My days on the planet

Naam:
Locatie: Netherlands

When I was young, I delayed prosperity for my country.

maandag, april 30, 2012

Ennis: I won't visit Olympic Stadium

Jessica Ennis ready to step up
  • Heptathlete Jessica Ennis says she won't visit Olympic Stadium until it is time to compete
  • The UK athlete wants her first trip to provide her with extra adrenalin to help her win gold
  • Ennis won gold at the World Championships in 2009 but had to settle for silver in 2011
  • The London Games will be her first Olympics after injury forced her to miss Beijing in 2008

(CNN) -- She's one of Great Britain's brightest medal hopes ahead of the London Olympics but Jessica Ennis isn't relying on home comforts to help land her a maiden Games gold.

The heptathlete has had numerous chances to visit the newly-built Olympic Stadium in the east of the English capital and steal a march on her rivals.

But the 25-year-old insists she wants her first trip to the arena to come when she takes to the track to make up for the disappointment of missing the 2008 Games in Beijing.

"There's been lots of opportunities to go, I've seen pictures of it and it looks fantastic, but for me I don't want to become overly familiar with it," she told CNN World Sport.

"I want to go down to the stadium when it's games time and for me to step into the stadium with a big crowd and it will all be fresh and new and allow that adrenaline to pump through me.

"Hopefully that will get into my performance and help me perform that little bit better."

Human to Hero: Jessica Ennis
Human to Hero: Oscar Pistorius
Human to Hero: Sprinter Yohan Blake
Is the UK ready for the Olympics?

Ennis broke through at the 2009 World Championships when she claimed gold in Berlin but last year in Daegu, South Korea, she relinquished her title to Russia's Tatyana Chernova.

More disappointment followed at March's World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, where she again was pipped to gold, this time in the pentathlon, by Ukrainian Nataliya Dobrynska.

But she says both experiences have helped her to understand exactly what will be required to win gold in front of her home fans in August.

"Obviously I was disappointed with Daegu and Istanbul, getting so close to those gold medals but not quite managing to keep hold of them was disappointing," she said.

"But I learned a lot from those championships and learned a lot about the areas I need to work on and improve.

"If someone had said to me five years ago that I'd have three gold medals at major championships and two silver medals then I'd have grabbed that with both hands.

"The thing I've got to take from these past couple of championships is that I've performed consistently over the past few years and always been in the medals."

Too young to compete at Athens in 2004, Ennis was on course to make her Olympic debut in China in 2008, until a foot injury forced her to withdraw.

Given the impact she has made on UK athletics, and the high-profile she has enjoyed since Berlin, many people forget that this will be her first ever Games.

But she says although her battle with Chernova and Dobrynska is bound to be intense, she is determined to approach the Olympics as she would any other event.

"Having the disappointment from Beijing it's obviously going to be a big year for me," she said.

"But I've done lots of championships before, I've had the experience there and I've competed against these girls on numerous occasions so I'm just treating it as any other championship."

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_sport/~3/F9TjlAPBDqI/index.html

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April is the wettest in 100 years

Breaking news

This has been the wettest April in the UK in over a century, with some areas seeing three times their usual average, figures from the Met Office show.

Some 121.8mm of rain has fallen, beating the previous record of 120.3mm which was set in 2000.

A 52-year-old man died on Monday after his car became submerged at a ford near Newbury following heavy rain.

The Badminton Horse Trials, in Gloucestershire, have been cancelled for the second time in their history.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17897982#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

photography wired bbc hot topics

Cyanogenmod 9 struts its stuff on HTC's One X

Cyanogenmod 9 struts its stuff on HTC's One X

So you've procured yourself HTC's new super slim, 4.7-inch halo phone: the One X. By now, you probably have the device set up just the way you like it: applications configured, widgets in place and Adele ringtone set. But there's just something else left to do, isn't there? If (like some of us) you're a smartphone user who just can't leave well enough alone, you'll be excited to learn that a build of Cyanogenmod 9 for the Uno Equis has been made available via the MoDaCo forums. The ROM will deliver that stock Android experience, and all those CM9 accoutrements, to those that don't fancy the panache of Sense 4.0. The forum post does caution that the One's camera, and hotspot functionality, aren't currently working, so interested parties best proceed with caution. If all that doesn't phase you, grab a cup of coffee, get the Android SDK all warmed up and take this ROM for a spin!

