Monday, February 25, 2013

Alexandria Mills

Tomorrow is your birthday.

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Leann Hunley

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Natalie Dreyfuss

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway

Oscars 2013 Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

Jennifer Lawrence

Oscars 2013

source:Jason Merritt/Getty Images/

Jen Aniston and Justin Theroux

Oscars 2013

source:Jason Merritt/Getty Images/

Sandrine Kiberlain

Happy Birthday. God bless.

George Harrison's 'Cloud 9' Gretsch guitar by Steve Marinucci

The maker of the guitar George Harrison is holding on the cover of his 1987 "Cloud 9" album has reissued the instrument as a very limited edition model.

The new guitar, Gretsch Custom Shop G6128T-GH George Harrison “Tribute” Duo Jet, limited to 60 pieces worldwide, is a replica of the all-black 6128 Duo Jet Harrison played with the Beatles from summer 1961 through spring 1963. Harrison loved the Duo Jet, and referred to it as his first truly good guitar. It is heard on many early Beatles recordings as well as being the album featured on the cover of "Cloud 9."

The new Gretsch replica, built by Stephen Stern and the Gretsch Custom Shop, "mirrors every scratch, ding and rust spot of Harrison’s guitar," according to a press release announcing the new issue. "True to form, the tremolo arm of its Bigsby® B6C tailpiece has a black Phillips head pivot bolt, and the strap button on the lower bout is offset to accommodate the Bigsby®," the announcement says.

According to a history of the guitar issued by Gretsch, Harrison bought it in the summer of 1961 from Liverpool cab driver and former merchant seaman Ivan Hayward. Hayward, who bought the guitar brand new in 1957 in New York, had the Bigsby® installed soon after buying the guitar. Hayward wanted £90 for the guitar. Harrison paid Hayward £70, and wrote an IOU for the remaining £20 on the back of the instrument’s customs slip (since settled, Harrison fans will be interested to know).

“It was my first real American guitar,” Harrison told Guitar Player magazine in 1987. “And I’ll tell you, it was secondhand, but I polished that thing. I was so proud to own that.”

The company says the Gretsch was an upgrade from the Futurama model Harrison had been playing up to that time. The Duo Jet then became his main guitar. He played it during the Beatles' 1962 stints at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany, in April, May, November and December. He also used it at the Beatles’ first recording session at Abbey Road Studios in London on June 6, 1962 and at subsequent sessions later that year and in early 1963.

Harrison acquired other Gretsch guitars after mid-1963, most notably the Country Gentleman® and Tennessean® models, and largely retired the Duo Jet. In the mid-1960s, he gave the Duo Jet as a gift to bassist and artist Klaus Voormann, who designed the cover of the Beatles' "Revolver" album.

Voormann kept the Gretsch for the next 20 years, at some point changing the neck pickup. In the mid-1980s, Harrison recalled, “I’d asked him what happened to the guitar and whether I could have it back, because of its nostalgic value. So he returned it to me, and I had it fixed back in its original form with the original pickup and switches that had been missing from it since he owned it.”

In 1987, Harrison released his "Cloud Nine" album, which included “Got My Mind Set on You.” When the time came to shoot pictures for the cover, Harrison said, “I was asked if I could take a guitar down for the photo session for the new album, and so I picked that one, and that’s it — the old black Gretsch.”

Even without George Harrison's connection to it, it's a beautiful instrument. One can see why just looking at the pictures in the slideshow why he was so proud of it.

Kata Dobó

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Laurie Fortier

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Rashida Jones

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Chelsea Handler

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Téa Leoni

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Neil Jordan

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Sean Astin

Happy Birthday. God bless.


CARDINAL Keith O’Brien is set to fly to Rome to take part in the election of a new pope despite allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” towards young priests.

Complaints have been made to the Vatican by three priests and one former priest against the 74-year-old Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and called for his resignation.

A spokesman for the Cardinal said he contested the claims and was taking legal advice.

Scotland’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric had been due to lead a special mass at St Mary’s Cathedral to celebrate the eight years of Pope Benedict holding office. But Bishop Stephen Robson, auxiliary bishop for the diocese, announced the Cardinal would not be attending, before taking the mass himself.

He said: “A number of allegations of inappropriate behaviour have been made against the cardinal. The cardinal has sought legal advice and it would be inappropriate to comment at this time. There will be further statements in due course.

“As always in times of need such as this we cannot not be saddened by the events of the last 24 hours.

“It is to the Lord that we turn to now in times of need.”

Those making the allegations, all from the diocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, allege inappropriate approaches were made by the Cardinal, dating back more than 30 years.

The statements, sent to the nuncio Antonio Mennini’s office, include claims of an inappropriate relationship with another priest and another of “unwanted behaviour” after a late-night drinking session.

It is thought they have been publicised now because the four complainants do not want Cardinal O’Brien to go to the Vatican to participate in

electing a new pope.

He is Britain’s only representative in the elections to decide who succeeds Pope Benedict XVI when the pontiff stands down on 28 February. The chances of him not going, however, were said to be “very remote”.

The former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, said it was Cardinal O’Brien’s decision whether to participate in the papal vote and stressed the allegations had not been proven.

Cardinal O’Brien is due to retire next month when he turns 75.

Tycoon Sir Tom Farmer said the allegations came as a big surprise. “All I can say is that Cardinal O’Brien is a good man.”

And Independent Lothians MSP Margo MacDonald described him as “a truly humane, kind and caring man”.

The cardinal has acquired a reputation for being outspoken on issues including homosexuality, abortion and secularism.

This weekend he outraged conservative Catholics by saying priests should be allowed to marry if they wished.

A spokesman for the Vatican said “the Pope is informed about the problem and the question is now in his hands”.

Cardinal for ten years

Keith O’Brien, 74 – Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh since 1985 – was made a cardinal by the late Pope John Paul II ten years ago. He has been an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage, once comparing it to slavery, and was named “bigot of the year” by gay rights group Stonewall last November. He has also compared the number of abortions in Scotland to the Dunblane massacre.

‘he’s a lovely man, very gentle’

Church-goers at St Mary’s Cathedral backed the cardinal.

Alison Wilie, 65, from the West End, said: “I find it difficult to believe. He has just been brilliant and I think he’s a great man.”

Patrick and Deirdre Harkins, originally from Morningside but visiting from Minnesota, USA, said they had “personally known” the Cardinal for ten years and rubbished the claims. Deirdre said: “There’s no way, not him, no. He’s a lovely man, very gentle.”

John Irvine, 84, from Cameron Toll said he fully supported the Cardinal’s involvement in the papal elections and wished he was in the running for the top job.

“I’m very angry about the allegations, they don’t even make it clear what he’s accused of.”

Elsa Benitez, Daniela Pestova and Yamila Diaz Rahi

Mr. Bruce Millan We Salute You


IT could be called damning with faint praise. When Bruce Millan was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland during the dying days of James Callaghan’s government, The Scotsman’s headline read “Dependable Heir Without Charisma.”

But Millan, who died today at the age of 85, defied his critics to go on to a play a crucial part in Scottish and European politics as both a Labour parliamentarian and an EU Commissioner.

The native Dundonian was certainly dependable, while his charisma was of the understated variety. Yet his modest manner disguised a sharp mind, both politically and numerically (he was an accountant by background).

Tributes poured in from across the political spectrum today. Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Bruce was dedicated to public life, serving Scotland as a respected parliamentarian and as Commissioner in Europe.”

In his memoirs, former Labour minister Roy Jenkins recalled a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party in November 1971. He was yet to declare his position on UK membership of the European Community, so Millan decided to challenge the future Commission President as to his views. “I thought him nice but pedestrian,” reflected Jenkins, “which shows the danger of taking patronising views.”

Fittingly, 17 years later Millan took his own talents to Brussels as one of the UK’s two commissioners. His departure from the House of Commons sparked a memorable by-election in Govan, which Jim Sillars – architect of the SNP’s “independence in Europe” slogan – seized for the Nationalists.

Millan was born on 5 October 1927 in Dundee, the son of David Millan, a shipyard worker. After attending the city’s Harris Academy, he became a chartered accountant, and unsuccessfully contested a number of West Coast Scottish constituencies before winning the Craigton Division of Glasgow in 1959.

His first ministerial job was at the Ministry of Defence as under-secretary for the RAF and, following the 1966 general election, he moved to the Scottish Office as education minister. Millan returned to the Scottish Office in 1974, this time as Minister of State, succeeding the intimidating Willie Ross as Secretary of State in April 1976.

Many civil servants thought he behaved more like an auditor than a policy-maker, a technocratic approach Millan applied to creating a Scottish Assembly. “Not that he is wildly enthusiastic about devolution,” noted The Scotsman. “Bruce Millan is not wildly enthusiastic about anything.”

