Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thessaloniki Jews mark WWII Nazi deportation

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) ? Jewish residents of this northern Greek city gathered Saturday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the roundup and deportation of this city's Jews to Nazi extermination camps in World War II.

Several hundred people gathered at the city's Eleftherias (Freedom) Square, where the first batch of Jews were rounded up by the occupying German forces on March 15, 1943.

The crowd held a moment of silence and then marched to the city's old railway station, where the first trains departed for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp complex. A short ceremony was held at the station and flowers laid on the tracks.

Speakers included the city's mayor, Yannis Boutaris, and Holocaust survivors.

"The commemoration is an honor for the city of Thessaloniki. But some people look upon this era nostalgically and are bringing back the old Nazi symbols," said David Saltiel, leader of the city's Jewish community. He was referring to the emergence of the extreme right wing Golden Dawn, a party with neo-Nazi roots that swept into Parliament for the first time last June on an anti-immigrant platform.

On that day in March, 2,800 departed for the concentration camp.

"We were packed 80 to a train ... when we arrived, they sent a number straight to the crematoriums and kept some of us for work. We were beaten often by the guards," recalled Holocaust survivor Moshe Haelion.

Another survivor of the camps, Zana Santicario-Saatsoglou, described how, for many years, she was unable to tell her story. "My children used to ask me what that number on my arm was," she said, referring to the identification number tattooed on Auschwitz-Birkenau prisoners. "I told them it was my old phone number in Thessaloniki."

By August 1943, 46,091 Jews had been deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Of those, 1,950 survived. Fewer than 5,000 of the 80,000 Jews living in Greece survived. The majority, after returning from the camps, emigrated to Israel. Today, the Jewish community in Thessaloniki, which, until the early 20th century formed a slight majority of the city's inhabitants, numbers fewer than 1,000.

The Jews of Thessaloniki were mostly Sephardic Jews, who emigrated after 1492 to escape persecution from Spain which, in that year, had driven the Arabs out of the southern Iberian Peninsula.

___

Demetris Nellas contributed from Athens, Greece.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/thessaloniki-jews-mark-wwii-nazi-deportation-162457263.html

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Use a Bucket to Clean Up Cable Clutter

Use a Bucket to Clean Up Cable Clutter If the area under your desk is a tangled mess of cords, feeding them through a storage bucket can keep your cables out of sight.

All you'll need for this trick is a plastic storage container. Pretty much any shape or size will work, as long as it has a lid. Just cut a hole or two in the sides, and feed all of your cables through, leaving any power supplies, surge protectors, and excess cable length in the bucket. We've shared some better cable management tricks over the years, like using a rain gutter or an IKEA Signum line, but none are as easy to set up as a bucket. It won't necessarily save you any space, but it will eliminate some of visual clutter underneath your desk or entertainment center.

Computer Cable Management | Five Gallon Ideas

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/lifehacker/full/~3/UHZA1Sbk1V8/use-a-bucket-to-clean-up-cable-clutter

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Google's Niantic Labs Will Soon Launch An eBook Spin-Off Of Its Ingress AR Game

Ingress_LogoThis is a bit of an odd story: according to paidContent – and as first reported by to PublishersLunch – Google’s Niantic Labs, the somewhat mysterious division of Google that is home to Field Trip, the Niantic Project and Ingress, will soon start co-publishing a series of eBooks based on Ingress, its popular augmented reality game. A Google spokesperson confirmed to us that this report is indeed correct. The series, which, according to PublishersLunch, will be called ALIGNMENT and written and co-published with the help of Thomas Greanias;?the first installment (ALIGNMENT: Ingress) will be published in April. The books are supposedly designed as prequels to Greanias’ Raising Atlantis series. It looks like Greanias has long been interested in the Ingress story, and the overall theme of the game seems to fit in well with his earlier books. For Google, though, this – just like Ingress and most everything else that has come out of Niantic Labs – is a bit of a departure. The company isn’t exactly known for launching games. And to then turn the game into a series of books is obviously new territory for Google, though Niantic Labs does seem to operate pretty independently from the rest of the company.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/JDtVaBt_jnA/

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Predicting hotspots for future flu outbreaks

Friday, March 15, 2013

This year's unusually long and rocky flu season would be nothing compared to the pandemic that could occur if bird flu became highly contagious among humans, which is why UCLA researchers and their colleagues are creating new ways to predict where an outbreak could emerge.

