Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Woman is Like a Tea Bag

Eleanor Roosevelt once said:

A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how stong she is until she gets into hot water.

The Sunshine in My Life

Last night, I had such a great Girls Night with one of my dear friends. We met after work and went out to eat. We stopped by few stores to browse and laughed a lot.

I love feeling comfortable, able to talk about anything to A to Z, and free to laugh, talk, frown, become tearish, share that I'm feeling down, and so on. I appreciate how our friendship has grown over the past year. I always enjoy our outings and online conversations.

Later that night, she IMmed me to tell me how great and happy I looked. I smiled. Today, I emailed her to let her know that she looked great yesterday in her outfit and also that she looked happy as if there was a sun beaming with sunshine coming out of her.

Friends are the suns in life. Their sun rays help get through the darkest and saddest times and shine no matter what. And, when it's brighter, we delight and celebrate life. We really live life.

I'm really grateful for my true friends who have been there for me and with me through everything that has come up over the past year, with the medical issues and endless appointments/tests, relationship break up, starting life as a single woman (who's now on the prowl, by the way), personal matters, personal transformation, and things that come along in life. I know I'm always there for them too, rain or shine.

Dear friends, you know who you are. Thank you. I love you. Thanks for being the sunshine in my life. Hugs

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Saudi Arabia: Desert Mirage

Discovery Times Channel has been airing this documentary called, "Saudi Arabia: Desert Mirage."

This documentary discusses the history of the 70-something years old relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States, the rise of Saudi Arabia as a country and its fast-paced updating of 500 years condensed into 70 years (to catch up with the 20th & 21st centuries), and the possible seeds of Saudi nationals recruited by al-Qaida.

Upstairs Neighbors

Our upstairs neighbors are quite interesting men. One day, my roommate and I were talking when suddenly she laughed. I asked what she was laughing about. She just heard the upstairs neighbor sing badly.

She went on to share that she once heard one of the guys being really drunk and asking his roommate for sex. He was told to go to bed or to wait until tomorrow.

This upstairs guy also sings to the Barbara Streisland songs he plays quite frequently. What is it with gay men and Barbara Streisland songs?

Now I've learned to be able to detect his bad music and voice. One day, I was sitting on the toilet taking care of business next to the open window. Suddenly, I started to hear a loud singing voice. Mind you, I am stone deaf. I just happened to be wearing a hearing aid on. If I was able to hear his voice, that means he was singing extremely loud as if he was hanging out of the window shouting and singing to the world. It is more likely that he was singing to the pigeons.

I yelled, "Shut up!" this was a first for me. A first I never expected to ever achieve in NYC. He kept on singing. I shouted even louder "to shut the fuck up! Shut up!" (pause) (silence) The singing resumed at a lower volume level. Wow! Someone actually understood my voice and actually listened. And, all this was achieved while I was sitting on the toilet taking care of business.


As I get older, I find that my goals sometimes change. The list of goals is always updated on a regular basis due to life experiences, inspiration, and the desire to truly and experience living life. There's also being true to yourself and nurturing your soul.

Here are few from my list of goals:

1. Skydive again
2. Take small aircraft flying lessons
3. Become a licensed pilot
4. Skate at Roxy's one Wednesday night
5. Walk throughout Central Park and explore it thoroughly
6. Find out where my parents used to live in NYC before they fell in love and got married
7. Go to the Bronx Botanical Garden
8. Shave my head
9. Get my eyebrow pierced (small)
10. Possibly get a tiny nose piercing
11. Repierce my belly button
12. Lose weight
13. Achieve an athletic shape or tone
14. Join the Lesbian Soccer league in NYC
15. Kayak in the NY Harbor
16. Travel the world after graduation
17. Become a college professor
18. Possibly chair Gallaudet University's School of Social Work program after teaching there for a number of years
19. Earn a D.S.W or similar doctorate degree
20. Establish a new social services agency in NYC

And many more ..... all are attainable.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


FYI: In case you're interested in a tour of the UN.



Press Release

Note No. 5924


Note to Correspondents


A new group of 25 multilingual tour guides joined the Department of Public Information at United Nations Headquarters on 11 March 2005. The new guides supplement the existing team of guides who conduct tours for the nearly half a million people who visit the world Organization in New York each year. Since 1952, 38 million visitors have taken a guided tour of United Nations Headquarters. The tours are valued for the personal connection to the United Nations provided by its well-informed, international team of guides.

“With the spotlight on the United Nations, our guides play an important role in explaining the work of the Organization to the general public and in shaping their perceptions of the world body”, said Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. “As they conclude their intensive training session, our new guides are now ready to join their colleagues in welcoming people from around the world to UN Headquarters and in answering the many questions posed by our visitors every day.”

The Guided Tours Unit, part of the Department of Public Information, now offers tours in 20 languages, more than any other tour operation in New York. The guides have long been considered the Organization’s “ambassadors to the public”, and their linguistic skills and geographic diversity add a valuable dimension to the operation. During this sixtieth anniversary year, when the United Nations is focused on the Millennium Goals, reform and its capacity to deal with new international threats and challenges, the tours provide information about the wide range of United Nations activities around the world.

