31 August 2012

Ah, the Chinese...

Rico says his friend Tex forwards this, which Tex has added to his bucket list:
Billionaire brothers build 450-foot-long life-size replica of Noah's Ark in Hong Kong
Having been built, according to the Bible, thousands of years ago, Noah's Ark has only ever existed in peoples' imaginations.
But now a group of architects who pondered what the Biblical vessel looked like have turned their dreams into reality by constructing a Noah's Ark replica, complete with animals.

Thomas, Walter, and Raymond's land-bound Ark certainly has dimensions on a Biblical scale, measuring a massive 450 feet long and 75 feet wide.
The tourists go in two-by-two: the Noah's Ark Theme Park, complete with fiberglass animals, sits in front of the Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong.

The Ark also boasts less-authentic Biblical touches, such as double-glazed windows and a fine dining restaurant.

The billionaire brothers who built the Ark in Hong Kong claim it is the only ful-scale version in the world. And the imaginative trio even attempted to give the giant boat an air of authenticity, by placing 67 pairs of animals at the entrance, just like the pairs of creatures saved from the Great Flood by Noah in the Bible tale. The creationist-inspired vessel forms part of a theme park, which was inspired by a young girl's scrawled drawing of the mammoth boat. Architects appear to have used some artistic license in parts of the Ark, including double-glazed windows, a fine dining restaurant and luxurious bedrooms. Inside, real-life exotic animals can be found, including a nautilus, a toucan, and reams of fish.
The Ark shines under Hong Kong's lights as a fiberglass giraffe stands guard near the entrance.

Various fiberglass animals stand outside the Ark, mimicking the Biblical tale where Noah took creatures on board the vessel. The Noah's Ark Theme Park is now run by Christian organizations, who use it to promote peace and unity. Matthew Pine, manager of Noah's Ark Theme Park, said: 'They had a vision to do something remarkable, something outstanding. They came up with many ideas. Some of them were really outrageous. But then they came across this girl's drawing, and knew it would be something do-able that captured imaginations. So they hired architects and engineers to create the replica Noah's Ark.'
The Ark also includes a sophisticated-looking restaurant as one of its on-board attractions.

Guests on board Noah's Ark can also stay in one of its luxurious hotel-style rooms.

The Hong Kong-based Noah's Ark theme park was built in 2009 and is popular among tourists. Matthews added: 'The reason we chose that moment in the Bible's story is because this is the message we want to bring to Hong Kong, to China, to the world. In our lives we always face floods, we will face trials, we will face difficulties. Hopefully, Noah's Ark will inspire people to pass through those troubles, as Noah did in his day.' The Ark opened in May 2009, seventeen years after plans were first made for the enormous structure.

Rico says you know how he figured out God was cruel? Because She let Noah take those two damned mosquitoes (to say nothing of the flies and poisonous snakes and other dangerous things) on board...

Things you won't see...

...Amish porn stars.

Quote of the day

Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater.
If you give her some sperm, she will make a baby.
If you give her a house, she will make you a home.
If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal.
If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart.
She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.
So, if you give her any crap, be prepared to be given a ton of shit...


Rico says his mother forwards this advice:
"Women are angels. When someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly... usually on a broomstick. (We're flexible like that.)"

30 August 2012

Movie review for the day (Heaven's Gate)