Even Millan’s methodical approach could not save the first Scotland Act, which suffered death by a thousand cuts at the hands of rebellious backbench Labour MPs and a largely unenthusiastic electorate in the 1979 referendum (although a majority did support the plans). The often bad-tempered debate dominated Millan’s wide-ranging Scottish Office brief, although he kept any resulting frustrations to himself.

Although not close to Callaghan (he had backed Denis Healey in the 1976 leadership contest), Millan forged an effective working relationship with Gregor Mackenzie, his Minister of State. The more ebullient Mackenzie managed front-of-house activities while the Secretary of State buried his head in the detail. Civil servants remember him

working incredibly hard to master his brief to an extent unusual in his political contemporaries.

Millan’s most enduring legacy was a marked shift away from urban development (like New Towns) towards urban renewal. The Scottish Development Agency had been Millan’s brainchild, and he was determined to use it to regenerate decaying inner-city areas of Scotland.

In 1978 he also played a part in creating the so-called “Barnett formula”, named after the then Chief Secretary Joel Barnett but probably Millan’s idea. The aim, which endures to this day, was to replace endless inter-departmental negotiations with an automatic rise or fall in Scottish expenditure reflecting those in English ministries.

Some colleagues noted a “radical streak.” Thus Millan surprised Cabinet colleagues by voting against the Lib-Lab Pact in 1976, and also further spending cuts, which he feared would simply increase unemployment in Scotland.

Millan’s final months as Scottish Secretary were chaotic, as he grappled with the Winter of Discontent as well as fallout from the failed devolution referendum. Following defeat at the polls in May 1979, he remained on Labour’s front bench until 1983 and quit parliament for Brussels five years later.

With its penchant for paperwork, statistics and backroom deals, Millan was in his element as European Commissioner for Regional Policy and Cohesion. He served a seven-year term and returned to Glasgow in 1995, but kept a curiously low political profile, particularly in the devolution debates of the late 1990s.

Perhaps Millan felt his political backstory would not have been helpful. Instead he won praise for his chairmanship of a committee that investigated mental health law in Scotland, producing a typically comprehensive and thoughtful report, in January 2001.

Otherwise he was silent: silent on the Scottish Parliament finally established in 1999, and silent on the prospect of independence after the 2007 elections. Nevertheless his contribution to Scottish, UK and European politics was substantial.


Scotland by EDDIE BARNES

THE UK Government has confirmed that Scotland would be banned from having nuclear weapons after independence under non-proliferation treaty rules.

Coalition Government offi-cials have acknowledged that, under international law, Scotland “would not be recognised as a state entitled to possess a nuclear deterrent”.

The statement, in a government analysis report on the effects of independence, appears to rule out the possibility of the UK doing a deal with an independent Scotland to keep nuclear weap­­ons on the Clyde indefinitely under a new military pact.

It increases the prospect of Scottish and UK governments having to negotiate a formal leasing deal to allow nuclear weapons to continue to be
stationed in Scotland, even temporarily, following a Yes vote in next year’s referendum.

The SNP said last night that once an independent government had signed up to non-proliferation treaty rules, Britain’s current submarine-based nuclear deterrent based at Faslane and Coulport would have to leave Scotland as soon as possible.

The Non Proliferation Treaty is a 40-year-old international agreement which has been signed by 190 countries – including the UK – and is designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

Article 1 states that countries such as Britain, which have nuclear weapons, must not give control over such armaments to non-nuclear states.

The UK Government’s legal position on Faslane has now been clarified in its analysis paper on Scottish independence. It states: “The future of the UK’s nuclear weapons and facilities would be an important issue to be resolved. Under international law, an independent Scotland would not be recognised as a state entitled to possess a nuclear

It states that “each nuclear-weapon state party to the treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive 
devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly.”

The statement would appear to suggest that the weapons would have to be removed as soon as Scotland signed up to the NPT. The SNP has said that, after independence, it would demand the removal of the nuclear weapons in Faslane “as quickly as possible”.

However, immediate removal would mean leaving the rest of the UK without use of its nuclear submarines for up to 20 years while a new base is found.

The UK Government said in December that moving the weapons elsewhere would be an “enormous exercise” costing billions of pounds”.

Experts last night said that, as a result, the two sides could end up with an agreement to ensure British control over the nuclear base to comply with the NPT, so allowing the rest of the UK to continue to be armed.

Prof William Walker, an international relations expert at St Andrews University, said: “Under Article 1 of the treaty a nuclear weapons state can site its nuclear weapons in a non-nuclear weapons state but it is conditional on the grounds that they are under full control of the nuclear weapons state.

“So the UK could site them at Faslane but it would have to retain operational control of them.”

He added: “The territory would remain under Scottish sovereignty but could be leased to the UK, giving the UK rights to have its own police there and its own security.”

Professor Malcolm Chalmers, the leading security expert at the Royal United Services Institute, added: “I certainly think the NPT means that Scotland could have no control over UK nuclear weapons on its territory. I don’t think it means there could be no Scottish presence at Faslane, as long as the nuclear element of the base is cordoned off.”

Chalmers said there would also have to be an agreement under which Scotland allowed the British military unhindered access to the shipping lanes around the base.

He added: “The rest of the UK would want to be sure it was able to track potential threats and respond in a timely fashion.”

He said this would require a “significant deployment of UK conventional force” around the submarines. He added: “Scottish navy ships could certainly deploy in the Firth of Clyde, but there would have to be some mutually agreed limits and procedures.”

Such an arrangement would inevitably bring into question the SNP’s military plans post-independence, which involve using Faslane as the country’s navy port.

However, the party insists the weapons must be removed. SNP MP Angus Robertson said last night: “First the UK Government’s own legal adviser agreed that the Scottish Government’s time- scale for independence was ‘realistic’, and now the paper published by the Coalition says that nuclear weapons won’t be allowed in an independent Scotland – which will be music to the ears of the Scottish people. The SNP already propose to make weapons of mass destruction illegal in the constitution of an independent Scotland.”


Oscars 2013

Ben Affleck's film "Argo" took the best picture Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards. Other marquee winners were Daniel Day-Lewis for lead actor for “Lincoln,” Jennifer Lawrence for lead actress for “Silver Linings Playbook,” and Ang Lee for director for “Life of Pi,” which won four Oscars, the most for any film.

Anne Hathaway won supporting actress for “Les Miserables,” and Christoph Waltz received supporting actor for “Django Unchained.” The slave revenge Western also won original screenplay for Quentin Tarantino.

Best picture

"Amour" Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz, Producers
WINNER "Argo" Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers
"Django Unchained" Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers
"Les Misérables" Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers
"Life of Pi" Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers
"Lincoln" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
"Silver Linings Playbook" Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
"Zero Dark Thirty" Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers


"Amour" Michael Haneke
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Benh Zeitlin
WINNER "Life of Pi" Ang Lee
"Lincoln" Steven Spielberg
"Silver Linings Playbook" David O. Russell

Lead actor

Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook"
WINNER Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln"
Hugh Jackman in "Les Misérables"
Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master"
Denzel Washington in "Flight"

Lead actress

Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"
WINNER Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour"
Quvenzhané Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts in "The Impossible"
STORY: Live updates from the Oscar nominations

Supporting actor

Alan Arkin in "Argo"
Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"
WINNER Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"

Supporting actress

Amy Adams in "The Master"
Sally Field in "Lincoln"
WINNER Anne Hathaway in "Les Misérables"
Helen Hunt in "The Sessions"
Jacki Weaver in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Animated feature film

WINNER "Brave" Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
"Frankenweenie" Tim Burton
"ParaNorman" Sam Fell and Chris Butler
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" Peter Lord
"Wreck-It Ralph" Rich Moore


"Anna Karenina" Seamus McGarvey
"Django Unchained" Robert Richardson
WINNER "Life of Pi" Claudio Miranda
"Lincoln" Janusz Kaminski
WINNER "Skyfall" Roger Deakins

Costume Design

WINNER "Anna Karenina" Jacqueline Durran
"Les Misérables" Paco Delgado
"Lincoln" Joanna Johnston
"Mirror Mirror" Eiko Ishioka
"Snow White and the Huntsman" Colleen Atwood

Documentary feature

"5 Broken Cameras" Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
"The Gatekeepers" Dror Moreh, Philippa Kowarsky and Estelle Fialon
"How to Survive a Plague" David France and Howard Gertler
"The Invisible War" Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering
WINNER "Searching for Sugar Man" Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn

Documentary short subject

WINNER "Inocente" Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
"Kings Point" Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
"Mondays at Racine" Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
"Open Heart" Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
"Redemption" Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill

Film editing

WINNER "Argo" William Goldenberg
"Life of Pi" Tim Squyres
"Lincoln" Michael Kahn
"Silver Linings Playbook" Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
"Zero Dark Thirty" Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Foreign language film

WINNER "Amour" Austria
"Kon-Tiki" Norway
"No" Chile
"A Royal Affair" Denmark
"War Witch" Canada

