Thoughts Gallery July 2002
July 1
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Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill You
NEW YORK - A new review of three deaths of US military recruits highlights the dangers of drinking too much water.  The military has traditionally focused on the dangers associated with heat illness, which has killed a number of healthy, young enrollees. However, pushing the need to drink water too far can also have deadly consequences, he said.  "The risk has always been not drinking enough," Gardner said. "And then people who aren't medically attuned get overzealous," inducing recruits to drink amounts of water that endanger their health, he added.  "That's why we published this paper: to make it clear to people that overzealousness can be dangerous," Gardner explained. In September 1999, a 19-year-old Air Force recruit collapsed during a 5.8-mile walk, with a body temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Doctors concluded he had died of both heat stroke and low blood sodium levels as a result of over hydration. 
        During January 2000, a 20-year-old trainee in the Army drank around 12 quarts of water during a 2-to 4-hour period while trying to produce a urine specimen for a drug test. She then experienced fecal incontinence, lost consciousness and became confused, then died from swelling in the brain and lungs as a result of low blood sodium. In March 2001, a 19-year-old Marine died from drinking too much water after a 26-mile march, during which he carried a pack and gear weighing more than 90 pounds. Although he appeared fine during the beginning stages of the 8-hour walk, towards the end he began vomiting and appeared overly tired. He was then sent to the hospital, where he fell into a coma, developed brain swelling and died the next day. It is unclear how much water he drank during the march, but Marines were given a "constant emphasis" on drinking water before and during the activity, Gardner writes in the latest issue of Military Medicine. 
        In an interview with Reuters Health, Gardner explained that drinking too much water is dangerous because the body cannot excrete that much fluid. Excess water then goes to the bowel, which pulls salt into it from the body, diluting the concentration of salt in the tissues.  Changing the concentration of salt, in turn, causes a shifting of fluids within the body, which can then induce a swelling in the brain. The swollen organ will then press against the bones of the skull, and become damaged. The researcher added that previous cases of water toxicity have been noted in athletes who consume excessive amounts in order to avoid heat stroke. In addition, certain psychiatric patients may drink too much water in an attempt to wash away their sins, or flush out poisons they believe have entered their bodies. 
        In 1998, the Army released fluid replacement guidelines, which recommend a certain intake of water but limit it to 1 to 1-1/2 quarts per hour and 12 quarts per day.  It takes a while for these guidelines to get "permeated out" to everybody, Gardner admitted. In the meantime, he suggested that bases take notice of the mistakes of others, and "not wait for somebody to die from (water toxicity) again," he said. "You can't prevent everything bad from happening," Gardner noted. "But when it does, you have to learn from it." 
July 2
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Austin has received almost 8" of rain over the last 5 days!!
Girl Ordered Gang-Raped in Pakistan 
MULTAN, Pakistan - A Pakistani tribal council ordered an 18-year-old girl to be gang raped in order to punish her family after her brother was seen walking with a girl from a higher class tribe, police said. The private Human Rights Commission of Pakistan demanded that all
those involved in the rape, which took place in the village of Meerwala in southern Punjab province, be punished.  Police said the victim's father had filed criminal charges against the four men involved in the case. Police said they picked up eight relatives of the suspects to pressure the perpetrators into surrendering. "We will spare no efforts to do justice" for the victim, police official Malik Saeed said.
        According to the victim, the Mastoi tribe demanded punishment after her 11-year-old brother was seen walking unchaperoned with a Mastoi girl in a deserted part of the village. The boy and his sister are from the lower class Gujar tribe. The Mastoi tribe called a meeting of the tribal council, which ordered the girl to be raped to avenge their tribal honor. The teen-ager said she was taken to a hut and assaulted as hundreds of Mastois stood outside laughing and cheering.
        Pakistan has a tradition of tribal justice in which crimes or affronts to dignity are punished outside the framework of Pakistani law. The
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has demanded an end to
punishments by tribal councils.  "The increasing incidents of terrible atrocities against women are a terrible reflection on the state of society and the status of women within it," commission chairman Afrasiab Khattak said in a statement.
