Friday, February 15, 2013

Students Encouraged to Have Healthy Relationships - Utah State ...

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013

The Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman or the Hard News Caf? or both for inclusion in Utah State Today.


Students Encouraged to Have Healthy Relationships


By Jessica Hinrichs, staff writer, in The Utah Statesman, Thursday, February 14, 2013


Aggies came together Feb. 13 for the 15th-annual Healthy Relationships and Sexual Responsibility Week at USU.


Booths were provided throughout the day. Health service workers gave information about sexual health and advice on how to have a healthy relationship.


Speed dating games were a precursor to the Aggie Dating game, which featured Danny Berger among others as eligible bachelors.


Ryan Barfuss, USU Student Health Service?s prevention specialist, said the event was held to show there are many resources on campus available to students who have questions or problems.


?With college students there?s risks with healthy relationships,? Barfuss said. ?Violence and sexual assault do happen here on campus. We would be naive if we think it doesn?t.?


Rachelle Webb, a staff member of USU?s Sexual Assault & Anti-Violence office, or SAVVI, said one in four female college students are sexually assaulted in the U.S. The males are slightly lower with one in 10. Most are typically aggravated by males.


?It is the most underreported crime, so we think that the numbers are actually much higher,? Webb said.


Webb said most students aren?t aware of their services, which are located in the Health and Wellness Center. SAVVI promotes healthy relationships and helps victims of violent or sexual crimes.


?We help them with setting up counseling or therapy,? Webb said. ?We also help get them out of their classes and fill out stalking injunctions.?


Webb said SAVVI also strives to raise awareness of sexual assault and be a resource to students in unhealthy relationships or situations at USU.


Barfuss said many students come to college looking for a relationship and some come solely to find a special someone, but either way, there are potential dangers.


Kaleena Anderson teaches a class called ?How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk (or Jerk-ette)? through USU extension. The research based class shows how to build a strong healthy dating relationship and avoid the dangers of being with a bad partner.


Anderson said the best way to know if a person is a jerk is to see all of their ?faces.?


?Really get to know the sides of that person,? Anderson said. ?Get to know their family background, their conscience, whether you are really compatible with that person.?


Classes are taught for free at USU and can be registered for at The next session will begin March 18th.


?We?re always going to be learning no matter how old we are,? Barfuss said. ?We all still need that advice.?


Monica Moser with REACH Peers, an undergraduate program that assists USU?s psychologists, said they help with everything from those with unhealthy relationships to those looking for someone to be with.


Moser said a lot of students have fear about going in to get counseling.


?I respect everyone who comes in,? Moser said. ?They come in wanting to change something about what they want to improve on.?


The REACH Peer center, located on the third floor of the TSC, offers counseling sessions and informational workshops on a variety of subjects not limited to dating problems.


Planned Parenthood also manned a booth. The club?s vice president Tabetha Aparicio, with members Andrew Swensen and Elaine Taylor, gave out lubricant and condoms to promote safe sex, prevention and awareness about STD?s.


?If students decide to have sex, we want them to have a safe option,? Taylor said.


Aparicio said Planned Parenthood wants to promote healthy reproduction.


?We just want people to be aware of their options and know that services are available through Planned Parenthood for very inexpensive prices,? Aparicio said.


All services and programs at the event are available to staff and students of USU free of charge.




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Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider: Obama marks second term with State of the Union

Still facing a divided Congress, President Obama goes before lawmakers and the nation on Tuesday night ready to urge action on economic growth, gun violence, immigration reform and more, with no guarantee of anything but more sharp partisan battles in the months ahead.

"What the President has been saying and I?m sure will say again is that we are at a moment when the economy is poised to continue to grow, to continue to build on the progress we?ve made," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

While Carney wouldn't give out details about the speech, he made clear that it would feature the economy as the central issue, telling reporters "you will hear in the President's State of the Union an outline from him for his plan to create jobs and grow the middle class."

White House advisers again emphasized repeatedly on Monday that the main issues in the speech would be the economy, with attention also paid to economic items like infrastructure, public works, education and energy issues.

What has been missing in recent days though has been a lot of White House discussion about what would seem to be the real hot button issues in this speech - gun violence and immigration reform - which many in the Congress are very focused on.

