Saturday, June 28, 2008

Manny Pacquiao TKOd David Diaz in the 9th

As a recently acclaimed, pound-for-pound fighter, Manny Pacquiao (Philippines) defeated David Diaz (United States) by Technical-Knock-Out (TKO) on the 9th round, this Friday night in Madalay Bay Center, Las Vegas, State of Nevada, U.S.A. By winning this fight, Pacquioa has captured the WBC lightweight title and a plus of gaining the distinction of becoming the First Asian Boxer to have possessed the four titles in his name in four different weight divisions.

Diaz was obviously and tremendously brutalized by Pacquiao, as if there are rounds where a hundred punches were thrown. It seems an absolute punishment where Diaz has shown an incredible will and enormous determination to continue absorbing violent punches – face, head and body and retaliating at times.

It has been said and published before this fight, Manny has made heavy exercises and physical gym regimen as a preparation for this match as David Diaz is expected to be a fighter of enduring stamina and containing strength.

During the rounds of 4 and 6, Diaz’s bloody eye was twice seen by the medical official as recommended by the officiating referee, Vic Draculich – though the face of David is a sight of mask of blood, the match continues on. Each round the injury worsened and on the 9th, as Pacquiao’s left hook landed on his right face, David Diaz fell down on the canvass with his frontal left face first. The referee doesn’t bother to count anymore, and the time was wave off at 2:24 of round 9.

This prompted Manny to go to his corner but after a few seconds when David stay on lying, Pacquiao get near to him and grab his right arm to check whether he is still okay – a gentleman’s gesture of the Champ.

On the outset, Manny Pacquiao has the advantage of three is to one ratio of punches. Pacquiao has accurately used more of his speed and power. This made the camp of Diaz to comment and said, “He needs more months of rest … and next time they have to look for a slower fighter …”

After the fight, inside the locker room, the champion was seen on camera celebrating with the Boston Celtics players, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Sam Cassel, Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen and maybe more together with the Filipino friends and fans cheering his name, “ … Manny, Manny, Manny, Manny, … ”

As the new champion of this division, Manny Pacquiao has now his overall record of 47 wins (8-in-a row), 3 losses, 2 draws, with four titles. He started his career at 106 pounds in 1995 and move bit by bit higher up to 135 pounds this time. He has greatly improved from a “street brawler” way of fighting to a “pound-for-pound” boxer of the world. No question and no doubt about that … He is now the First Filipino and the First Asian to hold four championship belts concurrently. This is how and why the Filipinos become so really proud of him! Mabuhay Philippines!

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Friday, June 27, 2008

North Korea Demolished Nuclear Reactor Cooling Tower

In front of TV cameras, international journalists and diplomats, the base of the cylindrical, 60-foot tall cooling tower structure was blown off by an explosion marking the stoppage and destruction of North Korea’s plutonium atomic bomb program. This cooling tower was a part the main reactor’s facility complex in Yongbyon, North Korea. Such explosion on Friday is the most visible symbol of the country’s commitment and decision to stop its nuclear weapons program.

U.S. State Department's top expert Sung Kim who witnessed the event said, "This is a significant and very important step in the disablement process and I think it puts us in a good position to move into the next phase … As I saw it, it was a complete demolition," as he addressed the Koreans who attended the demolition. Kim shook hands with a North Korean official following the tower's tumble to the ground.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the tower's destruction would mark a step toward disablement, something that has been ongoing for many months to prevent the North from making more plutonium for bombs. In Kyoto, Japan, she said on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized countries, "It is important to get North Korea out of the plutonium business, but that will not be the end of the story."

It could be well noted, almost a year ago, July, 2007, when N. Korea announced shutting down its nuclear reactor as a backward step from confrontation with the United States towards concrete step to disarmament and denuclearization. At that time, the conditions of the deal are: the UN inspectors are to confirm Yongbyon reactor shutdown; UN to stay on site while North Korea negotiates further steps towards disarmament with US, Russia, Japan, South Korea and China; North Korea must provide a list of all its nuclear programs to the other states; North Korea to receive 950,000 tones of heavy fuel oil as emergency energy assistance; and U.S. has to begin talks to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

It is also interesting to recall, 20 months ago, N. Korea has shocked the world when it detonated a nuclear bomb in an underground test to confirm its status as an atomic power.