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/30/cyanogenmod-9-struts-its-stuff-on-htcs-one-x/

sports interesting photography wired

Ballesteros plays pro event

Javier Ballesteros competed in his first professional tournament Thursday, at the Sant Cugat course in Catalunya
Javier Ballesteros competed in his first professional tournament Thursday, at the Sant Cugat course in Catalunya
  • Seve Ballesteros' son Javier competes in first professional golf tournament
  • The 21-year-old's first pro start comes at same course his late father made his debut
  • Seve is one of the most famous names in golf winning five majors during a glittering career
  • Javier to decide whether to become a full time pro after completing law studies at college

(CNN) -- He has a long way to go to emulate the success of his father, who won five majors and thrilled the world of golf, but Javier Ballesteros is off to a promising start.

The 21-year-old made his debut on the professional golf circuit Thursday, 38 years after Severiano began his pro career on exactly the same course.

After starting at the Sant Cugat course in Catalunya, Spain, Seve went on to win three British Opens and two Masters titles and etch his name into the record books as one of the most entertaining and flamboyant players ever to pick up a club.

Seve died in May last year, at the age of 54, provoking an outpouring of grief from the world of golf. Many stars of the game attended his funeral in his home village of Pedrena.

Remembering Seve Ballesteros

Javier insists he doesn't feel any weight of pressure being the son of one of golf's most revered characters, but he offered a glimpse of his talent as he shot a five-under-par round to sit three shots off the lead after day one of the Peugeot Alps de Barcelona.

"My goal for this competition is enjoy it," he said on the European Tour's official website. "I don't set goals when I play a tournament, especially being an amateur.

"What I have to do is enjoy and learn. I have no extra pressure being Seve's son, I don't really have anything to prove. I'm just going to be myself.

I have no extra pressure being Seve's son, I don't really have anything to prove. I'm just going to be myself
Javier Ballesteros

"When I registered for the Peugeot Tour event at Sant Cugat I didn't know that my father played his first professional tournament here and now that I know, it's double the excitement for me."

Seve won 91 tournaments in a 33-year career and was a crucial part of Europe's Ryder Cup team during much of the 1980s and 1990s, forming a formidable partnership with fellow Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal.

Javier clearly has inherited a wealth of talent from Seve but says he is yet to decide if he will follow his father's footsteps and become a golf professional once he has finished studying law in Madrid.

"I have always played golf," he added. "I was on the national team when I was 14 to 16 years old, and being surrounded by golf at home always made me think about being a pro in the future.

"But I have to finish university first. It is something my parents have always told me to do, especially my father, and that is my priority. Then we will see.

"I have not made a schedule or set a time. It's not just a case of turning professional as soon as I finish college. We will just see what happens."

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_sport/~3/iRynwfwojvk/index.html

interesting photography wired bbc

Al Qaeda offers UK hostage swap

Abu Qatada was arrested in Britain in April, two months after he was released on bail.
Abu Qatada was arrested in Britain in April, two months after he was released on bail.
  • Statement purportedly from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb offers to release a hostage
  • The group says it will release Stephen Malcolm, who was abducted in Mali last year
  • AQIM wants Britain to release Abu Qatada and send him to an Arab Spring country
  • British authorities say Qatada raises money for terror attacks

(CNN) -- The North Africa arm of al Qaeda is offering to release a British man abducted in Mali in exchange for Britain releasing accused terror fundraiser Abu Qatada, whom authorities describe as the spiritual guide of a 9/11 hijacker, according to a statement posted on a militant web site.

In the statement purportedly from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the group offered to release Stephen Malcolm, who was abducted in late November along with two other men from the northern Mali town of Timbuktu.

"We will release the British national prisoner that we have, Stephen Malcolm, ... if the British government will allow the deportation of Sheikh Abu Qatada to one of the Arab Spring countries or any other country of his choice that will ensure his freedom, rights and dignity," the statement said.

CNN can not confirm the authenticity of the claim. The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S.-based organization that monitors militant web activity, said the statement was posted late Sunday.

Jordan wants Qatada to return 'home'

Britain views Qatada, also known as Omar Othman, as a national security threat, but the European Court of Human Rights barred the country from deporting him because evidence gained from torture could be used against him in Jordan, where he has been convicted in absentia of involvement in terrorist conspiracies.

Qatada was arrested in Britain earlier this month, two months after he was released on bail after six years imprisonment while the British government worked to send him to Jordan, where he holds citizenship.