"Using surveillance of influenza cases in humans and birds, we've come up with a technique to predict sites where these viruses could mix and generate a future pandemic," said lead author Trevon Fuller, a UCLA postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability's Center for Tropical Research.

The researchers' models revealed that coastal and central China and Egypt's Nile Delta are danger zones where bird flu could combine with human flu to create a virulent kind of super-flu. Governments can prioritize these zones ? and use the researchers' models to identify other hotspots ? for increased monitoring of flu in humans, livestock, poultry and wild birds. That could help detect a novel flu virus before it spreads worldwide, the researchers said.

The research paper, "Predicting Hotspots for Influenza Virus Reassortment," was published March 13 in the peer-reviewed public health journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Previous pandemics, such as the 1957 and 1968 influenzas that each killed more than a million people or the 2009 H1N1 swine flu outbreak that killed 280,000 worldwide, developed when viruses from humans and animals exchanged genes to create a new virus in a process called reassortment. Recent research using mice confirms that genes from bird flu and human flu can combine to create dangerous new flu strains. Swine, which are susceptible to both bird and human flu, could serve as a mixing vessel for reassortment between the two viruses.

"The mixing of genetic material between the seasonal human flu virus and bird flu can create novel virus strains that are more lethal than either of the original viruses," said senior author Thomas Smith, director of the Center for Tropical Research and a professor at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

"These findings predicting potential outbreak sites can help decision-makers prioritize the most important areas where people, poultry and livestock should be vaccinated and animals should be monitored for novel viruses, which could help predict and prevent the next pandemic," he said.

The researchers looked for locations where bird flu outbreaks, human flu outbreaks and swine populations overlapped to predict hotspots where reassortment is more likely, using a $1.3 million grant from the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health.

The research focused on two flu strains that studies in mice have shown can combine with lethal results: the seasonal H3N2 human flu, and the H5N1 strain of bird flu that has occasionally crossed over into humans. Currently, H5N1 has a 60 percent mortality rate in humans but is not known to spread between humans frequently.

While the World Health Organization has identified six countries as hosts to ongoing, widespread bird flu infections in poultry in 2011 ? China, Egypt, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh ? the UCLA researchers and their colleagues had limited data to work with. Not all flu outbreaks, whether bird or human, are tracked. The scientists had to identify indicators of flu outbreaks, such as dense poultry populations, or rain and temperatures that encourage flu transmission.

"For each type of flu, we identified variables that were predictive of the various virus strains," Fuller said. "We wanted a map of predictions continuously across the whole country, including locations where we didn't have data on flu outbreaks."

Although the researchers had bird flu data for parts of both China and Egypt, other countries, such as Indonesia, don't have full reporting systems in place. Even in China and Egypt, accurate reporting is hampered by farmers who may conceal flu outbreaks in order to sell their livestock.

"If we provide incentives for better reporting, we could more precisely predict future outbreaks," Fuller said.

###

University of California - Los Angeles: http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu

Thanks to University of California - Los Angeles for this article.

This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.

This press release has been viewed 38 time(s).

Source: http://www.labspaces.net/127319/Predicting_hotspots_for_future_flu_outbreaks

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The Orchestra (for iPad)


If you've ever wanted to learn more about how a symphony orchestra works, Touch Press's The Orchestra ($13.99 direct) could be the best introduction yet devised. Made by the same folks that brought us the excellent The Elements, The Orchestra showcases the Philharmonia Orchestra performing sections of eight popular symphonic works. It's not just that, though; it breaks down each piece with multiple video and audio tracks highlighting specific instruments and performers, along with note-by-note sheet music. From the presentation to the top-quality audio cues and video clips, The Orchestra is a brilliant use of the iPad.?