Many experts and analysts believe that while the destruction of the tower is not, in itself, a huge step forward, it is still being seen as an important gesture.

This move made by the North Korea generates some questions particularly among the neighbors in the region, is this enough to diminish if not to dispel regional fears and suspicions?

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kaitlyn Maher, the Youngest Contestant of America’s Got Talent

NBC’s reality show of “America’s Got Talent” with more than 12 million viewers in the past season and expecting 25 million this year will make auditions to several states in U.S. such as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. Among the first 17 chosen in New York which was aired last June 17 is four-year-old Kaitlyn Maher from New York who says, “I am from America” whom she left the judges … speechless.

The judges are composed of Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff. Piers is a former editor of The Daily Mirror, a British tabloid newspaper, serving in that post from 1995 until 2004. He has also pursued careers in writing and television. Sharon Osbourne is so much more than Ozzy's wife. She began in the music industry at just fifteen years old, as a receptionist at her father, Don Arden's management company. While getting her feet wet in the business, she met the lead singer of Black Sabbath, John Michael Osbourne ... when she was 17. David Hasselhoff is most famous for his roles on Knight Rider and Baywatch.

Simon Cowell (Executive Producer) and NBC are scouring the country in search of the most talented person in America. Regis Philbin was the host of the first season. Taking over for him now is talk show host, Jerry Springer. David Hasselhoff, Piers Morgan, & Brandy Norwood are judges of the first season. Brandy is replaced by Sharon Osbourne in the second season.

In this show, people show their talent and hope to impress the judges to reach to the top. The grand prize winner will win US$1,000,000! The show will feature talent from various people from balancing stuff off their teeth to even rock bands. If they don't have the talent to receive the grand prize, the judges kick them out off the competition. However, unless they impress to judges, they continue their quest. Who has the talent to receive the grand prize? Of course, it will be the one whom the viewers voted best.

Those who watched the show last Tuesday commented, “I was holding my 3 year old he loves the show ... when she started singing I started smiling and crying at the same time … This beautiful talented little girl is going to win, because if she can make people cry with just the first sentence, she is definitely a star.” Another said, “… What a wonderful little girl, I hope this beautiful girl goes far ... will always vote for you because you are America's next new star. ”

Among those who qualified in New York aside from four year-old singer, Maher, are Dancing Trombone Performer, Dancers, Hip Hop Violinists, Burlesque Dancers, Baton Twirler, Britney Spears Impersonator, Modern Cloggers, Opera Singer, Illusionist, Puppeteer, Performers, Singers, Hula-hooper, Cloggers, 15-year-old Singer and Hip Hop Dance Troop.

For more of Kaitlyn Maher, the video below says it all.

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Some Facts about Cheaper Consumer Products

In these times of economic turmoil as it has been described by many, where petrol and food prices have increased to unprecedented record high, there might be some advantage to consumers particularly, housewives, newlyweds or new homemakers. There are a number of items and consumer products that are available for shoppers and were reduced to a discount if not remained low in prices compared to how much they were last year.

Consumer electronics such as LCD flat-panel TVs, plasma TVs, DVRs, digital (point-and-shoot) cameras, cellular phones (mobiles), notebook, desktop computers, particularly those models one year ago have dropped prices. Another factor that affects is the speed of release of new models and the slow rate of sales which is not proportionate relatively accumulating inventories, commanding a sharp fall in prices.

Women’s clothing has been observed with lower prices as compared to men’s and children’s apparel — pajamas, nightgowns, sleep shirts and negligees — all posted falling prices. This is based on the notion that men buy clothes only as needed, whereas women buy clothes based on a whole variety of other reasons.

On dinnerware category, although prices didn’t decline for every household product, the price of formal, fine dinnerware, such as porcelain or bone china with a metal accent band, including plastic dinnerware has decreased some percent resulted to falling in prices.

