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Mon, 09 Aug 2010 03:33:58 GMT

Winnebago Man

Winnebago Man
It might seem counterintuitive to craft a feature-length documentary around a viral clip concerning one man"s explicit outtakes during a 1989 industrial video production, but Winnebago Man director, producer and cowriter Ben Steinbauer has truly made an entertaining portrait with a complicated range of emotions:

Jack Rebney is the most famous man you"ve never heard of-an RV salesman whose hilarious, foul-mouthed outbursts circulated underground on VHS tapes in the "90s before turning into a full-blown Internet phenomenon in 2005. Today, the "Winnebago Man" has been seen by more than 20 million people worldwide, and is regarded as one of the first and funniest viral videos. Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer goes in search of Rebney-and finds him living alone on a mountain top, unaware of his fame. WINNEBAGO MAN is a laugh-out-loud look at viral culture and an unexpectedly poignant tale of one man"s response to unintended celebrity.

While in New York for the film"s premiere, I sat down with Steinbauer at the Ace Hotel to discuss the film"s themes, what can happen to analog recordings in the digital age, and who will play his subject in the inevitable Hollywood remake. As a bonus, the Winnebago Man team invited me to have a post-screening chat with the man himself, Jack Rebney. It seemed timely to discuss Mel Gibson"s recorded outbursts before allowing him his soapbox to address all you %#$@ers directly.

To listen to the podcast, click here. (21:21)

Podcast Music
INTRO: Dead Kennedys: "Winnebago Warrior"
OUTRO: Band of Horses: "The General Specific"

[Winnebago Man is now playing in New York, and will open in nearly 30 cities throughout the summer. For more information, please visit the official site.]

Posted by: ahillis      Read more     Source

July 16, 2010, 7:15 AM CT

Skilled immigrants boost US innovation

Skilled immigrants boost US innovation
A study reported in the latest issue of the Journal of Labor Economics finds that highly skilled temporary immigrants boost technological innovation in the U.S. without displacing U.S.-born workers in the process.

The study, by William Kerr of the Harvard Business School and William Lincoln of the University of Michigan, looked at fluctuations over the last 15 years in the number of immigrants admitted to the U.S. under the H-1B visa program, which governs immigration of highly skilled temporary workers. The scientists observed that when more H-1B visas are granted, the number of U.S. patent applications filed by people with Chinese and Indian names increased substantially in cities and firms dependent upon the program. Much of that increase can be attributed to H-1B immigrants.

Meanwhile, the number of applications filed by people with Anglo-Saxon namesa proxy for U.S.-born workersdid not vary with fluctuations in H-1B admissions.

"We conclude that total invention increased with higher [H-1B] admissions primarily through the direct contributions of immigrant inventors," the authors write. "We are also able to rule out displacement [of native workers]".

The study used data gathered from 1995 to 2008. Patent applications do not record inventors' nationalities, so the scientists used an algorithm to determine probable nationalities based on the inventors' names. They then compared those data with the number of H-1B visas granted in a given year. The number of visas fluctuated widely over the study period, due to changes in a government-mandated cap on the program. At its lowest, visas were capped at 65,000 per year, and peaked at 195,000.........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

July 15, 2010, 10:14 PM CT

Increase your Style Quotient with Chic Clutch Bags

Increase your Style Quotient with Chic Clutch Bags
Clutch bags have been in style for more than half a century now and their popularity is far from diminishing. Not much larger than a pocket book, these bags are not meant to carry anything more than the bare essentials for an evening on the town. The sophistication that these handbags lend can make any woman feel special and confident of her elegant appearance.

From Jimmy Choo to Fendi, Zagliani, Balenciaga and Prada, every designer has tried his hand on this chic accessory. That is not all, you can buy these bags in a huge variety of fabrics, from silk to leather and crocodile skin. If you are looking for purse that best suits your style, it is no wonder that the catalogue of reputed online stores confuses the best of us. Anything you look for, from the tackiest leopard print bag to the most classy Louis Vuitton design, everything is available at the click of a mouse today.

