Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Dear followers & readers,
I would like to wish you a happy new year full of love, happiness and luck!



Thanks for your support,
_StarHelen_

Legs!






Source: style.com

Chiara Ferragni's 2010


Isn't this picture the best?

Click here to see the best of Chiara Ferragni's fabulous 2010. Massive inspiration/jealousy.

KEJADIAN TERBESAR DAN TERGILA DIDUNIA


1. Gempa Haiti

12 Januari 2010, negara Amerika Latin, Haiti, mengalami gempa bumi dahsyat   dengan 7.0 skala richter. Ibukota Port-au Prince berubah menjadi puing, sebagian besar bangunan di dalam kota hanya tersisa reruntuhan dinding dan potongan pilar dimana-mana. Beberapa jam pasca gempa, lebih dari 1 juta orang kehilangan tempat tinggal. Gempa itu telah merenggut 230.000 korban tewas dan 100.000 orang lebih terluka.
Setelah menderita kerugian yang begitu besar, salah satu negeri termiskin di belahan bumi barat itu, sulit sekali pulih dengan baik dari bencana, hingga kini masih saja terdapat puluhan ribu orang yang tinggal di tempat pengungsian sementara. Selama beberapa bulan terakhir ini, di Haiti telah merebak wabah kolera, dewasa ini lebih dari 300 orang yang tertular kolera telah tewas, meski dalam masa pemilu, kemungkinan tidak akan membawa perubahan efektif yang cepat bagi Haiti.   

2. WikiLeaks
Sebagai situs yang khusus “membocorkan” rahasia pemerintah dan dokumen sensitif, 2010 tak diragukan lagi merupakan tahun terdongkraknya popularitas situs WikiLeaks. Laiknya ia telah melepaskan 2 buah bom super besar, sehingga menimbulkan gejolak dahsyat di masyarakat internasional. Boleh dikatakan situs ini, dengan metode pengungkapan rahasia ”tanpa ampun” laiknya hujan badai, menyapu dengan dahsyat tanah pedalaman penyimpan rahasia informasi abad-21 tersebut, serta telah mengagetkan para pakar IT dan teknik pengamanan.
Pendiri Wikileaks, Julian Assange, kemungkinan menjadi orang yang tertawa paling akhir. Situs WikiLeaks menyatakan, tak akan kenal kata menyerah dalam hal “membocorkan” pekerjaan “Agung” ini hingga tuntas.





(INTERNET)
3. Penyelamatan Chili
5 Agustus 2010, di pertambangan emas dan tembaga San Jose di gurun Etakama sebelah utara Chili terjadi kecelakaan lorong tambang. Sebanyak 33 pekerja tambang terkubur di dalam sumur tambang di kedalaman 700 meter, setelah 17 hari berlalu baru ditemukan. Untungnya, kondisi kesehatan mereka cukup baik. Maka sebelum memperoleh cara penyelamatan ke atas bumi, mereka perlu menunggu di dalam sumur selama 2 bulan lebih.  

Proses evakuasi telah memperoleh sorotan segenap media global, nasib para pekerja tambang yang terkurung itu mengetuk hati semua orang. Kehidupan selama 69 hari di dalam sumur, tidak sampai membuat mereka pesimis, sebaliknya, seiring dengan pengembangan rencana penyelamatan oleh yang berwenang dan di bawah dorongan para keluarga, beserta para sahabat siang dan malam, 33 pekerja tambang itu pada akhirnya seluruhnya secara sukses berhasil dikeluarkan dari sumur tambang.

4. Banjir besar di Pakistan

Sejak akhir Juli tahun ini, telah turun hujan tiada henti di Pakistan, wilayah barat laut mengalami banjir terparah selama 80 tahun terakhir, air bah itu telah menyebabkan 2.000 orang tewas dan 650.000 rumah hancur, 1,5 juta orang kehilangan tempat tinggal, sekitar 21 juta orang di berbagai strata sosial menjadi pengungsi. 550.000 hektar lahan pertanian tenggelam, diperkirakan 10 juta ekor ternak tewas, kerugian ekonomi minimal mencapai 43 miliar dollar AS (Rp 387 triliun).
Pihak pemerintah Pakistan menyatakan, kerugian yang diakibatkan air bah kali ini barangkali membutuhkan beberapa tahun baru secara bertahap dapat dipulihkan.

5. Semenanjung Korea

Laporan menunjukkan, pada 26 Maret 2010 malam, Kapal Cheon An milik Korsel meledak di perairan barat Korsel dan tenggelam, sejumlah 104 tentara dan perwira di atas kapal itu hanya tersisa 58 orang yang dapat diselamatkan. Korsel bersikeras kejadian itu ulah dari torpedo yang ditembakkan Korut, namun pihak Korut membantahnya.
Sejak kejadian tersebut, suasana semenanjung Korea sulit diubah menjadi santai. Laporan pemeriksaan pihak militer Korsel akhirnya menuding Korut atas kejadian Kapal Cheon An dan bersama AS melancarkan Latihan Militer Triwulanan di perairan semenanjung Korea. Berulang kali mereka melakukan latihan militer gabungan dengan niat mengirim sinyal “jelas” kepada Korut tentang “power” militer kedua negara itu.






