Monday, September 30, 2013

Miley Cyrus — Princess of Country Pop Crosses-Over to the Rap World

Miley Cyrus — the Princess of Country Pop -literally, has been the talk of the music gossip columns and her shock value continues to peak as she dropped her latest, third-single called, "23" - produced by Mike WiLL Made-It
"23" is the third-single from her upcoming "Bangerz" album, set for a Oct. 8 release date comes on the heels of Cyrus' record-breaking, "Wrecking Ball" and twerk-heavy "We Can't Stop" videos

Miley Cyrus topless ROlling stone
Cyrus continues her promotion for the new album with her first Rolling Stone cover story. She appears topless on the magazine's cover and talks about her VMAs performance by stating, 
"Honestly, that was our MTV version. We could have even gone further, but we didn't. I thought that's what the VMAs were all about! It's not the Grammys or the Oscars. You're not supposed to show up in a gown, Vanna White-style. It's supposed to be fun!"
Miley adds, "wasn't trying to be sexy" at the MTV Video Music Awards,
"If I was trying to be sexy, I could have been sexy. I can dance a lot better than I was dancing."

The video features guest appearances by rappers — Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and rising-star/in-demand producer Mike WiLL Made-It, showcases the 20-year-old Pop Star sporting a Chicago Bulls bikini outfit, complete with Michael Jordan's signature No. 23 and over-the-top acts and video shots of Smiley reppin' high school life.
For all her short-comings, she is a public-media-gossip sensation and that isn't a short-coming in today's music industry.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

theDREAM TEAM of the NFL?

Peyton Manning #18 | Wes Welker #83 | Eric Decker #87 | Demaryius Thomas #88 


New England Patriots' Quarterback Tom Brady On Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Cornerback Darelle Revis

Tom Brady (New England Patriots) on Darelle Revis ( Tampa Bay Buccaneers ,

“He looks like the same. There’s nothing negative about his playing style, there’s nothing negative about his skill set. He can really do it all. He’s fast, he’s quick, matches up against small guys, matches up against big guys. He’s really long, he’s really strong, he’s patient. Some guys you really guess all the time and sometimes you guess wrong, he never guesses wrong. He’s smart, he sees the whole field. I’ve never played against anyone who is as good as him. He’s as good as there is that I’ve ever played against, so you just have to be careful when you throw his way because you know he’s going to be close…There are some great corners I’ve been able to play against: Champ Bailey, Patrick Surtain, and that goes back a few years, but yeah Charles Woodson, I mean I love the way he plays the game still. But I mean Darrelle is certainly at the top.”

Monday, September 23, 2013

Are E-Cigarettes Safe or Dangerous?


E-cigarettes threaten to undo years of gains: Our view
by USA Today

Battery-operated nicotine inhalers can be just as addictive as the real thing.

While most people weren't paying attention, leading tobacco companies popped out a new product line — electronic cigarettes. Sales are already soaring.

The good news is that these battery-operated nicotine inhalers contain no tobacco and might help some smokers quit. The bad news? Just about everything else.

E-cigarettes can be just as addictive as the real thing. In about half the states, children can buy them legally. The industry advertises on television, with the same sexy or macho come-ons that made smoking look glamorous for decades, before TV ads were banned in 1970.

Little is known about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes. And they can be annoying: Because the devices aren't subject to indoor smoking bans in most states, a thick white vapor, which looks like smoke even if it isn't, could be coming soon to movie theaters, restaurants and workplaces near you. As celebrity Jenny McCarthy pitches in an ad for Lorillard's blu eCigs, "I feel free to have one almost anywhere."

With two more major tobacco companies, Altria and R.J. Reynolds, introducing entries in test markets this past summer, it's time to decide: Does the country really want another product that can addict users, especially kids? And if e-cigarettes turn out to be dangerous, isn't it better to find out before millions of people are addicted, rather than after?

There are plenty of reasons for caution.

Nicotine in traditional cigarettes is so addictive that it rivals heroin and cocaine, says nicotine expert Neal Benowitz of the University of California-San Francisco. It's one reason that 20% of adults still smoke even though they know it can kill them and even though smokers have become pariahs who must huddle outside to light up.

Teenagers are particularly vulnerable. Despite the industry's well-worn insistence that e-cigarettes are for adults only, teen use has taken off — not accidentally. E-cigarettes come in flavors, from traditional menthol to cherry and piña colada.

The share of middle- and high-school students who had tried them doubled last year from 2011 — for a total of 1.8 million teenagers. Even more troubling? One in five middle-school students who tried them said they had never smoked before. E-cigarettes could easily serve as a gateway to the real thing.

Even in states that have banned sales to teens, the industry has exacted a price, lobbying for measures that allow e-cigarettes to escape indoor smoking bans and the high cigarette taxes that are the most potent weapon against youth smoking.

As for whether e-cigarettes might help some smokers quit, the jury is still out. The best scientific study to date, in New Zealand, found them to be only marginally more effective than nicotine patches.