Because of that, even if the President were to soft pedal those issues. what is going on around this speech in the halls of Congress demonstrates how they are going to be major legislative flash points this year in the Congress.

For example, a number of House Democrats are bringing guests to the speech who have been touched by gun violence in some way; a couple are evidently also bringing illegal immigrants to the House Chamber as well.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) will have as a guest, Gabino Sanchez, who is currently fighting deportation proceedings; the Mexican man has been in the United States illegally for 13 years, most recently living in Ridgeland, South Carolina.

Sanchez had two children who are American citizens - Gutierrez and other Democrats argue this is a perfect example of why immigration reform is needed, to allow Sanchez to remain in the U.S.

On the gun side of the State of the Union guest list, a number of House Democrats will have guests who have links to gun violence, like Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who will bring two police detectives who were some of the first to respond to the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Meanwhile, Republicans will have rock star and noted gun rights enthusiast Ted Nugent in the house as well - he will be the guest of Rep. Steve Stockamn (R-TX).

With those kind of stories on gun violence and immigration - along with other items stuffed into the State of the Union, it may be that the President's speech will not be dominated by economic matters as the White House has been telling reporters in recent days.

No matter what issues are in the fine print of the President's speech, the bottom line is that this represents an opportunity for Mr. Obama to gather some momentum for his legislative proposals, whether on guns, immigration, the budget, education and more.

Whether he can take advantage of the bully pulpit, that's another argument for another day.


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Using your mobile device (cell phone) in Europe | David McGuffin's ...

Updated: February 2013

I?ve become so dependent on computers, smartphones, mobile phones, and my iPad that traveling without them would be a chore.? For me, the handiest device is my mobile smart phone.?? ??? These smart phones have many features, however this article? concentrates solely on using them as a telephoning device to make calls back to the USA or within Europe.

In November 2004, I began a similar blog post with this introduction:

Last spring there was a big marketing push in Florida to ?trade-in? your old digital cell phone for a new GSM phone.?This ?Global System for Mobile Communication? has been the standard in Europe for many years but is just making headway into the US market.?These phones often include fancy features such as voice mail, e-mail, web access, and photo capabilities in addition to its telephoning duties.?I purchased a new GSM cell phone from AT&T, my local cellular provider, here in Florida.?There was a little trouble getting used to the smaller phone, tiny buttons, and extra features, but in general it was an easy switch.

About a month later I took off for Europe with my new cell phone in my pocket.?When I landed in London, I switched on the power and after about 30 seconds the phone acquired a signal from a local network, the time display was accurate, and I noticed the signal strength was much better than that which I had in the USA.?Now that I was in Europe my ?cell? phone became known as a ?mobile? phone and was pronounced ?MO-?BILE? with the stress on the second syllable.

In just nine years things have drastically change, technologically speaking, but I remember that first trip with my own cell phone in my pocket and how convenient it was to pull it out and make calls from the device I was accustomed to using here at home. So here is my lastest intel on taking your cell phone to Europe.

  1. Contact your mobile phone provider and sign up for one of their? international calling plan.? Plans vary, but normally there is a discounted rate ranging from 30 cents to 99 cents per minute of call time.
  2. When you leave the USA, turn off your voice mail, email, and data features.? Failure to forget this step will rack up hundred?s of dollars on you next phone bill.

I believe the convenience of having my cell phone is worth the cost. If for nothing else, it gives me peace of mind knowing everyone is just a phone call away.? Knowing that, in an emergency, a family member could pick up their telephone at home and give me a call is an added benefit. That?s why, since the trip in 2004, I never leave home without my own mobile phone.


AT&T International dialing and data plans

Verizon International dialing and data plans

Sprint and Nextel dialing and data information

Virgin Mobile International dialing and data information

For information regarding the DATA and TEXTING features of Smartphones, iPhones, Tablets, and iPads check out my article coming soon.


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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Obama's plan for universal preschool

President Barack Obama on Thursday promoted his new proposal to guarantee high quality preschool for every 4-year-old in the United States citing a need to bring low-income and minority children up to speed with higher-income children-- a move he says will translate into an economic boost.

"Every dollar we invest in high quality early education can save more than $7 dollars later on," Obama said during a speech at a Community Recreation Center in Decatur, Ga. following a tour of a local pre-kindergarten classroom. That language was first heard in the president's State of the Union address Tuesday night during which he unveiled his preschool proposal.

