Wednesday, March 31, 2010



If disaster strikes on the road, do you know your passport number? Do you know your credit card information? If you have a scanner, make scans of all your important documents, save them as an image or PDF, and add a password (some PDF scanning software packages allow you to do this). Alternatively, pop them in a password protected ZIP file or a Tryecrypt file .

If something bad does happen - find yourself a computer with access to a printer, and print out the documents you need. Showing up at the consulate with a copy of your passport will make the replacement process much easier. You can also scan airline tickets, frequent flier cards and anything else that could make life a hassle if you lose it.
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Photo by Quadell. Woodcarving by Donald Ellis ...Image via Wikipedia
Stoves are magnets for all manner of grease, splashes, and burnt on food. Before you power through the crust with a scouring pad, soften up gunk with this simple trick.

Over at Re-Nest, the home-centric blog, they highlight great way to get your stove stop sparkling without using potent chemical cleaners or wearing your elbow out scrubbing:
This is what I do when my stove gets a little crusty and thick with burnt-on stuff (hey, sometimes in the thick of things I just don't wipe it all up!). I boil water in the kettle, then dribble a very shallow layer of water over the entire stovetop. I let it sit for about five minutes to do its work and to cool off a bit. Then I go at the stove with a soft scrub pad or steel wool if necessary. The crusty stuff comes right off, and I finish up with just a bit of soap and a final rinse. Result: Sparkling clean stovetop!
You'll need to modify your approach for different kinds of stove tops. If you have a glass induction stove top, for example, you could place a rag on top of the burnt on crust and then pour a little boiling water on the rag to keep the moisture and heat on the grime.
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1889:Construction is completed on the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Its designer,  Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, celebrates by unfurling a French flag at the top.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first musical—Oklahoma!—opens on Broadway.

President Lyndon Johnson surprises even his own aides as he tells a TV audience he will not run for reelection.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010




Peter Kyle, an international attorney based in Washington, D.C., has been named by The Rotary Foundation Trustees to receive the Foundation's 2009-10 Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award.
Kyle will accept the honor at the RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada, in June.
"Within the Rotary world, this is a very prestigious award, and I feel truly honored and delighted to have been selected," Kyle says.
A member of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill (Washington, D.C.), Kyle has worked on more than 100 development projects in over 80 countries for the World Bank. He retired as lead counsel from the World Bank in 2009 after a 17-year career and continues to serve as a consultant.
"Just before I joined the World Bank in 1992, the socialist systems in the former Soviet Union and other East European countries collapsed," he says. "I spent the next five years commuting to Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Poland, and other countries advising on the legal reforms necessary to effect the transition from a socialist system to an economy based on market principles ... There were no textbooks; we had to develop solutions and improvise as we went along."
Before working for the World Bank, Kyle was counsel for the Asian Development Bank, based in Manila, Philippines, and in private practice in New Zealand.
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Wellington North, New Zealand, Kyle studied law at the University of Virginia in the United States as a 1973-74 Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar. "My Rotary year convinced me that sooner or later I would want to focus on international issues," he says.
Kyle joined the Wellington North club just two years after completing his studies as a Rotary Scholar. ''It all happened very naturally and seemed almost an extension of my Ambassadorial Scholarship experience," he says. "Rotary has been a very important part of my life for over 36 years and has enabled me to become involved in all manner of projects and service activities."
Most recently, Kyle's passion has been to promote the Foundation’s educational programs and reconnect with Foundation alumni in District 7620 (District of Columbia; part of Maryland). Almost a third of the 30-member Capitol Hill club are alumni.
"Many of the 400-plus alumni in this district had lost contact with Rotary, but as a result of a strong outreach program, a good number are coming back into the Rotary family," says Kyle, referring to the semiannual alumni gatherings hosted by the Capitol Hill club. He also notes that the World Bank now employs more than 25 alumni.
"I thoroughly enjoy my interactions with the alumni and being able to assist with job applications, speaking engagements, and generally ensuring that the Rotary flame continues to burn brightly and that they remain connected with this wonderful organization."
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1867:“Seward’s folly.” Secretary of State William Seward agrees to buy Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million.

1965: CIA agent Barbara Robbins is one of two Americans, along with 20 others, killed by a car bomb outside the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.

1981: President Ronald Reagan is shot and wounded by John Hinckley in Washington, D.C.