Music, Video, and Scores
For this review, I tested The Orchestra on a 16GB, Wi-Fi-only iPad with Retina Display. The app itself works on the iPad and iPad mini, and requires a massive 2GB of storage. It's worth it, though. For starters, the eight pieces are Hayden's Symphony No. 6; Beethoven's Symphony No. 5; Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique; Debussy's Prelude to a Fawn; Mahler's Symphony No. 6; Stravinsky's The Firebird; Lutostawski's Concerto for Orchestra; and Salonen's Violin Concerto, spanning from 1761 to 2009. Considering the audio and video involved, that's a lot of material.

The app's main interface works in both portrait and landscape mode, and always finds a beautiful way to present as few or as many visual elements as you want while listening to each piece. The eight performances sound great, and are enjoyable to listen to and watch from the three available camera angles (including one focused on the conductor). You can switch on audio or subtitle commentary from the conductor or from musicians during the performance. The app also displays a colorful overview diagram of the orchestra, and lights up individual dots representing the currently playing instruments. It helps you visualize who is playing based on what you're actually hearing at any given moment.

There's plenty of written instructional material, too. For example, there's an overview section that discusses the history and development of the orchestra, details on the conductor, and individual background articles for each of the pieces. They're pretty informative and fun to read. But ultimately they could use more depth, and in particular could use more examples that place it in context with different major periods of music. A lot happened compositionally in the 250 years these eight pieces cover, and some inkling of that would add to the already well-written text. More useful are the notated scores; you get full notation as well as condensed and curated versions that are easier to follow, and quite educational from a musician's standpoint.

Instruments and Conclusions
The instruments themselves get some of the spotlight as well, thanks to individual players of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Tap on an instrument, and you can watch the appropriate player in the orchestra describe and demonstrate the instrument's sound and range, sometimes with insightful commentary on the voice of the instrument and how it sits with the others in a given piece of music. You can also bring up a large picture of each instrument and rotate it 360 degrees, as well as cue up a few video examples of that specific instrument in an orchestral context. Finally, you can "play" the instrument using an on-screen piano keyboard, similar to how GarageBand and other iPad music apps work, in the instrument's proper range.

Granted, if you already play the clarinet, you're not going to learn much new about it with this app, and if you already play in an orchestra, you won't learn much new about any of the other instruments either. Perhaps a more significant gripe is that there's no way to buy additional pieces of music beyond the eight sections included with the app. There's nothing wrong with taking eight great works and designing a comprehensive presentation for each, as opposed to a lighter treatment of a larger number of works. But Touch Press may want to consider it for the future; even full versions of the existing pieces with all movements could be worth paying for as in-app purchases. Finally, the app could use more integration with other sources; it's very much a closed-in system the way a textbook would be, and doesn't take advantage of Internet-based resources like Wikipedia or online music classes.

The Orchestra is an excellent way to learn more about that most mysterious of musical organizations, in a way that a book or a linear video documentary wouldn't quite be able to realize. There's nothing quite like this in the App Store, at least that I'm aware of, although there are plenty of musical instruction apps for specific instruments. Short of a full-semester orchestration course at a university, The Orchestra is a worthy purchase for classical, romantic, and 20th-century-era music fans looking to learn more about the symphony orchestra.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ziffdavis/pcmag/~3/OB7NuJiAcpk/0,2817,2416662,00.asp

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Half A Million People Were Still Waiting In Line To ... - Business Insider

File storing and sharing company Dropbox has acquired Mailbox for an undisclosed amount.

Mailbox is an app that promised to help people reach Inbox 0 with easy archiving and save-for-later features.