The new guides come from 16 countries, increasing the total number of guides to 58. The full complement of guides comes from the following 28 countries: Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Gabon, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Sweden, Turkey, United States, Ukraine, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The recruitment of guides this year reflects the pattern of visitors to New York. The increase in French-speaking visitors to the United Nations in 2004, for example, has required an additional nine French-speaking guides. The continuously high number of Chinese visitors, which currently make up close to 10 per cent of the total number of visitors to Headquarters, has required an additional five Mandarin-speaking guides. The tour operation has also added one guide skilled in American Sign Language. Overall visitors’ attendance increased 11 per cent last year, almost reaching the pre-9/11 level of 400,000 persons.

To become a United Nations guide, an applicant must be fluent in English and in at least one additional language. College education and public speaking skills are also required. In the course of their two-and-a-half week intensive training programme, the new guides are immersed in the history and functions of the United Nations’ main organs, as well as the current activities of the entire United Nations system.

Guided tours are conducted every day, with a few exceptions (see During the hour-long lecture tour, guides present the United Nations’ history and structure, explain the role of the United Nations in current events, describe the unique collection of artworks on display along the tour route, and answer visitors’ questions.

For more information, please contact Helene Hoedl, Guided Tours Unit, tel.: +1 (212) 963-3242, fax: +1 (212) 963-0071; e-mail: or; or visit

* *** *

Friday, March 25, 2005

21 Ways to Break & Realign Your Nose for Free in NYC

1. Join the local baseball league at Clinton DeWitt Park or FDR Park and get whacked by a popping ball or bat

2. See a sidewalk hypnotist in Times Square at 3 AM who can help you believe that your nose is the way you want it to be

3. Get placed in an ACS-contracted group home already investigated and reported by your local news station and share a bedroom with several aggressive "at risk" roommates

4. Get tackled by a flag football player in Central Park's Sheep Meadow

5. Go online and complete a free virtual face makeover

6. Bump into an inebriated sports fan leaving the Avenue B sports bar after watching the Mets lose once again and being rejected by countless women

7. Slip on the wet subway platform while reaching for the cell phone you dropped and knock your nose on the rail before being rescued by fellow New Yorkers

8. Go to an underground BDSM sex party at 1 AM

9. Wrap your leg around the go-go bar at a hip-hop club, twirl, and ram your nose into another black pole nearby which you did not see

10. Get your face plastered to the window after getting in a yellow cab with a driver who was recently released from a psychiatric hospital and stopped his medication upon returning to the city

11. Depart the cab and get into another cab where you realize the driver needs to take road rage courses as your face plasters yet another window

12. Get accidentially bumped on the nose by the detector stick at the airport security checkpoint while in a rush to catch your flight

13. Slam the freezer door in disgust as you realize the refrigerator had gone bust once again and forget to move your face out of the way

14. Slip in your tiny half-tub while taking a shower and slam against the wall

15. Trip over several dog leashes while trying to walk around the dancing group of dogs pulling the dog walker

16. Attempt to dance to the music beat in order to impress a fellow rollerskater at Roxy's one Wednesday night

17. Tell your local Italian baker that his cannoli isn't like your grandmother's

18. Stick your head out of the driver's window as you cuss being unable to get out of your parking spot only to be sidescraped by Paris and Nicole attempting to pass a double parked delivery truck while driving their bubbly pink "The Simple Life" mobile van down a Chelsea street

18. Attempt to carry several heavy grocery bags full of junk from your 5th floor apartment down the slanted staircase after trying to minimalize and "feng shui" your tiny apartment to make it feel bigger

19. Go to a soccer league tryout and get distracted by a hot player during practice

20. Get jabbed by a tall bony subway rider's elbow during rush hour as more people cram aboard the 4/5 train like sardines

21. Drop a bar onto your nose as you attempt to figure out how to use the latest state-of-art exercise equipment machine at your top-notch full amenities gym which you pay 1/4 of your monthly income on

Under the Knife

A friend alerted me to an article about an Irish woman who flew here only to after going under the knife for rhinoplasty.

Thoughts from our Discussion

1. Her nose was fine.

2. A surgery of this nature performed in a medical office without resusciation equipments raises a red flag.

3. People considering cosmetic surgery for non-medical reasons should do their homework thoroughly; they should reserach carefully and check prospective doctors' qualifications, board certifications, standing in the medical community, malpractice records, et al.

4. Google the doctor's name!

5. Check with the city and/or state Department of Health for any discrepancies reported regarding the doctor(s) you are considering.

6. Some people considering cosmetic surgery need "emotional surgery" or "talking surgery" first to examine their reasons for such surgeries. Some may need therapy rather than surgery to address self-conscious, self-image, and self-esteem issues.