Beth Marchant has a review of Hollywood excess:
Heaven's Gate had intimations of greatness when it premiered in 1980 and greatness, at least on one level, it did achieve: the film was a colossal commercial flop that mystified audiences and critics alike and destroyed D.W. Griffith and Charlie Chaplin's United Artists studio in one clean shot. At the time, Roger Ebert called it "the most scandalous cinematic waste I have ever seen, and remember, I've seen Paint Your Wagon. Director Michael Cimino's epic Western, which he wrote and produced but also mauled, under deadline, to a disjointed 149 minutes for theatrical release, subsequently went into a long, deep sleep. Efforts to revive its reputation over the years misfired and the film is remembered by most— especially those who have never seen it— for its emblematic failure. Now, it's getting a second chance at joining the film canon.
With a golden kiss from essayist F.X. Feeney and The Criterion Collection, a digitally-restored 216-minute director's cut of Heaven's Gate, supervised by Cimino, has emerged. Criterion calls the film "a visionary critique of American expansionism that is among Hollywood’s most ambitious and unorthodox epics".
The Venice Film Festival screened a restored version and presented Cimino with a Persol Award. According to festival director Alberto Barbera, the honor was "a belated but long-overdue acknowledgment of the greatness of a visionary filmmaker" who was "gradually reduced to silence after the box-office flop of a masterpiece to which the film producers contributed with senseless cuts". The other restored classic films to screen at the festival are Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard and Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander. The Film Society of Lincoln Center joined the chorus, adding Heaven's Gate to its schedule of Masterworks in the New York Film Festival. (For the full list of the NYFF Masterworks, including Federico Fellini's Satyricon and a director’s cut of Frank OzLittle Shop of Horrors, visit the Film Society's website.)
Does Heaven's Gate deserve a second look? I admit I've never seen it on the big screen, and I've also never managed to watch the entire thing in one sitting, first fast-forwarding through a bad-looking and -sounding VHS copy, and catching pieces of it at intervals on cable. The romantic in me is partial to the roller skating scenes and a dance scene featuring stars Isabelle Huppert and Kris Kristofferson. Sometimes I think of the film, short on plot and excruciatingly long on style, as the strangest music video ever made.
How Heaven's Gate was made is a story in itself. Cimino, double-fisting two Oscars for his 1978 film The Deer Hunter, was indulged by a studio already teetering on bankruptcy. Notoriously overbudget and, many maintain, completely overwrought, the film became the ultimate cautionary tale for an industry full of less spectacularly rendered mistakes. For that reason, the back story, which you can watch on YouTube in an eight-part documentary, may be infinitely more entertaining. The documentary is based on Steven Bach's book about the film, Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of Heaven's Gate.

Drinking and driving is bad

Rico says his friend Tex sends this admonitory story:
I'd like to share an experience with you about drinking and driving. As you well know, some of us have been known to have had brushes with the authorities on our way home from the odd social session over the years. (Not me, of course.) A couple of nights ago, I was out for a few drinks with some friends, just a few, at the Marriott Hotel San Jose and had a few too many beers and some rather nice red wine.Knowing full well I may have been slightly over the limit, I did something I've never done before: I took a bus home. Sure enough, I passed a police road block, but as it was a bus, they waved it past. I arrived home safely without incident, which was a real surprise; as I have never driven a bus before and am not sure where I got it.

Rico in front of his mother's natal house

Rico says that would be 309 Main Street in Robersonville, North Carolina.

Marriage, such as it is

Rico says that, in the 'unto the next generation' category, you can't have two head-strong, opinionated people and expect them to stay married.

29 August 2012

Of course it is...


Fwd: KULULA Airlines very very funny


Sent from my new iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: maggie wilson <aaa85601@yahoo.com>
Date: August 29, 2012 15:38:08 EDT
To: M Seymour <mseymour@proofmark.com>
Subject: Fw: KULULA Airlines very very funny

--- On Sun, 8/26/12, Rita Wilson <rheeta007@att.net> wrote:

From: Rita Wilson <rheeta007@att.net>
Subject: Fw: KULULA Airlines very very funny
Date: Sunday, August 26, 2012, 3:08 PM

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: BEA WILLIAMSON <beadwil@bellsouth.net>
Sent: Mon, July 16, 2012 4:59:51 PM
Subject: KULULA Airlines very very funny


---------- Forwarded message ----------

What a great marketing gimmick!

I'd like flying with them.



Don't miss scrolling all the way down to read the flight attendants comments to the passengers. Very good!

This is one of the most hilarious e-mails, EVER....would love to fly with this bunch of loonies.

Kulula is a low-cost South-African airline that doesn't take itself too seriously. Check out their new livery! And have a read about their Customer Relations.











Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg . Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining.

Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced,
"People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"


On another flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said,
"Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."


On landing, the stewardess said,
"Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."


"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."


"Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."


As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport , a lone voice came over the loudspeaker:
"Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"


After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo , a flight attendant on a flight announced,
"Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."