So what's the right response? At least until more studies are done, states ought to treat these devices as they do traditional cigarettes, with bans on youth sales and indoor smoking. The federal government, slow to move so far, should speed up its decision to oversee contents, flavors and perhaps advertising.

After decades of hard-fought gains against nicotine-delivery devices and the problems they cause, this is no time to relapse.

‘Breaking Bad’s’ Crowning Night is an Ode to Quality

Breaking Bad's Emmy Night

‘Breaking Bad’s’ Crowning Night is an Ode to Quality
by Brian Lowry

Other than “Behind the Candelabra,” anointing “Breaking Bad” as TV’s best drama felt like about the only sure thing on an Emmy night that was largely filled with surprises. Yet the show’s crowning moment is the sort of rare success story that promises to be analyzed more closely than a batch of Heisenberg’s product in the click-driven build-up to the show’s Sept. 29 finale.
Frankly, the fact “Bad,” once one of those little shows that could, would wind up creating such a wide pop-culture footprint is a triumph all its own, as well as a testimonial to the power of word of mouth, which — more than any other single attribute — has contributed to the show’s explosion.

Series creator Vince Gilligan might have graciously credited Netflix with his program taking off – in the same way he acted surprised when its name was called at Sunday’s Emmys — but the distribution service was only the conduit, one of the tools that enabled the series to catch fire.
No, the “Breaking Bad” experience can best be conveyed anecdotally through the story of a friend of mine, one who has nothing to do with the entertainment business. A few years ago, I casually mentioned that if he wasn’t watching the show, he should consider giving it a try, and that the strike-shortened first season was a relatively small investment — a mere seven episodes.

Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan and many others joined a panel to talk Breaking Bad in front of an Academy of Arts and Sciences audience before the series final episodes premiere this summer.

A few weeks ago, he told me he and his wife were eagerly devouring this final flight, having caught up and watched every hour.

“Breaking Bad” is hardly the only show to develop a loyal core following. But the reason it grew so exponentially has everything to do with the addictive nature of the series — storytelling so provocative and unpredictable as to have sent an inordinate number of those who take a bite into a binge-feeding frenzy.

Success, as they say, has a thousand fathers, but that level of satisfaction — more than the new gadgets and toys at our disposal — ultimately explains why “Breaking Bad” has blossomed into the media darling and ratings powerhouse it’s become.

Meanwhile, viewers who tuned in for the penultimate episode almost found the show catching its breath (Alert: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD) in the wake of recent events. Yes, the writers continue to put Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) through hell, before a closing tease that finally brought us to the tantalizing shot depicted at the season’s outset — when a very different looking Walter White, with hair, pops open his trunk and surveys the great big honking gun inside.

A month ago, I suggested the ending doesn’t really matter in the way it might for other serialized dramas, because the show has been all about the trip — the transformation of Walt, as Gilligan has stated, from Mr. Chips into Scarface.

No doubt there will be diverse and passionate opinion about next week’s episode, praise and disappointment. The media tend to build these things up in advance, mostly so we can nitpick and tear them down.

But Gilligan and company have already struck a powerful blow for quality and its commercial viability — advancing the notion, hardly viewed as a given in TV circles, that something so irresistibly good will eventually find an audience, through whatever channels are available.
Make a great show, in other words, and let the chips fall where they may. — Variety

Mariano "Mo" Rivera — New York Yankees Serenade No. 42 As He Retires From Baseball

Mariano Rivera pregame ceremony 09/22/13 | 00:46:47
9/22/13: The Yankees honor Mariano Rivera in an on-field ceremony prior to Saturday's game against the Giants

  • Metallica performs "Enter Sandman," their hit song and Mariano Rivera's entrance music, serenading Mo's ceremony arrival
  • The Yankees honor Mariano Rivera In a pregame ceremony in which they retire his No. 42
  • Mariano Rivera addresses the crowd, thanking his family, former teammates and fans for the support he's received in his career
  • Mariano Rivera is presented a rocking chair made out of baseball bats from the Yankees as a retirement gift
  • Metallica give Mariano Rivera an autographed amplifier as a gift to go along with the Willie Mays-signed guitar from the Giants
  • Mariano Rivera elects to catch the first pitch when offered the honor, receiving Jorge Posada's throw before the game
  • On the day the Yankees retire the No. 42, Mariano Rivera enters in the eighth to a standing ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd
Mariano Rivera No. 42

Friday, September 20, 2013

"Numb" – Gary Clark, Jr.

"Numb" – Gary Clark, Jr.

Well, I'm numb 
Yeah, woman I can't feel a thing
Well, I'm numb
Yeah, woman I can't feel a thing

She give me a hard time in the day
A hard time at night
She can be so sweet
Till she wanna fuss and fight

Till I'm numb
Yeah, woman I can't feel a thing
Well, I'm numb
Yeah, woman I can't feel a thing

Ain't passin' from the right
I ain't passin' to the left
Burn this whole thing down
I'll ride myself

Till I'm numb
Yeah, woman I can't feel a thing
Till I'm numb
Yeah, woman I can't feel a thing

Well, I'm numb
Yeah, woman I can't feel a thing
Well, I'm numb
Yeah, woman I can't feel a thing

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Worldwide sales of the latest entry in Rockstar's open-world crime series, Grand Theft Auto 5, have surpassed $800 million in just 24 hours at retail. This figure represents a new day-one high for both the series and parent company Take Two Interactive.