According to a fact sheet released by the White House on Thursday morning, Obama's preschool plan would create a new federal-state cost-sharing partnership to guarantee high-quality preschool to all low- and moderate-income 4-year-old children, including families that earn up to 200 percent of the poverty level. The program would be extended to middle-class families who may pay on a sliding scale, and would incentivize full-day kindergarten.

The Department of Education will allocate funds to states based on the number of 4-year-olds in each state who qualify. Standards for preschools will include "well-trained teachers, who are paid comparably to K-12 staff," as well as small class size and a rigorous curriculum.

White House officials said the new preschool proposal will not replace or destroy the current Head Start early education government program. Instead, a new early Head Start program will be created to support communities affected by the new preschool proposal.

The White House has not released cost estimates for the new preschool plan. The president has said this proposal and others announced in his address would not add to the federal deficit.


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Happy Valentine's Day to the best fans in the NFL! We love you...Go Hawks!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo, UEFA gift to provide Afghans with limbs: ICRC

GENEVA (Reuters) - Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is donating 100,000 euros ($134,600) on behalf of UEFA to help rehabilitate Afghans who have lost limbs, mostly landmine victims, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Wednesday.

It is the second time that the Real Madrid and Portugal forward - who has featured a record seven times in the user's poll for Team of the Year - has contributed to the ICRC's network of seven orthopedic centers in Afghanistan, it said.

"For me it's a great honor to be able to help others, and it makes me extremely happy to do so," said Ronaldo, who is to present the check before kick-off in Madrid on Wednesday night ahead of the Champion's League match against his former team Manchester United.

On behalf of UEFA, he donated a similar amount in 2008 to the ICRC, which has helped more than 90,000 mine victims and other disabled people in the war-torn country since 1988.

Argentina and Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, who won his fourth successive Ballon d'Or last month, edging out Ronaldo, as well as Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol have also donated their UEFA awards to the ICRC program.

($1 = 0.7427 euros)

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Paul Casciato)


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No easy funding fix for transportation woes: lawmaker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. transportation system is in danger of falling apart, dragging down the economy with it, unless Congress can agree on a plan to pay for badly needed new projects, a senior Republican lawmaker said on Wednesday.

"If we don't deal with this issue at some point, as I said, we will reach a tipping point and the transportation system may not recover and we will fall behind the rest of the world," Bill Shuster, chairman of the House of Representatives Transportation Committee, said in a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The United States has already "gone from being one of the top three, four (or) five systems in the world to now we're 23 or 24, so we need to act," Shuster said.

In terms of future funding sources, "I don't rule anything out. Everything has to be on the table," he said.

A recent study from the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated the United States needs to spend $2.75 trillion to maintain and improve its infrastructure by 2020, or roughly two-thirds more than the $1.66 trillion in expected funding over that period.

A big chunk of those needs are for highway projects. Those traditionally been have been funded by the federal gasoline tax, which has been about 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993 and is now seen as an increasingly ineffective way of raising revenue because of rising auto fuel efficiency.

Shuster said he agreed that relying on the gasoline tax probably was not sustainable over the long-term, but it would be hard to shift in the short-term to other options.

Payment systems based on "vehicle miles traveled" are unpopular, particularly proposals to put transponders in cars to record and transmit the mileage data, he said.

Some state governors favor collecting more tolls on the interstate highway system, but that is hard to do when many people are used to driving on the "freeway," he said.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Vicki Allen)


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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Raytheon Releases First Responder Mobile App; Dan De Sollar, TJ ...

RaytheonLogo2Raytheon has released its mobile application for first responders in a move aimed at providing them situational awareness and collaboration tools on devices such as smartphones, tablets and mobile data computers.

One Force Mobile Collaboration is intended to combine technology used in both civilian and military applications and designed to operate on existing 2G, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networks, Raytheon said Monday.

The app is also designed for download onto personal devices running iOS, Android or Windows operating systems.

?Developed and tested in Southern California, One Force received input during the product development cycle from local first responders to create a tool that would meet their unique needs in the field,? stated Dan De Sollar, director of the public safety regional technology center for Raytheon?s network centric systems business.