From a Kulula employee:
"Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth . To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."


"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."


"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines."


"Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."

"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.."


And from the pilot during his welcome message:
"Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"


Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town : The flight attendant came on the intercom and said,
"That was quite a bump and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."


Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town , on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said,
"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City . Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"


Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."


An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline". He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said,
"Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
"Why, no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?"
The little old lady said,
"Did we land, or were we shot down?"


After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg , the attendant came on with,
"Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.."


Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement:
"We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."


Heard on a Kulula flight:
"Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."



Live, laugh and love.


Live, laugh and love.

Fwd: why our great grandparents were happier


Sent from my new iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: maggie wilson <aaa85601@yahoo.com>
Date: August 29, 2012 15:44:38 EDT
To: M Seymour <mseymour@proofmark.com>
Subject: Fw: Fwd: Fw: why our great grandparents were happier

--- On Sat, 8/25/12, Rita Wilson <rheeta007@att.net> wrote:

From: Rita Wilson <rheeta007@att.net>
Subject: Fw: Fwd: Fw: why our great grandparents were happier
Date: Saturday, August 25, 2012, 12:49 PM

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: "JustmargieG@aol.com" <JustmargieG@aol.com>
To: edeealbee@yahoo.com; broc007@aol.com; MEHRLICH@RCN.COM; danfreess@gmail.com; Jfreess@cox.net; juliavacancetrvl@aol.com; Loisjust@comcast.net; snowbird57c@aol.com; bettyjal@aol.com; mark.ehrlich@gmail.com; Nlemerick@aol.com; norma1129@att.net; rheeta007@att.net; mamarogow@aol.com; looknrosie@comcast.net; IHR1129@AOL.COM; sanders.gabe@gmail.com; Trickdaddy2sweet@aol.com; sandersgold@aol.com; Bigguyernie@aol.com; srl467@aol.com; Aimstark@comcast.net; gladyswelt@att.net; bjz198@aol.com
Sent: Sat, August 25, 2012 2:41:38 PM
Subject: Fwd: Fw: why our great grandparents were happier


From: fsteigman2@yahoo.com
To: JustmargieG@aol.com
Sent: 8/23/2012 3:28:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Fw: why our great grandparents were happier

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: diana esposito <drsdiana@yahoo.com>
To: diana esposito <drsdiana@yahoo.com>
Sent: Wed, August 22, 2012 5:12:22 PM
Subject: why our great grandparents were happier

why our great grandparents were happier!

Have you ever wondered why our great grandparents all had such fond  memories of their youth?  Well... I'm  surprised they remembered anything at all!!!  Forget Tums,Tylenol,Aleve & Benadryl.
Look at the cool stuff they had back then!

A bottle of Bayer's 'Heroin'.
Between 1890 and  1910 heroin was sold as
a non-addictive  substitute for morphine.
It was also used  to treat children suffering
with a strong cough. 

 Coca Wine, anyone?

Metcalf's Coca Wine was one of a huge variety
of wines with cocaine on the market. Everybody
used to say that it would make you happy and it
would also work as a medicinal  treatment.

Mariani  Wine . . .

Mariani wine (1875) was the most famous Coca
wine of its time. Pope Leo XIII used to carry one 
bottle with him all the time. He awarded Angelo 
Mariani (the producer) with a Vatican gold  medal.

Maltine . . .

Produced by the Maltine Manufacturing Company
of New York. It was suggested that you should
take a full glass with or after every meal. Children
should only take half a glass.

A  Paperweight . . .

A paperweight promoting C.F. Boehringer &
Soehne (Mannheim, Germany). They were proud
of being the biggest producers in the world of
products containing Quinine and Cocaine.

Opium for Asthma . . .

At 40% alcohol plus 3 grams of opium per tablet,
it didn't cure you... but you didn't care!

Cocaine Tablets (1900) . . .

All stage actors,  singers, teachers and preachers
had to have them for a maximum performance.
Great to 'smooth' the voice.
Cocaine Drops for Toothache . . .

Very popular for children in 1885. Not only did
they relieve the pain, they made the children
very happy!

Opium for Newborns . . .

