April 08, 2006

Cigar Collectors

Cigras, especially pre-Castro Havanas, have become valuable collectors' items. In the U.S. they are techinically unavailable because of the 30-year embargo against Cuba, but in Britain, sales are up 25 to 40 pecent over the past 18months. Cigar aficionados appereciate their rich spicy flaver. Old cigars are prized for their rarity as well as flaver. The oldest existing cigars are probably those made for the Great London Exhibition of 1851. But in time even these rarities, in the hands of connoisseurs, will go up in smoke.

New Sports Kick

The lates sprts kick in the U.S. is soccer. Among kids it is now more popular than nay team sport except basketball. Three out of every four soccer players in the U.S. are under 18. In Coral Springs, Florida, there are 3,400 kids and 500 coaches in the league. Kids love soccer because everyone can participate and everyone gets kick the ball. Parents like the game because both boys and girls enjoy it, there is less risk of injuries, and the kids can run off their excess energy.

Relief for Guam's Tourism

Last year Guam's tourist economy was hit by a devastating earthquake and the recession in Japan, its main source of tourists. Relief is coming, however, from a new source: Korean newlyweds. Since 1985 Koreans have been going to guam to heneymoon. Increasingly they go for a complete wedding package. For Koreans, weddings are once in a lifetime-and they spare no expense. The everage cost is $25,000, making weddings on Guam considerbly cheaper but auguring a serious tourist defecit for Korea.

Baghdad's New Tower

There is new pencil-thin tower rising high above Baghdad's skyline. It is the 70-story Saddam Hussein Tower, which is being built on the site of an earlier project leveiled during the allied bombing. Work hasn't stopped on it since Saddam ordered its construction two years ago. It is hailed as a tower of deficance: proof that Iraqis hae the will to overcome their difficulties. When it is finished at the end of the year, it will be topped by a communications mast and a grand restaurant.

Divorce in Chille

Women's rights activists in Chile say it is time to legalize divorce. Chille is one of the few countries in world where divorce is still not legal because the influential Catholic Church has alwas strongly opposed it. Currently, couples exercise a judical fiction to separate:if one party declares they gave an in correct address when they got married, the marrige is declared illegal. Some fear poor people will suffer with legalization because they will not be able to afford expensive lawyers. They will probably continue with the current practice.

April 06, 2006

Earthquake Entrepreneurs

Some creative entrepreneurs found a gold mine in the wake of the Los Angeles earthquake. Baby Janne of Hollywood is a store specializing in Hollywood memorabilia. It has been selling broken bits of the stars' homes. Some of it they picked from the garbage, and some was donated by the celebrities theselves. Diehard fans happily pay prices from $1o to $500 to own a piece of something a star once owned. This unusual product also has an unusual benefit. Half the proceeds are donated to the charity of the buyer's choice.

Beautifying Saipan

On the Pacific island of Saipan, environmentalism and business are finding that working hand in hand may be the answer. Just 20 years ago, people were snorkeling, swimming and fishing in the waters off Smiley Cove, a 2nd World War naval base. Now it's too polluted for recreation. Through the Marine Revitalization Project, local businessman Tony Pelogrino wants to clean up this once pristine area and build a 76-boat docking facility. The project will improve the environment, boost the economy and provide a beautiful recreation area for local people.

Tregedy in China

The posting Taiwanese businessmen in China is causing some unexpected problems with sometimes tragic results. Businessmen are often stationed in China without their families for two to three years. When loneliness sets in, it si easy for them to take on a mistress. Many modern Taiwanese wives are rejecting this old Chinese custom. One enraged wife, in fact, murdered her husband's mistress and the two children. For most men, keeping two familes is simply a source of endless strife because no man can keep two wives happy.

Pregnant Women at Risk

For pregnant women, modest execise may be good, but a study from the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley says standing for long hours may not be. Women with a history of miscarrige who stand for more than seven hours a day have a 2-3 fold greater risk of miscarrige. At greatest risk are nurese, bank tellers, and factory workers. The sutdy recommends frequenr rest breaks. No connection was found between miscarriages and lifting weights. Future studies will focus on the effect of workplace stress on pregnancy.

US Dollar Coins (In the past)

Congress may soon pass a law to replace the dollar bill with a coin for the simple reason that the bills are too expensive to process. On a typical day buses in Washington D.C. collect over 150,000 dollar bills They are all sorted by hand at an annual cost of $1 millon. The Fedral Reserve could save $395 million a year by replacing the bills with coins. Canada, France and Britain have have already made the switch, but the American public still opposes the change by seven to one.

