Thursday, February 28, 2013

Diddy Supports 'Harlem Shake' Despite Hometown Blowback

'Anything that's branding Harlem, my hometown, I'm all for it,' Diddy says, supporting Baauer's viral-video dance craze.
By Rob Markman, with reporting by James Lacsina

Photo: MTV News


Jose Aldo-Anthony Pettis featherweight championship fight back on

Over the weekend, UFC president Dana White said featherweight champion Jose Aldo was refusing to take a fight with Anthony Pettis, the lightweight who was scheduled to fight Aldo in August. As Kevin Iole wrote, Aldo told White he didn't think Pettis had earned the title shot.

The fight is back on. Andre Pederneias, Aldo's manager, told SporTV in Brazil (with translation from our friends at Yahoo! Brazil) that Aldo will take the fight, with one condition:

?I had a meeting today (Monday) with Jos? Aldo, who said: ?I?m going to end with this clownery. People are saying that I?m running, so they are going to see who will run from who when the time comes. If you enjoy a brawl, you can buy the pay-per-view on August 3 and that's what you are going to watch because heads will roll?. At that moment I called Dana White to agree with the fight, but on one condition: after that fight, the winner gets a title shot at [lightweight]?.

White confirmed that the fight is on.

ESPN is reporting that Aldo will get his wish, and that if he beats Pettis on Aug. 3, he will get a shot at the UFC lightweight belt. Benson Henderson is currently the title holder, and will fight Gilbert Melendez in April.

This means the UFC lightweight belt has a clear path for 2013. Pettis was supposed to be the next lightweight contender, but pushed for the Aldo fight because he didn't want to wait until the Henderson and Melendez fight was over.

Are you looking forward to seeing Aldo possibly fight for the lightweight belt? Speak up in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Boxing video from Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
? Tom Brady puts Patriots in position to keep winning for years to come
? Watch: NBA storylines to watch
? Putting Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria's 'facts' to the test
? Michigan State's Chris Norman chooses seminary over NFL


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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Film director killed by shark off New Zealand

By John Newland, Staff Writer, NBC News

A man was attacked and killed by a shark Wednesday off the coast of New Zealand, police said.

Local media identified the victim as 46-year-old Adam Strange, an award-winning director of short films.

The victim was swimming about 200 yards offshore from Muriwai Beach, just west of Auckland, when he was attacked, New Zealand Police Inspector Shawn Rutene said.

Witnesses called police and lifeguards quickly jumped into action when the attack occurred about 1:30 p.m. local time Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday), but it was too late to save the man, the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported.

Police and lifeguards quickly took to the water in inflatable rescue boats, and officers opened fire on the shark, which "rolled over and disappeared," Rutene said in his statement, adding that the shark was estimated to be 12 to 14 feet long.

Authorities said they had closed Muriwai and nearby beaches as the investigation continued.

Shark attacks are uncommon in New Zealand, according to the University of Florida's Museum of Natural History.

According to the museum's International Shark Attack File, there had been just 48 confirmed attacks, eight of them fatal, since 1852. Those numbers did not include Wednesday's incident.

Neighboring Australia has had 510 confirmed attacks, 144 of them fatal, since 1700, according to the museum's figures, which it says were current as of Feb. 11.

In a biography on Strange's website, he described himself as an avid outdoorsman.?

"When I get a spare 5 minutes, I like to make a fruit smoothy, surf some big waves out on the West Coast," the site says.

The New Zealand Herald reported that Strange had a wife and a baby daughter. "The family are grieving the loss of a glorious and great father, husband and friend," the family said in a statement reported by the newspaper.

A short film by Strange, "Aphrodite's Farm," won a Crystal Bear award for Best Short Film for people over 14 at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival, according to the Internet Movie Database, or

Strange said in his biography that he had made television commercials before turning to short film.


Kill sharks before they attack humans? Australian state will do just that

Fatal shark attacks in 2011 at 20-year high

Great white sharks swimming to extinction?