I'm sure this would make them sleep well (not
only the Opium, but also the 46% alcohol).

It's no wonder they were called, "The Good
Old Days". From cradle to  grave... everyone
was STONED!!!

Fwd: 1910 Ford


Sent from my new iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: maggie wilson <aaa85601@yahoo.com>
Date: August 29, 2012 15:45:07 EDT
To: M Seymour <mseymour@proofmark.com>
Subject: Fw: Fwd: 1910 Ford

--- On Sat, 8/25/12, Rita Wilson <rheeta007@att.net> wrote:

From: Rita Wilson <rheeta007@att.net>
Subject: Fw: Fwd: 1910 Ford
Date: Saturday, August 25, 2012, 12:26 PM

this is very interesting info.     Blessings,  Rita

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Ginnyslinker <ginnyslinker@aol.com>
Sent: Sat, August 25, 2012 10:29:57 AM
Subject: Fwd: 1910 Ford


1910 Ford
Make sure you read all the statistics under the photo.
This has only been 102 years ago©Amazing
Show this to your friends, children and/or grandchildren!

The year is 1910, over one hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes!

Here are some statistics for the Year 1910:

************ ********* ************

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.

Fuel for this car was sold in drug stores only.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.

The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian

Between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME.

Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!

Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard.'

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores.
Back then pharmacists said, 'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,
Regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health'

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.!

I am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself.
From there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD - all in a matter of seconds!
Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100

Spam is to the Internet as cholesterol is to the arteries.

Fwd: Going to the Dentist

Rico says his friend Tex sends this:
The dentist pulls out a numbing needle to give his patient a shot of Novocaine.
"No way! No needles! I hate needles!"
The dentist starts to hook up the nitrous oxide, but the man objects: "I can't do the gas thing. The thought of having the gas mask on suffocates me!"
The dentist then asks the patient if he has any objection to taking a pill.
"No objection," the patient says. 'I'm fine with pills."
The dentist then says: "Here's a Viagra."
The patient says: "Wow! I didn't know Viagra worked as a pain killer."
"It doesn't," said the dentist, "but it's going to give you something to hold on to when I pull your tooth.


Rico says his mother forwards this:

While the C-5 was turning over its engines, a female crewman gave the GIs on board the usual information regarding seat belts, emergency exits, etc. 
Finally, she said: 'Now sit back and enjoy your trip while your captain, Judith Campbell, and crew take you safely to Afghanistan ' 
An old Master Sergeant sitting in the eighth row thought to himself: 'Did I hear her right? Is the captain a woman? ' When the attendant came by he said: 'Did I understand you right? Is the captain a woman?' 
'Yes,'! said the attendant, 'In fact, this entire crew is female.'
'My God,' he said, 'I wish I had two double scotch and sodas. I don't know what to think, with only women up there in the cockpit.' 
'That's another thing, Sergeant,' said the crew member, 'We no longer call it the cockpit. It's now the Box Office.'

New comment

man with desire has left a new comment on your post "Catholic Church for the day": 

The article about pedophilia, including problematic material and information on the things that had not been always openly told, because the people who have told problems of pedophilia have feared accusations that they are intolerant persons.
Contents of the article:
Religiousness and sensuality
Pedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church
Religious communities and pedophilia
The real faith don't practice pedophilia
Pedophile manipulates and controls a child
Wrong guilt of a pedophile's victims
Pedophilia is a very wide-range problem
Majority of pedophiles are men
Homosexuality and pedophilia
Islam and pedophilia
Aspiration expansion of pedophilia
Healing of the victim

The whole article is here: http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/pedophilia.html

