Category: Uncategorized


Souja Boy with a motherload of weed

Apparently, Souja Boy is suffering from a pretty gnarly case of glaucoma these days …

The rapper recently posted this pic of himself clutching an ass-load of pot … while in front of a room filled to the brim with the sticky icky.

It’s unclear when the photo was shot … or where the photo was shot … but DAMN.

Snoop Dogg just retweeted the pic moments ago during his weekly Puff Puff Pass Tuesday routine — it’s obvious he approves.

Calls to Soulja’s rep have not been returned.

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During an interview with Oufah a few days before leaving for the long awaited South American tour, the MOBO award winner revealed that his inspiration through music has been encouraged by reggae legend Bob Marley.

‘I owe all my success to date to Bob Marley, he has paved the way for many aspiring reggae musicians like myself,’ he says.

Alborosie who now resides in Jamaica, is originally from Italy and believes that the work of Bob Marley reaches and impacts the lives of many people around the world.

‘Bob Marley is THE KING of reggae, without his music I would probably be back in Italy or somewhere else in the world, but not in Jamaica,’ he added.

With the upcoming premiere the Marley documentary, Alborosie encourages Jamaicans to go out and take part in the historic film presentation. His final words to Oufah were, ‘Rasta and Non Rasta, Bob would love us to Unite – ONE LOVE!’ The Official movie for the King of reggae Bob Marley premieres in Kingston Jamaica on April 19, 2012 at Emancipation Park at 7pm.

Click here to view the Marley Movie Trailer

Alborosie’s 2 TIMES REVOLUTION South American Tour Now on!

Dates and locations as follows:

12.04.12 LIMA (Peru) / Centro de Convenciones Embarcadero 41
14.04.12 SANTIAGO DE CHILE (Chile) / Chimkowe — Festival Siempre Vivo Reggae
15.04.12 BUENOS AIRES (Argentina) / Niceto
16.04.12 BUENOS AIRES (Argentina) / Niceto
18.04.12 MAR DE PLATA ( Argentina) / Abbey Road
20.04.12 CORDOBA (Argentina) / La Vieja Usina
21.04 12 SAN LUIS (Argentina) / Palacio de los Deportes
22.04.12 ROSARIO (Argentina) / Pugliese
27.04.12 BELEM (Brasil) / Parque dos Igarapes
28.04.12 FORTALEZA (Brasil) / Barraca Biruta
29.04.12 SAO LUIS (Brasil) / Trapiche
05.05.12 MARACAY (Venezuela) / Parque Carlos Raul Villanueva — Festival Full Reverberancia

Click here for more on Alborosie

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Greek man: Why I set myself on fire

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Suicide rate in Greece jumped 40% year-on-year in first five months of 2011
  • Apostolos Polyzonis set himself on fire outside his bank last year after falling into financial trouble
  • Polyzonis: “I had lost my right to be a free Greek”
  • Dimitris Christoulas shot himself Wednesday in central Athens during morning rush hour

(CNN) — When Apostolos Polyzonis’s bank refused to see him last September, the 55-year-old Greek businessman had just 10 euros ($13) in his pocket. Out of work and bankrupt, he thought all he could do with his remaining money was to buy a gas can.

Desperate and angry, Polyzonis stood outside the bank in central Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, doused himself in fuel and surrendered to the flames.

“At that moment, I saw my life as worthless, I really didn’t care if I was going to live or die,” recalls Polyzonis, who says he was hit by financial troubles after the bank recalled a loan given to him for his business.

“My sense of living was much lower than my sense of self-respect and pride, the fact that I had lost my right to be a free Greek,” adds Polyzonis.

Polyzonis, a father of three, was eventually saved by police. He recovered after spending seven days in hospital on life support.

Tributes for ‘debt suicide’ in Greece

Understanding ‘debt suicide’ in Greece

Greek citizens find austerity cuts ‘hard’

Why the pain of austerity is necessary

His public protest made headlines and touched a nerve with many Greeks bearing the burden of a worsening debt crisis. One in five Greeks was unemployed last year, according to Eurostat figures. Many more have suffered unprecedented hardship due to increasing pension and salary cuts.