Currently, Grand Theft Auto 5 only has a single-player component on Xbox 360 and PS3. Rockstar announced the multiplayer supplement, Grand Theft Auto Online, will launch on October 1.


Grand Theft Auto V® Retail Sales Exceed $800 Million Worldwide During First Day of Launch

First 24 hour sales highest in history of Take-Two Interactive Software and Grand Theft Auto Series

New York, NY – September 18, 2013 – Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) today announced that Grand Theft Auto V delivered the highest first day retail sales of any title in the history of the Company and the Grand Theft Auto series. Launched on September 17 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the title has already received widespread critical acclaim and achieved first day sell-through of more than $800 million worldwide, excluding the upcoming launch in Japan and Brazil, according to Company estimates.

"All of us at Take-Two are thrilled with the initial response to Grand Theft Auto V. Once again, the team at Rockstar Games have outdone themselves, setting the entertainment industry's new standard for creativity, innovation and excellence," said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two. "Beginning at midnight on Monday, consumers around the world gathered in anticipation to be among the first to experience the evolution of this remarkable series. In North America alone, more than 8,300 stores opened their doors at midnight to welcome fans whose loyalty and enthusiasm were rewarded with what The New York Times called 'the most immersive spectacle in interactive entertainment'. We are incredibly proud of Rockstar Games' creative achievement and could not be more pleased with the success of this launch."

Following are samples of early reviews:

"No other world in video games comes close to this in size or scope, and there is sharp intelligence behind its sense of humor and gift for mayhem. It tells a compelling, unpredictable, and provocative story without ever letting it get in the way of your own self-directed adventures through San Andreas. It is one of the very best video games ever made." – IGN, 10/10

"It's a remarkable achievement, a peerless marriage of world design, storytelling and mechanics that pushes these ageing consoles to the limit and makes it all look easy. As we stand on the brink of a new generation, GTA V sends an intimidating message to the rest of the industry. Beat that." - Edge, 10/10

"You've never seen a game world as thoroughly irresistible to play as it is to admire." – Time, 5/5

"GTA V is the culmination of everything we love about the series: It's big, it's pretty, and most importantly it's just nonstop fun." – Guardian UK, 100%

"One of the pinnacle achievements this generation of games has offered." – CNET

Developed by series creator Rockstar North, Grand Theft Auto V is currently available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. The title is rated "M" for Mature by the ESRB.

Grand Theft Auto V also includes access to Grand Theft Auto Online, the revolutionary new open world online game launching October 1, 2013 that comes free with every copy of Grand Theft Auto V.

For more information about Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online, please visit

Prince Naseem Hamed — One of the Greatest Offensive Boxers in the History of the Sport

One of the Greatest Offensive Boxers in the History of the Sport — PRINCE NASEEM HAMED
[NOTE: My Dad (ex-boxing fanatic) says he's an awesome boxer who actually fights at the top of his game when he does showboat — but unfortunately, professional boxers who knew how to 'defend' & 'counter' could beat a talented –yet flawed boxer.]

Friday, September 13, 2013


Banana Joe’s Newfound Fame

The monkey-faced Affens -short for Affenpinschers, who stole judges’ hearts at the Westminster Dog Show, has been making the rounds before beginning his next act: retiring abroad.

Visit for breaking newsworld news, and news about the economy


BANANA JOE w/ owner and Monkey Kong atop the Empire State Building in New York City

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


[UPDATE: Please forgive me for even thinking -let alone, writing about a moot issue that is so minoot compared to the overall horrific scope of tragedy on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 that affected countless of human beings and forever the way humanity lived their very lives.

Please note, I went through a trying time — contemplated and struggled endlessly to finally decide to publicly release this personal, heart-felt and emotional e-mail letter that was sent to my family and friends; days after the tragic events of 9 | |

Can something be so private and personal that offering to share to others; who may be acquaintances and even strangers, is ethically and/or morally wrong? 

If so, again — please accept my heartfelt and sincerest apologies...people whom I meet always ask me,

'What happened (to you)?     What was it like (to be there)?     How did you feel (are you okay)?'

I honestly just wanted to tell people of my actual experience on that fateful day...the detailed account of 9/| | were through my eyes and has been etched in my memory forever.]

R.I.P. — WTC 9/| |/01 — R.I.P.

the9/| | STORY: I AM SAFE

Dear Everyone,

Hello, friends, co-workers, acquaintances...I would like to let everyone know that I am safe and sound. I was on the 25th floor in World Trade Center Tower #1 -(the first plane crash) and safely escaped before the buildings went down. I would like thank everyone for worrying and thinking about me; I would like to thank everyone for keeping me in their prayers and most of all, I would like to thank God for the safety of myself and all of my co-workers at Garban Intercapital.