Fiery balloon accident kills 19 tourists in Egypt

LUXOR, Egypt (AP) ? The terror lasted less than two minutes: Smoke poured from a hot air balloon carrying sightseers on a sunrise flight over the ancient city of Luxor, it burst in a flash of flame and then plummeted about 1,000 feet to earth. A farmer watched helplessly as tourists trying to escape the blazing gondola leaped to their deaths.

Nineteen people were killed Tuesday in what appeared to be the deadliest hot air ballooning accident on record. A British tourist and the Egyptian pilot, who was badly burned, were the sole survivors.

The tragedy raised worries of another blow to the nation's vital tourism industry, decimated by two years of unrest since the 2011 revolution that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The southern city of Luxor has been hit hard, with vacant hotel rooms and empty cruise ships.

It also prompted accusations that authorities have let safety standards decline amid the political turmoil and infighting, although civil aviation officials said the balloon had been inspected recently and that the pilot may have been to blame, jumping out rather than stopping the fire.

Authorities suspended hot air balloon flights, a popular tourist attraction here, while investigators determined the cause.

The balloon was carrying 20 tourists ? from France, Britain, Belgium, Japan and Hong Kong ? and an Egyptian pilot on a flight over Luxor, 510 kilometers (320 miles) south of Cairo, officials said. The flights provide spectacular views of the ancient Karnak and Luxor temples and the Valley of the Kings, the burial ground of Tutankhamun and other pharaohs.

According to initial indications, the balloon was in the process of landing after 7 a.m. when a cable got caught around a helium tube and a fire erupted, according to an investigator with the state prosecutor's office.

The balloon then ascended rapidly, the investigator said. The fire detonated a gas canister and the balloon plunged about 300 meters (1,000 feet) to the ground, crashing in a sugar cane field outside al-Dhabaa village just west of Luxor, a security official said.

Both the investigator and the security official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

"I saw tourists catching fire and they were jumping from the balloon," said Hassan Abdel-Rasoul, a farmer in al-Dhabaa. "They were trying to flee the fire but it was on their bodies."

One of those on fire was a visibly pregnant woman, he said.

Amateur video taken from another balloon and shown on Al-Jazeera Mubasher television showed the balloon's final moments.

Smoke is seen rising for several seconds from the gondola, silhouetted against the risen sun. The balloon itself catches fire with a flash, and in an instant, it bursts and falls as a fireball to the ground, trailing smoke. Egyptians on the balloon filming the scene can be heard crying and gasping in horror at the sight.

The bodies of the tourists were scattered across the field around the remnants of the balloon, as rescue officials collected the remains.

The crash immediately killed 18, according to Luxor Gov. Ezzat Saad. Two Britons and the pilot were taken to a hospital, but one of the Britons died of his injuries soon after.

Among the dead were nine tourists from Hong Kong, four Japanese, two French, a Belgian and a second Briton, according to Egyptian officials, although there were conflicting reports on the nationality of the 19th victim.

In Tokyo, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Japanese victims were two couples in their 60s from Tokyo, but declined to give their names.

The toll surpasses what was believed by ballooning experts to be the deadliest accident in the sport's 200-year history: In 1989, 13 people were killed when their hot air balloon collided with another over the Australian outback near the town of Alice Springs.

Luxor has seen crashes in the past. In 2009, 16 tourists were injured when their balloon struck a cellphone transmission tower. A year earlier, seven tourists were injured in a similar crash.

After the 2009 accident, Egypt suspended hot air balloon flights for several months and tightened safety standards. Pilots were given more training, and a landing spot was designated for the balloons.

The head of the Civil Aviation Administration, Mohammed Sherif, told The Associated Press at the scene of the crash that the pilot had just renewed his license in January.

"Each time we renew the license, we check up the balloon and we test the pilot," Sherif said.

An aviation official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to reporters, blamed the pilot, saying initial results of the investigation showed he jumped out when the fire began, instead of shutting off valves that would have prevented the gas canister from exploding.