In Movies, to Err Is Human, to Nitpick Is Even More So
Johnny Depp's fingernails are dirty when he gets drunk on rum and passes out in the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." When he wakes up and brings his hands to his face, the fingernails are clean.
Rikki Rosen caught that. She reported it to a Web site in Britain called Movie Mistakes, which does nothing but list mistakes in movies. While Mr. Depp inspects his pirate crew, the sun shines from different directions between cuts. Ms. Rosen also caught that mistake. When Mr. Depp bites into an apple, the bite mark changes shape from shot to shot. Ms. Rosen caught that one, too.
In all, she has reported 293 mistakes in the pirate movie to Movie Mistakes. She has also reported 3,695 mistakes in 181 other movies—including the bit in "War of the Worlds" when Tom Cruise yells "We're under attack!" and it's obvious that the inspection sticker previously on his van's windshield is no longer there.
Ms. Rosen is a 48-year-old with red hair and a bad cold. Her inner-suburban living room contains couches and cat baskets; an old Sony television with an Xbox under it; tea cups, a computer and stacks of DVDs. At last count, she was Movie Mistake's No. 2 contributor, behind someone called "Hamster" with 4,413.
"Sure, a movie can have mistakes," she said, curled up on her couch one morning. "People are imperfect. But sometimes it's just one after the other after the other. It smacks of not caring. These things should not be blatant on the screen." Ms. Rosen suppressed a cough. "So I look," she said. "I look at everything."
All movie sets have nitpickers. They were "script girls," early on. Now they're "script supervisors."
They ward off wobbles that make movies less believable. But the Internet has stirred up a nest of similarly obsessed volunteers. They nitpick the nitpickers.
Jon Sandys, 31, founder of Movie Mistakes, posted a few gems on the Web in 1996 and asked people to send more. Now he lists 85,000, among them the Cessna in "Terminator 3" marked "N3035C" on the ground and "N3973F" in the air.
At IMDb, his huge rival, "goofs" rank in the top pages viewed by 57 million monthly visitors. "It's smart people making connections," says Keith Simanton, the site's editor.
Clicking the names of script supervisors leads to lists of every mistake reported for every movie they've ever worked on. "They think they see things nobody else sees—it makes them feel clever," says Sharon Watt, 32, a script supervisor in New York. "I can explain every one of my mistakes."
Like this one: In "Precious," a 2010 Oscar winner, Gabourey Sidibe steals some fried chicken and runs from a restaurant leaving her notebook behind. In the next scene, she has a notebook again.
In the script, someone gives her a new notebook. The moment was filmed exactly in keeping with the script. "We shot it," says Ms. Watt. But disharmony arose in the production. Ms. Watt left. Three script supervisors succeeded her. In the final cut, the moment when Precious gets a new notebook is gone.
"The one person you don't want to change on a shoot is the script supervisor," Ms. Watt says. "A movie is like a jigsaw puzzle, and you're the only one who has the cover of the box."
Script supervisors keep thick logs of props, locations and costumes. Scenes aren't shot in order. A bruise might have to look old in the morning and fresh in the afternoon. Actors ought to sync the same words with the same actions in each take. The idea is to give an editor film that can be spliced into a coherent whole.
Yet when a collar button is missing in an actor's finest performance, an editor will usually forget the button and go for the performance.
"We're not assuming that people who watch DVDs will keep going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth," says Michael Taylor, a New York script supervisor turned editor.
Mr. Taylor hasn't met Rikki Rosen—who was in her living room, feeding "Jaws" into her Xbox. The credits fade to a close up of a boy at a beach party. Behind him is a guy in a long-sleeve shirt. In the next shot, the sleeves are short.
Ms. Rosen hit the pause button and said, "See!"
"Jaws" was scarily flawless when she saw it as a teenager in Brooklyn. "I didn't go swimming all summer," Ms. Rosen says. Eleven years ago, she moved to St. Louis, where her husband is a salesman and she illustrates school materials. Her three growing sons watched a "Jaws" DVD over and over, and so did she.
The more she watched, the more mistakes jumped out—156 to be exact—and the worst of them are those yellow barrels the shark yanks off Quint's boat in the final petrifying sequence:
"Look—two barrels on deck," Ms. Rosen said, stopping the action and starting it again. "But here—three. Now two on the boat, three in water. Three on the boat, two in the water."
The more mistakes she saw, the less scary "Jaws" became. Ms. Rosen calls that realization "cathartic." When she isn't watching horror movies, Ms. Rosen tries to keep her disbelief suspended. But sloppy moviemakers, in her opinion, won't let her.
"Certain people have to do a better job," she said, sipping tea. "One of my sons said to me, 'Ma, you should be one of these people. You have this eye.' "
To prove it, she teed up "Some Like It Hot," the all-time-great comedy with 51 IMDb goofs. Ms. Rosen had seen it once, years ago.
Instantly, she caught the broken (then unbroken) hearse window and the oddly leaky coffin. She got the rearranged beach chairs, and Marilyn Monroe's disappearing bra strap.
But when the girls in the band run across the sand for a swim, Ms. Rosen missed the mountainous backdrop, which reveals that the movie was shot in California, not Florida. "I wasn't looking," she said, letting out a laugh. "I got carried away with the story."
Well, nobody's perfect.