Qatada, who Britain's Home Office described as the spiritual guide of 9/11 hijacker Mohammad Atta, is accused of raising money for terrorist groups, including organizations linked to Osama bin Laden, and has publicly supported the violent activities of those groups. Would-be shoe-bomber Richard Reid is also said to be an admirer.

Qatada has denied the allegations against him.

The North African al Qaeda group warned if the British government did not accept its offer, it would "open the doors of hell for their country and expats, who are scattered all over the region."

Malcolm, who holds British and South African citizenship, was abducted along with Nils Gustafson of Switzerland and Jacobus Ruke of the Netherlands on November 25.

The men were taken at gunpoint from a restaurant in Timbuktu, witnesses said at the time. A German man, who was abducted with them, was killed by the gunmen, authorities said.

CNN's Saad Abedine and Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/30/world/africa/mali-aqim-kidnapping/index.html?eref=edition

photography wired bbc hot topics

Vote for Lego Firefly

Image by Thomas Lockwood used with his permission

By now most of our readers have come across the Lego Cuuso site, a place where builders can submit models and people can vote on them. If the model gets 10,000 votes Lego will look into the possibility of making it into an official playset.

I came across this idea by Thomas Lockwood, Cuuso user Tbone_TB1, to build a Firefly Serenity play set. He has already built a small model of Serenity and is proposing a larger model that would accommodate minifigs. He is also planning on these features:

  • Movable loading ramp
  • Cockpit capable of fitting 1 minifig
  • Light up firefly drive
  • Playable dining area and cargo hold
  • Rotating engines

As for the minifigs, Thomas has some concept art for Firefly minifigs that look really good. I especially like the Jayne with a ski cap and Wash kind of looked like a minifig already. Speaking of Firefly characters, Morena Baccarin (who played Inara) recently gave the project a boost when she tweeted about it.

To give your support to the project go to the Firefly Playset Cuuso page and vote for it and make sure you scroll down to see the minifigs. To see more photos of the Lego Serenity model check out Thomas?s Gallery over at Brickshelf. He does good work and I wouldn?t mind having my own Serenity to put next to the Millennium Falcon in my china closet.

Dave Giancaspro

Dave Giancaspro is a Network Engineer in NYC with a wife and two kids. When he's not working he builds stuff, does card tricks and tries to get to the gym. Sometimes all at once.

Read more by Dave Giancaspro

Follow @dgiancaspro on Twitter.

Source: http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/L6ExzNA1kkE/

photography wired bbc hot topics

'U.N. observers not enough,' Syria mission chief says

Suicide bomb in Damascus targets troops
  • NEW: At least three people are reported dead in Syria on Sunday, an opposition group says
  • NEW: Protesters demanding freedom demonstrate in provinces across Syria on Sunday
  • Opposition: At least 700 people have been killed since a cease-fire deadline passed April 12
  • Syria insists it has met its obligations under Kofi Annan's peace plan; a U.S. official disagrees

Are you there? Send us your images or video. Also, read this report in Arabic.

(CNN) -- While the death toll in Syria escalates despite the presence of international monitors, the newly-appointed head of the U.N. observer mission is scheduled to arrive in the besieged country Sunday.

Maj. Gen. Robert Mood of Norway will begin his work in Syria amid growing doubt that a U.N.-backed peace plan will quash the bloodshed.

At least three people were reported dead across Syria on Sunday, said the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists.

The bodies of a father and son were found in a house in the embattled western city of Homs on Sunday, days after a massacre in the city, the group said. In addition, one man was shot to death in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, the group said.

Despite the incessant bloodshed, protesters continued demanding freedom at demonstrations in Idlib, Hama and Deir Ezzor provinces on Sunday.

A key part of a six-point peace plan laid out by international envoy Kofi Annan involves a cessation of violence by the government and opposition members.

But since the cease-fire deadline passed on April 12, at least 700 people have been killed, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists.

"The plan as a whole is failing thus far," U.S. State Department Victoria Nuland said Friday. "Obviously, we can all see that it is the Assad regime that is failing to meet its obligations under the six-point plan."

But Syrian state media slammed U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and blamed "armed terrorist groups" for the carnage.

"The international community continues to ignore the crimes committed by the armed gangs and their terrorist acts, and those who stand behind them in what we consider almost like a direct involvement in facilitating and implementing the terrorist plots against Syria," an editorial in the state-run Tishrin newspaper stated Saturday. "... We see the example of the Secretary-General of the United Nations recently avoiding any discussion about the violations by these armed groups while he only focuses in an outrageous manner the Syrian state as usual."

