Will Facebook Succeed in China?

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If the rumors are true, Facebook is planning to enter China’s social-media market through a partnership with the local search giant Baidu.

Facebook will face strong local competition and the same regulatory and political pressures that defeated other Western internet giants like Google, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon and Twitter, according to industry experts.

China already has “social-media properties providing value in a very fragmented social media landscape, so I’m just not sure what compelling value Facebook can provide in a meaningful way,” said Sam Flemming, founder and chairman of CIC. “To become literally the Facebook of China is not going to be easy in a market that’s already very social.”

In addition, Facebook may have waited too long, warned James Lee, a global media analyst at CLSA. “When you have a hyper-competitive space, you need to be there on day one.”

China’s appeal is understandable. The country is home to the world’s largest internet market and it has a vibrant social-media scene, with successful social-media sites such as RenRen, Kaixin001, Qzone and 51.com, Tencent’s QQ instant-messenger platform and Sina’s red-hot microblogging service Weibo.
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Chinese media analysts also question whether Facebook has picked the best suitor in Baidu.

“There is a natural relationship between search and social,” said T.R. Harrington, founder and CEO of Shanghai-based Darwin Marketing and a search-marketing specialist. But Baidu is not necessarily the best choice for Facebook to enter the Chinese market. “It would make a lot more sense to work with someone like Sina’s Weibo [or] Tencent,” established companies that understand China’s social-media market.

Keith Richards’ Famous Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

I was very excited to be invited backstage at several Rolling Stones’ Concerts over the years…The interesting thing about these backstage events is that the Stones conduct them “before” the concert.
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Everyone is relaxed and excited by the anticipation of the show, the atmosphere is electric and the Stones oblige their fans by joining them for a virtual buffet feast…all of the band’s favorite dishes are there including Keith Richards’ favorite…shepherd’s pie.

Here is the recipe…

3 pounds potatoes, “Tumbling Diced”

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper to taste

2 pounds ground beef

2 large onions, chopped

2 large carrots, grated

1 12-ounce can beef stock

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Place potatoes in large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer until tender. Drain. Using electric mixer or whisk, mash potatoes and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat large skillet. Add beef and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Add carrots and stock. Mix in cornstarch, cook 10 minutes. Pour meat mixture into pie dish and top with mashed potatoes. Place under broiler until potatoes begin to turn brown.

St. Ann’s Feast, Hoboken, New Jersey

When I was a kid this feast was the highlight of my summer.

This year’s annual St. Ann’s Italian Festival is slated for July 21 through 26th. It is a large event every year in terms of turnout largely due to tradition and the quality of its musical acts.

The Hoboken St. Ann’s Festival is located at 7th and Jefferson in Hoboken which is the location of the beautiful St. Ann’s Church. For more information on the festival go to: http://www.st-annchurch.com/default.asp?contentID=35
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…and my favorite treat of the feast…zeppoles!
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Wish us luck, we also have tickets for the drawing held Tuesday night!

Nasa Myth #1; NASA is extraordinarily expensive

As I watch the US Space program as we knew it slowly come to an end I look at the budget cuts and the consequences that come from the cuts and ask why NASA? Especially when the US is in need of job creation. Probably the only government spending that really does create jobs is NASA.

At the height of the Apollo program, NASA consumed more than 4 percent of the federal budget. In the 1960s, that was a lot of money. Today, it’s a rounding error. NASA’s budget for fiscal year 2011 is roughly $18.5 billion — 0.5 percent of a $3.7 trillion federal budget. In 2010, Americans spent about as much on pet food.
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And those who complain that it is a waste to spend money in space forget that NASA creates jobs. According to the agency, it employs roughly 19,000 civil servants and 40,000 contractors in and around its 10 centers.

In the San Francisco area alone, the agency says it created 5,300 jobs and $877 million worth of economic activity in 2009. Ohio, a state hard-hit by the Great Recession that is home to NASA’s Plum Brook Research Station and Glenn Research Center, can’t afford to lose nearly 7,000 jobs threatened by NASA cuts.

Even more people have space-related jobs outside the agency. According to the Colorado Space Coalition, for example, more than 163,000 Coloradans work in the space industry. Though some build rockets for NASA, none show up in the agency’s job data.

Mandela reveals 67 ways to change the world.

To celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday Monday, the former South African president is asking people around the world to donate their time to public service. At least 67 minutes’ worth.
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CNN reports a group of multiracial, multilingual motorcycle riders known as “Bikers for Mandela Day” have been riding throughout South Africa the past week. In one of their seven community service projects, the bikers stopped in the small town of Harrismith to paint a children’s orphanage.

“For Madiba (Mandela), it demonstrates to him that people are passionate about his legacy,” Mandela’s personal assistant Zelda la Grange said.

