Thursday, April 25, 2013

Science Study Shows Monkeys Pick Up Social Cues

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A study published in Science showed that monkeys conditioned to eat a certain color corn switched to a disliked color when other monkeys were eating it.


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Digital Storm's Latest Gaming PCs Are Almost As Cheap As DIY

Every time I post a review of a boutique gaming PC, someone in the comments has to mention that they could build a similar machine themselves for less money. That's still true for Digital Storm's newly-launched Vanquish line of gaming PCs, but it's a narrow truth ? we're talking $20 to $60 narrow.

Digital Storm's more expensive systems can run upwards of $8,000. Those premium systems are for hobbyists with money to burn. Then there's the Bolt, a custom-engineered slimline system aimed at people looking to pay a premium for a small footprint.

The Vanquish line, as far as I can tell, is for people that just want a damn gaming PC. It's a box with a window that runs computer applications and games, the only concession to flash a pair of red LED lights in the bottom of the case. Inside there are name-brand components, exactly the sort of name-brand components you can purchase at a place like

In fact, to prove their price point, Digital Storm went ahead and priced out each of the four Vanquish models as parts at the online retailer's website.


The low-end Vanquish is $38 more than parts. The high-end, which I've been trying out for the past week, is $58 more. That's $58 worth of assembly, testing, warranty and lifetime tech support. As far as I'm concerned, Digital Storm made its point right there. I don't even know why I was sent a system to try out for the past week. Maybe they wanted me to make a video.

Not quite as comprehensive and informative as their own, but I'm just a guy sitting in front of a computer desk, asking it to love me.


I could discuss performance, noting that the Intel Core i7 3770K 3.50 GHz processor and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 6600 Ti, while not my first choice of CPU and graphics card, did an admirable job of playing the games I'm likely to be seen playing these days. It ran Tomb Raider on ultra at 68 frames-per-second, BioShock Infinite at 82 and Shogun 2: Total War at a respectable 64 on highest settings. It's not a machine meant to break land-speed graphics records, but it's a damn fine starting point with plenty of room to expand. It's exactly the sort of system I would build if I still had the time or inclination to make my PC gaming a little more personal.

I could also show you this really cool picture of the cooling pipes bathed in red LED light.


Digital Storm's aim with the Vanquish line is to end the age-old DIY Vs. pre-built debate. It will not do that, not because it doesn't deliver what it promises, but because folks that build themselves PCs can always go to eBay or one of the hundreds of discount online stores with websites from the late 90s and find bargains. The Vanquish will not likely silence them.

What the Vanquish can do make those that would rather not build their own PC an excellent system backed by warranty and support that feels like a system they could have put together themselves, because they certainly could of.

The Vanquish line is available for purchase now at Digital Storm.

This week Nvidia released its latest high-tech graphics card, the GeForce GTX Titan. The? Read?


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Novel therapeutic approaches may cure chronic HBV infection

Apr. 25, 2013 ? Exciting new data presented today at the International Liver Congress? 2013 include results from early in vitro and in vivo studies targeting covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), which may form the basis of a cure for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

HBV cccDNA is organized into mini-chromosomes within the nucleus of infected cells by histone and non-histone proteins. Despite the availability of efficient therapies against HBV, long-term persistence of cccDNA necessitates life-long treatments to suppress the virus. The following three experimental studies demonstrate effective HBV-cccDNA targeting/depletion using novel therapeutic approaches which offer the potential of a cure.

Liver regeneration induces strong reduction of viral replication and cccDNA levels, but not complete cccDNA eradication; without antiviral treatment, de novo HBV infection can be re-established.

Key findings of research in HBV-infected human hepatocytes using the uPA/SCID chimeric mouse system show that liver regeneration induces strong reduction of viral replication and cccDNA levels, with rapid formation of cccDNA-free hepatocytes. However, because complete cccDNA eradication is not achieved, in the absence of antiviral treatment, de novo HBV infection could be re-established in quiescent (non-dividing) human hepatocytes. This suggests that induction of hepatocyte turn-over together with antiviral drugs inducing viral suppression, such as nucleoside analogues and IFN, or blocking cell entry, may accelerate the clearance of the viral minichromosome.

Targeting epigenetic control of nuclear cccDNA minichromosome to suppress HBV transcription and replication may form basis for other therapeutic approaches to curing chronic HBV infection.

In the infected liver cell the rate of replication of HBV is regulated by the acetylation or methylation of histone proteins which surround the cccDNA minichromosome -- so called epigenetic regulation. In a separate innovative study, the suppression of HBV transcription and replication by small molecules that target the epigenetic control of nuclear cccDNA minichromosome was investigated. The different classes of small molecules studied included: Class I, II and III histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi); p300 and PCAF histone acetyltransferases (HAT) inhibitors; hSirt1 activators; JMJD3 histone demethylase inhibitors.

The combined inhibition of p300 and PCAF HATs resulted in an evident reduction of HBV replication which mirrored the decrease of pgRNA transcription. The hSirt1/2 activator MC2791 and the JMJD3 inhibitor MC3119, albeit with different efficiency, inhibited both HBV replication and cccDNA transcription. Results represent a proof of concept that activation of hSirt1 and Ezh2 (through the inhibition of its functional antagonist JMJD3) by small molecules can induce an active epigenetic suppression of HBV cccDNA minichromosome similar to that observed with IFN?, and lead to persistent cccDNA silencing.

Lymphtoxin beta receptor (LTbR) agonisation represents basis for novel alternative therapeutic approach to curing chronic HBV infection.

The final study demonstrated that stimulating the lymphtoxin beta receptor (LTbR) provides an effective, long lasting and non-cytopathic mechanism for achieving effective HBV-cccDNA depletion in infected hepatocytes. Cell culture models including HBV-infected HepaRG cells and primary human hepatocytes were used to test the effect of antibodies stimulating human LTbR (BS1 or CBE11). Results show that a strong and dose-dependent anti-HBV effect was achieved by activation of the LTbR. All HBV replication markers were decreased with this treatment, including cccDNA in cells where HBV infection was already established.

