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September 15, 2010

A Day in the Life of an Average American

July 24, 2010

The workweek for average Americans has been growing steadily since 1950, when Washington believed a strong workforce would grow the economy and help the Americans in the Cold War against the Soviets. But now, almost two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, the typical workweek of the American labor force continues to grow with no end in sight.

Most people hope that their average day would consist of about eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work, an hour or two of exercise and the remainder of their time spent relaxing, eating, hanging out with friends and family, traveling and generally enjoying life.

In reality, people spend their time much differently. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average American women and men spend their time surprisingly similarly—with the majority of their time spent on personal care, sleep and work. What all this means, is that Americans have little time in their lives for leisure activities, travel, spending time with friends and family and actually enjoying life.

The average American spends more than nine hours engaged in personal care, more than eight hours sleeping, roughly seven hours at work and the rest of their day spent engaged in sports and leisure activities, perched up in front of the television, eating and drinking, grooming, shopping and socializing.

But the average day for men and women is surprisingly very similar. The numbers don’t add up to 24 hours because it’s the average hours all Americans spend doing different activities.

An Average Day in the Life of an American Man
On average, men spend the majority of their time between three main activities: personal care, work and sleep. This translates to less and less time for family, friends, travel and other leisure activities. And despite a typical 40 hour work week, many Americans report putting in overtime hours just to complete their work. This is more and more common now, when many companies have had to layoff employees due to the economic recession. The result is that those left with jobs, have to scramble to make up for their former colleagues, putting in long hours to make up the work.

Men spend the majority of their time engaged in personal care (9+ hours)

Read on
Music Producing Careers
Music producing careers range from the creative to the technical. Look for a sound technician career, a music producing career, or a sound engineer career. Next, they spend a substantial amount of time sleeping (8+ hours)

(8+ hours) is spent at work
They spend about (5+ hours) engaged in sports and leisure
(3+ hours) watching TV
(1+ hours) doing household activities
And the remainder of their time is divided between eating and drinking, relaxing, grooming, socializing and shopping.

An Average Day in the Life of an American Woman
Surprisingly, women spend their days very similarly to men. Women tend to spend about three hours less actually at work, but they make up for it by doing chores around the house, like cooking, cleaning and taking care of the children.

Women also spend the majority of their time engaged in personal care (9+ hours)
They spend a similar amount of time sleeping (8+ hours)
(5+ hours) at work or engaged in work activities
(4+ hours) playing sports or engaged in leisurely activities
(2+ hours) glued to the tube
(2+ hours) going household activities
(2+ hours) eating and drinking

And the remainder of their time relaxing, shopping, doing housework, grooming, socializing, cooking and caring for the children.

The work-life balance in the United States is attributed by some to the Truman Administration in the 1950s. Beginning in 1950, and continuing on from there, it is said that President Truman led America to become the first industrialized nation to permanently renounce a reduction of work time. As the Cold War waged on between the US and the Soviet Union, the authors of the National Security Council Document 68 proposed that Washington undertake a program of massive permanent national economic expansion. This, many believed, would help contain the Soviets. But even after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, America continued this policy. As a result, the vast majority of Americans (75.3 percent) work 35 hours or more, while most Americans working full time clock in 42 hour weeks. Furthermore, about 24 percent of Americans work more than 40 hours, meaning less time for things like family, friends, travel and other leisure activities.

This live-to-work, rather than work-to-live, mentality has tended to result in a high GDP growth rate and a strong economy for America as compared to many of its counterparts in Europe and South America for example, but has infringed upon other aspects of life within the American family.

strong economy for America as compared to many of its counterparts in Europe and South America for example, but has infringed upon other aspects of life within the American family.

