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Del Potro Upsets Federer To Win US Open Title
(AP) – 12 minutes ago

NEW YORK — Juan Martin del Potro has ended Roger Federer's run of dominance at the U.S. Open, stunning the top-ranked Swiss great in five sets to win in his first Grand Slam final.

The 20-year-old Argentine prevailed 3-6, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 on Monday night to snap Federer's streak of five straight U.S. Open titles. The sixth-seeded del Potro had been 0-6 in his career against Federer.

Federer had won 40 consecutive matches at Flushing Meadows. He was seeking to become the first man since Bill Tilden in 1920-25 to win the American championship six straight times and the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win three straight majors in a season.

Del Potro upset No. 3 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals in straight sets.

 >:( >:( >:(

World Daily News / "GHOST" MAN DIES - PATRICK SWAYZE, 57
« on: September 15, 2009, 08:37:35 AM »
'Dirty Dancing' star Patrick Swayze dies at 57
© 2009 The Associated Press
Sept. 14, 2009, 7:25PM

LOS ANGELES — Patrick Swayze, the hunky actor who danced his way into viewers' hearts with "Dirty Dancing" and then broke them with "Ghost," died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

"Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months," said a statement released Monday evening by his publicist, Annett Wolf. No other details were given.

Fans of the actor were saddened to learn in March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from a particularly deadly form of cancer.

He had kept working despite the diagnosis, putting together a memoir with his wife and shooting "The Beast," an A&E drama series for which he had already made the pilot. It drew a respectable 1.3 million viewers when the 13 episodes ran in 2009, but A&E said it had reluctantly decided not to renew it for a second season.

Swayze said he opted not to use painkilling drugs while making "The Beast" because they would have taken the edge off his performance. He acknowledged that time might be running out given the grim nature of the disease.

When he first went public with the illness, some reports gave him only weeks to live, but his doctor said his situation was "considerably more optimistic" than that.

"I'd say five years is pretty wishful thinking," Swayze told ABC's Barbara Walters in early 2009. "Two years seems likely if you're going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I'd better get a fire under it."

A three-time Golden Globe nominee, Swayze became a star with his performance as the misunderstood bad-boy Johnny Castle in "Dirty Dancing." As the son of a choreographer who began his career in musical theater, he seemed a natural to play the role.

A coming-of-age romance starring Jennifer Grey as an idealistic young woman on vacation with her family and Swayze as the Catskills resort's sexy (and much older) dance instructor, the film made great use of both his grace on his feet and his muscular physique.

It became an international phenomenon in the summer of 1987, spawning albums, an Oscar-winning hit song in "(I've Had) the Time of My Life," stage productions and a sequel, 2004's "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights," in which he made a cameo.

Swayze performed and co-wrote a song on the soundtrack, the ballad "She's Like the Wind," inspired by his wife, Lisa Niemi. The film also gave him the chance to utter the now-classic line, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

And it allowed him to poke fun at himself on a "Saturday Night Live" episode, in which he played a wannabe Chippendales dancer alongside the corpulent — and frighteningly shirtless — Chris Farley.

A major crowdpleaser, the film drew only mixed reviews from critics, though Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times, "Given the limitations of his role, that of a poor but handsome sex-object abused by the rich women at Kellerman's Mountain House, Mr. Swayze is also good. ... He's at his best — as is the movie — when he's dancing."

Swayze followed that up with the 1989 action flick "Road House," in which he played a bouncer at a rowdy bar. But it was his performance in 1990's "Ghost" that showed his vulnerable, sensitive side. He starred as a murdered man trying to communicate with his fiancee (Demi Moore) — with great frustration and longing — through a psychic played by Whoopi Goldberg.

Swayze said at the time that he fought for the role of Sam Wheat (director Jerry Zucker wanted Kevin Kline) but once he went in for an audition and read six scenes, he got it.

Why did he want the part so badly? "It made me cry four or five times," he said of Bruce Joel Rubin's Oscar-winning script in an AP interview.

"Ghost" provided yet another indelible musical moment: Swayze and Moore sensually molding pottery together to the strains of the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody." It also earned a best-picture nomination and a supporting-actress Oscar for Goldberg, who said she wouldn't have won if it weren't for Swayze.

"When I won my Academy Award, the only person I really thanked was Patrick," Goldberg said in March 2008 on the ABC daytime talk show "The View."

Swayze himself earned three Golden Globe nominations, for "Dirty Dancing," "Ghost" and 1995's "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar," which further allowed him to toy with his masculine image. The role called for him to play a drag queen on a cross-country road trip alongside Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo.

His heartthrob status almost kept him from being considered for the role of Vida Boheme.

"I couldn't get seen on it because everyone viewed me as terminally heterosexually masculine-macho," he told the AP then. But he transformed himself so completely that when his screen test was sent to Steven Spielberg, whose Amblin pictures produced "To Wong Foo," Spielberg didn't recognize him.

Among his earlier films, Swayze was part of the star-studded lineup of up-and-comers in Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 adaptation of S.E. Hinton's novel "The Outsiders," alongside Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez and Diane Lane. Swayze played Darrel "Dary" Curtis, the oldest of three wayward brothers — and essentially the father figure — in a poor family in small-town Oklahoma.

Other '80s films included "Red Dawn," "Grandview U.S.A." (for which he also provided choreography) and "Youngblood," once more with Lowe, as Canadian hockey teammates.

In the '90s, he made such eclectic films as "Point Break" (1991), in which he played the leader of a band of bank-robbing surfers, and the family Western "Tall Tale" (1995), in which he starred as Pecos Bill. He appeared on the cover of People magazine as its "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1991, but his career tapered off toward the end of the 1990s, when he also had stay in rehab for alcohol abuse. In 2001, he appeared in the cult favorite "Donnie Darko," and in 2003 he returned to the New York stage with "Chicago"; 2006 found him in the musical "Guys and Dolls" in London.

Swayze was born in 1952 in Houston, the son of Jesse Swayze and choreographer Patsy Swayze, whose films include "Urban Cowboy."

He played football but also was drawn to dance and theater, performing with the Feld, Joffrey and Harkness Ballets and appearing on Broadway as Danny Zuko in "Grease." But he turned to acting in 1978 after a series of injuries.

Within a couple years of moving to Los Angeles, he made his debut in the roller-disco movie "Skatetown, U.S.A." The eclectic cast included Scott Baio, Flip Wilson, Maureen McCormack and Billy Barty.

Swayze had a couple of movies in the works when his diagnosis was announced, including the drama "Powder Blue," starring Jessica Biel, Forest Whitaker and his younger brother, Don, which was scheduled for release this year.

Off-screen, he was an avid conservationist who was moved by his time in Africa to shine a light on "man's greed and absolute unwillingness to operate according to Mother Nature's laws," he told the AP in 2004.

Swayze was married since 1975 to Niemi, a fellow dancer who took lessons with his mother; they met when he was 19 and she was 15. A licensed pilot, Niemi would fly her husband from Los Angeles to Northern California for treatment at Stanford University Medical Center, People magazine reported in a cover story.

 :( :( :( :(


Youtube Replay / Got To Believe In Magic
« on: August 27, 2009, 09:44:44 PM »
;) ;) ;)

Showbiz & Celebrity / Roger's Cup For Women in Toronto
« on: August 19, 2009, 07:13:08 AM »
Venus, Wozniak fall at Rogers Cup

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Venus Williams is 0-3 lifetime at the Canadian event. Venus Williams is 0-3 lifetime at the Canadian event. (Dave Donnelly/CBC Sports)Venus Williams of the United States was eliminated at the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Tuesday, falling to Kateryna Bondarenko in her first match, while Aleksandra Wozniak, the lone Canadian left in the draw, was also defeated.

Bondarenko, who turned 22 last week, defeated Williams 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 at Rexall Stadium at York University.

I don't know what to say," said Bondarenko. "I just played my game."

Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam winner, has never won in three matches at the Canadian tournament.