The Past Preseved

Every year a group of japanese-Americans gathers at Terminal Island, California to recall the past. Once called Fish Harbor, the island was a bustling community built around a fishing fleet and close family ties. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, American authorities forcibly ecacuated the residents to camps surrounded with barbed wire fences. During that painful experience, the village of Fish Harbor was repaced by whafside industies. The original community may have diappeared, but Fish Harbor lives on in the memories of present-day Terminal Islanders.

The sinking Maldives

A vacation paradise of breathtaking beauty is disappeararing into the sea. Off the Indian subcontinent lies the island nation of Maldives, a chain of more than 1,000 little coral islands-some just big enough for a solitary resort. A midst this beauty is a growning concern that the rising sea level threatens these low-lying islands with extinction. Already floods are a problem on some islands. The government, blaming global warming and the thining ozone layer, has launched a research vessel to study the situation and ease worries

Going Back to university

A growing mumber of older women are going back to university. Nationwide, one-sixth of all university students are 35 years and older. The majority of these older students are women. After their childern are grown up or after a divorce, older women want to qualify for better job. The first step is often very frightening; they have to balance family life and jobs with school work. But they are proving they can keep up and compete with younger students, and that going back to university is doable.

Fireworks Ban in China

Authorities in China are trying to enforce a ban on hte private use of firework. Fireworks are a time-honored tradition, but they cause serius air pollution, fires and casualities every year. Beijing is the third Chiness city to ban fireworks. Previous attempts to control them since 1987 failed as the general public ignored the rule. "Spring Festival" is a spectacle of light and sound but is also the busiest time for fire departments and hospitals. A recent poll showed that 84.6 percent of the people were in favor of the ban.

The Limits of Human Endurance

One man in Italy has tested the limits of human endurance in isolaiton. On Dec. 7,1992 Maurizio Montalbini began a year-long stay underground in scientifically designed capsules. Scientists carefully planned and monitored his life to gather information about human behaivior under extreme conditions. He lost all track of time; two days seemed like one. He cycled 2 miles a day and read 180 books. He lost 21 kilos because he lived mostly on vitamins. When he came out he received a hero's welcome-but said he wouldn't do it again.

April 05, 2006

Leech Therapy

Doctors are using blood suckers, or the common leech, to help save limbs. Following radical surgery to fingers and toes, normal blood circulation must return within 48 hours or there is a risk of amputation. Leeches stimulate circulation by draining excess blood and reducing a condition caalled blood congestion which can cause that part to die. Nurses apply the leeches like bangages. Once the leeches fill up with blood they fall off and are replaced by new ones. Animal rights activists are upset because the old leeches are destroyed.

Fortue telling for money

Police in Battle Creek, Michigan, have started to enforce an old city ordinance and a 1913 state law prohibiting people from making predictions for money. They recently raided a restaurant where an astrologer and a psychic work. The general public does not seem to support the crackdown. but City Attorney Clive Robinson says he wants to protect people from being tricked. The issue will be taken up in the Michigan State Legislature. Representative Dick Allen says this old law should be withdrawn since even creating the annual state budget means making predictiions.

I think that fortune-telling not happening would be a cheating someone but it no needs to ban in law.

Cocking with Cactus

Delicate but dangerous, cactus is also good to eat. The leaves or pads, are cooked as a vegetable and the fruit, or tuna, is sweet. Nobolitios are a popular breakfast special in Mexican restaurants. Thin slices of cooked cactus with poached eggs and salsa is a Mexican tradition. Cactus with poached eggs and salsa is a Mexican tradition. Cactus has been eaten since before the arrival of the Spaniards but is just now entering regular markets. No firm nutritional profile is yet available for this delicacy. And the taste? Some say it's like green beans, but others insist that it has its own unique taste.

Racism by the Book

South African laws reserving holiday resorts for whites were scrapped a few years ago, but there are still many places that practice apartheid. The Pearly Beach Resort is one of over a dozen whites-only places listed in the 1993/94 Guide to Holiday Cottages put out by one of South Africa's biggest publishers. The Minister of Tourism was shoked to hear about the whites-only advertisements-Bhadra Ranchod is the first onowhite in South Africa to hold a Cabinet post. The publishers say the racist ads will be excluded form the next edition.