Makeup and hairstyling

"Hitchcock" Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
WINNER "Les Misérables" Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Original score

"Anna Karenina" Dario Marianelli
"Argo" Alexandre Desplat
WINNER "Life of Pi" Mychael Danna
"Lincoln" John Williams
"Skyfall" Thomas Newman

Original song

"Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice" Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from "Ted" Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
"Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi" Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
WINNER "Skyfall" from "Skyfall" Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
"Suddenly" from "Les Misérables" Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Production design

"Anna Karenina" Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
"Les Misérables" Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
"Life of Pi" Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
WINNER "Lincoln" Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Animated short film

"Adam and Dog" Minkyu Lee
"Fresh Guacamole" PES
"Head over Heels" Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly
"Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"" David Silverman
WINNER "Paperman" John Kahrs

Live action short film

"Asad" Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
"Buzkashi Boys" Sam French and Ariel Nasr
WINNER "Curfew" Shawn Christensen
"Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)" Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
"Henry" Yan England

Sound editing

"Argo" Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
"Django Unchained" Wylie Stateman
"Life of Pi" Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
WINNER "Skyfall" Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
WINNER "Zero Dark Thirty" Paul N.J. Ottosson

Sound Mixing

"Argo" John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
WINNER "Les Misérables" Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
"Life of Pi" Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
"Lincoln" Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
"Skyfall" Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

Visual Effects

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
WINNER "Life of Pi" Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
"Marvel's The Avengers" Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
"Prometheus" Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
"Snow White and the Huntsman" Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

Adapted Screenplay

WINNER "Argo" Screenplay by Chris Terrio
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
"Life of Pi" Screenplay by David Magee
"Lincoln" Screenplay by Tony Kushner
"Silver Linings Playbook" Screenplay by David O. Russell

Original Screenplay

"Amour" Written by Michael Haneke
WINNER "Django Unchained" Written by Quentin Tarantino
"Flight" Written by John Gatins
"Moonrise Kingdom" Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
"Zero Dark Thirty" Written by Mark Boal

Congrats to all of you. God bless.

Sequester cuts

WASHINGTON, Feb 24: Looming austerity cuts will reduce aid to the poor, cause widespread flight delays and close parts of national parks, further hurting the US economy, government officials and analysts say, reports AFP.
Warnings were mounting over the impact of the $85 billion automatic “sequester” spending reductions mandated to start March 1 if warring politicians don’t strike a more modest deficit reduction deal before then.
Economists said the cuts would shave 0.5 percent or more from economic growth, as government employees and contractors around the country would tighten their own spending in the face of slowed government disbursements and furloughs.
Communities around the country were also being warned of the impact of the cutbacks.
The National Park Service said it would be forced to tighten services and close facilities going into the summer, when parks are a tourism magnet that pumps millions of dollars into local economies.
And on Friday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the Federal Aviation Administration would be forced to furlough workers for two to four days a month starting in April, reducing staffing of airports and traffic control services — meaning flight delays of up to 90 minutes at major airports.
“Once airlines see the potential impact of these furloughs, we expect that they will change their schedules and cancel flights.”
The cuts won’t be a catastrophe, Macroeconomic Advisors said in a report. But growth this year will fall back to just 2.0 percent from a projected 2.6 percent, and cost about 700,000 jobs through the end of 2014, in layoffs and reduced hiring.
The Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank, estimated the impact would be one million fewer jobs than would have been created.
“The higher unemployment would linger for several years,” said Macroeconomic Advisors.
The sequester comes from a 2011 poison-pill law to force the government to radically slash spending over the next 10 years if Democrats and Republicans were unable to craft a more moderate deficit reduction package.
The government has to trim $85 billion through the rest of this fiscal year, March through September, and $110 billion each year after that, through 2022.
The two sides appeared still far apart days before the law is due to take effect, on March 1.
The US economy accelerated last year to a modest 2.2 percent expansion, and economists had been hoping for as much as 3.0 percent this year.
The sequester will add to the drag from $200 billion in tax hikes implemented in January to narrow the huge government deficit.
Douglas Elmendorf, head of the Congressional Budget Office, said that the combination will shave about 1.5 percent from potential growth this year.
While growth could then pick up in 2014, he said output would remain “below its potential level” until 2017 if the sequester law remains in place.
Washington, the seat of the federal government, could be hit harder than elsewhere by the temporary furloughs and contracting pullbacks.
The largest impact will be on the defense sector. The Pentagon employs some 800,000 civilians who could be hit by furloughs and accounts for tens of billions of dollars in contracting to civilian companies.
“If furloughs are enacted, civilians will experience a 20 percent decrease in their pay between late April and September,” Jessica Wright, acting under secretary of defense, told a congressional panel.
One Washington contractor, who preferred to remain unnamed, said the industry was already suffering because Democrats and Republicans haven’t been able to agree on a full-year budget, constraining Pentagon planning abilities.
“We expect that to get worse if sequestration occurs,” he told AFP. That would force small contractors to lay off experts.
But the impact will be felt nationwide.
“This really and truly affects all 50 states,” said defense expert Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute, who warned of a weakened US military.
“So many of these defense department civilian jobs are not in Washington. They are at shipyards, and they are at military vehicle depots” around the country, she added.
Some analysts played down the sequester, saying government offices have been cutting back spending and stockpiling funding since last year in preparation.
Former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, now president of the conservative American Action Forum, called the $85 billion “a small cut in a huge pie” from a $3.6 trillion annual budget.
Japanese investment bank Nomura told clients in a research note that it does not expect any compromise before March 1. But it predicted that politicians getting together for a less austere compromise within weeks.
On the other hand, it added, “We may face a government shutdown after 27 March. While we do not think that this is the most likely scenario, it could happen.”

Brazil cardinal

Agence-France Presse

Catholicism in Latin America is "lively and dynamic," Brazilian Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis said Sunday, suggesting that the church look to Latin America for leadership.

Damasceno is one of the the 117 "cardinal electors" that will participate in the upcoming conclave to elect a new pope. No favorite has to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, who announced that he is stepping down at the end of the month.

The 76 year-old Damasceno, who is also head of Brazil's Conference of Catholic Bishops, told AFP in a phone interview that, unlike in Europe, the faith is strong in Latin America.

"The church in Latin America is enjoying a very special moment, with strong missionary enthusiasm," Damasceno told AFP.

That enthusiasm serves to bolster flagging interest for Catholicism in Europe, a region "undergoing a very intense process of secularization and that suffers from a crisis of religious vocations."

Openly campaigning for the papacy is taboo, but cardinals discreetly drop hints about their preferences.

Brazilian bishops believe that it is "fundamental" for the next pope to be a person who is a pastoral figure, Damasceno said, "open to dialog with the contemporary world and sensitive to social problems."

Damasceno, himself a candidate, is one of five Brazilians who will be at the conclave. They include Odilo Scherer, 63, who was ordained by Benedict in 2007 and heads the five million strong archdiocese of Sao Paulo, and Salvador archbishop Geraldo Majella Agnelo, 79.

Brazil has the most Catholics in the world, but in recent years evangelical and Protestant churches have made considerable inroads, especially among the poor.

The Archbishop of Aparecida, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, speaks to the media at the Basilica of Aparecida in Aparecida, Brazil, on February 24, 2013. Damasceno suggested that the church look to Latin America for leadership.