“I don’t feel proud about it, no way, but all these situations made me lose my self-respect and feel like I’ve been deprived of my rights,” says Polyzonis, “because being able to pay your taxes is not only an obligation but also a right. People should have the possibility to pay their taxes, to pay their obligations to others, to offer the basic goods to their family so they can feel that they live with self-respect and dignity.”

Until now, Polyzonis’s self-immolation was the most vivid image of a singular public act of protest in a country that’s been shaken by anti-austerity violence.

But Greece was jolted even more Wednesday after a 77-year-old man took his own life in the busy Syntagma Square, central Athens, the scene of several violent clashes between anti-austerity protesters and the police in recent months.

Just a few hundred yards away from the Greek Parliament, retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas shot himself with a handgun amid the morning rush hour, in what was apparently a protest over the financial crisis gripping the nation.

Minor clashes between police and protesters followed a vigil held Wednesday night to mark his death. Up to 1,000 people gathered for another rally Thursday in Syntagma Square, which was largely peaceful apart from a few scuffles between small groups of protesters, Athens police said.

In his suicide note, Christoulas wrote that the government had made it impossible for him to survive, according to Greek state TV.

Christoulas’s death can be added to an increasing number of suicides in Greece, as more people feel hopeless amid the worst economic crisis in the country’s recent history: according to the health ministry data, the suicide rate jumped about 40% in the first five months of 2011 compared with a year earlier.

“The further we go into the crisis, the more things get ugly,” says Aris Violatzis of Klimaka, a non-governmental organization that runs a suicide helpline in Greece.

The group — Klimaka translates as “scale” — says it receives up to 100 calls a day, with three of four callers citing economic problems as their main concern. In 2007, just before Greece fell into recession, the helpline used to take 10 calls a day maximum, explains Violatzis, and only one in four callers mentioned economic issues.

“The social framework in Greece has become pathogenic — we have a morbid social environment where one of its symptoms is suicide,” he adds.

Under its second bailout program, approved last month, Greece has agreed to implement a series of austerity measures and undertake broader reforms to make its economy more competitive.

New taxes, rising unemployment and cuts to pay, pensions and social welfare provisions have brought many ordinary Greeks to their knees.

As Greece remains mired in financial woes — the country’s economy is heading for its fifth year of recession — many now fear that Christoulas’s public act of protest could find more imitators.

“I believe there are going to be more suicides and that’s what got the government worrying,” says archaeologist Despoina Koutsoumpa, who was among the hundreds who rushed yesterday in Syntagma Square to pay tributes to Christoulas.

“His act was a punch in the stomach for all of us. It made you realize that the overthrowing of these policies requires self-sacrifice, like in Tunisia and in Egypt where hundreds of people died,” Koutsoumpa, a regular at the anti-austerity demonstrations in Athens, told CNN.

“In Greece there are also hundreds of people dying because of the crisis, people we don’t see — there are suicides over debts, there are people dying in the streets because they don’t have anything to eat,” she adds.

“A lot of people here understand that there will have to be even sacrifices of people in order to get rid of the situation.”

Seven months after setting himself on fire, Polyzonis says more and more Greeks find themselves close to the desperate condition he was in last September.

“The situation is becoming every day worse,” he says. “Every day people lose their jobs, every day people are unable to pay rent for their house, the basics to find something to eat — the last step before doing what I did or what another human being yesterday did in Greece.”

  • FILE - This May 8, 2006 file photo shows Mike Wallace, longtime CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent, during an interview at his office in New York. Wallace, famed for his tough interviews on "60 Minutes," has died, Saturday, April 7, 2012. He was 93. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)FILE – This May 8, 2006 file photo …
  • This May 8, 2006 file photo shows Mike Wallace, veteran CBS " 60 Minutes" correspondent, waiting in a hallway near his office to see a colleague in New York, Monday May 8, 2006. Wallace, famed for his tough interviews on "60 Minutes," has died, Saturday, April 7, 2012. He was 93. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)This May 8, 2006 file photo shows …

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Wallace didn’t interview people. He interrogated them. He cross-examined them. Sometimes he eviscerated them.

