Wednesday, March 31, 2010

a funny bird... sings Scorpions... I am still loving you...

click to play

Haiti, 70 days later

In Haiti, the survivors of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck about two and a half months ago continue to struggle, with a few signs of hope as international assistance is beginning to make measurable progress, some international debt is being forgiven, and some businesses and institutions start to come back to life. In a country still mourning the loss of a now-estimated 230,000 citizens (on par with the 2004 Indian Ocean quake), over one million people remain housed in makeshift tent cities, uncertain about their future or security. According to a recent draft summary of the Haitian government's damage and needs assessment, the country will need $11.5 billion to rebuild. Collected here are a handful of recent photographs from Haiti, a country still in need.

1. A boy watches heavy equipment clear rubble from a destroyed church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on February 27, 2010. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
2. A woman walks downtown in earthquake-torn Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
3. Junol Morancy, age 21, does his daily physical therapy session with therapist Guy Thomas at the General Hospital March 1, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Thomas is a Haitian physical therapist working with Handicap International to help rehabilitate some of the thousands of Haitians who were injured or lost limbs during the earthquake in January. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
4. A view of Delmas 33 area is seen in Port-au-Prince, Haiti February 24, 2010. Haiti's government and its foreign relief partners plan to start "decompressing" earthquake-stricken Port-au-Prince by clearing rubble to allow displaced families to return home or be temporarily resettled, Haitian and U.N. officials said. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
5. Elvilhomme Desboules's face is covered in dust while digging in rocky soil to prepare for the burial of about 30 unclaimed and unidentified earthquake victims February 25, 2010 in Titayen, Haiti. About a dozen grave diggers work each week to bury the dead from the Port-au-Prince General Hospital in the same area where tens of thousands of people were buried in mass graves after last month's earthquake. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
6. Women work at the DKDR Haiti garment assembly factory in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Feb. 19, 2010. The international community and business leaders are preparing to implement a pre-earthquake plan to expand the garment assembly sector for a country in urgent need of building it's economy. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)
7. A girl smiles inside a makeshift tent in Cite Soleil, Port-au-Prince February 28, 2010. Seasonal rains and hurricanes spell trouble for Haiti in the best of times, but with hundreds of thousands of people living in flimsy makeshift shelters after last month's earthquake, this year the dangers are much greater. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
8. A woman walks with an umbrella at a homeless earthquake survivors camp during heavy rains in Port-au-Prince, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
9. A Haitian Voodooist prepares a VeVe, a drawing representing the Luo spirits, before a ceremony in a temple in Cite Soleil, a slum of Port-au-Prince on March 6, 2010. About half of Haiti's population is believed to practice voodoo in some form, though many are thought to also follow other religious beliefs at the same time. The religion -- whose practitioners often use the vodou spelling as opposed to the Westernized version -- evolved out of beliefs slaves from West Africa brought with them to Haiti. (EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP/Getty Images)
10. Haitian Voodooists shield their heads with metal chairs after their ceremony for earthquake victims came under attack from a mob of Christian residents of the Ti Ayiti neighborhood February 23, 2010 in Cite' Soleil, Haiti. The Voodooists were run out of the central pavilion under a hail of rocks and all of the ceremonial items they left behind were destroyed and burned by the mob. Although a police station was built across the street from the notorious slum, no police appeared to disperse the crowd or protect the worshipers. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
11. People destroy objects that were to be used in a voodoo ceremony in the Cite Soleil neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Tuesday Feb. 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
12. A dentist with NGO Island Impact Ministries works in a provisional camp in Port-au-Prince March 20, 2010. International donors are ready to provide $3.8 billion over 18 months to help Haiti rebuild after its devastating January 12 earthquake, experts and officials preparing a high-level donors conference said. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
13. People wait in line to get bottled water and plastic sheeting at an aid distribution operation set up outside of a camp for homeless earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Feb. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
14. Boys plays with their kites in a slum of Port-au-Prince on February 16, 2010. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
15. A man, who was injured in last month's earthquake, wears a marked bandage on his head at at the Sacre Coeur field hospital in Port-au-Prince Thursday Feb. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
16. A boy looks at the ruins of his Fort National neighborhood in Port-au-Prince March 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Matthew Bigg)
17. A premature baby, named Fred Jr., is carried to a scale to be weighed at the Project MediShare field hospital on the grounds of the Toussaint Louverture International Airport February 20, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
18. Duveis Yca waits for a hydrating beverage being distributed to young earthquake survivors living on the roof of an evangelist church in the Canape Vert neighborhood of Port-au-Prince on Sunday, March 14, 2010. Lafortune Renette, a hospital security guard, says she and her neighbors are helping about 100 children, including 50 orphans, by giving them shelter under a tarp on the church's roof and finding food at distribution points, but have not been able to locate food aid, like rice and beans, for the past week and have been surviving on crackers and water. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