"I was definitely expecting to play well, and to go very far in the tournament," said Williams. "I've got a lot of fans here, so it's disappointing."

Wozniak dropped her first-round match 6-4, 6-4 to Russia's Alisa Kleybanova in a sparsely attended afternoon match. The Blainville, Que., native, ranked 40th in the world, was broken three times in the first set and won only 52 per cent of her first-serve points.

Kleybanova, ranked 36th, broke Wozniak two more times in the second set on the way to the win.

No Canadian woman has won the Rogers Cup since Faye Urban beat fellow Canuck Vicki Berner in the 1969 final.

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia threatened to have another early exit on Tuesday, but regained her footing to prevail in three sets over Slovakian qualifer Magdalena Rybarikova.

Ivanovic won by scores of 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. The former French Open champion reeled off nine of the last 11 games to advance to the second round.

"I felt my movement, my shots, everything was working well, but I was trying to play a little too safe, I think," said Ivanovic. "She's a good player, and she was playing really aggressive and dominant."

Ivanovic, the 2006 Canadian Open champion, hasn't reached the quarter-finals in her last seven events, and has plummeted to 11th in the world after being atop the rankings following her June 2008 win in Paris.

She will next face the Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova, who advanced Tuesday with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over Estonia's Kaia Kanepi.

Other winners on Tuesday included Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia, Israel's Shahar Peer, Zheng Jie of China and Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

Former Rogers Cup winner Kim Clijsters of Belgium, on the comeback trail after having a baby last year, will take on Germany's Elena Baltacha in the night session, with a matchup of top players Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia and Samantha Stosur of Australia.

"mag-EB mi ni glacier, YES!"

World Daily News / Money Can't Buy "Happiness"
« on: August 19, 2009, 02:31:55 AM »
Drunk-driving Lottery Winner Tries To Bribe Cop

Tue Aug 18, 10:16 AM

BORDEAUX, France (AFP) - A French EuroMillions lottery winner has been found guilty of trying to bribe traffic police after they caught him drunk at the wheel of a souped-up Ferrari, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Pascal Brun, a 39-year-old former butcher who began collecting Italian sportscars after scooping a 26-million-euro (37-million-dollar) jackpot in 2004, was nabbed on France's Atlantic coast near Bordeaux Saturday, local media reported.

Police noticed the millionaire seemed heavily drunk after asking him to move his yellow Ferrari, which was badly parked near the seafront.

A breathalyser test showed him to be four times over the limit, Sud Ouest newspaper said.

Brun, who has already lost his licence once for drunk-driving a Ferrari, invited the two traffic wardens to his house for an aperitif -- and offered each of them 1,000 euros to turn a blind eye, the paper said.

Convicted of drunk-driving and of trying to corrupt a public official, the millionaire was on Monday handed a six-month jail sentence, including three suspended, and ordered to pay 500 euros in damages to each police officer.

The punishment still has to be reviewed by a sentencing magistrate, and Brun's lawyer plans to ask for his client to be made to wear an electronic tag instead of going to jail.

His driving licence was revoked again and the court impounded his car, a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano.

In Brun's defence, lawyer Pierre Blazy said he been increasingly lonely since his lottery win, and that cars were his "only passion".

World Daily News / Les Paul Dies
« on: August 14, 2009, 03:17:06 AM »
Guitar legend Les Paul dies at age 94; innovator was a key force in creator of rock 'n' roll

By Luke Sheridan, The Associated Press

WHITE PLAINS, New York - Les Paul, who invented the solid-body electric guitar later wielded by a legion of rock 'n' roll greats, died Thursday of complications from pneumonia. He was 94.

According to Gibson Guitar, Paul died at White Plains Hospital. His family and friends were by his side.

As an inventor, Paul also helped bring about the rise of rock 'n' roll with multitrack recording, which enables artists to record different instruments at different times, sing harmony with themselves, and then carefully balance the tracks in the finished recording.

The use of electric guitar gained popularity in the mid-to-late 1940s, and then exploded with the advent of rock in the mid-'50s.

"Suddenly, it was recognized that power was a very important part of music," Paul once said. "To have the dynamics, to have the way of expressing yourself beyond the normal limits of an unamplified instrument, was incredible. Today a guy wouldn't think of singing a song on a stage without a microphone and a sound system."

A tinkerer and musician since childhood, he experimented with guitar amplification for years before coming up in 1941 with what he called "The Log," a four-by-four (10 centimetre-by-10centimetre) piece of wood strung with steel strings.

"I went into a nightclub and played it. Of course, everybody had me labeled as a nut." He later put the wooden wings onto the body to give it a traditional guitar shape.

In 1952, Gibson Guitars began production on the Les Paul guitar.

Pete Townsend of the Who, Steve Howe of Yes, jazz great Al DiMeola and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page all made the Gibson Les Paul their trademark six-string.

Over the years, the Les Paul series has become one of the most widely used guitars in the music industry. In 2005, Christie's auction house sold a 1955 Gibson Les Paul for $45,600.

In the late 1960s, Paul retired from music to concentrate on his inventions. His interest in country music was rekindled in the mid-'70s and he teamed up with Chet Atkins for two albums. The duo were awarded a Grammy for best country instrumental performance of 1976 for their "Chester and Lester" album.

With Mary Ford, his wife from 1949 to 1962, he earned 36 gold records for hits including "Vaya Con Dios" and "How High the Moon," which both hit No. 1. Many of their songs used overdubbing techniques that Paul had helped develop.

"I could take my Mary and make her three, six, nine, 12, as many voices as I wished," he recalled. "This is quite an asset." The overdubbing technique was highly influential on later recording artists such as the Carpenters.

Released in 2005, "Les Paul&Friends: American Made, World Played" was his first album of new material since those 1970s recordings. Among those playing with him: Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Richie Sambora.

"They're not only my friends, but they're great players," Paul told The Associated Press. "I never stop being amazed by all the different ways of playing the guitar and making it deliver a message."

Two cuts from the album won Grammys, "Caravan" for best pop instrumental performance and "69 Freedom Special" for best rock instrumental performance. (He had also been awarded a technical Grammy in 2001.)

Paul was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005.

Paul was born Lester William Polfus, in Waukseha, Wisconsin, on June 9, 1915. He began his career as a musician, billing himself as Red Hot Red or Rhubarb Red. He toured with the popular Chicago band Rube Tronson and His Texas Cowboys and led the house band on WJJD radio in Chicago.

In the mid-1930s he joined Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians and soon moved to New York to form the Les Paul Trio, with Jim Atkins and bassist Ernie Newton.

Meanwhile, he had made his first attempt at audio amplification at age 13. Unhappy with the amount of volume produced by his acoustic guitar, Paul tried placing a telephone receiver under the strings. Although this worked to some extent, only two strings were amplified and the volume level was still too low.

By placing a phonograph needle in the guitar, all six strings were amplified, which proved to be much louder. Paul was playing a working prototype of the electric guitar in 1929.

His work on taping techniques began in the years after World War II, when Bing Crosby gave him a tape recorder. Drawing on his earlier experimentation with his homemade record-cutting machines, Paul added an additional playback head to the recorder. The result was a delayed effect that became known as tape echo.

Tape echo gave the recording a more "live" feel and enabled the user to simulate different playing environments.

Paul's next "crazy idea" was to stack together eight mono tape machines and send their outputs to one piece of tape, stacking the recording heads on top of each other. The resulting machine served as the forerunner to today's multitrack recorders.

In 1954, Paul commissioned Ampex to build the first eight-track tape recorder, later known as "Sel-Sync," in which a recording head could simultaneously record a new track and play back previous ones.

He had met Ford, then known as Colleen Summers, in the 1940s while working as a studio musician in Los Angeles. For seven years in the 1950s, Paul and Ford broadcast a TV show from their home in Mahwah, New Jersey. Ford died in 1977, 15 years after they divorced.

In recent years, even after his illness in early 2006, Paul played Monday nights at New York's Iridium jazz club. Such stars as Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Van Halen came to pay tribute and sit in with him.