(INTERNET)
6. Piala Dunia Afrika Selatan

Bagi para penggila bola yang paling diperhatikan pada tahun ini tentu adalah Piala Dunia Afrika Selatan, kejuaraan kali ini untuk kali pertama dilangsungkan di Benua Afrika. Meski sebelum kejuaraan dimulai ada media yang menyangsikan penyelenggaraan kejuaraan internasional skala besar oleh Afrika Selatan ini, namun setelah kejuaraan berlangsung, keraguan seperti ini juga otomatis sirna. Mata seluruh masyarakat dunia tertuju pada kontinental hitam bersejarah panjang namun serba misterius ini. 
Piala Dunia putaran kali ini, tentu ada suka-dukanya dan derita-gembira. Luapan kegembiraan tim pemenang tak usah diulas lagi, Messi, Schneider, Kaka dan lain-lain, meneteskan air mata penyesalan di arena pertandingan. 


7. Yaman: perang anti terorisme

Pada hari Natal 2009, Umar Farouq Abdul Mutallab seorang yang dicurigai sebagai anggota teroris asal Nigeria, berupaya sebelum pesawat jurusan AS mendarat di Detroit, meledakkan bom dari celana dalamnya, namun gagal. Ia pernah menerima pelatihan organisasi di pangkalan Yaman yang terungkap sesudah kejadian. Organisasi itu mengklaim bertanggung jawab atas kejadian ini, maka dalam sekejab Yaman – negeri paling miskin dengan ketertiban paling kacau di wilayah Timur Tengah, telah menyeruak di hadapan mata seluruh dunia.  
Obama mengumumkan, AS akan bekerja-sama dengan Yaman dalam menghantam organisasi “pangkalan”, dengan tergesa mendorong secara masif langkah pengamanan bandara dan telah menuai polemik berskala besar serta maraknya keluhan masyarakat atas pemeriksaan melekat dan mesin pemindai  bandara yang dapat melihat tembus seluruh pakaian yang menempel di tubuh. 

8. Kendala keuangan Eropa

Awal 2010, krisis utang Sovereign mulanya meletus di Yunani untuk kemudian dengan pesat meluas ke negara Eropa lainnya. Diantara 27 negara Uni Eropa, nyaris seluruh negara memprediksi rapor merah atau level hutang publik pada melampaui batas atas yang diperbolehkan UE, antara lain rapor merah dan hutang Yunani pada tahun lalu bahkan mencapai 13,6% dan 113% dari Produk Domestik Bruto. 
Rapor merah dan hutang publik yang begitu tinggi membuat para investor mulai menyangsikan daya Solvabilitas pemerintah. Harga finansial dari sebagian negara bertendensi meningkat terus, hingga akhirnya tiba pada jalan buntu. Demi menghadapi krisis ini, termasuk Yunani yang anggota UE berduyun-duyun menyodorkan Rencana Penghematan Fiskal dengan isi utama pengurangan pengeluaran publik dan peningkatan beban pajak.   

9. Perang anti narkoba Meksiko

Presiden Meksiko Felipe Calderon sejak naik panggung pada 2006, sudah lantas melaksanakan kebijakan “Pengumuman perang terhadap narkoba”, namun sampai 2010, problema penyuapan pihak kepolisian belum juga memperoleh pembenahan. Sebaliknya, kebijakan keras anti narkoba menimbulkan ketidak-puasan para pedagang narkoba, kekerasan yang menyangkut narkoba semakin merajalela.
Menurut data statistik istana kepresidenan Meksiko, dalam 4 tahun ini telah menyergap 125 orang anggota dan pentolan grup perdagangan narkoba, merampas 93.000 unit senjata. Nilai narkoba yang berhasil disita mencapai 10,938 miliar dollar AS (Rp 98,4 triliun), menyita uang tunai sebanyak 434,6 juta dollar AS (Rp 3,91 triliun) dan memberikan pukulan telak terhadap grup perdagangan narkoba.  

