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Thursday, 7-Apr-2011 07:43 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Judge needs time to decide

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ST. PAUL, Minn. - The federal judge overseeing the NFL players' request to lift a lockout by the owners said it will take "a couple of weeks" to rule.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson, however, urged both sides to get back to the bargaining table.

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Nelson heard arguments from lawyers for the players and NFL owners yesterday in St. Paul.

The players say their careers are being irreparably harmed by the lockout. The owners say Nelson doesn't have the jurisdiction to issue an injunction while there is a complaint before the National Labor Relations Board.

Nelson said she'd be happy to help facilitate a new bargaining session.

The lockout was imposed by owners three weeks ago after negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement broke off.

Named plaintiffs Mike Vrabel, Ben Leber, Vincent Jackson, Brian Robison and Von Miller were joined in court by veterans Tony Richardson and Charlie Batch and Hall of Famer Carl Eller. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, the three highest profile plaintiffs, did not attend.

The court appearance was the first round between the NFL and its locked-out players in their legal fight over the future of the $9 billion business - including the 2011 season.

When Nelson makes her decision, she could side with the players and grant the injunction, putting pro football back in business. Or she could side with the owners and either deny the injunction or wait to decide until the NLRB rules on the league's contention that decertification was an improper bargaining ploy.

The winner would have leverage whenever talks resume on a new CBA. However, whatever Nelson decides likely will be appealed.

The players say the lockout is causing "irreparable harm" to their careers. The injunction request accompanies the antitrust lawsuit filed against the league after labor talks broke down on March 11.

"All of these players are being affected every day by being locked out," James Quinn, a lawyer for the players, argued.

The owners say the court does not have jurisdiction to issue the injunction while the National Labor Relations Board is considering an unfair labor complaint. They characterize the players' decision to decertify the union "a sham" that compromised the collective bargaining process.

The league says it has the right to keep players from working and says the court must wait until the NLRB rules on its claim that the players didn't negotiate in good faith.

David Boies, an attorney for the NFL, argued that the players are still acting like a union, saying the NFLPA is funding the litigation and has set up other services for the players as if it were still a fully formed labor entity.

"They're financing this lawsuit," Boies said. "They're saying, 'We're no longer a collective bargaining agent, but we're going to continue to do all these things."'

Quinn dismissed the accusation, pointing to a vote that every player took to approve decertification.

"It's not some kind of tactic. It's the law," Quinn said. "It's what we're allowed to do."

Nelson said that decertification is fair because the union gives up certain rights as well, including the right to strike.

The fight is complicated and perhaps uninteresting to the average football fan when the scheduled start of the season is still 5 months away. But the fate of everyone's favorite team hangs in the balance.

"Even though football is enjoying this unprecedented popularity ... nothing is invulnerable," said David Allen Larson, a professor of labor and employment law at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn.

It's the first work stoppage in the NFL since the 1987 strike - and the first in any major U.S sports league since the NHL's lockout-lost 2004-05 season. The players balked at more financial concessions when the owners wouldn't open their books, and the owners insist the decertification of the union is a sham cooked up only to apply leverage in the fight.

Now, they don't even agree on which laws apply to the case, with the owners arguing for labor law and the players preferring antitrust rules.

Nelson pressed Boies for much of the morning, asking if the antitrust exemption the league currently enjoys applies to a lockout after the union has decertified.

"The very fact that the union planned to do this affects what they do in the collective bargaining process," Boies said.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/nfl/119384409.html#ixzz1IoyVXVRN
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Saturday, 25-Dec-2010 06:27 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Hollywood Headlines: a crazy week in review

The Bong Show
(Kevork Djansezian / IPTC)
Miley Cyrus breaks out a bong, smokes some salvia (hopefully that's not a typo) and what happens? Not much, really, aside from some short-lived scandal starring a young girl who's trying to grow up too quickly. But who took that video? Fingers are pointing to Anna Oliver, a friend of Miley's who has suddenly red bull hats
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disappeared from Twitter and other social websites. Oliver is also friends with Demi Lovato, so it's clear that the girl knows her way around teen pop star circles.Exactly what is Miley trying to achieve? Possession of salvia divinorum in California is legal. For more on Miley Cyrus, her bong and Anna Oliver, click her name.