"It's where we were the happiest, in a 'joint,"' he said in a 2000 interview with the AP. "It was not being on top. The fun was getting there, not staying there - that's hard work."

World Daily News / 40 Goats and 20 Cows For Chelsea's Love...
« on: August 09, 2009, 05:53:19 AM »
Kenyan Offers Livestock Dowry for Chelsea Clinton

By Moni Basu

(CNN) -- What can 40 goats and 20 cows buy a Kenyan man? Chelsea Clinton's love, if you ask Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor.
Hillary Clinton says she would let her daughter Chelsea know about a Kenyan man's unique marriage offer.

Hillary Clinton says she would let her daughter Chelsea know about a Kenyan man's unique marriage offer.

The Kenyan man first offered the dowry nine years ago to then-President Bill Clinton in asking for the hand of his only child. He renewed it Thursday after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked about the proposal at a Nairobi town hall session.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria, the session's moderator, commented that given the economic crisis at hand, Chepkurgor's dowry was "not a bad offer."

However, Clinton said her daughter was her own person.

"She's very independent," she said. "So I will convey this very kind offer." Video Watch Clinton's response to dowry offer »

The audience laughed, but Clinton's comments were no joke to Chepkurgor, who described the younger Clinton as a "beautiful, disciplined and well-natured woman."

"Of course I have never met her, but I like her family and how they stick together," Chepkurgor told CNN. "I've waited for a long time. I'm still waiting to meet her and express my love for her."

Chepkurgor operates a small electronics and computer shop in Nakuru, a major city northwest of Nairobi. He may still be waiting for Chelsea, but he's not exactly single. He married his wife Grace, a college classmate, in 2006.

"My wife has no problem with this," he insisted. "She listened to the answers given by Hillary and did not complain."

Polygamy is legal in Kenya, so Chelsea would be Chepkurgor's second wife.

"Is that allowed in your side of the world?" he laughed.

In Kenya, a man proposes with dowry for the prospective bride, Chepkurgor explained. He said he stands by his initial livestock offer until someone makes a counteroffer.

Chepkurgor, now 39, first made his intentions known when all three Clintons visited East Africa in 2000. He wrote a letter to the former president, offering himself as his only child's suitor. He said he had not expected the secretary of state to address the issue during her visit to Kenya this week.

However, he admits his chances might be rather slim.

"Unfortunately, I don't have their contact information," he said.

"I just want to convey my message of goodwill to the Clintons," he said. "And to all of America."

Photos Unlimited / This Planet Is Not Just Beautiful, It's Also Funny
« on: August 09, 2009, 05:18:53 AM »
Funny Pictures" title="Funny Pictures" border="0

World Daily News / This 7 Year Old is Fast Learner
« on: August 05, 2009, 08:30:39 AM »
Preston Scarbrough, 7, 'Steals' Family Car To Avoid Going To Church and Leads Police On A Car Chase

By Mike O'Brien

Aww! The lengths some people will go to avoid attending church.

A seven-year-old boy in Plain City, Utah, decided it was too hot to go to church on July 26, so he “borrowed” the family car and went on a joy ride instead.

Responding to calls of an unusually small, reckless driver, the Weber County Sheriff's Office released dash-cam video of the boy as he led police on a low-speed chase.
His parents had no idea their car and their child were missing.
Speaking on the “Today” show, Preston Scarbrough said he knew how to drive by “watching my mom.”

"People in the neighborhood are talking about this," said Weber County sheriff's Lt. Matthew Bell. "They could tell there was a small, young driver in the car."
Deputies found the car near the local high school and tailed it for 10 blocks, all while the driver weaved in traffic lanes and blew through stop signs.

"The deputies at one time had pulled up kinda close to him on the side and could see it was a very small person driving the car," Bell said.
Preston maintained speeds up to 45 miles an hour, even though he had some trouble reaching the pedals.

"His speed was slow, but erratic … and so he would kind of scoot down lower to push on the gas and kinda sit up on the seat more to see right where he was going," Bell said.

The chase came to an end at Preston’s home, when he got out of the car, ran and hid in the basement.

Investigators say he is too young to be charged with a crime, but Preston is paying a price. The punishment? “No TV or video games for four days,” he told the “Today” show.

The Video From the Police Cam

The World's Highest-Paid Athletes
Kurt Badenhausen, 06.17.09, 11:50 AM EDT

Eight months on the shelf after knee surgery put a severe dent in his prize money, and killed his overseas appearance fees. One of his main sponsors walked away a year before their agreement was set to expire.

Yet Tiger Woods remains sports' highest earner with an annual income two and a half times larger than his closest competitor. The world's top golfer made $110 million during the past 12 months and is the best paid sportsman for the eighth straight year.

Woods' knee injury caused his prize money to drop to $5 million from $25 million, but his overall earnings only fell $5 million thanks to an expansion of Woods' non-playing financial empire....

Our list of the highest-paid athletes looks at earnings derived from salaries, bonuses, prize money, endorsements and licensing income between June 2008 and June 2009 and does not deduct for taxes or agents' fees. Overall, the top 20 earned $789 million, down 1% from last year. The cutoff to make the list was $30 million.

Drop-offs from last year include boxer Floyd Mayweather (has not fought since December 2007), NFL players Ben Roethlisberger and Dwight Freeney (both made the 2008 list after inking contracts with big signing bonuses) and Formula One driver Fernando Alonso (just missed the cut).

The highest-ranking of the four newcomers to the list is boxer Manny Pacquiao who earned $40 million over the last year, tied for the sixth most. Pacquiao cemented his claim as the world's best pound-for-pound fighter with convincing knockouts of Oscar De La Hoya in December and Ricky Hatton in May. The two blockbuster fights garnered more than 2 million pay-per-view buys in the U.S. and earned Pac-Man $30 million combined.

Pacquiao's massive popularity in his native Philippines is why companies like Nike and San Miguel beer have signed him to endorse their products. Pacquiao intends to use that popularity to run for political office when his ring career is over.

Our 20 highest earners have a very international flavor with Pacquiao one of eight non-Americans on the list. Finnish Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen earned $45 million over the past year, tied for second on our list with hoop legends Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Right behind that trio is global icon David Beckham who earned $42 million playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy and AC Milan, while schilling for Adidas ( ADDDY.PK - news - people ), Giorgio Armani and Motorola ( MOT - news - people ).
Dugg on

Notable omission: the entire NFL, which didn't place anyone in the top 20 despite being the world's richest sports league. The league's salary cap keeps a lid on individual player salaries, and few players outside of Peyton Manning collect big endorsement deals. The top NFL earner during the past 12 months was Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha who made $22 million, mainly as a result of the three-year, $45 million contract he signed in February.

General Topic / Chubby People Live Longest:
« on: June 20, 2009, 09:40:49 PM »
Chubby People Live Longest: Japan Study

TOKYO (AFP) - Health experts have long warned of the risk of obesity, but a new Japanese study warns that being very skinny is even more dangerous, and that slightly chubby people live longer.

People who are a little overweight at age 40 live six to seven years longer than very thin people, whose average life expectancy was shorter by some five years than that of obese people, the study found.

"We found skinny people run the highest risk," said Shinichi Kuriyama, an associate professor at Tohoku University's Graduate School of Medicine who worked on the long-term study of middle-aged and elderly people.

"We had expected thin people would show the shortest life expectancy but didn't expect the difference to be this large," he told AFP by telephone.

The study was conducted by a health ministry team led by Tohoku University professor Ichiro Tsuji and covered 50,000 people between the ages of 40 and 79 over 12 years in the northern Japanese prefecture of Miyagi.

"There had been an argument that thin people's lives are short because many of them are sick or smoke. But the difference was almost unchanged even when we eliminated these factors," Kuriyama said.

Main reasons for the shorter lifespans of skinny people were believed to include their heightened vulnerability to diseases such as pneumonia and the fragility of their blood vessels, he said.