Overseas cheap production cost of children’s toys, matched with severe industry production, and as there are fewer and fewer children nowadays, all these factors relatively affect the toy’s declining prices in the market.

For those couples who are planning for tying the knot and finding places of their choice for honeymoon, hotel room rates are cheap or can be negotiated for discounts relative to the number of days you are going to stay. This is to recompense the soaring high airplane fares with tricky add-ons and annoying charges, if not sneaky fees. This is also favorable for regular business travelers.

If lower hotel prices inspire customers to take their vacation, this has something to do also of the lower prices of theme parks. This is another way to appease our children if we take them with us in our holidays or vacations, besides from cheaper children’s toys.

Considering we have controlled our ways of buying impulses and for the past years we were able to save a handsome amount of money, now is the time to take advantage some of the items enumerated above. Those items might have been already included in our shopping wish lists for a long time, yet, we are only waiting for the right time. Of course when it comes to shopping, necessity and choice are still the options paired with our own personal judgments.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boston Celtics Got Its 17th Championship Trophy this 17th of June 2008

Boston Celtics just win the 2008 NBA Title! This is their Game 6 against LA Lakers with 4-2 Final Series. It was in 1986, where Larry Bird was still with the Boston Celtics, when the team had its last 16th Champ Trophy. Finally they regain the crown after 22 long years (Please click the image to enlarge).

Now, it’s time for Paul Pierce, the team captain, to become the 2008 NBA Finals MVP and his first ever championship ring together with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and the rest. This is James Posey’s second and Sam Cassell’s third.

This 6th game was played with a home court advantage at TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Massachusetts. With still remaining more than four minutes of the 4th quarter, it is visible on TV at the Boston bench, when the three (Pierce, Garnett & Allen) of starting five were substituted; at a time when the Celtics had a 30-point advantage against the Lakers, they are already congratulating and hugging each other and approach by many close friends, relatives, and fans.

Even Coach Doc Rivers (his first NBA championship trip as head coach) was poured upon with a bucketful of red Gatorade all over his body staining his suit. Several cameramen were already inside the court taking their cues while the referees pulled their shirts directing them to get outside the court lines while the jubilant Boston crowds are heavily roaring in the background saying the words, “Seven-teen”. At the start of the game, the shrilling chant, “Beat L.A.” could be heard from the crowd.

Among the famous faces standing on the bench side is Bill Russel the popular center and Hall of Famer, who was already with the Celtics in 1946 who possessed 11 NBA titles in his 13 year-career with the team. Another is John Havlicek, the Celtics all-time-leading scorer during his 16 year-career having 8 NBA titles. Former head coach and 1957 Rookie of the Year, Tom Heinsohn, with 10 NBA titles was also among the celebrant.

The starting line-up for the Boston Celtics were Rajon Rondo as point guard, Ray Allen as shooting guard, Kendrick Perkins in center position, Kevin Garnett as power forward and Paul Pierce in the small forward position. The final stunning and record championship score is 131-92 led by Garnett with 26-game-high points with 14 rebounds, and another 26 added by Allen, 21 by Rondo and 17 by Pierce. The victory parade with the green and white motif of the Boston Celtics is scheduled tomorrow morning, 11 am EST.

This 31-point margin was a record breaking score in the NBA Final’s history ever. The question is, has this Game 6 score brought a humiliating defeat on the part of the LA Lakers?

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Sara Evans & Jay Barker, Got Married

It has been said that passionate new romance comes at a time when he or she least expected it. This might happen when Sara Evans, 37, and Jay Barker, turning 36, got married last Saturday evening, June 14, 2008 in an outdoor ceremony in a farm in Franklin, Tennessee officiated by their minister, Rev. Joe Beam.

It was a simple private affair with around 145 guests, on which both of their combined brood of seven served as their only attendants. Jay has four on his previous marriage, and Sara has three, whom her eldest 8-year old Avery, walked with her down the aisle accompanied by the famed songwriter Marcus Hummon singing the hit he wrote for Rascal Flatts "God Bless the Broken Road" – a song that the couple says speaks to their relationship.