I tried my very best to get in contact with most of you but communication was impossible. I'm sorry for not being able to give you my side of the story because I was too exhausted and was in too much shock to answer questions, so hopefully this e-mail will give you some insight into what I experienced.


Let me first tell you that my company occupies the entire 25th and 26th floor in WTC 1 and that my desk was on the other side; the more safer side of the WTC. But can you believe that I had to fax a few documents and was therefore on the opposite side of the floor...the same side of the building where the first plane had struck! All I heard was a large boom and the whole floor shook like an earthquake! I originally thought it was construction that had been going on upstairs for weeks but a few seconds later, I saw massive amounts of glass, paper, debris and shrapnel fall right in front of me; outside the window!! 

After that, I nervously jumped on top and then over a desk and headed straight towards an exit but I saw the ceiling in the hallway start to cave in and a lady was yelling, "Go the other way!!" So we headed towards the other side of the building where my desk was and I quickly grabbed my briefcase. We were originally told to stay at our desks but after 5 - 10 mins., certain departments began evacuating and my department — Fed Funds/Money Market Trading were all having an intense discussion as whether to evacuate; a senior broker in the twilight of  we headed towards the stairwell.

An unsettling feeling was that while we were slowly walking down the stairs, many of the brokers were cracking jokes...complaining about their $200 'gator' shoes getting wet because pipes had burst and was leaking...acting all nonchalant about the evacuation. I heard rumors that it was an accidental plane crash or a helicopter news crash and nothing else. -(I found out after the whole tragedy that we were still in the stairwell when the second plane crashed.) 

While evacuating ‘single file’ on the right-hand side of the stairs, you can see fire fighters and policemen march up on the left hand side of the stairs. Little did we all know that this was the last time we were going to see these brave and heroic people! -(God bless them all...R.I.P.)

It took us approximately 40 minutes to reach the building lobby -(the World Trade Center's huge shopping mall) and when I got out...I didn't recognize the lobby and that's when I started realizing the enormity of this "so-called" accident. What really convinced me that this was something serious was that the Banana Republic's store windows were all pitch black, covered in sute and many of the windows were shattered. 

The police slowly directed us out of the Marriot Hotel's exit and when I got out to the streets, I saw nothing but glass and debris fall to the left and right of me and that's when I started to panic!! I put the briefcase over my head and ran as fast as I could across the street and after a couple of blocks down, I -along with hundreds of others, watched in amazement, horror and disbelief; the beginning of the World Trade's destruction.

At that time, I still didn't know how or why the Twin Towers were on fire...I just thought a newscopter had accidentally crashed. And little did we all know that we were all still in danger because the buildings were about to collapse. Looking up at the buildings, I saw what everyone else was seeing on television...two huge, orange balls of fire and thick, grey smoke that seem to grow larger and larger as minutes went by!

Horrifically, you can see actual people; human beings on the window's ledge trying to avoid the burning fire. Unfortunately, I saw atleast 5 people jump and fall to their tragic deaths!


A lasting, traumatic image that I still have in my head is an image of a couple...holding hands before jumping off the ledge. It is way too sad and horrifying to describe...I just couldn't take anymore of this madness; this insanity and so I decided to find the nearest subway in hopes of getting to my Mom's store in Chinatown.

When I reached the Battery Park area, I saw hordes of people on the highway running towards my direction...trying to escape from the biggest ball of smoke -(a dust cloud of soot) that I have ever seen in my life! It was mass hysteria...everyone was in panic-mode...gossiping and screaming that the building had collapsed and that there were more bombs; bombs in the sewer, bombs in other buildings, bombs planted in mailboxes, etc. I tried running towards a ferry boat station near one of the piers but there were literally hundreds and hundreds of people waiting to be rescued by these boats.

By this time, I was really scared and afraid that the smoke would engulf us all and that's when I looked up and saw people running on the FDR highway going towards the Brooklyn Bridge. And this point, I made my decision and headed towards the highway...climbed over a highway wall and started jogging while covering my mouth with my shirt. I looked behind and there were many who were following my very move.

The huge dust ball of soot and smoke eventually engulfed me but that made me run even faster. When I got near the Brooklyn Bridge, you can see hordes of people running towards the bridge and ferry boats near the piers of South St. Seaport. I contemplated on running all the way to Brooklyn but I made a left instead and was only a few blocks away from my Mom's hair salon in Chinatown. There were people in front of stores providing help and relief...handing out free bottles of water, clothing and food.

Upon arriving to my Mom's store, I will never ever forget seeing my mother in total hysteria...she ran into my arms and began crying –it's a cry that still rings in my head...a cry that I never ever want to hear again. She was hugging and patting me (as if to keep me warm from the cold)...she eventually fell to her knees and wouldn't let go of my leg! My Mom and her co-workers were trying to comfort me but I felt that I was fine (it was my mother who I was more worried about).