10. Pasukan Kaos Merah Thailand

Sejak kudeta militer yang terjadi di Thailand pada 2006, “Pasukan Kaos Kuning” dan “Pasukan Kaos Merah” tampil silih berganti, politik jalanan semakin dimainkan semakin seru. Rapat umum dan bentrokan selama 2 bulan antara Maret-Mei 2010, minimal telah menimbulkan korban tewas 88 orang dan 200 lebih terluka, menjadi peristiwa paling berdarah selama 18 tahun ini di Thailand.
Perkelahian jalanan juga membuat Thailand langsung menderita kerugian ekonomi sebanyak 4,6 miliar dollar AS (Rp 41,4 triliun), industri pariwisata mengalami dampak serius dan sebagian besar karyawannya kehilangan tempat kerja

MENGINGAT DAN MEMPERBAIKI KEJADIAN-KEJADIAN, KESALAHAN DAN KEKURANGAN DALAM SETAHUN


Satu tahun… dalam perhitungan tentu dianggap sedikit, Namun, bagi orang yang beriman tidak sedikit artinya, karena kalau akan dihitung menurut hari, maka satu tahun itu sama dengan 365 hari, atau kalau dihitung menurut jam sama dengan 8760 jam, atau kalau dihitung menurut menit sama dengan 525.600 menit dan kalau akan dihitung menurut detik sama dengan 31.536.000 detik. Lantas...

Setahun berlalu dari umur kita. Umur sama dengan bernafas, bernafas sama dengan berdetak jantung, jantung adalah salah satu organ tubuh yang amat sangat berjasa dalam hidup ini, dia tidak pernah bosan bekerja, tidak mengenal istirahat sedikitpun, bahkan di saat si jantung itu dalam keadaan amat parah, dia masih tetap bekerja dengan setia….

Kalau kita akan mencoba menghitungnya, bagi orang dewasa, yang denyutan jantungnya 80 kali permenit dalam keadaan normal, maka sehari semalam jantung bekerja sebanyak 115.200 kali, subhanallah!!!! Subhanallah…!!!

Lantas...Berapakah anggaran hidup dalam setahun jika semua nikmat itu harus dibayar dengan rupiah? Pasti tidak akan ditemukan orang kaya di dunia ini, sebab semua hasil usaha, semua harta kekayaan, semua gaji tunjangan jabatan dan semua hasil jerih payahnya hanya untuk membayar nikmat Allah…


sumber

Thursday, December 30, 2010

For whom does Moses Mendelssoh speak? On banning the ban.

A few weeks ago Alan Nadler wrote a review of Shmuel Feiner's new biography of Moses Mendelssohn[1], and he concluded that Mendelssohn "sadly speaks for no Jews today."

On the contrary! One of the hottest issues among Orthodox Jews is rabbinic bans. Even when the issue becomes stale, it can immediately come alive with a new ban, and arouse passionate reactions. For example, see Banning Bans (an article which was circulated by a friend in his email list with more than 150 members). Without a doubt, this is a big topic, even among people who simply do not recognize the authority of banners, or do not face even a shred of pressure to conform to them. But I am also fairly certain that a not insignificant group of people who are inclined to recognize at least some authority in at least some banners are also exercised about the issue.

One of Mendelssohn's chief duties - somewhat reluctantly accepted by him - was to present Judaism in a positive light to the 'republic of letters,' the European community of philosophers and scientists, at a time when it was increasingly recognized that the status quo inherited from medieval times, where Jews were tolerated alien communities who existed at the pleasure and mercy of kings and dukes who saw them as ATM machines, while the Church and the masses despised them as aliens, could no longer continue. It seemed to be an age of reason, liberty, equality, fraternity. All the elements of the old order were subject to critical scrutiny and weighed against the promise of a more sensible future.

In fact, right around that time one group of philosophers were, to a certain degree, using philosophical principles to rebel against what they considered to be a tyrannical king who, in reality, lacked a divine right to rule subjects in an unfair way. (They also used weapons.)

The philosophers knew that the church represented the old ways of medieval Europe, which they believed was despotic and inherently opposed to reason and progress. They succeeded in even converting certain sovereigns to their point of view, some of whom began introducing new laws promoting more education, supporting scientific and medical research, etc. For these reasons, they generally opposed the established churches, or at least the right of clerics to wield political power.

Once the novelty of Mendelssohn wore off, he was basically viewed as a perfect - or perfected - man by much the European elite. Yet they viewed Judaism as much more degenerate than even unenlightened Christianity - all the more so degenerate than an *enlightened* kind of Christianity, which some of them subscribed to. Therefore it made no sense to them that Mendelssohn should remain Jewish. This was seen as his one blemish. Was he allowing his emotions, like nostalgia, or ulterior motives like friendship to make him hold to an unenlightened conclusion (to remain Jewish)? Was it something else? Ultimately, many of them held, if he were truly completely intellectually honest he would convert to (enlightened) Christianity, which was the only path a philosopher could take (other than atheism, which was not at all respectable in conservative Germany).