Hepatitis B is the most prevalent cause of chronic viral hepatitis and a major global health problem. Prof. Fabien Zoulim, EASL Educational Councillor commented on the exciting new data: "In chronic hepatitis B infection, the viral genome forms a stable minichromosome -- the covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) -- which can persist throughout the lifespan of the hepatocyte."

"Current treatments focus on suppression of HBV and discovery of compounds directly targeting cccDNA has been one of the major challenges to curing HBV infection; but these preliminary data show novel therapeutic approaches can be applied to successfully target cccDNA with the long-term aspiration of finding a cure" added Prof. Fabien Zoulim.

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by European Association for the Study of the Liver, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.


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Tyler, The Creator 'Totally Does Not Understand' Earl Sweatshirt's Mom

'For some reason she thinks I'm a bad influence on her kid, but he's doing pretty good now,' Odd Future MC says in new #CRWN interview series.
By Rob Markman

Tyler, The Creator
Photo: Roger Kisby/ Getty Images


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Without calling a witness, defense rests in abortion doc's trial

(Editor's Note: This story contains graphic material that may upset some readers)

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Defense lawyers for a Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of killing babies in a clinic that mainly serves low-income women rested their case on Wednesday without calling any witnesses in the high-profile murder trial.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, is charged with killing four infants during botched abortions and a woman who underwent an abortion and died at a nearby hospital after the procedure at his Women's Medical Society clinic in urban West Philadelphia.

He could face the death penalty if convicted in the case in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia.

Prosecutors said Gosnell ran a "house of horrors" in a West Philadelphia health clinic where women went for late-term abortions. The district attorney's office contends Gosnell delivered live babies during botched abortions and then deliberately severed their spinal cords, killing them.

Gosnell's defense lawyer, John McMahon, characterized the prosecution of his client, who is black, as "elitist, racist." He said there was no evidence that the babies were delivered alive, noting "the first rule of homicide is someone has to be alive."

The charges against Gosnell and nine of his employees have rekindled the debate in the United States about late-term abortions. Abortions are banned in Pennsylvania after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Gosnell has been in jail since his January 2011 arrest. Eight other defendants have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges and are awaiting sentencing.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg, Cynthia Johnston and Nick Zieminski)


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Some games take points to win, others take fans

LOS ANGELES (AP) ? It's a Super Bowl matchup for the ages: cats vs. dogs.

The Puppy Bowl, a fixture on Animal Planet during the Super Bowl for nearly a decade, will have new competition next year from the Kitten Bowl, the Hallmark Channel announced this month.

"We would like to own the day," said Bill Abbott, president and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, which is home to the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel.

"Copycats," chided Animal Planet in a statement.

Win or lose in the ratings, all the animals stand to benefit. Hallmark will use between 50 and 100 kittens from animal shelters around the country, and Abbott vowed to place each one in a home.

Animal Planet placed every dog and cat on this year's show ? 63 puppies and 21 kittens. (Cats serve as halftime entertainment for the two-hour Puppy Bowl.)

The annual Puppy Bowl has a football theme, with the dogs scoring "touchdowns" if they cross a goal line with a chew toy.

Kittens in the Kitten Bowl will compete on an agility course set up with hurdles, scratchers, tunnels, hoops and weave poles. Laser pointers and toys on strings will be used to entice the kittens.

Judges will look at each kitten's ability to cuddle and win the hearts of viewers.

"We had to develop some kind of framework to show what wonderful animals they are. They are their own little souls," Abbott said. "Many people don't realize how entertaining cats are and what great companions they are for people."

Most of the competition will be unscripted. Kittens can't be expected to figure out a timed course, so not doing it in the cutest way will determine the winner, Abbott said. The Most Valuable Kitten will be the cutest of them all.

The show is part of Hallmark's Pet Project Initiative and will be done with a partner, the American Humane Association.

Is the showdown between puppies and kitties on different cable channels likely to answer the age-old question about which one is the most popular?

Well, there are cat people and there are dog people. And then there are people like Ana Bustilloz at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles. "I love dogs and cats equally. I like to have everything. Puppies are a lot of fun, and kittens are wildly amusing," she said.

"I will channel surf, for sure."

For the past two years, the spcaLA has sponsored a dog in the Puppy Bowl. The first one, Fumble, was even named Most Valuable Puppy. Bustilloz said she hopes to get an animal from the shelter in each bowl this year.

Animal Planet and Hallmark have a good relationship.

"We're just happy that pet adoption is being promoted and more animals are finding their fur-ever homes," Animal Planet's statement said.

Abbott said there will be little competition between the networks, and neither expects to overshadow Super Bowl XLVIII, which airs on Fox Sports. The three bowls will be televised around the same time on Feb. 2, 2014.

"There is no way anybody will beat the Super Bowl ratings," Abbott said. "We are all playing for a little bit of a different share."

This year, a record 12.4 million people watched during the 12-hour Puppy Bowl X broadcast. By comparison, the Super Bowl was watched by 108.4 million people to become the third most watched show in TV history.

The National Football League also supports the efforts to raise awareness about animals and shelters.

"The Super Bowl brings families together, and we love the idea that it includes the adoption of dogs and cats on Super Bowl Sunday," spokesman Greg Aiello said.

"We love animals here at the NFL, including cats and dogs," spokesman Brian McCarthy added. "We also love Dolphins, Ravens, Bengals, Colts, Jaguars, Broncos, Eagles, Bears, Lions, Falcons, Panthers, Cardinals, Rams and Seahawks."



Hallmark Channel

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles

Animal Planet


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Chartboost Is Building The Next Gaming Platform To Watch, And ...

Five years ago from their native city of Barcelona, Maria Alegre used to watch old Stanford Technology Ventures Program videos from entrepreneurs sharing their founding stories. Intrigued by what she heard, she picked up and moved to the Valley, where Alegre dug into mobile gaming at early developer Tapulous, which went on to be acquired by Disney.

Fast forward to today, Alegre is running one of the fastest-growing game discovery platforms and mobile ad networks in Silicon Valley ? one that we?ve heard from three separate sources grossed about $50 million last year. (The company doesn?t comment on revenue figures). Her company Chartboost is quietly sucking in talent from an older generation of mobile ad networks and gaming studios like Google?s AdMob, DeNA?s Ngmoco and EA?s Popcap. They also picked up $19 million in funding led by storied VC firm Sequoia earlier this year.