        Last month, an Islamic court overturned the conviction of a woman who was to be stoned to death for adultery. Zufran Bibi, 28, said she was raped and appealed her early May conviction in the conservative North West Frontier Province. Her case prompted demonstrations and protests by hundreds of civil and women's rights groups nationwide.
July 3 
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The framers are working on repairing my roof.  Today is the first day in almost a week that the rain has let up enough for them to work.  Hopefully everything will go well with the inspection today and we will be ready for insulation and sheetrock..  I am taking off on a road trip to Arizona to visit my sister and the Grand Canyon.  An old sewage line in my backyard broke along my fence line.  Luckily all this rain is washing is downstream in the Boldin creak.  I called the plumber to come analyze the situation.  The framing inspection was smooth and we are done to a punch out list of 5 items.
Antenna Exhibition developer, Justine Schroeder, holds a model of a tooth implant which allows users to receive mobile phone calls or radio signals by transmitting the signal through the jaw bone to the inner ear, at the Science Museum, London. The person with the tooth implant listens to the sound discreetly, enabling information to be received anywhere and at anytime. It has been heralded as a possible tool for politicians to receive suggestions from their advisers or spin doctors or for city traders to receive stock market information.
July 4 
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We arrived in Phoenix, Arizona after a brisk 14 hour drive.  We arrived at 3 am and woke up my sister and her roommate before we crashed on her couches.  We watched the fireworks from a local park near my aunt gayla may's house in Mesa.  I was able to visit with Paul, Scott, and the family over a nice bbq dinner.  It reminded me of my family visiting Arizona when we still lived overseas.  They have a new riverwalk concept they are trying to copy from San Antonio where the fireworks were launched from.  They also launched fireworks from the ASU "A" mountain nearby.  With all the dry conditions and fire hazards there were helicopters everywhere overseeing the fireworks.
Hava Rexha, the oldest woman in Albania at 121 years old, hugs Xhersi, one of her great grandchildren at her home in Shushice. Hava's one resentment was being forced to wed at 14 to a man who claimed to be 30 but was "about 60 and married twice before as well." That was in 1894, 20 years before the outbreak of the First World War. Rexha celebrates her 122nd birthday on Aug. 14.
July 5
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We took off bright and early this morning to the Grand Canyon.  4 hours later, after wandering up to an elevation of 8,000 and through the Indian desert reservations we arrive.  We quickly staked out a campsite to reserve, as they fill quickly.  All other sites in the park require a reservation 1 year in advance, and if you want to camp down in the Grand Canyon you need a 2 year reservation.  The local news still talks about all the flooding going on in central Texas.  The park is 90% shutdown due to fire risk concerns.  Only 2 trails are open down into the canyon, we picked the Bright Angel trail to walk down for the afternoon.  One cannot hike in the canyon from 10am - 4pm due to the heat, which rises up to 120* in the daytime.  We hiked about 2 miles down the steep trail before turning around as the sun was starting to go down.  After our straining hike we wandered over to the closes town for food.  We enjoyed our $25 pizza at our campsite before crashing in our tent.  Heather's roommate showed up around 11pm to join us, although she slept in her car instead of in the tent.
July 6
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It gets light around 5am in the Grand Canyon, and all the "true" hikers wake up at 4am to start hiking down the canyon trails.  We managed to crawl out of our sleeping bags at 6am to start hiking.  After a nice small breakfast of poptarts, bagels, and juice we started another hike.  The Payton trail seemed an easier hike, although it had the same stress level designation.  We hike down to Ohh-Ahh point which overlooks the canyon.  This point juts out into the canyon and has an inspiring 360* view of the canyon walls down to the river.  We traveled over to Snowflake to visit my mother's grandparents the Welkers.  We got a tour of this little historic city, and their new small LDS temple built last year. We sampled the local Arizona version of mexican food, which i found rather bland and unsatisfying.  After a brief nap we took off for our 17 hour drive home across the Komal mountains.  Although we saved 3 hours by taking the shortcut across the mountains, the constant switch-backs in the roads didn't lead to much relaxation or sleep.