Make a Style Statement with the Right Clutch Bag
The main thing to remember is that this type of handbag is not meant to be used as a hold-all. Therefore, make sure that all you carry with you for the evening are your bare essentials - keys, cell phone, maybe a lipstick and a small hairbrush. Anything more than this will make the bag look stuffy and bulging, taking away from the chic appearance of the accessory.

The first step, however, is to choose the right bag for the right outfit. The material that the clutch purseis made of, the embellishments, such as sequins, tassles, semi-precious stone setting, etc., should complement your outfit. This does not mean that the purse should be exactly like the outfit, it could be in contrast colors and textures to highlight, rather than take away from the whole elegant and sophisticated look.

Another aspect one could look at is the shape of the bag. Clutches come in various shapes including, envelope or rectangular, round, square, flat or boxish. The flap also could differ between being a triangular top to a square flap, with the snap lock or clasp specifically chosen to highlight the entire appearance of the bag.

Choosing the Best Clutch Bags
Every woman desires and deserves a whole range of handbags to accessorize outfits for all occasions. The truth, however, is that the best bags are usually prohibitively priced and all one's savings could go into buying just one designer bag.

The online market is overflowing with retailers who promise wonderful things when it comes to clutch bags. However, it is important to remember that a large number of online retailers are selling cheap knock-offs that even the worst novice could spot. While buying look alike bags or "designer inspired handbags", trust only the reputed and experienced stores. Take the time to go through their client feedback and testimonials. This will give you an idea of what to expect. Also look at what they are offering carefully because a high quality bags will use the best material and stitching to create a masterpiece.

Also remember, that if the price is too good to be true, it probably is. A handbag that cost $15 will look like a bag that cost you $15. After all, creating quality does entail higher costs. On the other hand, even if you buy several high quality bags, the total price would still be lower than bags from the original designer.

One of the most trusted names when it comes to clutch bags is Baginc. Visit to access a huge inventory of handbags or all shapes and sized.

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

Sun, 20 Jun 2010 00:16:16 GMT

Why SEO Is Harder Than It Used to Be

Why SEO Is Harder Than It Used to Be
© sharedferret
Remember the good ole days when having an informative title for your Internet page was enough to get you ranked pretty high in the search engines and (as a result) drive traffic to your site? That was a decade ago - in 2000. Bill Clinton was President, Destiny's Child had a couple of hit singles, and the St. Louis Rams won Superbowl XXXIV that year. Things have changed a lot since then.

Daily SEO Tip recently explained some of the reasons why optimizing your web pages to draw traffic to your site through search engines isn't quite as easy as it used to be. For starters, there are a lot more web pages now. In your effort to be one of the top five or ten websites listed for some keyword in a search engine you were competing with a few dozen other websites in an Internet environment that included millions of pages. Today millions is a small number. The Internet is an expanding universe with gajillions of pages; and instead of competing with a few dozen other sites, you're competing with thousands of other sites for a top ranking on your particular search term. And I won't talk about how much more complicated the search engines themselves have gotten. Life is a little harder now.

As Daily SEO Tip points out, there are some things you can do. Think about your readers more than about search engines. Write quality content. Optimize your images. Get good backlinks.

And you do still have to think about keywords and meta tags - but you have to be better at it than before....

Posted by: Jason      Read more     Source

Sat, 19 Jun 2010 23:40:40 GMT

Whole Life or Term Life Insurance?

Whole Life or Term Life Insurance?
© madnzanyWhen it comes time for you to consider buying life insurance, you will want to buy life insurance that will meet your needs the best. This means that you will need to consider term vs. whole life insurance. They are quite different in how they work and in costs, too.

Term life insurance is clearly the more affordable option of the two. It will cost considerably less than whole life because it has very little in the way of commissions and other costs built in to it. It is pure insurance and it has no frills. It is purchased in terms of a set number of years, such as five years, ten, twenty, and up to thirty years. At the end of that time, the cost will probably greatly increase due to the new age, but you may also convert it to a whole life insurance policy if desired.

A whole life insurance policy is insurance with a cash value, or savings element, built into it. This means that part of the premium goes into a savings portion of the plan and accumulates after several years. This cash value portion may be borrowed, but it will reduce the face value of the policy if the insured dies without it being repaid. This amount also receives interest charges which are also subtracted from the face value.