?It?s kind of crazy. This all happened in four years,? she said. ?Anyone can do it. People running these companies are not super humans. They are just people like you and me.?

Today Chartboost is opening its first office abroad in Europe, led by Ilja Goossens, who founded Gamundo and Virtual Fairground. The new location in Amsterdam is meant to strengthen the company?s relationships with the biggest game developers across the continent. Europe is having something of a Renaissance in mobile gaming right now with players like Finland?s Supercell (which made $104 million in profit with just 100 people last quarter), Berlin?s Wooga and London?s King.

While other competing startups with mobile advertising products were less focused, Chartboost wedged itself into the gaming world where it built an early platform for developers to trade advertising inventory. Because games are the biggest category for apps in terms of time spent on iOS and Android, it was the ideal place to build a focused business. Chartboost earns revenue through excess inventory, which can be sold in an exchange.

Chartboost now has 16,000 games in its network and 8 billion ad impressions per month and has grown 30 percent since January. Instead of the old banner ads, which had poor clickthrough rates, Chartboost instead focused on creating interstitials that looked and felt like they belonged in a game.

At first, it wasn?t easy, however. Alegre said that when she and her co-founder Sean Fannan were starting out, they did 30 phone pitches to potential investors in a week. In late 2011, they picked up a small round from TransLink Capital, SK Telecom Ventures and XG Ventures.

But after the business starting gaining momentum, it was very different with the second round. Jim Goetz, the Sequoia partner who led the firm?s investment in earlier mobile advertising network AdMob, got Chartboost?s model right away and invested quickly in the company.

?We were more picky with who to talk to,? she said. ?The numbers don?t lie.?


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Tart cherries linked to reduced risk of stroke

Apr. 23, 2013 ? For the millions of Americans at risk for heart disease or diabetes, a diet that includes tart cherries might actually be better than what the doctor ordered, according to new animal research from the University of Michigan Health System.

A class of drugs called PPAR agonists that help regulate fat and glucose was considered promising by doctors who prescribed them for patients with metabolic syndrome -- a collection of risk factors linked to heart disease and type 2. However, studies have shown the long-term use of these drugs can also increase stroke risk, which has prevented many from securing FDA approval.

The new research from the U-M Cardioprotection Research Laboratory suggests that tart cherries not only provide similar cardiovascular benefits as the prescribed medications, but can also reduce the risk of stroke, even when taken with these pharmaceutical options.

The results, which were seen in stroke-prone rats, were presented April 23 at the Experimental Biology 2013 meeting in Boston.

The group's previous research has shown that intake of U.S.-produced, Montmorency tart cherries activates PPAR isoforms (peroxisome proliferator activating receptors) in many of the body's tissues. Researchers believe that anthocyanins -- the pigments that give the fruit its red color -- may be responsible for PPAR activation.

PPARs regulate genes involved in fat and glucose metabolism, and when modified can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. PPAR agonists, among them medications such as Actos (pioglitazone), act in a similar way but cardiovascular side effects have limited their use.

"Our previous research has shown that Montmorency tart cherries can have a positive effect on cardiovascular health and can reduce risk factors like high cholesterol and diabetes," says E. Mitchell Seymour, Ph.D., supervisor of the Cardioprotection Research Laboratory. "While prescribed drugs improve the outlook for certain risk factors, they've also shown to have undesirable side effects. We wanted to see if a tart cherry-rich diet might provide similar cardiovascular benefits without the risk of heart attack or stroke."

The researchers compared the effect of tart cherries and the drug Actos in stroke-prone rats by measuring the animals' systolic blood pressure as well as locomotion, balance, coordination, all of which can show the aftereffects of a stroke.

By putting the rats through various physical tests, such as walking on a tapered beam and climbing a ladder, the researchers found that compared to Actos, tart cherry intake significantly improved balance and coordination, and at the same time lowered blood pressure.

While the research results indicate that rats who consumed only tart cherries had the best results, those who had the combination of tart cherries and Actos also did better than those who only took the drug. Seymour cautioned that the results can't be applied directly to humans, but they are a potentially positive sign for those taking medications.

"We weren't sure if the risk for stroke would decline in animals taking both tart cherry and the drug," Seymour says. "It turns out that the cherries did have a positive effect even when combined with the medication."

Steven Bolling, M.D., a U-M cardiac surgeon and the laboratory's director, said the study adds to the group's growing body of research linking cherries to positive heart health. The results provide the groundwork for continued investigation into the topic, he says.

"This research is the first to link to cherries to a reduction in stroke-related symptoms," Bolling says. "It gives us a good preclinical model to further explore the positive stroke-related benefits of an anthocyanin-rich diet."

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Michigan Health System.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.


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A talented artist and now, bombing suspect's wife - ...

Associated Press

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) - Katherine Russell was a talented artist, a good student who grew up Christian, the daughter of a suburban doctor.

Then she went off to college in Boston.

A few years later, she had dropped out of school, converted to Islam and was Katherine Tsarnaeva, wife of a man who would become a suspect in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings and a subject of one of the biggest manhunts in American history.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, two ethnic Chechen brothers from southern Russia, are accused of planting two shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs near the marathon finish line last week, killing three people and injuring more than 200. Tamerlan was killed in a getaway attempt after a gunbattle with police. Dzhokhar, who was captured hiding in a tarp-covered boat in a suburban Boston backyard and is hospitalized, was charged Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill.

Authorities have not released a motive, but two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the investigation, told The Associated Press that evidence suggests the brothers were motivated by a radical brand of Islam.

Tsarnaeva, 24, has avoided the public eye since her identity became known Friday. On the rare occasions when she has emerged from her parents' Rhode Island home, she is dressed in the traditional Muslim headscarf, a hijab, and has refused to answer questions.

Those who know her and knew her husband describe her as sweet and dedicated to Islam.