Empty Calories, Empty Rules

A new study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows only one percent of USDA's school-lunch programs meet its own dietary goals The nutritional deficiencies of school lunch programs were first exposed over a decade ago. Even so, the Agriculture Department is holding hearing to gather even more information about school lunches before taking any major steps to enforce its guidelines. Meanwhile, every school day 25 million U.S. children are eating lunches too high in fat, saturated fat and sodium.

"Fare" Trade in China

In Beijing, taxi servive used to be for foreigners and out-of-towners here on business. But now things have changed-ordinary people are taking taxis occasionally for work or on outings. In the past year, the number of taxis has tripled. Beijing now has nearly 60,000 taxis, half of which are yellow minibuses. At less than half the price of the more luxurious cars, these minibuses are now affordable to average people, who enjoy the conveniance despite problems with some drivers overcharging or refusing to take certain passengers.

Dating Hot Spot

The video arcade frequently found in shopping mail, has become a magnet for America's young people:a social outlet, a place to meet girls and guys. It's the place where you can meet the guy you're sweet on, he acts cool, and you giggle, an inexpensive and stress-free date that Mom and Dad have no problem with. Part of it is the atmosphere. Most arcades are clean, well lit and supervised. The dark, smoky images is mostly a thing of the past. The bottom line ofr young America: fun and friends.

Flight of Fancy

Ever dream about flying in possibly the fastest jet fighter in the world? Just fork over $10,000-sorry, airfare to Moscow not included - MIGS Etc., a Florida-based company, and your vocation at the airbase clinic. Then get fitted up with flight suit and helmet - yours to keep. The Russian end of this enterprise sees these flights as a novel way to advertise their product to the West. Expensive, yes. But perhaps the most peaceful use found for such deadly inventions.

Foot for thought

The traditional Greenland lifestyle is one of hunting and fishing - most important, the hunting of seals. Now scientists have discovered that the Inuit diet of seal and fish protets them against some of the big evils of Western civilization because these foods contain a lifesaving fatty acid known as omega-3. Researchers in Louisiana conducting the largest-ever study of arteriosclerosis say the evidence shows that the Inuit in Greenland suffers less from the disease, and they suggest Westerners might consider modifying their own eating habits accordingly.

The Radio Reverend

Want a wedding your friends will really talk about? How about live on the radio? Disc jockey Steve Jaxon was doing a radio show with members of the Universal Life church when he got the idea: "Hey,why don't you ordain me?" A decade later, he's married 16 couples on the air. Steve has never done a chrch wedding. The nuptials are usually in strange places like restaurants, bars or shopping malls. Fun is the top priority. Most of the couples have been married before and this time have more of a sense of humor.

April 04, 2006

Hines Ward’s Mother Recalls Hard Road to Success

Kim Young-hee
-A picture from Hines Ward's 100th-day celebration (a traditional milestone for Korean children) in 1976.

When Hines Ward was given one of the highest accolades in American football, the trials his Korean mother faced over the years and the bitterness she felt seemed to melt away in an instant. But when Ward was named Most Valuable Player in the Super Bowl after his team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, laid waste to the Seattle Seahawks, Kim Young-hee (59) was calm and collected. "Supporting a child so he can do what he wants to do and encouraging him the whole way seems like the secret to success,” Kim told the Chosun Ilbo from her home in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.
How do you feel about the MVP title?
"I admire him and I'm proud of him. Since his junior year at Forest Park High School, he got a lot of press and picked up more than just a few accolades. I watched the game on TV, but then I dozed off until I got a call from my son at about 1 in the morning. 'Mom, we won the Super Bowl!' he said, so of course I said, 'Congratulations.' I was a little groggy from some cold medicine that I had taken, so we just talked briefly and left it at that. I really hate crowded places, so I don't usually go to the stadium; instead I watch the games on TV.”