What's crazy is the app only launched 37 days ago, on February 7. And, thanks to a brilliant marketing scheme that makes people wait in a virtual line to access the app, there are still 525,000 who are patiently waiting to try it out. CEO Gentry Underwood tells The Wall Street Journal that 1.3 million app reservations have been made and 60 million messages are being delivered daily over the service.

"We are still struggling to keep up with the demand from those who want to use it,? he told WSJ.

While the price wasn't disclosed, it's safe to assume Underwood and his 13-person team jumped ship for many millions (and hopefully a ton of stock options). They had raised $5.3 million to date.

Dropbox may have pounced too early though. Many who tried the app have already stopped using it. When companies buy into fads, it doesn't often work well. Zynga, for example, purchased OMGPOP while its app Draw Something was exploding with traffic. Almost as soon as Zynga paid ~ $200 million, Draw Something's traffic declined.

Here's what the Mailbox waitlist looks like now. Dropbox plans to keep the app running separately from its main app, so everyone should be able to get access to Mailbox despite the acquisition.

Business Insider

This is what the waitlist looked like just after the Dropbox acquisition was announced.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/half-a-million-people-were-still-waiting-in-line-to-get-mailbox-as-it-gets-acquired-by-dropbox-2013-3

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Google's Schmidt to visit Myanmar, an untapped telecoms market

By Aung Hla Tun

YANGON (Reuters) - Google Inc Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who visited North Korea in January, will become the first high-profile tech company executive to visit Myanmar in the wake of reforms that prompted Western nations to ease sanctions following decades of military dictatorship.

The visit next week to Myanmar, where Schmidt will speak at a technology and communications park and meet with government officials, is just one stop in a multi-country Asian tour to promote Internet access, according to Google.

Since Myanmar's military stepped aside and a quasi-civilian government was installed in 2011, setting off a wave of political and economic reforms, the country has enjoyed a surge of interest from overseas businesses.

The former Burma is the last virgin territory for businesses in Asia, with untapped markets including the telecoms sector: mobile penetration in the country of 60 million is estimated to be a meager 5-10 percent.

Unlike Schmidt's controversial visit to Pyongyang, in which Google described as a "personal" trip, the visit to Myanmar falls within his mandate as executive chairman, which involves government outreach, thought leadership and building partnerships and business relationships, the company said.

But Schmidt, who was Google's chief executive from 2001 to 2011, is becoming more visible on issues involving technology and world affairs.

His book, "The New Digital Age", due to hit bookshelves in April, was co-authored with Google Ideas chief Jared Cohen, who had previously worked at the U.S. State Department.

According to an early review in The Wall Street Journal, the authors criticize China for being an enthusiastic "filterer of information" and a "prolific" hacker of foreign companies. During Schmidt's tenure as Google's chief, the company famously pulled out of China after a dispute over censorship and hacking.

"Eric (Schmidt) is visiting several countries in Asia to connect with local partners and Googlers who are working to improve the lives of many millions of people across the region by helping them get online and access the world's information for the first time in the next few years," Google said in a statement. His trip also includes India.

In November, Schmidt visited Seoul, Taipei and Beijing.

WHISTLE-STOP

The Myanmar trip will be Schmidt's second visit this year to a country off the beaten track. In January he went to North Korea, saying it was a personal trip to talk about a free and open Internet.

Schmidt is due to give a speech at the Myanmar Information and Communication Technology Park in Yangon on March 22, before making his way to the capital, Naypyitaw, to meet senior government officials, said Zaw Min Oo, secretary general of the Myanmar Computer Society.

"There will be an audience of about 400, comprising entrepreneurs, executive committee members of the computer association and young leaders," Zaw Min Oo told Reuters, referring to the speech.

Myanmar's planned modernization of telecoms infrastructure and expected boom in mobile phone usage will pave the way for the entry of companies such as Google, which could profit greatly through sales of cheap smartphones built around its Android platform.

In February the U.S. Treasury Department issued a general license for four of Myanmar's biggest banks, two of which are owned by tycoons associated with the former junta, before a visit by 50 U.S. executives that month to explore opportunities.