But Kuriyama warned he was not recommending people eat as much as they want.

"It's better that thin people try to gain normal weight, but we doubt it's good for people of normal physique to put on more fat," he said.

The study divided people into four weight classes at age 40 according to their body mass index, or BMI, calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their squared height in metres.

The normal range is 18.5 to 25, with thinness defined as under 18.5. A BMI of 25 to 30 was classed as slightly overweight and an index above 30 as obese.

Facts and Trivia / ALL ABOUT "PHOBIA"
« on: June 20, 2009, 07:20:15 PM »
ablutophobia:    washing or bathing
acarophobia:    itching
acerophobia:    sourness
achluophobia:    darkness
acousticophobia:    noise
acrophobia:    heights
aeroacrophobia:    open high places
aeronausiphobia:    vomiting secondary to airsickness
aerophobia:    drafts, air
aeruophobia:    flying
agliophobia:    pain
agoraphobia:    open spaces
agraphobia:    sexual abuse
agrizoophobia:    wild animals
agyrophobia:    streets or crossing the street
aichmophobia:    needles or pointed objects
ailurophobia:    cats
albuminurophobia:    kidney disease
alektorophobia:    chickens
algophobia:    pain
alliumphobia:    garlic
allodoxaphobia:    opinions
altophobia:    heights
amathophobia:    dust
amaxophobia:    riding in a car, or vehicles
ambulophobia:    walking
amnesiphobia:    amnesia
amychophobia:    scratches or being scratched
anablephobia:    looking up
ancraophobia:    wind
androphobia:    men
anemophobia:    air drafts or wind
anginophobia:    angina, choking or narrowness
Anglophobia:    England, English culture, etc
angrophobia:    becoming angry
ankylophobia:    immobility of a joint
anthophobia:    flowers
anthrophobia:    people
anthropophobia:    people or society
antlophobia:    floods
anuptaphobia:    staying single
apeirophobia:    infinity
aphenphosmphobia:    being touched
apiphobia:    bees
apotemnophobia:    persons with amputations
arachibutyrophobia:    peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth
arachnophobia:    spiders
arithmophobia:    numbers
arrhenphobia:    men
arsonphobia:    fire
asthenophobia:    fainting or weakness
astraphobia:    thunder and lightning
astrophobia:    stars and celestial space
asymmetriphobia:    asymmetrical things
ataxiophobia:    ataxia (muscular incoordination)
ataxophobia:    disorder or untidiness
atelophobia:    imperfection
atephobia:    ruin or ruins
athazagoraphobia:    being forgotten or ignored
atomosophobia:    atomic explosions
atychiphobia:    failure
aulophobia:    flutes
aurophobia:    gold
auroraphobia:    northern lights
autodysomophobia:    one that has a vile odor
automatonophobia:    ventiloquist dummies or wax statues
automysophobia:    being dirty
autophobia:    being alone or of oneself
aviophobia:    flying
bacillophobia:    microbes
bacteriophobia:    bacteria
bactrachophobia:    reptiles
ballistophobia:    missles or bullets
barophobia:    gravity
basophobia:    inability to stand
bathophobia:    depth
batonophobia:    plants
batophobia:    heights
batrachophobia:    amphibians
belonephobia:    pins and needles
bibliophobia:    books
blennophobia:    slime
bogyphobia:    the bogeyman
Bolshephobia:    Bolsheviks
botanophobia:    plants
bromidrosiphobia:    body smells
brontophobia:    thunder and lightning
bufonophobia:    toads
cacophobia:    ugliness
cainophobia:    newness, novelty
caligynephobia:    beautiful women
carcinophobia:    cancer
cardiophobia:    the heart
carnophobia:    meat
catagelophobia:    being ridiculed
catapedaphobia:    jumping from high and low places
cathisophobia:    sitting
catoptrophobia:    mirrors
cenophobia:    new things or ideas
ceraunophobia:    thunder
chaetophobia:    hair
cheimaphobia or cheimatophobia:    cold
chemophobia:    chemicals
cherophobia:    gaiety
chionophobia:    snow
chiraptophobia:    being touched
cholerophobia:    anger
chorophobia:    dancing
chrometophobia:    money
chromophobia:    colors
chronomentrophobia:    clocks
chronophobia:    time
cibophobia:    food
claustrophobia:    enclosed spaces
cleisiophobia:    being locked in
cleptophobia:    stealing
climacophobia:    stairs
clinophobia:    going to bed
clithrophobia:    being enclosed
cnidophobia:    stings
coimetrophobia:    cemeteries
cometophobia:    comets
contreltophobia:    sexual abuse
coprastasophobia:    constipation
coprophobia:    feces
coulrophobia:    clowns
cremnophobia:    precipices
cryophobia:    extreme cold, ice or frost
crystallophobia:    crystals or glass
cyberphobia:    computers or working on a computer
cyclophobia:    bicycles
cymophobia:    waves or wave like motions
cynophobia:    dogs
decidophobia:    making decisions
defecaloesiophobia:    painful bowel movements
deipnophobia:    dining
dementophobia:    insanity
demonophobia:    demons
demophobia:    crowds (Agoraphobia)
dendrophobia:    trees
dentophobia:    dentists
dermatophobia:    skin lesions
dermatosiophobia:    skin disease
dextrophobia:    objects at the right side of the body
diabetophobia:    diabetes
didaskaleinophobia:    going to school
dikephobia:    justice
dinophobia:    dizziness
diplophobia:    double vision
dipsophobia:    drinking
dishabiliophobia:    undressing in front of someone
domatophobia:    houses or being in a house
doraphobia:    fur or skins of animals
dromophobia:    crossing streets
dutchphobia:    the dutch
dysmorphophobia:    deformity
dystychiphobia:    accidents
ecclesiophobia:    church
eicophobia:    home surroundings
eisoptrophobia:    mirrors or seeing oneself in a mirror
electrophobia:    electricity
eleutherophobia:    freedom
elurophobia:    cats (Ailurophobia)
emetophobia:    vomiting
enetophobia:    pins
enochlophobia:    crowds
enosiophobia:    committing an unpardonable sin
entomophobia:    insects
eosophobia:    dawn or daylight
epistaxiophobia:    nosebleeds
epistemophobia:    knowledge
equinophobia:    horses
eremophobia:    being oneself
ereuthrophobia:    blushing
ergasiophobia:    surgical instruments
ergophobia:    work
erotophobia:    sexual love
erythrophobia:    the color red
euphobia:    hearing good news
eurotophobia:    female genitalia
febriphobia:    fever
felinophobia:    cats
Francophobia:    france, french culture
frigophobia:    cold
galeophobia:    cats
gallophobia or galiophobia:    fear France, French culture
gamophobia:    marriage
gatophobia:    cats
geliophobia:    laughter
geniophobia:    chins
genophobia:    sex
genuphobia:    knees
gephyrophobia:    crossing bridges
gerascophobia:    growing old
germanophobia:    Germany, German culture
gerontophobia:    old people or of growing old
geumaphobia:    taste
glossophobia:    speaking in public
gnosiophobia:    knowledge
graphophobia:    writing
gymnophobia:    nudity
gynophobia:    women
hadephobia:    hell
hagiophobia:    saints or holy things
hamartophobia:    sinning
haphephobia:    being touched
harpaxophobia:    being robbed
hedonophobia:    feeling pleasure
heliophobia:    the sun
hellenologophobia:    Greek terms
helminthophobia:    worms
hemophobia:    blood
herpetophobia:    reptiles
heterophobia:    the opposite sex (sexophobia)
hierophobia:    priests
hippophobia:    horses
hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia:    long words
hobophobia:    bums or beggars
hodophobia:    road travel
homichlophobia:    fog
homilophobia:    sermons
hominophobia:    men
homophobia:    homosexuality
hoplophobia:    firearms
hormephobia:    shock
hydrargyophobia:    mercurial medicines
hydrophobia:    water
hydrophobophobia:    rabies
hyelophobia or hyalophobia:    glass
hygrophobia:    liquids, dampness, or moisture
hylephobia:    materialism
hylophobia:    forests
hypegiaphobia:    responsibility
hypnophobia:    sleep
hypsiphobia:    height
iatrophobia:    doctors
ichthyophobia:    fish
ideophobia:    ideas
illyngophobia:    veritgo
insectophobia:    insects
iophobia:    poison
isolophobia:    solitude, being alone
isopterophobia:    termites
ithyphallophobia:    erection
Japanophobia:    Japanese
Judeophobia:    Jews
kainolophobia:    novelty
kakorraphiaphobia:    failure
katagelophobia:    ridicule
kathisophobia:    sitting down
kenophobia:    voids
keraunophobia:    thunder
kinetophobia:    movement or motion
kleptophobia:    stealing
koinoniphobia:    rooms
koniophobia:    dust (Amathophobia)
kopophobia:    fatigue
kosmikophobia:    cosmic phenomenon
kymophobia:    waves
kynophobia:    rabies
kyphophobia:    stooping
lachanophobia:    vegetables
laliophobia:    speaking
leprophobia:    leprosy
leukophobia:    the color white
levophobia:    things to the left side of the body
ligyrophobia:    loud noises
lilapsophobia:    tornadoes and hurricanes
limnophobia:    lakes
linonophobia:    string
liticaphobia:    lawsuits
lockiophobia:    childbirth
logizomechanophobia:    computers
logophobia:    words
luiphobia:    syphillis
lutraphobia:    otters
lygophobia:    darkness
lyssophobia:    rabies or of becoming mad
macrophobia:    long waits
mageirocophobia:    cooking
maieusiophobia:    childbirth
malaxophobia:    love play
maniaphobia:    insanity
mastigophobia:    punishment
mechanophobia:    machines
megalophobia:    large things
melanophobia:    the color black
melissophobia:    bees
melophobia:    fear or hatred of music
meningitophobia:    brain disease
menophobia:    menstruation
merinthophobia:    being bound or tied up
metallophobia:    metal
metathesiophobia:    changes
meteorophobia:    meteors
methyphobia:    alcohol
metrophobia:    fear or hatred of poetry
microbiophobia:    microbes (bacillophobia)
microphobia:    small things
misophobia:    being contaminated with dirt of germs
mnemophobia:    memories
molysmophobia:    dirt or contamination
monopathophobia:    definite disease
monophobia:    solitude or being alone
motorphobia:    automobiles
mottephobia:    moths
musophobia:    mice
mycophobia:    fear or aversion to mushrooms
mycrophobia:    small things
myctophobia:    darkness
myrmecophobia:    ants
mysophobia:    germs or contamination or dirt
mythophobia:    myths or stories or false statements
myxophobia:    slime (blennophobia)
nebulaphobia:    fog (homichlophobia)
necrophobia:    death
nelophobia:    glass
neopharmaphobia:    new drugs
neophobia:    anything new
nephophobia:    clouds
noctiphobia:    the night
nomatophobia:    names
nosemaphobia:    illness
nosocomephobia:    hospitals
nosophobia:    disease
nostophobia:    returning home
novercaphobia:    step-mothers
nucleomituphobia:    nuclear weapons
nudophobia:    nudity
numerophobia:    numbers
nyctophobia:    the dark or of night
obesophobia:    gaining weight
ochlophobia:    crowds or mobs
ochophobia:    vehicles
octophobia:    the figure 8
odontophobia:    dental surgery
odynophobia:    pain
oenophobia:    wines
oikophobia:    home surroundings, house
olfactophobia:    smells
ombrophobia:    rain
ommetaphobia:    eyes
oneirogmophobia:    wet dreams
oneirophobia:    dreams
onomatophobia:    hearing a certain word
ophidiophobia:    snakes
ophthalmophobia:    being stared at
optophobia:    opening one's eyes
ornithophobia:    birds
orthophobia:    property
osmophobia:    smells or odors
osphresiophobia:    smells
ostraconophobia:    shellfish
ouranophobia:    heaven
pagophobia:    ice or frost
panophobia:    everything
panthophobia:    disease
pantophobia:    fears
Papaphobia:    the pope
papyrophobia:    paper
paralipophobia:    neglecting duty
paraphobia:    sexual perversion
parasitophobia:    parasites
paraskavedekatriaphobia:    Friday the 13th
parthenophobia:    virgins or young girls
parturiphobia:    childbirth
pathophobia:    disease
patroiophobia:    heredity
peccatophobia:    sinning (imaginary crime)
pediculophobia:    lice
pediophobia:    dolls
pedophobia:    children
peladophobia:    bald people
pellagrophobia:    pellagra
peniaphobia:    poverty
pentheraphobia:    mother-in-law
phagophobia:    swallowing
phalacrophobia:    becoming bald
phallophobia:    a penis, esp erect
pharmacophobia:    taking medicine
pharmacophobia:    drugs
phasmophobia:    ghosts
phengophobia:    daylight or sunshine
philemaphobia:    kissing
philophobia:    falling in love
philosophobia:    philosophy
phobophobia:    one's own fears
phonophobia:    noises or voices
photoaugliaphobia:    glaring lights
photophobia:    light
phronemophobia:    thinking
phthiriophobia:    lice (pediculophobia)
phthisiophobia:    tuberculosis
pinigerophobia:    smothering
placophobia:    tombstones
plutophobia:    wealth
pluviophobia:    rain or of being rained on
pneumatiphobia:    spirits
pnigophobia:    choking or being smothered
pocrescophobia:    gaining weight (obesophobia)
pogonophobia:    beards
poinephobia:    punishment
poliosophobia:    contracting poliomyelitis
politicophobia:    politicians
polyphobia:    many things
ponophobia:    overworking or of pain
porphyrophobia:    the color purple
potamophobia:    rivers or running water
potophobia:    alcohol
proctophobia:    rectum
prosophobia:    progress
psellismophobia:    stuttering
psychophobia:    mind
psychrophobia:    cold
pteromerhanophobia:    flying
pteronophobia:    being tickled by feathers
pupaphobia:    puppets pyrexiophobia
pyrophobia:    fire
radiophobia:    radiation, x-rays
ranidaphobia:    frogs
rhabdophobia:    being severely punished or beaten by a rod
rhypophobia:    defecation
rhytiphobia:    getting wrinkles
rupophobia:    dirt
Russophobia:    Russians