Ward has credited you with his success…
"Well, maybe that's what he thinks. From the time Hines was in elementary school I had to leave the house at 4 in the morning to go to work. I washed dishes and cleaned up in companies that produced airline food, at restaurants, and at hotels, I also worked as a cashier at the grocery store. I made about US$4 an hour. It was always a 'two jobs' life, one full-time and one part-time. Sometimes I would add in one more part-time job, working up to three jobs per day. For me there was no Saturday, no Sunday, and no days off. But since Hines turned pro in '98, I've cut down to just one job."
Eight months after he was picked up by a pro team, Ward bought a large house for his mother in the city of Smyrna, but she said it was too big for one person alone, so she moved to a smaller house in Henry County where she has been living ever since. Although her son is now making millions a year, she still works in the cafeteria of a local high school.
What does Hines think about the Korean blood that runs though his veins?
"Since he was young, he always got along well with the other Korean and Vietnamese kids. It seems like he does have some pride in his Korean blood. But we've also been hurt as Koreans. When Hines was in high school, there was an inter-school friendship match for the Korean students. Since he was good at baseball, a school invited him to play. But after the game, when the kids went out to eat, the person who put together the event only took the Korean kids, leaving Hines behind (Ward is of mixed parentage, his father an African-American). After that I told Hines to never hang out with Korean kids. Yet when we went to Korea in '98, even Korean people who looked educated spat when we walked by. Koreans judge others based on their appearance and their age. Those kinds of Koreans think that they are so special…"
Any plans for a Korea visit?
"My son asked me to go this April, so I said yes, but I’m not sure whether I'll really go with him or not. I have been back to Korea a few times, but my mother died in 1998, and I have no brothers and sisters there. But sometimes I do feel like I'd like to go back to Korea to live. Korea is very crowed, but that really makes it feel alive. Although I have been living in America for almost 30 years, it's not really that exciting here."
(englishnews@chosun.com )

'A hero's return' - S. Korea welcomes back native son Hines Ward

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Half-Korean Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward reached out Tuesday to a country that has suddenly embraced him as a hero, expressing pride in his Korean roots although he shunned that side of his heritage after facing prejudice as a child.
"I'm proud to be a Korean, and that's something that when I was little as a kid I used to be ashamed of," Ward told a sea of journalists packed into a conference room at the central Seoul hotel where he was staying in a complimentary suite normally reserved for world leaders.
Ward was virtually unknown here before the Super Bowl, where American football isn't widely followed.
But since the Pittsburgh Steelers' February victory and Ward's MVP award, he has become a media phenomenon in South Korea -- also drawing attention to the discrimination faced here by children of mixed parentage. Ward was born in Seoul to a Korean mother, and his father was an African-American soldier.
"The Korean community has supported my mother and I for the first time in my life," Ward said at the news conference, which drew breathless live coverage by several TV channels. "Now I don't have a problem with people teasing me or what not because that's who I am ... I get the best of both worlds -- African-American and the Korean customs."
Ward was having lunch later Tuesday with President Roh Moo-hyun. During his 10-day trip, he will also be granted honorary citizenship by the city of Seoul and be greeted at a reception hosted by the U.S. Embassy.
He will also meet with children of mixed backgrounds, and said he has plans to work with a foundation that supports them and also set up an organization of his own here.
"I'm very happy to be here. For me to come back where it all started ... it was something that the first time in my life I'm nervous about," Ward said. "I'm very intrigued with the Korean heritage. It's something that I missed out for 30 years of my life."
In a nod sure to be appreciated here, Ward also praised Korean food -- saying he had eaten galbi, or barbecued rib meat, along with kimchi for his first dinner after arriving in the country Monday evening.
Ward's family returned to the U.S. when he was a baby and his parents soon divorced, and the trip is his first time here as an adult.
His mother, Kim Young-hee, was initially ruled unfit to keep her son but he ran away to live with her in second grade. She worked three jobs to support him, a story that has drawn sympathy from hard-working Koreans.
Ward's mother has also commented on the discrimination Ward faced as a child when she tried to involve him in Korean groups, where he was treated differently due to his mixed roots.
The star receiver was repeatedly asked Tuesday about the ostracism faced by children like him, and acknowledged his mother had "tried to hide some things about the Korean culture from me."
"I had to overcome a lot being teased a lot by American kids about my being 50 percent Korean, being 50 percent African-American," he said.
Mixed marriages are growing in South Korea, but mostly among rural men who face a shortage of eligible women in villages and seek brides in nearby Asian countries. Children of mixed backgrounds still suffer discrimination here -- particularly those with an African-American parent, who are often being raised by a single mother, according to Pearl S. Buck International Korea, a group that supports mixed-heritage youth.
Ward said his mother taught him that race wasn't important _ even though she typically had wanted him to marry a Korean woman. He called for understanding among people of all backgrounds when asked what he would tell Korean parents whose children want to marry foreigners.
"This world is not one race, we all live in a melting pot," Ward said. "You can learn a lot from someone else's culture and if two people love each other, then love has no color."
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Bridge Band-Aid

Engineering students at West Virginia's 5-year-old Constructed Facilities Center are testing a new patch, a so-called bridge Band-Aid. So easy to apply, they claim, it can be used to repari bridges without having to divert traffic. It's part of their mission to develop new and imprved building materials and construction techniques. Many of the materials they're testing are called composites - combinations of plastics, fiber glass or space-age carbon materials - that one day might even be used to build an entire bridge.