Then our thoughts quickly turned to my father who works only a few blocks away from the WTC. Then about 15 minutes later my Dad arrived and I didn't know what to say or do and so, I just shook his hand. -(I wished I gave my father a hug instead). But most of all, I thanked God that my family was safe and sound!

We all watched in terror and in horror the collapse of the Twin Towers on TV and I couldn't believe what was happening! The mass destruction...the deaths of so many innocent was the scariest day of my life...the worst day of my life. I never ever thought in my wildest dreams that those towers could have collapsed...NEVER!

I desperately began trying to call all of my loved ones...way too many to count, but still no luck. And when I finally got through to my voicemail -(22 messages) and heard everyone's voice, I never felt so "loved" and "mushy" in my whole entire life!! Again, I would like to thank everyone for being so concerned about me but keep in mind that while I was out there on Ground Zero...I couldn't stop thinking about everyone...all of my families and friends -whether close or distant, and that's what kept me going.

I know that this is only a computer generated letter and that it may seem superficial but believe me when I tell you that I have never appreciated life and appreciated the love that I have for everyone that's in my life like I do now. It makes you value life and what you have in life more than anything!! I truly and dearly love all of you from the bottom of my heart and I hope we can all get through this...thank you so much.

Love Always & Forever,

R.I.P. WTC 9.11.01

R.I.P. ~ 9 . | | — Gone But Never Forgotten — 9 / | | ~ R.I.P.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Twin Towers of Innovation

World Trade Center Pre-9/11
Twin Towers of Innovation
  • By Peter Tyson
  • NOVA
"There is an attractive element in the colossal...[W]hat visitor is insensitive before [the Pyramids]? And what is the source of this admiration if not the immensity of the effort and the grandeur of the result? The Tower will be the tallest structure ever built by man. Will it not be grand in its own right?"—Gustave Eiffel
The builders of the World Trade Center had visions of grandeur similar to those of the architect of the Eiffel Tower, which, at just over 1,000 feet, became the world's tallest structure when it was completed in 1889. When the 1,350-foot World Trade Center was finished 84 years later, it, too, gained the distinction of becoming humankind's most towering tower.
The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Reaching new heights: When they were completed, the Eiffel Tower and the World Trade Center each topped all other structures then standing.EnlargePhoto credit: © Corbis
Both buildings, the French and the American, were to stand as potent ideological symbols—the one of the French Revolution and its impact, the other, the might of American capitalist society. The World Trade Center was born of Camelot, the John Kennedy era of irrepressible optimism. In 1961, the same year the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recommended building a world trade center, Kennedy declared his intention to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In an editorial the year before, the New York Times had made its position on the World Trade Center clear: "They are thinking large in downtown Manhattan. The World Trade Center ... is the most important project for the economic future of the Port of New York launched for many a year."


The one who was "thinking large" was David Rockefeller. The grandson of John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and America's first billionaire, David Rockefeller hoped to revitalize Lower Manhattan. This area, the oldest part of town, had not seen the same post-war growth as had mid-town—growth that Rockefeller Center had triggered when it rose in the 1930s.
David Rockefeller's first effort in this area was the 60-story Chase Manhattan Bank Tower, completed in the financial district in 1961. (He was chairman of the bank at the time.) Even earlier, in the late 1950s, he had begun pushing hard for a world trade center. With the support of his brother Nelson, then governor of New York, he had the Port Authority evaluate plans for such a center. The Port Authority, a bistate agency responsible for ports, airports, and the like lying within 25 miles of the Statue of Liberty, determined it was feasible, and the project was underway.
Half of the 16-acre site was to be built where the river used to flow.
After years of negotiations, debate, and drawing up and redrawing up of plans, it was decided that the World Trade Center would consist of 15 million square feet of floor space distributed among seven buildings. These would include two towers that would soar over a quarter mile into the sky. The towers would top the Empire State Building by 100 feet. Some people, architects among them, wondered: Could such lofty skyscrapers be built?
Diagram of Jack Kyle's slurry-trench method
Jack Kyle's slurry-trench method, which resulted in the "bathtub" EnlargePhoto credit: © Port Authority of New York and New Jersey


