Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol

If the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol came knocking at my door with their $10 million check, I’d (after the obligatory whooping and hollering for the cameras) be ordering plane tickets so I could spend my winter where there is no winter. Perhaps follow Mr. Sun on his southward trek to Argentina. November through February in Buenos Aires, the Paris of the southern hemisphere, would be nice.

Where did summer go? Wasn’t it just yesterday, in the exuberance of spring’s balmy breezes, daffodils, and birdsong, that I was putting into the ground the young plants that now, bedraggled and ratty, I’m pulling up?

I bid sad farewell to the tomato plants that, despite their head-high reach, produced few tomatoes. Too hot to set fruit, the experts said. For a two-week period in July, though, there was a glorious abundance, enough even to share with neighbors. But, as hundred-degree day followed hundred-degree day, they just sulked.

Usually, with summer’s wane, there would be a goodly number of green tomatoes to be picked for ripening inside the house over coming weeks. This year, zilch, nada — just barren head-high plants.

Somewhere toward the end of August, one plant that I’d grown from seed — an heirloom variety, the name of which I now haven’t a clue — produced a lone tomato that, by the time it was ripe, was almost as big as my cupped hands and weighed almost a pound.

In all my years on this planet, I’ve never grown such a tomato. If it had been county fair time, it certainly would’ve won a prize ribbon. When I sliced it to eat, it was like red, juicy butter, its taste sublime — every supermarket excuse-for-a-tomato would cringe in shame at its deliciousness.
I wish I could remember the variety, or even where I got the seed, so next year I could plant more. It will be the tomato against which all future tomatoes are judged.

Although days can still be hot through October, with lingering sweaty humidity, sunrise is later, dark comes earlier, nights and early mornings are colder. Shadows lengthen, sunlight is more golden, diffuse; yellow fall butterflies flit through the air, seeking nectar in the remaining blossoms; woolly worms are crossing the roads, going who-knows-where, and soon 10 million dead leaves will need to be raked.

In early September, even before the nights began cooling and the pollen from giant ragweed began blowing about, my sinuses knew the season was changing. From now until next March I’ll gobble antihistamines to try and suppress sneezes and sniffles.

I am not a fan of winter — don’t like the cold, rainy, dreary, too-short days, the dull, gray, featureless landscape, the too much forced confinement to indoors.

If the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol came knocking at my door with their $10 million check, I’d (after the obligatory whooping and hollering for the cameras) be ordering plane tickets so I could spend my winter where there is no winter. Perhaps follow Mr. Sun on his southward trek to Argentina. November through February in Buenos Aires, the Paris of the southern hemisphere, would be nice.

Dream on. Instead, I’ll shiver and sniffle through another winter as best I can, a passel of good books at the ready, dreaming of next summer’s tomatoes…

Target Niche
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Daylight Savings 2011: When It Ends And Why We Use it

No, it's not your imagination. You really have waited longer to get that extra hour of sleep this year.

In fact, Daylight Saving Time (DST) comes to an end on the morning of Sunday, November 6, when you move the clocks back one hour. Or, you forget to move the clocks back one hour and find yourself at work an hour early before the office lights are even turned on.

The extended DST began back in 2007, after the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 came into effect and the clocks were set back one hour on the first Sunday of November instead of the last Sunday of October, reports International Business Times. They also changed the start of DST to the second Sunday of March from the first Sunday of April.

There's been a number of conflicting reports about how much energy is saved from Daylight Saving Time. Back in the 1970's, studies showed we saved 1% of energy nationally, which was a big motivation for adopting DST. On the one hand, states like California argue the energy savings are negligible. But another report published in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Energy concluded 4 weeks extra of daylight savings time could conserve 1.3 trillion watt-hours per day, enough to power 100,000 homes for a year, reports Scientific American.

Though Benjamin Franklin first came up with the idea in 1784, explains, DST wasn't used until World War I to conserve energy. The U.S. observed year-round DST during World War II and implemented it during the energy crisis in the 1970's, notes the Scientific American.

Not everyone across the U.S. observes Daylight Saving Time, including Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.

A post by Chris Kline on discusses why most of Arizona doesn't observe the time change: "According to an Arizona Republic editorial from 1969, the reason was the state's extreme heat. If Arizona were to observe Daylight Saving Time, the sun would stay out until 9 p.m. in the summer (instead of 8 p.m., like it does currently)."

NOTE: The technical term for the occasion is daylight saving time, not daylight savings time.
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Kim Kardashian’s Engagement Ring From Kris $2 Million

Kris Humphries put a ring on Kim Kardashian, and it certainly cost him. Kim’s bling not only weighs down her hand, but, reportedly,  Kris’ wallet.

According to TMZ, Kim’s engagement ring is “worth almost half as much as her Beverly Hills mansion” and sources tell the site it’s valued at $2 million.


The ring was designed by Lorraine Schwartz and features a 16.5 carat emerald-cut diamond flanked by two 2-carat trapezoids, TMZ reports, for a grand total of 20.5 carats.

Sources tell TMZ, the ring is of “the highest clarity and color.”


Kim confirmed her happy news on Twitter, writing, “It’s true… Kris and I are engaged!”

She also shared this message on her blog: “OMGGGGGGG!!!!!!!! It’s true! I couldn’t be happier! Thank you guys for all of the sweet messages!!! I finally found my missing puzzle piece, I’m complete!”
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Hilary Duff Pregnant

Hilary Duff Pregnant
Actress Hilary Duff got the good news before the first birthday party of her marriage to Mike Comrie this weekend. The good news: Duff pregnant.

"This weekend Mike and I celebrated our one year wedding. I do not suspect it was over a year. Time flies when you live it with joy!" so the actress 23 years writing this in her Facebook account.