Read more at Suite101: A Day in the Life of an Average American

The Greens in Iran are a Movement, not a Coup

June 17, 2010

The Greens in Iran are a Movement, not a Coup
By Juan Cole
June 13, 2010

What was the Green Movement? A debate rages among Iran-watchers. Partisans see it as a sign that Iran is on the verge of a massive democratization. Critics see it as an exaggerated hiccup, barely more important than the student protests of the late 1990s, which amounted to nothing. Which interpretation is right has implications for US foreign policy. If the regime is tottering, the Obama administration can afford to batter it with sanctions and ignore it, hoping to help it fall. If it is strong and enduring, then it will have to be dealt with and probably direct negotiations are called for.

The reality lies in the middle. Named in honor of the color associated with the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, among whom presidential candidate Mir Hosain Mousavi is counted, the Green Movement is a social movement that protested what its followers saw as the stealing of the June 12, 2009, election by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his patron, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

To read more of Juan Cole’s article, click here.

Iran opposition calls off rally to mark anniversary of disputed election – latimes.com

June 10, 2010

Iran opposition calls off rally to mark anniversary of disputed election – latimes.com.

As if “calling off the protests” is going to stop people from coming out to rally! This just means 1) The opposition leaders have been threatened, 2) The opposition leaders are pretending they are calling off the protests so they can’t be punished by the regime 3) the people of the opposition themselves are taking over the movement.Iran opposition calls off rally to mark anniversary of disputed elections – latimes.com
www.latimes.com
Iran’s opposition leaders Thursday called off a weekend demonstration, stunning supporters who had been plastering walls with graffiti and distributing leaflets to promote the event.

U.N. Security Council Passes New Sanctions Against Iran

June 9, 2010

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR, New York Times
Published: June 9, 2010

UNITED NATIONS — The United States, moving firmly away from the Obama administration’s previous emphasis on wooing Iran, pushed through a new round of United Nations sanctions against the nation on Wednesday, taking aim at its military in yet another attempt to pressure Tehran over its nuclear program.

The new sanctions, a modest increase from previous rounds, took months to negotiate but still did not carry the symbolic weight of a unanimous Security Council decision. Twelve of the 15 nations voted for the measure, while Turkey and Brazil voted against and Lebanon abstained.

Beyond the restrictions imposed by the sanctions themselves, the vote sets stage for harsher measures that the United States and the European Union have promised to enact on their own once they had the imprimatur of the United Nations. European leaders are likely to discuss new measures at a summit in mid June.

Iran has defied repeated demands from the Security Council to stop enriching nuclear fuel. It has built new, sometimes secret, centrifuge plants needed to enrich uranium — and has enriched it at higher levels. These actions have raised suspicions in the West that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, although leaders in Tehran insist their nuclear program is peaceful.

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Iranian Journalist Jailed and Banned from Writing

June 9, 2010

Tehran has sentenced award-winning journalist Jila Baniyaghoob to jail for one year, and banned her from writing for 30 years. The sentence comes just days before scheduled protests on June 12–the 1-yr anniversary of the disputed elections that officially declared Ahmadinejad president. According to a report by the moderate daily Shargh newspaper, the 39-year-old journalist was sentenced over post-election unrest.

Baniyaghoob was arrested June 20 along with her husband, a week after the June 12 election when mass protests and rallies painted the streets of Tehran and other large Iranian cities. Two months after her arrest the now-banned journalist–who had been writing for now-closed reformist newspapers–was released on bail.

Officials reportedly charged Baniyaghoob of propaganda against the Islamic regime over her reports that covered the election and the following protests.

Last year, she was awarded the courage in journalism award by the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Just three days before the 1-yr anniversary of the elections, Tehran is readying forces to confront scheduled protests. Protests are set to be held in major cities around the world.

Countdown to One-Year Anniversary of June 12 Elections in Iran

June 7, 2010

Khamenehi
Five days before the one-year anniversary of the disputed June 12 Iranian elections, Tehran is likely preparing for mass protests and rallies. On Friday, the 21 anniversary of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini—the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution—Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave a speech in which he criticized the Opposition and its leadership. In his speak, Khamenei said the opposition Green Movement was going against the values of the revolution.