In the end, several technological innovations made the World Trade Center possible. These innovations solved problems that might have given pause to a man less forcibly visionary than Guy Tozzoli, head of the Port Authority's World Trade Center Department. But Tozzoli had had years of experience managing large Port Authority projects, and "can't be done" was not a phrase he brooked.
The first problem didn't have to do with the towers themselves but with the ground beneath them. Much of the World Trade Center site lay atop landfill, which, over the centuries since Henry Hudson had, in 1609, first explored the river that would bear his name, had extended the west side of Lower Manhattan 700 feet out into the Hudson. Half of the 16-acre site was to be built where the river used to flow. All told, Tozzoli's crews would have to excavate over a million cubic yards of fill to be able to set the World Trade Center on bedrock. The question was how to keep the Hudson out.
Jack Kyle, chief engineer at the Port Authority, came up with an answer. It was known as the slurry trench method. Excavating machines with clamshell buckets dug a three-foot-wide trench right down to bedrock 70 feet below. They did it in 22-foot-wide sections all the way around the site. As they removed fill from each section, they pumped in a slurry of water and bentonite, an expansive clay. The clay naturally plugged any holes in the sides of the dirt walls.
World Trade Center under construction in 1971
Fill excavated from the site of the World Trade Center, seen here during construction in 1971, later provided the foundation for the World Financial Center and Battery Park City, which rose to the left of the World Trade Center in this image, on the other side of West St. EnlargePhoto credit: © Corbis
When they had fully excavated a section of the trench, workers slid a 25-ton, seven-story-high cage of reinforced steel into the section, then filled that portion of the trench with concrete from the bottom up. The yard-thick wall became known as the "bathtub," though this bathtub was meant to keep water out, not in. When the last of 152 sections became a wall, then and only then could excavators begin removing earth from within the tub.
They would design the elevator system to mimic a subway system, with express and local elevators.
Rather than having the fill hauled away, Tozzoli donated it to the city, spreading it as new landfill southwest of the site. In this way, the City of New York received $90 million worth of newly minted real estate, on which developers later built Battery Park City.


The second problem that Tozzoli's team addressed concerned elevators. Ironically, while the invention of elevators had made skyscrapers possible, elevators were thought to limit how high skyscrapers could go. The more floors you have, the more people you have; the more people you have, the more elevators you need; the more elevators you need, the less space you have to rent to pay for all those floors. This conundrum was one of the reasons, if not the chief one, why skyscrapers rarely reached beyond 80 floors.
Undaunted, Tozzoli's group devised a solution. They would design the elevator system to mimic a subway system, with express and local elevators.
Schematic of the elevator systems in the towers
The towers' pioneering "skylobby" system, which separated express and local elevators, maximized efficiency of transport and economy of space. EnlargePhoto credit: © Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
In the World Trade Center, giant express elevators, each capable of carrying 55 passengers and rising at 1,600 feet per minute, zipped up to "skylobbies" on the 44th and 78th floors. Here passengers exited on the side opposite from where they had entered and crossed the lobby to pick up local lifts. Each tower also had a single express elevator that went all the way to the top. The one in the South Tower went to the observation deck, that in the North Tower to the Windows on the World restaurant.
The beauty of this system lay in its economy of space. Local elevators for the lower, middle, and upper zones of the building sat one atop the other in the same shafts. And since the express elevators to the skylobbies traveled no farther than the 44th and 78th floors, respectively, the higher one ascended in the building, the less space had to be given over to elevator shafts.
It was, as Angus Kress Gillespie, author of the book Twin Towers, put it, "a pioneering translation into the vertical of horizontal mass transportation." The result: 75 percent of the floor space in each tower was rentable, a significant improvement over 62 percent, the highest yield achieved in earlier skyscrapers.


That 75 percent was also made possible by another innovation. Previous high-rises had relied for their structural integrity on a forest of supporting columns on each floor. Typically, architects spaced these 30 feet apart throughout the interior. The exterior walls of such buildings were merely curtain walls, which let light in and kept weather out but provided little support.
Floor plan for the towers
The World Trade Center's tube-style construction, with steel columns found only along the exterior wall and within a central core, freed up nearly an acre of space on each floor for offices. EnlargePhoto credit: © Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Such was not the case in the World Trade Center. Consulting engineers Leslie Robertson and John Skilling invented an entirely new method of construction. The forest of interior columns vanished; such columns only appeared in and around the central core of elevator shafts, stairwells, and bathrooms. Then it was nothing but open space—60 feet of it on two sides, 35 on the other two sides—before one reached the outside walls. These were not curtain walls but cages of steel columns spaced just over a yard apart, with 22 inches of glass in between. (Minoru Yamasaki, the building's architect, designed it this way in part because he was insecure with heights and felt more comfortable with such narrow windows.)
Such tube-style architecture became the pioneering style of frame for a whole new generation of buildings.
The shafts of steel in the exterior walls shouldered not only gravity loads pressing down from above but also lateral loads caused by gusty winds nudging the building from the side. Such tube-style architecture relied on high-strength steel, which was only then becoming available. It resulted in up to an acre of rentable space on each floor, and it became the pioneering style of frame for a whole new generation of buildings.


As sturdy as these towers would be, Robertson and Skilling knew they would still be flexible in high winds. Indeed, they designed them to be so. But they realized the swaying effect, especially in strong gusts, might bother tenants high in the building. So they fashioned yet another innovation, a state-of-the-art damping system. Like door closers or car shocks, the dampers absorbed the wind's punch, easing the towers one way or the other so smoothly that office workers hardly noticed the movement.
The dampers were made of visco-elastic material. "These are materials that are partially viscous, that is, partially flowable like oil, and also elastic, which means they act somewhat like steel, in that if you strain them they return to their original shape," Robertson says. "So the material is in between those two materials—it's not like oil, it's not like steel, it's visco-elastic."
The World Trade Center Twin Towers as seen from the ground, looking straight up
Each of the Twin Towers had 11,000 built-in shock absorbers to lessen the buildings' sway in strong wind. EnlargePhoto credit: © Ronnie Peters
Robertson's crew placed the dampers, 11,000 of them in each building, between the bottom of the floor trusses and the columns—two parts of the building that tended to move with respect to each other when the edifice swayed. When it did so, those two parts would shear the visco-elastic dampers. This shearing caused the material to heat up, and that heat was transferred to the building. "So we take the energy of the wind, and we heat the building with it," Robertson says with a note of pride in his voice.