She wore an ivory silk taffeta Vera Wang gown with a halter neck, while Barker wore a Dolce and Gabbana suit and as requested, all the guests wore a black and white accented with hints of yellow roses. The sophisticated décor was given a down-home twist with a menu catered by Constant Craving featuring Southern fried chicken, country-style pole beans, biscuits and macaroni and cheese.

The bride and groom had their first dance to Chris Brown's "With You" and the 145 guests – including Sheryl Crow – boogied beneath a canopy of strung lights to a collection of R&B and pop hits spun by a deejay.

The couple’s friend and wedding planner, Traci Philiips describes, "It was really very elegant, but Sara wanted it to feel like you were at her house."

It could be well recalled; in October 12, 2006, country music singer-songwriter and multi-awardee, Sara Evans resigned as a contestant from the “Dancing with the Stars” for personal reason, and the next day, her split-up from her husband of 13-years was revealed. It was a messy and bitter public divorce case, whom she had to pay her first husband Craig Schelske (a political aspirant), US$500,000 alimony over a ten year period with visitation rights, likewise, which she was granted the full custody of her three children.

Jay Barker, a Birmingham, Alabama radio host and a former American and Canadian football quarterback, was also divorced almost at the same time with four children. The couple met each other last fall on their divorce counseling sessions, of the same minister who officiated their wedding. Evans say about Rev. Joe Beam, " … He was our own personal matchmaker … I think God told Joe to get us together.” They started dating last Thanksgiving Day and announced their engagement on March, 2008.

Sara Evans rendered her song number on a lovely passion last June 8 at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee while singing and holding Jay Bakers hands on stage.

Now, everyone could already imagine how joyful and delightful their home will be with a combined brood of seven children. How much more at the time when a new baby was added and came along with them?

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Father’s Day, Some Facts & What It Meant to Be

There are so many stories behind the celebration of Father’s Day. It might be a meaning of a devoted father – especially our own, his parental sacrifice and selflessness, the courage of a loving man, a widower, a single parent raising his six children, an ideal-dedicated father, a war-hero or veteran, a real public servant-politician, or maybe the next president, who is always seeking that his family is flourishing. Yet all those historical narratives, where Father’s Day began were all pointing and linking to the celebration of Mother’s Day. Undeniably, such special day for fathers, all started and the reveling of it become so popular, because of that special day for mothers.

In reality, this is not only in honor and praise for fathers. It might be as well for grandfathers or great-grandfathers, brothers, and uncles, our son, son-in-law, grandson, or great-grandson who in one way or another has been someone special for us in a certain period or stage of our life. He might be also our neighbor, a friend, a colleague, a job superior, and the like, you can name it as you want, whom we think and feel deserves special greetings and well meant special wishes, in this observance of Father’s Day.

In one definitive conclusion, this is a day in honor for everybody as an appreciation of being a child, regardless of gender. It is a celebration and reminiscence that we’re once a child! It is for everybody without distinction! It is for a simple reason that we would not be hailed out of this world without our fathers, even to the most rarely-extreme medical reproduction of test tube babies. Thus, it should not be taken aside; this has also a parallel connotation of honoring the Mother’s Day, which is celebrated first and foremost.

Father’s Day are commemorated, religious and secular, on various different dates all around the world. It so happened, most countries marked it on the 3rd Sunday of June. Modern cultures are doing it from simple greetings, gifts or presents to excessive and over-indulging festivities and drinking, particularly if it falls with another birthday, anniversary, family occasions or festivities, since this is alongside summertime in the northern hemisphere characterized with outdoor barbecues and grills beside pools, lakeside, riverside and seashores.

In the United States, Dad’s day was first been celebrated on the 19th of June 1908 in the State of Washington through the efforts of Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd as inspired by Mother’s Day, which was initiated by Anna Jarvis. It was in 1924 that President Calvin Coolidge supported this idea. It become officially proclaimed and declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson on the 3rd Sunday of June and finally signed into law by President Richard S. Nixon, permanently become a National Day for Fathers.