But the crash raised accusations that standards have fallen. Mohammed Osman, head of the Luxor's Tourism Chamber, blamed civil aviation authorities, who are in charge of licensing and inspecting balloons, accusing them of negligence.

"I don't want to blame the revolution for everything, but the laxness started with the revolution," he said. "These people are not doing their job, they are not checking the balloons and they just issue the licenses without inspection."

The Civil Aviation Ministry, like much of the government administration, has seen political disputes since President Mohammed Morsi came to power in June as Egypt's first freely elected leader.

The ministry was long dominated by military officers or former officers, some of whom have resented control by a civilian president, particularly one from the Muslim Brotherhood. In other ministries, observers say Brotherhood members have been appointed, or included as volunteers, in many posts.

One civil aviation ministry official told the AP that standards have fallen since civilians were brought in to some middle-ranking positions. The official said inspections have become more lax, taking place once a month instead of weekly. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to talk about the industry.

The crash added to the woes for residents of Luxor. Scared off by the turmoil and tenuous security following the uprising, the number of tourists coming to Egypt fell to 9.8 million in 2011 from 14.7 million the year before, and revenues plunged 30 percent to $8.8 billion. Last year saw a slight rise, but most tourists go to the beach resorts of the Red Sea, staying away from Nile Valley sites like Luxor.

That has been devastating for the local economy, with some government estimates saying that 75 percent of the labor force is connected to tourism. Luxor's hotels are about 25 percent full in what is supposed to be the peak of the winter season.

Poverty swelled at the country's fastest rate in Luxor. In 2011, 39 percent of its population lived on less than $1 a day, compared with 18 percent in 2009, according to government figures.

Mohammed Haggag, owner of Viking, a company that runs seven balloons in Luxor, said the flight shutdown meant that the whole industry was suffering for one pilot's mistake.

"Why the mass punishment? Do you stop all flights when you have a plane crash?" he said. "You will cut the livelihoods for nearly 3,000 human beings who live on this kind of tourism."

Khaled Wanis, the owner of a shop selling tourist trinkets near Luxor Temple, said the past two years have been the worst he has ever seen.

"I can spend a week or 10 days before a customer knocks my door," he said. "Since I heard the news today, I felt ache in my heart.

"The general feeling is that Egypt is hard to visit and this is not a safe place to visit. The accident will only add to this feeling," Wanis said. "We are begging for tourists. Now, they get killed, so what do you expect?"


Associated Press writers Haggag Salama in Luxor, Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong, Jill Lawless in London, Angela Charlton in Paris, and Malcolm Foster in Tokyo contributed to this report.


Chimpanzees enjoy brainteasers, say scientists

Researchers observed chimpanzees in a London zoo solving puzzle games, even when doing so offered no reward.?

By Stephanie Pappas,?LiveScience Senior Writer / February 25, 2013

Phil the chimpanzee plays with a puzzle at the Whipsnade Zoo.

Zoological Society of London


Chimpanzees don't need to be rewarded for playing with brainteasers. Like humans with a crossword puzzle, they're motivated by the challenge alone, new research finds.

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For the study, published today (Feb. 23) in the American Journal of Primatology, researchers followed six chimpanzees at the Zoological Society of London's Whipsnade Zoo. Three of the chimps are half-brothers (Phil, Grant and Elvis), and their family group includes another male and two females.

Zookeepers gave the chimps a?homemade puzzle?made of plumbing pipes. Inside the network of pipes were two red dice. The chimps had to figure out where to poke sticks into holes in the pipes to get the dice to change directions and fall into an exit chamber. The game is based on the real-world task of using sticks to pull termites out of their nests as a snack.

The chimps also got nearly identical puzzles, which held Brazil nuts instead of dice. In these versions, the prize for figuring out the puzzle was getting to eat the Brazil nuts. [Video: Chimps Outsmart Humans in Memory Game]

"We noticed that the chimps were keen to complete the puzzle regardless of whether or not they received a food reward," study researcher Fay Clark of the Zoological Society of London said in a statement. "This strongly suggests they get similar feelings of satisfaction to humans who often complete brain games for a feel-good reward."