This Land is our Land

Hawaiian sovereignty advocates like Bumpy Kanahele say their country was stolen form them when Queen Liluokalani surrendered to a squad of US Marines in 1893. They consider Hawii their country and America their visitor. In 1978 the state formed an independent office to create a Native Hawaiian state modeled largely after the Navajo nation of the Southwest. It would be established sometime in the last 1990s, possibly on undevelped land now held by the federal and state governments.

Pop (bottle) Fashion

This is new $85 pullover, made from about 25 recycled plastic soft-drink bottles.(It points a another picture.) Recycler Wellman Corp. chips old soda bottles, melts the chips and spins them into fibers and then into fleece. Sewing factories complete the metamorphosis form pop bottle to pullover. Both environmentally and financially, it makes more sense to make sweaters out of pop bottles than to make new bottles out of the old ones. Patagonia claims customers like the soda-bottle sweaters so well the company sold 16,000 of them the first month.

The Language of Peace

Since the Middle Eastern peace talks began two years ago, a number of Jordanians have started learning Hebrew at his school founded by 60-year-old Ghazi AI-Saadi, Ghazi beliveves his students are studying to get along with Israelis, not to prepare for more war. But, he says sometimes they are reluctant to admit that. Ghazi says he's not in it for the money;he offers this three-month couse for only 90$. He is an optimist whose hope, he says, is simply to enjoy the years he has left in harmony and peace.

India's Fizzy Economy

Coca-Cola, which pulled out of India in 1977 due to government protectioism, will soon be reentering India's soft-drink market. Pepsi has been in the counrty for almost three years and has cptured a third of the cola market. The learder in the Indian fizzy business is a homegrown concentrate called Thums up. Media reports indicate that Coke may team up with Thums up to take on Pepsi. With the cola war spilling over into India, the Indian soft-drink market may become one of the biggest in the world by the turn of the century.

If you drive, no phone!!

Brazilians love to talk on the telephone at home, on the beach and in theri cars. And that can be a lethal combination. Statistics shows that Brzilians are among the world's worst drivers. Every year almost 50,000 Brazilians die in trffic accidents. Police say drvers are undisciplined and easily distracted. So a new law bans talking on the phne while driving. Drivers must pull over to take a call. Many agree it's good idea but doubt the $25 fine is enough to get Brazilian driver to hang up.

Chants Encounter (Chance encounter)

The monks at a small monastery in Silos, Spain have suddenly become pop-music strs. Twenty years ago, they recorded some 1,400 years old Gregorian chants. Last year that recording sold over a million copies in the res of Eupore. The buyers are mostly young poeple attrated by peaceul, relaxing sounds of the chanting. Fame hasn't changed life at the monastery, but the monks hope their music will eave a lasting impression.

Last Chance Lifeline

Nearly 6 millio visitors each year come to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, most for the scenery, some for the fall: 22o ft, straight down to the water. A total of 973 people are know to have leapt to their deaths here. Soon those who get as far as the rail might discover they have one last chance to call for help, on a handy bridge-side telephone directly connected to a suicide prevention center. Supporters note that while a telephone line won't stop anyone from jumping, a compassionate voice on the other end mihgt.

Too much TV

Parents all across the counrty have the same complaint : kids watch too mych TV. Now there my be an answer : a TV credit card called TimeSlot. Each kid gets a card with a limited amount of viewing time. The parents not only decide how mych, they can block out specific times of day. It also works with video games. Sometimes the kids try to get around TimeSlot, but mostly they learn to double up their time by negotiating with one another. Parents and kids alike say using TimeSlot is not that big an adjustment.

Finding the silver Lining

These inner-city L.A. kids are learning to tell jokes and stand on their own two feet, so to speak, as stand-up comics. This workshop was strted after the 1992 riots by the California Art Council to give children a way to vent their fears and frustrations. The kids are taught by professionals, Dwayne and Daryl Mooney, twins who call ther brand of humor "conscious comedy" - jokes that have a positive social message. So even though inner-city life is no joke, these kids can still learn how to laugh, smile and pass it on to others.