It comes to the author’s absurd idea, is it practical wherein both mother and father are being honored, in just one day, not separate days as what we're doing now? What about a single National Day of Fathers and Mothers? For lesser expenses and by the virtue of frugality, could we make it joined in one day particularly in these times of economic turmoil? Or perhaps, would it be appropriate, a National Parent’s Day?

Only a Dad
Edgar Albert Guest

Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from a daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with brood of four,
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen;
Only a dad, but the best of men.

(From: The Book of Virtues, A Treasury of Great Moral Stories
Edited with Commentary by Willaim J. Bennett)

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ana Ivanovic, First Serbian to Become WTA No.1

After winning the French Open Finals 2008 against Dinara Safina at Roland Garros last Saturday, Ana Ivanovic has become the first Serbian tennis player to become World‘s #1 on the WTA Tour, replacing Maria Sharapova. She was born on November 6, 1987 in Belgrade, Serbia (formerly, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia).

As she came to her home country yesterday, thousands of cheering crowds and supporters greeted her in Belgrade. The city’s parliament square was crammed by the celebrating public who gives her a jubilant and warm welcome together with the country’s media, whom she met earlier. She said in an emotional and touching speech,
“…This moment will be not equalled; I will remember it all my life … The last days have been a dream. I will never forget Roland Garros. When I heard the national anthem I couldn't hold back the tears. It was a special moment for me ... It was a long day, very tiring, but so much fun. I will never forget it …”
It would be a proud moment for her when she afterwards had tea with Serbian president Boris Tadic.

She started playing tennis at the age of five, inspired by Monica Seles, a fellow Yugoslavian, after watching her match at French Open on TV. NATO bombings in 1999 didn’t serve as an obstacle to her training during those times. She also admires tennis player Roger Federer for his professionalism on and off the court. She turned pro on August 17, 2003 and caught the eye of the tennis world when she reached the Finals of Junior Wimbledon 2004 losing to Kateryna Bondarenko.

She came from an ethnic Serbian family. Her mother, Dragana, is a lawyer and her father, Miroslav, is an economist and businessman. She has a brother, Milos, four years her junior, and likes playing basketball as she likes it as well. She loves watching movies, either at the cinema or on DVD at home; also loves reading and listening to music (pop and R&B). All her family likes sports. Once, she's been described “as a natural beauty that is unique for her country of Serbia and she has this nice olive skin color,” highlighted by her beautiful dark hair.

She's 6’ 1” tall (1.86 m), weighing 150 lbs (69 kg). In regard to her playing style, she is right-handed with a double-handed backhand. As an offensive baseliner, she relies heavily on the power, depth, and placement of her forehand strokes, producing many winners through penetrating, flat shots with occasional topspin. She has improved significantly on the net. Although she has unreliable serve, it is undeniably forceful with occasional hits of aces and second serve winners, having below 40% first serve winning matches. To date she has a total career prize money of $5,630,015 on record, aside from endorsements from various apparels and shoes. As to court surfaces, she prefers hard courts; however, she likes all as it was evident at the clay courts of Roland Garros.

She also enjoys shopping and fashion. Her favorite food is sushi. The favorite places she likes to visit are Melbourne, where she has some family, and Switzerland, where she trains regularly between tournaments and spends her free time. Basel is her current place of residence. She admires most her family for all the support they give her. She cares for social causes as she became a UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia on November 8, 2007. She speaks both English and Serbian.

Ana Ivanovic was the runner up in 2007 French Open as well as 2008 Australian Open, but now she captured her first Grand Slam Title, 2008 French Open Champion. She has still to face the big challenge of how long she could stay as World’s No. 1 particularly this coming Wimbledon.

