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December 08, 2008

People depress me

BBC NEWS | Africa | Getting high on HIV drugs in S Africa

Anti-retroviral drugs used to treat HIV/Aids are being bought and smoked by teenagers in South Africa to get high.

Reports suggest that the drugs are being sold by patients and even healthcare staff for money.

Schoolchildren have been spotted smoking the drugs, which are ground into powder and sometimes mixed with painkillers or marijuana.

December 06, 2008

One Point English Lesson 1

Okay, fair warning. Children and people who don't like rude words for body parts, don't watch. I know. It kills the joke. Still funny, anyway. You Tube: One Point English Lesson 1

December 05, 2008

On the well-groomed, tunnel-dwelling homeless on Las Vegas

Sucked Into The Tunnels Beneath Las Vegas : NPR

Steve is the well-dressed one. He's 42 and grew up in Las Vegas. And he makes his living at casinos around town, doing what's known as "silver mining," which means he looks for credits left behind on slot machines.

"You know, I'll start at Harrah's. And depending on how I feel, I'll go to either the Venetian and the Mirage. A lot depends on how I look, because those are two very hard places. If you don't look right, they'll stop you and watch you. It's always busy at Harrah's, so you're able to walk through the casino without drawing much attention to yourself."

To blend in, they need to dress the part. That explains the rack of button-down shirts and slacks. He shows off his quarters, defined by cardboard walls: a queen-sized bed, a dresser, even a makeshift shower.

Steve says his luck varies. The night before, he'd visited several casinos, and things hadn't been going well.

"Then I went to the Bellagio. I was walking through and turned the corner in one area of the casino, and there on the machine was $116. Nobody around, so I hit the cash-out button. Took it, cashed it out, and that was the end of my night. Helped me out today. I ate very well today. I had a late breakfast last night. And I still have about 50 bucks left," he says.

Rocky Mountain News to fold?

9NEWS.com | Colorado's Online News Leader | Internal Post memo suggests Rocky to close

I've been wondering, what with the massive press layoffs and loss of ad revenue, what will happen to the newspaper industry? Is it doomed? Are we looking at a future where only local rags and a few national papers can survive?

The Rocky, Colorado's oldest newspaper, was put up for sale on Thursday after owner E.W. Scripps Co. said it lost about $11 million on the operation in the first nine months of the year.

Cincinnati-based Scripps said in a news release that if no acceptable offers emerge by mid-January, it will "examine its other options." It gave no details.

December 04, 2008

Dead-tree media dying for reals

E&P | 'Several Cities' Could Have No Daily Paper As Soon As 2010, Credit Rater Says
Newspaper and newspaper groups are likely to default on their debt and go out of business next year -- leaving "several cities" with no daily newspaper at all, Fitch Ratings says in a report on media released Wednesday. "Fitch believes more newspapers and newspaper groups will default, be shut down and be liquidated in 2009 and several cities could go without a daily print newspaper by 2010," the Chicago-based credit ratings firm said in a report on the outlook for U.S. media and entertainment. Fitch is generally pessimistic across the board, assigning negative outlets to nearly all sectors from Yellow Pages to radio and TV and theme parks. But the newspaper industry is the most at risk of defaulting, it says. "Much of the business risk for the media sector is likely to continue to be concentrated within the newspaper sub-sector," the report says. "Fitch expects newspaper industry revenue growth will be negative for the foreseeable future as both ad pricing and linage will be under pressure within each of the four main components of newspaper companies' revenue streams: circulation and local, classified and national advertising. Newsprint costs could rise, and it could be difficult to offset revenue declines with cost cuts."

December 03, 2008

Chained teen shows up at Bay Area gym

The Associated Press: Chained teen shows up at Calif. gym, 2 arrested

What the hell is up with parents chaining up their children? I feel like I see one of these stories every week.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A husband and wife have been charged with torture and other counts after a bruised, terrified 17-year-old showed up at a gym with a chain locked to his ankle, claiming he had just fled his captors, authorities said Tuesday.

Kelly Lau Schumacher, 30, and Michael Schumacher, 34, were arrested late Monday, said Matt Robinson, a spokesman for police in Tracy.

They had been taken into custody for questioning earlier in the day at their home in Tracy, where the emaciated boy was allegedly held against his will. A search of the home turned up evidence implicating the couple, Robinson said. Tracy is about 60 miles east of San Francisco.