Wednesday, 15-Sep-2010 07:22 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Costume Jewelry

Why only play dress-up for Halloween? There are plenty of ways to change your costume everyday and be a little more glamorous, a little more edgy, a little more provocative–and it doesn’t take witchcraft or a bag full of candy to get it done! Take a look at some of these fine costume jewelry pieces I’ve been hunting down to go with my own costume this holiday weekend. They’re not ghoulish, but pleasing, their not sleazy but classy. Am I getting a little too into the holiday spirit? Maybe…but you can too with some of these inexpensive costume pieces! Everyday can be Halloween, if you want it to be.
Costume jewelry and accessories are fun because they impersonate the really fancy jewelry but cut the price! What’s not to love?
Here are some of the top costume accessories on the market:

Party like it’s 1925 with this stylish headpiece.

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Friday, 20-Aug-2010 09:29 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Summer 2010 Trend All White Ensembles

With summer temps are hitting the high eighties, it's time to dress in cooled down tones. Why not channel the runway looks showcased at Calvin Klein, Fendi, Stella McCartney and more, and pop into an all white ensemble?To wear this look and not appear too holy or starchy, consider a tropical approach. (Who doesn't love an all white getup while swanning about in the Caribbean?) Take louche, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable material for daytime excursions when the heat is at its highest. If you're going for a night out, when the weather will be a bit chillier, those perfect white jeans with a fitted tank will serve as a cute casual option. A shorter dress might be appropriate for a more upscale occasion but make sure it has an interesting detail to help you stand out from the crowd. Intricate draping, one-shoulder pouf, or interesting fabrication such as eyelet or vintage lace will keep the frock from appearing too nurse-y. Aside from a smashing tan, lucite accessories truly compliment an all white ensemble. A stack of clear bangles will provide polish. But if its colored gemstones that you prefer, consider turquoise jewelry. Whether its new and modern or lovable vintage, it will add an impressive pop to your breezy holiday-themed look. 

Thursday, 12-Aug-2010 14:54 Email | Share | | Bookmark
To quench your thirst, plain old water is best