The most prominent leaders of the Green Movement are Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hussain Moussavi—who was the front runner for the opposition party against incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during Iran’s presidential election last year. The election, which continues to be disputed, resulted in mass protests, arrests and casualties.

In his Friday speak, Khamenei said that loyalty was measured by a person’s position today, not their position historically. “One cannot say, ‘I am the follower of Khomeini’ and then align with those who clearly and frankly carry the flag of opposing the imam and Islam,” he said.

In Iran, protesters are expected to stage rallies and protests in the capital city and in other large cities during the June 12 anniversary. In response, authorities announced last week that they were busing in more than two million members of the Basiji forces from around the country to Tehran to quell and prevent any protests.

According to a New York Times report, Karroubi wrote on Friday on his website Sahamnews.org, that he feared “the republicanism of the Islamic republic establishment had been undermined to strengthen its Islamism.” Karroubi went on to say that he worried for Islamism because of the increasing influence of the military in Iran. “We have seen the presence of the intelligence and military apparatus outside the homes of clerics and the incidents that have occurred.”

Last Wednesday, just ten days before the one-year anniversary of the June 12 elections, the judiciary announced that Khamenei had pardoned 81 political detainees.

UNSC Expected to Vote on Draft Sanctions Soon

June 3, 2010

The U.N. Security Council is set to vote on a draft sanctions resolution against Iran over its disputed nuclear program within the next two weeks according to Claude Heller, Mexico’s U.N. ambassador. If approved, this will be the fourth round of sanctions against Tehran. Iran is already subject to three sets of UN sanctions over its nuclear program, which Iran says is for peaceful purposes but which the U.S. and its allies fear might lead to a nuclear weapon.

“My understanding is that the co-sponsors of the resolution would like to have prompt action by the Security Council, to have a vote … in the next 10 days,” Heller told reporters, adding that there was not yet a finalized date.

The draft resolution was agreed last month by the US, Britain, France and Germany, in addition to China and Russia, who are historically more reluctant to go along with sanctions against Iran. The draft will identify members and companies controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, entities owned or run by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, and other individuals and companies linked to Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, and will subject these groups and entities to asset freezes and travel bans. The ban would also take measures against new Iranian banks abroad if a connection to Iran’s nuclear or missile programs is suspected, as well as vigilance over transactions with any Iranian bank, including the central bank. It would also expand the U.N. arms embargo against Tehran.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has warned that any new sanctions might result in confrontation.

Mottaki told an audience in Brussels, “There are two options,” to resolve the problem. “The first is based on cooperation, the other is based on confrontation,” he said on the second and last day of his visit to the Belgian capital.

“The resolution” at the United Nations Security Council on imposing new sanctions against Iran “is a basis for confrontation,” he announced, adding, “That is not our preferred option but that’s up to other parties who would like to move in that direction.”

Brazil will oppose, but respect, Iran sanctions

June 2, 2010

Brazil will oppose, but respect, Iran sanctions
By MARCO SIBAJA (AP)

BRASILIA, Brazil — Brazil’s foreign minister said Tuesday that despite the nation’s strong opposition to any new sanctions on Iran, it would respect them if they are approved.

Foreign Minister Celso Amorim spoke before a Senate committee to explain Brazil’s role in an Iranian nuclear fuel-swap deal it helped broker with Turkey.

“Brazil meticulously respects the sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council against Iran,” he said. “If there are sanctions, even if Brazil is not in favor, we’re going to respect them.”

Both Amorim and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have been outspoken in their opposition to potential new sanctions.

Iran insists its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, but the West fears it is geared toward nuclear weapons.

Last month, Silva and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan finalized a fuel-swap deal with Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that was similar to an agreement the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency had pushed for last October, but which Iran at the time rejected.

Under the Brazil-Turkey deal, submitted last week to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran agrees to ship 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of uranium to Turkey, where it will be stored. In exchange, Iran would get fuel rods made from 20-percent enriched uranium; that level of enrichment is high enough for use in research reactors but too low for nuclear weapons.

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