For updates and related readings:
Ana withdraws from Eastbourne
Full Transcript of Interview after the Final Match at Roland Garros

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vitamin-D in Men and their Heart’s Health

If Vitamin-D has an anti-cancer advantage among breast cancer patients in women, the same Vitamin-D has also an advantage among men to prevent heart attack, and those who have low levels of the said “sunshine vitamin” are more than twice prone to heart attack, if not more likely to die from it.

This is according to a Harvard School of Public Health Study which was participated by about 18,000 men who are over the age of 40 for a period of ten years. Dr Edward Giovannucci, the author of the study says,
“…It does seem that Vitamin D levels seem to be real predictor of heart disease … We really need to increase the Vitamin D intake levels for most people … We may need to go three to four times higher than what most people get currently …”
This research is suggesting that Vitamin-D is vital for the health of the blood vessel and blood pressure control as well. It has parallel outcome on the Canadian study showing women with breast cancer do far worse if they have low levels of Vitamin D upon the time they were diagnosed.

As more documents are being released on the subject of Vitamin-D and the corresponding health problems attributed to its low levels found in men and women, researchers have not yet proven that increasing Vitamin-D intake will treat these problems.

Since this prospective study links that “sunshine vitamin” plays an important role for a healthy heart, men had a huge reason in making sure they get sufficient levels of it.

Katie Couric of CBS Evening News who featured Dr. Jon LaPook, CBS Medical Correspondent, has more on this issue as shown on video below.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hillary Clinton Officially Conceded the Democratic Party Nomination Race

At last, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, 60, has officially announced her suspension of her campaign for Democratic nominee for presidency, when she took the podium at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. on Saturday evening, 7th of June, 2008. She declared her full support to Barack Obama, who had clinched the Democratic nomination last Tuesday.

As she was escorted by the former president, Bill Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, greeted with the clapping and the cheering crowd, the former First Lady, in her speech as covered live on national televisions, completely and absolutely endorses her foe by asking her supporters repeatedly saying,
“… help and elect Barack Obama our president … The way to continue our fight now to accomplish the goals for which we stands is to take our energy, our passion, our energy and do all we can to help Barack Obama, the next president of the United States … Today as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary campaign he has won. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him and I ask you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me … Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been … We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama is our next president ...”
She also thanked her supporters saying, “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it has 18 million cracks in it and the light is shining through like never before.” This has a parallel tone when she made her speech last Tuesday evening to New York supporters, “… I want the nearly 18 million people who voted for me to be respected and heard, that cannot be ignored and no longer invisible … ”

On her speech she acknowledged the unprecedented success of Obama’s candidacy. It could be well remembered last year, January 20, when a video posted in her website, the senator declared her bid for the Democratic Party nomination, with a solid determination when she says. “I’m in and I’m in to win.” Her primary campaign was the longest and grueling season in the Democratic primary history, besides from being the first woman who has done it. Even on Tuesday at the last primary polls, she declared herself the strongest candidate for the White House.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama, 46, said in a written statement, he was “thrilled and honored“ to have Clinton's support, thereby, praising Clinton for her inspiration and hard work on behalf of America. ``I know she will continue to be in the forefront of that battle this fall.''

In a press conference earlier, in front of some Democrat stalwarts and lawmakers, the New York senator said that she is open for a vice president position, if it needs to unify the Democrats against the Republican in taking the White House.. But it is up to Obama whom he chooses. Over the past few days, some of Clinton's most prominent supporters began a campaign to push her as the vice presidential nominee. Yet, Clinton's campaign on June 5 issued a statement trying to downplay the talk, saying she wasn't seeking the vice presidential nomination.

A big challenge facing the Democrats right now is how to consolidate all their votes in one unified party bloc to beat John McCain of the Republican Party this November election.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Barack Obama is now the Democratic Nominee for US President

According to Associated Press, while the rest of the final votes are still to be counted on, Barack Obama already sealed the number of required votes to be the officially nominated Democratic candidate to run against the GOP candidate, John McCain. US presidential election will be held this coming November, 2008.