7. People do have valid concerns and reasons for having cosmetic surgery. Not everyone who pursues surgery has an esteem issue. In fact, such surgery may enhance the healthy esteem one already has inside by having the exterior reflect the interior.

8. Concerns about looking and becoming older are very common and valid concerns for someone becoming and looking older.

9. The surgery should have been done in a certified fully-equipped medical facility or hospital rather than in a doctor's office. It's best to play it safe. You never know what kind of medical complications may arise before, during, and/or after surgery.

10. Did the woman at any point during or after surgery sense that she was living out her last minutes or wonder why she was not waking up?

11. Did the woman remember or experience anything post-op leading up to her unfortunate time of death?

12. What will happen to her young sons in Ireland?

13. The death may have been preventable. Either the doctor botched something during the procedure, or the woman had an underlying unknown condition.

14. The fact that the doctor continued to practice despite having the highest malpratice payments and complaints filed against him angers us.

15. We respect the woman's decision to have a nose job. People have different reasons for pursuing rhinoplasty.

16. What disgusted us was the fact that the woman did not access information about the doctor's medical and practice background.

17. How many of us talk or think about our noses and their shapes?

18. There is sometimes a thin line between "discussing" and "complaining" about a body part.

19. We hope that her sister (a New Yorker) wins her lawsuit against the doctor for wrongful death. He should have his license revoked after having so many malpractice suits filed against him.

20. Does the doctor have the highest malpractice premium in the state of New York?

21. Why did she come here for surgery when she could have had surgery performed in Ireland or Great Britain?

With all due respect and condolences to the woman and her family, my friend and I lightened the discussion mood through humor.

22. There are cheaper ways to fix our noses such as breaking and realigning it yourself by:

* Running into a freezer door

* Slamming the door into your nose while door is out of view.

* Provoking someone to become angry and punch your nose

* Getting into a bar fight

* Playing soccer and get the opposing team member to kick the ball into your face

* Getting tackled during flag football

* Having someone knocking you down to the pavement somewhere in NYC with you landing nose-first

* Riding a yellow cab with a crazy driver who needs to take anger management and road rage classes or may have gone off his medication after being released from the psychiatric hospital

* Building an IKEA furniture (desk recommended)with instructions you cannot quite follow and having a piece of lamented plywood fall onto you as you do contorted gymnastics in an attempt to somehow put the desk together

Man Smuggles Own Art Into MOMA

Jade sent me this CNN article.


Man smuggles own art into MoMA

Thursday, March 24, 2005 Posted: 7:29 PM EST (0029 GMT)

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Many a visitor to New York's Museum of Modern Art has probably thought, "I could do that."

A British graffiti artist who goes by the name "Banksy" went one step further, by smuggling in his own picture of a soup can and hanging it on a wall, where it stayed for more than three days earlier this month before anybody noticed.

The prank was part of a coordinated plan to infiltrate four of New York's top museums on a single day.

The largest piece, which he smuggled into the Brooklyn Museum, was a 2 foot by 1.5 foot (61cm by 46 cm) oil painting of a colonial-era admiral, to which the artist had added a can of spray paint in his hand and anti-war graffiti in the background.

The other two targets were the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, where he hung a glass-encased beetle with fighter jet wings and missiles attached to its body -- another comment on war, Banksy told Reuters on Thursday.

"It was just an outsider's view of the modern American bug, bristling with listening devices and military hardware," he said.

An art Web site called has posted pictures of the artist -- wearing an Inspector Clouseau-style overcoat, a hat and a fake beard and nose -- hanging up his work at the four museums and describing how he did it.

Speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location in Britain, Banksy said he conducted all four operations on March 13, helped by accomplices who filmed him and provided distractions where necessary.

"They staged a gay tiff (lovers' quarrel), shouting very loudly and obnoxiously," said the artist, declining to give his real name or any personal details beyond his occupation as a professional painter and decorator.

It is not the first time he has staged such stunts.

Last year he smuggled work into the Louvre in Paris and London's Tate, attracting attention in the British media.

"My sister inspired me to do it. She was throwing away loads of my pictures one day and I asked her why. She said 'It's not like they're going to be hanging in the Louvre."'

He took that as a challenge. "I thought why wait until I'm dead," he said.

His preferred creative outlet, graffiti on trains, was growing more difficult due to greater security so he decided to branch out into infiltrating museums. "I tend to gravitate to places with less sophisticated security systems," he said.

Officials at the Natural History Museum declined to comment on security. Museum of Modern Art officials said only that the offending picture was taken down on March 17.

It was unclear what gave the game away but Banksy's version of Andy Warhol's iconic images of Campbell's Soup Cans showed a can of Tesco value tomato soup, a discounted brand sold by a British supermarket chain.

"Obviously they've got their eye a lot more on things leaving than things going in which works in my favor," Banksy said. "I imagine they'll be doing stricter bag checks now."

He said the painting in the Metropolitan Museum, a small portrait of a woman wearing a gas mask, had been discovered after one day, while the others stayed up for several days. The paintings were fixed to the wall with extra-strong glue.

