Monday, June 23, 2008

Girls-- Get Your Creative Game On!

RJ Note: Come on. Get off that sofa and out of the pool. This sounds like a fun activity for a hot summer day.

Girls-- Get Your Creative Game On!
Rack Rooms Shoes Announces Shoe Naming Contest for Girls 7-12

The Milly’s? The Emma’s? The Cindy’s? Just like girls themselves, girls shoes go by very cool names these days. Since it can be such a tough job to think of all these highly creative brand names, Rack Room Shoes is asking some of its most important customers to weigh in. Girl’s ages 7 to 12 are invited to enter their most creative shoe name and even a logo design if they like, for Rack Room Shoes 2008 Name That Shoe Contest!

Entering is easy. Sales associates at any Rack Room Shoe stores will happily provide an entry form or the entry forms and rules can be downloaded from “This is a fun way to get our younger customers involved in the process. We encourage them to get creative, and share their most zany, brainy or fun shoe names. They can also sketch a logo for the shoe if they like, it’s optional,” says Jan Mauldin, Rack Room Shoes director of marketing. Entry forms must be returned to stores or mailed by July 12, 2008. A parent or legal guardians signature is required on the form.

Rack Room Shoes creative team will select a winner based on originality. The Winner will receive a year’s worth of free shoes (valued at $600) and a $1,000 scholarship. The Winner and their shoe name will also be featured on the Rack Room Shoes website.

“You can enter as often as you like,” says Mauldin. “We’re counting on getting flooded with entries from all the up-and-coming shoe lovers, designers and marketers out there!”

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hopkins in Egypt Today: Summer 2008

RJ Note: This sounds like a lot of fun. Join in on the archaeology dig in Egypt.

Follow along online as Johns Hopkins University Egyptologist Betsy Bryan and her team of graduate students, artists, conservators and photographers expand their investigation of Mut Temple this summer, turning their attention to the temple's Sacred Lake. Bryan and her crew are once again in Luxor, Egypt, sharing their work via "Hopkins in Egypt Today," their popular digital diary offering a virtual window into day-to-day life on an archaeological dig.

With new posts appearing daily through mid-July, visitors to "Hopkins in Egypt Today" at will find photos of Bryan and her colleagues working on site in Luxor. In collaboration with the American Research Center in Egypt, which also supports Johns Hopkins' work inside the temple proper, Bryan will excavate on the northeast arm of the lake after ARCE's engineers have drained the lake. Excavation will proceed from the region of an ancient stone dock in a swath around 20 meters in breadth down into the basin of the drained lake. Any materials found in the lake bed will be conserved and desalinated near the bank of the lake before being transferred to a protected environment. The primary goal of this brief dig is to develop procedures for more extensive excavation of the lake next year. The lake will be refilled with less saline water after the work is completed in July and will be drained again next winter when the dig resumes.

The team will consist of former Johns Hopkins graduate student Violaine Chauvet, now a lecturer in Egyptology at University of Liverpool in England; photographers Jay Van Rensselaer and Will Kirk; Hiroko Kariya, stone conservator; Will Schenck and Keli Alberts, artists; Lotfi Hassan, conservator; and three Johns Hopkins graduate students, Ashley Fiutko, Shaina Norvell-Cold, and Meredith Fraser, all of whom are finishing their first-year studies.

Joining the team in Egypt later this month will be Edward Bouwer, Abel Wolman Professor of Environmental Engineering and chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins. Bouwer's role will be to provide advice and recommendations on water management and contamination issues. The water quality in the lake is poor because of excess nutrients and salts and potential contamination from herbicides sprayed to control vegetation, Bouwer said. The water supply and quality issues influence the disposal of the water, and there are concerns about exposure to the excavators. Bouwer will also help with a plan to maintain good water quality in lake after the restoration project is completed.

The goal of the "Hopkins in Egypt Today" Web site is to educate visitors by showing them the elements of archaeological work in progress. The daily photos and detailed captions emphasize not only discoveries, but the teamwork among Bryan, her colleagues, students and their "gufti," the local crew members who are trained in archaeology. That teamwork is essential to a successful dig, Bryan said. The Web site typically garners more than 50,000 hits every winter, when the dig ordinarily is active.