samhainophobia:    Halloween
sarmassophobia:    love play
satanophobia:    satan
scabiophobia:    scabies
scelerophibia:    bad men, burglars
schlionophobia:    school
sciophobia:    shadows
scoleciphobia:    worms
scolionophobia:    school
scopophobia:    being stared at
scotomaphobia:    blindness in visual field
scotophobia:    darkness
scriptophobia:    writing in public
selaphobia:    light flashes
selenophobia:    the moon
seplophobia:    decaying matter
sesquipedalophobia:    long words
sexophobia:    the opposite sex
siderodromophobia:    trains
siderophobia:    stars
sinistrophobia:    left-handedness
sinophobia:    chinese, chinese culture
sitophobia:    food or eating
snakephobia:    snakes (ophidiophobia)
soceraphobia:    parents-in-law
social phobia:    being evaluated negatively
sociophobia:    society
somniphobia:    sleep
sophophobia:    learning
soteriophobia:    dependence on others
spacephobia:    outer space
spectrophobia:    specters or ghosts
spermophobia:    germs
sphexsophobia:    wasps
stasibasiphobia:    standing or walking
staurophobia:    crosses or the crucifix
stenophobia:    narrow things or places
stygiophobia:    hell
suriphobia:    mice
symbolophobia:    symbolism
symmetrophobia:    symmetry
syngenesophobia:    relatives
syphilophobia:    syphilis
tachophobia:    speed
taeniophobia or teniophobia:    tapeworms
taphephobia:    being buried alive
tapinophobia:    being contagious
taurophobia:    bulls
technophobia:    technology
teleophobia:    definate plans
telephonophobia:    telephones
telosphobia:    being last
teratophobia:    bearing a deformed child
testophobia:    taking tests
tetanophobia:    lockjaw, tetanus
teutophobia:    German or German things
textophobia:    certain fabrics
thaasophobia:    sitting
thalassophobia:    the ocean
thanatophobia:    death or dying
theatrophobia:    theatres
theologicophobia:    theology
theophobia:    god(s) or religion
thermophobia:    heat
tocophobia:    childbirth
tomophobia:    surgical operations
tonitrophobia:    thunder
topophobia:    performing (stage fright)
toxiphobia:    poison
traumatophobia:    injury
tremophobia:    trembling
trichinophobia:    trichinosis
trichopathophobia:    hair
triskaidekaphobia:    the number 13
tropophobia:    moving or making changes
trypanophobia:    injections
tuberculophobia:    tuberculosis
tyrannophobia:    tyrants
uranophobia:    heaven
urophobia:    urine or urinating