His reputation was so fearsome that it was often said that the scariest words in the English language were “Mike Wallace is here to see you.”

Wallace, whose pitiless, prosecutorial style transformed television journalism and made “60 Minutes” compulsively watchable, died Saturday night at a care facility in New Canaan, Conn., where he had lived in recent years, CBS spokesman Kevin Tedesco said. He was 93.

Until he was slowed by heart surgery as he neared his 90th birthday in 2008, Wallace continued making news, doing “60 Minutes” interviews with such subjects as Jack Kevorkian and Roger Clemens. He had promised to still do occasional reports when he announced his retirement as a correspondent in 2006.

Wallace, whose career spanned 60 years, said then that he had long vowed to retire “when my toes turn up” and “they’re just beginning to curl a trifle. … It’s become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren’t quite what they used to be.”

Among his later contributions, after bowing out as a regular, was a 2007 profile of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, and an interview with Kevorkian, the assisted suicide doctor released from prison in 2007 who died last year.

In December 2007, Wallace landed the first interview with Clemens after the star pitcher was implicated in the Mitchell report on performance enhancing drugs in baseball. The interview, in which Clemens maintained his innocence, was broadcast in early 2008.

Wallace’s “extraordinary contribution as a broadcaster is immeasurable and he has been a force within the television industry throughout its existence,” Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. president and CEO, said in a statement Sunday.

Wallace was the first man hired when late CBS news producer Don Hewitt put together the staff of “60 Minutes” at its inception in 1968. The show wasn’t a hit at first, but it worked its way up to the top 10 in the 1977-78 season and remained there, season after season, with Wallace as one of its mainstays. Among other things, it proved there could be big profits in TV journalism.

The top 10 streak was broken in 2001, in part due to the onset of huge-drawing rated reality shows. But “60 Minutes” remained in the top 25 in recent years, ranking 15th in viewers in the 2010-11 season.

The show pioneered the use of “ambush interviews,” with reporter and camera crew corralling alleged wrongdoers in parking lots, hallways, wherever a comment — or at least a stricken expression — might be harvested from someone dodging the reporters’ phone calls.

Such tactics were phased out over time — Wallace said they provided drama but not much good information.

And his style never was all about surprise, anyway. Wallace was a master of the skeptical follow-up question, coaxing his prey with a “forgive me, but …” or a simple, “come on.” He was known as one who did his homework, spending hours preparing for interviews, and alongside the exposes, “60 Minutes” featured insightful talks with celebrities and world leaders.

He was equally tough on public and private behavior. In 1973, with the Watergate scandal growing, he sat with top Nixon aide John Ehrlichman and read a long list of alleged crimes, from money laundering to obstructing justice. “All of this,” Wallace noted, “by the law and order administration of Richard Nixon.”

The surly Ehrlichman could only respond: “Is there a question in there somewhere?”

In the early 1990s, Wallace reduced Barbra Streisand to tears as he scolded her for being “totally self-absorbed” when she was young and mocked her decades of psychoanalysis. “What is it she is trying to find out that takes 20 years?” Wallace said he wondered.

“I’m a slow learner,” Streisand told him.

His late colleague Harry Reasoner once said, “There is one thing that Mike can do better than anybody else: With an angelic smile, he can ask a question that would get anyone else smashed in the face.”

Wallace said he didn’t think he had an unfair advantage over his interview subjects: “The person I’m interviewing has not been subpoenaed. He’s in charge of himself, and he lives with his subject matter every day. All I’m armed with is research.”

Wallace himself became a dramatic character in several projects, from the stage version of “Frost/Nixon,” when he was played by Stephen Rowe, to the 1999 film “The Insider,” based in part on a 1995 “60 Minutes” story about tobacco industry whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand, who accused Brown & Williamson of intentionally adding nicotine to cigarettes. Christopher Plummer starred as Wallace and Russell Crowe as Wigand. Wallace was unhappy with the film, in which he was portrayed as caving to pressure to kill a story about Wigand.