Syrian Information Minister Adnan Mahmoud said armed terrorist groups have committed more than 1,300 violations of the cease-fire, "stressing that Syria has met its obligations" according to the Annan plan, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

At least 31 people were killed across the country Saturday, the coordination committees said.

Even though the cease-fire appears to be unraveling, the United Nations is continuing its efforts to field a team to monitor the peace plan with an aim toward forging stability and ending 13 months of bloodshed.

Roughly 30 monitors are expected to be on the ground by Monday, and a total of 300 are slated to arrive in the coming month. The United States is not providing monitors, but is helping with funding and logistics.

Syria has been engulfed in violence since March 2011, when government forces started cracking down on demonstrators who were peacefully protesting President Bashar al-Assad's regime. The president's family has ruled Syria for 42 years. Some opposition members have since taken up arms against the regime forces.

The United Nations estimates at least 9,000 people have died in the conflict, while opposition groups put the death toll at more than 11,000.

CNN cannot independently verify reports of violence and deaths within Syria, as the government has restricted access by most of the international media.

CNN's Saad Abedine and Jill Dougherty contributed to this report.

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/29/world/meast/syria-unrest/index.html?eref=edition

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Labour market 'alarming' says ILO

An employment centreA recovery in the jobs market has been cited as key to global economic growth

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has warned that the global employment situation is "alarming" and is unlikely to improve soon.

The agency said that austerity measures, especially in advanced economies, were hurting job creation.

The ILO said the situation was likely to get worse amid slowing global growth and more people entering the workforce.

High unemployment has been a concern in the US and other major economies and has hurt the global economic recovery.

"It is unlikely that the world economy will grow at a sufficient pace over the next couple of years to both close the existing jobs deficit and provide employment for the more than 80 million people expected to enter the labour market during this period," the agency said in its latest report.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17890575#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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Dortmund retain German title

Shinji Kagawa celebrates after scoring Dortmund's second goal against Monchengladbach at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.
Shinji Kagawa celebrates after scoring Dortmund's second goal against Monchengladbach at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.
  • Borussia Dortmund clinch second successive German league title on Saturday
  • Jurgen Klopp's team beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 in front of home fans
  • Victory seals championship with two rounds of the Bundesliga remaining
  • Second-placed Bayern Munich win ahead of Champions League semifinal trip

(CNN) -- Bayern Munich may be leading Germany's bid for success on European football's main stage, but Borussia Dortmund rule the roost domestically after winning the Bundesliga title for the second successive season on Saturday.

Champions League semifinalists Bayern made sure their rivals would have to get a result in the late kickoff by snatching a last-gasp 2-1 win at Werder Bremen, but Dortmund retained the crown with two matches to spare in front of their home crowd after a 2-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.

It put Jurgen Klopp's team eight points clear of Bayern, who go to Spain on Wednesday holding a 2-1 advantage over Real Madrid with the added incentive of a final at Munich's Allianz Arena on May 19.

Dortmund failed to make it past the group stages of Europe's top club competition this season, but have won 23 of 32 matches in the German league and will face Bayern in the final of the German Cup on May 12.

Croatia midfelder Ivan Perisic opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a header from Marcel Schmelzer's free-kick, while Japan international Shinji Kagawa settled any nerves of the 80,720 sellout home crowd at Signal Iduna Park with the second goal on the hour mark to seal the club's eighth title since forming in 1909.

Dortmund fans also cheered the return of 19-year-old Germany international Mario Gotze, who made his comeback as a substitute in the final 15 minutes having been sidelined by injury since mid-December.

The victory extended Dortmund's unbeaten league run to 26 matches, and ended Bayern's slim hopes of a first title since 2010 and 23rd overall.

Jupp Heynckes' team needed a stoppage-time goal from Franck Ribery, who followed up his opener against Real last Tuesday by dealing a major blow to eighth-placed Werder Bremen's hopes of Europa League football next season.

Brazil defender Naldo put the home side ahead in the 51st minute, but diverted a cross by substitute Ribery into his own net with quarter of an hour to play.

Ribery had been rested along with Arjen Robben -- who the France international reportedly fought with during the halftime break against Real and was fined, according to German reports.

But Ribery struck in the final seconds to put Bayern 10 points clear of third-placed Schalke, who travel to fourth-bottom Augsburg on Sunday.