"We also wanted to share the happy news that the baby ..... make our family members to be three! We are very excited and ready to open a new chapter in our lives," added Duff. "Thanks to everyone who continues to love us and support us for years!"

Duff and Comrie, 30, married in Santa Barbara, Calif., last year. They first met at a resort in Idaho in 2007.

In the May Duff confessed she and her husband who is a professional hockey player does not want to rush to become parents. But they have discussed to have a child.

"We've talked about it. Yes we are very pleased to make it happen, but first I want to do more," said Duff told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover moment, when asked when they plan on having children.
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About Pornichet


Pornichet is a coastal town of the Côte d'Amour, located a tens of kilometers west of Saint-Nazaire.
The adjacent towns are Saint-Nazaire and La Baule-Escoublac.

Physical geography

The town of Pornichet is located

    * on the line sillon de Guérande, orientated NW-SE ; the town border is located on the Route de Guérande, D392d, at approximately 4 km from the shore, at a place called Pont de Terre (railway junction) at the Quatre Vents ;
    * on a coastal rock belt located upfront of the sillon de Guérande (same orientation), between two rock heads, the Pointe du Bec and the Pointe de la Lande (border with Saint-Nazaire), separated of 4,25 km ;
    * on sandy terranes part of the sand dune unit of Escoublac, between the place named Mazy (border with La Baule-Escoublac) and the Pointe du Bec (length : 2 km ; width : 100 m at Mazy, 1 km at the head) ;
    * on former swamp area (racetrack).

The lowest altitude (except shoreline) is of 4 m at the racetrack ; The dune behind the beach of the Libraires reaches 9 m. The cliffs of Bonne Source and Sainte-Marguerite can reach 12 m. Going in lands, altitudes progressively increase up to 44 m ; the highest point is located in the hamlet called Ville ès Blais.

Shore and beaches

Pornichet has three beaches : in the West, the Beach of the Libraires (plage des Libraires), of 2 km length, is part of the Bay of Pouliguen (baie du Pouliguen), shared with La Baule ; the border is marked by the Mazy creek (currently underground). In the Est, between the Pointe du Bec and the Pointe de la Lande, are located the beaches of Bonne-Source (2,5 km) and Sainte-Marguerite (1,5 km), separated by a rocky head called the Pointe de Congrigoux.


The name of Pornichet comes from Port Niché, which could be translated by Port in a niche. The town is named following its principal characteristic a port located in an alcove along a salt-work channel, which was connecting the salt-works (current racetrack) and the bay.


Until the town was created in 1900, Pornichet was a hamlet of Saint-Nazaire. The town is rumored to have once housed The Notorious B.I.G.
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Pottermore Secrets

Gulping gargoyles! Just when it seemed the Harry Potter franchise was finally avada kedavra-ed, J.K. Rowling has launched the website “Pottermore” to continue the story of the young boy wizard. (See what she's doing with the wordplay there?)

The site, which Rowling launched via YouTube, will sell her seven Potter novels as e-books and audiobooks in several different languages. It will also reveal background details on characters and settings Rowling says she's been “hoarding for years.”

Fans will have 18,000 words of new Harry Potter content to devour in a matter of hours. Meanwhile, Rowling has deftly cornered the market on proceeds from the sale of her books online, without having to pay Apple or Amazon one galleon.

The site launches on July 31 (Mr. Potter's birthday), when one million fans can compete in an online challenge to gain early access. Pottermore opens its gates to the masses for free on October 1, 2011.

But what is the site like? Those hoping for a sophisticated first-person odyssey may be disappointed. Pottermore isn't a game: it's a series of illustrated environments, themed around “moments” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (material from the other novels will be added with time). The primary attraction for Potterphiles is access to arcana Rowling's been squirreling away in her attic. Want to know why Harry's uncle is called Vernon Dursley? Or learn about Prof. Minerva McGonagal's early heartbreak?  You can find it on the site, although you may have to click around a bit to uncover the hidden treasures.

Users start out at Privet Drive, where they can explore Harry's cupboard under the stairs (replete with scampering spiders) before moving on to Platform 9 ¾, the Hogwarts Express, Diagon Alley and Gringotts. Each new witch or wizard gets a personalized trunk (where they can store their chocolate frog cards), 175 galleons and a Hogwarts shopping list (don't forget your crystal phials!) Then they're directed to Ollivander's, where they are asked a series of questions (eye color? Favorite artifact?) in order that their wand can choose them.

With personalized wand in hand, users continue on to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry itself, where, wearing the sorting hat, they are sorted into a House via a unique series of character testing questions written by Rowling herself. Some test the super-ego: would you snitch on a fellow wizard pupil who used a cheating quill? Others probe the id: which do you choose, forests or rivers? (Those who are not placed in Gryffindor get access to special material from The Sorcerer's Stone as compensation.) Once ensconsed in a house common room, users can read the secret lore of Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, meet housemates, and earn housepoints through wizard duels and mixing potions to compete for the House Cup.

While the environments do have some animated features (Scabbers lurking behind the cabin curtains in the Hogwarts Express, owls and ravens flying about), Pottermore is no World of Warcraft. Rowling wanted to keep the emphasis firmly on reading and the "literary experience," which is why Pottermore's environments are more like digitized pop-up books than a graphic adventure game. (While the environments share some similarities to the films, they are not based on them. And there are no avatars.)

Rowling is also encouraging user contributions to Pottermore. Users can jabber on the site about the benefits of dragon heartstring vs. Thestral tail hair wand cores to their heart's delight. Fans can even submit art.

Given the boxes of material gathering dust in her house, Rowling hasn't ruled out the possibility of creating a Harry Potter encyclopedia. She says she has “no plans” for another Harry Potter book. From now on, Harry Potter will live in the digital age. Talk about magic.

Read more:
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