Russian tourists

MADRID, Feb 24: Big-spending Russian tourists are flocking to Spain’s beaches and famous landmarks in ever greater numbers, providing a much-needed boost to the recession-hit country’s key tourism industry, reports AFP.
They are drawn by the country’s mix of pleasant weather, sandy beaches, historic monuments and cultural attractions such as the Prado museum in Madrid and Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona.
Roman Gavrilenko, a 26-year-old elementary school psychologist from Murom in western Russia, visited Barcelona, Valencia, Toledo and Madrid with 11 other Russians during a one week tour of Spain. Spain was the Western European nation he had ever visited and said he now plans to return to the country with his grandmother.
“People are very friendly. The Sagrada Familia was really, really impressive. It was psychedelic, it made my head spin,” he said as he sat in the lobby of Hotel Florida Norte near Madrid’s royal palace after completing a tour of the city.
The number of visitors from Russia surpassed one million last year for the first time, totalling 1,206,227, a 39.8 percent jump over 2011 and double the amount that arrived in 2010, according to tourism ministry figures.
Tourism officials credit a rise in the number of direct flights to Spain, easier visa rules, and the growing appetite of Russia’s rapidly expanding middle class for foreign travel.
The Arab Spring uprisings have also played a role as Russian holidaymakers are shunning cheaper rival sunshine destinations in Egypt and Tunisia.
Spain is also reaping the rewards of having been one of the first countries to energetically target the new Russian market that emerged after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, said Igor Rotenshteyn, president of the Terramar Group tourist operator which last year brought about 100,000 Russians to Spain.
“During the Soviet era very few Russians had the privilege of travelling abroad. When Russia opened up to the world, Russians did not have any experience of travel and Spain was one of the countries that was most active in trying to capture clients,” he said.
Over half of all Russian visitors to Spain head to
During the peak summer season Russians are now the most numerous tourist contingent in many resort towns in the northeastern region, knocking the British from the top spot.
“This was unthinkable a few years ago,” said Salou’s town councillor for tourism, Benet Presas.
The surge in Russian visitors offset a fall in the number of visitors from Italy and the Netherlands last year and has helped fill hotel rooms at a time when Spaniards are cutting back on travel due to a recession that has driven the unemployment rate to a record 26 percent.
While Russians accounted for just 2.1 percent of the 57.7 million foreigners who visited Spain last year, they spent more than any other nationality.
Russians spent an average of 159 euros ($214) per day in Spain, 47 percent more than the average of 108 euros spent by all foreign visitors and far more than the 93 euros per day spent by visitors from Britain, Spain’s main source of tourists.
“They are the tourists that spend the most so it is not just a question of the number of visitors, but also of their purchasing power,” said Jose Luis Zoreda, the vice-president of Exceltur, Spain’s main travel industry body.
Day trips to Barcelona to go shopping in the city’s high-end stores are popular with Russians staying at Catalan beach resorts.
“Good brands are cheaper here and there is more variety,” said Irina Belgova, a 36-year-old office worker from Moscow before heading to a flamenco show with her husband while on a recent visit to Madrid. She bought several handbags and dresses during her vacation in Spain.
Menus and signs in Cyrillic letters are common sites at Spanish tourist resorts alongside those in English, and hotels are teaching staff Russian.
“All our employees in all sectors, reception workers, waiters, maids, speak a bit of Russian. It’s obligatory,” said Bruno Lopez, the commercial director of the Gran Palas hotel in La Pineda, near Salou, whose clients are now mostly Russians.
“National tourism is really hurting due to the crisis and we are taking this opportunity to compensate for the fall with these tourists,” he added.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Indie Spirit Awards

Jennifer Lawrence

source:Getty Images

by Steve Pond

The Film Independent Spirit Awards embraced the mainstream hit over the scrappy indie on Saturday afternoon, with David O Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” winning the Best Feature award in a field that also included the Sundance sensation and Oscar nominee “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

With additional wins for director, screenplay and lead actress (Jennifer Lawrence), the show marked a triumphant return for writer-director David O. Russell, who won the Spirit Award for Best First Feature 19 years ago for his debut, “Spanking the Monkey.”

“Silver Linings Playbook,” which is up for eight Academy Awards at tomorrow’s Oscars show, became the second consecutive Spirit Awards winner for the Weinstein Company, which also released last year’s Spirit and Oscar champ, “The Artist.”

The eligibility of both films was questioned when they were nominated; “The Artist” was made by French director Michel Hazanavicus and its two lead actors were French, which would have put it in the International Film category had its not qualified because of its director’s permanent residency status.

With a reported budget of $21 million, “Silver Linings Playbook” is $1 million over the stated limit for Spirit Awards qualifying, but the jury that decides nominations has the discretion to add films that don’t fall within the strict limits.

Other nominees for the top prize included Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom,” Richard Linklater’s “Bernie” and Ira Sachs’ “Keep the Lights On.”

Since 2000, 10 of the 13 Spirit Awards winners, and nine of the last 10, have also been Best Picture nominees at the Oscars – though only “The Artist” has won both awards, leading to the phrase “win on Saturday, lose on Sunday.”

The "SLP" producers said they expected that the Spirit Award would go to "Beasts of the Southern Wild." "We were sure that we were going to lose today, and we're sure we're going to lose tomorrow [at the Oscars]," said producer Bruce Cohen in the press room afterwards.

“Beasts,” which drew loud applause in the room every time it was mentioned, did not go home empty-handed. It won an award for Ben Richardson's cinematography.

And Russell's film didn't completely run the table: John Hawkes won the Lead Actor role for "The Sessions" over Bradley Cooper for "Silver Linings."

Matthew McConaughey won the Supporting Male award for playing the strip-club owner in "Magic Mike," and began his speech by crooning, "I had to take my pants off to win a trophy."

Helen Hunt, the one Oscar nominee in her category, won the Supporting Female award for her role as a sex therapist in "The Sessions."

Michael Haneke's "Amour," a prohibitive favorite for the Oscars' foreign-language award, was named Best International film. The 70-year-old Haneke, who just arrived in town from directing an opera in Madrid, said "I think I'm the oldest man in the room."

Kirby Dick's and Amy Ziering's "The Invisible War" was named Best Documentary.

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" was named Best First Feature, while Derek Connolly won the first award of the night, Best First Screenplay, for "Safety Not Guaranteed." Connolly appeared sedated during a long, rambling acceptance speech that drew hoots from the audience, and ended when actor Bryan Cranston came onstage and poured Connolly a shot of whiskey.

A few minutes later, Connolly was escorted out of the Spirit Awards tent by security.

The show also presented some awards that had previously been announced. The Robert Altman Award, which goes to a film's director, casting director and ensemble cast, went to Sean Baker's "Starlet."

Four sponsored awards, which come with cash grants, were given to Mynette Louie for "Stones in the Sun," Adam Leon for "Gimme the Loot," Peter Nicks for "The Waiting Room" and Laura Colella for "Breakfast With Curtis."

The show was hosted by Andy Samberg, whose tepidly-received monologue included the observation that it is "the only awards ceremony watched by more people at the actual show than on television."

Best Feature: “Silver Linings Playbook”
Best Director: David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Best Screenplay: David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Best First Feature: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
Best First Screenplay: Derek Connolly, “Safety Not Guaranteed”
John Cassavetes Award (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000): "Middle of Nowhere"
Best Female Lead: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Best Male Lead: John Hawkes, "The Sessions"
Best Supporting Female: Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"
Best Supporting Male: Matthew McConaughey, "Magic Mike"
Best Cinematography: Ben Richardson, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Best Documentary: "The Invisible War"
Best International Film: "Amour," Michael Haneke
Robert Altman Award (Given to one film's director, casting director, and its ensemble cast):
Director: Sean Baker
Casting Director: Julia Kim
Ensemble Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone

Piaget Producers Award: “Stones in the Sun,” Mynette Louie
Someone to Watch Award: “Gimme the Loot,” Adam Leon
Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award: “The Waiting Room,” Peter Nicks
Jameson Find Your Audience Award: “Breakfast With Curtis,” Laura Colella

Congrats to all of you. God bless.

Mr. Aleksei German We Salute You

Mr. Aleksei German, a Russian director known for grim, hypnotic films that captured the darkness of the Soviet era and especially Stalin’s rule, died on Thursday in St. Petersburg. He was 74.

The cause was heart failure, his son, Aleksei Jr., also a filmmaker, said in a blog post on the Web site of the radio station Ekho Moskvy.

Mr. German shot to fame in the 1980s with “My Friend Ivan Lapshin,” which told the story of a Soviet policeman who is trying to solve murders in a provincial town and is caught in a love triangle, told from the viewpoint of a man who had witnessed the events years earlier as a child. The film recreates the bleakness of everyday Soviet life in great detail.

“The main thing was neither the crime story nor the love story, but that period of time itself,” Mr. German said in an interview. “That’s what we were making a movie about. To convey that period was our main and most difficult task.”

But the accuracy of Mr. German’s portrayal of the era was too much for Soviet censors, who shelved the film after it was completed in 1982. It was not allowed into wide release until 1986, during the reformist years of perestroika.

Mr. German’s first solo film as a director, “Trial of the Road,” was also shelved by the censors. The story of a Soviet deserter in World War II who had collaborated with the Germans but seeks redemption by commandeering a Nazi supply train, it was filmed in 1971 but not released until 1985.

Mr. German often collaborated with the screenwriter Eduard Y. Volodarsky, who died in October.

Aleksei Yuryevich German was born in Leningrad on July 20, 1938, the son of Yuri German, a Soviet writer on whose stories “Trial of the Road” and “My Friend Ivan Lapshin” are based. Besides his son, the director’s survivors include his wife, Svetlana I. Karmalita, a screenwriter who worked with him.

Mr. German graduated from the Leningrad Theater Institute in 1960 and began working in 1964 as an assistant director at the Lenfilm studio. He battled in the post-Soviet era to save the studio from collapse, “at the cost of his health,” his son wrote in his blog. In 2011, Mr. German and the director Aleksandr Sokurov wrote a letter to President Vladimir V. Putin entreating him to save the studio.

His film “Khrustalyov, My Car!” — about the anti-Semitic “doctors’ plot” that targeted Jewish doctors for allegedly plotting against Soviet leaders in what turned out to be Stalin’s final days in 1953 — was panned at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998, but is now widely considered a classic.