July 7
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After several shifts of driving we arrived home around 2:30pm.  It was nice to see that the sheetrock work had started in the kitchen area, and that the roof was keeping all the rain out.  This should stop all the roof leaks and sheetrock water stains that are in the central roof area.  We continued our driving by going up to Georgetown to pick up our dogs from Erin's parents house and see their own remodeling work on their adjacent rental house.
Texas Boy Nearly Beaten to Death by Pastor
Texas police on Tuesday sought a Baptist pastor and his twin brother on charges they used a tree branch to beat an 11-year-old boy nearly to death for misbehaving in a Bible class.  Investigators sought Joshua Thompson, 23, and his twin brother Caleb Thompson for the July 3
incident, which left the Louie Guerrero in intensive care for four days after broken blood vessels caused his kidneys to fail, court records say. 
Both men are charged with a single count of felony injury to a child, according to an affidavit filed. 
        Court records allege the 90-minute beating was to physically "break" Louie for lying, Joshua Thompson allegedly told the boy's stepfather afterward. Joshua Thompson acts as pastor and holds separate services for the Spanish-speaking members of Capital City Baptist Church, of which his father is the pastor. Caleb Thompson helps out at the church. The child was at a Bible study program when he angered Joshua Thompson so much that he was removed from class. Joshua and his brother allegedly took Louie to Caleb Thompson's house for the beating, where they turned up the radio to cover the child's cries, police said. 
        The two men then took Louie back to his home, where they met his mother and stepfather and said they had a "big problem." Joshua Thompson told the boy's stepfather that he should "beat Louie for
two more hours" to fix it.  "Do it!" Thompson said three times, according to court papers. Thompson said he would not allow Louie back to the church, so his bad example could not affect the other children. After the Thompsons left, Louie's mother and stepfather discovered bruises and cuts covering the child's entire back, with bruises on his head, neck buttocks and legs. 
        "They hit me," Guerrero told his mother, according to the affidavit. He told his mother that Caleb Thompson held him face-down on a bed while Joshua flogged him with the stick for about an hour and a half, court records say.  The boy was allowed to take a break in the rest room during the beating, records say. 
July 8
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The framers finished shingling the roof today, McCullough fixed the a/c duct in the third floor attic area, the air hawks are in the new roof for ventilation, and the new gas water heater vents are installed in the closest walls.  Now comes the stages of insulation and sheetrock repairs
July 9
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I ordered my portion of the sheetrock and insulation to be delivered tomorrow, hopefully this nice weather will hold up as I'm tired of the weather/rain delays.  I finished the first stage of overhauling the Silverstonerealestate website.  Hopefully this will get wrapped up shortly and I can find some more development work.  It seems that Nevada is also seeking to decriminalize the possession of marijuana, which surprises me as I thought California would be the first state to do so.
Tim Summers of the Cannabis Action London group makes a Marijuana joint in Brixton, South London as the British government announced its intention to downgrade Marijuana from a Class B drug to a Class C drug making possession and use a less serious offence. The possession of a Class C drug in small amounts is to be punished with a ticket not arrest. 
July 10
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Today is the first day in almost 2 weeks that we haven't had a daily afternoon rainstorm.  I'd like the soil to dry out enough for the plumber to be able to fix the flowing sewage line in the backyard creek area.
A Japanese business man walks by a misspelt English advertisement for a fitness centre in Tokyo. Mistakes in written English are common in Japan, where national performance in the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination is nearly the worst in Asia, well behind China and South Korea. 
July 11
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My front window pane was finally fixed today by kullenburg Glass.  It's amazing how poor some companies customer service is.  I understand now why so few companies don't make it beyond a few years of business.  The framers are working on the insulation and sheetrock installation today.  The third floor is completely insulated, along with the ceiling of the second floor.  The kitchen sheetrock is bascially finished, only the cabinet supports need to be added.