Monchengladbach stayed a point behind Schalke, and facing an uphill battle to qualify for the Champions League.

Stuttgart drew 1-1 at third-bottom Cologne and stayed in fifth ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, who won 1-0 at Hoffenheim.

Second-bottom Hertha Berlin's hopes of staying in the top flight suffered a big blow after a 2-1 home defeat by already-relegated Kaiserslautern.

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_sport/~3/sajjSp4CZgA/index.html

sports interesting photography wired

Inhabitat's Week in Green: biophotovoltaic table, giant rubber ducky and cushions of shredded cash

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.

Image

Buon giorno! Milan Design Week 2012 is in the rear-view mirror now, but we're still sifting through the incredible furniture, lighting and technology that was showcased all throughout the city this year. Inhabitat sent a couple of correspondents to report on everything that was on display, and they didn't disappoint. We featured a nifty biophotovoltaic table that uses moss to generate electricity through photosynthesis. We also caught wind of a digital camera that IKEA unveiled in Milan that's made of cardboard. And given our love for terrariums, we were pretty excited to find this pendant lamp that doubles as a vegetable garden at this year's fair. But the star of the Milan show this year had to be British designer Tom Dixon, who rolled out countless innovative lamp designs, including the gorgeous Etch Light, which casts geometric shadows all over the room -- and he even invited visitors to design their own flat-pack lamps!

Milan Design Week isn't the only interesting news that we've been tracking in Europe. In Italy, Europe's most modern train, the Italo, hit the tracks for the first time. The bright red high-speed train is modeled after a Ferrari, and it promises to provide more luxury and energy efficiency. In Germany, the automation company Festo created an extraordinary helium-filled flying robot that propels itself through the air by repeatedly turning itself inside-out. We're still wondering how such a robot might be put to use, though.

Image

And art is cropping up in unexpected places. In one of our favorite stories of the week, a giant rubber ducky was spotted floating down the Loire River in France. Why? The 82-foot ducky carries no political meaning (of course); it's simply meant to bring people together, according to artist Florentijn Hofman. In Hamburg, a group of trashmen transformed a fleet of dumpsters into pinhole cameras that take moody black-and-white photos.

In interplanetary news, Google and James Cameron announced plans to fund a venture to mine precious metals and rare minerals from asteroids. They hope to mine platinum-group metals and asteroid water. That's right: water. In an unrelated story, Donald Trump says the Scottish government has "betrayed" him for planning to install an offshore wind farm near Trump's golf resort.

Image

In the world of cars, we were pretty surprised to learn that Ford is planning to use shredded cash in its vehicles. Say what?! You read that right: The automaker intends to recycle tons of old, damaged or out-of-circulation bills to make cushions, insulation and other car components. Audi unveiled its Q5 Hybrid Quattro, a midsize SUV that the company claims will get 34 mpg. And in another step forward for electric vehicles, GE Energy unveiled its new fully-networked WattStation electric vehicle charging platform. The network will enable owners to manage charging stations remotely, and it'll make it easier for drivers to access location and pricing details for charging stations. Tesla was also in the news this week, but not for its speedy cars; the Silicon Valley car company is teaming up with the solar rental company SolarCity to develop a new off-grid solar power storage system for home use.

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/29/biophotovoltaic-table-giant-ducky-cushions-of-shredded-cash/

bbc hot topics news gadgets

Gay dad finds families for foster kids

CNN Hero: David Wing-Kovarik

Seattle (CNN) -- David Wing-Kovarik and his partner, Conrad, were ready to adopt a child.

They moved through all their requirements smoothly, even completing an orientation and training course for prospective parents.

Then they were confronted with their first real stumbling block.

"Our adoption agent said, 'Well, you both look the same on paper, so who's going to be the parent?'" Wing-Kovarik recalls.

In Arizona, where the couple lived at the time, only individuals and legally married couples may adopt from the U.S. foster care system. But because a same-sex couple cannot legally marry in the state, only one parent can be granted legal rights to the child.

"We saw (it) as a disadvantage to the child," said Wing-Kovarik, 47. "We, frankly, got very angry about it when we thought about everybody else that was in the (training) class. None of them were asked this question. And it came down to the fact that we were a male couple. This was when we first experienced how being that gay couple just adds to the complexity of the whole process. It makes it much harder."