In reality Mendelssohn held the same opinion they did about religion - enlightened religion - but for him the real world example of enlightened religion was Judaism. He didn't think so much of Christianity, but knew that he wasn't exactly granted the freedom to say so, and even if he had the freedom in a narrow sense, he knew that saying so would harm the Jews generally, and also himself, making many a friend into an enemy. So this really wasn't a conversation he wanted to have, and was in fact furious when one particular so-called friend, the phrenologist cleric Lavater, openly challenged him to convert or explain why not.

Many of his philosopher admirers and friends backed him, and a vigorous debate about the tactic of Lavater ensued. In certain ways Mendelssohn was able to skillfully evade a debate, but not forever. When the dust settled Lavater's Big Question loomed large. Eventually Mendelssohn felt compelled to justify Judaism and himself philosophically, and this he did in his book Jerusalem (subtitled "a treatise on ecclesiastical authority and Judaism"). However, in order to portray Judaism as enlightened - which he truly believed it really was - he could not excuse or deny that which was medieval in contemporary Judaism. At the time the main thing along those lines was coercion, or the power of rabbis to wield the cherem (which in truth was given - and eventually taken - by the state). He felt that Judaism could and should be practiced because God revealed laws which were eternally binding so long as there was no other revelation suspending them. Jews needed to perform these mitzvos, but because they were from God, not because of social pressures or tyrannical rabbis who could punish sinners by harming their livelihood and so forth. All the more so in a time when he - as well as the philosophers - sought to remove the political power of the European clergy, which they blamed for many of medieval and early modern Europe's ills. All the more so in a time when the conversation among Europe's elite was how to end the age-old idea of Jews as barely tolerated aliens, caught in a vicious cycle of being despised by and despising the host.

In any event, the way history was moving, the cherem was on its way out anyway. European governments were not going to allow the Jews judicial autonomy for long. Somewhat amazingly, specifically this point, Mendelssohn's advocacy of removing the great stick from the rabbis never aroused any particular enmity on their part - which may be a healthy sign that in reality they themselves didn't really want to coerce, but only to shepherd sincere communities of voluntary believers. Of course they thought that this had to encompass the entire Jewish community.

All told, this was Mendelssohn's vision of modern Judaism - banning the ban.

So, yes, Mendelssohn does speak for many Jews - Orthodox Jews - who are opposed to banning One People, Two Worlds, Making of a Godol, Natan Slifin, The Big Event at MSG, Lipa Schmelzer, Vos iz Neias - indeed, anything.

Getting back to Feiner's book, although it doesn't really contain anything not already in Alexander Altmann's essentially definitive biography, it is short and easy, whereas Altmann's was long and ponderous. Considering that Feiner is every bit the complicated footnote-heavy academic scholar, his ability to produce this easily digestible work is a wonder to me. In the first few pages I came across an error which is not so minor - Feiner writes that Rabbi Akiva Joseph Schlesinger was a disciple of the Hatam Sofer, whereas he was born the year the Hatam Sopher died. His father and particularly his father-in-law Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein were the disciples. So I was prepared for this to be one of those books where I count the errors and then debate with myself whether it's nice to review it and point out all the inaccuracies. This surprised me, since Shmuel Feiner is a good and careful historian. Fortunately the errors began and mostly ended right there. Of course no work of (any) kind is really going to be perfect. This book is very interesting and accessible and accurate, although for someone interested in really penetrating the mind and deeds of Mendelssohn it should be seen as the prologomena to Altmann and works by Mendelssohn himself.

[1] "Moses Mendelssohn: Sage of Modernity" was written in Hebrew but published in English translation.

Merry Christmas!



I know it's a bit late, but I hope you had a great Christmas! I'm calling off the Christmas comp since nobody has entered *sob*.


OK, so bye!

x-Dani-Harmer-x

Ecco Shoes

ECCO is a Danish shoe manufacturer and retailer founded in 1963 by Karl Toosbuy in Bredebro, Denmark. Originally established as a footwear manufacturer, the company has since expanded into leather production and leather accessories. ECCO is the only major shoe company in the world to own and manage every step of the production process – from cow to consumer. ECCO opened its first retail store in Denmark in 1982, and has since expanded to become a globally recognized brand with more than 3,800 branded sales locations throughout the world, selling an extensive range of men's, women's, and children's shoes.


ECCO was established in 1963 by Karl Toosbuy in the small town of Bredebro in southern Denmark. Toosbuy founded the company on the philosophy that “shoes must follow the foot” and not the other way around. His idea was to produce shoes that combined innovative technology, Scandinavian design, and traditional craftsmanship with an understanding of the human foot, and how it works.


In 1978, the company made its first real breakthrough, and gained widespread international recognition for its comfort footwear, when it launched the "Joke" shoe, followed by the classics "Free" and "Time". These shoes were the first in the world to feature a sole imprinted with the manufacturer's logo. Over eight million pairs of shoes from this group have been sold since then. Throughout the 1980s, the company expanded its operations internationally. By 1982, sales reached 1 million pairs of shoes annually. In order to accommodate the increasing demand additional production was established in Portugal, and under license in Japan and Cyprus.


