Monday, February 14, 2005

Monday 14 February 2005

Nader Runs Strong in Iraq Election; Misses Seat

Despite a remarkable strong showing in the recent Iraq elections, Ralph Nader missed out on a seat in the new Iraq National Assembly by a few thousand votes.

Running on the Green Party slate, and as an independent, Nader barnstormed the country in December, on a platform of peace and alternative energy. Due to his celebrity-status, and his constant criticism of President Bush, Nader drew a surprising large following.

Nader placed 287th in a field of thousands, vying for one of the seats in the 275-person National Assembly.

However, much like his efforts in the United States, Nader was barred from most of the sanctioned debates and, he complained frequently of the lack of coverage of his campaign by Al Jazeera. Local Iraq coverage of Nader's stops was infrequent.

Bloomberg Announces Central Park 'Gate' Toll

The new public art installation of 'The Gates' by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude has been set up in Central Park and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that Central Park visitors, walkers and joggers will have to pay at toll if they are to take-in the art along the 23-miles of walkway in the park.

For 16 days, "The Gates", like giant croquet targets, will be in place, with 7,500 saffron-colored panels hanging above pedestrians.
New York officials expect an unusually high amount of traffic in Central Park for the month of February and that, they say, is going to strain and already stretched city budget.

"We really wish we could avoid this toll" offered the diminutive Mayor. "It's such a lovely, and unique, addition to Central Park that we hope all New Yorkers will come to view it.

Plans call for attendants to be stationed as various points along 'The Gates' route to collect the tolls and, visitors can purchase a prepaid card that will be scanned for the correct toll.

Apple To Split Stock; Follow Google With Unique Auction For New Shares

Get ready for iPodStock.

With the success of the iPod accounting for nearly 35% of Apple Computer's profits, and pushing their stock to triple its' value, the Cupertino-based company announced they will be conducting a 2-1 stock split.

And Apple is taking a page of the auction-style IPO conducted by search giant, Google, last year.

Once the share price is established, and on a date to-be-announced, share buyers will have to visit, where they can bid and purchase their shares and download them to their iPods. No paper certificates will be issued. And, as with their successful iTunes, iPodStock will not be compatible with other MP3 or PDA formats.

For current Apple shareholders, they will have the option of purchasing a specially-issued Apple stock-loaded iPod.

For Rock, Exit, Stage Left after Grammy Faux Paux

Perhaps his GPS wasn't working, or he misread his Blackberry. For comedian Chris Rock, there wasn't one big enough to hide under.

As the broadcast for the 47th Annual Grammy Awards began last night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Rock bounded on stage to welcome the audience, stunning host Queen Latifah, who was walking on stage from the opposite wing.

Trouble is, he wasn't supposed to be there.

Rock is due to host the 77th Academy Awards that will be presented later this month, on Sunday, February 27, 2005, and will be telecast live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

Embarassed, Rock hurriedly left the stage and, as there was a slight delay to the broadcast, the gaffe went unseen by the television audience. Queen Latifah re-entered the stage and the evening's program went on, as scheduled. Latifah made no reference to the false Rock entrance in her opening remarks.

Rock, or his agent and manager could not be reached for comment.

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