Monday, March 29, 2010


"It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well." – Rene Descartes
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Lego GroupImage via Wikipedia
Simple, block-shaped toys have been around for hundreds of years, but it took a 20th-century Danish genius named Ole Kirk Christiansen to invent the interlocking pieces we know today as LEGO bricks. It all started in 1932 in the village of Billund, long before LEGO had achieved world domination as a brand.

A master joiner and carpenter, Christiansen opened a humble woodworking shop with his son Godtfred, just 12 years old at the time. They manufactured stepladders, ironing boards and later expanded to make wooden toys, and in 1934 dubbed their business LEGO, a contraction of the Danish “leg godt” (“play well”).

And play well they did. The company expanded from only six employees in 1934 to forty in 1942. LEGO was also fairly progressive, and became an early adopter of new technologies and materials. In fact, the group became the first Danish company to own a plastic injection-molding machine. When the Christiansens came across prototypes of a British toy called “Kiddicraft Self-Locking Building Bricks” in 1947, they adopted the idea and started manufacturing their own version two years later. The bricks had pegs on top and hollow bottoms, allowing children to lock the bricks together and create elaborate structures never possible with the simple wooden blocks of yesteryear.
Dubbing them the (decidedly un-catchy) “Automatic Binding Bricks,” they were the forerunner to today’s LEGO brick. But they hadn’t quite got the formula right yet. The bricks lacked the tubes found inside modern LEGOs which greatly improve stability. Further, it seemed the world wasn’t ready for plastic toys just yet; sales of plastic LEGO toys in the early 50s were mediocre at best.
In 1958, the LEGO brick finally came into its own. And while founder Ole Kirk Christiansen never lived to see his company’s heyday, his son Godtfred Christiansen pioneered and patented the now-standard LEGO stud-and-tube configuration, and introduced roof bricks to the “LEGO System of Play,” which was comprised of 28 sets and 8 vehicles.

After a devastating warehouse fire in 1960, the company decided to ditch production of wooden toys altogether and focus instead on plastics.