The 1990s saw major additions in the ECCO collection, including the launch of Kids, Golf and Performance shoes. ECCO built its own research and design center, named "Futura", in Denmark in 1996, and opened its own beamhouse in Indonesia and tannery in Thailand a few years later. In 1998 the first flagship retail store opened on Oxford Street, in London. By 2000, ECCO owned every step of the production process, from design and leather production to branded retail sales.

ECCO owns tanneries in the Netherlands, Thailand, Indonesia and China. ECCO’s tanneries are among the leading manufacturers of quality leather to the fashion, sports, and car industries. ECCO has engaged in a research program to reduce the environmental impact of the tanning process. Approximately 80% of ECCO's shoes are produced in its own shoe factories in Slovakia, Thailand, Indonesia and China, and 20% under license in a number of countries including Indonesia, China and India. ECCO projects a brand image of a level of comfort and style generally associated with exclusive high-end shoes, while retailing at prices that are a little above average for the mass market, and within reach of a wide range of consumers.
ECCO shoes are sold in more than 90 countries. The company has expanded its operations into markets in Asia and in Eastern and Central Europe, Canada, and the United States. Their products are sold through 900 mono-brand stores, as well as independent retailers and online sales.

ECCO boots by the Danish shoe manufacturing and retail company ECCO have been around for almost fifty years, but their breakthrough into the mainstream shoe market has occured in the past decade. It is safe to say that their surge in popularity is due to the aesthetics, comfort and quality of their goods and not clever advertising or just plain speculation. ECCO boots and shoes are of great value indeed. ECCO currently offers a range of thirty different boot series, ten of which are designed for men. The thing most people associate with ECCO is comfort and this comfort they offer has become somewhat of a trademark. They try not to make compromises in terms of comfort or ergonomics when it comes to design. Wearers may find that their boots are roomier and much more comfortable than most boots on the market today. This consistency in smart design and comfort has helped ECCO boots develop a loyal customer base, which is growing by the day. As a new autumn and winter seasons are on their way in the northern hemisphere, it is time to start looking for proper footwear that would protect you from snow, ice, rain, cold and every possible combination of the these things. ECCO products, designed to be used in the cold Scandinavian areas, will meet your every expectation

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chilly Reception For Susana: Bone Chilling Inaugural Day Weather, Plus: Reflections On Governor Bill Richardson; Larger Than Life Leader Ends Run

The Richardson years crawl to a close in these final days of 2010 and a very chilly reception--at least weather wise--awaits New Mexico's next Governor.

Susana Martinez has opted to have her public oath-taking held outdoors on the Santa Fe Plaza at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. The temperature at that hour is forecast to be a bone chilling 15 degrees. The wind is predicted at only 5 mph, but with those kind of temps even a very light breeze is going to mean added discomfort. The extreme weather conditions will also keep the very young and very old from attending the event. (Other Guvs have taken to the great outdoors for their swearing in only to regret it later).

If any politician had a reason to keep her inaugural speech short, Susana Martinez has it. And it will be so cold even if she shows up in a politically incorrect fur coat, it won't be held against her.

Martinez will actually be officially sworn in as our next Governor at midnight Jan 1. That ceremony will take place indoors in much cozier surroundings.

Meantime, the state Democratic Party is doing all it can to keep the political weather cool for Susana, even before she assumes power. Party Chairman Javier Gonzales gave Susana a party-pooper of an inaugural gift via this op-ed piece:

Martinez came in promising bold change, and before she's even taken the oath of office, she's backed out on promises, given plum assignments to heavy-hitting donors and flubbed her first real chance to increase transparency and accountability. Bold change indeed.

New GOP chairman Monty Newman fired back in this op-ed.

Not that Javier doesn't have some points. But we're still old school and believe the pre-inaugural party critique needs to be tempered. How about also wishing her well and offering to work with her on matters of mutual agreement?

There will be plenty of time to go to the mattresses. But for this weekend the state can unite--for however briefly--in wishing the new Governor good luck and Godspeed.

BILL'S LATE ZINGER

Big Bill has been a class act when it comes to holding off criticizing his successor, but he could not resist a little zinger as his last hours ticked away:

She needs to stop using campaign rhetoric and realize that she's now governor and has to govern," he said. "You know, the state jet business and the exempts and the budget stuff. This is time to govern, to learn about the budget and to pick good people.


PARTY TIME


The inauguration festivities get underway this evening in Susana's hometown of Las Cruces where she will host a send off gala at the Las Cruces Convention Center.