The brainteaser was part of the zoo's voluntary enrichment activities for the chimps, which also include treats hidden in boxes and do-it-yourself materials so the chimpanzees can build their own beds every night.

Chimps have proven adept at play and games in general. In 2011, a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B found that chimps could figure out?which characters they control?in a video game, exhibiting a grasp of the concept of their own agency. In the wild, chimpanzees play, too. One 2010 study found that young female chimps in Uganda carried sticks around and took them to bed, possibly playing with them?as if they were dolls.

Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter?@sipappas?or LiveScience?@livescience. We're also on?Facebook?&?Google+.

Copyright 2013?LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

HBT: Aaron had big ideas in commissioner pitch

Yesterday I linked that story in which Ernie Banks talked about Hank Aaron ?applying? to be the commissioner of baseball once upon a time. Last night my friend Jess Lemont sent me a news article from 1983 with some details about it. ?Seems that was when he announced his desire to replace Bowie Kuhn, who had just recently announced his resignation under pressure from the owners.

Obviously Peter Ueberroth?got the job. He then proceeded to break the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the law with his collusion schemes. That ended up costing the players and the owners hundreds of millions of dollars which in turn led to double expansion in the 1990s to pay for it. ?Good going, Pete!

What might have happened if Aaron had gotten the job instead? My theory: the owners either would not have engaged in any greedy illegal schemes or else Aaron would have resigned in protest had they tried. ?Short of that, though there there?s at least some evidence to suggest that, if he were commissioner, he might not have taken too different a course than Bud Selig took when he got the job in the early 90s. From the article, Aaron?s response when asked what changes he might institute as?commissioner:

?A major one is Interleague play. We are denying fans of both leagues the opportunity to see outstanding players and teams.?

He added that he?d push for a uniform DH rule, though he doesn?t say if he?d prefer all DH or no DH. He also pushed for two-team expansion to get the leagues up to 14 teams each. Oh, and there?s this:

Aaron, currently the Braves? director of player development, said he is not anti-player, but he supports placing a salary cap on teams? payrolls.

He goes on to talk about how the Twins can?t compete without a salary cap because Calvin Griffiths doesn?t have the money to sign free agents. Never mind that, within eight years and a couple of months the Twins will have won two World Series. Whatever the case, this is on all fours with Selig?s talking points from 1994 through around 2002 or so, which led to the most destructive work stoppage in the sports? history and nearly led to another.

Notably, Selig ? a longtime close friend of Aaron ? led the search committee that ultimately settled on Ueberroth?over Aaron. He also promised Aaron the chance to talk to the committee. Given that they remain friends I?m guessing that it wasn?t him, but rather, other owners who ?laughed? at Aaron?s candidacy, as Banks said.

Neat stuff. Thanks Jess!


Small Business Sales Mistakes | Small Business News, Ideas ...

Business motivation

My wife and I are doing a bit of a remodel on our home and as part of that we need to get some new windows. The good news is that this is not our first house project and so I have learned by now that it will, unfortunately, likely take longer and cost more than I want. That said, because we have never done windows before, I also anticipate a learning curve. So we are in the process of interviewing contractors.

Most of the contractors we have met have been great ? helping us to understand the different sorts of products that are out there, why we might want one versus another, and why their product makes sense for us. No problem there.

You may have noticed I said that ?most? of the contractors have been like that. Most is not all. ?Bob? certainly was not like that by any means. In fact, he was so bad that I am writing a blog about him today as a cautionary tale. Bob reminded me of why some people should not be in business for themselves. While he clearly knew his stuff, he equally seemed to know nothing about sales or customer service.

Bob made two major sales mistakes. First of all, he loved jargon. I mean he really loved it. Half the time I actually had no idea what he was talking about. Now, I know from experience that this is an easy trap to fall into, after all, I used to practice law, and if there is any profession that loves jargon more than lawyers I don?t know what it is.