Fiberglass Cow Is Stolen 
DENVER - A 150-pound fiberglass cow has been stolen from a Chick-Fil-A billboard in Denver. The cow, one of the  company's mascots urging customers to "Eat Mor Chikin," was apparently taken during the weekend. The $3,200 replica was unbolted from the billboard and lowered to the ground. "The little bandits were very innovative," said Gina Francis, a spokeswoman for the fast-food chain. Francis said they left tread marks on the ground below the billboard, suggesting a truck was waiting. "They weren't covering their hooves," she said.  The company has filed a police report with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. "It was hard to get a straight face," Francis said. Chick-Fil-A is also offering free chicken sandwiches for a year for information leading to the safe return of the cow. The reward could be altered if a vegetarian assists in solving the crime, Francis said.
July 12
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I don't think that children need to be exposed to this type of sexual education at such a young age.  There is no need for them to be made aware of all the sexual illnesses, and diseases of the world.  Why not have a muppet with cancer, or a anorexic muppet to get children more in tune with common children interactions.
Sesame Street to introduce HIV-positive Muppet 
NEW YORK - Sesame Street will soon introduce its first HIV positive
Muppet character to children of South Africa, where one in nine people have the virus that can lead to AIDS.  The upbeat female Muppet will join "Takalani Sesame" for its third season on the South African Broadcasting Corporation. 
       The character -- which has yet to have a name or final colour or form -- will travel to many if not all of the eight other nations that air versions of the educational children's show that began in the United States in 1969.  Schneider said talks are under way to introduce an HIV-positive character to U.S. viewers.  Schneider announced the new character this week at the 14th International AIDS Conference in
Barcelona, Spain.  "This character will be fully a part of the community," Schneider said. "She will have high self-esteem. Women are often stigmatised about HIV and we are providing a good role model as to how to deal with one's situation and how to interact with the community." 
       The program is aimed at children from 3 to 7 and the messages delivered by the new character will be "appropriate," said Schneider, meaning that there will be no explicit mention of sex.  "Not every show will deal explicitly with HIV/AIDS," Schneider said. "We want to show that here is an HIV-positive member of our community who you can touch and interact with.  "We will be very careful to fashion our messages so they are appropriate to the age group. What do I do when I cut my finger? What do I do when you cut your finger? That sort of thing." 
        "Takalani Sesame" will be the second children's show in South Africa to have an HIV-positive character. But it is believed to be the first among shows designed for preschoolers, said Beatrice Chow, spokeswoman for the Sesame Street Workshop in New York.  In some parts of South Africa, 40 percent of women of child-bearing age are infected with HIV, and in 2000, about 40 percent of adult deaths in South Africa were attributed to AIDS, according to the U.S. State Department. 
July 13
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I hauled off three carloads of garbage to the dumpsters today. Seems that there is a neverending stream of garbage to always throw away.  The cabinet guys from Houston work very quickly and precisely on the cabinets for the kitchen.
Pirates on the Web, Spoils on the Street
Internet piracy continues, despite major busts such as the raids conducted to flush out the members of the DrinkorDie ring, some of whom have earned jail terms for illegally copying and distributing software, games, and movies online. Pirates such as DrinkorDie leader John Sankus Jr., who pleaded guilty and received a 46-month prison sentence for his activities, admit that they form a community of sorts, one in which piracy is carried out mainly to raise one's social standing--"It's all about stature," notes fellow DrinkorDie member David Grimes, who is also doing time. 
       There are two main categories of pirates: Release groups that make the actual copies, and courier groups that handle worldwide distribution. In release groups such as DrinkorDie, labor is divided up into suppliers, corporate insiders who get hold of software; crackers who bypass the software's security measures; testers who make sure that the protection-free version works; and packers who split the programs into smaller files for distribution. Once the stolen "warez" are released, the courier groups can copy the products to several dozen Web-based central distribution centers within 10 minutes. Secondary couriers can then disseminate the products to roughly 10,000 publicly available Web sites within six hours, according to government officials. Companies are losing tens of millions of dollars in revenues because pirates are copying and distributing products for free online; and although financial gain is not a high priority for the pirates, there are individuals taking these warez and selling them for profit. 