In 18 states and the District of Columbia, same-sex couples can jointly petition to adopt a child. But in the other states, such as Arizona, the law either restricts joint adoption or is unclear.

That only adds confusion and frustration to what is already a "mind-numbing" adoption process, Wing-Kovarik said.

"It makes your head spin with the questions that are asked of you, with the forms that you have to fill out," he said. "And then you have on top of that the fact that your family might not be that mom-and-dad home. You're that gay or lesbian family ... and the questions begin to change."

That child sitting in foster care ... is not going to their social worker and saying, 'I only want a mom-and-dad home.'
CNN Hero David Wing-Kovarik

Wing-Kovarik and his partner did their homework and were eventually able to adopt two sibling boys after relocating to Seattle for Conrad's new job. But it was a long, arduous and invasive process, one that scares off many other potential parents, Wing-Kovarik said.

"It becomes a daunting experience," he said. "It's why the families don't always come forward, because they think they're going to be rejected."

And to him, that is unacceptable with 107,000 boys and girls waiting for adoption in the United States.

"When you lose that family, you lose an opportunity for a child," he said. "They need help. ... That child sitting in foster care year after year after year is not going to their social worker and saying, 'I only want a mom-and-dad home.' "

Determined to help other families deal with the same obstacles that he had faced, Wing-Kovarik started a nonprofit, Families Like Ours. It began as a simple online resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people wanting to foster or adopt. But as word spread about its growing expertise and its success in helping foster placements and adoptions, more diverse people started coming to the group for help.

"It doesn't matter if you're gay, straight, pink, purple, orange, polka-dotted, from Mars, from the moon or any other place," Wing-Kovarik said. "If you think you can make a difference with these kids, you should be stepping forward to do to this. ...

"It's unacceptable that families are faced with barriers that are put in their way because of a myth, a misunderstanding, miscommunication ... preventing a child from having a family just because (other people) just don't like what that family looks like."

Wing-Kovarik estimates that his group has helped thousands of families -- both gay and straight -- by offering a range of services such as lawyer referrals, case consultations, special-needs classes and tips on therapists and pediatricians. With the help of a nationwide network of volunteers -- many of whom have benefited from the group in the past -- everything is free.

"Families contact us and say, 'I want to do this, how do I do this?' We do two things: find out the answer and figure out how it really works for their specific situation, because they are never the same," Wing-Kovarik said.

Do you know a hero? Nominations are open for 2012 CNN Heroes

According to the state of Washington, more than 75% of families who have attended a training class through Wing-Kovarik's group have gone on to be placed with a foster child.

"That is much higher than other agencies," said Paulette Caswell, adoption and permanency supervisor for the state's Department of Social and Health Services.

Wing-Kovarik has also become a preferred trainer of the state, training nearly 250 families a year since 2002.

"He has a unique perspective, and families connect to this," Caswell said. "And (David's work) is done for truly altruistic reasons. There is no cost to the state for it. We have others that support us and do a lot of work, but we tend to pay for that service. Families Like Ours does it through donations and grants, and he hasn't been paid in years. That's pretty extraordinary."

Kevin Broderick, a single, gay man, called Families Like Ours when he encountered difficulty finalizing the adoption of his now 13-year-old son, Michael.

"I am 100% sure that if it weren't for David, I would not have my son," Broderick said. "He understands how things should go, but also when they don't go right, how can we get them back on track? He figured out how to get us over that finish line."

In 2007, the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law estimates that there were 65,500 adopted children living with a gay parent in the United States. Wing-Kovarik says these homes are really not all that different from traditional mom-and-dad households.

"We're a two-dad home," he said. "On the surface, does it look different? Sure. But when we're at home, does it look any different than anybody else? No. We argue and fight with the kids to get their homework done and brush their teeth and take a shower and brush their hair. 'Put your shoes on the right feet!' 'Is your backpack packed?' 'Why is your lunch sitting on the floor when the dog is eating it?' Well, that's the same thing everybody else complains about."

Wing-Kovarik has had his two boys, Chris and Shawn, since 2002, and he can't imagine sitting idle while there are so many other foster children who are still stuck in the system.

"Thinking of all of the other Chris and Shawns that are in foster care, and not knowing what's going to happen to them ... I can't just walk away from that. ...

"It's not my job to go in and guarantee what the life of that child's going to be. It's simply my job to make sure that child has some sort of hope. ... We're going to make this match, and we're going to move forward. And that kid's going to have as productive a life as we can help that kid have."