Such innovations meant nothing to the tower's critics, however. Both before and after the World Trade Center's official dedication in April 1973, certain vocal members of the American intelligentsia went after it as assiduously as those who let their feelings about the Eiffel Tower be known by signing a petition against its construction. (These included the writers Guy de Maupassant and Emile Zola.)
The philosopher Lewis Mumford, a noted architectural critic who died in 1990, railed against the building's "purposeless gigantism and technological exhibitionism." The architect Charles Jencks went so far as to liken the use of redundancy in the towers' design to fascist methods. "Repetitive architecture can put you to sleep," he wrote. "Both Mussolini and Hitler used it as a form of thought control knowing that before people can be coerced they first have to be hypnotized and then bored."
Fortunately, Yamasaki did not have to watch his beloved towers fall.
The jabs came not just from architects. New York Times columnist Russell Baker noted that the towers "seem to go on and on and on endlessly in the upward dimension, as though being constructed by battalions of exuberantly unstoppable madmen determined to keep building until the architect decides what kind of top he wants."
Minoru Yamaskai, the architect of the World Trade Center, and his model for the building complex
In this photograph from the early 1960s, Minoru Yamasaki, architect of the World Trade Center, indicates in a model the site for the new complex in Lower Manhattan. EnlargePhoto credit: © Corbis
Yamasaki, the architect, must have been stung by such comments. He saw his creation in a completely different light. In his book Architects on Architecture, the author Paul Heyer quotes Yamasaki as saying, "World trade means world peace, and consequently the World Trade Center buildings in New York ... had a bigger purpose than just to provide room for tenants. The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man's dedication to world peace."
Tragically, since the heinous attacks of September 11th, 2001, the towers have become instead a symbol of international terrorism. Apart from the loss of life, Yamasaki would surely have been appalled and horrified if he had had any idea that such a fate awaited his "monument to peace," as he once called it. Had he lived to witness that awful day, he might have gone on to design differently in the future, for such Eiffelesque grandeur was not his natural inclination. As he once wrote, "As an architect, if I had no economic or social limitations, I'd solve all my problems with one-story buildings. Imagine how pleasant it would be to always work and plan spaces overlooking lovely gardens filled with flowers."
Fortunately, Yamasaki did not have to watch his beloved towers fall. He died in 1986 at the age of 73, with his best-known work still standing tall above Manhattan, "grand in its own right." — NOVA

Friday, September 6, 2013

7 FUN-FACTS: Peyton Manning’s 7 Touchdown 2013 NFL Season Opener

(USA TODAY Sports)

Seven Great Stats About Peyton Manning’s Seven-Touchdown Night
by Chris Chase

The Broncos QB tied an NFL record in the 2013 opener.

1. Manning became the first quarterback since the AFL-NFL merger to throw seven touchdowns in a game. The last quarterback to do it was Joe Kapp of the Minnesota Vikings in 1969. Kapp threw those TDs against the Baltimore Colts, which is fitting, giving that team’s dual ties to the Ravens and Peyton himself.

2. The Thursday total was one fewer than Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterbacks had in all of 2012.

3. As of Week 1, Manning is on pace to throw 112 touchdowns this season. That would be 10 more than Joe Flacco has in his career.

4. Former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow threw for seven touchdowns in his last 19 games.

(USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY Sports)
5. In one night, Manning tied the record for most career four TD games (23), tied the record for most career five TD games (7), set the record for most career six TD games (3) and tied the record for most career seven TD games (1).

6. Manning had never thrown more than three touchdowns in a game with the Denver Broncos.

7. The Week 1 total gave Manning 443 career touchdown passes, 65 behind the all-time leader, Brett Favre. At this pace, Manning will pass Favre Nov. 24 in New England. More realistically, if Manning stays healthy, he’ll pass Favre in the middle of the 2014 season. — USA Today

The Manning Brothers Brawl

The Manning family gets a tour of ESPN's Bristol Campus.

Highlight Of The NFL Night: Denver Broncos -vs- Baltimore Ravens Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Highlight Of The Night: Peyton Manning tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes as the Broncos defeated the Ravens 49-27.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tommy Morrison, Former Heavyweight Champ Who Starred in ‘Rocky V,’ Dead at 44

Tommy Morrison in a Los Angeles gym in 2007.
Tommy Morrison in a Los Angeles gym in 2007. The former heavyweight champion, who had been in failing health over the last few years died Sunday in a Nebraska hospital.