vaccinophobia:    vaccination
venustraphobia:    beautiful women
verbophobia:    words
verminophobia:    germs
vestiphobia:    clothing
virginitiphobia:    rape
vitricophobia:    step-fathers
Walloonphobia:    the Walloons
wiccaphobia:    witches and witchcraft
xanthophobia:    the color yellow
xenophobia:    strangers
xerophobia:    dryness
xylophobia:    forests
zelophobia:    jealousy
zemmiphobia:    the great mole rat
zeusophobia:    God or gods
zoophobia:    animals

 :o :o :o :o :o :o

Flawless Federer Storms To Historic First French Crown

Sunday, June 7, 2009
By David Tutton

The tennis gods brewed up a storm around Roland Garros on Sunday afternoon as they prepared to welcome a new member into their midst. Roger Federer repelled the rain, thunder, and a certain Robin Soderling to take his rightful place among the immortals of the game.

The Swiss produced a near-flawless display, delighting his fans with the full range of shots that have made him arguably the greatest player of his era, to sweep aside Robin Soderling 6-1 7-6 6-4 and seal his first-ever French Open title. The triumph enabled Federer to become only the sixth man in history to win all four Grand Slam tournaments, and also saw him equal Pete Sampras’ record of 14 majors.

The enormity of his achievement was evident on match point when Federer fell to the red earth of Roland Garros weeping tears of joy. Minutes later, Andre Agassi was on hand to present the Coupe des Mousquetaires and share in the Swiss legend’s delight as he held the trophy to the air, 10 years after the American had sealed his own career Slam with a far more hard-fought win here over Andrei Medvedev.

Early stranglehold

Federer owed his victory to a brilliant performance, by far his best of the tournament, in which he took a stranglehold on the match from the outset and clinically dissected his opponent’s game.

Seemingly overwhelmed by the event, Soderling was unrecognizable in the first set from the man who had swept all before him – including four-time champion Rafael Nadal – in his run to the final. A double fault that handed Federer the first of three breaks could have been an ominous precursor of what was to come. The giant Swede was simply unable to find any rhythm or indeed any semblance of the form he had shown throughout the tournament, not that Federer gave him the slightest chance to settle.

The Swiss is a past master at winning Grand Slam finals and experience was made to tell as he immediately got into his groove. His first serve was strong (firing down 16 aces throughout the match), his shot selection astute and return of serve simply breathtaking. The Swede’s wayward hitting was making it easy for him, but he needed no second invitation to rank up the games and move rapidly clear.

Federer mixed up his shots brilliantly, slicing on the backhand side before accelerating his forehand follow-up to knock his opponent off guard. While Soderling’s earlier adversaries, including Nadal, had to a certain extent played into his hands by trying to outhit the Swede in hard-hitting baseline exchanges. Roger was not about to fall into the same trap. Making full use of his superb drop shot, tricky slice and mid-court angles, he moved the Swede forward and back almost at will.

Stormy weather

The first set was over in the blink of an eye, 6-1, wrapped up in just 23 minutes. The only thing that could knock the world No2 off his stride was the on-court intruder who briefly unsettled his concentration at 2-1 in the second set. He lost that game, and with storm clouds beginning to hover over Philippe Chatrier court, the momentum gradually began to shift. Little by little, Soderling righted his ship, steadying his serve and finally hitting the booming forehands that had proved so devastating earlier over the previous fortnight.

The rain gained in intensity through the middle games of the second set, and with a delay looking more of a possibility, both players looked for the break that would give them a huge psychological advantage to take into the locker room. The drizzle eased off however, and Federer’s serve kept him out of trouble heading into the match-shaping tie-break.

Brilliant tie-break

The No2 seed then seized the moment to demonstrate why he is, for so many, the greatest player of all time. He banged down four aces no less, a forehand winner and a magnificent drop shot en route to a 7-1 success that earned him a two-set lead and definitively turned the match in his favour.

In a hangover from the tie-break, Soderling immediately dropped his serve in the next game – a crucial moment as the No23 seed actually looked the more dangerous player as the third set wore on. On the few occasions that he drew Federer into a long rally, Soderling would invariably pull out a winner, but the Swiss refused to be distracted from his game plan, throwing Soderling off his rhythm with kicking second serves when his first service began to falter and sending passing shots down the line whenever the Swede came to the net.

The Swede earned his first break point of the match at 1-3 and then again had a chance to break back at 4-5, 30-40 when Federer was serving for the match. Had he taken either of those two points, the outcome of the match may have been very different.

Fitting denouement

As it was, the end was what most neutrals had been hoping for, and suitably moving. Soderling mishit on break point to take us to deuce, Federer then coolly dispatched a volley to take himself to championship point, and a big serve was enough, as Soderling netted. Federer fell to his knees, the crowd rose to their feet and the thunder rumbled overhead…

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Sports and Fitness / French Open Update
« on: June 03, 2009, 03:38:45 AM »
Awesome Soderling Demolishes Davydenko
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
By David Tutton and Andrew Lilley

Robin Soderling put in a magnificent performance to destroy No10 seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-1 6-3 6-1 and secure a spot in the semi-final of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.

Anyone who thought that the Swede’s shock win over Rafael Nadal was a one-off should think again. Lest we forget, the No23 seed had already removed the dangerous David Ferrer in the third round before the historic upset of the four-time champion. In Tuesday’s quarter-final, he established himself as a real contender for the title by humbling his Russian opponent.

Soderling was understandably upbeat after the match: "Yeah, you know, I think I didn't have a very easy draw. I played three very good clay court players and I played three very good matches, so of course my confidence is getting better and better."

Stunning hitting

Soderling was handsomely rewarded for his high-risk, aggressive and powerful play against a man he had defeated both times in their two previous meetings on clay, at Monte Carlo in 2006 and 2007. Targeting the corners at every opportunity, hitting long and true throughout, the Swede simply did not give Davydenko a look in, except perhaps in the first game of the match, when the Russian failed to capitalise on two break points. Soderling dealt with those in much the same way as he did virtually every point thereafter, by going for his shots.

"I was a little bit lucky in the beginning. I saved two break points in the first game and I broke him straightaway. So instead of maybe being down 2 0 I was up 2 0, and then I think from then I played very well," said the Swede.

A few stats reveal the extent of the damage. Davydenko only won five games all match. Soderling hit 34 winners to Davydenko’s 15 and incredibly committed more unforced errors – 28 to 25. He who dares wins: Soderling grasped the nettle and the rewards reaped from his high percentage tennis meant that the naturally more cautious Russian was on the back foot throughout the contest.

Quickfire Swede

Before Daydenko knew it, he had lost the first set 6-1 in just 23 minutes. He was already reeling, but gathered himself at the start of the second to emerge from his baseline shell and fight fire with fire. The result was some breathtaking tennis as the two traded blows, back and forth, until Davydenko cracked at 3-3, hitting two unforced errors to lose his serve. From thereon in, there was simply no coming back.