At his death, Mr. German’s last film, “It Is Hard to Be a God,” was in postproduction. The film is based on a novel by the Soviet science-fiction writers Boris and Arkady Strugatsky ; an allegory about the Stalin era set on another planet, it is now interpreted as an allegory about the Putin era as well.

In an interview with Snob, a Russian magazine, in 2010, Mr. German described the filming of “Khrustalyov, My Car!” and his ability to convey a sense of doom.

“It’s 1953 in the film, a time of repressions and darkness,” he said, “and I chose actors with the stamp of death on their face. I sensed this. I always sensed this.”


Barry Bostwick, Todd Field, Billy Zane, Debra Jo Rupp, Bas Rutten, Bonnie Somerville, Mr. Dominic Chianese, Mark Moses, Kasi Lemmons, Helen Shaver and Emilio Rivera

Happy Birthday guys. God bless.

Les Etats-Unis

Avec Reuters

Les Etats-Unis ont condamné l'attaque au Scud qui a fait au moins 29 morts vendredi dans l'est d'Alep, en Syrie, invitant l'opposition à revenir à la table des négociations pour régler le conflit, qui a fait plus de 70.000 morts selon l'ONU. Le département d'Etat américain a déclaré samedi dans un communiqué que l'attaque survenue la veille dans un quartier d'Alep ainsi que d'autres frappes sur des blocs de maisons et un hôpital de campagne étaient «la dernière manifestation de la cruauté du régime syrien et de son absence de compassion envers la population qu'il affirme représenter.»

Ce communiqué pourrait apaiser les tensions avec la Coalition nationale syrienne (CNS), principal regroupement de l'opposition syrienne. Cette dernière a décliné l'invitation à se rendre à Washington et à Moscou en signe de protestation contre le silence de la communauté internationale après la destruction de la ville historique d'Alep par le gouvernement.

Dans le communiqué, la porte-parole du département d'Etat Victoria Nuland a déclaré que Washington espérait rencontrer bientôt la direction de la CNS «pour discuter de la façon dont les Etats-Unis et d'autres amis du peuple syrien peuvent faire pour aider davantage le peuple syrien à accomplir la transition politique qu'il demande et qu'il mérite».

Les invitations de Washington et Moscou ont été étendues au président de la CNS, Moaz Al Khatib, après sa rencontre à Munich début février avec les ministres américain et russe des Affaires étrangères.

Pape Benoît XVI

Pour sa dernière bénédiction du dimanche avant de renoncer à ses fonctions, le pape Benoît XVI a déclaré qu'il obéissait à la volonté de Dieu et qu'il n'abandonnait pas l'Eglise catholique. Le pape, qui s'est exprimé devant des milliers de fidèles rassemblés place Saint-Pierre, a déclaré qu'il continuerait à servir et aimer l'Eglise par la prière et la méditation après son départ, prévu jeudi.

Il a déclaré que Dieu qui avait demandé »d'escalader la montagne». Benoît XVI tiendra sa dernière audience mercredi et rencontrera les cardinaux jeudi matin avant de démissionner. Il se rendra dans un premier temps à Castel Gandolfo, la résidence d'été des papes au sud de Rome. Il se retirera en avril dans un couvent au sein du Vatican une fois la rénovation des bâtiments achevée.

PS:God bless you--Your Holiness.

Edward James Olmos

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Ms. Emmanuelle Riva

Happy Birthday Ms. Riva. God bless you. PS:It will be great if you'll win the Oscar tonight.

Little’s Law by Pete Abilla posted January 5, 2011

Given just a few properties of a queue, we can answer some questions about waiting times without knowing anything other than the average line length and the average customer arrival rate.

For example, If a customer joins the line just after a customer begins to be served, then intuitively one would expect the newly arriving customer to wait (Line Length) x (Cycle Time). Let’s use numbers to make this point more concrete. Assume a Queue at Starbucks Coffee is:

(8 customers) x (1 min/customer) = 8 minutes

If the line length is doubled to 16 people, then the waiting time should be

(16 customers)(1 min/customer) = 16 minutes

Similarly, doubling the cycle time to 2 minutes should also raise the waiting time to 16 minutes. This last point on Cycle Time is critical, because this often becomes the most controllable variable available to the firm – in other words, line length, demand fluctuations or arrival rate are often not controlled by the firm, but the Cycle Time it takes to serve a customer is controllable and so becomes a critical variable to focus on.

The above example all points us to Little’s Law, but before I show Little’s Law, here are some definitions:

Lq: The average number of people in a line awaiting service.
Wq: The average length of time a customer waits before being served.
Throughput: Mean Outflow (average numbers of items leaving a system, not entering it)
Little’s Law
Now, let’s generalize the example above and arrive at Little’s Law:

Wq = Lq / Throughput

Little's Law and can be applied in any system in which the mean waiting time, mean line length (or inventory size), and mean throughput (outflow) remain constant. To some extent this is an arbitrary decision, but in most real-world situations, measuring the outflow of a queue is easier than measuring its inflow.

Another interesting point is the generality of this formula. For one thing, this relation will hold no matter what the distribution of inter-arrival times or processing times is. Even more amazingly, Little’s law is not restricted to simple systems with one line and a number of servers. It will hold no matter what the internal structure of a system is.

Little’s Law Example: Patient Flow in Hospital
To illustrate the use of Little’s Law, let’s use an example of Queueing in Healthcare. What if we wanted to know the following:

What the average time in the system for a patient at a hospital?

This includes all the multiple phases, disease states, surgery procedures, etc.

Suppose we know the following:

Lq: The average number of patients is 102.5
Wq: [This is the unknown]
Throughput: Average discharge rate is 67.5 patients per day.
In other words,

W = L/Throughput => Average Time in Hospital = Average # of Patients / Average Discharge Rate = 102.5 patients /67.2 patients per day = 1.53 Days

Knowing that a patient in this hospital can expect to stay an average of 1.53 days can help the hospital administrators plan for care, staffing, budgeting, and other internal items that will help the hospital’s level of service.

Weaknesses of Little’s Law
While Little’s Law is convenient to use and gets us a decent approximation to most queueing questions, it’s clearly not perfect. For example, process utilization must be less than 100% or else the line will grow to infinity (this is otherwise known as WIP Explosion).

Little’s Law Applications
Other ways in which Little’s Law can be used are the following:

Estimate Waiting Times: [W = Average Number of Customers / Average Throughput] (as the patient flow example above)
Planned Inventory Time: Suppose a product is scheduled so that we expect it to wait for 2 days in finished goods inventory before shipping to the customer. This two days is called planned inventory time and is sometimes used as protection against system variability to ensure high delivery service. Using Little’s Law, the total amount of inventory in finished goods can be computed as [FGI = Throughput x Planned Inventory Time]
WIP Reduction: Reducing WIP in a process without making any other changes will also reduce throughput. So, simply reducing inventory is not enough to achieve a Lean Manufacturing system. An integral part of any Lean Manufacturing implementation is an effort to reduce variability (often the domain of Six Sigma), to enable a line to achieve the same (or greater) throughput with less WIP.

Queueing theory: part 2 by Pete Abilla posted June 15, 2006

Earlier, we discussed Queueing Theory and Little’s Law.
L = λW

In that post, I stated that a goal in a process is to make the inputs flow as fast as possible through a system in order to produce an output. As an example, I shared an example from Specifically, I stated that in a click-to-ship system, we want product to move with velocity. Is that always possible in a system and can that be a realistic goal?

In reality, customer orders arrive sporadically, stochastically, and unpredictably. Imagine a supply chain consisting of a network of ~30 U.S. and Overseas distribution centers (I’m talking about here). These distribution centers are multi-echelon, which means that products are stored in both “Prime” locations and in “Reserve” locations. In these types of systems, the products in “Reserve” locations replenish the “Prime” stock, and Amazon’s outside suppliers replenish products in the “Reserve” locations. In that supply chain, often times, orders create spikes in demand that disrupts manufacturing schedules, cause overtime, decimates raw material supplies or current inventory levels, and wipes out finished goods buffers.

Demand also creates service problems for customers who wouldn’t be able to get the products they wanted because a spike in demand had consumed finished goods stocks or Reserve inventory. The challenge is to extend the smooth flow of materials and information upstream, beyond the plant-level, but all the way through the supply chain including to the distribution centers in the U.S. and Overseas and outside suppliers. The solution is to smooth out the peaks and valleys in the demand coming from the distribution centers by leveling the type and quantity of production and filling orders from carefully controlled finished goods markets or on-hand inventory.

Leveling, or Production Leveling, is technically known as Heijunka. This word comes from the Toyota Production System and is a Lean Manufacturing term. The goal of heijunka is to create balance by leveling the flow of production in a system. Graphically, you can imagine Heijunka to look like the following: has a pull system in place — a very, very good one, though it’s not completely pull. Creating pull is a prerequisite to having flow and production leveling (more on pull in another post). In other words, information systems must allow for Amazon’s suppliers to know the inventory levels of the Reserve stock. So, information flow and product flow are key in these situations: when the MIN level of Reserve Inventory is reached, the information system should pull from the supplier the right amount of inventory to bring the Reserve levels back to planned levels.