Asked how he managed to escape notice while putting them up on a busy Sunday at the museums, he said: "They do get pretty full, but not if you put the pictures in the boring bits."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Hearie Off The Radar

*watching flashing blurb disappear from the radar screen*

Hearie off the premises! Departed for dinner at 8:31 PM.

Deaf House now rules!


Seriously, my new hearie roomie doesn't feel like a "hearie roomie." Feels like another human being. Deaf/hearing "roles" or "on/off" switches don't really exist here at home. It's a nice feeling. She's fluent in ASL and knows her place in the deaf community. We just do our own ordinary stuff.

Still, in the meantime, Kate and I are roaring here and there.... doing the deaf roar to assert our ownership of the territory.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Pah! Long Overdue - Nation's First Transitional Housing for Deaf and Deaf-Blind Victims of

It's about time that a transitional housing for the deaf and deaf-blind victims of domestic violence was set up. I'd like to see one here in NYC and other locations with highly-densed deaf communities. Let this set the precedent for more housing for our silent victims in the community across America.

I wish we could set up one in the metro NYC area as well as New England. Deaf folks in New England and NYC travel around quite a bit. I know we have Barrier Free Living and few other places, but's not enough. It'd take a lot of work and money to make this a reality in NYC and will be well worth for people who need this. I really would like to see this happen here in NYC. Who else wants to make this a reality here?

From the newsroom of the Business Wire, Monday, March 21, 2005 .....

Nation's First Transitional Housing for Deaf and Deaf-Blind Victims of Domestic Violence Breaks Ground in Seattle; Groundbreaking Ceremony to Be Held 3/28 at 2 p.m.

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 21, 2005--For the first time in the United States, apartments designed specifically for Deaf and Deaf-Blind victims of domestic violence and sexual assault will be built.

"A Place of Our Own" will break ground on March 28 in NE Seattle and offer 19 units of affordable housing, integrated program services, and technology for the Deaf and Deaf-Blind population. The groundbreaking will bring
together dozens of community leaders,investors, public officials and residents to celebrate the start of this unique and important project.

"A Place of Our Own" will provide Deaf and Deaf-Blind victims access to those who understand them and know how to help. Deaf women suffer the same rate of abuse as hearing women, but without fully accessible housing alternatives, Deaf and Deaf-Blind victims of abuse must often decide between homelessness and living at home with their abuser. For the first time, "A Place of Our Own" offers a new alternative that helps these women, children and families begin lives free of violence.

The project is the result of a collaboration with Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Service(ADWAS), a nationally recognized leader with a 19-year track record of providing domestic violence support services to the Deaf and
Deaf-Blind communities, and many public and private partners, investors, foundations, companies and individual donors.

"It is so inspiring to see our community's commitment to building 'A Place of Our Own,' said Marilyn J. Smith, ADWAS Executive Director.

The groundbreaking program will begin at 2 p.m. on March 28 at 8623 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle. Featured speakers will include Dr. MJ Bienvenu,
president, National Phi Kappa Zeta Board; Dr. Richard Ladner, ADWAS Steering Committee Co-Chair; Ellen Ferguson of the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation; Greg Shaw of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; ADWAS Board Chair Elise Holliday; Marilyn J. Smith, ADWAS Executive Director; and Darcy Vincent, Vice President of Homestead Capital.

Attending will be Cheryl Crazy Bull, president of the Northwest Indian College; Seattle City Council Members Richard Conlin, Tom Rasmussen and Peter Steinbrueck.; Bert Gregory, president and CEO of the architectural firm Mithun; and Mike Ducey, president of the construction company WG Clark.

"It is so gratifying to be breaking ground on such an important project," said Deborah Saweuyer-Parks, president and CEO of Homestead Capital, one of the partners. "The need for this housing is so great. We're excited to be part of providing domestic abuse victims a safe and affordable place to put their lives back together."

Units are scheduled to be available for move-in by spring 2006. The apartments will be open to abused women and their children who earn at or
below 30-60 percent of area median income. They will pay no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.

The Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services was founded in 1986 after a group of five Deaf and hearing women and parents of Deaf children, led by Marilyn J. Smith, recognized the need for services for Deaf and Deaf-Blind women when a Deaf woman in Seattle was killed by herhusband. She had looked for services, but none were accessible to her. Until 1998, ADWAS was the only domestic violence and sexual assault organization for Deaf and Deaf-Blind victims in the United States. In partnership with the Department of Justice, ADWAS has replicated its model in 14 cities.