LEGO hasn’t changed the design of their brick since then, which means today’s sets are compatible with sets from 1958 onward.
More LEGO fun: In 1961, the LEGO wheel was invented. At first blush that may not sound as momentous as humanity’s initial development of the wheel (approximately 5,000 B.C.E.), but considering that today LEGO turns out more than 300 million tiny wheels per year, it actually makes them the most prolific wheel manufacturer in the world. Along with 3,000 other types of pieces, they’re packaged into 37,000 LEGO sets per hour. And according to LEGO, the process they use to mold their plastic is so accurate that a mere 18 out of every million bricks fails to meet quality standards.
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In the months leading up to the FIFA World Cup in June, Rotary clubs across Africa have been gearing up for the final push to kick polio out of the continent.
On 23 February, Rotary’s 105th anniversary, a Kick Polio Out of Africa campaign launched with the symbolic kicking of a soccer ball signed by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, a polio survivor.
The journey began in Cape Town, South Africa, one of the host cities for the 2010 World Cup. The ball will travel through 22 polio-affected countries en route to the RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada, in June. The primary sponsor of the campaign is DHL Express.
During the ball’s four-month journey, Rotary clubs in the polio-affected countries will hold soccer-related polio awareness events to mobilize public support for immunization activities. Along the way, the ball will be signed by each national PolioPlus committee chair. Follow the ball's journey on the Kick Polio Out of Africa blog. An interactive map shows African countries’ efforts to end the disease.
Synchronized immunization activities took place in 19 Central and West African countries 6-8 March, with more than 400,000 health workers and volunteers reaching over 85 million children. The initiative was made possible largely by US$30 million in funding from Rotary International.
The synchronized immunizations were part of an ongoing response to the epidemic that spread in 2008 from polio-endemic Nigeria to neighboring countries that had been polio-free. The effort will be repeated in the same countries on 24 April.
“We at Rotary are proud to have provided the necessary funding for the March rounds, and we call on others to play their part in making Africa polio-free by providing funding necessary for more high-coverage campaigns,” says African Regional PolioPlus Committee Chair Ambroise Tshimbalanga Kasongo.
The synchronized immunization strategy has proved effective. The first wave of infected countries -- Benin, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, and Togo -- stopped the outbreak in 2009. In addition, this year the number of cases in Nigeria has plummeted to just one as of 23 March, compared with 90 for the same period in 2009. However, the outbreak is still active in nine other countries.
“What this means in very simple terms is that we are now reaching more children. Ending polio in Nigeria is now more than ever before seen as realistic, clearly achievable,” says Nigeria PolioPlus Committee Chair Busuyi Onabolu. “And Rotary International, as catalyst for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, is determined to mobilize the citizenry toward ensuring that every child is immunized.”
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1973:The last American combat troops leave South Vietnam.

Lt. William Calley is convicted of murdering Vietnamese in the My Lai massacre. His sentence will later be cut to three years of house arrest.

Eight Ohio National Guardsmen are indicted for shooting Kent State University students during antiwar protests in 1970. They will all be acquitted.
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Got a case of the Monday mornings? If you’re like millions of other Americans, a nice, hot cup of joe might be your go-to cure, but what about all of those paper cups that go to waste just so that we can get our fix? Well, one Harvard biomedical engineering professor, David A. Edwards, has developed a product that may make getting caffeine into your system a little more efficient – if not also more creepy. Called Le Whif Coffee, Edwards’ java jolt comes in a biodegradable container about the same size as a tube of lipstick, and is ingested by inhalation instead of drinking – a strong reminder of the narcotic nature of caffeine.Le Whif is produced through a process called particle engineering, where coffee particles are decreased in size until they can be airborne. Then, those particles are packaged up in a tiny biodegradable canister that you can carry with you on the go. With about 58 billion hot paper cups used in the U.S. each year, Le Whif could theoretically cut down on waste if people opted for it instead of grabbing a cup at Starbuck’s and tossing it.
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Sunday, March 28, 2010



Lost (TV series)Image via Wikipedia
In 2009, the worlds airlines lost a whopping 25 million pieces of passenger luggage. That comes down to just under 3000 bags every hour of every day, all year long. These shocking statistics were published by SITA - one of the operators of airline and airport computer systems, using data from the World Traver luggage database.

SITA breaks down the reasons behind bags not arriving at their destination:
During aircraft transfers - 52%
Failed to load - 16%
Ticketing error / bag switch / security / other - 13%
Airport / customs / weather / space-weight restriction - 6%
Loading / offloading error - 7%
Arrival station mishandling - 3%
Tagging error - 3%

There is some good news though - 96.6% of all bags do manage to reach their owner - eventually. This still leaves over 800,000 bags that end up going unclaimed. Bags that never arrive are often simply abandoned by their owners, or fall victim to theft at the airport. After six months, all unclaimed bags are donated, sold or destroyed.

The real good news is that airlines have managed to lose fewer bags. Compared to 2008, airlines managed to decrease lost bag numbers by 23.8%. Of course, part of this is due to decreasing passenger numbers, but the worldwide decline in air travel was just 2.9%.

Bottom line is that airlines are investing heavily in luggage management, and even though they may never reach a perfect score, the current trend is very positive one - and one that will benefit everyone that checks bags. Of course, as luggage fees have started increasing, it is also refreshing to see that airlines are actually doing something with all that new money.
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1990:Fifty-four years after Jesse Owens silenced Hitler’s claims of racial superiority at the 1936 Olympics, he is posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. His widow accepts the honor from President George H.W. Bush.

1797: New Hampshire’s Nathaniel Briggs patents a washing machine.