Back to heijunka. At, there is a buffer in place that stages all orders. This means that when an order is made, orders sit in a queue — a virtual queue before that order is dropped or assigned to an fulfillment center. This buffer or waiting queue acts as a load leveler; else, orders would be coming into a fulfillment center at the rate of demand, which is characterized by peaks and valleys. But, the goal is to level production, since we can’t entirely control demand. In other words, velocity is still key, but we must have balance in the system first in order to pull an order through with velocity.

Another example of Heijunka is from Medtronic, a medical device manufacturer. They dealt with the same problems I mention above — unforseen demand and on-the-whim reactions to that demand which created imbalance in their system. Their approach was to create a Value-stream map, which shows process, time, and waste dimensions in a system. Below is their current state map of their distribution process:

Mapping revealed that the daily operation required 16 people and that an order took 367 minutes to progress from initial download to actual shipping. During the 367 minutes of lead time, the order was actually being worked on for just 28.3 minutes. Much of the rest of the time, it was waiting for the next processing step to occur, as represented by the inventory triangles between steps. The logistics team calculated the lead time represented by the inventory triangles. The triangle between pick and the next step, check. It showed that the logistics team found 144 lists or orders waiting to be checked. In the data box for check, the team recorded its observation that the cycle time for an operator to check an order was one minute. Since there were two people checking orders, it would take them 72 minutes to process the 144 lists or orders in the queue.

What is amazing about what this team discovered is that only 7% of the time, the product was undergoing a value-adding stem. The rest of the time, was waste. Is there a way to make this process leaner, with less waste?

The next action for the logistics team was to map out and implement a leaner future-state by using the information uncovered during the current-state mapping process. For example, scanning at both the check and pack steps was a duplication of work, an obvious waste that the team wanted to eliminate. The problem was how to make sure the orders weren’t mixed up in the totes. Many of Medtronic’s products were small and had to be put in totes to prevent them from falling through the conveyor. The team then realized that the conveyor was causing the need for double scanning. If orders were picked, placed on a cart instead of a conveyor, and wheeled to a scanning terminal, then the pick, check, and pack steps could be combined into one “assembly” station. The team made the improvement. The only significant cost was a $3,000 fee to the scanning program vendor for reprogramming.

This new process is much leaner, quicker, supports pull, creates balance, and is much faster than the previous process. Many steps were eliminated and waste was reduced. The outcome? From click-to-ship, the process moves with velocity, and the customer receives his or her product much quicker. Notice the Heijunka box above — this creates the balance and reduces unthoughtful reactions to unpredictable demand.

Spagna: Almeria sconfitta nel big-match, ma ancora in testa

SPAGNA (g.t.) - L'Almeria di Molducci si fa rimontare 2 set di vantaggio dal Teruel nel big-match, ma ad una giornata dal termine conserva 1 punto di vantaggio in classifica.

Risultato 17° giornata (23 febbraio)
Unicaja Almería - CAI Teruel 2-3 (27-25/25-23/24-26/21-25/10-15)
Top Scorer: Villena 22, Al Nabhan 18, Ferrera 17, Garcia Torres 11, B.Ruiz 10; Barcala 31, Sugranes 17, Parres 9, Torcello 8, F.Rodriguez 7.

Classifica (prime posizioni)
Unicaja Almeria 46
CAI Teruel 45
CMA Soria Numancia 39
Cajasol Juvasa 36

Bulgaria and Czech Republic posted July 6, 2012

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 6, 2012 – Czech Republic and Bulgaria women’s teams will both make their debuts at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix in 2013 after reaching the final of the Women’s European League in Karlovy Vary on Thursday.

The two sides have never competed in the premier annual women’s volleyball tournament and will be hoping to mimic Turkey’s brilliant debut in 2012 when they won bronze.

Bulgaria saw off 2011 World Grand Prix bronze medallists Serbia 3-1 (34-32, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20) in the first semifinal before the Czech Republic disposed of the Netherlands in four sets (25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 25-17) in the second match.

The result means there are just two European vacancies left for the international showcase, with a tournament set to be held later this year to decide them.

Hosts Czech Republic will face Bulgaria on Friday for the European League title.

Yuri Marichev posted Feb. 4, 2013

Lausanne, Switzerland, February 4, 2013 – Yuri Marichev has been appointed as the new coach of the Russian women’s team.

The Dynamo Krasnador coach takes over from Sergei Ovchinnikov, who passed away three weeks after Russia lost to Brazil in the quarterfinals of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Marichev, 52, will continue as coach of Russian club side Krasnador for the duration of his two-year contract.

The Russia women's team are currently ranked sixth in the FIVB rankings and will be defending their World Championship title next year, which they won in 2010 on top of their 2006 triumph while also participating in this year's World Grand Prix after missing last year's edition.

Marichev realises his charges may need to become used to a different system to the one they previously employed.

“The main task is to change our play a little bit, because everyone has become used to it and knows it very well,” Marichev said. “Currently our style relies on our tall players, but we will have to adjust it due to the fact that Ekaterina Gamova has left the team. It will be fast play, organized triple block. The girls will have to change their mentality.”

As a player Marichev won the 1991 European Cup and European Super Cup. He was also part of the CSKA team that won the 1986, 1990 and 1991 Russian championship and he added a Turkish title with Ekcachibashi.

He began coaching in 2003 and led Russia’s men’s team to gold at the 2005 World Junior Championships.

Elisabetta Canalis

Saturday, February 23, 2013

César Awards by NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor

Oscar-nominated Amour filmmaker Michael Haneke has won two Cannes Palmes d’Or and yet never taken home a César Award. Tonight, that was rectified in spades when Amour took the Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Original Screenplay Césars at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet. Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone was also a big winner at France’s equivalent to the Oscars with four prizes including Adapted Screenplay. Shut out was Noémie Lvovsky’s Camille Redouble which was the most-nominated film by the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma coming into the party. Ben Affleck’s Argo was named Best Foreign Film.

Amour producer Margaret Menegoz first accepted the Original Screenplay prize for Haneke, who is expected in L.A. tomorrow, saying “Michael is enchanted, flattered and full of happiness that this academy that represents the most emotive of cinemas, has finally recognized him as one of their own.”

Emmanuelle Riva, who is up for a Best Actress Oscar on Sunday and the oldest woman ever to have that distinction, was in Paris to accept her César for Amour. Following a standing ovation, she said, “I worked on this film with great passion and I am very lucky at this hour or my life” to come across such a “wonder” of a subject that is “so close to all of us. This is the first time I have received a César and I thank everyone.” When she tried to pick up her César and walk offstage, she had to hand the trophy off, “It’s heavier than I am!” Riva’s partner in Amour, Jean-Louis Trintignant was not present for his win as Best Actor. But his son mounted the stage to accept the prize and promptly called his dad in Brussels where the actor was performing a play. From the speaker phone on his son’s cell, Trintignant said, “Thank you everyone who voted for me and those who didn’t vote for me because the others are good too. I’m a bit emotional, kisses to everyone.”

Ben Affleck sent a note that read, “I am sincerely sorry to not be able to be with you tonight, but in the name of all the team I thank the Academy for this honor. For an American director, to be recognized by the French film industry and the public is a particular honor.”

Kevin Costner, in attendance to receive the Honorary César, was teary-eyed in accepting his trophy. “Everyone should know once in his life,” this type of honor, he said. “Pas de mystère, I’m an American and pas de mystère, j’ai fait des films de cowboy,” he continued. Speaking of his upcoming thriller Three Days To Kill, Costner said, “My career wouldn’t be complete without making a movie here in your beautiful country,” and thanked director McG who was also at the ceremony. Costner closed with, “Thank you for accepting me for who I am.”

Despite host Antoine de Caunes playing at least one presenter off by riding a scooter around the stage during his thank yous, the ceremony lasted a good three hours – and that’s without commercials or musical numbers (except for a gag that saw a Russian troupe singing France’s national anthem intercut with stock footage of France’s most famous exile, Gérard Depardieu). A full list of winners follows:

Best Picture

Michael Haneke, Amour

Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour

Supporting Actress
Valérie Benguigui, What’s In A Name

Supporting Actor
Guillaume de Tonquedec, What’s In A Name

Original Screenplay
Michael Haneke, Amour

Adapted Screenplay
Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Rust & Bone

Newcomer (Female)
Izia Higelin, Mauvaise Fille

Newcomer (Male)
Matthias Schoenaerts, Rust & Bone

Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, Rust & Bone

Antoine Deflandre, Germaine Boulay, Eric Tisserand, Cloclo

Romain Winding, Farewell, My Queen

Juliette Welfling, Rust & Bone

Christian Gasc, Farewell, My Queen

Art Direction
Katia Wyszkop, Farewell, My Queen

First Film
Louise Wimmer, Cyril Mennegun

Foreign Film

Animated Film
Ernest Et Célestine, Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar, Stéphane Aubier

Les Invisibles, Sébastien Lifshitz

Short Film
Le Cri Du Homard, Nicolas Guiot

Congrats to all of you. God bless.