Operating on a tip, The New York Times reported that “60 Minutes” planned to excise Wigand’s interview from its tobacco expose. CBS said Wigand had signed a nondisclosure agreement with his former company, and the network feared that by airing what he had to say, “60 Minutes” could be sued along with him.

The day the Times story appeared, Wallace downplayed the gutted story as “a momentary setback.” He soon sharpened his tone. Leading into the revised report when it aired, he made no bones that “we cannot broadcast what critical information about tobacco, addiction and public health (Wigand) might be able to offer.” Then, in a “personal note,” he told viewers that he and his “60 Minutes” colleagues were “dismayed that the management at CBS had seen fit to give in to perceived threats of legal action.”

The full report eventually was broadcast.

Wallace maintained a hectic pace after CBS waived its long-standing rule requiring broadcasters to retire at 65. In early 1999, at age 80, he added another line to his resume by appearing on the network’s spinoff, “60 Minutes II.” (A similar concession was granted Wallace’s longtime colleague, Don Hewitt, who in 2004, at age 81, relinquished his reins as executive producer; he died in 2009.)

Wallace amassed 21 Emmy awards during his career, as well as five DuPont-Columbia journalism and five Peabody awards.

In all, his television career spanned six decades, much of it spent at CBS. In 1949, he appeared asMyron Wallace in a show called “Majority Rules.” In the early 1950s, he was an announcer and game show host for programs such as “What’s in a Word?” He also found time to act in a 1954 Broadway play, “Reclining Figure,” directed by Abe Burrows.

In the mid-1950s came his smoke-wreathed “Night Beat,” a series of one-on-one interviews with everyone from an elderly Frank Lloyd Wright to a young Henry Kissinger that began on local TV in New York and then appeared on the ABC network. It was the show that first brought Wallace fame as a hard-boiled interviewer, a “Mike Malice” who rarely gave his subjects any slack.

Wrote Coronet magazine in 1957: “Wallace’s interrogation had the intensity of a third degree, often the candor of a psychoanalytic session. Nothing like it had ever been known on TV. … To Wallace, no guest is sacred, and he frankly dotes on controversy.”

Sample “Night Beat” exchange, with colorful restaurateur Toots Shor. Wallace: “Toots, why do people call you a slob?” Shor: “Me? Jiminy crickets, they musta been talking about Jackie Gleason.”

In those days, Wallace said, “interviews by and large were virtual minuets. … Nobody dogged, nobody pushed.” He said that was why “Night Beat” ”got attention that hadn’t been given to interview broadcasts before.”

It was also around then that Wallace did a bit as a TV newsman in the 1957 Hollywood drama “A Face in the Crowd,” which starred Andy Griffith as a small-town Southerner who becomes a political phenomenon through his folksy television appearances. Two years later, Wallace helped create “The Hate That Hate Produced,” a highly charged program about the Nation of Islam that helped make a national celebrity out of Malcolm X and was later criticized as biased and inflammatory.

After holding a variety of other news and entertainment jobs, including serving as advertising pitchman for a cigarette brand, Wallace became a full-time newsman for CBS in 1963.

He said it was the death of his 19-year-old son, Peter, in an accident in 1962 that made him decide to stick to serious journalism from then on. (Another son, Chris, followed his father and became a broadcast journalist, most recently as a Fox News Channel anchor.)

Wallace had a short stint reporting from Vietnam, and took a sock in the jaw while covering the tumultuous 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. But he didn’t fit the stereotype of the Eastern liberal journalist. He was a close friend of the Reagans and was once offered the job of Richard Nixon’s press secretary. He called his politics moderate.

One “Night Beat” interview resulted in a libel suit, filed by a police official angry over remarks about him by mobster Mickey Cohen. Wallace said ABC settled the lawsuit for $44,000, and called it the only time money had been paid to a plaintiff in a suit in which he was involved.

