Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Myers Park teen a YouTube hit

Posted By on Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 9:38 AM

YouTube has helped create many minor celebrities in our Internet age, but the circumstances that made Myers Park High School senior Amelia Downs a viral hit are surprising even to her.

Amelia Downs posted her video as a response to a unique question on a college application to Tufts University.

The Medford, Massachusetts school is known for creative questions for its applicants, and this year, offered an optional essay that asked students to submit a 1-minute web video that helped explain who they are.

Downs' video begins, "Oh, hi! I didn't see you there. My name is Amelia Downs and I'm here to show you how I combine two of my favorite things -- being a nerd and dancing." She goes on to show off several dances she created with friends that simulate math terms such as scatterplot, pie graph, and tangent.

Read the rest of this MSNBC/ NewsChannel36 article, by Beth Shayne, here.

Here's the video:

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Navy will pay to test toxic waters at N.C. base

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 3:00 PM

It's hard to believe there was even a disagreement about this ... and, what in the hell has taken them so long?

The Navy has agreed after months of fighting to fund a study into the health effects of past water pollution at Camp Lejeune on Marines.

The Department of the Navy said in a letter Thursday to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry that it will pay more than $1.5 million for the work. The study will look at whether there are higher mortality rates for Marines who served at the base during the years the water was contaminated.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter Friday.

North Carolina Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan had urged the Navy to fund the study. The two lawmakers were behind legislation passed by the Senate in September preventing the military from dismissing claims related to water contamination before studies are completed.

"I am pleased the Navy has listened and is taking this crucial step. The findings will help bring answers to our Lejeune families who deserve closure on this issue," said Hagan, who wrote the legislation.

Read the rest of this Washington Post/ Associated Press article here.

From June 2008, the description of this YouTube video reads, "My name is Mike Partain and I was born on MCB, Camp Lejeune N.C in 1968. During my mother's pregnancy, we were exposed to drinking water which was highly contaminated with VOCs including PCE and TC..."

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The greenish Olympics

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Are they the greenest Olympics ever, or what? Some say, "Or what."

From Grist.org's Jonathan Hiskes, a simple solution for a greener Olympic experience:

For all the efforts to minimize the impact of the Olympics, one big solution never gets taken seriously. So much of the environmental and financial cost of the games comes from cities trying to build facilities that suit both a massive, two-week influx of athletes and spectators and also the long-term needs of locals. So you get things like Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 summer games and not paid off in full until 2006. Or the “spookily quiet, deserted” Olympic village Tom Philpott saw in Turin, Italy, two years after the games there.

The solution: Hold the Olympics in the same location every time, one spot for the summer games and one for the winter. Since the greatest concentration of athletes comes from Europe, putting the summer games in, say, Athens and the winter games somewhere in the Alps would minimize jet travel, which accounts for fully half the carbon impact of the Vancouver games.

From E-Magazine's Brita Belli, a little angst:

With such worldwide attention and grand-scale showmanship, it seems almost inappropriate to calculate the emissions and “sustainability” of the Vancouver Olympics. Each Olympics aims to be the greenest, and Vancouver is no different. As E wrote in a recent feature "Are the Games Really Green?" there‘s a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions—specifically 330,000 tons along with ecosystem and habitat damage—associated with creating and hosting the Games that’s just inevitable. When organizers do build arenas, tracks and buildings, they aim to set a green example. That includes the highly efficient Olympic Village in Vancouver, the temporary home for more than 2,000 skiers, snowboarders, figure skaters, curlers and other competitors, that has been called one of the “greenest neighborhoods in north America” by organizers and the National Resources Defense Council. When the Games have ended, the mini-city’s buildings will be turned into mixed-income housing, and aim for Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. A 64-unit building called Southeast False Creek that will later become senior housing is actually net zero—meaning it produces as much energy as it consumes.

But the Olympics are polarizing, and draw the ire of activists who see the Games as wasteful, destructive and out of step with their own agendas. Figure skater Johnny Weir—who wore a fur-trimmed outfit during the Nationals—decided to stay in the Olympic Village instead of a hotel as a result of what he describes as threatening harassment from anti-fur activists.

And now Friends of the Earth is using the Olympics to generate attention to tar sands exploitation in Canada. The group is particularly concerned that several oil companies involved in strip mining operations are also Olympic sponsors.

Green Daily writer Cat Lincoln's just happy things are getting better:

Whenever you bring together a big group of eating, drinking, trash-making humans, the green clique starts to get concerned about the environmental impact of the event.

In terms of architectural green-ness, Vancouver is pretty impressive. The Olympic Village is being built to the LEED Gold standard and they will have a LEED Platinum Community Centre. The speedskating oval is built from pine beetle damaged wood. But as Treehugger reported, some folks are disappointed because these uber-green buildings are too utilitarian. In short, they're ugly.

...

Aesthetics aside, official Olympics beverage sponsor, Coca Cola, is shooting for a carbon neutral Olympics. They introduced bottles made from 30 percent plant-based materials, and they're using hybrids for delivery.

Watching the green progress from two years ago gives the games an interesting added dimension for us Greeniacs at home, who worry about how many energy bar wrappers and plastic water bottles are going to wind up in the trash. This year, it sounds like that number is going to be closer to zero than every before. Now that's a reason to cheer!

See one of the sustainable innovations inVancouver's Olympic village for yourself:

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Mardi Gras!

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Just in case you won't be making it to New Orleans this year:

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Goodie Mob hits Charlotte Feb.14

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 12:47 PM

The Dirty South hip-hop legends known as Goodie Mob hit the Amos' Southend stage this Sunday. So, here's a classic video for the fans and for folks who've never heard of the group:

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Get to know Nneka

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Nigerian-born singer/musician Nneka drops her first U.S. album today. She's also about to go on tour. Is she coming to Charlotte. Uhhhh ... no. But she's hitting Atlanta Feb. 9. Anyway, here's a little bit about her:

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 3:32 PM

MADtv had a vision of the future way back in the day ...

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Seinfeld in Charlotte tonight

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Love me some Seinfeld. Especially when he's crackin' on Larry King:

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Suck on this Robertson and Rush

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Keith Olbermann gives Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson a big fat one in the mouth:

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Thursday, January 14, 2010


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