The salvage plan for the Costa Concordia

Rico says his father sends this:
For those so inclined to take a moment to peruse an interesting concept...
Representatives from Costa Crociere and the Italo-American consortium Titan-Micoperi presented the details of their much anticipated plan to remove the wreck of the Costa Concordia from the island of Giglio using cranes and caissons to float the vessel. As we learned weeks ago, Titan Salvage and Micoperi were selected to remove the stricken Costa Concordia from Giglio after beating out several leading salvage companies vying for the historic contract. Titan Salvage, part of the Crowley Group, is an American-owned specialist marine salvage and wreck removal company and is a world leader in its field. Micoperi is a well-known Italian marine contractor with a long history as a specialist in underwater construction and engineering. The requirements laid out for the job included refloating the hull in one piece, while giving top priority to minimizing the environmental impact, protecting Giglio's economy and tourism industry, and maximizing safety.
To do this, Titan-Micoperi will set up shop on the mainland near Piombino, where equipment and materials will be stored and crews will be housed, thereby avoiding impact on the island's port activities and as not to clog up the island's limited hotel accommodations. The consortium says the work will begin in a few days and is expected to last about 12 months.
The plan to remove the wreckage has been divided into four basic stages, described below in photos:
After stabilizing the ship, a subsea platform will be built and caissons that can be filled with water will be fixed to the side of the ship that is out of the water.
The tieback chains prevent the wreck from sliding as forces are applied. Meanwhile fabrication and then installation of subsea platform to support the ship. Two cranes fixed to the platform will pull the ship upright, helped by the caissons (a large watertight chamber), which will be filled with water.
Install the flotation tanks on the port side by welding to framework which was previously attached to the hull.
Pulling machines are connected to pulling points on the subsea platform.
With flotation tanks and pullers in place, we can begin to roll the ship upright.
When the ship is upright, caissons will also be fixed to the other side of the hull.
The caissons on both sides will then be emptied after treating and purifying the water to protect the marine environment and filled with air.
Once floated, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port and dealt with accordingly. Meanwhile, the sea bottom will be cleaned and marine flora replanted.
The plan was selected by an evaluation team with specialist representatives from Costa Crociere, Carnival Corporation, London Offshore Consultants, and Standard P&I Club, with the collaboration of RINA and Fincantieri, because it best fulfills the main objectives of the operation: removal of the wreck in one piece, minimal risk, minimal environmental impact, protection of Giglio's economy and tourism industry, and maximum safety.
While this method has been used before to refloat ships, has it been never done on this scale. One thing is sure, however. Whatever happens, the operation to refloat and remove the Costa Concordia from the shores of Giglio will be a historic one and one the world will be keeping a close eye on.

28 August 2012

What does love mean?

Rico says his friend Tex sends this:

What does love mean to kids?
A group of professionals posed a question to a group of four- to eight-year-olds: what does love mean? The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:
'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.. So my grandfather does it for her all the time , even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.' Rebecca, age eight
'When someone loves you , the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.' Billy, age four
'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.' Karl, age five
'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.' Chrissy, age six
'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' Terri, age four
'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him , to make sure the taste is okay.' Danny, age seven
'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing , you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.' Emily, age eight
'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.' Bobby, age seven (Wow!)
'If you want to learn to love better , you should start with a friend who you hate,' Nikka, age six
(We need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt , then he wears it every day.' Noelle, age seven
'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.' Tommy, age six
'During my piano recital , I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.' Cindy, age eight
'My mommy loves me more than anybody You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.' Clare, age six
'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.' Elaine, age five
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford .' Chris, age seven
'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.' Mary Ann, age four
'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.' Lauren, age four
'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (What an image) Karen, age seven
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.' Mark, age six
'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it , you should say it a lot. People forget.' Jessica, age eight
And the winner: a four-year-old child, whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said: "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