Since its founding, ADWAS staff and volunteers have provided services to more than 900 Deaf and Deaf-Blind victims and community education and training to professionals to over 21,000 people. Today, ADWAS is recognized as the national model program by Deaf leaders; hearing domestic violence and sexual assault agencies; local, national and state coalitions; and the U.S. Department of Justice. Its website is

Architects, landscape architects and interior designers from Mithun collaborated to create "A Place of Our Own." The facility was specially
designed to meet the access needs of Deaf and Deaf-Blind residents, staff and volunteers incorporating many special features including: TTY systems; light systems to indicate ringing doorbells and telephones, and fire alarms;
appliances embossed with Braille; a specially designed security system; and contrasting paint colors and textures needed for signed communication. The property incorporates sustainable building practices that will help ADWAS save money on energy costs including maximizing the use of natural daylight and using ultra-efficient insulation. The building also includes a multi-purpose room, children and youth rooms, a common laundry facility, computer room, library, a community kitchen for the residents, classroom, a quiet garden, and a secure outdoor children's area. The facility is located on a major transit line, an essential element for its Deaf-Blind residents.

On-site resident services provided by ADWAS will include a 24/7 crisis line; crisis intervention; therapy; legal, medical and systems advocacy; children's program; a positive parenting program; and job search and
independent living skills training. ADWAS staff advocates will assist residents in securing any additional services needed, such as food banks and healthcare services and more. Non-residents needing ADWAS' services will also be able to obtain them at "A Place of Our Own."

A unique private/public financing arrangement

"A Place of Our Own" is the result of a unique private/public financing arrangement. Approximately $1.6 million of the $7.7 million project is funded through an equity investment from Homestead. The project also is funded by the City of Seattle Office of Housing, Washington State Community Trade and Economic Development Department, the Washington Housing Finance Commission, five King County suburban cities, and the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program sponsored by Sterling Savings Bank.

ADWAS' capital campaign is providing approximately $3.4 million of private funding, including support from: the Sound Families Initiative, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, The Ford Foundation and many others. Two challenge grants, $400,000 (the total award is $500,000) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and $250,000 from The Kresge Foundation, now challenge the community to pledge the remaining $504,000 required to complete the campaign. Key Bank is the construction lender.

A Place of Our Own Development Team

-- Equity Financing and Limited Partner: Homestead Capital
-- Developer and General Partner: Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services
-- Development Consultant: Common Ground
-- Architect: Mithun
-- General Contractor: W.G. Clark
-- Property Management: YWCA of King and Snohomish Counties
-- Capital Campaign Consultant: Bateman Consulting LLC
-- Karen L. Bosley, Consultant - Project Manager and Private Grants Writer

© Business Wire 2005

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Check out a fellow's music website - Mani Garcia at

Some of us may know Mani in the deaf community as a friend, acquaintance and/or interpreter. Mani's into Indie/Alternative/Rock and writes great songs, poetry, and more. Let's support him and check him out at future shows. You can also join his emailing list through his website.

Mani's having few upcoming performances including:


3/23/2005 07:00 PM - Lizard Lounge (downstairs in Iguane)

240 West 54th Street (btwn. Broadway & 8th Ave), New York, NY 10001, - $FREE TICKETS ($15.00 collected at the club door for 2 drink minimum)

The Lizard Lounge has a dress code: no jeans, sneakers, or hats.



03/30/2005 08:30 PM - Time Warner Cable - Channel 57 (performed at Cafe Shane)

794 Washington Ave (b/w Sterling & St. Johns Pl), Brooklyn, NY 11238

cover: FREE SHOW but Cafe Shane requires a minimum purchase of $5.00 of food or drink from the menu.

We will be featured playing a live show on a Manhattan Neighborhood Network show called What's the T? The best way to see the show is to come to Cafe Shane and join in on the fun - the more the merrier. If you ever wanted to be on TV here is your chance, We need a good lively crowd for the cameras. The date is DEFINITELY March 30th. This will be our first televised show, it would be great to have you all there.

Remember, check out for future shows at his website:

Alabama first lady targeting Helen Keller statue for U.S. Capitol

I want to see this happen!

I like Riley's line of thought in regards to the "forest of men."

If the Congress hadn't started the National Statuary Hall Collection until this decade (instead of 1864), who would have the states chosen to donate statues of in today's age?


From the newsroom of The Tuscaloosa News, Tuscaloosa, Alabama,

Wednesday, March 9, 2005 .....

Alabama first lady targeting Helen Keller statue for U.S. Capitol

Associated Press Writer

After a walk through the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall on Wednesday, Alabama first lady Patsy Riley declared the corridor a "forest of men."

Memorialized in marble there are numerous powerful politicians, great generals and famous explorers, but few women and no children or disabled people. That could change soon because of plans to replace one of the two existing Alabama statues with one depicting a young Helen Keller, the deaf and blind Tuscumbia, Ala., native who learned to communicate with
finger-on-hand spelling and became an inspiration to people around the world as a noted author and lecturer.

"You ask somebody from China, Japan, Italy, England, 'Do you know who Helen Keller is?' And they can tell you," said Riley. "Alabama is just extremely fortunate that such a famous person worldwide was born there."

In 1864, Congress allowed each state to donate two statues of people notable to its history to the National Statuary Hall Collection, but swaps weren't allowed until a few years ago when Kansas lawmakers pushed through
legislation to honor President Eisenhower.