The cash value could be good at a time when the insurance is not needed. However, if the insured dies, only the face amount will be received by the beneficiaries, and not the cash value portion on a standard whole life policy.

Term insurance is the much cheaper option, and a much larger amount of life insurance can be purchased with a smaller premium. Many financial experts recommend that term insurance be purchased and that you create your own savings plan, and you will receive a better return than you would get from a whole life insurance policy.

Posted by: FinanceMan      Read more     Source

Sat, 19 Jun 2010 23:23:15 GMT

One entrepreneur's good

One entrepreneur's good
© playerx
I may just not be paying attention, but I haven't seen all the indicators that Scott Shane is talking about when he talks about mass media claiming that the recession has been good for entrepreneurs. His latest post disputes that purported point, which just serves to illustrate that in small business, it all depends on your perspective.

One can generally expect self-employment numbers to skyrocket during times of economic trouble as people lose their jobs and find it impossible to get re-hired elsewhere. The easiest thing to do in that situation, if you have some skills that are applicable outside the standard corporate environment, is to hang out your own single. It's an opportunity for people who would otherwise never have made the leap from security to uncertainty, and a stop-gap for many others to pick up a few bucks during the lean time between jobs.

Shane crunches the numbers to illustrate that while this has, in fact, happened again during this most recent recession, in fact overall numbers of the self-employed are down.... 7.5 percent from 2007 to 2009. In other words, while the number of people starting their own businesses did increase as the recession churned along, even more gave up working for themselves, indicating a tremendous failure rate.

Shane uses this to question whether the recession has been good for entrepreneurs, as his bete noir Robert Reich recently claimed. But I think neither of them are really looking at how the recession has been for entrepreneurs.... they're looking at how it's been for the economy driven by small businesses. In that equation, more small businesses is good; they're creating jobs and demand, a healthy economic environment. In that debate, I think it's hard to dispute Shane's point: you only have to look at the overall health of the system to see what the state of small business must be.

On the other hand, as an entrepreneur, I think that actually is good for entrepreneurs on the individual level. From where I am sitting, that's less competition, fewer amateurs cluttering up my market, more big opportunities with fewer bidders. Other small business owners are getting discouraged and getting out of the game? More for me!

I'm not saying I want that to flow to it's logical conclusion, where the economy implodes, but I'm saying that simply looking at the numbers of the self-employed doesn't tell you much about their environment, and people that are doing so may not understand that environment very well in the first place. I like to have a healthy economy to operate my business in, just like the next guy, but if that next guy is a competitor and pulls in his shingle, that's a win for me, not a loss. Their bad is my good.

Posted by: Mattew      Read more     Source

June 9, 2010, 7:11 AM CT

Men are more vulnerable to relationship ups and downs

Men are more vulnerable to relationship ups and downs
Contrary to popular belief, the ups and downs of romantic relationships have a greater effect on the mental health of young men than women, as per a newly released study by a Wake Forest University sociology professor.

In the study of more than 1,000 unmarried young adults between the ages of 18 and 23, Wake Forest Professor of Sociology Robin Simon challenges the long-held assumption that women are more vulnerable to the emotional rollercoaster of relationships. Even though men sometimes try to present a tough face, unhappy romances take a greater emotional toll on men than women, Simon says. They just express their distress differently than women.

Simon's research is reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior Anne Barrett, associate professor of sociology at Florida State University, co-authored the article.

"Our paper sheds light on the association between non-marital romantic relationships and emotional well-being among men and women on the threshold of adulthood," Simon says. "Surprisingly, we found young men are more reactive to the quality of ongoing relationships."

That means the harmful stress of a rocky relationship is more closely linked to men's than women's mental health. The scientists also observed that men get greater emotional benefits from the positive aspects of an ongoing romantic relationship. This contradicts the stereotypic image of stoic men who are unaffected by what happens in their romantic relationships.........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

June 9, 2010, 7:07 AM CT

Americans want self-respect, more than ever

Americans want self-respect, more than ever
Lynn R. Kahle, professor of marketing at the University of Oregon, says "security " has declined as a social value sought by Americans.