I find it distrubing for individuals to have to use their children as propaganda.
July 14
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The cabinets in my kitchen were finished today.  With about 15 hours of works and $750 of wood I now have some nice cabinets to stain.  For the same cost as particle board cabinets I have nice solid 3/4" oak.
Couple Hooked on Madonna
MILAN - Priests thought a young South American couple were
devoted to a Madonna statue in their local church until they realized the pair were more interested in the effigy's electrical charge than its spiritual vibe. The young couple were regular visitors to the Milan church for more than a month and spent an hour sitting attentively in front of the Madonna before silently departing.  Priests assumed they were seeking spiritual guidance until a cleaner noticed an electricity cable poking out from behind the statue. Closer examination revealed the visitors were using the electricity socket used to light up the Madonna to charge their mobile phone.  However, parish priest Don Antonio Colombo said there was no question of the pair being barred entry in future.   "They come here because they don't have a house. The church is their house and letting them charge their mobile phone is a bit like giving them a glass of water," he told Corriere della Sera newspaper. 
July 15
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The plumbing top-out and gas inspections passed today.  While the inspector prevented my framers from hanging anymore sheetrock on the walls.  So I will have to contact the city to make sure both inspectors talk to each other morein the future.
July 16
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After a night of solid straight raining it is nice to come into a dry warm workplace.
July 17
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The sewage line is still flowing in the backyard. I am getting anxious for this to get fixed so I can start landscaping the backyard more.
Tiziana Fracchiolla, a 26 year old professional dancer, uses an Zap Airboard to beat traffic chaos in London, caused , by a 24-hour strike by underground rail workers Thursday. Millions of commuters were forced to find alternative ways of getting to work, and while some chose to walk or take the crowded buses, Tiziana sped through the gridlocked traffic on a personal hovercraft which has a top speed of about 20 mph.
July 18
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Today was Erin's birthday today, I gave her a bunch of duck gifts to add to her collection.  After slaving away at work, we all met up at Macaroni Grill in Round Rock for dinner.  We had a nice relaxing 3 hour dinner while talking & drawing on the tables waiting for our food to arrive.  Afterwards we return to my house for some tv before crashing for the evening.  The landscape people have staked off the front yard to estimate the materials needed to expand my driveway.
July 19
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Jerry's insulation guy finally showed up today.  Only took 1 months and too many phone calls to get the insulation.  Hopefully the sheetrock will be right around the corner also.  Seems that I somehow lost a week here, as very little was done this week.
An undated handout photograph shows a Light Emitting Polymer (LEP) TV screen displayed in a wrist watch developed by Cambridge Display Technology. The watch is one of a range of applications also including roll-up, flexible televisions, which have become possible thanks to a glowing plastic compound perfected in the laboratories of Britain's Cambridge Display Technologies.
July 20
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I find this the an interesting synopsis of the struggle of religion and science in the modern age.  Similiar to people seeing christ's imge in rust stains on building walls.  Where both sides believe themselves to be 100% correct in their outlook of the situation.
Moisture covers a stone of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. A wet patch has appeared on the Western Wall of Jerusalem's Old City, inspiring some Jewish mystics to interpret it as a sign the messiah is coming and causing archaeologists to fret over faulty plumbing. An archaeologist for the Israel Antiquities Authority said it could be a leak but the authority has yet to
discuss the patch with Islamic authorities who administer a mosque complex on a broad plaza supported by the wall holy to Judaism.
July 21
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Dinner is served@!!!
Chinese children show off their catch of locusts in Beijing. Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture predict serious locusts plagues in places across the country, especially in the dry north, after years of drought and environmental degradation.
July 22
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Looks like the global brainwashing of the youth continues in societies around the world.
A Russian boy aims a Kalashnikov rifle at the Russian Army's elite Dzerzhinsky division near the town of Balashikha, outside Moscow. The Dzerzhinsky division organized a military-style summer camp for juvenile delinquents to teach them some military discipline and show them contemporary weaponry. 