19. People walk past the earthquake-destroyed Iron Market along the Grand Rue March 1, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
20. A female patient of the Haitian government's Mars and Kline Psychiatric Center who escaped during January 12, 2010 earthquake remains handcuffed at a hall of the center in downtown Port-au-Prince on February 24, 2010. The Haitian government's Mars and Kline Psychiatric Center was founded in 1958, which might be when its wards received their last coat of paint, and was in a desperate situation even before the January 12 catastrophe. Now, many of its patients have gone off to fend for themselves and its courtyard has become a makeshift refugee camp for local families left homeless by the quake and for a handful of wandering mental patients. (EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP/Getty Images)
21. Rebecca Michel Francois, 9, recently arrived in Mattapan, Massachusetts from Haiti, plays with other children during a snow flurry outside the Charles H. Taylor Elementary School in Mattapan on March 3, 2010. (Globe Staff/Essdras M Suarez)
22. A man wears a suit and a tie as he heads out towards Sunday services at a Baptist church in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
23. A boy eats grains of rice with his hands in his bed during breakfast at the Wings of Hope, a home for abandoned children with severe disabilities in Fermate, Haiti on March 5th, 2010. (Globe Staff/Bill Greene)
24. Joseph Dieujuste reacts as a mechanical shovel removes the wooden roof that fell on top of him in a collapsed building in Port-au-Prince, Friday, March 12, 2010. Dieujuste and at least two other men were injured while scavenging inside a quake-damaged government building. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
25. A boy poses for a photo during the inauguration of a school that will be run by an Israeli NGO at a camp for earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince, Friday, March 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
26. From left, former President and U.N. special envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton, Haiti's President Rene Preval (beside Clinton), and former President George W. Bush arrive at the earthquake damaged Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, Monday, March. 22, 2010. The two former presidents were visiting Haiti to assess recovery needs after they were tapped by President Barack Obama to spearhead U.S. fundraising in response to the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
27. Dennis Acton sorts through donated prosthetic legs at New England Brace Company in Manchester, New Hampshire on March 11th, 2010. The prostheses will be disassembled and used for parts and brought to Haiti for amputee victims of the earthquake. (Globe Staff/Bill Greene)
28. A man weeps as he prays during a national day of mourning outside the national palace in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Feb. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
29. A girl jumps rope in the La Saline schoolyard in La Saline slum in Port-au-Prince, Monday, March 15, 2010. Community leaders organized a day of entertainment for the students of La Saline school while it is closed for lack of teachers. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
30. An amputee sits in the general hospital as he waits for medical attention in Port-au-Prince March 17, 2010. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
31. A 21-year-old woman who did not wish to be identified speaks with The Associated Press in Port-au-Prince on March 12, 2010. Women, girls and children as young as 2 years old, already traumatized by the loss of homes and loved ones in Haiti's earthquake, now are falling victim to rapists in sprawling and unmanageable tent cities that have become home to hundreds of thousands of people. "They grabbed me, put their hands over my mouth and then the three of them took turns", said the woman who was raped by three men while she went to use the toilet into the darkness of a makeshift tent camp. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
32. A child cries as he is questioned by police officer Carl Henry Boucher after he witnessed a gunfight in La Saline slum in Port-au-Prince, Tuesday, March 16, 2010. According to police at the scene, two police officers were ambushed and killed by suspected gang members who police believe may have escaped from prison after the Jan. 12 earthquake. A third man was also killed, who police believe was a bystander. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
33. A child runs away from fumigation smoke at a makeshift camp for earthquake survivors in downtown Port-au-Prince, Tuesday, March 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
34. Earthquake survivors play dominoes at the Cite Soleil slum in Port-au-Prince March 18, 2010. The man is covered in clothespins as a penalty for losing multiple hands of the game. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
35. A skull and human bones lie amid the rubble of a collapsed building in Port-au-Prince, Friday, March 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
36. A ball passes in front of the Sun as people play soccer at a camp set up for earthquake survivors left homeless during sunset in Port-au-Prince, Saturday, March 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
37. A man accused of stealing goods in a marketplace is made to lie down in the rubble of a collapsed building along the Grand Rue March 1, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The man was beaten but eventually released when his accuser realized the police were not coming any time soon. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
38. A Bridesmaid and a boy enter a partially destroyed Catholic church in Port-au-Prince March 19, 2010. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
39. The hands of Fabien Josephe smooth out an aluminum pan at a makeshift foundry in the Cite Soleil neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, Saturday, March 20, 2010. Recycling micro-industries have received a new impulse with all the debris left behind last Jan. 12 earthquake's aftermath. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
40. Jean Bertrand, 19, kicks a soccer ball during a physical therapy session with Handicap International on the grounds of the new Doctors Without Borders hospital March 1, 2010 in Sarthe, Haiti. The new hospital is under construction and will have beds for more than 300 people once it is finished. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Monday, March 29, 2010