The most publicized lawsuit against him was by retired Gen. William C. Westmoreland, who sought $120 million for a 1982 “CBS Reports” documentary, “The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception.” Westmoreland dropped the libel suit in 1985 after a long trial. Lawyers for each side later said legal costs of the suit totaled $12 million, of which $9 million was paid by CBS.

Wallace once said the case brought on depression that put him in the hospital for more than a week. “Imagine sitting day after day in the courtroom hearing yourself called every vile name imaginable,” he said.

In 1996, he appeared before the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging to urge more federal funds for depression research, saying that he had felt “lower, lower, lower than a snake’s belly” but had recovered through psychiatry and antidepressant drugs. He later disclosed that he once tried to commit suicide during that dark period. Wallace, columnist Art Buchwald and author William Styron were friends who commiserated often enough about depression to call themselves “The Blues Brothers,” according to a 2011 memoir by Styron’s daughter, Alexandra.

Wallace called his 1984 book, written with Gary Paul Gates, “Close Encounters.” He described it as “one mostly lucky man’s encounters with growing up professionally.”

In 2005, he brought out his memoir, “Between You and Me.”

Among those interviewing him about the book was son Chris, for “Fox News Sunday.” His son asked: Does he understand why people feel a disaffection from the mainstream media?

“They think they’re wide-eyed commies. Liberals,” the elder Wallace replied, a notion he dismissed as “damned foolishness.”

Wallace was born Myron Wallace on May 9, 1918, in Brookline, Mass. He began his news career in Chicago in the 1940s, first as radio news writer for the Chicago Sun and then as reporter for WMAQ. He started at CBS in 1951.

He was married four times. In 1986, he wed Mary Yates Wallace, the widow of his close friend and colleague, Ted Yates, who had died in 1967. Besides his wife, Wallace is survived by his son, Chris, a stepdaughter, Pauline Dora, and stepson Eames Yates. His wife declined to comment Sunday.

___

Associated Press writer Deepti Hajela, former Associated Press writer Polly Anderson and National Writer Hillel Italie contributed to this report.

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Viacom has accused Google of “massive intentional copyright infringement”

A lawsuit by media giant Viacom against Google over copyrighted videos on YouTube can be heard in court again.

Viacom has accused Google of “massive intentional copyright infringement”.

In 2010, a lower court dismissed Viacom’s $1bn (£630m) case against Google, which owns YouTube.

But a court of appeals said the dismissal was based on a mistake, as a jury could have reasonably found that YouTube knew of specific copyright infringements.

Google took over YouTube for $1.76bn in 2006.

Viacom owns popular cable channels such as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

Viacom had claimed that “tens of thousands of videos” based on its copyrighted works had been posted on YouTube, and that both YouTube and its owner Google had known about it but had done nothing about it.

Google and YouTube had argued that they were entitled to “safe harbour” protection under digital copyright law because they had insufficient notice of particular alleged offences.

The court in Manhattan in 2010 agreed with this.

But the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals has now reinstated the case.

 

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Free Syrian Army fighter in Damascus (1 April)Fighters from the Free Syrian Army are to have their salaries paid by Gulf Arab states, it was announced on Sunday

Syria has agreed to a 10 April deadline to begin implementing a six-point peace plan, UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has said, according to diplomats.

The plan calls for a UN-supervised ceasefire by all parties, withdrawal of soldiers and heavy weapons from cities, and delivery of humanitarian aid.

Mr Annan was briefing the UN Security Council in closed session.

Violence in Syria continued on Monday, with activists reporting fighting in Idlib and Homs.

Red Cross visit

Mr Annan has asked the Security Council for its backing of next Tuesday’s deadline for Syria to partially implement his peace plan, with a full ceasefire within 48 hours.

Syria said last week it accepted the peace plan. However, Mr Annan cautioned the Security Council that so far there was no sign of President Bashar al-Assad’s government keeping its promises on implementation, diplomats said.

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Annan’s six-point peace plan

1. Syrian-led political process to address the aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people

2. UN-supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians

3. All parties to ensure provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and implement a daily two-hour humanitarian pause

4. Authorities to intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons

5. Authorities to ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists

6. Authorities to respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully

Speaking after the briefing from Mr Annan, US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said: “We have seen… promises made and promises broken.”

