Sunday, October 31, 2010

Global 2010: Pontiac, maker of muscle cars, ends after 84 years

A 1969 GTO Judge with 100% factory correct par...Image via Wikipedia
DETROIT – Pontiac, whose muscle cars drag-raced down boulevards, parked at drive-ins and roared across movie screens, is going out of business on Sunday.

The 84-year-old brand, moribund since General Motors decided to kill it last year as it collapsed into bankruptcy, had been in decline for years. It was undone by a combination of poor corporate strategy and changing driver tastes. On Oct. 31, GM's agreements with Pontiac dealers expire.

Even before GM's bankruptcy, Pontiac's sales had fallen from their peak of nearly one million in 1968, when the brand's speedier models were prized for their powerful engines and scowling grills.

At Pontiac's pinnacle, models like the GTO, Trans Am and Catalina 2+2 were packed with horsepower and sported colors like "Tiger Gold." Burt Reynolds and Sally Field fled the law in a Firebird Trans Am which raced through the 1970s hit movie "Smokey and the Bandit."

By the late 1980s, though, Pontiacs were taking off their muscle shirts, putting on suits and trying to act like other cars. The brand had lost its edge.

Bill Hoglund, a retired GM executive who led Pontiac during its "We Build Excitement" ad campaigns in the 1980s, blames the brand's demise on a reorganization under CEO Roger Smith in 1984. That overhaul cut costs by combining Pontiac's manufacturing, engineering and design operations with those of other GM brands.

"There was no passion for the product," says Hoglund. "The product had to fit what was going on in the corporate system."

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Global 2010: 5 tips for bonding with her better

Journal of NeurochemistryImage via Wikipedia
Wouldn’t it be a relief to finally understand what is happening behind her pretty eyes? Why is it, for example, that the woman in your life is serene one moment, apocalyptic the next? How can she remember details about your life you don’t even recall? And what’s with her taking everything so personally? Chalk it up to female brain chemistry. Here’s how to tailor your courtship to her cortex, hippocampus, etc. 

1. Pay attention to the little things
2. To keep up with her memory, take notes
3. Follow her calm lead versus instigating fights
4. Write her a poem... or at least a cute email
5. Be her serotonin

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Global 2010: 10 reasons to visit Las Vegas

Gambling erupted once more following a recessi...Image via Wikipedia
Las Vegas these days is so much more than gambling--er, gaming. Besides cheap airfares, and equally good value for money hotels such as the Wynn, Encore, Bellagio, Four Seasons and the newly-opened Mandarin Oriental, we love the shows, the restaurants, the shopping, the nightlife, the beach clubs, the spas, and the city's proximity to great Southwest attractions such as the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, Zion National Park, and other natural and manmade wonders.

1. because nice things are affordable here
2. a massage would do wonders
3. amazing dining
4. see one of the best chinatowns around
5. the best retail destination in the world
6. the 99 cent margaritas
7. it's a great basecamp for seeing the world's wonders
8. fun rides
9. the shows must go on
10. lots of low airfares

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Global 2010: 6 Death-Defying Stunts That Are Secretly Easy to Do

Space Cowboy swallowing a sword attached to a ...Image via Wikipedia
None of the below stunts requires magic or ancient mystical mastery of your body's inner energies. What they do require is lots of practice guided by someone who knows what the hell he's doing.

In other words, do not get drunk and try these just because this article explained how they're done. You can totally kill yourself if you do them wrong. Seriously.



Breaking Boards or Blocks With Your Hand



Fire Walking

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Global 2010: Beat Bad Air Days

Refineries owned by energy companies produce a...Image via Wikipedia
All the major air pollutants (car exhaust, factory fumes, sidewalk smokers) are outside, right? Not so much. Indoor air may be the grimiest stuff our lungs filter each day. Studies show that things like candles, printers, and even shoes can fill your rooms with harmful contaminants, says Ted Myatt, Sc.D., an environmental scientist in Boston. But there's no need to live in a tent in your backyard—just follow these easy steps to lighten the load on your respiratory system. 

The Pollutant: Candles 

The Solution: Choose cleaner mood lighting in the form of electric votives, or buy 100 percent soy candles, which can burn at a slower rate and emit less soot. If you can't avoid burning paraffin, do so only occasionally and in a draft-free area. And cut out the heavily fragranced jar-style versions, says May; they produce more soot. 

The Pollutant: Printers 

The Solution: Set up your printer in a well-ventilated area and try to stand at least 10 feet away from it during a lengthy job (good advice for when you're at the office too). And remember to print in black-and-white whenever you can, because color ink produces more noxious debris. To see if your printer is on the high-emitter list, visit the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health online at 

The Pollutant: Dust 

The Solution: Sweep a vacuum with a high-energy particulate airborne (HEPA) filter over your floors once a week, and wipe all other surfaces with a clean, damp cloth (make sure you dampen it with water—many spray cleaners, especially those with added fragrance, contain lung-irritating chemicals). And once a month, run your bedding—pillows, comforters, quilts—through a hot dryer cycle; the high temperature will kill any dust mites

The Pollutant: Shoe Debris 

The Solution: Dislodge clods of dirt or grass by rubbing your shoes over a durable outdoor mat (bristly coconut-husk types work best). Once inside, leave your kicks on a cloth mat by the front door. 