Keller's statue would replace an existing one of Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, a former congressman, Confederate general and professor who was a longtime advocate for free universal education.

Curry's statue has been in the Capitol since 1908. The state's other statue, installed in 1925, is of Joseph "Fighting Joe" Wheeler, who was an officer for the Confederate Army and later U.S. Army.

"History changes," Riley said. "These wonderful people made their contributions. That's why they're here. But history doesn't stop. We have
more heroes born every day. Statuary Hall is, in my opinion, keeping up with the times."

Keller, who lived from 1880 to 1968, learned to communicate with the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Their story was dramatized in the popular play and film "The Miracle Worker."

Joseph Busta Jr., vice president for development and alumni relations at the
University of South Alabama, said there have been significant fund-raising strides in recent months. About $250,000 has been raised, and it would cost an estimated $350,000-$400,000 to build the statue, transport it to Washington and hold a reception.

An artist could be selected in the next two weeks, but it could be two years or more before the statue takes its spot in the Capitol.

On Wednesday at Statuary Hall, Nevada was installing a new statue of Sarah Winnemucca, a 19th-century translator who was a bridge between Indians and settlers. Earlier, North Dakota installed its statue of another famous
Indian woman, Sacagawea, the legendary guide for Meriwether Lewis and William Clark during their trek across the frontier.

Copyright © 2005 The Tuscaloosa News

Employment Website in India

Nice to know that this exists in India. Is it their version of our VESID/VR services?

From the newsroom of the News Today, India, Thursday, March 10,. 2005 .....

A website for the hearing-impaired

NT Bureau
Chennai, Mar 10:

An exclusive website for the hearing-impaired persons has been created to register themselves for employment. They can now onwards log onto with a search engine for jobs.

According to an official press release, the Ali Yavur Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, under the Union Ministry of Social
Justice and Empowerment, had dedicated the website for the hearing- impaired persons.

The website provides details about the job vacancies, facility to post resumes, special forum to present their views and guidance links.

Job-seekers can post their resumes directly by registering themselves. The site also provides facilities for the employers to get in touch with those registered, the release said.

Copyright 2005 News Today

Sunday, March 20, 2005

New York Times Article: Deaf Town

As Town for Deaf Takes Shape, Debate on Isolation Re-emerges


Published: March 21, 2005

SALEM, S.D. - Standing in an empty field along a wind-swept highway, Marvin T. Miller, who is deaf, envisions the town he wants to create here: a place built around American Sign Language, where teachers in the new school will sign, the town council will hold its debates in sign language and restaurant workers will be required to know how to sign orders.

Nearly 100 families - with people who are deaf, hard of hearing or who can hear but just want to communicate in sign language - have already publicly declared their intention to live in Mr. Miller's village, to be called Laurent, after Laurent Clerc, a French educator of the deaf from the 1800's.

Planners, architects and future residents from various states and other countries are gathering at a camp center in South Dakota on Monday and through the week to draw detailed blueprints for the town, which could accommodate at least 2,500 people. Mr. Miller, who has been imagining this for years, intends to break ground by fall.

"Society isn't doing that great a job of, quote-unquote, integrating us," Mr. Miller, 33, said through an interpreter. "My children don't see role models in their lives: mayors, factory managers, postal workers, business owners. So we're setting up a place to show our unique culture, our unique society."

While deaf enclaves, like the one that existed in Martha's Vineyard decades ago, have cropped up throughout the nation, this would be the first town expressly created for people who sign, its developers say. Even the location, in sparsely populated South Dakota, was selected with the intent of rapidly building political strength for the nation's millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing people, a group that has won few elected offices around the country.

But in the complicated political world of deaf culture, Laurent is an increasingly contentious idea. For some, like Mr. Miller; his wife, Jennifer, who is also deaf; and their four deaf children, it seems the simplest of wishes: to live in a place where they are fully engaged in day-to-day life. Others, however, particularly advocates of technologies that help deaf people use spoken language, wonder whether such a town would merely isolate and exclude the deaf more than ever.

"We think there is a greater benefit for people to be part of the whole world," said Todd Houston, executive director of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Washington. "I understand the desire to be around people like ourselves, and I don't have a problem with that, but I don't think it's very wise. This is a little bit of circling-the-wagons mentality, if you ask me."

Over the past 15 years, he said, it has become easier for the deaf and hard of hearing to grow up using spoken language, because of a steady rise in the use of cochlear implants, more early diagnoses and therapies for deaf children and efforts to place some deaf children in mainstream schools. That fact has set off intense political debate over what it means to be deaf and what mode of communication - signing or talking - the deaf should focus on.

Those who want to live in Laurent, though, say their intent is not exclusivity at all, but the inclusion of diverse people, especially those who do not have the luxury of communicating with speech. "We are not building a town for deaf people," said M. E. Barwacz, Mr. Miller's mother-in-law and his business partner in creating Laurent. "We are building a town for sign language users. And one of the biggest groups we expect to have here is hearing parents with deaf children."