Past experience “would lead us to be sceptical” that Syria would implement the Annan plan, Ms Rice said, warning that it was possible violence might escalate instead.

Syria’s ambassador to the UN, Bashar Ja’fari, confirmed Damascus accepted the 10 April deadline but told reporters Mr Annan must get similar commitments from the opposition.

Ms Rice said Mr Annan’s deputy, Nasser al-Kidwa, had had “constructive exchanges” with the opposition to urge them to cease their operations within 48 hours of a complete cessation of government hostilities.

The BBC’s Barbara Plett, in New York, says Mr Annan told the closed session that Syria had said it was not ready to pull troops and heavy weapons out of the cities unless the armed opposition laid down their weapons too.

The deadline will make clear whether, as some of his critics have said, Mr Assad is simply stalling for time, our correspondent adds.

Funding for rebels

On Sunday, a group of 83 countries backing political change in Syria warned President Assad he had little time to comply with Mr Annan’s plan.

“The window of opportunity for the regime to implement its commitments to Joint Special Envoy Annan is not open-ended,” the “Friends of Syria”said in a statement.

“The Friends’ Group called upon the Joint Special Envoy to determine a timeline for next steps, including a return to the UN Security Council, if the killing continues,” it added.

Gulf Arab countries attending the group’s meeting in Istanbul agreed to pay the salaries and other costs of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The money, which will be distributed through the opposition Syrian National Council, is the first formal international support for the FSA.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jakob Kellenberger, is on his way to Damascus for talks about expanding aid operations and gaining access to all detainees.

During his two-day visit, Mr Kellenberger plans to visit areas affected during the fighting, the ICRC said in a statement.

Last month, after the fall of the rebel district of Baba Amr, in Homs, the Syrian government said it would allow an ICRC convoy into the area.

However, when the convoy reached Baba Amr on 2 March, it was denied permission to enter.

The Local Co-ordination Committees, a network of anti-government activists in Syria, said 65 people were killed on Monday. They included 40 dead in Homs, 14 in Idlib, six in Hama and five in Aleppo.

The figures cannot be verified independently, as journalists’ movements are severely restricted in Syria.

 

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Obidos, Portugal (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)Obidos, Portugal (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)
There’s no better place to vacation under the radar than in a secret European village. On winding cobblestoned streets you can easily lose yourself in centuries-old charm and fall into step with slower-paced locals. Here are 10 enchanting villages most U.S. travelers haven’t yet stumbled upon.

Obidos, Portugal

Taken from the Moors by Portugal’s first king in 1148, Obidos is a medieval fortress and walled village that you enter, as in olden times, through the enormous and intricately painted southern gate of the Church of Santa Maria. Honeysuckle flowers spill from window boxes on whitewashed houses along narrow, winding streets. Restaurants, shops, and coffee bars inhabit spaces whose architectural features span centuries.

If You Go: You can sleep in the Obidos Castle, the first pousada to be adapted and restored from a historical monument. Book a guided walking tour or rent a bicycle at the Tourist Office. Highlights include the Parish Church of Santa Maria, the pretty Chapel of Sao Martinho, and, outside the town walls, the Church of the Senhor da Pedra.

Getting There: Obidos is 55 miles north of Lisbon. The drive on the A8 Motorway takes 40 to 50 minutes. You can arrive by bus, train, or airport taxi.

Galactic image (VDFS)Earth sits just in the galactic plane which appears as a very dense but very long strip of stars arcing across the sky. The galactic centre and the surrounding bulge of stars is here pulled out to show more detail

Scientists have produced a colossal picture of our Milky Way Galaxy, to reveal the detail of a billion stars.

It is built from thousands of individual images acquired by two UK-developed telescopes operating in Hawaii and in Chile.

Archived data from the project, known as the Vista Data Flow System, will be mined by astronomers to make new discoveries about the local cosmos.