Attorneys use jargon for the same reason Bob did ? it makes them feel smart, and they think it makes them sound smart. Of course, the truth is, it doesn?t. It is also lazy ? it is easier sometimes to speak insider language than to have to explain something to someone in plain English. ?That was the case with Bob. He was so steeped in his own knowledge that he couldn?t really see what a newcomer didn?t know.

While I stopped Bob and asked him what he meant a few times, he never seemed to catch on that his job was not to try and impress me with his knowledge, but actually his job was to help me solve my problem, my need for new windows.

If he had helped me, he could have sold me.

And that brings me to the second mistake Bob, as a salesman, made: He tried too hard to sell me. I don?t know what it is that makes any salesperson think that the hard sell will work, but the fact is, it doesn?t. No one likes to be pressured, especially when contemplating a large purchase. What works is to remember that people come to you because they have a problem or need and hope you can help them fix it.

Question: Why do people buy drills?

It is not because they need a drill. It is because they need a hole. If you help them understand the best way to solve that problem, they will reward you, but if you spend your time pushing them to buy the most expensive drill you have, they will very likely move on.

So Bob the builder is a good reminder great salespeople sell the solution, not the drill.


New Geothermal Data System Could Open Up Clean-Energy Reserves

Geologic data does not come cheap, especially when you are using it to build a multimillion-dollar geothermal power plant. Just ask Susan Petty, president and chief technology officer at AltaRock Energy. Her company is part of a $43.8-million pilot project to tap thermal energy from Oregon's Newberry Volcano. Engineers are injecting water deep underground to fracture superheated rocks and create a geothermal reservoir. Their eventual goal is to recirculate pressurized steam back to the surface to test a new kind of technology called an enhanced geothermal system (EGS). Unlike conventional power plants that rely on near-surface hydrothermal systems like springs and geysers, EGS can draw energy up to depths of three to five kilometers. Over the next 50 years, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates, EGS power plants could produce 100 gigawatts of economically viable geothermal energy, an amount equivalent to about 10 percent of the country's current electrical capacity. Yet geothermal wells need to be drilled in the right place. Without data on the distribution and quantity of geothermal energy in the upper part of the earth's crust or a volcano as a reference point, wells may not produce much energy at all. To date, two to five out of every 10 geothermal wells prospected end up dry. Petty says that, in terms of the available exploration data, the geothermal industry is in the same place oil and gas companies were during the early 1900s. Wells cost between $2 million and $5 million, meaning geothermal investors risk losing millions on poor odds, Petty says. ?The risk involved in geothermal prospecting sets the industry apart from other renewables.? The risky nature of the business could soon change, however. A wealth of geologic data from all 50 states and the Gulf of Mexico has been sitting unused in state and federal filing cabinets for decades. The Arizona Geological Survey is leading a coalition of universities and federal agencies on a nationwide treasure hunt to find and digitize these legacy data in a National Geothermal Data System (NGDS) to eliminate some of the financial risk companies like AltaRock face while prospecting for geothermal resources. Since the project's inception in 2008 under $35-million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office, collaborators have digitized information from over 1.25 million oil and gas, water, and geothermal wells and expect to have as many as three million wells in the system by the end of the year. "It has been a rescue mission," says Roland Horne, director of Stanford University?s geothermal program. Project collaborators have found a wellspring of geothermal exploratory data in basements and old file cabinets. The legacy data come from extensive surveys of geothermal resources that were funded by the states and federal government in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. A prime example is a 1975-to-1992 DOE survey of geopressured resources in the Gulf of Mexico. The survey documents data from 16 wells off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas that show geopressured and geothermal energy reserves in the Gulf exceed the energy contained in all the conventional natural gas reserves of the continental U.S. At the time, the geothermal energy could not be profitably commercialized, so the data were filed away and forgotten. Previously, getting ahold of geothermal exploration data depended on whom you knew, says Lee Allison, director of the Arizona Geological Survey. "A lot of this stuff was only available if you knew the people and could say, 'Hey, let me have access to your data,'" Allison says. One of the largest sets of geophysical data in the NGDS was collected and digitized by Southern Methodist University geophysicist David Blackwell and a team of researchers in 2011. They worked under a grant from to digitize data from 35,000 different locations. Their work shows that geothermal energy can generate three million megawatts of renewable electricity?approximately 10 times the capacity of U.S. coal power plants. The NGDS will also include research from more than 200 projects funded by $300 million in 2009 DOE stimulus funding. "The DOE decided if it is going to spend this money, then the research needs to be accessible to everyone," Petty says. "So, essentially, if you are a private company that takes money from the DOE for geothermal development, you have to feed your surveys and research data back into system." Petty says that AltaRock is getting ready to post its research on the Newberry Volcano pilot project into the data system and that the geophysical, seismic, and research data is worth around $8 million. The AZGS is working with Microsoft Research on visualization tools to make interactive 3D maps of the data. Allison says that the ultimate goal is to capture the full geologic and geophysical profile of geothermal energy reserves across the country. "All of these data will be live and accessible to anyone, using nothing more than a Web browser and open-source software." View the Interactive Map at State Geothermal Data Follow Scientific American on Twitter @SciAm and @SciamBlogs. Visit for the latest in science, health and technology news.
? 2013 All rights reserved.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Williams leads No. 16 Lobos past No. 22 Rams 91-82