The Pollutant: Furniture 

The Solution: Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. "A cheap window-facing fan can clear a room's air in minutes," says May. Or consider opting for solid wood, especially for kitchen and bathroom items, since humidity amps up emissions. If you must go the pressed route, stick with plywood, which releases the fewest fumes. 

The Pollutant: Mold 

The Solution: Indoor air that's 30 to 50 percent humidity is comfortable for you but discouraging to mold (buy a $30 digital hygrometer at a hardware store to check your room levels). Spores love dark, damp corners, so once a week mop around your fridge, sinks, and toilets with a mild dish detergent or diluted hydrogen peroxide. Just be sure to dry everything thoroughly; mold can sprout in just 48 hours. 

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Global 2010: 7 Cities About to Sink

Mexico City is the most populous city in North...Image via Wikipedia
Many of us take for granted the notion that all of our beloved cities will be around for centuries to come. However, cities around the world seem to be vying for the title of "The Next Atlantis." Shaky foundations and encroaching seas are posing significant threats to some of the world's largest and most beloved cities. When planning your next vacation, keep in mind that some of the world's favorite destinations have a bit of a ticking clock on them. Here are seven major cities that are preparing to take the plunge.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Global 2010: Sedona healing

Sedona is a place of wonderment and intrigue. For many, it offers a place of healing, renewal and soul-soothing. Healing mind, body and spirit can be achieved through many modalities.
Thoughts and emotions send chemicals throughout the body that reproduce feelings, giving us a physical reaction. Through repetition, self-limiting thoughts and feelings can become habitual, producing mindsets such as unworthiness and low self-esteem that attract negative experiences. These hard-wired thoughts and emotions can be changed through hypnotherapy into new, positive habits that will not only change your life but also change you into the person you want to be.
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Manila 2010: TESDA computer programming curriculum

I got a check from TESDA yesterday.  A nice token for recognizing our efforts in coming up with Philippines industry standard curriculum on computer programming.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Global 2010: New Rules of Business Etiquette

The New Rules Of Business Etiquette

1. Knock before entering a cubicle.

Try to approach from within your colleague's sight line. Pause before entering her cubicle. Ask if now is a good time to talk.

2. Call or e-mail before you arrive.

Instead of making a beeline for your colleague's cubicle, get in touch in advance, and ask what would be a convenient time for you to drop by.

3. Don't leave voicemail messages when you know the person is out.

Midnight is not a good time to leave a voicemail or send a note. If you get a brainstorm in the middle of the night, write an e-mail and put it in your draft folder. Hit "Send" at 9 the next morning.

4. If you're the boss, don't send demanding e-mails on the weekend.

Unless your team is on a shotgun deadline, compose your instructions over the weekend, but don't send them until Monday morning.

5. If you get a weekend e-mail from the boss, you may take a day to reply.

You can't ignore a boss's weekend request completely, but you can wait 24 hours before responding. It's fine to set a boundary around your personal time.

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Global 2010: In Real Estate, A Picture Is Worth $1,000 or More

Photo © by Jeff Dean.Image via Wikipedia
Attention desperate home sellers. Don't want to lower the price on your house? Consider better photos. Real-estate listings that use photographs taken by the higher-end SLR cameras favored by photographers and photography enthusiasts, tend to do better than those that use photos from cheaper point-and-shoot cameras, according to a new analysis done by Redfin Corp., a Seattle-based brokerage.

Not surprisingly, listings with better photos command higher asking prices: If you believe your home is worth the investment of good photography, you'll probably ask more money for it. The surprising part is that the tactic works. At the closing table, listings with nicer photos gain anywhere between $934 and $116,076 — as measured by the difference between asking and final price-over listings using photos from point-and-click cameras.

SLR or single-lens-reflex cameras give users more control over what they capture and tend to produce high-quality images. They cost more than point-and-shoot cameras, but considering the data may be worth the investment for a home seller. Even better, ask your broker to bring in a professional photographer

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Global 2010: 11 Fast Fixes for Instant Energy

_MG_5447Image by Impact Sounds via Flickr
Having a low-energy day? Sometimes the problem is lack of sleep. But even if you're well rested, certain diet or exercise habits or other lifestyle choices can bring on a slump. And surprisingly little things—like the size of your Starbucks order or how you decorate your office—can hurt or help your energy levels. Make some of these tweaks to recharge your batteries and power through your day. 

1. Have bran for breakfast
2. Order a small latte—and sip it slowly
3. Eat more often
4. Plop a plant in your office
5. Gulp some water
6. Or steep a cup of tea
7. Take a 10-minute walk
8. Copy your kid's lunch
9. Cue up your iPod
10. Try a natural cure
11. Order the seaweed salad

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