?Recognizing that each department and region will have its own specific requirements, One Force was designed to allow for user customization,? he added.

The company also designed One Force to contain tools for voice communications, maps, drawing tools, chat, real-time GPS position information, streaming video and image sharing.

?For most first responders, the personal cell phone they carry has significantly more communications capabilities than their traditional police radio,? said T.J. Kennedy, director of public safety and security for the network centric systems business.

?However, a civilian cell phone is not optimized for public safety use,? he added.


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Masked men block Egypt subway, scuffles break out

CAIRO (AP) ? Egyptian witnesses say masked men blocked trains at a central Cairo subway station, standing on tracks and getting into fistfights with some waiting passengers who tried to stop them.

Meanwhile, protesters locked shut the doors of the main administrative building for state services just outside the station at Tahrir Square, while others blocked traffic at a main bridge on the other side of town near the presidential palace by standing in the road. Demonstrators have been sleeping in tents at Tahrir since mid-November to protest policies of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The action comes on the second anniversary of the ouster of Egypt's longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, deposed in a popular uprising.


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Falling into, Area 51

Falling into, Area 51

1 Female, 2 Male roles!


Game Masters:

This topic is an Out Of Character part of the roleplay, ?Falling into, Area 51?. Anything posted here will also show up there.

Topic Tags:

Forum for completely Out of Character (OOC) discussion, based around whatever is happening In Character (IC). Discuss plans, storylines, and events; Recruit for your roleplaying game, or find a GM for your playergroup.

Er, can I steal Girl 2? XD I must be addicted to your RP's or something...

"She offered herself to the big, bad wolf and didn't scream when he took the first bite."

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@bandgeek lol no problem! Also make sure you read over the small rule Area from the Key Word!

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Ah, well that wasn't there when I looked... I don't think. XD It might've been. But I definitely see it now, I promise! Though I'm on my phone... I'll post a line of the song when I get on my computer? :3

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@bandgeek Alright sounds good!

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Major damage as twister rips through Miss. college town

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - An apparent tornado tore through Hattiesburg on Sunday as part of a wave of severe storms that downed trees, damaged buildings and caused at least several injuries.

The twister traveled down one of Hattiesburg's main streets and caused what officials described as major damage, officials said, hitting several buildings on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. Kyle Hopkins, emergency operations director for surrounding Forrest County, said officials hadn't confirmed injuries. There were reports of several people hurt elsewhere in the state.

"We had a tornado touch down. We have a lot of damage," Hopkins said.

The university released a statement saying that several buildings had been damaged but that no injuries were reported. Campus police have declared a state of emergency and asked anyone not on campus to stay away.

The storm overturned and damaged vehicles and threw debris around parts of the campus.

Pictures posted on Facebook by WDAM in Hattiesburg showed rows of trees flattened in the Oak Grove area and damage to commercial buildings.

To the west, Marion County emergency director Aaron Greer says three injuries have been reported in the community of Pickwick, about seven miles south of Columbia. He says two people were taken to hospitals, but the third didn't have the injury examined.

Greer says one mobile home was destroyed, three other structures have major damage and several have minor damage.

National Weather Service meteorologist Joanne Culin says there have also been reports of injuries in Marion County.

Nasty weather has settled in on much of Louisiana and Mississippi, including tornado or flash flood watches.

The National Weather Service says bad weather is likely to stretch into Fat Tuesday in southeast Louisiana. Jefferson Parish has canceled a Monday night parade.


Associated Press writer Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans contributed to this report.


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China denounces US sanctions against companies

Associated Press

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 1:00 AM

Updated today at 1:07 AM

BEIJING (AP) ? China on Tuesday denounced U.S. sanctions against a leading state arms maker and other companies over alleged illicit dealings with North Korea, Syria and Iran.

The U.S. State Department on Monday said that Poly Technologies Inc. is among companies barred from dealing with the U.S. government or purchasing U.S. military hardware for two years. The company is part of a massive state-owned conglomerate.

China's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the actions "seriously violate the norms of international relations and undermine China's interests." The ministry said China strongly enforces non-proliferation laws and had lodged a formal complaint with Washington.

"The U.S. should work together with China under the principle of 'equality, mutual benefit and concerted efforts' to promote practical cooperation on non-proliferation, instead of threatening sanctions at will or undermining the interests of the other side," the ministry said in a statement on its website.