The delegation, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and including Cisco Systems Inc, Google, Hewlett-Packard Co, Intel Corp, and Microsoft Corp, visited Myanmar to look into projects to boost access to the Internet, strengthen transparent government and expand digital literacy, according to a USAID statement.

Many leading firms in Myanmar are still largely controlled by businessmen subject to sanctions, but Western companies are starting to move in after the implementation of a new foreign investment law.

Myanmar is offering two operating licenses for companies to build new telecoms infrastructure.

MTN Group, Africa's largest mobile phone company, which is bidding for a license, has said around 90 companies have expressed interest.

(Additional reporting by Jeremy Wagstaff in Singapore and Alexei Oreskovic in San Francisco; Writing by Paul Carsten in Bangkok; Editing by Alan Raybould, Pravin Char and Richard Chang)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/googles-schmidt-visit-myanmar-untapped-telecoms-market-125829184--finance.html

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Obama: Iran more than a year away from nuclear weapon

By Becky Bratu, Staff Writer, NBC News

Iran is "over a year or so" away from developing a nuclear weapon and the United States remains committed to preventing that from happening, President Barack Obama told a reporter in an interview aired Thursday on Israeli television.

Obama told Channel 2 TV ahead of his first visit to Israel as president that a nuclear Iran continues to be a "red line" for the United States, but that there is still a window of opportunity ? "not an infinite period of time" ??to resolve the issue diplomatically.

"Right now, we think that it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don't want to cut it too close, and what we're going to be doing is to continue to engage internationally with Iran," Obama said, adding that his communication with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the topic is ongoing.


"So, what I'm consulting (on) with Bibi as I have over the last several years on this issue, my message to him is the same as before: If we can resolve it diplomatically, that's a more lasting solution, but if not I continue to keep all options on the table," Obama said.

Iran has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful and designed to produce energy.

While the U.S. has favored diplomacy and economic sanctions to pressure Iran to halt its nuclear development, Israel has threatened several times it would take military action if Iran got close to obtaining a bomb.

In the interview, however, Obama sought to reassure that the two countries share the same goal.

"Our goal here is to make sure that Iran does not possess a nuclear weapon that could threaten Israel or could trigger an arms race in the region that would be extraordinarily dangerous at a time when obviously there are already ... a lot of things going on," he said.

Obama also emphasized that he and Netanyahu "have a terrific businesslike relationship" that keeps Israel's security and U.S. support at the forefront.

Obama is due to arrive in Israel on Wednesday for a three-day trip, which will be his third visit to the country but his first as president.

The president said he intends to meet with political leaders inside Israel, including Netanyahu, but also with Palestinian officials such as Salam Fayyad, prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority, and President Mahmoud Abbas.

"My goal on this trip is to listen," Obama said, adding that it is in the interest of both Israelis and Palestinians to advance their peace process and a two-state solution.

"It's going to involve the Palestinians actually feeling like they have got a land of their own, and autonomy and the capacity to govern and to set up businesses and to prosper, and that they have self-determination," he said.

"And for the Israelis, it's going to require them having the confidence that that doesn't come at the price of Israeli security."

Source: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/14/17316231-obama-iran-more-than-a-year-away-from-nuclear-weapon?lite

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How do you remove Trojan viruses and spy ... - Spyware Blockers

I?ve got an antivirus program but it only identifies the virusses withoutb removing them

Try a online antivirus scanner and a online anti-adware/malware/spyware scanner in safe mode with network to clean up your computer BEFORE you download anything. This because the program you download can get infected.