Tsarnaeva grew up with two younger sisters on a quiet cul-de-sac in North Kingstown, a rural, wooded town a 90-minute drive south from the apartment she would eventually share in Cambridge, Mass., with her husband and his family. Her father, Warren Russell, is an emergency doctor whose Facebook profile lists his high school alma mater as the elite New Hampshire boarding school Phillips Exeter Academy and college as Yale. Her mother, Judith Russell, was listed on her Facebook profile as working at a social services agency.

Tsarnaeva attended North Kingstown High School, graduating in 2007. Her yearbook entry lists her plans as college and the Peace Corps. Her art teacher for four years, Amos Trout Paine, remembered her talent in painting and drawing and said she was at the top of her class.

"The reason why I remember her is she was very nice and very smart," Paine said. "She was ready to learn."

She had friends and was well integrated into class, he said, and did not seem to be interested in religion.

"There was none of that with her," he said. "She was neutral."

She went off to Suffolk University, and Paine did not see her again after that. He said he was surprised to hear she had dropped out of school and even more surprised to hear she was married to a man now accused of bombing the marathon.

"From how I know her, she's a really good person," he said.

Suffolk University said Tsarnaeva attended from 2007 to 2010 and majored in communications. Her lawyer Amato DeLuca said she was a student when she met Tamerlan Tsarnaev at a nightclub, introduced by one of her girlfriends. Tsarnaev, who had attended Bunker Hill Community College, was no longer in school, DeLuca said, and was seeing another woman at the time.

"They went out for a while, and then they stopped and then they went out again," DeLuca said.

Tsarnaeva knew nothing about Islam when they met, said her lawyer, adding he didn't know if marriage was a motivating factor in her conversion. The reason was that she is a believer, he said.

"She believes in the tenets of Islam and of the Quran," DeLuca said. "She believes in God."

The couple got married on June 21, 2010, a Monday, in a ceremony performed by Imam Taalib Mahdee, of Masjid al Qur'aan, in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, according to their marriage certificate, which lists his profession as a driver.

Mahdee told The Associated Press Tsarnaeva called him saying she and Tsarnaev wanted to get married. Mahdee asked if they had the requisite licenses and she said yes.

Mahdee performed the 15-minute ceremony in the mosque office. Two witnesses were present, but Mahdee does not remember who they were.

"They requested that it was a simple wedding," Mahdee said.

Both seemed happy, he said.

"They seemed like two people who were getting ready to get married," Mahdee said.

Mahdee said he never saw the couple again and that they never attended his mosque.

The couple had a daughter and lived with her in the Tsarnaev family apartment, which was shared over the years with his mother, Zubeidat, and father, Anzor, now divorced, and Dzhokhar, DeLuca said. He said Tsarnaeva rarely saw her brother-in-law there because he was living in the dorms at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev's relatives have said that in recent years he became a devout Muslim and prayed five times a day. DeLuca said the couple attended a mosque in the Cambridge area.

Nichole Mossalam, an executive assistant at the Islamic Society of Boston in Cambridge, near their home, said that Tsarnaeva had never been there to her knowledge. Leaders at the mosque say Tamerlan Tsarnaev did attend and in recent months had outbursts during two sermons that encouraged Muslims to celebrate American institutions such as the Fourth of July and figures including Martin Luther King Jr.

Last year, Tsarnaev traveled to Russia for about six months, while his wife stayed in their Cambridge apartment. His aunt said he spoke with his wife every day using Skype and at times she would instruct him on how to observe religious practices correctly when he lapsed.

Tsarnaeva's lawyer said she had no reason to suspect her husband of anything and was focused on supporting her family, working 70 to 80 hours, seven days a week as a home health care aide. Her husband cared for their daughter when she was away, Deluca said.

But Anne Kilzer, a Belmont, Mass., resident who went with her daughters to the Tsarnaev home to get facials from Tamerlan Tsarnaev's mother, said when she visited the apartment Tsarnaeva was always there with the baby and her mother-in-law.

Kilzer, who had not been to the home since around Labor Day, when the mother told her she was leaving the country, described Tamerlan Tsarnaev as surly and intimidating and painted his wife as cowed and intimidated by him.

"She was a very sweet woman, but I think kind of brainwashed by him," she said.

She said Tsarnaeva seemed lonely and would bring out the baby for her to hold when she visited.

The apartment was so cramped and crowded, Kilzer said, that it would have been difficult for Tsarnaev to hide criminal activity from his wife.

"Maybe she'll provide answers for all of us," she said.

Federal authorities have asked to interview Tsarnaeva, and DeLuca on Sunday told The Associated Press he is discussing with them how to proceed. He said on Tuesday during a brief statement to reporters that his client "is doing everything she can to assist with the investigation," although he would not answer questions about whether she had spoken with federal authorities.

DeLuca would not give the AP details on what his client told him her husband was doing in the days before and after the April 15 bombing but said as far as he knew nothing seemed amiss to her in the days after.

Tsarnaev was home when his wife left for work the last day he was alive, DeLuca said. Police say he was run over by a car driven by his brother as he fled gunfire early Friday morning. His brother was captured later that night, wounded and bloody, in Watertown, 10 miles west of Boston; his lawyer has declined to comment.

DeLuca said she learned of her husband was suspected of being responsible for bombing the Boston Marathon the same way a lot of other people did: on TV.

Her other lawyer, Miriam Weizenbaum, said on Tuesday that reports of her husband and brother-in-law's involvement in the bombings came as a shock to Tsarnaeva and her family and said she deeply mourned the loss of innocent victims.

Tsarnaeva, she said, was trying to come to terms with the events.


Zezima reported from Cambridge, Mass. Gillum reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Allen G. Breed in Boston, Geoff Mulvihill in Cambridge, Mass., and Eileen Sullivan and Pete Yost in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ex-lawmaker elected to succeed Jackson Jr.

CHICAGO (AP) ? Former state Rep. Robin Kelly has won the special election for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s vacated Illinois congressional seat.

The Matteson Democrat was widely expected to win Tuesday's contest over Republican community activist Paul McKinley. The strongly Democratic Chicago-area district includes suburbs and rural areas.