Though South Africa doesn’t officially recognize the holiday, the United Nations has been supporting Nelson Mandela International Day on July 18 since 2009. According to CBS, people throughout the world are encouraged to spend at least 67 minutes of their time helping others in recognition of Mandela’s 67 years of public service.
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Here are 67 ways Mandela’s website suggests people can “change the world”:
1. Make a new friend. Get to know someone from a different cultural background.
2. Read to someone who can’t at a local home for the blind.
3. Fix the potholes in your street or neighborhood.
4. Help out at the local animal shelter. Dogs without homes still need a walk and a bit of love.
5. Find out from your local library if it has a story hour and offer to read during it.
6. Offer to take an elderly neighbor who can’t drive to do their shopping/chores.
7. Organize a litter cleanup day in your area.
8. Get a group of people to each knit a square and make a blanket for someone in need.
9. Volunteer at your police station or local faith-based organization.
10. Donate your skills!
11. If you’re a builder, help build or improve someone’s home.
12. Help someone to get his/her business off the ground.
13. Build a website for someone who needs one, or for a cause you think needs the support.
14. Help someone get a job.
15. If you’re a lawyer, do some pro bono work for a worthwhile cause or person.
16. Write to your area councilor about a problem in the area that requires attention.
17. Sponsor a group of learners to go to the theatre/zoo.
18. Get in touch with your local HIV organizations and find out how you can help.
19. Help out at your local hospice, as staff members often need as much support as the patients.
20. Take time to visit terminally ill people and bring some sunshine into their lives.
21. Talk to your friends and family about HIV.
22. Get tested for HIV and encourage your partner to do so too.
23. Take a bag full of toys to a local hospital that has a children’s ward.
24. Take younger members of your family for a walk in the park.
25. Donate some medical supplies to a local community clinic.
26. Take someone you know, who can’t afford it, to get their eyes tested or their teeth checked.
27. Bake something for a support group of your choice.
28. Start a community garden to encourage healthy eating in your community.
29. Donate a wheelchair or guide dog, to someone in need.
30. Create a food parcel and give it to someone in need.
31. Offer to help out at your local school.
32. Mentor a student in your field of expertise.
33. Coach extramural activities at the school.
34. Offer to provide tutoring in a school subject you are good at.
35. Donate your old computer.
36. Help maintain the sports fields.
37. Fix up a classroom by replacing broken windows, doors and light bulbs.
38. Donate a bag of art supplies.
39. Teach an adult literacy class.
40. Paint classrooms and school buildings.
41. Donate your old textbooks, or any other good books, to a school library.
42. Give blankets you no longer need to someone in need.
43. Donate clothes you no longer wear to someone who needs them.
44. Put together food parcels for a needy family.
45. Organize a bake sale, car wash or garage sale for charity and donate the proceeds.
46. Donate shoes you don’t wear.
47. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen.
48. Help at a local children’s home or orphanage.
49. Help the kids with their studies.
50. Organize a friendly game of soccer, or sponsor the kids to watch a game at the local stadium.
51. Coach a sports team and make new friends.
52. Donate sporting equipment to a children’s shelter.
53. Donate educational toys and books to a children’s home.
54. Paint or repair an orphanage or youth center.
55. Mentor someone.
56. If you play an instrument, visit your local old-age home and spend an hour playing for the residents and staff.
57. Learn the story of someone older than you.
58. Take an elderly person grocery shopping; they will appreciate your company and assistance.
59. Take someone’s dog for a walk if they are too frail to do so themselves.
60. Mow someone’s lawn and help them to fix things around their house.
61. If there are no recycling centers in your area, petition to provide one.
62. Donate indigenous trees to beautify neighborhoods in poorer areas.
63. Collect old newspapers from a school/community center/hospital and take them to a recycling center.
64. Identify open manhole covers or drains in your area and report them to the local authorities.
65. Organize groups that you work with to switch off all unnecessary lights and power supplies at night and on weekends.
66. Engage with people who litter and see if you can convince them of the value of clean surroundings.
67. Organize to clean up your local park, river, beach, street, town square or sports grounds.

Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years for his efforts to end South Africa’s apartheid regime, was freed in 1990 and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

15 of the Stupidest Laws on the Books

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I just saw this list on Lovelyish.com and had to repost it.

In our wonderful country, the land of the free and the home of the brave, we pride ourselves (sometimes) on our law system. Laws are being added and overturned all the time. In honor of the anniversary of our Independence coming up next week, I thought I’d show you a list of some of the dumbest laws in the United States.

1. Colorado: It is illegal to crash into obstacles on a ski slope.

2. Anniston, Alabama: It is illegal to wear blue jeans down Noble Street. I am there often I better me more careful.

3. Boston, Massachusetts: Angry at your neighbor? Well duels to the death are permitted on the common on Sundays but only if the Governor is present.

4. Topeka, Kansas: The installation of bathtubs is prohibited. All you bubble bath lovers, never move to Topeka.

5. Boise, Idaho: Residents are not permitted to fish from the the back of a giraffe.

6. Oregon: Keep your animals in line because fights between cats and dogs are illegal.

7. Mississippi: They take Sunday Church services VERY seriously. Any private citizen is allowed to arrest anyone who disturbs a Church service.

8. New York: Believe it or not, it is illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing “body hugging clothing.” I think it might be time that the police start enforcing that law on some people.

9. Prescott, Arizona: No one, and I mean NO ONE is allowed to ride their horse up the stairs of the county courthouse. I wonder if the other staircases are fair game?

10. Connesville, Pennsylvania: One’s pants may be worn NO lower than 5 inches below the waist.

11. New Hampshire: On Sundays, it is illegal to relieve yourself while looking up.

12. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: If a person is considered “offensive looking” it is illegal for him or her to be in public during the day. I can’t believe this is real. I wonder who gets to decide what is considered “offensive looking.”

13. New Jersey: If the horn accidentally goes off while a couple is making love in the car, they must face jail time. No ifs, ands, or buts. That’s why they invented back seats.

14. Hawaii: No child can be given the name Charles. Barrack is okay.

15. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware: It is illegal to change your clothes in a vehicle.

Oops, I’ve definitely broken that one.