happy easter!!!!

Record setters

He Pingping, age 21, died after developing chest pains while filming a television show in Italy. Pingping suffered from primordial dwarfism, a condition which kept him from ever growing taller than 73 cm (2 feet 5 inches) tall. Pingping was recognized by the Guinness World Records organization, who also held a "World Records Day" last November, encouraging people all over the world to set their own records. Collected here are a group of superlatives, recent photos of world records and record attempts around the world.

1. He Pingping of China smiles as Sultan Kosen of Turkey rests his hands on He's shoulders during a promotional event in Istanbul, Turkey on January 14, 2010. He, with a height of 73 cm (2 feet 5 inch), and Kosen, with a height of 246.5 cm (8 feet 1 inch), have been listed in the Guinness World Records as the world's shortest man and tallest man respectively. (REUTERS/Osman Orsal)
2. He Pingping, 73 cm tall (2 feet 5 inch), of China looks up at Sultan Kosen, 246.5 cm tall (8 feet 1 inch), of Turkey in Istanbul on January 14, 2010. (REUTERS/Osman Orsal)
3. Joel Waul, 27, stands on top of his rubber band ball on the driveway of his home in Lauderhill, Fla., Friday, Oct. 23, 2009. Waul, a 27-year-old who works nights restocking a Gap clothing store, has spent the last six years carefully wrapping and linking and stretching rubber bands of various sizes into the ball shape. The Guinness Book of World Records declared it the world's largest rubber band ball in 2008. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
4. In this photo taken Aug. 21, 2009, Diana Taylor walks with her Great Dane, Titan, along Ocean Beach in San Diego. During a ceremony Thursday Nov. 12, 2009, the Guinness Book of World Records officially proclaimed that 4-year-old Titan from San Diego is the world's tallest dog. Owner Diana Taylor says Titan is blind, deaf, epileptic and undergoes acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments every three weeks. Taylor says Titan stands 42.25 inches from floor to shoulder, weighs 190 pounds. (AP Photo/Union Tribune, Peggy Peattie)
5. Bakers link pieces of gingerbread in order to break a world record on December 18, 2009 in Ludwigsburg, southern Germany. A total of 1,700 kg of honey, 1,700 kg of flour, 1,000 kg of walnuts, 900 kg of hazelnuts, 550 liters of milk and 158 liters of cherry schnapps were used to make the one kilometer-long and seven-ton-heavy gingerbread. (SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP/Getty Images)
6. A base jumper leaps backwards off the Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower, Malaysia, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009. A group of base jumpers were attempting to set a Guinness World Record striving to have 24 people base jump every hour for 24 hours from the the 915 feet high communication tower. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
7. Physical challenged people participate in purportedly the world's largest finger painting, a 100 feet by 140 feet canvas, to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Ahmadabad, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009. More than 200 physically challenged people participated in the event for a bid to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
8. Street performer Chayne Hultgren (a.k.a. 'The Space Cowboy'), re-enacts his 18-sword swallowing attempt for a Guinness World Record in front of the Sydney Opera House on February 8, 2010. The Australian beat his own world record when he simultaneously swallowed 18 swords, each blade measuring 50.8cm by 1.3cm, in the lead-up to International Sword Swallowing Day on February 28. (TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)
9. Lisa Courtney's lies amongst her collection - the Biggest Pokemon Memorabilia Collection in the world with 12,113 items, accordding to the Guinness Book of World Records. (Guinness World Records, Paul Michael Hughes)