Kelly easily won the special primary in February from a crowded field of candidates including former Congressman Debbie Halvorson. The main issue in that race quickly became gun control and Kelly's campaign received a $2 million boost in ads including ones on television targeting Halvorson. Kelly is in favor of an assault weapons ban and has vowed to be a leader in the federal fight for gun control.

Jackson resigned in November. In February, he pleaded guilty to charges accusing him of misspending campaign funds.


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The Daily Roundup for 04.08.2013

DNP The Daily RoundUp

You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours -- all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.



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Pain bites into Portuguese life as crisis deepens

In this photo taken on March 29, 2013, Elena Baptista, right, prepares a meal with her daughter Vania, 12, left, and son Joao, 7, in their house's kitchen/living room in Loures, outside Lisbon. The Baptista family counts itself among the casualties of an unrelenting financial crisis that is squeezing the life out of some European Union economies, including Portugal. Pedro Baptista, a stocky 37-year-old, has found work as a part-time window cleaner but his wife Elena, 35, has been on unemployment benefit for almost a year after losing her job in a school canteen. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

In this photo taken on March 29, 2013, Elena Baptista, right, prepares a meal with her daughter Vania, 12, left, and son Joao, 7, in their house's kitchen/living room in Loures, outside Lisbon. The Baptista family counts itself among the casualties of an unrelenting financial crisis that is squeezing the life out of some European Union economies, including Portugal. Pedro Baptista, a stocky 37-year-old, has found work as a part-time window cleaner but his wife Elena, 35, has been on unemployment benefit for almost a year after losing her job in a school canteen. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

In this photo taken on Feb. 21, 2013, a needy elderly woman receives her daily meal in the dining hall of the Portuguese charity AMI - International Medical Assistance. center in Lisbon. The Portuguese charity AMI _ International Medical Assistance _ was set up almost three decades ago as a rapid response organization for catastrophes abroad. Now the emergency is at home. Before 2008, up to 8,000 people a year sought AMI's help in Portugal. In 2012, it was almost 16,000. In some places such as Porto, Portugal's second-largest city, the increase in people approaching the charity has been more than 250 percent since 2008. And some of the needy are university graduates. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

In this photo taken on March 5, 2013, needy people eat their daily meals in the dinidng hall of the Portuguese charity AMI - International Medical Assistance center in Lisbon. The Portuguese charity AMI _ International Medical Assistance _ was set up almost three decades ago as a rapid response organization for catastrophes abroad. Now the emergency is at home. Before 2008, up to 8,000 people a year sought AMI's help in Portugal. In 2012, it was almost 16,000. In some places such as Porto, Portugal's second-largest city, the increase in people approaching the charity has been more than 250 percent since 2008. And some of the needy are university graduates.(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

In this photo taken on March 5, 2013, needy Portuguese women go through second-hand clothes in the Portuguese charity AMI - International Medical Assistance center in Lisbon. The Portuguese charity AMI _ International Medical Assistance _ was set up almost three decades ago as a rapid response organization for catastrophes abroad. Now the emergency is at home. Before 2008, up to 8,000 people a year sought AMI's help in Portugal. In 2012, it was almost 16,000. In some places such as Porto, Portugal's second-largest city, the increase in people approaching the charity has been more than 250 percent since 2008. And some of the needy are university graduates. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

In this photo taken on March 5, 2013, second-hand clothes and toys for needy people are seen on the shelves of the Portuguese charity AMI - International Medical Assistance center in Lisbon. The Portuguese charity AMI _ International Medical Assistance _ was set up almost three decades ago as a rapid response organization for catastrophes abroad. Now the emergency is at home. Before 2008, up to 8,000 people a year sought AMI's help in Portugal. In 2012, it was almost 16,000. In some places such as Porto, Portugal's second-largest city, the increase in people approaching the charity has been more than 250 percent since 2008. And some of the needy are university graduates.. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

LISBON, Portugal (AP) ? Serving a frugal lunch in their kitchen not much bigger than a bathroom, Pedro and Elena Baptista spoon stewed chicken feet onto their boiled potatoes and leave the slightly meatier wings for their 12-year-old daughter, Vania, and 7-year-old son, Joao.

The Baptista family counts itself among the casualties of an unrelenting financial crisis that is squeezing the life out of some European Union economies, including Portugal. Pedro Baptista, a stocky 37-year-old, has found work as a part-time window cleaner but his wife Elena, 35, has been on welfare for almost a year after losing her job in a school canteen. Scraping by on a monthly household income of ?650 ($840) and constantly going cap-in-hand to charities and family members has sapped their confidence.

But Pedro is determined to stay positive. "Ups and downs are part of life. Things will improve," he says. "We just have to hold on."

Exactly how long is hard to say, however, as Portugal's prime minister warns his nation to harden itself for more austerity.

It seems that every time Europe's leaders appear to have contained the continent's 3-year-old crisis over too much government debt, it erupts again ? witness the recent woes in Cyprus. Across Europe, the long-held belief that the state will always provide for its citizens' well-being is vanishing.

In return for rescue loans, governments across the region are slashing spending and raising taxes. However, the austerity has a knock-on effect of choking the growth needed to pull countries out of their nosedive. Despite the acute hardship, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said Sunday that his government must cut even deeper. That's because the Constitutional Court last week struck down some austerity measures aimed at government workers and pensioners, denying the government more than 1.3 billion euros in anticipated savings.

Meanwhile, the debt crisis risks jumping from Cyprus to Portugal. The creditors who lent Portugal 78 billion euros in a bailout two years ago are demanding that the government prune spending by another 4 billion euros in 2014 and 2015. If Portugal doesn't comply, it could be denied the next installment of its bailout.

Portugal's ordeal has begun to send shivers across Europe, even as the pain becomes hard to bear at home. Pensioners, schools and government workers are in the crosshairs of the latest planned cuts. The austerity is destroying legions of small businesses. And charities say they are already struggling to cope with a deluge of calls for help.

Here is a walk through Portugal's austerity-battered society.


Checking over her bank statement showing her monthly pension payment, Maria Luisa Cabral stared silently at the slip of paper. When she finally spoke, the 66-year-old former librarian's voice shook and tears welled.