July 23
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Siggraph 2002 was small this year in the San Antonio convention center.   With only half as many vendors as normal and the economy being down , the conference had a different feel this year.  With fewer hardware vendors, there were lots of hands-on software demonstrations and overviews.
Two horses stand under a gigantic table and chair display during a downpour in Doellstaedt near Erfurt, eastern Germany.  Timber merchant Jens Braun built the unusual furniture as a shelter for his horses. 
July  24
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Siggraph continued on today.  I wandered the convention floor sitting through some animation software demonstrations.  Managed to track down John Wright and JT from Viewpoint after a few hours of playing tag. It's interesting to see how the character of a comppany can changed through different owners.  Some linestone was delivered to my house today by Brian.  I returned home to examine the nice while 6" rock that will become a retention wall shortly.  The city of Austin finally showed up to inspect the leaking sewage line, only six weeks since i noticed the leak in the ground.  My plumber gave up on digging to the root of the problem after digging down 8'.  There remains a big hole in the ground until the city can get heavier equipment in to get deeper.
July 25
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I have my fingers crosses that the city will fix the sewage leak today.  More rocks were delivered today, this time the larger 8" dry stack limestone.  I think I have about 12 tons of rocks on my driveway now.
Alpacas drink on a property near the township of Boorowa, located 250 miles southwest of Sydney. Australian sheep farmers are finding Alpacas as the perfect weapon against foxes. Bob Richardson, vice president of the Australian Alpaca Association, said that in the past year the miniature camels from the high Andes have developed a reputation as highly protective sheep guardians and sales are taking off.
July 26
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I wish I could be relaxing on the riverside in France right now.
July 27
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It's interesting to see so much press about how wrong and harmful hacking can be, yet it seems companies choose the same means when they cannot change the internet system as it evolves.
Bill Lets Music Firms Hack Napster-Like Systems
WASHINGTON - Media companies would be allowed to sabotage Napster-style networks to prevent songs, movies and other copyrighted materials from being swapped over the Internet under a bill introduced in Congress on Thursday. The bill would permit recording companies and other copyright holders to hack onto networks to thwart users looking to download free music, and would protect them from lawsuits from users. Although Congress has little time to debate the bill before the August recess, sponsor Rep. Howard Berman, a California Democrat, said the measure was necessary because the decentralized systems were impossible to shut down. 
        "No legislation can eradicate the problem of peer-to-peer piracy. However, enabling copyright creators to take action to prevent an infringing file from being shared via P2P (peer-to-peer) is an important first step," Berman said in remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives. Many large record labels have already resorted to a method known as "spoofing," where they hire firms to distribute "decoy" files that are empty or do not work in order to frustrate would-be downloaders of movies and music. 
        Additionally, sources have said the major recording companies, like Bertelsmann AG BMG, EMI Group Plc, Vivendi Universal and Sony Corp are considering taking a new tack by suing individuals who use the services, rather than the companies that host them. The industry's trade group, the Recording Industry Association of America, on Thursday welcomed the bill. The bill does not specify what measures copyright owners could take to foil online song swapping, but does impose some limits on their efforts. 
July 28
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How much time does one have to have to create this invention?
July 39
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Rats invade a domestic bedroom in this still picture from a cinema advertisement by the campaign group Keep Britain Tidy. The group hopes to highlight the rapid increase of the wild rat population in Britain. The commercial claims that rats are feasting on discarded fast food dropped in the street resulting in rat infestations growing 24 percent in the last two years. 
July 30
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A prairie dog lies flat on the pavement to try to cool off on a Tokyo street, as temperatures soared to 35.6 degrees celsius (upper 90s Fahrenheit) in a summer heat wave. Scorching weather has dominated in most of Japan this summer, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
July 31
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I finished my first real estate class today in property management.  It's interesting to see the variety of individuals that work in the real estate field.  I think I am going to try and finish the rest of the classes by year end to get my realtor's license.

A girl embraces her dog as she sunbathes at the 'Bau Beach' in Maccarese, north of Rome on July 30, 2002. Bau Beach is one of only a few Italian beaches which cater to bathers and their dogs, providing specific beach umbrellas, showers and pet food.