Soderling maintained his depth and his accuracy, leaving Davydenko chasing shadows and shaking his head in impotent frustration. By the end, the No10 seed - celebrating his 28th birthday on the day of the match – was an utterly beaten man, having never looked likely to reach the semi-finals here for the third time in five years.

Soderling, meanwhile, was keeping things in perspective: "If you'd ask me like four years ago, I'd say I will never reach a semis in Paris. But for every year, I think I started to play better and better on clay. Actually, I like to play on all surface. There's no surface that I don't like. Maybe so far I had my best results indoors, but then I think clay is my next best surface, actually."

Nadal’s nemesis cannot be overlooked as a potential French Open champion now. He has been quite simply unplayable for much of the tournament so far, and if he is able to maintain this level of form, he will go all the way. What remains to be seen is whether the ultra-confident 24-year-old can keep on playing dream tennis on the greatest clay court stage in the world…

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Murray No Match For Fiery Gonzalez
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
By Andrew Lilley

Fernando Gonzalez blasted his way into the semi-finals of the French Open with a comprehensive win over No3 seed Andy Murray on Tuesday. The Chilean used his clay-court attacking skills honed over ten years on the circuit to power his way to a 6-3 3-6 6-0 6-4 win in two hours 15 minutes.

The match-up was always going to be an intriguing one. Murray may be the newly minted world No3 and poster boy of British tennis but his record on clay reflected his lack of savvy on this, the slowest of surfaces.

Murray had only played 37 of his 260 career matches on red brick, winning just over half of them, while Gonzalez had disputed no fewer than 212 matches on clay with a winning percentage over 70 percent – clear proof both of greater experience and of a genuine understanding of what it takes to win on dirt.

Gonzalez also came into the tie having not lost a set at Roland Garros this year, spending barely more than six hours on court in dispatching his four opponents. If Murray was to make the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the second time in his career, he was going to have to be at the top of his game.

For the first half an hour, the Scotsman held his own, serving as wide as he could and camping well behind the baseline in an attempt to negate the Chilean’s all-out attacking brand of tennis. At 3-4 on Murray’s serve however, Gonzalez took almost every backhand as an inside-out forehand – a high-risk strategy but one which worked as he carved out a break point. He then changed his tack, luring Murray into a sliced backhand rally before passing him as he came into the net in two minds.

Murray saved three set points as the Chilean had a brief attack of nerves but the No12 seed soon pocketed the opener 6-3. The second set followed the same pattern as the first, but this time it was 28-year-old Gonzalez seed who blinked first, handing Murray three break points in the sixth game and, after saving them with some big serves, fluffing two forehands to surrender the crucial break.

One set all therefore – had Murray weathered the storm? Would Gonzalez be forced to play more cagily? Not a bit of it. The third set saw Murray blown off court 6-0 as Gonzalez hit a raft of forehand winners – 24 of them from the baseline alone throughout the match – and then deciding to dust off his slice, drop and cross-court play as he took the set on a wave of confidence. Murray had no answer to this combination of power and variation, his tennis looking terribly one-dimensional in comparison.

The Chilean broke in the fourth to lead 5-3 but there was to be one last throw of the dice for Murray, with Gonzalez again having an attack of nerves. Murray hauled himself back into contention at 4-5, but a fifth set would have been more than he deserved. The Chilean promptly broke to love, fittingly on the back of yet more pin-point inside-out forehands, and will face Robin Soderling in a semi-final that promises to be a match full of fireworks between two massive hitters.

“I've got to give a lot of credit to him,” said Murray straight after the match. “I’d played against him before and he hits the ball hard, but today he was hitting it huge. If that happens, sometimes you've got to say ‘Too good’. It's quite easy sitting on the side to look and think ‘you could’ve have done this, you could have done that’ but the guy is hitting ball so hard – no-one's hits the ball that big.”

“At the start of the third set I had a few chances to hold serve and didn't take them, and then at the end of the match I played a poor, poor game and when I broke back, which is not like me,” rued the Scotsman. “I got myself back into the match there and played four bad points. It was a good week, a good couple of weeks though.”

It was indeed a good week or so for Murray, and now the green grass of home at Wimbledon awaits, and more importantly for him, the subsequent hard court season where he first shot to real prominence last year. He can take heart from the fact that he has increased his cushion over fourth placed Novak Djokovic in the rankings and taken further steps to becoming a better clay court player. He still has some way to go however if he is to challenge seriously for the Roland Garros title in the future.

Travel and Tours / Car Loses All Four Wheels On Highway!!!
« on: June 02, 2009, 08:11:38 AM »
Car Loses All Four Wheels On Highway

ZURICH (Reuters) - A car traveling on a motorway in Switzerland lost all four wheels simultaneously, coming to an immediate halt in the middle of the highway, police said on Saturday.

The car had just stopped and the passengers had changed from winter to summer wheels themselves, a common task in Switzerland where there is plenty of snow in winter, but used the wrong nuts when mounting the new set.

"When they then drove back on to the motorway, all of the wheels disconnected," St Gallen cantonal police said in a statement. "Luckily, no one was injured and no other vehicle was damaged."

(Reporting by Sam Cage)

General Topic / After 101 Years, Why GM Failed
« on: June 02, 2009, 07:42:06 AM »
After 101 Years, Why GM Failed
Peter Cohan

General Motors (GM) was founded in September of 1908. On June 1, 2009, at 8 a.m. -- almost 101 years later -- it ceased to exist, and control was handed over to turnaround executive Al Koch. Thanks to $19.4 billion in loans and $30.1 billion more in debtor-in-possession financing, a huge amount of effort by the U.S. government and GM's management, unions, dealers, suppliers and bondholders, the effects of that failure will be terrible, but not catastrophic.

The U.S. will own 60 percent of the new GM, which will include Chevy, Buick, GMC and Cadillac. Canada will take 12 percent after lending GM $9.5 billion, the UAW 17.5 percent (as payment for $9.4 billion of its $20 billion in health care obligations) with warrants to buy 2.5 percent more, the bondholders 10 percent to as high as 25 percent through warrants, and old GM common shareholders roughly zero. Twelve to 20 more GM factories will close, 21,000 union workers will be fired, and 2,400 GM dealers will shut down.

To help other companies avoid GM's fate, it's worth exploring the five reasons that GM failed:

1. Bad financial policies. You might be surprised to learn that GM has been bankrupt since 2006 and has avoided a filing for years thanks to the graces of the banks and bondholders. But for years it has used cars as razors to sell consumers a monthly package of razor blades -- in the form of highly profitable car loans.

And the two Harvard MBAs who drove GM to bankruptcy -- Rick Wagoner and Fritz Henderson -- both rose up from GM's finance division, rather than its vehicle design operation.

2. Uncompetitive vehicles. Compared to its toughest competitors -- like Toyota Motor Co. (TM) -- GM's cars were poorly designed and built, took too long to manufacture at costs that were too high, and as a result, fewer people bought them, leaving GM with excess production capacity.

3. Ignoring competition. GM has been ignoring competition -- with a brief interruption (Saturn in the 1980s) -- for about 50 years. At its peak, in 1954, GM controlled 54 percent of the North American vehicle market. Last year, that figure had tumbled to 19 percent. Toyota and its peers took over that market share.

4. Failure to innovate. Since GM was focused on profiting from finance, it did not really care that much about building better vehicles. GM's management failed to adapt GM to changes in customer needs, upstart competitors, and new technologies.

5. Managing in the bubble. GM managers got promoted by toeing the CEO's line and ignoring external changes. What looked stupid from the perspective of customer and competitors was smart for those bucking for promotions.

GM's failure after 101 years is an indictment of American management in general. It highlights the damage to our economy that results when finance becomes the tail that wags the economic dog. And it shows what happens to any company that rests on its laurels and fails to adapt to change.

Air France: Missing plane probably crashed into Atlantic

PARIS, France (CNN) -- The jet carrying 228 people from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that disappeared overnight as it entered an area of strong turbulence probably crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, the CEO of Air France said Monday.