"That's about 10 percent less each month," she said. "I just feel really angry."

Portugal's elderly have been hit hard by austerity. Taxes and cuts in previous years had already cut Cabral's income by 20 percent. This year, the government will take another bite out of pensions over 1,350 euros a month.

Public outrage greeted this year's tax hikes, which even the finance minister conceded were "enormous." As well as hurting pensioners, the hikes are costing many workers the equivalent of more than a month's pay.

Every month for 40 years, Cabral handed over part of her earnings for her state employee pension and calculated what she would have to live on after retiring.

"You deduct money all your working life on the assumption you'll be entitled to a pension at the end of it," Cabral said.

She reckons she'll now have to give up her life's little luxuries ? buying a book, for example, or going to a cinema or a concert.

Governments across Europe are finding it harder to meet their expanding pension payments. The portion of retired people across Europe is quickly expanding and stretching welfare budgets. For Portugal, the outlay on state pensions has risen to 14.5 percent of gross domestic product from 9 percent since 2000, according to the government. The bill is forecast to keep growing through 2020.

Pensioners point to numbers they say are more worrying: Almost 80 percent of the country's 1.7 million retirees have to get by on less than ?500 a month.

While pensions drop, the cost of living keeps going up. Sales taxes have risen sharply, including a hike to 23 percent from 6 percent on electricity; the center-right government has scrapped rent controls; payments to see a doctor in the national health service have risen, as has the cost of public transport; government help to buy medicine has shrunk.

Cabral and thousands of others have joined pensioners' lobby group Apre, created last October when the 2013 state budget was unveiled. Cabral says she felt compelled to act when she saw elderly people in stores furtively counting out coins in their palms to see if they had enough to buy what they needed. At pharmacies, she saw them asking ? embarrassed, in front of queuing people ? if they could pay for their medicine in installments.

"People are feeling (the crisis) in their gut," Cabral said.


The Camoes high school in Lisbon is one of the country's oldest and most prestigious. Its wrought-iron balconies and elegant patios with soaring plane trees recall the wealth and majesty of the Portuguese capital when the school opened at the start of the last century and Portugal still had an empire.

The school is named for Portugal's great Renaissance poet, and some of the country's most illustrious figures have studied in its thick-walled classrooms with tall windows, including the current president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.

By 2013, however, the school is a vivid demonstration of what happens when austerity is heaped on austerity.

Broken windows, cracked walls, flaking paint, leak-stained ceilings are the new reality. Sunscreens hang off their hinges. The gardens around the school buildings are overgrown. The sports field is closed, its artificial surface cracked and weedy. Parents of the school's roughly 1,200 students have come in on weekends and holidays to patch up the classrooms and corridors.

An engineering appraisal last year recommended structural repairs. School director Jaime Joao shrugs when he recalls how the Ministry of Education reacted when he phoned them about it: "They said, we have no money."

Portugal stripped its education budget by more than 5 percent between 2010 and 2012, according to European Commission figures published last month, making it one of the continent's biggest belt-tighteners. Portuguese university presidents say that over the past two years some 20,000 fewer state scholarships were awarded to students, with about 55,000 granted this year. More downsizing is likely: The International Monetary Fund, one of the bailout lenders, has proposed getting rid of at least 50,000 teaching posts in coming years.

Teacher morale is another worry, Joao says. As civil servants who are subject to cuts in the government wage bill, teachers have seen their living standards decline sharply. In 2008, a typical high-school teacher might receive an annual net salary of around ?20,000, according to the National Federation of Education, which represents school and university staff. The same teacher now gets about ?16,500, it says.

Mario Nogueira, secretary-general of Fenprof, the national teachers' federation, says further cuts will only aggravate education problems.

"In all honesty I don't know where they can cut anymore," Nogueira said. "We're already down to the bone."


A lively neighborhood bookstore close to Lisbon's bullring hosted numerous book signings, poetry readings and art exhibitions in recent years. Last month, after it shut down, the owners posted a bitterly-worded sign in the window of the empty shop. It had to close, the sign said, because of the "savage impoverishment and vertiginous drop in purchasing power" witnessed in Portugal, which had brought a "brutal fall" in the store's revenue.

It's the knock-on effect of austerity. Family spending plunged by almost 7 percent last year, the national statistics agency says. That was only slightly worse than 2011, and it's depressing the economy which contracted by 3.2 percent last year. Unemployment is at a record 17.5 percent and is forecast to rise.

All around are signs the country is in a death spiral.

The Portuguese Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Similar Establishments says some 11,000 of its members shut their business last year when sales tax on food and drink jumped to 23 percent from 13 percent.

Sales of cement last year were the lowest since 1973 as construction ground to a halt. Boarded-up stores along main streets and in shopping malls are an increasingly common sight.

After one of the two biggest cinema chains in the country shut almost half its 106 cinemas, 212 of Portugal's 308 council areas have no movie house, local media reported. Almost 6,700 companies filed for bankruptcy last year, a 41 percent increase on 2011, according to a study by credit insurance company Cosec.


The Portuguese charity AMI ? International Medical Assistance ? was set up almost three decades ago as a rapid response organization for catastrophes abroad. Now the emergency is at home.

Before 2008, up to 8,000 people a year sought AMI's help in Portugal. In 2012, it was almost 16,000. In some places such as Porto, Portugal's second-largest city, the increase in people approaching the charity has been more than 250 percent since 2008. And some of the needy are university graduates.

Ana Martins, AMI's national director for the past 18 years, says people seeking aid used to ask for help finding a job or resolving social or family problems.

These days, they ask for food.

"I've never seen so many people in such a precarious situation, lacking so many basic necessities," she said. That includes families living in homes with no electricity or natural gas for cooking because the supply has been cut off due to unpaid bills.

AMI's assistance center in Olaias, a low-income Lisbon suburb of high-rise apartment blocks, is a 21st-century version of the soup kitchens seen in the Great Depression. Staff start serving lunch at 11.30 for dozens of people aged from 20 to over 60. From the way they devour their food, they look like they hadn't eaten breakfast.

Margarida Mendes, who has run the center since it was set up in 1994 to help homeless people, says her work has changed a lot in recent years. Now it's mostly families seeking support.