Americans want self-respect, and that desire has risen significantly in the last two decades, say marketing scientists at the University of Oregon. Meanwhile, the needs for both security and a sense of belonging have declined in the last 30 years.

In the world of marketing and advertising, the findings indicate that people have shifted from a desire of gaining what they don't have (deficit values) to strengthening what they may already have (excess values). That conclusion -- based on data compiled from web-based surveys in 2007 and in comparison to nearly identical surveys conducted in 1976 and 1986 -- was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Advertising Research.

"Research on advertising effectiveness has shown that advertisements that connect to people's core values are more effective than ones that don't," said Lynn R. Kahle, the Ehrman V. Giustina Professor of Marketing in the UO's Lundquist College of Business. "If you keep questioning people on why they buy something, before very long you will get to a core social value. We find that understanding these core values is the basic reason that people buy certain brands of products".

Self-respect also was a leading core value for most of people in prior surveys. Since 1976, self-respect has risen from the top pick by 21.1 percent of all respondents to 28.8 percent in 2007. Also rising fast was "warm relationships with others," from 16.2 percent to 20.9 percent since 1976. And the popularity of "fun-enjoyment-excitement" more than doubled as a top choice, from 4.5 percent to 9.3 percent.........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

May 21, 2010, 7:17 AM CT

When it comes to security, think 'natural'

When it comes to security, think 'natural'
Mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles helped reduce the death toll from roadside bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they lack flexibility and agility.

Credit: Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

Security systems could be more effective if officials looked at how organisms deal with threats in the natural world, University of Arizona scientists suggest in the May 20 edition of the journal Nature

The authors are working with security and disaster management officials to help put some of their recommendations such as decentralizing forces and forming alliances into practice.

"Anytime you have the illusion of full security, you get adaptation," said Rafe Sagarin, an assistant research scientist in the UA's Institute of the Environment who is the main author of the opinion piece. "Terrorists figure out unexpected means of attack, hackers come up with new software to break through firewalls, and pathogens develop resistance to antibiotics".

Instead of relying on large, centralized bureaucracies that move slowly and often lag behind in addressing threats, the authors encourage officials to look to the natural world for principles that could prove less costly, more flexible and more effective at countering threats.

The security issues of modern human societies are analogous to those of a number of organisms, as per Sagarin and his co-authors. In nature, risks are frequent, variable and uncertain. Over billions of years, organisms have evolved an enormous variety of methods to survive, grow and proliferate on a continually changing planet. The key to their success is their ability to quickly adapt to rapidly changing threats, and change their structures, behaviors and interactions accordingly.........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

March 18, 2010, 11:31 AM CT

Why Golf Awards Should Be Chosen with Care

Why Golf Awards Should Be Chosen with Care
Golf is one of those sports that have gained a reputation for being played by gentlemen. It is also one of a handful of sporting activities that requires as much patience as skill. Therefore, a winner in a game of golf deserves as exquisitely built a trophy as sportspersons from other arenas, if not better. And this is why golf awards have to be chosen with selective care and a balanced judgment.

Here are some ideas to help you out:
  • Glass Golf Trophies: Glass golf trophies are the most sought after prizes in such tournaments, especially as they come across as a stable symbol of professionalism and elegance - two of the very features that characterize the sport itself.
  • Engraved: Engraved golf trophies can also act as a great reward for a game well played. For clubs or associations, adding that extra bit in writing, a few scribbles about the player himself can add that Midas touch to an otherwise bland trophy!
  • Fun Prizes: Poor rounds of play or funny shots or glitches between games can also be awarded, albeit with funny bob-heads and alike. This makes this seemingly placid game much more fun to participate in - both as a spectator as well as a player.
  • Golf Accessories: Thos unwilling to invest in sleek trophies and prizes (even though they are the primary option), try offering golf accessories like bags, clubs, caps and others as golf awards!

There are immense ideas that can capitalize on the game of golf and the kind of golf awards that can be injected into the game to help make it a rewarding (literally) experience!........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

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