movie Review: Pink Panther

Who's in It: Steve Martin, Beyoncé Knowles, Kevin Kline, Jean Reno, Kristen Chenowith
The Basics: Martin is the bumbling, linguistically challenged French Inspector Clouseau created back in the '60s by Peter Sellers. He's basically the Curious George of French police officers, innocently ruining everything he touches but still managing to come out smelling like a rose by solving the crime.
What's funny?:Martin and Reno dress up these Leigh Bowery-ish, head-to-toe, wallpaper-patterned body stockings; Martin puts on some funny glasses; Martin tries in vain to pronounce the word "hamburger"; and then a hotel gets trashed.
Overview: A famous soccer celeb is murdered and his ring is stolen, a ring set with the Pink Panther diamond. Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kline) assigns the case to Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Martin), a man with a penchant for bumbling his way to success, and Gendarme Gilbert Ponton (Reno), a stuffy Frenchman. Along for the ride: international pop superstar Xania (Knowles).