Her work, she says, can be distressing, and the most poignant episodes involve young children. Recently, a small child jumped up and down and screamed in delight when he saw a packet of cheap, plain cookies sticking out of the top of the family's monthly parcel of food aid. That small scene got to Mendes: "You think to yourself, What kind of country is this where that sort of thing happens?"

The Baptista family comes to Olaias to pick up food parcels. They contain cooking oil, cans of sausages, flour. It's not much, but it helps. They also get second-hand clothes and school books for their son and daughter.

The financial crisis capsized their lives. Just five years ago they were together pulling in ?1,600 a month ? close to the average income for a couple in Portugal. Today they live on little over a third of that.

"For us, the past year has been the hardest time of our lives," Pedro, the father, says in their small kitchen which doubles as a living room, though it has no sofa or armchairs.

Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar recently conceded that straightening out Portugal's finances will take decades and will require the sacrifices of a generation.

The Baptista family belongs to that generation.

Associated Press


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U.S. VC Fundraising Up 22 Percent To $4.1B In Q1 2013, But Number Of Funds Raised Down

nvca.According to an NVCA and Thomson Reuters report issued this morning, U.S. venture capital firms raised $4.1 billion from 35 funds in the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 22 percent. But compared to Q4 2012, there is a 14 percent decrease by number of funds.


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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Exclusive: TPG, Madison Dearborn final bidders for NFP - sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Private equity firms TPG Capital and Madison Dearborn Partners are the two finalists bidding for National Financial Partners , a New York-based wealth management company with a market value of nearly $900 million, people familiar with the matter said.

NFP, which is run by Sandy Weill's daughter, Jessica Bibliowicz, could be valued at around $1 billion in a deal, the people said on Wednesday, asking not to be named because details of the auction are confidential.

NFP said on March 13 that the company has decided to explore a sale following indications of interest from private equity firms, confirming a Reuters report the previous day.

Representatives for NFP, TPG and Madison Dearborn did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(This story is corrected in paragraph 2 to show Bibliowicz remains CEO)

(Reporting by Jessica Toonkel and Greg Roumeliotis in New York, Editing by Soyoung Kim and Steve Orlofsky)


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Cardinals acquire QB Palmer from Raiders

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) ? The Arizona Cardinals have acquired quarterback Carson Palmer from the Oakland Raiders.

The Cardinals gave up a conditional 2014 draft pick and swapped one of their sixth-round picks this year for Oakland's seventh-round selection.

Palmer reworked his contract as part of his move to the desert, agreeing to a two-year deal worth up to $20 million, with $10 million guaranteed.

New Arizona coach Bruce Arians gets a starting quarterback at a bargain basement price.

But at least the Raiders were able to get something for the quarterback rather than just release him. Oakland acquired quarterback Matt Flynn on Monday in a deal that sent two draft picks to the Seahawks.

The 33-year-old Palmer put up big numbers with the Raiders last season but the production didn't translate into sufficient wins.

In 15 games in 2012, Palmer threw for 4,018 yards, becoming the second quarterback in Raiders history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season. He threw for 22 touchdowns with 14 interceptions.

His abilities fit the "throw long downfield" philosophy of Arians, who inherited a team with a woeful situation at quarterback.

Last year, Arizona had four starting quarterbacks ? John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer. They combined to throw for 3,383 yards with 11 touchdowns and 21 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 63.1 in an offense that ranked last in the NFL. The Arizona quarterbacks were sacked 58 times in 608 pass attempts. By contrast, Palmer was sacked 28 times last year in 585 throws.

The Cardinals have released Skelton and Kolb and have signed Hoyer to a tender offer. They also have signed free agent Drew Stanton, the backup last season to Andrew Luck in Indianapolis, where Arians was interim head coach.

Palmer was the first overall draft pick in 2002 by Cincinnati and was with the Bengals until his trade to Oakland two years ago. In two seasons with the Raiders, he started 24 games, completed 61 percent of his passes for 6,771 yards and 35 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. His career passer rating is 85.5.

"We'd like to thank Carson Palmer for his services over the past two seasons," Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said in a news release, "and we wish him well with the Cardinals."

For his career, Palmer has completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 29,465 yards and 189 touchdowns with 132 interceptions.

He would be the fourth different starting quarterback to open the season with Arizona since Kurt Warner retired in 2009.


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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Kirk becomes second Republican senator to back gay marriage

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Mark Kirk announced on Tuesday that he supports gay marriage, suggesting a brush with death had helped shift his attitude as he became the second Republican to join dozens of Democratic senators who back homosexuals' right to wed.

"When I climbed the Capitol steps in January, I promised myself that I would return to the Senate with an open mind and greater respect for others," said Kirk, an Illinois senator who returned to the Senate in January almost a year after suffering a major stroke.

"Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage," he said in a statement. "Our time on this Earth is limited, I know that better than most. Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back - government has no place in the middle."

Public opinion polls show a majority of Americans believe that homosexuals should have the right to wed, and a growing number of politicians are declaring themselves in favor of same-sex marriage rights.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in two major cases on marriage equality last week.

But Republicans, who are generally more socially conservative than Democrats, remain largely opposed.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman became one of the most prominent members of the party to back gay marriage rights when he announced his support in mid-March, two years after his son told him he was gay.

Kirk, who holds the Senate seat once occupied by President Barack Obama, represents a Democratic-leaning state and is considered a fairly moderate Republican. Illinois' other senator, Democrat Richard Durbin, also supports gay marriage, as do all but seven of the 53 Democrats in the Senate.

Eight Democratic senators have come out in support of gay marriage within the last week.

Delaware Senator Tom Carper became the eighth on Tuesday with an announcement on his Facebook page. Pennsylvania's Bob Casey had become the seventh on Monday.

Kirk's support means that half of the 100-member U.S. Senate support gay marriage - 46 Democrats, two independents and two Republicans - as does Vice President Joe Biden, who would cast a deciding vote if the issue came up in the chamber.

