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== Everything you need to know ==
 
  
Dear Joe,
 
 
I know that I go to a tough school, but I can’t take any more whining. I’m surrounded by complainers, and feel as if they’re always raining on my parade. Any ideas on how to change their attitudes, or make me more complaint resistant?
 
 
—Whiny in West Wing
 
 
Dear Whiny,
 
 
You would think that living in a wonderful city, receiving a great education, and having the world at your fingertips make you happy. Unfortunately, Whiny, for those who are always trying to take from the world, nothing is ever good enough. A week-long vacation to a community college in Bulgaria would teach them a lesson in being thankful. As much as we would like to change the wave of negativity that floats around campus, there’s not much we can do. Like sun radiation, or [http://www.inugg.com/  ugg boots], some experiences simply have to be dealt with. The difference is the protective measures we take against them. Avoid unreasonably negative people. For instance, those who complain about cookies, funk music, and high fives are suspect for investigation.
 
 
You should probably note that all people can be whiny at some times. It’s a natural product of being overworked and eating at Skibo Coffeehouse. An important responsibility of friendship is helping friends feel better. When a friend is starting into the downward spiral of misery, try to lift him out before it’s too late. And contrary to popular belief, LEN’s law does not occur. No matter how helpful you are in spreading your optimism, no one will steal your sunshine.
 
 
Turn that frown upside down, Joe
 
 
Dear Joe,
 
 
Don’t laugh at me, but I have a stamp collection. Even for being a Carnegie Mellon student, I get harassed every day for searching through catalogs and the Internet to find that perfect stamp. Why is everyone so hostile toward stamps?
 
 
—Posted in Porter
 
 
Dear Posted, If you were five years old, I would say that everyone is just jealous of your totally awesome stamp collection. The fact of the matter is: stamp collecting is dorky, even at Carnegie Mellon. Your activity falls into the “classical nerd” category. These are tasks considered “cool” to nerds 40 years ago, but now have given way to blogging, Internet gaming, and hygiene. Examples of classical nerd activities include wearing suspenders, bug or stamp collecting, cartography, and pen pals. Unfortunately, these activities are feverishly fun, which means they’re hard to get rid of when you realize that Eisenhower’s not in power.
 
 
Does this mean that you should give up your passion? Absolutely not, Posted. Fight the good fight and defend your quirky and somewhat antiquated hobbies. It’s people like you who tell the world how everything is sorted or what kind of glue goes best with balsa wood for that perfect model plane. Maybe the newer nerds aren’t impressed with your toys, but so be it. At least collecting stamps doesn’t result in repetitive stress injury.
 
 
 
 
Return to Sender, Joe
 
 
== 'Ladyboys' roused to devour the gods of our imaginations ==
 
 
In an ideal world, you'd think Saturday would mark the decommissioning of cliche. You'd hope it would deposit a stark, bailiff's squiggle under the little, satirical jibes we so enjoy at Leinster's expense.
 
 
After all, they roughed up just about everything we mistook for knowledge in Croke Park. It was like seeing Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen cut loose with a chainsaw.
 
 
See, we still can't really help ourselves.
 
 
As evening bled into night across Dublin, it was quite something to sweep down towards O'Connell Street, this strange blue army tramping in a blur of Chinos and dockers and [http://www.inugg.co.uk  Ugg boots].
 
 
Odd, plummy voices pierced the air with cries of revolution, people who wouldn't ordinarily get vexed in the presence of a burglar now marching with chests expanded like great bay windows.
 
 
"I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams," says Andy Dufresne in 'The Shawshank Redemption'. Now Leinster know it is, Andy. First time you see it, it's bluer than a field of cornflowers.
 
 
What did Saturday tell us? Maybe that even the most lampooned and put-upon creature eventually locates a temper. The much derided 'ladyboys' devoured a side we had, in our imaginations, put up somewhere with the gods.
 
 
In our understanding, Munster, you see, stood for everything that was real and identifiably heroic in rugby. Leinster amounted to a grandiose conceit. We just gathered to watch nature do its cull.
 