The official Xinhua News Agency cited a company official as denying having violated any U.N. Security Council arms embargoes and saying it strictly adheres to Chinese law and international statutes.

"We have never helped any countries or regions develop any banned weapons, nor have we exported or promised to export weapons or technologies to any countries or regions that are under United Nations Security Council Resolutions Sanctions. We hereby demand the U.S. side to respect the fact and immediately lift the sanctions," Xinhua quoted the unnamed spokesman as saying.

The State Department notice said Poly Technologies was in violation of the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act that sanctions persons and companies that transfer or sell those nations goods, services or technology related to weapons of mass destruction or ballistic and cruise missiles. The law cites items banned under international agreements such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime.


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Feng Shui and Life | Book View Cafe Blog


I like to keep an open mind on anything that hasn?t been scientifically proven as wrong or impossible. So, yes, as far as I?m concerned, there may be ghosts and space aliens and psychics and maybe feng shui really does work.

I realize I cannot provide positive, scientific proof that any of the above isn?t superstitious hokum, but can anyone really prove otherwise? I first became interested in feng shui when we moved to a new house that I didn?t really like. It was dark and boxy and made me uncomfortable, but it was close to my husband?s job and we could afford it, which wasn?t easily done in that neighborhood. So I set about improving it by opening up rooms and adding desperately needed new plumbing. We were only a third of the way through the process when my husband lost his job. For the first time in our adult lives, my husband was not working. This was freakish enough to have me consulting astrologers if they had answers, but they didn?t.

But a good friend had the equivalent of a black belt in feng shui. She explained how the whole house was effectively a really bad chi sink?a septic tank of? bad energy. My instincts to open up the rooms and improve the plumbing were good but too late and not enough to fix the bad energy.

She helped me create an inviting entryway, when I was feeling anything but welcoming. She showed me?and my husband? how to turn our desks to welcome visitors instead of putting our backs to them. We added crystals and water fountains and lovely wind chimes to invite positive energy to flow unimpeded through our ugly boxy ranch house?which we could no longer afford to fix up. We brought in palm trees and bamboo, added red to dark corners, and in general, improved the atmosphere and our attitudes.

Scoff if you like, but my career took an upturn, and I started making twice the amount of money I?d been making, enough for my husband to return to school and complete a management degree. He immediately had three job offers, and we sold the ugly house to a couple who were retiring and wanted to live near their grandkids. Our improvements made it possible for them to live there because she was in a wheelchair and no other house in the neighborhood had been renovated for one.

I?ve applied the principles of feng shui to my homes ever since. Basically, feng shui means ?wind and water.? It?s simply a philosophy of how to arrange your surroundings in harmony with the earth?s energy?or the natural world. Frank Lloyd Wright did this with architecture and science but the precepts aren?t much different?we must fit ourselves comfortably into the world around us.

There are tons of books and Internet sites explaining a great many feng shui how-tos, most of which will sound silly. But if you apply the ones that work for you?declutter your living space, for example, fix anything that isn?t working, throw out things you hate and add things you love, remove the prickly cactus and add air-purifying bamboo palms?then if nothing else, you?re improving your attitude and spirits. Positive energy can go a long way toward improving your life.

There are even feng shui fixes for improving your love life, although in my new release from Book View Caf?, The Trouble With Air and Magic, my athletic geek hero doesn?t appreciate my feng shui expert heroine?s ability to screw up his love or his life. Since this book is a contemporary look at the descendants of my psychic historical Malcolms and their logical Ives husbands, my feng shui expert does a wee bit more than rearrange furniture. She can rearrange earth energy and kill people when focused?not that most computer geeks are likely to believe that. But when your life is at stake, any weirdness that works is all that matters. Bring on the lucky charms!

So treat yourself or a loved one to a bit of Valentine candy and enjoy romance with a touch of odd. You might even learn how to fix your chi. Have you ever tried feng shui?

Patricia Rice is an award-winning, bestselling romance writer who loves history and fantasy and thinks sometimes they're the same thing. Her most recent print title is The Lure of Song and Magic and her most recent original e-book title is The English Heiress, now available from Book View Caf?. You can reach her at her website or through Facebook or Twitter.


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