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) ? Kendall Williams sank a Mountain West Conference record 10 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 46 points and No. 16 New Mexico ended No. 22 Colorado State's 27-game home-court winning streak 91-82 Saturday.

Alex Kirk added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Lobos (23-4, 10-2), increased their lead in the conference race to two games over the Rams (21-5, 8-4).

Colton Iverson had 26 points and 15 boards for the Rams, who looked like they were going to move into a first-place tie atop the standings after taking a 70-64 lead at the 6-minute mark.

Williams, who had been on the bench with four fouls, returned and hit three 3s during a 14-2 run that gave New Mexico a 78-72 lead.

His 10 3-pointers broke the conference mark of nine set by several players, most recently UNLV's Chace Stanback against Central Arkansas on Dec. 28, 2011.

Williams' previous career best was 24 points against Indiana State and New Mexico State earlier this season.

Wes Eikmeier added 22 points for the Rams and Dorian Green had 20. Eikmeier scored 11 straight at one point as Colorado State built a 55-50 lead early in the second half.

The Lobos quieted the crowd with a 12-6 run to regain the lead at 62-61, but Williams was whistled for his fourth foul and took a seat at the nine-minute mark.

He returned with the Lobos down 70-64 and sparked the comeback.

The Rams were coming off a two-point loss at UNLV on Wednesday night that snapped their six-game winning streak that began after a 66-61 loss to the Lobos in Albuquerque last month.

The Rams' last loss at home was Nov. 11, 2012, to Southern Miss, which was coached by Larry Eustachy, who is in his first season as Colorado State's coach.

Colorado State's 27-game home winning streak was the third-longest in the nation.

Williams scored 20 points in the first half, when he made five 3-pointers, and Kirk scored 12 first-half points, but the Lobos trailed 41-38 at the break. The opening 20 minutes featured eight ties and nine lead changes.

Iverson, who had 13 first-half points for the Rams, picked up his second foul with just nine-tenths of a second left in the first half when he hammered Chad Adams on his way to the basket.


Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter:


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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Adele, 'Les Miserables' cast sing on Oscar stage

LOS ANGELES (AP) ? It was an extra starry, musical day at the Dolby Theatre.

Adele took the stage first Friday, followed by the cast of "Les Miserables," singing together of the first time.

Oscar nominees Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, along with co-stars Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham-Carter, Sasha Baron-Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit and Samantha Barks rehearsed their performances on the Oscar stage. They were backed by members of the musical's stage productions from London and Broadway.

"Les Miserables" director Tom Hooper sat in the front row of the theater as his cast sang together on stage.

Moments earlier, Adele dazzled the tiny audience of show workers with her performance of the James Bond theme "Skyfall."