 
== Kim Sterin hosts Research Symposium at University of Maryland ==
 
 
Kim Sterin, a graduate of Archmere Academy, The Independence School and longtime Delaware resident, recently produced the Honors Humanities’ 2nd annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Maryland,  College Park. The daylong conference was centered on the theme of “Re-imagining the Political Sphere: Critical Thought and Social Justice in Everyday Life” which aimed to engage participants in open dialogue about new approaches to politics with an investment in creating a more socially just world. The research presented reached beyond the traditional notion of politics by recognizing the political issues present in all facets of life from identity construction to popular culture. It featured 14 panel discussions and a keynote speaker, Dr. Diana Owen of Georgetown University. Kim also participated as a panelist and presented her two year long Keystone project, a requirement as a President’s scholar in the Honors Humanities program at Maryland. This subset of the Honors program is regarded as the premier program at the University and is limited to talented undergraduates with interests in the humanities and creative arts. The rigorous and specialized curriculum explores the dynamic history of the humanities, practical applications in the arts, and foundational issues in the disciplines of the humanities. Kimberly’s deans list performance in this program culminated with the book she published of original poetry along with critical essays about contemporary American culture. Entitled, “Busting through the Billboards with my [http://www.inugg.co.uk  Ugg boots]” it creatively directs transformational thinking about American consumer culture and its effects on everyday life. She is the daughter of Jay and Maryann Sterin and will earn undergraduate degrees in both English and Spanish in 2011, along with a citation in Honors Humanities and the Jimenez-Porter Writer’s House.
 
 
== Different Types of Uggboots ==
 
 
[http://www.inugg.com/  ugg boots] are available in a multitude of sizes, colors, styles and fabric options. And it is no longer necessary to know someone living “down under” in Australia who can hook you up with a pair. Retailers nationwide and around the globe are stocking these best-sellers. It is even possible for you to own a pair without even having to leave the comfort of your own home. There are countless Internet web sites selling this hot item. Of course, once you receive your brand new pair of [http://www.inugg.com/  uggs], you will want to get out of the house and show them off!
 
 
Uggboots are made in sizes that will fit every member of the family – infants, children, women and men. Full sizes, half sizes, and all sizes in between are available, if you willing to spend the time looking. But don’t worry; it will not take long to find the perfect size. What may be difficult is picking out the perfect color.
 
 
Chestnut, black, lilac, blue, pink, brown and natural sand are just a few of the many different color options that you can find for [http://www.inugg.com/  uggboots]. In fact, these trendy boots are so fashionable that you will want to purchase several pairs in different colors. Imagine owning different colored Uggboots to wear to match your different moods. Red is sure to be an attention-getter. Natural give the wearer that casual look. Pink is perfect for that flirty, girly look. And classic black is a color that is sure to go with everything. Uggboots are available in a variety of fashionable styles. You can purchase tall Uggboots or short. If you are unable to decide between tall or short, you can split the difference and get the three-quarter boot length. And if wearing the popular boot by day is not enough for you, they are even available in a slipper style. The latest style to hit the market is a clog style. And more styles are arriving every day.
 
 
And there are more. The tall Uggboot style can be found with additional fleece detail on the outside , making this style the ultimate in femininity. When practicality is more important looks, Uggboots are available with a tough molded sole and additional reinforcement in the heel and toe area. This style is great for wearing in slippery areas where traction and resistance can help the wearer avoid potentially dangerous falls.
 
 
And the exterior look does not end with color or with sheepskin. These boots are also available in your choice of suede or leather on the outside. A high-quality [http://www.inugg.com/  uggboot] will with pure Australian merino sheepskin, but imitation fabrics abound. Zippers and straps and elasticized sides are just a few of the other options that will change the look of this must-have boot.
 
 
Big, clunky soles or smooth soles, tumbled leather or milky-smooth leather, real sheepskin or an imitation, short, tall, or somewhere in between, Uggboots are the “in” thing to have in your closet this season. And you’re sure to find a pair that fits your budget.
 
