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When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice – Marquis de la Grange

February 18, 2009

Universal cellphone charger will ring the changes, say makers

BARCELONA, Spain (CNN) — Cell phone makers Tuesday pledged to end one of modern life’s chief frustrations — and introduce a universal charger for handsets by 2012.

An estimated 1.2 billion cell phones were sold in 2008, at least half of which were replacement handsets.

An estimated 1.2 billion cell phones were sold in 2008, at least half of which were replacement handsets.

The GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association), which represents more than 750 of the world’s cell phone operators, made the announcement at its annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Tuesday.

Under the scheme, phone makers have pledged that a majority of new handset models will include the universal charger by January 1 2012. The planned device will use a micro USB plug.

Aside from bringing relief to drawers stuffed full of redundant chargers, the GSMA stressed that the new device would reduce raw materials.

“The mobile industry has a pivotal role to play in tackling environmental issues and this programme is an important step that could lead to huge savings in resources, not to mention convenience for consumers,” said Rob Conway, CEO and member of the board of the GSMA in a statement.

Last year an estimated 1.2 billion cell phones were sold, according to University of Southern Queensland data reported by the GSMA, of which handsets accounted for between 50 and 80 per cent. That equates to between 51,000 and 82,000 tonnes of chargers.

The GSMA hopes the initiative will slash the greenhouse gases that result from the manufacture and transport of chargers by 13.6 and 21.8 million tonnes each year

“There is enormous potential in mobile to help people live and work in an eco-friendly way and with the backing of some or the biggest names in the industry, this initiative will lead the way,” Conway added.

The GSMA says that companies which have signed up to the plan include 3 Group, AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

1801 – An electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr is resolved when Jefferson is elected President of the United States and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives.

The emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns soon complicated matters in the elections of 1796 and 1800. In 1796, the winner of the election was John Adams, a member of the Federalist Party. The runner up, and therefore the new Vice President, was Thomas Jefferson of the opposition Democratic-Republican Party.

In 1800, the candidates of the Democratic-Republican Party (Jefferson for President and Aaron Burr for Vice President) each tied for first place. However, since all electoral votes were for President, Burr’s votes were technically for him being President even though he was his party’s second choice. Jefferson was so hated by Federalists that the party members sitting in the lame duck Congress tried to elect Burr. The Congress deadlocked for 35 ballots as neither candidate received the necessary vote of a majority (nine) of the state delegations in the House. Only after Federalist Party leader Alexander Hamilton—who disliked Burr much more than Jefferson—made known his preference for Jefferson was the issue resolved on the 36th ballot.

In response to those elections, the Congress proposed the Twelfth Amendment—with electors casting one vote for President and one vote for Vice President—to replace the system outlined in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3. The Twelfth Amendment was proposed in 1803 and was adopted in 1804


In 1801, in only the 4th presidential election for the young American nation, Thomas Jefferson, President John Adams and Senator Aaron Burr find themselves in a three-way tie for the leadership of the small country. Ballot after ballot was cast indecisively in the House of Representatives, leading only to more rancor and entrenchment among those who wanted one of their candidates to come out on top. Thomas Jefferson urged Senator Burr, who had ostensibly been running with him to become Vice-President, to drop out and throw his supporters to the Virginian. The senator, seeing himself this close to power, balked, and campaigned vigorously for the top office. In the end, his congressional relationships carried the day, and he won the presidency, with Jefferson serving, yet again, as Vice-President. The enmity between the two men over this incident spilled out into legislation as Jefferson, in his post as President of the Senate, blocked many of Burr’s initiatives out of spite. In 1803, this proved to be too much for Burr to take any longer, and he challenged Jefferson to a duel. Jefferson, the better shot of the two, emerged victorious, and assumed the office of President as Burr died on the field of honor. This caused an uproar in the dead president’s home state of New York, which sent its militia to the capitol to seize President Jefferson. They were met by Virginia’s soldiers, and a civil war erupted between the northern supporters of President Burr and the southern partisans who backed Jefferson. Great Britain, seeing the chance to reclaim their old colonies, jumped in on the side of the north, which then annihilated the southern states. Massachusetts alone of the northern states resisted the British reconquest of the states, but it was overwhelmed, too. In 1812, all of the colonies were placed under a royal vice-regent, and welcomed back into the United Kingdom.


Robert K. Preston (born c. 1954) is an American infamous for landing a helicopter on the White House lawn.

At 2 A.M. On February 17, 1974, Preston, a U.S. Army private, stole a United States Army helicopter from Fort Meade, Maryland, flew it to Washington, D.C., and hovered for six minutes over the White House before descending on the south lawn, about 100 yards from the West Wing. There was no initial attempt from the Executive Protective Service to shoot the helicopter down, and he later took off and was chased by two Maryland State Police helicopters. Preston forced one of the police helicopters down through his maneuvering of the helicopter, and then returned to the White House. This time, as he hovered above the south grounds, the Executive Protective Service fired at him with shotguns and submachine guns. Preston was injured slightly, and landed his helicopter.

At the time of the incident, President Richard Nixon was travelling in Florida, and First Lady Pat Nixon was in Indianapolis, Indiana, visiting their sick daughter.

Preston was a 20-year-old Private First Class in the U.S. Army, stationed in Panama City, Florida. Although he was training to become a helicopter pilot, he abandoned the training due to “deficiency in the instrument phase”.

It has been suggested that news reports of Preston’s actions inspired Samuel Byck to attempt to crash a passenger airplane into the White House on February 22, 1974. This implication has also been used as a plot device in the film dramatization of Byck’s attempt, The Assassination of Richard Nixon.

spacer On February 17, 1872, Harper’s Weekly featured a cartoon about the Free Love movement.  
spacer Harper's Weekly Cartoon of the Day 

“Get Thee Behind Me, (Mrs.) Satan!”

Wife (with heavy burden).  “I’d rather travel the hardest path of matrimony than follow your footsteps.”

Artist: Thomas Nast

his Harper’s Weekly cartoon by Thomas Nast warns against the allure of the Free Love movement advocated by Victoria Woodhull.In 1872, Victoria Woodhull, the well-known advocate of Free Love and women’s rights, became the first woman to be nominated for president. She ran on the Equal Rights party ticket at a time when she and other women were not legally allowed to vote. She and her sister, Tennesse Claflin, published their own newspaper, The Woodhull & Claflin Weekly

In this cartoon, Thomas Nast depicts Woodhull as Satan incarnate for her advocacy of Free Love—i.e., the rejection of marriage as an oppressive institution and the embrace of sexual freedom. The poor wife in the background spurns the temptation, despite carrying the heavy burden of children and an alcoholic husband up the steep and treacherous path of life. 

Near the end of the 1872 presidential campaign, Woodhull would publish allegations that the nation’s most prominent and respected clergyman, Henry Ward Beecher, had been having an affair with the wife of Woodhull’s biographer, Theodore Tilton. In Woodhull’s estimation, Beecher was hypocritically preaching one tenet while living by another, even though his adultery was a far cry from Free Love. A subsequent trial over the case, which ended with a hung jury, became a sensational news story.

Robert C. Kennedy


1981 – Paris Hilton, American actress and heiress

Paris Hilton turns 28 years old today.

Paris Hilton Through The Years

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