According to Bryan, modern-day Luxor is rich in finds from ancient Egypt's New Kingdom, like the major discovery made by the Johns Hopkins team in 2006: a 3,400-year-old nearly intact statue of Queen Tiy, one of the queens of the powerful king Amenhotep III. Bryan has said that the statue is "one of the true masterpieces of Egyptian art." Bryan is the Alexander Badawy Professor in Egyptian Art and Archaeology at Johns Hopkins. Her work is funded by grants from the American Research Center in Egypt and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

World Population Approaches 7 Billion

RJ Note: Don't know about you, but I'm feeling the need to spread out. Feeling a little crowded, I guess.

World population is projected to reach 7 billion in 2012, according to
the U.S. Census Bureau. The world population hit 6 billion in 1999.

These figures come from the updated world population estimates and
projections released today through the Census Bureau’s International Data
Base (IDB). The IDB provides information on population size and growth, age
and sex composition, mortality, fertility and net migration. The data are
available for 226 countries and other selected geographies.

This revision to the IDB includes updated projections for 34 countries.
Compared to previous estimates, this revision indicates that the world
population will be 146 million larger in 2050.

The Census Bureau’s latest projections show world population growing
at a slower pace during the first half of the 21st century than the latter
half of the 20th century. The world population doubled from 3 billion in
1959 to 6 billion in 1999, but is projected to increase by only 50 percent
between 1999 and 2040.

Global population growth, about 1.2 percent per year, is projected to
decline to 0.5 percent by 2050. However, this growth will be concentrated
in less-developed countries.

About 1.5 percent of the current global population is 80 or older, with
more than half living in developed countries. By 2050, about 5 percent of
the world’s population is projected to be 80 or older, with about three in
four likely to be living in less-developed countries. For developed
countries, the percentage of the population 80 or older will grow to about
10 percent in 2050.

World population estimates and projections include the impact of HIV and
AIDS. Of the 34 countries updated in this revision, nine are hard hit by
this pandemic (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire [Ivory Coast], Eritrea, Ethiopia,
Guinea, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the Central African Republic).
Data for other countries seriously affected by HIV and AIDS are also
available from the International Data Base.

The International Data Base offers online users a choice of ways to
retrieve demographic data, including:

· Country summary pages showing key population indicators <>

· Tables of demographic indicators for countries and regions <>

· Population pyramids showing age and sex composition <>.

For more information about this update, including the list of updated
countries, visit

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Secretary Handel Reminds Citizens to Register to Vote for July 15 General Primary

RJ Note: If you haven't registered to vote, now is the time. Then go to the Fayette Front Page and check out the candidates on the Candidate Corner.

Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel today reminded voters that the deadline to register to vote to be eligible to cast a ballot in the July 15, 2008 General Primary is Monday, June 16, 2008.

To register to vote in Georgia, you must be a citizen of the United States, a legal resident of Georgia and of the county in which you plan to vote, and at least 18 years old by Election Day. You may not register to vote if you are currently serving any sentence imposed by the conviction of a felony or judicially determined to be mentally incompetent.

Citizens who are not registered to vote in the county in which they reside must submit a voter registration application by the deadline in order to vote in the General Primary. Citizens that are registered to vote at a former address within the county where they reside are encouraged to submit a change of address card to their county registrar. Voters who are currently registered at the correct address do not need to submit a new voter registration application.

You can download and complete a voter registration application by visiting the 2008 Elections Center on the Secretary of State’s website:

You can also contact your local county registrars' office, public library, public assistance office, recruitment office, schools and other government offices for a mail-in registration form. Voter registration is offered when renewing or applying for a driver's license at any Georgia Department of Driver Services office. College students can obtain Georgia voter registration forms from their school registrar's office or from the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Secretary Handel also reminds voters that Georgia law requires registered voters to show photo identification when voting in person. This photo identification requirement applies in the July 15 General Primary and all future elections. When voting absentee by mail, photo identification is not required.

Voters casting ballots in person, either through advance voting or on Election Day, will be required to show one of the following forms of acceptable photo ID when they vote:

· A Georgia driver’s license, even if expired;

· Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free Voter ID Card issued by your county registrar or Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS);

· Valid U.S. passport;

· Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority, or other entity of this state;

· Valid U.S. military photo ID; or

· Valid tribal photo ID.

Voters who do not have a form of identification listed above are eligible to receive a free Georgia Voter ID from their county elections office. Voters who have questions are encouraged to call the Georgia Secretary of State’s Voter ID Hotline at (877) 725-9797 or visit our website at
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