The first three hours of what was to have been an 11-hour flight appear to have been uneventful, CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said.

But about 4:15 a.m. Paris time, Flight 447's automatic system began a four-minute exchange of messages to the company's maintenance computers, indicating that "several pieces of aircraft equipment were at fault or had broken down," he said.

"This succession of messages signals a totally unforeseeable, great difficulty," he said. "Something quite new within the plane."

During that time, there was no contact with the crew, Gourgeon said.

"It was probable that it was a little bit after those messages that the impact of the plane took place in the Atlantic," he added.

He said the Airbus A330 was probably closer to Brazil than to Africa when it crashed.

He noted that turbulence made flying "difficult" in the area but that it is "too early to say" exactly what happened.

The chances of finding any survivors from were "very low," French President Nicolas Sarkozy admitted Monday.

"This is a catastrophe the likes of which Air France has never seen before," he said at Charles de Gaulle International Airport, where he met with relatives of the missing.

"I said the truth to them: The prospects of finding survivors are very low," he said.

Asked the nationalities of those aboard, he said most of them were Brazilians but added, "that changes nothing, of course. They're victims. It doesn't matter about their nationality."

The airline company identified the nationalities of the victims as two Americans, an Argentinean, an Austrian, a Belgian, 58 Brazilians, five British, a Canadian, nine Chinese, a Croatian, a Dane, a Dutch, an Estonian, a Filipino, 61 French, a Gambian, 26 Germans, four Hungarians, three Irish, one Icelandic, nine Italians, five Lebanese, two Moroccans, three Norwegians, two Polish, one Romanian, one Russian, three Slovakian, two Spanish, one Swedish, six Swiss and one Turk.

Sarkozy said French authorities had sent ships and planes to the area about 400 kilometers from Brazil. "Our Spanish friends are helping us; Brazilians are helping us a lot as well."

He added that authorities were seeking the help of satellites that might be able to pick up signs of what happened to the 4-year-old Airbus 330.

No possibility was being excluded: Turbulence in the area was strong, but other planes were able to pass through it without incident, he said.

The plane had reported a problem with the electrical system, "but the specialists refuse for the moment to express themselves about any possibility," Sarkozy said.

The jet had also sent out a warning that it had lost pressure, the Brazilian air force said. Video Watch aviation expert describe possible scenarios.

It lost contact with air traffic control between Galeao International Airport in Rio de Janeiro and Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris, the airline said Monday.

The Airbus A330 sent out an automatic signal warning of the electrical problems just after 2 a.m. GMT Monday as it flew "far from the coast," said an Air France spokeswoman who declined to be identified. It had just entered a stormy area with strong turbulence, she said.

The jet was flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet and a speed of 521 mph, the air force said.

Among the passengers were 126 men, 82 women, seven children and a baby, in addition to the 12 crew members, Air France officials in Brazil said.

Much of the route is out of radar contact, Brazilian air force Col. Henry Munhoz told TV Globo.

Brazil's air force launched a search near the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha in the Atlantic Ocean, 365 km (226 miles) from Brazil's coast, a spokesman for the air force said.

Two Brazilian squadrons are searching for the plane, although it disappeared after it left the country's radar space, said the officer, who declined to be identified.

The flight, AF 447, took off from Galeao International Airport at 11:30 p.m. Sunday GMT. It was scheduled to land in Paris at 9:10 a.m. GMT.

Its last known contact occurred at 2:33 a.m. GMT, the Brazilian air force spokesman said.

It was expected to check in with air traffic controllers at 3:20 a.m. GMT but did not do so, the Brazilian air force said in a statement.

Brazilian authorities asked the air force to launch a search mission just over three hours later, at 6:30 a.m. GMT, the statement said.

The plane reported no problems before takeoff, Joao Assuncao, Air France's manager in Brazil, told the country's Record TV.

The French ambassador to Senegal told BFMTV that French military aircraft had been dispatched to search around Cape Vert, or Green Cape, off the coast of the west African country.

The airline set up a crisis center at the Paris airport. It listed numbers for families to call: 0 800 800 812 for people in France and 00 33 1 57 02 10 55 for families outside France.

At a crisis center at the airport in Rio, relatives of the missing complained of a dearth of information from Air France, the Brazilian state news agency reported.

One man, who identified himself as Bernardo, said his brother, Romeo Amorim Souza, and his wife were on the missing flight.

"I came to the airport because I wasn't finding information, and my parents are very nervous," he told Agencia Brasil.

The missing A330 last underwent a maintenance check on April 16, the airline said.

CNN air travel expert Richard Quest said the twin-engine plane, a stalwart of transatlantic routes, had an impeccable safety record, with only one fatal incident involving a training flight in 1994.

"It has very good range and is extremely popular with airlines because of its versatility," he said.

Its crew was composed of three pilots and nine cabin crew members, including a captain who has logged 11,000 hours in flight. About 1,700 of those hours were on the A330 and A340. Of the two co-pilots, one has 3,000 hours of flying experience and the other 6,600 hours. The aircraft has flown 18,870 hours.

The model is "capable of communicating in several different ways over quite long distances even if they are out of radar coverage," said Kieran Daly of the online aviation news service Air Transport Intelligence.

The French Accident Investigation Bureau for civil aviation is investigating, the company said in a statement.

Defending Champion Nadal Ousted by Soderling at French Open

By Danielle Rossingh

May 31 (Bloomberg) -- Rafael Nadal’s bid for a record fifth straight French Open tennis title ended in the fourth round against Robin Soderling of Sweden.

Soderling beat the top-ranked Spaniard 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). The four-time French Open champion had never lost at Roland Garros before today’s match. It was Nadal’s earliest defeat in a major since he lost in the round of 16 at the 2007 U.S. Open.

Nadal’s loss ends his chance of becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the four Grand Slam events in one calendar year. The Spaniard started the year with his first Grand Slam victory on a hard court, at the Australian Open, where he beat second-ranked Roger Federer in the final.

It wasn’t the first time Nadal had struggled against Soderling, the No. 23 seed. Soderling took the Majorcan to five sets two years ago at Wimbledon, in a match that took five days because of rain delays.

In the first set today, Nadal struggled to come to grips with Soderling’s flat ground strokes and failed to find his rhythm. The Spaniard lost the set 6-2 as he dumped a backhand in the net. It was Nadal’s first set loss since he played Federer in the 2007 final, as Soderling produced 19 winners.

In the second set, Nadal forced an early service break to go 2-1 up with a backhand cross-court pass from the back of the court. Serving for the set at 5-3, Nadal made two unforced errors in the game, as Soderling got the break back. In the tie- break, Nadal won six straight points as Soderling failed to find the lines. The Spaniard clinched the second set 7-6 (7-2).


In the third set, Soderling broke in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. In the next game, Nadal took a tumble on the clay as he slipped on the baseline while running down a shot. The Spaniard continued to be outplayed by the Swede, and failed to find an answer to his powerful forehand. Soderling took the set 6-4 as Nadal dumped a forehand into the net.

In the fourth set, Nadal got an early break to go 2-0 up. Soderling broke back immediately as Nadal’s forehand frequently failed to stay within the lines. With play back on serve, the Swede continued to put pressure on his opponent by coming to the net to shorten the points.

In the tie-break, Soderling raced to a 4-1 lead as Nadal twice mishit a forehand, made another error at the net and then on his backhand. The Swede had five match points at 6-1 as Nadal dumped another ball in the net. He converted his second match point when Nadal hit a volley wide. Soderling threw his racket into the crowd at Court Philippe Chatrier after he won.

Last year, Nadal won the title without dropping a set, only the third man to do so after Ilie Nastase in 1973 and Bjorn Borg in 1978 and 1980.

Soderling was playing in his first ever round of 16 match in a Grand Slam. The last Swedish man to reach a French Open quarterfinal was Magnus Norman, who went on to the final in 2000.

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