Di Giacomo Tarsi

BAKU - La 15° giornata del campionato azero si apre con il prevedibile successo del Lokomotiv sul Telecom. La formazione di Cuccarini recupera Samoylova e riporta Ssuschke-Voigt al centro, ma, soprattutto nel 1° e nel 3° set (passivo di 7-15 nelle fasi iniziali), fatica più del previsto per avere la meglio sulla giovane formazione avversaria che nel 2° set perde la centrale bulgara Ruseva per infortunio.
Nel 2° incontro l'Azeryol perde a sorpresa il 1° set, ma poi regola 3-1 il Baladzhari grazie ad un buon servizio.
La giornata si chiude col match clou in cui l'Igtisadchi a trazione thailandese (7 nazionali in rosa) batte per la 2° volta in stagione l'Azerrail di Chiappini, Negro, Anzanello, Sorokaite e Carocci. L'Azerrail prevale a muro (15-5), ma è insufficiente in attacco (30%) e dopo un combattuto 1-1 (dubbia la decisione arbitrale che chiude il 1° set) cede nettamente negli ultimi 2 set.

Risultati 15° giornata (22 febbraio)
Lokomotiv Baku – Telecom Baku 3:0 (25:22, 25:20, 25:22)
Top Scorer: Havlickova 18, Grothues 13, Samoylova 10;Ruban 14, Stefanenko 10, Anisova 10.
Note: Att: LOK 46% - TEL 40%; Muri: LOK 9 - TEL 7; Battuta: LOK 4ace - 2 bs, TEL 3 ace - 5 bs.

Azeryol Baki Baku – Lokomotiv Baladzhari Baku 3:1 (22:25, 25:14, 25:15, 25:19)
Top Scorer: Gurbanova 14, Aliyeva 13, Ergardt 13; Robles 15, Zhidkova 13, Abdulazimova 10.
Note: Att: AZE 39% - LOK 36%; Muri: AZE 8 - LOK 11; Battta: AZE 11 ace 4 bs, LOK 2 ace 12 bs.

Igtisadchi Baku - Azerrail Baku 3:1 (25:23, 22:25, 25:20, 25:15)
Top Scorer e italiane: Sittirak 22, Metcalf 17, Thinkaow 12; Flier 14, Anzanello 11, Hodge 10, Sorokaite 6, Carocci n.e.
Note: Att: IGT 40% - AZE 30%; Muri: IGT 5 - AZE 15; Batt.: IGT 10 ace, 10 bs - AZE 5 ace 6 bs.

Riposa: Rabita Baku.

Rabita Baku 31 (10-2) (33-11)
Igtisadchi Baku 29 (10-2) (33-13)
Azerrail Baku 24 (8-3) (26-11)
Lokomotiv Baku 22 (7-5) (27-17)
Azeryol Baki Baku 17 (6-7) (22-25)
Telecom Baku 6 (2-11) (6-33)
Lokomotiv Baladzhari Baku 0 (0-13) (2-39)

Assegnazione dei punti come in Italia, tra parentesi le partite vinte perse ed i set vinti-persi.

Si giocano 2 gironi di andata e 2 di ritorno per un totale di 28 giornate (ogni squadra fa 24 partite e 4 turni di riposo). Vince chi al termine fa più punti in classifica. Non sono previsti play off.

Womb ( Not suitable for kids)

Comments:Not suitable for kids

Noomi Rapace

source:© Frequency Films/

Noomi Rapace and Colin Farrell

source: © Frequency Films/

Terrence Howard

source:© Frequency Films/

Dead Man Down

Réalisé par Niels Arden Oplev

Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Dominic Cooper

Synopsis et détails

Victor est le bras droit d’Alphonse, un caïd new-yorkais. Quelqu’un s’en prend à leur gang, dont les hommes sont abattus les uns après les autres, et l’assassin multiplie les messages de menace. Espérant s’attirer les faveurs d’Alphonse, Darcy, un ami de Victor, se lance sur les traces du tueur. Lorsque Victor fait la connaissance de Béatrice, une Française qui vit avec sa mère, Valentine, il est tout de suite attiré. Il va vite découvrir qu’elle n’est pas ce qu’elle prétend. Béatrice est une victime qui cherche à se venger – et pour cela, elle a besoin de l’aide de Victor. Mais Béatrice va elle aussi se rendre compte que Victor n’est pas exactement ce qu’il avait dit. Lui aussi a un compte à régler… Ces deux êtres assoiffés de vengeance vont mettre au point un plan qui n’épargnera personne…

Potřebujeme zabrzdit rozjetou Ostravu

Napsal uživatel Marek Těšík

Po zaváhání v předehrávce 22. kola extraligy, kdy naše volejbalistky prohrály 1:3 na domácí palubovce nečekaně se Šternberkem, potřebujeme v dalším utkání extraligové nadstavby bodovat. Čeká nás ovšem soupeř, který do druhé fáze domácí nejvyšší soutěže vletěl ve výborné formě. Zajíždíme ke 23. extraligovému kolu v sobotu na palubovku Ostravy, která ještě v nadstavbě neprohrála a hlídá si zatím se 23 body osmou pozici, zaručující postup do play off.

Ostrava má za sebou ve druhé nadstavbové skupině tři výtečné výsledky. Kromě povinného vítězství 3:0 nad SG Brno totiž dvakrát bodovala na kurtech soupeřek. Nejprve vyhrála jasně v 19. kole 3:0 ve Šternberku a jednu z nejcennějších výher sezony si Ostravanky připsaly tento čtvrtek v Praze, kde porazily v napínavém duelu 3:2 pražskou Slavii. Tento výsledek paradoxně pomohl našim děvčatům z Králova Pole, protože Slavia kvůli ztrátě zůstala v tabulce s 28 body druhá a my druhou nadstavbovou skupinu se 30 body stále těsně vedeme a hlídáme si prozatím šestou postupovou příčku pro play off.

Utkání startuje v Ostravě v 17:00 hodin v Hale míčových sportů ve Varenské ulici. Držme našim hráčkám palce. Body skutečně potřebujeme.

Nicole Vaidisova vs Elena Dementieva


**To think back fondly on something that happened in the past.

Inna Korobkina

Mr. Paul Morrissey, Mr. Denis Arndt, Mr. Federico Luppi, Barbara Dare, Veronica Webb, Kjell Bergqvist, Natalia Verbeke, Inna Korobkina and David Warshofsky

Happy Birthday guys. God bless.

Ms. Linda Cristal

Happy Birthday Ms. Cristal. God bless.

Kristin Davis

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Mr. Peter Fonda

Happy Birthday Mr. Fonda. God bless.

Kelly Macdonald

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Dakota Fanning

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Emily Blunt

Happy Birthday. God bless.


*Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti--God bless you Sir.

AFP - Italy's election campaign kicked off in earnest on Saturday after Prime Minister Mario Monti's resignation opened the way for a contest dominated by a raging debate over austerity in the recession-hit country.

President Giorgio Napolitano was set to begin talks with political leaders in the key eurozone state on Saturday before dissolving parliament and formally calling a general election.

Monti, appointed to head up a technocrat government last year as Italy battled the debt crisis, has been called on by his supporters to run in the February election or endorse parties which pledge to continue his reforms.

Monti's arch-rival, the flamboyant Silvio Berlusconi, has blamed Germany for Italy's woes and called for an end to austerity, while Monti has urged more budget discipline.

The unelected Monti has kept his cards close to his chest, appearing reluctant to dive into the rough-and-tumble of Italian electoral politics, but is expected to announce Sunday whether he will enter into the fray.

His decision is likely to determine the shape of the campaign, which could become a three-way race between Berlusconi, centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani and a Monti-backed coalition.

Observers say the vote will probably take place on February 24. For the moment, the premier will stay on in a caretaker capacity.

In his last speech as prime minister ahead of a final cabinet meeting on Friday, Monti said that his 13 months in government had been "difficult but fascinating" and voiced hope that his reform agenda will continue under a new government.

Italy was now "more reliable" on the international stage, he said.

European leaders in particular have favoured measures introduced by Monti to rein in Italy's vast debt and have urged him to run, not only to continue his programme but also to block a bid for power from the irrepressible Berlusconi.

The current favourite in the polls is Bersani but things could change if Monti decides to join the campaign and back a coalition of small centrist parties as some Italian media have been reporting.

Monti's name cannot officially be on the ballot as he is already a senator for life, but after the elections the former economics professor could still be appointed to a post in government, including prime minister or finance minister.