Ms. Barwacz, who intends to live in Laurent, is not deaf. She has two daughters, one deaf and one not, and eight grandchildren, four of them deaf. Nationally, experts report that some 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents, setting up a quandary, in some cases, about what language to use in a single household.

As early as the 1800's, deaf leaders debated the possibility of a "deaf state," said Gerard Buckley, an official at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester. But the notion came and went. Elsewhere, because of proximity to schools and businesses tied to the deaf, large concentrations of deaf people have gathered in cities like Rochester; Washington; Olathe, Kan.; Frederick, Md.; and Sioux Falls, S.D.

The difference in Laurent, say some among the 92 families who have reserved spaces in the town from as far as London and Australia, is that every element of it would be designed with them in mind. The homes and businesses, they said, would incorporate glass and open space for easy visibility across wide distances. Fire and police services would be designed with more lights and fewer sirens. High-speed Internet connections would be available all over town, since the Internet and Video Relay Service have become vital modes of communication for deaf people. And any shops, businesses or restaurants would be required to be sign-language friendly.

Here in Salem, a dusty 125-year-old farming town of 1,300 three miles from the proposed site of Laurent, people seem unsure of what to make of the idea. "No one has ever come along and tried to start a town," said Joseph Kolbeck, the local barber.

Along the quiet main drag through town, Mr. Miller and Ms. Barwacz, who are originally from Michigan, recently opened a storefront in the old King Koin Laundromat to create and promote Laurent. They moved to Salem not long ago, choosing the area after surveying nearly the entire country looking at factors like population, climate and cost of land.

Some people here wonder how the proposed town of 2,500 would mesh with McCook County's 6,000 residents and its economy of corn, cows and pigs. Others say they doubt Laurent will ever become reality.

Mr. Miller and Ms. Barwacz have revealed little about the costs and their plans for financing Laurent. They say they are using family money, as well as some from a group of "angel investors," led by a man with a deaf daughter who wishes to remain anonymous. First Dakota National Bank is helping to secure financing, and the two have optioned 275 acres so far. They say they are spending about $300,000 for the planning work during the meetings that will end on Saturday. Those who have reserved spaces in Laurent will be expected to put down $1,000 deposits for condominiums and home lots within the next few months.

For many of those people - from states like California, Florida and New York - a move to prairie land in South Dakota (population 760,000) would seem to be an enormous culture shock. But they plan to start businesses like shops and restaurants, gas stations and hotels, and the benefits, many of them say, outweigh any concerns they have about the location.

Lawrence J. Brick, a retired school administrator from Philadelphia, said Laurent held attractions that most hearing people would struggle even to grasp: no longer having to shy away from the neighbors, fearing he could not communicate; no longer having to guess what a store clerk is saying about a price; no longer having to apologize for being deaf.

Although some people argue that Laurent might isolate deaf people, H-Dirksen L. Bauman, who directs the master's program in deaf studies at Gallaudet University, said the plans actually marked an important collaboration between the deaf and the hearing, one of a sort not always encouraged by the deaf community. This is especially significant, he said, as more hearing people are learning American Sign Language, now the fifth most-studied language on college campuses.

"Hearing people are not welcomed in deaf residential schools, in deaf clubs," Mr. Bauman said. "But there is no audiogram you will need to buy land in Laurent, South Dakota. There's simply a commitment to live in a visually centered environment that supports manual as opposed to spoken language."

But Dr. Michael Novak of Urbana, Ill., who has been performing cochlear implants since 1984, said he was convinced that the trend among the deaf was actually shifting toward therapies that could help the next generation of deaf people use spoken language.

"Communities like this have a real place for people who cannot or choose not to use the hearing technology," Dr. Novak said of Laurent. "But over time, that number will be reducing." He wonders then, he said, if the future of a notion like Laurent might fade away.

For his part, though, Mr. Miller said reports of the "death of sign language and deaf culture continue to be greatly exaggerated." Not everyone, he said, is eligible for or would even want to receive technologies like cochlear implants. "I do not want one for myself," he said. "I am very happy being deaf. To me, this is like asking a black or Asian person if he/she would take a pill to turn into a white person."

Friday, March 18, 2005

Connecting Once Again

No need to beam me home. I'm able to connect to the internet once again. Whew! The phone serviceman came yesterday and saved me from insanity. When I opened the door, we grinned as we saw each other. He was the same guy who installed and started up phone service here when I first moved to this apartment 2 years ago. He got right to work after I explained to him the situation. He waited while I checked the laptop to make sure I was able to dial up and get online. I was happy when I saw Step 3: Connecting. Back in touch. Back to sanity and peace of mind. No more internet cafes!

Now, it's time for me to order a pager. I'm thinking of a Blackberry, but I'm not sure which model to pick out. Mmmm....

Sunday, March 13, 2005

New Additions for the TwentySomethings List

1. Take up hobbies before you start having chidren.

2. Lose weight while you can before you hit 40 and start drinking martini straight up.

3. Your skin will look like hell if you don't stop boogying it up at nightclubs and sniffing cig smokes. Better load up on mosturizers.