1834: Andrew Jackson becomes the only president censured by the Senate for refusing to turn over documents.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010



"To follow, without halt, one aim: There's the secret of success." – Anna Pavlova

Million Dollar NASA Photos Beaten by Budget Balloon

It’s amazing what a little British ingenuity and a shoe-string budget can achieve. These glorious photos of space were taken by amateur enthusiast Robert Harrison, using a cheap Canon digital camera, some duct tape and a helium balloon. If you are interested in seeing the photos and reading more about this pretty amazing feat, click on the link above.
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Veteran television and film actor, Robert Culp passed away on March 24,2010, after taking a fall in a Los Angeles Park. He was 79.
Culp’s career began in the late 50s, as the star of a short-lived western called Trackdown. He is best remembered, however, for his starring role alongside Bill Cosby in I Spy, which ran for three seasons on NBC from 1965-1968. On the show, Culp played international tennis star, Kelly Robinson, who, along with having a great backhand, also happened to be a secret agent working for the Pentagon. Bill Cosby played his mentor and tennis trainer, Alexander Scott. The series is notable for casting the first African-American in the starring role of a television drama series.
Here are the opening credits:

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1912:First lady Helen Herron Taft and Japan’s Viscountess Chinda plant two Yoshino cherry trees in Washington, D.C., as part of Japan’s gift of 3,000 trees.

1939: Oregon beats Ohio State 46-33 in Evanston, Ill., to win the first NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

1945: Gen. Dwight Eisenhower informs reporters in Paris that the Allies have broken German defenses.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Being a teenager ain’t easy. Being a teenager who’s different – from another country, say – is exponentially harder. Barriers of language, culture, and race can make it difficult to succeed socially as well as academically.
To help the students at one school in the Bavarian town of Fürth – 65 percent of whom are from immigrant families – the Rotary Club of Fürth put up one more obstacle: a 30-foot-high climbing wall. The project, called It’s Time to Climb, is one of 100 literacy efforts that clubs are carrying out in District 1880 as part of a three-year initiative.
“Literacy is basically a question of motivation. We have to first get teens excited about learning,” says Past District Governor Peter Iblher. “Climbing offers risks and challenges that students crave.”  
Hauptschule Maistraße is an upper elementary school whose students range in age from 10 to 16. Many come from difficult family situations that can include drug addiction, violence, and chronic unemployment. The climbing wall provides an outlet for them and boosts self-confidence, coordination, and communication skills. In the words of one student: “Not only have I learned about my own physical potential, but I’ve also had the opportunity to make new friends whom I will always rely on.”
The program uses a climbing wall at a nearby fitness center; the club raised €2,800 to purchase equipment and train teachers and other staff members in safe climbing techniques. The teachers donate their time to help students during weekly two-hour sessions. “We are highly impressed by the course’s popularity and the positive effect it’s had on our students’ enthusiasm toward their classes,” says teacher Bernd Günther.
More than 75 schools are benefiting from the district’s literacy initiative, known as Schule: Sprungbrett in die Zukunft (School: Launching Pad to the Future). The district surveyed schools to identify their most critical problems and invited them to propose projects; the most promising ideas were recommended to Rotary clubs. “The response was enormous,” Iblher says, noting that many clubs developed additional activities to complement the projects.
To ensure consistency and sustainability, district governors from three successive years, 2008-09 through 2010-11, coordinated their efforts. “We couldn’t confine this project to just one Rotary year. It takes time to develop an idea, obtain the necessary information and cooperation, and develop a budget,” says Iblher.
It’s Time to Climb has been so successful that the Hauptschule Maistraße has approached the Fürth club about installing a climbing wall at the entrance of its new school building, slated to open this year. Club member Karsten Medla says the club is looking for additional funding to meet the estimated €15,000 cost.
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1979:Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin join hands with President Jimmy Carter after signing a peace treaty.

1917: The Seattle Metropolitans beat the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first American team to win hockey’s Stanley Cup.
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This past Wednesday was the 4th annual combined meeting of the East Alton, Wood River and Bethalto clubs. This year is was hosted by Wood River with  Leonard Berg serving as "ringmaster". If you were unable to join us, (or just want to relive the good times) you can listen to the meeting via the link below.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010


TCM, 10 p.m. ET
It’s been 30 years since Robert Redford directed Mary Tyler Moore and young Timothy Hutton in this tense, quiet study of an introverted teen and his emotionally distant mother. The performances, including those of supporting players Donald Sutherland (as the husband) and Judd Hirsch (as the boy’s therapist), still pull you in.