But more simply, it represents a fabulous portrait of the night sky.

“There are about one billion stars in there – this is more than has been in any other image produced by surveys,” said Dr Nick Cross from the University of Edinburgh.

“When it was first produced, I played with it for hours; it’s just stunning,” he told BBC News.

Dr Cross has been presenting the new work to the UK National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) here in Manchester.

The image concentrates on the dense plane of the galaxy, which means it renders as a very long, very thin strip.

That makes it is virtually impossible to show in a meaningful way on this page.

Dr Cross and colleagues have though produced an online interactive tool that allows the user to zoom in to particular areas. Even then, these smaller fragments of sky will contain thousands of stars.

The project has been 10 years in the making. It combines data from the UKIDSS/GPS sky survey acquired by the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii with the VVV survey data acquired by the Vista telescope in Chile.

These astronomical facilities view the sky at infrared wavelengths, enabling them to see past the dust in the Milky Way that would ordinarily obscure observations made at optical, or visible, wavelengths.

UKIRT is responsible for the right end of the image; Vista produced the left, including the more extensive block of coverage which traces the centre of the galaxy and its surrounding bulge of stars. (Black squares in the image are data gaps that are in the process of being filled).

Researchers at the universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge processed and archived all the data that underpins the big picture, and have made it available to astronomers around the world for future study.

ZoomZooming into particular regions reveals the detail of thousands of stars

“There are many uses for this picture,” said Dr Cross. “It will help us really understand the true nature of our galaxy, to see where everything is.

“Some researchers will use it to find star forming regions; there’ll be lots of these along the plane of the galaxy.

“Finding globular clusters will be another use. These are groups of very old stars that formed right at the beginning of the galaxy. We can study their distribution in this image and that tells us something about how the Milky Way started off.

“And it will be particularly useful to study anything that is extended. Here you can look at things on the large scale, to understand how they are related to each other; to look at things that might be across multiple images in a catalogue.

“These are the big objects like clusters, and nebulae – the gas clouds where stars are forming.”

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Michelle Obama and David Letterman (Late Show/CBS)

Michelle Obama made her first appearance on the “Late Show With David Letterman” on Monday. And during a discussion about the importance of family, the first lady told Letterman about her father.

“My father had multiple sclerosis,” she said. “I never knew him to be able to walk, but my dad worked so hard and he loved us so much, and I think from him I learned just absolute, complete unconditional love, the notion that kids really don’t need anything but to know that their parents adore them.”

She continued: “We had rules, we had boundaries, but there wasn’t anything my dad wouldn’t do for us, and, uh–don’t make me cry.  This isn’t ‘Oprah’!  It’s supposed to be ‘Letterman.’ What’s up?  Where are the laughs?”

“Did somebody tell you this was ‘Oprah’?” Letterman joked. “Is that why you’re here?  Oh my, someone misled the first lady.”

Earlier in the show, Letterman tried to wrangle some presidential gossip out of her, but the first lady did not take the bait.

“Hypothetically speaking, at the end of the day, has your husband ever come home and said to you, ‘Oh, that John Boehner, what an idiot’?” Letterman asked.

“It has never happened, never, never,” she replied. “He is always upbeat, particularly about Congress.”

While it was her first “Late Show” appearance, the first lady is no stranger to late-night talk shows. In January, Michelle appeared on “The Tonight Show,” telling Jay Leno that the president likes to sing to her at home in the White House.

“He does have a beautiful voice, and he sings to me all the time,” Mrs. Obama told Leno. “He doesn’t hesitate to show off his lungs to his wife.”

 

Find out how getting intimate can improve your well-being

By Sarah Jio

 

couple with healthy sex lifePhoto by: iStockphoto

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Of course sex is healthy, but did you know that a good sex life can provide specific health benefits? We spoke to the experts to find out just how sex improves our health (not that you needed any convincing).