Disable "System Restore" for Windows Me and XP, then restart your PC to clean your system restore points for viruses, spyware, adware etc.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/en-us/management/sysrestore_faq.mspx

Now restart in safe mode.
To get in safe mode Press "F8" upon boot up.
Select "Safe mode with Network".
Go to Start ? Run ? type iexplore http://www.bitdefender.com/scan8/ie.html Enter(ok).
Do a full scan of all your drives. If something is found, delete it, reboot and do the same again in safe mode with network.
When that scan does not find anything you reboot again in safe mode with network.
Go to Start ? Run ? type iexplore http://www.ewido.net/en/ Enter(ok).
Do a full scan of all your drives. If something is found, delete it, reboot and do the same again in safe mode with network.

**NOTE**: Do NOT do anything else with your computer when scanning. This because you can start virus/adware/spyware/malware manually.

When no one of these scanners are showing anything you can reboot back to normal mode.
Turn on "System Restore".
?????
Antivirus: BitDefender Online scanner ? will scan and remove threats.
Anti adware/spyware: Ewido Online Scanner ? will scan and remove threats.
?????
**NOTE**: Only have one antivirus program and one firewall installed on your computer.
Anti-adware/malware/spyware are ok to have more off.

You need to get one antivirus program, one firewall, pop up blocker and some spyware/adware/malware removers if you don?t have it.
?????
Have A Look Here For Free Security Programs: http://www.geocities.com/coolno74/SecurityPrograms.html

Source: http://www.feeldagroove.com/spy-ware-blocker/how-do-you-remove-trojan-viruses-and-spy-ware-from-your-pc

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Baptism by fire: Vatican interns' memorable first day

PHILADELPHIA (AP) ? Talk about a baptism by fire: On the first day of Lauren Colegrove's journalism internship at Catholic News Service in Rome, the pope announced his resignation.

The Villanova University junior thought she'd spend her first day filling out paperwork and undergoing orientation. Instead, she ran over to the Vatican Press Office to attend a news conference and later conducted interviews in St. Peter's Square.

"It's pretty hard to have a more exciting first day of work than that," Colegrove said in an email interview.

Colegrove, originally from Tampa, Fla., is among four Villanova University students working this semester at the Vatican. It's an already uncommon internship that has taken on a whole new dimension with the historic departure of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of his successor, Pope Francis.

Previous interns from Villanova, a private Catholic university near Philadelphia, have shot videos for the Vatican's YouTube channel, created 360-degree virtual tours of the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica, and performed research that led to the first papal tweet in December.

"Not every tourist can walk up and say, 'I'd like to go behind the wall of the Vatican and check out what's happening,'" said Villanova computer science professor Robert Beck, who helps select the students who go abroad. "The interns are given the ability to do that."

In addition to Colegrove's reporting, the university this year has a computer science student working on a Vatican mobile app at the Internet Office of the Holy See and two other students interning at the Pontifical Council for Social Communication.

The council administers the Vatican's main news portal, www.news.va, and its companion Facebook page. Communications interns Danielle McMonagle and Sean Hudgins have been creating and curating content for the latter website since last month, including taking photos of Benedict's last audience in St. Peter's Square.

"It was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced, not only as an intern but just in general being there with thousands of people from all over the world," McMonagle, a junior from Moorestown, N.J., wrote in an email.

Thaddeus Jones, a council official and the interns' supervisor, said the world moves so quickly that "it's more important than ever" to draw on students' knowledge of multimedia and digital social platforms to help the church communicate in the 21st century.

But with the breaking news of Benedict's departure, subsequent conclave and the selection of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope on Wednesday, there is less time for students to research emerging technologies and strategies, as previous interns have done, he said.

"It's kind of like all hands on deck right now, rather than study trends and things," Jones said in a phone interview.

Villanova's program started in 2003 with computer science students working in the Vatican's Internet Office to help modernize the church. By 2008, communications students were being placed at the Pontifical Council for Social Communication.

Last semester, intern Andrew Jadick helped the church prepare for a tweeting pope by researching how other major world figures use their Twitter accounts. Jadick was among those who stood by Benedict on Dec. 12 when he tweeted for the first time, and got to shake the pontiff's hand.