About 1,200 people are expected to greet Martinez, who'll be dressed in a black formal evening gown, at Thursday's event. They'll dance to DJ music and chow down on treats that will include beef tenderloin, roast pork, green chile mashed potatoes and carrots with champagne sauce, event planners report.

No fish on that menu? Well, we've been told we are in for a "red meat" administration.

HITTING THE EXITS

This Wednesday e-mail from Gilbert Gallegos, deputy chief of staff for communications for Big Bill, tells all you need to know about what is happening in Santa Fe:

It was a pleasure working with everyone during the past eight years. As of this evening, all e-mail accounts and cell phones in the Governor’s Office will be shut down. In the future, I can be reached at my personal e-mail address...

Peace Out!


And this is one of the last days you will see this web site--Big Bill's. The singing of Auld Lang Syne is permitted while perusing the content--soon to be dispatched to the state archives.

And here's what Gilbert's boss was telling the Los Angeles Times this week as he prepared to give up power:

Richardson, however, said he expected his legacy to survive because Democrats still controlled the Legislature. He ticked off a list of achievements, including sometimes quixotic efforts to revive the perennially impoverished state — a muscular film program, a light-rail line linking Albuquerque and Santa Fe, a state-funded spaceport to launch tourists into orbit.

"Was I hyperactive?" Richardson said. "Yes. Did I try to do too much? No. There was a lot to do."

THE LAST LETTER

The Governor sent out his final communication to state employees via this letter. He said the administration "transformed New Mexico."

THE FINAL DAYS

You can thrown a rock at your computer screen or shake your head in bemusement, but we want to thank Governor Bill Richardson (2003-'10) for his service to New Mexico.

We didn't coin the nickname "Big Bill" back in 2003 for nothing. He earned it. His first term may well be remembered as the best in the state's 100 year history.

You can't take that away from him.

If Richardson had left after those four years he would arguably have become the first Governor to wear the moniker of "great." Alas, there was the second term with its foolishness and miscalculations of Shakespearean proportion.

Did Bill Richardson really believe in anything other than his own personal advancement? Were all decisions filtered through a narrow lens of selfishness? Or was there a set of core beliefs that guided him? After 30 years of observing him and nearly eight years of blogging--the answer for us remains an enigma. We do find that he likes people and he likes to help them, no matter the motivation.

Ultimately it is what a political leader does--not why he does it--that matters. On the large questions of our time--of any time--Richardson stands tall. His unfailing support of human and civil rights for all New Mexicans (and the world) tops the list. His ability and desire to work with people of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds stands out. It serves as an example for all future governors.

Richardson's legislative accomplishments in his first term cemented him as a larger than life figure. His failures in the second, brought about in large measure because of his larger than life appetites, reinforced that image negatively. The economic collapse, coming as it did in tandem with the pay to play investigations, also magnified his flaws. It saw him redefined as a corpulent and unsympathetic character.

The duality of Richardson is what makes certitude so elusive in rendering a final opinion on his years. There is much for the historians and future bloggers to ponder. He was important.

While it is indeed time for Bill Richardson to go, we doubt that there will soon be a time when he is forgotten.

Hasta luego, Bill.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

Thanks to you and our advertisers for all the support this year.

Reporting to you from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan.


Happy New Year!


E-mail your news and comments. Interested in advertising here? Drop us a line.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2010
Not for reproduction without permission of the author

2011 New Maserati Grand Turismno S


The Maserati GranTurismo S, the sportiest version of Maserati’s coupé, was developed for those looking for a distinctive performance car. The new and powerful 4.7 litre V8 engine is capable of generating 323 kw (440bhp), bestowing the GranTurismo S with a distinctive personality, aggression and power; all the necessary traits to deliver a refined drive in complete safety.

The transaxle set up employed in the design of the engine and gearbox is a stunning example of Maserati technology. The suspension makes the most of this system thanks to new fixed-rate dampers that now offer 10% more damping. The compression and extension ratios have also been tweaked and the rear torsion bar stiffened. The brakes, developed in collaboration with Brembo, always give a prompt response thanks to their dual cast iron and aluminium discs.

The sporty feel of the GranTurismo S is accentuated by Pininfarina’s modern lines. The detailing on the car renders it unmistakable. Features include red prongs on the Trident, the Saetta logo mirror and the standard colour of the brake callipers, features that distinguish competition Maseratis. Style, elegance and safety, combined with extraordinary performance, makes driving the Maserati GranTurismo S a thrilling experience that can be enjoyed every day.

GranTurismo S is powered by a 4.7-liter V8 in place of the unit regular GT's 4.2-liter. Output of 433 horsepower at 7000 rpm with a torque rating of 360 lb-ft at 4750 rpm, repair 28, and 21 respectively. In S, an MC-Shift replace sophisticated dual-clutch six-speed ZF automatic transmission. The changes at the highest speed for the S 183 mph, up from 177 mph, and reached 62 mph from stop nearly three-tenths of seconds faster, at 4.93. Because the transaxle configuration, weight distribution over the rear S-bias, at 53 percent, compared with 51 percent of the ordinary car was rear bias.