CNN take the live coverage the Barack Obama’s victory nomination address at the EXCEL Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota where the GOP will officially hold its National Convention in the offing. He had said a hundreds of repeated “Thank You's” before the crowd ceded to silence, as he started his speech. He wasted no time in expressing his enthusiasm and extraordinary admiration to Sen. Hillary Clinton and all her unceasing efforts and brilliance to be the first woman in history to run a presidential primary campaign in such a way she did.

Likewise, he started to scoff in a so gracious way at criticizing John McCain’s policy of Iraq. He meticulously address and redefine the real meaning of “change” as distinguished and differed from the “change” of what McCain has been espousing for. He ended his speech offering a face to face debate against John McCain.

However, there arise a lot of questions. One is whether the Democrats are strengthened or divided. Days before the South Dakota and Montana primaries, Hillary Clinton campaign had run an ad saying she has garnered 18 million popular votes, the largest in history of any primaries held in the past. But in the Electoral College votes as allocated, she is behind Obama who needs only 41.5 delegates' votes to seal the nomination of 2,118.

Obama had already approached Jim Johnson, former head of mortgage giant Fannie Mae, started a search for his VP nominee, and among the twelve listed, Hillary Clinton is included. They are (in alphabetical order): Joseph Biden, 65; Wesley Clark, 63; Hillary Clinton, 60; Chris Dodd, 64; Chuck Hagel, 61; Tim Kaine, 50; Sam Nunn, 69; Ed Rendell, 64; Bill Richardson, 60; Kathleen Sebelius, 60; Ted Strickland, 66; and Jim Webb, 62. There were rumors of a “Dream Team” as it has been suggested to unify the much needed vote of the Democrats against GOP presumptive nominee, John McCain, although everything still remains to be seen.

Another important question arise about the “Dream Ticket” is what will be the role of Bill Clinton implicitly or explicitly when he is put back with Hillary in the White House as Vice President of Barack Obama, just in case the Democrats won.

As of this writing, it has been reported that Hillary Clinton has not yet conceded officially. This made analysts to ask questions of how Obama will handle her because, she is not leaving the campaign stage and obviously, she is still pursuing to get attention. Subsequent questions are, when and how she will leave?

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Monday, June 2, 2008

400th Anniversary of Quebec City

Almost a month from now Québec City is celebrating its 400 years, the capital of French-speaking Quebec Province of Canada and known as the birthplace of French civilization in North America. There are scheduled several summer shows, various celebrations and remarkable cultural events on different areas of public and tourists attractions. According to some tourist brochures, this celebration has already started since January of this year and will continue on until October for its Winter Carnival.

Québec City was founded in July 3, 1608 by Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635) a French navigator, explorer and fur trader in which today, he is much better known as the father of “New France.” This city is one of the oldest cities in North America, located in the Saint Lawrence River valley lying at the convergence of St. Charles and St. Lawrence rivers. It was fortified by high stone walls and has been the capital of New France and French Canada some periods in the 17th century. Province-wide, this is the second largest city next to Montreal and declared by UNESCO as a “World Heritage Site” in 1985. It was described as,
“Sure of its charms and just a touch haughty, Québec City’s gracious yet simple style continues to delight its visitors, year after year. The city has everything it takes to please: an enchanting setting on the St Lawrence, a priceless architectural heritage, a rich and colourful past and, above all, a warm heart bubbling over with the special joie de vivre that has characterized it for four centuries.”
The city alone has now a population of more than half a million. Being the major hub of the province, the city is connected by ferry services and bridges to the other side of the river bank, Levis and Orleans Island. An aerial view from Google Earth Pro can be of helpful aid to have a better grasp and idea of the map of the area.

Among the few of the bountiful tourist attractions are the Montmorency Falls, the dominating skyline view of the Château Frontenac, the Basilica of Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré, and the City’s Summer Festival, among them are leisure crafts and sailboats – a picturesque on the river. The author has been in this place and selectively posted here a few recently dug-up personal snapshots (camera-raw) from forgotten files worthy of public viewing (maybe copying as well and I don’t mind because watermarks are no use for remover softwares) captured by the author's amateur lens two summers ago (Kindly click the images to enlarge).

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