 
== The Look: Towson's biggest fashion mishaps ==
 
 
A recent letter to the editor titled "When did North Face jackets become Towson's official uniform?" got me thinking about some of the groupthink on-campus trends I've noticed this winter.
 
 
Despite the fact that many of our parents are being laid off left and right, almost every girl on campus can be seen sporting The North Face Women's Denali Jacket, which on The North Face Web site runs at $165. Pretty pricey for Polartec fleece.
 
 
What confuses me about the Denali's popularity, however, isn't the fact that so many girls are willing to shell out almost 200 bucks to own the new "in" jacket. What confuses me is their choice in brand name.
 
 
Just read the details on the jacket listed on The North Face Web site: "A favorite among outdoor enthusiasts, the Denali Jacket offers straight-forward comfort and warmth in cold weather excursions."
 
 
Ladies, we live in central Maryland.
 
 
I'd hardly call trekking to P-tux in that ice storm we had earlier in the semester a "cold weather excursion."
 
 
The true fashion crime being committed isn't the use of the Denali in place of a winter coat (I hear they are actually much warmer than they appear).
 
 
The outfit combination that a surprising majority of the women on campus seem to wear on a regular basis is what makes me cringe.
 
 
I submit the revised Towson University uniform for the female population: A North Face Denali Jacket, a black tights and a pair of [http://www.inugg.com/  ugg boots].
 
 
For the ideal winter outfit, I see several flaws in its design.
 
 
Flaw one: the black tights are worn in place of pants.
 
 
Apart from the risk of what can only be described as "wicked camel toe," tights used in place of pants can be used to effectively compliment a mini-dress or any article of clothing that reaches well past one's genital region.
 
 
Because the Denali lies just above the crotch, this rule does not apply.
 
 
Even though the Denali offers both "comfort and warmth," winter is not the best season to forgo pants.
 
 
Even though your torso and feet may remain warm in fleece and fur, nothing is going to be warming the most exposed part of your body.
 
 
Flaw two: no matter what your body type, this outfit does nothing to flatter it.
 
 
The Denali is neither form-fitting nor loose and wavy.
 
 
For the upper half of your body, it compliments little more than a hoodie or sweatshirt would.
 
 
The black tights leave nothing to the imagination, as they hug every inch of the calf and thigh.
 
 
And I don't think anyone really needs another reason to hate [http://www.inugg.com/  uggs].
 
 
And lastly, flaw three: you look absolutely ridiculous.
 
 
What makes a lasting style is its versatility.
 
 
Scarves have become so popular because of the variety of colors, patterns, styles and ways to wear them.
 
 
Layers can be worn by multiple girls on campus everyday because accessories can be used to give a plain outfit originality.
 
 
The North Face Denali Jacket, black tights and a pair of [http://www.inugg.com/  uggboots], no matter if you change the color of the jacket or tights or the design of the boots, will remain unoriginal, unproductive and unforgivable by fashionable society.
 
 
== Cobbling together a traditional expertise ==
 
 
From brothel creepers to [http://www.inugg.com/  ugg boots], cobbler Dennis Clarke can chart his career through fashions in shoes.
 
 
And as the 71-year-old nears the end of his career, business has never been so good.
 
 
“The credit crunch has been good for us,” he says. “People are getting their shoes repaired instead of buying new ones.”
 
 
Mr Clarke took over the tiny shop in Bell Street, Wolverhampton, opposite the shiny new Wulfrun Centre in 1967. He was offered a unit in the shopping flagship but never gave it serious consideration.
 
 
“I wasn’t going to pay their fantastic rates and rent,” he says. “And it’s worked out well. I charge a few quid less than the repairers in the shopping centre but they’ve got carpets and nice clean counters.”
 