The 10 Weirdest Pieces of Unclaimed Luggage

We’ve all seen it: that one lonely suitcase on the baggage claim track at the airport that goes around and around with no owner in sight. What happens to it if no one shows up? Well, it might end up at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama. That’s where you can visit a store that takes up an entire city block and find everything from the expected (clothing, toiletries, books) to, well, the unexpected. Here are 10 of the strangest items that have gone unclaimed.
1. Hoggle from Labyrinth. Unlike other items at the Unclaimed Baggage Center, Hoggle is not for sale. He is now a permanent part of the Unclaimed Baggage Center Museum. If you’re not familiar, Hoggle was David Bowie’s dwarf-goblin minion in the 1986 movie.

2. A slew of ancient Egyptian artifacts. From a mummified falcon to a shrunken head, a bunch of objects dating back to 1500 B.C. were found in an old Gucci suitcase. Christie’s auction house ended up selling the museum-worthy items in the ‘80s.

3. A rattle snake—a live one—roaming free amongst the rest of the unclaimed baggage.
4. A Naval guidance system. Yep—a piece of equipment worth $250,000 was lost and never claimed. The people at the Center decided to be good sports and return the expensive GPS to the Navy.
5. Bountiful Barbie. A woman purchased a Barbie at the Center for her daughter, which isn’t at all unusual. After all, kids lose toys all the time. But when the girl yanked the head off her new Barbie, $500 in rolled bills tumbled out of her body.
6. A full suit of armor. Unlike the Egyptian artifacts, this guy was merely a replica of a 19th century piece. Still, I bet to this day, there’s a guy out there who continues to tell the story of the time he lost a suit of armor at the airport.
7. A violin from the 1770s. Like Hoggle, it resides in the Unclaimed Baggage Center Museum.
8. A 5.8-carat diamond set in a platinum ring and packed in a sock.
9. A camera designed for use on a NASA Space Shuttle. Between this and the Navy’s lost luggage, I’m slightly concerned about the security measures our government agencies are taking! As with the Navy’s guidance system, the Center dutifully returned the camera to NASA.
10. A 40.95-carat natural emerald.
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Family of Rotary supports immunizations in India

Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends of Rotary joined health workers in carrying out India's National Immunization Days (NIDs) in January and February, mobilizing public support, vaccinating children, and contributing additional funding to the global polio eradication effort.
The NIDs marked the first time the new bivalent oral polio vaccine was used in India, when the Dalai Lama administered the vaccine to children in Bihar in January.
The Rotary Club of Delhi South Metropolitan, Delhi, with support from the India PolioPlus Committee, organized a health camp on 7 January for underprivileged residents that also encouraged people to participate in polio immunization activities. Rajashree Birla, an honorary member of the Rotary clubs of Bombay and Mulund, Maharashtra, joined Lakshmi Mittal, who leads ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, and his wife, Usha, at the inauguration of the health camp.
After the outreach effort, the Mittals pledged an additional US$500,000 to The Rotary Foundation in support of Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge  for polio eradication. In 2008, they made a $1 million contribution to the challenge.
"The new fervor created by this challenge amongst Rotarians has enthused people and helped generate a great deal of awareness and interest about the polio campaign," says India PolioPlus Committee Chair Deepak Kapur.
During the launch of NIDs on 7 February in New Delhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, India's minister of health and family welfare, was honored with Rotary International’s Polio Eradication Champion Award for his leadership in directing the country’s effort to end polio. At the event, Birla announced a contribution of Rs 50 million (about $1.1 million) to Rotary’s challenge. In 2008, she contributed $2 million to the challenge.
"In the process of polio eradication there are many challenges, and we have to become more formidable to beat them," said Birla of the sustained commitment needed to eradicate the disease.
Acknowledging Birla's generous support for ending polio, Azad said, "Our heart should not just beat for self but for those who are deprived, underprivileged, and in need."
Learn more about Rotary's effort to eradicate polio:
  • Read more about polio and what you can do to help.
  • Watch a video about Rotary's progress in meeting the US$200 Million Challenge
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