Want to get involved? Check out the Families Like Ours website at www.familieslikeours.org and see how to help.

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_world/~3/XRSqtki-mLw/index.html

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zondag, april 29, 2012

Know a hero? Nominate them!

Anderson Cooper explains nomination process

Nominations for 2012 CNN Heroes are being accepted online through August 31.

(CNN) -- It's often said that just one person can make a difference, and CNN Heroes -- everyday people changing the world -- are evidence of that.

But these outstanding men and women would not have received this honor without someone taking the time to nominate them.

Tell us about individuals who are giving back in your community, people whose selflessness and personal stories inspire you. Your efforts could have a big impact.

Appreccia Faulkner nominated her mother, Diane Latiker, who opened her home to youth in a gang-ridden neighborhood.

Jack Harvey nominated someone he met at a conference: Derreck Kayongo, who recycles partially used hotel soap and distributes it to developing countries.

Heroes honored for 'changing the world'

Marlene Jones nominated her real estate broker, Sal Dimiceli, who helps 500 people a year with food, rent and other necessities.

What it means to be a Top 10 CNN Hero

Latiker, Kayongo and Dimiceli all became Top 10 CNN Heroes in 2011, and the global recognition brought $50,000 to each honoree. Seeing them acknowledged on the world stage was rewarding to those who nominated them.

"Sal makes such a difference to people in this community, I wanted someone to know about him," Jones said. When Dimiceli was honored as a CNN Hero, "I said: 'Wow! I made a difference!' "

Do you know an everyday person changing the world? It's easy to nominate them as a CNN Hero. Here are some suggestions we hope will help you in crafting your nomination.

? Think about what makes your hero special. Ask yourself: What makes my nominee unique? What specific accomplishment has he or she achieved that is truly remarkable? What impact has his or her work had on others? We encourage you to watch videos of previous CNN Heroes to familiarize yourself with the achievements of the inspiring individuals we honor as "everyday people changing the world."

? Take a look at our nomination form. We suggest you review the information requested about yourself, your nominee and his or her work before filling out your submission.

? Tell us about your hero. Take your time and write from the heart. Remember: What you share -- in your own words -- is the most important factor in advancing a nomination for further consideration. You can enter your answers to the essay questions directly on the form, or write them first in a word-processing document and "cut and paste" them into each answer field. Please note the information you provide will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

? Click "Submit." If your nomination has been successfully transmitted, you'll see a "thank you" message on your screen. If you provided us with your e-mail address, we'll also send a confirmation your nomination has been received. And yes, we read each and every one.

That's it. Nominations for 2012 CNN Heroes remain open through August 31.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible to be considered as a CNN Hero?
A: Nominations must be in the name of a single individual, at least 13 years of age, whose accomplishment occurred (or continued) after September 1, 2011. Nominees in the "Young Wonder" category must be 25 or younger. Groups and organizations are ineligible for consideration. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Citizens of voided countries are also ineligible. For complete details on eligibility requirements and other rules governing selection of CNN Heroes, please read our legal disclosures.

Q: How will I know if my hero is selected?
A: Because of the high volume of nominations received, we cannot respond individually to each submission. However, if your nomination advances, we will contact you and your nominee through the contact information you provide.

Q: What if I don't know my nominee's address, e-mail and telephone number?
A: Please make every effort to provide as much contact information as possible. We require either an e-mail address or telephone number so we may quickly contact your nominee to obtain permission for consideration as a CNN Hero.

Q: May I submit additional supportive information about my nominee?
A: There's space at the end of the form to provide links to articles or websites with more information about your hero. Please do not send additional material unless requested.

Q: May I mail or fax my nomination?
A: No. All nominations must be submitted online through our website.

Q: What if my nomination form is rejected?
A: When filling out your form, please note that certain information is required. Those fields are marked with an asterisk (*). If you are not certain of your hero's nationality, select "Other" from the country drop-down menu. Likewise, if you're unsure which category his or her cause belongs in, just click "Other."

CNN is not responsible for technical problems that may prevent your submission from being successfully transmitted. You may wish to first write and save the answers to essay questions in a word-processing document. That way, if you need to resubmit your nomination, you can "cut and paste" those answers into the form without rewriting them.

Q: Can I buy tickets to "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute"?
A: Unfortunately, seating is limited and by invitation only. Air dates and times for the global broadcast of "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" will be announced later this year.