 
Dennis’s glass display counter is randomly stuffed with laces, inner soles and used plastic bags. Shoes ready for collection are piled high on shelves on the left of the counter. A sign warns customers that any footwear not claimed within three months will be sent for recycling. A surprising number fall into this category.
 
 
Mr Clarke started in the cobbling business in 1953, working in Blackheath, Brierley Hill and Dudley for Modern Shoe Repairs, later taken over by Mr Minet.
 
 
After National Service and a spell at Smart Shoe Repairs in Wolverhampton, he opened Densen’s Cobblers with business partner Eric Cartwright and another shop in Dudley Road.
 
 
After Eric died in 1983, Dennis just kept on the Bell Street business. The finishing machine dominates the narrow workshop at the back. Its multitude of functions include levelling heels before he starts works on them, trimming soles and giving the shoes a shine.
 
 
Unlike most cobblers, Dennis also has a stitching machine. Nearly all soles and heels these days are stuck on but only an old-fashioned stitch will do for welted shoes. Generously he allows his mates in the cobbling world to use the machine when they need it. Airguns have taken the place of hammers for knocking nails into soles.
 
 
“But when it breaks down, you’ll find me with nails in my mouth hammering away, just like an old-time cobbler,” he chuckles.
 
 
He also uses the nails as a code to record when a pair of shoes was brought in, knocking in an extra nail in the right shoe to identify the month - under the fourth nail for April, for example - while the left shoe indicates which week of the month. “If people want to argue about when they left them, I just turn them over and look at the soles.”
 
 
Another relic in this retail gem is the cash register which is pre-digital and can only ring up single figures. He closes Sundays and half-day Thursdays and says he wouldn’t know what to do with himself if he retired.
 
 
But after 56 years in the business, it is now a consideration. He adds: “I like work, so I’ll hang on until they close me down.”
 
 
== Mary O’Rourke rode to the defence of her Fianna Fáil sister  ==
 
 
Mary O’Rourke rode to the defence of her Fianna Fáil sister. “To taunt and say silly things across the chamber – calling people Marie Antoinette, for example – is puerile and infantile . . . To think anybody would approach with delight saying to people that a Christmas bonus will not be paid would mean that person is very sadistic.”
 
 
Mary Hantoinette nodded in agreement from her ministerial chair.
 
 
Then Mammy O’Rourke made an interesting observation, which suggests that the Government may yet be contemplating pulling a nice little stroke for Christmas by restoring the Santy bonus in the nick of time.
 
 
“The Minister opened a chink in the argument last night . . . and indicated that if there was a chance of giving this Christmas bonus, she would grasp the opportunity and encourage the Minister for Finance to do so as well . . . I add my voice to this and will continue to do so.
 
 
“As the months go by and Christmas approaches, we hope there will be some avenue which could be further explored for the partial or whole payment of this Christmas bonus.”
 
 
Again, Mary Hantoinette nodded her agreement.
 
 
Let us hope this is the case, if only to cheer up Labour’s Ciarán Lynch, who waxed Dickensian during his contribution, which he began by quoting the opening line of A Christmas Carol.
 
 
He painted a heart-rending picture of aged grannies without as much as a turkey leg to chew on over the festive season, unable to buy [http://www.inugg.co.uk  Ugg boots] for their ragged grandchildren and bottles of whiskey for their rat-arsed neighbours.
 
 
But, like Scrooge, Mary Hantoinette might still see the light. A Christmas Carol is a story of redemption, sniffed Ciarán, moist of eye.
 
 
There wasn’t dry seat in the House by the time he finished.
 
 
== Columbia Sportswear , Deckers Drop; Sector Gains ==
 
 
NEW YORK - Retail shares opened higher Friday while Columbia Sportswear Co. and Deckers Outdoor Corp. both declined after their outlooks fell short of Wall Street expectations. The S&P Retail Index rose 0.6% to 331.17. Columbia Sportswear shares declined 9.2%. Deckers, which sells [http://www.inugg.co.uk  Ugg boots], fell 3.8%.
 

Latest revision as of 10:25, 12 May 2009

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