She giddily remarked, "We're seated in the front row!"


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Hill-Murray football coach Mauer arrested in Fridley prostitution sting


Hill-Murray High School football coach Mark Mauer was arrested Tuesday evening by Fridley police during a prostitution sting.

Mauer, 54, of Woodbury, was one of 19 men and four women arrested in a two-day sting at the LivINN Hotel on Central Avenue NE., officials said. The women are charged with prostitution and the men with soliciting.

The suspects, none of whom live in Fridley, were booked Friday at the Anoka County jail.

Mauer, a member of a St. Paul clan well-known for its athletic success ? Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer is his cousin ? was named coach at Hill-Murray last year and served as a major-gifts officer at the Catholic school in Maplewood.

According to the police report, Mauer arrived at the hotel Tuesday evening after making a date on the phone with an undercover officer, in response to an escort ad placed on an adult website. He agreed to pay her $100 for sexual intercourse, then left the room to get the money and was arrested.

Mauer told police that he was just ?messing around,? that it was ?stupid? to have gone there and that he had not intended to return when he left the room. Police said he was carrying Viagra pills.

In Mauer?s first season last year at Hill-Murray, he coached the Pioneers to an 8-3 record and the state tournament, where they lost a Class 4A quarterfinal to Holy Family.

He was head coach at Concordia University in St. Paul from 2004 to 2010 and compiled 40 victories, the most in the school?s history. Under Mauer, the team won its conference championship in 2005 and made two minor bowl appearances.

For a very brief time, Mauer was a St. Paul City Council member. After working as an aide to Council Member Dino Guerin, a childhood friend, Mauer was named to the council in 1997 when Guerin resigned to join the Ramsey County Board. But he canceled plans to run for the seat when, only a month later, he was offered a job as an assistant coach at North Dakota State University.

Mauer was a star quarterback at Harding High School in St. Paul and played football and baseball at the University of Nebraska. He has also worked as an assistant football coach at the University of Wisconsin and New Mexico State University.

This is the third time in recent years that a Hill-Murray employee has been accused of illegal sexual conduct. In 2010, former school president Joseph Peschges pleaded guilty to indecent conduct in connection with a police sting in a St. Paul park. Matthew Ricker, a former assistant boys basketball coach at Hill-Murray, pleaded guilty in 2007 to harassment for sending explicit messages to three players.



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Watch These Quadcopters Flip A Reverse Pendulum Into The Air And Catch It (No, Seriously, Watch)

scientificWhile I hate using Buzzfeed-style headlines, this video warrants the hyperbole. We're all familiar with the magic of quadcopters - they can fly in formation, roll around obstacles, and even interact with each other. This video demo, however, takes the cake. These little fellows are flying in formation while balancing a reverse pendulum. They're essentially doing baton tricks in mid-air.


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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Jobs Linux System Administrator Job Code J31420

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George Lopez Jokes 'Argo' Star Ben Affleck: 'Our Finest Latino Actor Right Now'

CBS News:

George Lopez has built a career finding humor in just about everything, from politics to his Hispanic roots.

On "CBS This Morning," the stand-up comedian and actor -- one of the voices starring in the new animated movie "Escape from Planet Earth" -- got the co-hosts laughing when he talked about Ben Affleck, star and director of the Oscar-nominated movie, "Argo," in which he plays a Latino man Tony Mendez sent to rescue Americans in Iran during the 1980 hostage crisis.

Read the whole story at CBS News

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Alexa + Chris ? Merrimans Kapalua Maui Wedding

Chris knew he wanted to get married on Maui right from the start.? He wanted to be able to surf the morning of his wedding.

Alexa took a little talking into to.? But really who can resist the blue skies, the palm trees, and the balmy temperature of Maui.

Combine Maui with these two cuties, their huge love for each other, and wedding full of gorgeous details and guests dressed to the nines and you cannot miss.

Mahalo Alexa and Chris and a huge Congratulations to you two.? This wedding is also featured on Style Me Pretty today.

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