10. Children scoop marshmallows out of a mug holding nearly 500 gallons of hot chocolate, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 at Bryant Park in New York, during the American Dairy Association's attempt to set a new world record for the largest mug of hot chocolate. (AP Photo/American Dairy Association, Diane Bondareff)
11. Indian born British strongman Manjit Singh, 59, pulls a double decker bus using ropes attached to his hair in London, England on November 12, 2009. Singh broke the world record Thursday by pulling the bus a total of 21.2 metres. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
12. Filipino chefs and students stand beside dishes as they attempt to break a Guinness World Record for "The Most Number of Dishes On Display, In A Single Day" in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Monday Dec. 14, 2009. The organizers hope to be considered for the record as they make more than 5,000 cheese-inspired dishes to beat the previous record of 4,668 set by India in 2007. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
13. Chinese 104-year-old twins, Cao Daqiao (senior, right) and Cao Xiaoqiao talk at home in Weifang, east China's Shandong province on November 29, 2009. According to the Shanghai Guinness World Records, these twin sisters, who were born in 1905, are the oldest living twins in the world as they are also listed on the Guiness World of Records for the oldest twins. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
14. Bryan Berg of the U.S. poses at his creation of the replica of The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, as he breaks his own Guinness World Record for the largest house of Freestanding playing cards on Wednesday, March 10, 2010. Berg used 218,792 playing cards to build a replica of The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel during the 44 day project. The final composition is 35 feet long, 10 feet tall and weighs 272kg. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
15. An Israeli school boy plays in a large Jerusalem flag as it is unfurled at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009. The flag was stamped by the Guinness World Records as the world's largest flag on April 11, 2009 and measures 44,404 square meters. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)
16. Sultan Kosen, the world's tallest man, unveils the world's largest gingerbread man at an Ikea store in Oslo, Thursday, Nov. 12 2009. The Swedish furniture chain's Oslo outlet says 8-foot-1-inch tall Sultan Koesen of Turkey presented the cookie that weighs 1,435 pounds (651 kilograms). It was baked in the traditional gingerbread man shape by a local bakery and beat the previous 2006 world cookie record of 1,307 pounds (593 kilograms) set in Smithville, Texas. (AP Photo/Morten Holm/Scanpix)
17. Life Time Fitness broke the Guinness World Record for the largest cycling class with 1,052 cyclists. The class was held at Target Center arena in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Peter Wong)
18. Lebanese chefs prepare a giant tabbouleh to set a new world record in Beirut on October 25, 2009. Under the watch of a Guinness adjudicator, 250 sous-chefs and their 50 bosses from the state-run culinary school chopped and sliced over three and a half tons (7,000 lbs) of the salad, using 1,600 kg (3,520 lbs) of parsley, 1,500 kg (3,300 lbs) of ripe tomatoes and 420 kg (926 lbs) of onions. (RAMZI HAIDAR/AFP/Getty Images)
19. Lebanese celebrate entering the Guinness Book of Records in Beirut October 24, 2009 after producing what they believe to be the biggest plate of hummus in the world. The dish, weighing 2,056 kg, was filled with 1,350 kg of the chickpea-based dish. The organisers claimed world records for both the size of the dish and the quantity of hummus produced. (REUTERS/Jamal Saidi)
20. Palestinians stand near a large embroidered dress as it is presented to the media at a stadium in the West Bank city of Hebron October 25, 2009. The dress, which took several months to sew, is expected to be officially measured next month in an attempt to be entered as a Guinness World Record. (REUTERS/Nayef Hashlamoun)