Tommy Morrison, Former Heavyweight Champ Who Starred in ‘Rocky V,’ Dead at 44

The hard-punching heavyweight saw his career crumble in 1996 when he tested positive for HIV, a result he challenged later in life while attempting a comeback. Not only did Morrison deny that he had HIV, but he also questioned whether the disease existed and blamed the positive tests on the work of a rival promoter.

Tommy Morrison, the hard-punching heavyweight with boy-band good looks who once beat George Foreman and starred in the Rocky franchise before falling ill in recent years — all the while denying he was HIV positive — died on Sunday at a hospital in Nebraska. Morrison, who was nicknamed "The Duke," was 44.

Morrison's death was confirmed by his wife, Trisha to the mixed martial arts website, "MMA Dirty," which reported he died of "respiratory and metabolic acidosis and multiple organ failure." His death was also confirmed by Morrison's long-time promoter, Tony Holden to the Associated Press.

Tommy Morrison goes toe-to-toe with Lennox Lewis in a heavyweight fight in Atlantic City in 1995. Lewis comes away with the win, knocking out Morrison in the sixth round.
Tommy Morrison goes toe-to-toe with Lennox Lewis in a heavyweight fight in Atlantic City in 1995.
Lewis comes away with the win, knocking out Morrison in the sixth round.

Morrison had been bed-ridden for a year, with what his mother, Diana Morrison, told was "full-blown AIDS" in a story last month. However, Morrison denied that charge, even after testing positive for HIV before a fight in 1996. Morrison would go on to fight three more times, winning those fights, before retiring in 2008 before waging a very public health battle for his life.

Tommy Morrison is examined by a doctor in Japan prior to his 1996 bout with Marcus Rhode.
Tommy Morrison is examined by a doctor in Japan prior to his 1996 bout with Marcus Rhode.

Wildly popular because of his good looks and punching power, in 1989, one of his fans included Sylvester Stallone, who later cast him in the role of "Tommy Gunn" for the fifth installment of the "Rocky" series. Morrison got his nickname based on a claim that he's the grandnephew of the former Hollywood star, John Wayne, and he rode that aura to fame, fortune and ultimately legal and health troubles throughout a roller-coaster of a career.

Sylvester Stallone (r.), as Rocky Balboa,  returns to the tough streets of Philadelphia to train Tommy ‘Machine’ Gunn (Tommy Morrison) in ‘Rocky V.’
Sylvester Stallone (r.), as Rocky Balboa, returns to the tough streets of Philadelphia
to train Tommy ‘Machine’ Gunn (Tommy Morrison) in ‘Rocky V.’

Morrison got his start participating in tough-man contests at the age of 13, providing a fake-ID to allow him to compete. He later boxed as an amateur, garnering some local success before he lost a narrow decision to Ray Mercer in the Olympic trials. Morrison, with his two-fisted power, quickly made a name for himself in the professional ranks, running his record to 28-0 with 23 knockouts by the time he was 22. In one of the more hyped fights of 1991, Morrison faced Mercer again as a professional in a battle of undefeated fighters. After getting off to fast start, Morrison suffered the first loss of his career, losing by a fifth-round stoppage as Mercer battered him into the ropes.

But Morrison rebounded from that loss to beat an aging George Foreman two years later to capture the vacant WBO heavyweight title. Morrison successfully defended that title once before he was destroyed by Brooklyn's Michael Bentt in just one round, getting dropped three times, in October of 1993 in what was supposed to be a tune-up bout for Morrison to face heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis. After winning a wild fight with Donovan Ruddock, Morrison finally faced Lewis, only to lose by sixth-round stoppage in 1995.

Morrison was suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Feb. 10, 1996 for testing positive for HIV before a scheduled fight against Arthur Weathers. A year later at a news conference, Morrison announced his retirement, blaming the test result on a reckless lifestyle. But in the years since, Morrison steadfastly denied he had HIV, going so far as to blame the positive findings as the "work of a rival promoter" and even a "conspiracy by the government," according to Morrison tried to launch a comeback in 2006, with the rallying cry that his earlier HIV diagnosis was false positives. Morrison also came to believe that HIV did not exist, and referred to his doctors as "quacks."

Former heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison (l.) faces legal troubles in the late 1990s, when he is arrested on drug and weapons charges.
Tommy Morrison, as Tommy ‘Machine’ Gunn, trains with ‘Rocky V’ star Sylvester Stallone for the film.
According to the story on, Morrison began having health problems nearly two years ago when a doctor "left a 12-foot piece of surgical gauze" in his chest for more than a week, his wife, Trisha, said. He then contracted Guillain-Barre' Syndrome, in which the immune system is at war with the peripheral nervous system, the story goes on to say. She also said that Morrison contracted Miller Fisher disease, a variation of that syndrome, which can lead to paralysis in the lower limbs. His family added that Morrison was being cared for at a hospital in Nebraska but wouldn't reveal which one. — Daily News
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