(Editing by EricWalsh)


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Samsung SGH-i337 hits FCC with AT&T LTE bands, fits the GS 4 profile

Samsung SGHi337 hits FCC with AT&T LTE bands, fits the GS 4 profile

We have to be skeptical when new devices arrive at the FCC without photos or a blinking sign that says "I Am AT&T's Samsung Galaxy S 4." But even doubters can connect the dots in this case and declare that a certain Samsung SGH-i337 that the FCC just waved through is likely that very model. Why? First off, it's carrying a certain LTE band 17 used exclusively by AT&T in the US. Secondly, the dimensions line up perfectly with what we recently got our hands on at Samsung's recent Galaxy S 4 phone-a-palooza. Finally, we already saw a device packing the same model number on UAProf, a normally reliable source that revealed a 1,080 x 1920 screen and "ARM11" Exynos processor. Since it's unlikely the carrier has another unannounced 1080p model coming from Samsung, those coveting an AT&T GS 4 can probably start warming up their wallets.

Filed under: , ,


Source: FCC


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LiveLoveDIY: 10 Home Improvement Ideas: How To Make The Most ...

Three years ago, we moved into our house, a 1970's fixer-upper. I'm sure people thought I was crazy to take on the renovation of an older home.?I had a very limited budget, and I had never done any sort of home improvement or home remodeling in my life.?
It was as if I had rode my bike 400 miles away from my comfort zone, then lost my map.

Because who can find their way home without a map??

I knew that the only way I was going to make our old house look the way I wanted it to was to learn to do things myself. Since our budget was teeny-tiny, I also knew that I would need to learn to to work with what I already had. So, I did just that. Today, I'll share those ideas with you!

Based on the reader emails I get each month, I know there are tons of you in older homes just like me, trying to figure out ways to improve things. I know how it feels. It can be daunting. I was in that daunting place just 3 short years ago. ?The good news is that YOU can do what I've done. It just takes a little willingness to learn. And I'm here to help you learn! So, here are my top 10 easy solutions to update things you might not like about your house. And the best part is, all of them involve paint.?
Because let's face it...when you need low-cost, high-impact results, paint is your best friend.

B.F.F.E., I tell ya.

So, put on your man pants, and let's go.
I always wear my man-pants when painting.

My husband hates that all his pants have paint on them.

#1: Paint Your Trim
We'll start off with the one thing that will give you the most bang for your buck. Painting your old wooden trim. I painted my trim, and it completely transformed my entire house. Nothing will make as big of an impact as painting your trim. All you need is paint and a really great attitude (because although painting trim is fairly easy, it takes forever and you will likely want to cry at least twice. That's just a fact.). You can see a full tutorial on how to do this yourself here.

#2: Paint Your Tile
Have some colorful tile you can't stand? A green bathtub? Pink sink? Well, I found a great solution that allows you to paint all that stuff. I had a?smorgasbord?of green/black/peach tile, and I could not get rid of it fast enough. Check out how I?painted my tile! (This product works on sinks, tubs, and tile!)

#3: Paint Your Old Furniture
After we moved into our house, I realized that it just wasn't realistic to outfit an entire house with new furniture. Not only was it not realistic for our small budget, but a house full of cookie-cutter furniture just wasn't what I envisioned. Instead, I hunted for unique pieces I could make my own. This involved tons of thrift stores shopping, garage sales, and craigslist searching. Oh, and paint. Lots and lots of paint. (See more here.)

#4. Spray Paint Your Doorknobs
If you've been blessed with gross 1980's brass doorknobs like me (high five!), you can easily update them with spray paint. Using the right spray paint will give you a high-end, durable result. And it's much better than paying $20+ a piece for new knobs! (See more here.)
#5. Spray Paint Your Light Fixtures:

I have a total obsession with great light fixtures. However, since I pretty much hated all of the ones that came with the house (and didn't have a bazillion dollars to spend on new ones), I found crafty ways to reuse old ones. Check out my $5 chandelier?here.

#6. Restore Your Dingy Grout

If you have tile floors with dingy old grout, I found a great solution for that. I've used this product on 3 rooms worth of tile, and it's held up great for a really long time now. It's pretty much awesome. See more?here.

#7. Paint outdated Bathroom Fixtures
Rather than spend hundreds of dollars on new bathroom fixtures, we used a few simple paint tricks to completely update our once outdated two-toned bathroom fixtures! It's still holding up over a year later.

#8.?Paint the insides of old cabinets
With just a quart of chalkboard paint, we were able to completely update our old kitchen cabinets. It makes our kitchen way more fun, and it looks pretty snazzy, too.

#9. Create an Feature Wall:
Take a boring old room up a notch by adding a feature wall! You can try a simple solid color accent wall, create a nook (painted a different color), or do stripes (seen here and here)!?

I painted our once-boring-peachy-colored walls throughout the entire house. I kept the color palette neutral, but varied the color from room to room. The overall effect is a calm, serene, cohesive looking house! See my favorite paint colors here.

There's my top 10 ways to make the most of what you already have....with paint! I hope I've given you some good ideas to improve your own house.?

P.S. Make sure you remember to pin the below picture?
so you'll have this info when you need it!!?


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Local physicians redefining medicine with technology - ...


Doctors are now being trained on newer and better technology, meaning better care for you as the patient.

Students at?SIU School of Medicine in Quincy say they're now using computers in patient rooms. That's a far cry from the paper records many of us are used to.

Chris Cooper, a resident physician, says the computer software helps?physicians keep up with ever changing research and treatment.

"This is just a way for us to use what we call 'point of care' for our patients, meaning we can look up, depending on what your needs may be as a patient, the most up to date information on how to treat that condition," said Cooper.

The new software even allows doctors to check up on a patient that may be miles away.

"This allows me, even when I'm at home,?I can still look at your records, see how your heart is doing on a heart monitor that's 24/7," said Cooper.?"So, these are a lot of things that 10, 20 years ago we didn't have and now we can offer these to patients. I can be involved in your care even when I'm not at the bedside."

Other new medical breakthroughs include doctors using apps on tablets to listen to a patient's heart beat, or to calculate medicine dosages. Local medical facilities have not yet implemented those practices.


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Video: Panetta: US, South Korea Must Be Prepared

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