New high power Brembo brakes increase stopping distance and offers a high resistance to fade. Maserati claims the car can stop from 62 mph in less than 115 meters. This system has a front brake discs made with dual-cast technology, so that pairs up iron and aluminum for a better weight, heat transfer properties, and extorted by a mono-block calipers aluminum 6-piston.

Compared with the standard GranTurismo, S rides on unique 20-inch wheels, up from 19-inch wheels. Other exterior visual differences between the two sides of skirts and unique integrated spoiler. The dimensions of the GranTurismo and S are nearly identical, although S is 2.7 inches wider.

In addition to the above changes, the S features of a conventional suspension set-up, aggressively tuned to reduce roll by 10 percent compared with the GranTurismo pedestrians. Electronically-adjustable Skyhook suspension was found in a weaker car is an option. Interior Poltrona Frau leather and Alcantara for luxury increased, and include more aggressive seat supported.

Engine

The Maserati GranTurismo S is powered by an eight cylinder, 4,691 cc V90° engine that develops 440 bhp at 7,000 rpm and produces a maximum torque of 490 Nm at 4,750 rpm. The timing is actioned by two overhead camshafts per bank and four valves per cylinder controlled by hydraulic tappets. The overhead camshafts on the aspirated side are controlled by a low pressure, continual phase variator with an actuation time of less than 0.15 seconds.

The 4.7 litre V8’s maximum power is achieved at 7,500 rpm but can reach 7,600 rpm in dynamic conditions with on-the-limit gear changes. The power unit is one of Maserati’s new breed of wet sump engines.

Exhaust

The engines deep throaty sound can be fully appreciated thanks to the sports exhaust. However, the engine noise never interferes with the on-board comfort you would expect from a true grand tourer.

The set up features two steel exhaust pipes, one for each cylinder bank, that are compensated by a central silencer. Two pneumatic valves are set close to the rear silencers and are controlled electronically by the engine’s central computer. They can be managed by the driver by pushing the ‘Sport’ button on the central console. The new exhaust system is instantly recognisable thanks to its distinctive tailpipes where the two outlets come together in an eye-catching single chrome oval.

Gearbox

From a technical point of view, the electro-actuated gearbox fitted to the Maserati GranTurismo S has a six-speed (plus reverse), twin disc clutch, with a triple cone synchroniser on the first and second gears and a double cone on the other gears.

The twin disc clutch derives from the world of competition and is particularly suitable for sports cars: the reduced size of the clutch group (215 mm), and the small diameter of the flywheel (240 mm), keeps the unit’s overall weight down. This notably reduces the engine’s inertia compared to a single disc set up. The system also allows top end revs to be reached more easily, resulting in a quicker response from the gears, faster shifts and improved gear dynamics.

The electro-actuated transmission can be used in two ways: manual and automatic. Manual mode is for those who prefer a sportier, more involving driving experience with gear changes only made if the driver requests them in order to fully unlock the car’s performance. Automatic mode is designed for when the driver wants a relaxing drive: the system decides not only when to change gear but at what revs.

MC-Shift

The MC-Shift gearbox is the biggest innovation on the electro-actuated system fitted to the Maserati GranTurismo S. MC-Shift is a management and components software that allows super fast gear change times.

On the Maserati GranTurismo S, the gear changes partially overlap and engaging and disengaging the gear happens before the clutch fully opens and shuts. This means that gear changes, taken as the time from when the foot comes off the accelerator, drops to 100ms, while the gear shift itself takes 40ms.

The fast MC-Shift is only available when changing up and in Manual Sport mode when the gearbox computer recognises that the parameters relative to the temperature of the engine and gearbox have been reached. The fast changes can be made above 5,500 revs and with the accelerator pedal at 80% opening. Once these parameters have been reached, the system enables fast changes and advises the driver of this via the MC-S light on the instrument panel.

Transaxle set up

The Maserati GranTurismo S is equipped with a transaxle system, part of Maserati’s proud technical tradition and that is found on many high performance sports cars. The transaxle set-up further improves the weight distribution of the GranTurismo by shifting the gearbox to the rear in a single block with the differential. The mid-mounted engine is firmly connected to the electro-actuated gearbox, set in the rear, via a rigid tube that houses the drive shaft. These solutions give the Maserati GranTurismo S a front-rear weight distribution of 47%-53%, unique in its segment.

Suspension

The Maserati GranTurismo S comes with fixed-setting suspension that is now fitted with new springs and dampers to offer 10% more damping. The compression and extension ratios have also been tweaked and adapted to the car’s specific characteristics and the rear torsion bar has been reinforced.