Samsung bites the big one

Sam Gustin has a Time article about the smartphone lawsuits:
image: Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S III, right, and Apple's iPhone 4S are displayed at a mobile phone shop in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 24, 2012.
Apple's huge intellectual property victory over Samsung was both dramatic and overwhelming. South Korea-based Samsung was hit with a $1.05 billion verdict after a federal jury of nine California residents found that it had infringed Apple’s smartphone patents. In other words, the jury found that Samsung ripped off the iPhone. Apple is now asking Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the trial, to bar Samsung, the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, from selling eight of its popular mobile devices in the United States. That’s a big deal.
Apple’s already-soaring stock price rose nearly two percent to an all-time high Monday. Samsung, meanwhile, plunged to a four-year low, wiping out some twelve billion dollars in market valuation. (For perspective, that’s almost what Google paid to purchase Motorola Mobility, Samsung’s smaller rival.) Despite Apple's victory, this dispute is far from over. Samsung has said it will appeal the verdict, and the two giants are squaring off over intellectual property in several other jurisdictions around the world.
Any billion-dollar jury award will grab headlines, but this case is about much more than just money. The judgement represents two percent of Samsung’s global revenue. This is a drop in the bucket— a rounding error— for global corporate giants like Samsung and Apple. So, if not money, what’s this story about? It’s about market dominance in the exploding global smartphone race. Apple's victory is the most high-profile outcome thus far from Silicon Valley’s escalating intellectual property war. The biggest winners? Lawyers. Can you imagine the litigation fees on a billion-dollar jury judgement?
The verdict was also a big win for the spirit of Steve Jobs, who raged against Google for stealing his ideas. Jobs was convinced that Google ripped off most of the Android OS and form-factor from the iPhone. The rift caused Google chairman Eric Schmidt to be politely dismissed from Apple's board of directors three years ago this month. Google has invested heavily in Android in order to give it a foothold in the mobile space, which is the next great battle in the web advertising wars.
This case should be viewed as just one (admittedly huge) front Apple is waging against Google worldwide, by proxy. Google’s Android OS has been the subject of speculation about its IP-weakness for some time now. That’s why Google purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Google wisely opened the platform to mobile-phone makers and developers. Today, Android is activating nearly one million phones per day worldwide. Last quarter Samsung sold twice as many units— many running Android— as Apple.
There’s just one problem, as nine jurors in Apple's home jurisdiction of Silicon Valley concluded on Friday. Samsung violated Apple's intellectual property. In plain English, the jury found that Samsung stole Apple's smartphone designs. That’s a major problem. “In a few years, the San Jose jury verdict may— I repeat, may— be remembered as the tipping point that sent Android on a downward spiral,” tweeted patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. (Mueller is a consultant to two Google rivals, Microsoft and Oracle.)
Beyond the consequences for tech-giants like Apple and Google, this case says a lot about the terrible state of the current U.S. patent law regime— a system many observers feel is woefully broken. In addition to this billion-dollar case, all the major tech giants are engaged in litigation and counter-litigation in dozens of jurisdictions worldwide. There’s an arms race gripping the tech world right now. The weapons of choice are patents.
Generally speaking, there are two schools of thought coming out of this verdict. This first is that Apple's decisive victory means that its competitors— i.e., Samsung, HTC, and Google-owned Motorola— will have to redouble their efforts at innovation now that a jury has told them to stop ripping off Apple's designs. In other words, the decision will benefit consumers by fostering a diversity of designs and products in the smartphone market.
The second school of thought is that Apple is big-footing its way around the U.S. IP system, obsessively patenting hundreds, if not thousands, of ticky-tack features like a square with rounded edges, or the flick-of-a-finger on a touch-screen. In this view, the current U.S. IP system, in which the big winners always seem to be high-priced IP lawyers and tech firms with deep pockets, is stifling innovation, because it allows one powerful company, Apple, to essentially have a monopoly on basic mobile smartphone features. Like a square with rounded edges.
The truth is that the US intellectual property regime is in desperate need of reform. Inventors should be protected— otherwise what’s the incentive to create anything? On the other hand, there is general agreement inside the tech community that the current method of adjudicating patent disputes is badly broken. “The patent system is in crisis, and it endangers the future of software development in the United States,” according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a West Coast digital rights group that’s been at the forefront of patent reform advocacy. EFF is not proposing that we eliminate patents altogether, obviously, but the group is calling for a smarter, more streamlined approach. But with so many powerful forces interested in maintaining the status quo — from patent-rich companies like Apple to the legal community — it’s unlikely that reform will happen anytime soon, and certainly not during an election year.