Have other questions or comments about CNN Heroes? Contact us.

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_world/~3/hCNuFIevjbo/index.html

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Know a hero? Nominate them!

Anderson Cooper explains nomination process

Nominations for 2012 CNN Heroes are being accepted online through August 31.

(CNN) -- It's often said that just one person can make a difference, and CNN Heroes -- everyday people changing the world -- are evidence of that.

But these outstanding men and women would not have received this honor without someone taking the time to nominate them.

Tell us about individuals who are giving back in your community, people whose selflessness and personal stories inspire you. Your efforts could have a big impact.

Appreccia Faulkner nominated her mother, Diane Latiker, who opened her home to youth in a gang-ridden neighborhood.

Jack Harvey nominated someone he met at a conference: Derreck Kayongo, who recycles partially used hotel soap and distributes it to developing countries.

Heroes honored for 'changing the world'

Marlene Jones nominated her real estate broker, Sal Dimiceli, who helps 500 people a year with food, rent and other necessities.

What it means to be a Top 10 CNN Hero

Latiker, Kayongo and Dimiceli all became Top 10 CNN Heroes in 2011, and the global recognition brought $50,000 to each honoree. Seeing them acknowledged on the world stage was rewarding to those who nominated them.

"Sal makes such a difference to people in this community, I wanted someone to know about him," Jones said. When Dimiceli was honored as a CNN Hero, "I said: 'Wow! I made a difference!' "

Do you know an everyday person changing the world? It's easy to nominate them as a CNN Hero. Here are some suggestions we hope will help you in crafting your nomination.

? Think about what makes your hero special. Ask yourself: What makes my nominee unique? What specific accomplishment has he or she achieved that is truly remarkable? What impact has his or her work had on others? We encourage you to watch videos of previous CNN Heroes to familiarize yourself with the achievements of the inspiring individuals we honor as "everyday people changing the world."

? Take a look at our nomination form. We suggest you review the information requested about yourself, your nominee and his or her work before filling out your submission.

? Tell us about your hero. Take your time and write from the heart. Remember: What you share -- in your own words -- is the most important factor in advancing a nomination for further consideration. You can enter your answers to the essay questions directly on the form, or write them first in a word-processing document and "cut and paste" them into each answer field. Please note the information you provide will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

? Click "Submit." If your nomination has been successfully transmitted, you'll see a "thank you" message on your screen. If you provided us with your e-mail address, we'll also send a confirmation your nomination has been received. And yes, we read each and every one.

That's it. Nominations for 2012 CNN Heroes remain open through August 31.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible to be considered as a CNN Hero?
A: Nominations must be in the name of a single individual, at least 13 years of age, whose accomplishment occurred (or continued) after September 1, 2011. Nominees in the "Young Wonder" category must be 25 or younger. Groups and organizations are ineligible for consideration. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Citizens of voided countries are also ineligible. For complete details on eligibility requirements and other rules governing selection of CNN Heroes, please read our legal disclosures.

Q: How will I know if my hero is selected?
A: Because of the high volume of nominations received, we cannot respond individually to each submission. However, if your nomination advances, we will contact you and your nominee through the contact information you provide.

Q: What if I don't know my nominee's address, e-mail and telephone number?
A: Please make every effort to provide as much contact information as possible. We require either an e-mail address or telephone number so we may quickly contact your nominee to obtain permission for consideration as a CNN Hero.

Q: May I submit additional supportive information about my nominee?
A: There's space at the end of the form to provide links to articles or websites with more information about your hero. Please do not send additional material unless requested.

Q: May I mail or fax my nomination?
A: No. All nominations must be submitted online through our website.

Q: What if my nomination form is rejected?
A: When filling out your form, please note that certain information is required. Those fields are marked with an asterisk (*). If you are not certain of your hero's nationality, select "Other" from the country drop-down menu. Likewise, if you're unsure which category his or her cause belongs in, just click "Other."

CNN is not responsible for technical problems that may prevent your submission from being successfully transmitted. You may wish to first write and save the answers to essay questions in a word-processing document. That way, if you need to resubmit your nomination, you can "cut and paste" those answers into the form without rewriting them.

Q: Can I buy tickets to "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute"?
A: Unfortunately, seating is limited and by invitation only. Air dates and times for the global broadcast of "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" will be announced later this year.

Have other questions or comments about CNN Heroes? Contact us.

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_world/~3/hCNuFIevjbo/index.html

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