After Benedict stepped down Feb. 28, the church deleted, but archived, all his tweets ? the account read "Sede Vacante," or "Seat Vacant" until Wednesday. Jadick hopes the new pope will also take advantage of Twitter, because a social media presence can help Catholics feel more connected to their leader, he said.

"It would be a shame if he doesn't want to use it," said Jadick, who is now back on campus.

Meanwhile, McMonagle expects to be very busy in the coming days gathering content and public reaction to the momentous election of Francis, the first Jesuit pope and the first to be chosen from the Americas.

"To have the opportunity to work as an intern here at the Vatican was already an honor," McMonagle said, "but to be doing so now at this historic time is simply incredible."

___

Online:

www.twitter.com/pontifex

www.news.va

www.facebook.com/news.va.en

___

Follow Kathy Matheson at www.twitter.com/kmatheson

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/villanovas-vatican-interns-view-history-062900058--finance.html

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Marvel, circus producer to team up on live show

McLEAN, Va. (AP) ? The people who bring you The Greatest Show on Earth will be taking Spider-Man, the Hulk, Thor and the X-Men on a worldwide road show.

Feld Entertainment Inc., which produces the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, along with a host of other live shows such as Disney on Ice, is announced a partnership Wednesday with Marvel Entertainment to produce a live arena show featuring the Marvel universe of characters.

Exact financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. But Kenneth Feld, CEO of Vienna, Va.-based Feld Entertainment, said he expects the show to open in July 2014, and tour arenas domestically and internationally, as the company's other shows do. Production costs will likely exceed $10 million, Feld told The Associated Press in announcing the partnership.

Feld Entertainment has expanded in recent years to acquire several motor sports and monster truck shows aimed at expanding its appeal beyond the young children who go to the circus and girls who flock to the Disney shows. Feld expects the Marvel shows to appeal to older boys, comic book fans and family audiences.

Marvel's chief creative officer, Joe Quesada, said dozens of people have approached Marvel about doing a live show of some sort over the years. The partnership with Feld Entertainment was the first with which he felt comfortable.

"You always have those questions ? how are you going to keep it from being goofy, or silly, or unbelievable?" Quesada said. But the level of showmanship in Feld Entertainment's other shows made an impression.

"They're already doing feats that are superhuman to begin with," Quesada said of the performers that Feld Entertainment recruits for its circus and other shows.

Feld said his company's long-standing partnership with Burbank, Calif.-based The Walt Disney Co., which acquired Marvel in 2009, helped establish a level of trust between Feld and the Marvel executives.

The show is in the early stages of development in a new training center that Feld runs in Ellenton, Fla. Feld and Marvel said there is close collaboration to ensure the characters act in ways consistent with fans' understanding. Quesada said the director ? veteran choreographer Shanda Sawyer, who has directed various iterations of the Ringling circus and won Emmy awards for her television work, took a deep dive into Marvel mythology that took him aback.

"We had to pull her back," Quesada said. "I told her, 'I think you're even geeking me out.'"

Trying to bring superhuman characters to life in a live show can be daunting and even dangerous, as evidence by the difficulties suffered in launching the Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." Several performers suffered injuries ranging from concussions to fractured skulls in what became the most expensive show in Broadway history. The $75 million show has since become one of Broadway's top earners.

"What they tried to do was new for them, but it's the stuff we do all the time in a lot of our businesses," Feld said.

The Marvel universe has thousands of characters ? some household names and others known only to the most devoted fans. Feld said a live show provides an opportunity to present a wide variety of Marvel characters in a way that will appeal to even casual fans.

"There's so much mythology and lore with all of these characters ? it's like going into this treasure chest of unbelievable gems," Feld said. "There are almost unlimited stories and shows we can create off these properties and characters."

While details of the show remain either under wraps or under development, Feld said the basic plotline is a no-brainer: "The world will be in jeopardy, and the Marvel superheroes will save the world."

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/marvel-circus-producer-team-live-show-085020258.html

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