1. It May Make You Thinner
Dread working out? Don’t break up with your treadmill just yet. But if it’s late and you haven’t made it to the gym, don’t forget that sex counts as exercise, too! “Sex burns between 75 and 150 calories per half-hour,” says Desmond Ebanks, MD, founder and medical director of Alternity Healthcare in West Hartford, Connecticut. It’s comparable to other physical activities, he says, like yoga (114 calories per half-hour), dancing (129 calories per half-hour) or walking (153 calories per half-hour).

Bonus: Sex may also help your muscles stay lean in the process. “Sexual arousal and orgasm releases the hormone testosterone, which, among other things, is necessary to build and maintain bone and lean muscle tissue,” he adds.

2. It May Improve Your Heart Health
You’re probably already aware that heart disease is the number-one killer of women. Eating a healthy diet, and keeping your cholesterol low and sodium in check are great ways to stay on top of heart health, but so is having sex. “Sex is exercise that raises heart rate and blood flow,” says Dr. Ebanks. “In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half.” While the study results were focused on men, Dr. Ebanks suspects similar effects for women, too.

3. It Can Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep
What do you do to help you sleep? When chamomile tea and other remedies aren’t doing the job, sex may help—especially if you’re having trouble sleeping due to anxiety or stress. “People having frequent sex often report that they handle stress better,” notes Dr. Ebanks. “The profound relaxation that typically follows orgasm for women and ejaculation or orgasm for men may be one of the few times people actually allow themselves to completely relax. Many indicate that they sleep more deeply and restfully after satisfying lovemaking.”

4. It Can Boost Your Immune System
With all the concerns about cold and flu viruses, combating germs can sometimes feel like a full-time job. Surprisingly, there may be something you can do in the bedroom to keep your immune system strong, says Dr. Ebanks, who points to a study by researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. “Individuals who have sex once or twice a week show 30 percent higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which is known to boost the immune system,” he says. So, make this your new cold-and-flu season mantra: Wash your hands and make a bedroom date with your sweetie—often!

5. It Can Improve Your Mental Health 
The quickest way to boost your mood, fight depression and beat anxiety? Patricia Tan, MD, a board-certified internist in Arizona and medical expert for JustAnswer.com, says the answer is simple: sex (in a loving, committed relationship, of course). “Psychologically, sex improves one’s mental health by building intimacy and reducing stress,” she says. “The stress reduction component lowers a person’s cortisol level, thereby reducing the chances of increased blood pressure, hyperglycemia and increased acidity in the abdomen.”

6. It Can Help Relieve Pain
You might change “Not tonight, honey, I have a headache” to “Yes, tonight, honey, I have a headache,” or so says Dr. Ebanks, who believes there’s a real correlation between sex and pain management. “Through sexual arousal and orgasm the hormone oxytocin is secreted in your body, which in turn causes the release of endorphins,” he explains. “Because of these natural opiates, sex acts as a powerful analgesic.”

7. It Can Help You with Bladder Control
It may sound weird—the idea that sex can help you minimize incontinence—but it’s true, say experts. Sex therapists have long recommended that women do Kegel exercises (flexing the muscles in your pelvic floor) throughout the day, but also during sex. Why? Not only can the exercises help increase pleasure, they also strengthen the muscles associated with incontinence. You can do Kegels anywhere (including during intercourse), so don’t be shy! Gently flex and tighten your pelvic floor muscles in the same way you would to stop the flow of urine. Hold for three seconds, then release.

8. It May Give You Healthier Skin
Could sex make you more beautiful? It sounds far-fetched, but Eric Braverman, MD, founder of PATH Medical Center in New York City, says having sex releases a key compound in the body that is good for all kinds of things—including improving your complexion. During sex, your body produces a hormone called DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). “It can boost the immune system, give you healthier skin and even decrease depression,” he says. So much for the $79 night cream!

Sarah Jio is the health and fitness blogger for Glamour.com. Visit her blog, Vitamin G

WD wants to answer your toughest sex questions! Submit your most pressing sexual questions to wdsexualhealth@gmail.com, and we will address the topic in an upcoming article–anonymity guaranteed.

Read more: Health Benefits of Sex – Surprising Benefits of Sex for Women – Woman’s Day

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