The Skyhook system

As an alternative to fixed rate dampers, the electronically controlled Skyhook suspension is available as an option. This system employs dampers with an aluminium body that continually adjust the damping.

The Skyhook system acts by using acceleration sensors that detect movement on all four wheels and the body. A control unit processes the data it receives from the sensors, analyses the driving style and road surface and instantly adjusts the dampers accordingly via their proportional valves. However, as the Skyhook and transmission data from the sensors is fed to the same point, Maserati engineers have integrated the two systems. As such, the GranTurismo S is able to fine tune the suspension settings so that the driver feels even less movement through the chassis during gear changes.

Opting for the ‘Sport’ setting results in a stiffer ride, less roll, more contained load transfer, greater agility and stability as well as allowing startling performance figures. The dedicated on board computer reduces gear shifts by 40% and Skyhook switches from controlling the ride to focusing on the set up (body control), making the GranTurismo easier to handle and giving it more grip. Together, the two systems combine to offer more precise and involving gear changes.

TIMNAS INDONESIA MENANGIS...... MALAYSIA PESTA "UNYIL KO.... VS UPIN IPIN"

Kepakan Garuda ternyata belum mampu menundukkan Harimau Malaya. Dalam pertandingan final leg kedua di Stadion Gelora Bung Karno, Rabu (29/12/2010), Timnas Indonesia hanya mampu menang 2-1 dari Malaysia.

Gol awal Malaysia dicetak pada menit ke 53, lewat kaki penyerang bertubuh gempal Moh Safee.

Timnas Indonesia baru berhasil menyamakan kedudukan di menit 71 lewat tendangan kaki kiri Muhamad Nasuha, memanfaatkan bola liar hasil tendangan keras Ahmad Bustomi yang gagal ditangkap kiper Malaysia Khairul Fahmi.

Gol Muhamad Nasuha ini menambah semangat anak asuh Riedl untuk terus menekan pertahanan Malaysia.

Sementara anak asuh Raja Gopal acapkali memanfaatkan serangan balik yang sangat membahayakan. 

Indonesia berhasil menambah keunggulan menjadi 2-1, lewat tendangan keras M Ridwan dari sisi kanan pertahanan Malaysia di menit 86.

Skor 2-1 tidak berubah hingga wasit meniup peluit tanda akhir pertandingan.

Dengan kedudukan ini, berarti aggregat 4-2, Garuda pun gagal mencetak sejarah menjadi juara AFF 2010 untuk kelima kalinya.

Maserati Grand Turismo S, Powerful And Aggressive


A year after the unveiling of the GranTurismo, Maserati will be back at the Geneva International Motorshow with yet another world premiere, the GranTurismo S. The ultimate expression of the Trident coupé's sportiness shifts the emphasis onto performance and driving enjoyment.

Two main novelties are at the heart of the new Maserati: the 440 HP V8 4.7 engine and the electro-actuated gearbox with fast MC-Shift arranged in the Transaxle layout typical of high-performance sports cars that represents the technological DNA of all Maseratis.

The GranTurismo S makes use of the high-performance brake system developed in collaboration with Brembo and introduced for the first time in the automotive field on the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S. The system features front brake discs made with dual-cast technology - a dual casting of cast iron and aluminum, paired with aluminum mono-bloc 6-piston brake calipers, ensuring optimized braking performance.

On the exterior the Maserati GranTurismo S is characterised by a number of aesthetic modifications that, although discrete, are highly effective and make the car body appear sportier without abandoning the sleekness of the lines masterfully designed by Pininfarina.

Seat features finished in Alcantara central zone and a new horizontal pipe. Along with Poltrona Frau ® leather-Alcantara combination, Alcantara can be substituted for the skin * peccary. Peccary comes in three natural shades and is a natural skin embossed different from that normally used in vehicle seats. Its natural look and no additional chemical treatment to distinguish from other skin.

GranTurismo S cocoon the driver and gave him the sensation of having everything under control. From the driver's seat you can experience a shift, gear elegant chrome-edged paddle behind the wheel. Center console has a home switch panel to select first gear and vice versa through the gearbox electro-pressed.

Maserati GranTurismo S personalization that results in a more contemporary look. You can even choose AluTex to the dashboard, door panels and rear side panels. AluTex is a material created by inserting fine aluminum powder on the surface of fiberglass, this produces an unusual brilliance and three-dimensional effect.



Khaki & Nudes






Source: Style.com

News!



Hello,
I back with a new banner which I appear as a pin-up-girl! Also I wanted to inform you that there's a new floor at the PPQ store , and here's a picture :




And here's a photo of all the pieces in Real Version :



 
I'm sure that Stardoll will add the rest pieces of the collection later ....



Xxx,
_StarHelen_


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