What the Apple v. Samsung verdict means

Jared Newman has a Time article about the verdict:
Apple won a decisive victory against Samsung in court last week when a jury awarded $1.05 billion in damages to Apple for Samsung’s infringement of design patents, software patents, and trade dress.That chunk of change will make a nice addition to Apple’s already-overflowing coffers, but the damages alone don’t mean much for the phone-buying public. The bigger question is how the verdict will affect Samsung, other device makers, the Android platform, and the smartphone and tablet markets in general, both now and in the future.
Unfortunately, nobody knows the answers, though there’s no shortage of prognostications. The ultimate outcome really depends on the post-trial process, Apple’s next moves and a mound of other ongoing litigation.
So instead of making grand predictions, I’m going to focus on what we do know, and what we can reasonably expect from the verdict.
Earlier today, Apple asked for U.S. sales bans on a list of Samsung phones. That list includes the Galaxy S II (AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile variants), Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Galaxy Prevail and Droid Charge. A hearing on the matter is set for 20 September.
All those phones are at least ten months old, but they’re still available as low-cost options through their respective wireless carriers. They’ll have to be removed from store shelves if the injunction goes through, but for the moment, nothing is banned.
Newer Samsung phones, such as the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note, weren’t on trial. Apple may go after those phones next, but as I’ve written before, Samsung has veered sharply away from Apple-like designs in its latest products, so future cases would likely focus on software patents. (We’ll get to more on software shortly.)
Of course, if you already own a Samsung phone, rest easy; no one’s going to take it away.
 does have ongoing litigation against HTC and Motorola, but neither of those cases involve trade dress, which deals with design aesthetics. When you look at phones like Motorola’s Droid Razr, or HTC’s Droid Incredible, you can see why: To differentiate, HTC and Motorola rely on little tricks such as asymmetric trim on the top and bottom bezels, corners that don’t result in perfectly rounded rectangles and the use of different colors besides black with silver trim.
Again, even Samsung has employed some of these methods to give a distinctive look to its newer phones. In that sense, the fallout from Apple's lawsuit has already happened.
Apple nonetheless try to rally and file new design-related claims against its other competitors? I don’t know, but at the moment, Apple's U.S. lawsuits against HTC and Motorola deal mainly with software and user interface design, which is arguably a much bigger issue anyway because it speaks to Android as a whole. The Apple-Samsung lawsuit didn’t just deal with design and looks. It also covered specific software functions, such as pinch-to-zoom, tap-to-zoom, inertial scrolling, and “overscroll bounce,” which causes the screen to decelerate and snap back into place when you’ve scrolled beyond a page’s boundaries.

Apple has already dinged Android on a few other issues, but the resulting changes to the operating system are minor: HTC was forced to change how its phones respond to tapping on certain types of text, such as phone numbers and e-mails, and Samsung had to remove universal search from its Galaxy S III and Galaxy Nexus. The “overscroll bounce” effect is no longer featured in the core version of Android
If these new infringements spell trouble for Android as a whole, Google isn’t saying so. The company claims that many of the patents at issue relate to Samsung’s modified version of Android, but not the core operating system. In addition, The Verge’s Nilay Patel said he was told that the latest version of Android, known as Jelly Bean, removes any outstanding patent issues.
Of course, many Android phones don’t run Jelly Bean, so Apple could use its win over Samsung as extra ammo against other phone makers. But then, Google notes that the U.S. Patent Office is reexamining several Apple patents, and that the Samsung case is still due for an appeal. Meanwhile, Google has lobbed a fresh lawsuit at Apple, using Motorola patents.
In other words, none of this is getting resolved anytime soon.
Apple’s win in court has led to lots of sky-is-falling claims from tech pundits and analysts. Andy Ihnatko thinks Android device makers will have to pay a licensing fee to Apple for every phone sold. UBS thinks Samsung could be looking at future royalty payments as part of a settlement. BetaNewsclaims that choice and innovation will certainly suffer.
As far as I can tell, all of that is pure speculation, based on one verdict against Apple’s closest imitator, which itself is not set in stone. (Here’s a post from Groklaw on the biggest holes in the jury’s decision.) And in any case, there’s plenty of evidence that phone makers have already hedged their bets by designing around Apple’s patents and trade dress.
The only real safe bet right now is that other companies won’t come as close to Apple’s designs as Samsung once did. Whether you agree with the jury’s verdict or not, ask yourself this: is a market with fewer me-too devices really all that bad?

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