21. The Burj Dubai tower is pictured during the opening ceremony of the Burj Dubai tower on January 4, 2010 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.The Burj Dubai, which in Arabic means Dubai Tower, is at 824.55 meters the world's tallest man-made structure. (Martin Rose/Getty Images)
22. Around 15,000 people participate in a tug-of-war during an annual event in Naha, in Japan's southern island of Okinawa, on October 11, 2009. The rope used in the event - 200 meters long, 156 cms in diameter, weighing 43 tons and made from harvested straw - was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest rope. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
23. The world's tallest horse, Luscombe Nodram, or 'Noddy', stands with his owner Jane Greenman before they depart on major tour which will include appearances at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and Brisbane, in Melbourne on March 19, 2010. The Shire horse is seven-years-old, stands at 20.2 hands high (2.05 meters) and at 1.5 tons weighs three times more than the average thoroughbred racehorse. The Shire horse is now endangered with approximately 2,000 left in the world with very few of them being gray. (AFP PHOTO/William WEST)
24. Albanian artist Saimir Strati, 43, creates a mosaic of the late pop legend Michael Jackson in Durres, near Tirana, Albania on October 31, 2009. Strati is using 250,000 paintbrushes and 28 days to complete the 10 meter-wide by 2.6 meter-tall mosaic on the side of a truck traveling the streets of Albania. This is Strati's fourth attempt to enter the Guinness World Record. (REUTERS/Arben Celi)
25. Thousands of Mexicans take part in the "I do dance Thriller" event which attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the biggest mass "Thriller" dance, in Mexico City, on August 29, 2009. Up to 15,000 people were expected to take part in the mass performance of Michael Jackson's famed "Thriller" dance on the day he would have turned 51. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)
26. Norman Surplus from Larne, Northern Ireland, waves to the media from his autogyro at Duxford, England, Thursday, March, 11, 2010. Surplus is to attempt a circumnavigation of the globe in the autogyro, starting from Larne on March 18, depending on the weather. With its open cockpit it will be flying through 26 countries, 27,000 miles including 4,300 miles over water, in an expedition that will raise awareness and money for bowel cancer. The specially adapted machine will have collapsible fuel tanks that will give it a range of some 900 miles. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
27. Chefs serve what they claim to be the world's largest cheesecake in Mexico City, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009. The chefs hope to win a Guinness World Record. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
28. Egyptian Mohammed Ali Zinhom, 25, attempts a new Guinness World Record for doing push ups on the 2 fingers of his right hand only, in front of the historical site of the Giza Pyramids, Egypt, Monday, March 8, 2010. Zinhom recorded 46 push ups in 49 seconds. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
29. Chef Matthew Mitnitsky cheers after his meatball weighed in, breaking the world record for the largest meatball, in Concord, N.H., Sunday, Nov. 1,2009. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
30. About 1,800 people dressed in Santa costumes prepare to run down the main street in central Sydney November 29, 2009. Organisers of the Variety Club Santa Fun Run, in support of a children's charity, aim to build on Sunday's event and challenge the world record for people running dressed as Santa. (REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)
31. Indonesians take part in an attempt to break a world record for the most sky lanterns flown simultaneously in Jakarta, Indonesia, late Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. At least 10,000 lanterns were released into the sky to break the world record, organizer said. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)