Three-time premier Berlusconi has said he will stand, though he has since vacillated wildly between declaring his support for Monti -- offering at the same time to withdraw his own candidacy -- and heavily criticising Monti's economic record.

Scandal-hit Berlusconi, 76, has said he can boost his low popularity back up to the levels of previous victorious campaigns, but his People of Freedom party (PDL) has been hit hard by internal divisions and may find it hard to rally.

Bersani, who has promised to continue Monti's reforms and tackle the country's high unemployment levels, has said he would be surprised if the former Eurocrat entered the race but is ready to fight him for the top job.

Monti rescued Italy from the brink of bankruptcy, launching long-delayed pension and labour market reforms and joining other eurozone leaders in battling the debt crisis.

But ordinary Italians have been hit hard by his austerity measures and tax hikes which have squeezed the middle class in particular, and his popularity rating has fallen from over 60 percent to around 30 percent in recent months.

While the business world and the Catholic Church have been hugely supportive of Monti, he has been cautioned in some quarters not to run.

Berlusconi said the outgoing prime minister risked becoming a "small player" on the political scene if he allied with "little parties".

The media magnate, who will be running for the top job a sixth time, was convicted of tax fraud this year and is a defendant in a trial for having sex with an underage prostitute.

Some political observers have said Monti is unlikely to be a candidate because he risks losing not only the election but also the credibility he has built on the international stage.

Instead, these observers say, the professorial Monti will unveil a memorandum in which he lays out the measures any future government would have to accomplish to keep his programme on track.

Imoco Volley Conegliano-Chateau d’Ax Urbino

Per un cambiamento di programma dovuto alle Elezioni Politiche, domani l’amichevole Imoco Volley Conegliano-Chateau d’Ax Urbino, che si doveva giocare a Riccione, si giocherà alle ore 17.00 al PalaPeep di Cesenatico.

PREVENDITA - E’ on line il modulo per prenotare i biglietti per la prossima gara casalinga, Imoco Conegliano-Robur Pesaro, che si giocherà domenica 3 marzo alle 18.00 al Palaverde, 7° di ritorno della A1 femminile. Lo si puo’ compilare su E’ anche attiva la convenzione per l’invito omaggio alle società FIPAV del Triveneto, per informazioni (Not suitable for kids)

Darling Be Home Soon - Lovin' Spoonful

Comments:Not suitable for kids

Darling Be Home Soon - Lovin' Spoonful

Songwriter:John Benson Sebastian

And talk of all the things we did today
And laugh about our funny little ways
While we have a few minutes to breathe
Then I know that it's time you must leave

But darling be home soon
I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled
My darling be home soon
It's not just these few hours but I've been waiting since I toddled
For the great relief of having you to talk to

And now
A quarter of my life is almost past
I think I've come to see myself at last
And I see that the time spent confused
Was the time that I spent without you
And I feel myself in bloom

So darling be home soon
I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled
My darling be home soon
It's not just these few hours but I've been waiting since I toddled
For the great relief of having you to talk to

------ instrumental break ------

Darling be home soon
I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled
My darling be home soon
It's not just these few hours but I've been waiting since I toddled
For the great relief of having you to talk to

And beat your crazy head against the sky
And see beyond the houses and your eyes
It's ok to shoot the moon

Darling be home soon
I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled
My darling be home soon
It's not just these few hours but I've been waiting since I toddled
For the great relief of having you to talk to Trio Music Company

Friday, February 22, 2013

Modeling The Impact of Variability by Pete Abilla posted October 24, 2011

The purpose of Lean is the elimination of waste while Six Sigma is centered in the reduction of variability. One of the forms of waste we try to eliminate with Lean is excess inventory and particularly Work-In-Process which is responsible for long lead times and poor customer responsiveness.

Variability was described by Myron Trybus as a virus which infects our processes: it causes chaos and is often undetected. Variability is in fact often the root cause of our problems and Six Sigma allows us to detect it and reduce it at the source.

The best way to understand the effects of variability is by using a Monte Carlo simulator. In my teaching I use a simple 3 step process simulator in Excel (shown above) to let participants experience for themselves the effects of variation, try different solutions to the problems presented and see the side effects by downloading the monte carlo simulation yourself.

We want to see the effects of variation in one step on the total process. To do that we first run the simulator for a while by pressing start and see what the ideal process would look like: 100 items committed and delivered to the customer on every period with an average WIP per step of 100 and average lead time of 1.

Now let us key in a variation of 40 in step 2 (random variation of thruput between 60 and 140 with an average of 100). When we run the first thing we experience is customer dissatisfaction due to missed deliveries (% On time drops).

Eventually some WIP starts accumulating before and after step 2 (the one causing the problem). If we continue we will see WIP moving between Before and After step 2. When the excess WIP is After it protects the customer from the variability so % On time recovers to 100% but when the excess WIP moves to Before we start missing deliveries again.

In the graph in the bottom we can see the evolution of average lead time (which is related to total WIP) as well as the instances of missed deliveries. The first thing we notice, as a direct consequence of variability is an increase of WIP which in turn causes longer lead times. The “virus” effect of variability can also be noticed when we look at the average thruput of step 2: it is still the same as that of the other steps, therefore it is not obvious where the problem is coming from. We can also see that on some occasions the excess WIP accumulates AFTER step 2 and this can mislead us to blame step 3 (it has the big pile in front of it).

This result confirms that unless we measure variability we will not improve it (Six Sigma) and the effects of variability is excess WIP and long lead time (Waste).

In an upcoming article, we will later experience the simulation will show when we apply just in time (JIT) to the model.


About Cornelio Abellanas

Has a PhD in Telecommunications Engineering degree from the University of Madrid and a Master of Science from the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK). He is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) assessor.

He has been Lean Six Sigma manager and a member of the Management Committee in Celestica Spain where he implemented 80 improvement projects per year with a total savings for the Company of 1% of the yearly revenue. Improvement projects yielded these savings by reducing operator time, optimising plant layouts, reducing equipment setup time, reducing admin and production lead times, increasing equipment availability, reducing operator and equipment defect rate, reducing work-in-process and component inventory, reducing scrap and rework, improving on-time delivery, etc.

He designed and implemented a line data collection system and real-time operator feedback which enabled self control in autonomous electronic board production cells.
He performed internal audits and achieved success in external audits for the Company with standards ISO 9000: 2000, AS9100 (Aerospace), ISO/TS 16949 (Automotive) and ISO 13485 (electro-medicine). He has developed and maintained the Quality System: Quality Manual, Process Value Stream Maps, Procedures, Corrective actions, Suggestion program, etc. for Celestica Spain. He has delivered EFQM training and assessment in companies Volvo Truck and Guzman.

He currently delivers Lean and Six Sigma training and leads Kaizen workshops in companies around Europe: IBM, AT&T, MSL, Philips, Volvo Truck, Ford, Celestica, IBC, Pt Pro, BP Solar, Italgres, PCS, General Dynamics, Telefónica International Wholesale Services, EMT Valencia, Importaco, Faurecia, Asac Pharma, etc. in France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Switzerland, Sweden, etc.

He lectures at MBAs in local Universities.

He has managed and delivered courses at the IBM International Education Center in La Hulpe, Belgium on the topics: Total Quality Management, ISO 9000, EFQM, Stress Screening, Six Sigma, Statistical Process Control and Capability, Design of Experiments, Design for Manufacturability, Business Process Improvement, Lean Production, Kaizen, Theory of Constraints, etc.

He managed an Independent Business Unit which was responsible for production of a tape drive unit designed in IBM Tucson, USA and manufactured in a local IBM Spain subcontractor. He was Manufacturing Engineering Manager for banking control units in IBM Spain. He designed a matrix ticket printer for British Railways in Ventek Ltd., London (Datapoint Computers representative for UK). He worked as a Systems Engineer in logic design for Burroughs Machines Ltd. (now Unisys) in Cumbernauld (Scotland).

Mélanie Laurent

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Christopher Atkins

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Tyne Daly

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Tuppence Middleton

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Christine Ebersole

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Mimi Kuzyk

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Charlotte Church

Charlotte Church

Scout Taylor-Compton

Happy Birthday. God bless.

William Petersen

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Elize du Toit

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Sophie Turner

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Ashley Greene

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Ms. Karin Dor

Happy Birthday Ms. Dor. God bless.


Happy Birthday. God bless.

Jeri Ryan

Happy Birthday. God bless.

Drew Barrymore, Julie Walters, Kyle MacLachlan, Ms. Rebecca Schull, Ellen Greene, Dichen Lachman, Jenna Haze, Mr. James Hong, Zach Roerig, Thomas Jane and Jonathan Demme

Happy Birthday guys. God bless.

JENNY, Glass, Aguero, Paggi and Spasojevic

JENNY and Glass

JENNY, Glass and Spasojevic

JENNY and Valeriano

Spasojevic and Aguero

JENNY, Paggi, Glass and Valeriano