While all beverages hydrate your body, only water doesn’t come with a heavy freight of calories or trick your brain into consuming too much
It’s a question I’m often asked by calorie-conscious clients in my private practice: What can I drink besides plain, boring water?
Of course, there are plenty of options to quench your thirst besides tap water. Soft drinks, diet soft drinks, fruit juice, flavoured waters, vitamin-enriched waters, milk, soy beverages, even coffee and tea contribute to your daily water requirements. But while all of these beverages hydrate your body, they’re not created equal when it comes to weight control or health. It’s as important to consider what you sip each day as it is what you chew. Your body can’t live without water. It delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells, flushes toxins from organs, regulates body temperature, keeps your skin moist and cushions your joints. Drinking enough water can even keep your appetite in check. So what should you drink that won’t sabotage your health? I’m afraid plain water is your best hydration choice: It’s calorie-free and void of additives. If you want flavour, add sliced citrus fruit, crushed mint leaves or a splash of pomegranate or cranberry juice. Or make ice cubes from 100 per cent fruit juice and add two to a glass of water. Sparkling water, such as club soda or mineral water, is another option for folks who find flat water boring. Despite the myth that carbonated water robs calcium from your bones, there’s not a shred of evidence to support this. If mineral water is your main source of water, be mindful of sodium. Naturally occurring, sodium is listed on the label in parts per million, equivalent to milligrams of sodium per litre. San Pellegrino is virtually sodium-free with 43 milligrams per litre, or 10 milligrams per 250 millilitres. Apollinaris delivers 102 milligrams of sodium per 250 ml (410 mg/l), so go easy on how many glasses you gulp each day. (Adults aged 19 to 50 need 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day; older adults require 1,200 to 1,300,)When deciding what else to drink, you also need to consider calories, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, chemical additives and caffeine. Experts recommend that your beverage intake not exceed 14 per cent of your daily calories. That’s because sipping too many calories can lead to weight gain. Unlike when they’ve eaten a larger meal or snack, people don’t compensate by eating less later when they’ve consumed a high-calorie drink. The body doesn’t register liquid calories as carefully as it does calories from solid food. If you’re consuming 2,000 calories a day, you shouldn’t drink more than 280 of those calories (say, 500 ml/16 ounces of 1 per cent milk and 175ml/six ounces of Gatorade). If you’re following a 1,500-calorie-a-day weight-loss plan, liquid calories should not exceed 210 – the equivalent of a Starbucks Grande non-fat latte and 175ml/six ounces of orange juice. Here’s how other beverages stack up when it comes to health. (You might find that plain old water isn’t so boring after all.) Soft drinks The term “soft drink” refers to any beverage with added sugar or other sweetener and includes pop, fruit punch, lemonade, sweetened iced tea, sweetened powdered drinks such as Kool-Aid and sports and energy drinks. Most of us know these sugary concoctions – typically containing eight teaspoons worth per 375ml (12-ounce) serving – aren’t good for us. A steady intake is linked not only to weight gain, but to a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Cola-type beverages (diet or non-diet) are made with phosphoric acid, an additive that can deplete calcium from bones if consumed in excess. Sports drinks such as Gatorade and PowerAde are intended to be used when exercising. They provide water, carbohydrate and electrolytes. For sedentary folks, they’re just another source of refined sugar and sodium. Energy drinks have enough caffeine to raise your blood pressure, and those sweetened with sugar contain seven teaspoons worth per 250-ml/eight-ounce serving. Avoid soft drinks. Consider them a treat to be consumed only once in a while. If you drink them more often, compensate for the calories elsewhere in your diet. Diet drinks Switching to sugar-free drinks would seem to solve the problem of calories and weight gain. One concern, however, is that artificial sweeteners separate sweetness from energy. Normally, our brain responds to sweetness with signals to consume more calories, register they’ve been consumed, and then stop eating. But by providing a sweet taste without calories, artificial sweeteners could confuse these signals and impair the body's ability to gauge how many calories are being taken in. In other words, if you learn to associate sweet tastes with few calories, even a high-calorie dessert may fail to fill you up. Studies support this notion. When rats were fed food sweetened with saccharin, they took in more calories and gained more weight than rats fed sugar-sweetened food. An eight-year study of nearly 3,700 adults showed that those who drank three or more artificially sweetened beverages a day were more likely to have gained weight than those who didn't drink them. If you drink artificially sweetened beverages at all, limit yourself to one a day. Vitamin-enriched water Most of these beverages are soft drinks in disguise. Glaucéau VitaminWater delivers 120 calories worth of table sugar (7.5 teaspoons) per 591-ml (40-ounce) bottle. Aquafina Plus+ Vitamins contains 6.25 teaspoons of sugar (100 calories) per 591-ml bottle. If you’re concerned about your nutrient intake, you’re better off chasing a multivitamin supplement with a glass of water. Milk and soy beverages Skim and 1 per cent milk, as well as unflavoured soy milk, supply protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. These are healthy beverages, but be mindful that they contain roughly 100 calories per 250 ml. 100 per cent fruit juice Juice contains vitamins, but it’s higher in calories than you might think. A 12-ounce (375 ml) serving of orange juice has 167 calories and 30 grams of sugar. Limit yourself to one four-to-six-ounce serving per day. Eat whole fruit more often than you drink juice. Coffee and tea They’re calorie-free as long as you don’t load up on sugar and cream. And they may have health benefits, thanks to their antioxidant content. For most people, it’s safe to drink up to five servings a day. However, women who are pregnant and people with high blood pressure or osteoporosis should limit their caffeine intake.

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