4. Your mother knew what she was talking about when she told you to eat your vegetables and to cut down on sweets.

5. Chocolate candies no longer taste goods. You now find yourself craving fruit desserts or vanilla ice cream instead of double fudge ice cream.

6. You find yourself more happier with one expensive but good quality coat than ten cute vintage blouses from a trendy thift store.

7. When you realize, you dont know everything, thats when you are mature enough to admit so and willing to ask for help and support

8. That there is no timetable to get married, have children, its your life, only you can live it to the fullest, do not be swayed by societys norms

9. Dont be afraid to be you, if others dont like you, then screw them, you dont like them

10. Do things that you didnt get to do when you were younger (for example, become a life gaurd, go clubbing, dress like a punk) the world is your oyster

11. Sometimes when you think you'll never find someone you can love like you did in the past, you will meet someone else and fall in love, and when you do, you"ll deny you ever loved like that before

12. You"re only as old as you feel

13. This is america, we are always getting second chances, you are never doomed. I love this country, we love people who fall flat on their ass, only to reinvent themselves bigger, badder and better than b4

14. You ask for martinis and cosmos instead of budweiser.

15. You don't eat ramen and kraft macroni and chesse anymore.

16. It's a good life, 20 something, isn't it?

17. After 25, your age number begins to blur. You start forgetting how old you actually are... 27, 26, 28, or 29? You remember again how old you are when you realize that you'll be 30 the next time your birthday comes around.

18. My credit history was perfect until I started grad school.

19. You've borrowed at least $1K from your parents by now.

20. You have lived with your parents at least once since college graduation.

21. You know 5 people who live with their parents. You don't think twice about it or look down on them.

22. The number of roommates you have reduces the older you get

23. Credit cards - learning about them... how to budget, use, not lose them, communicate with credit card companies, etc

24. You know your credit card company's options by heart and know which numbers to press to speed up the waiting and skip the recordings.

25. You recognize the representative from a past phone call when you call your credit card company.

26. Witnessing your roommates and yourself growing and maturing.... turmoils, love relationships, communication, etc...

27. break from childhood classmates.... able to appreciate them in a new light after time to grow up... and appreciate them as adults... or folks in transition

28. reunions with long-lost childhood friends

29. endless weddings and births - expenses of travelling, buying gifts, etc... cherished reunions

30. Having more than 1-2 pets then realizing that it's only one from now on... or no more! until have the job you want and your own place and better schedules

31. working 1-2+ jobs to make ends meet yet still needing parental assistance/come to the rescue at times....

32. Hand-me-down furnitures... and by the end of your twentysomethings decade, beginning to finally buy your own new pieces

33. First white or gray hair

34. More insight, understandings, and appreciation of women older than you... listening to them more about preparing for starting to pop more advils/tylenols, setting better routines, goign to the doctor, being more proactive abotu health, taking longer to bounce back, etc

35. You start paying attention to women older than you about how to take care of themselves

36. You begin to understand why women in their thirties discuss spirituality

37. Realizing you should stop telling your parents about your finances as time goes on

38. Realization that you are on your way to being "the next generation" of adults in your family as your grandparents and elders start to pass away and say hello to God.

39. Body finally is done growing.. and you finally realize which cuts and clothes fit and look better on you and start to develop your own style...

40. More comfort and self-acceptance about who you are and the realization that it is an ongoing life-long thing... as you evolve... and that it's ok

41. At least one "real" relationship

30s replies to 20s list

(I'm too old to remember my 20s :)

Seriously, very little applies to me, except for the part about changing my perspectives on "ideal" partners-and that lesson is, there is no "ideal" partner. I've never discussed my finances with my parents, I never had any major health problems (except for eye surgery), my grandparents died before I reached 25, I never bothered with wrinkle cream and I don't give a fuck about my gray hair or anyone else's.

Lessons in Credit/Finances

Many of us were hooked by the credit card companies' lures when they launched a campaign to recruit new credit card users on college campuses during the 1990s. I bit only one hook, and I've been fortunate to maintain a good "relationship" with that credit card company to this day. Unfortunately, many of us experienced learning about finances and credit histories the hard way. I took the liberty to research and copy some information from various websites for your enrichment. My credit history may be good, but I still don't understand everything there is to living in a "credit and debt-ridden world" as we know it today (financially, that is). Those of us who live in NYC could benefit from reading the article about budgeting. Our parents are not going to be there forever to bail us out or slip a bill here and there. After all, we are "adults."

Read on below...

Does Dealing With Lenders Make You Sweat?

Take the stress out of applying for future loans by making sure your credit report stays in tip-top shape.

It's no secret your credit score matters more than ever, so make sure your credit report contains no errors to drag it down. And -- surprise! -- an annual check is not enough anymore. Three or four times a year is now recommended.

See what else you can do to improve your credit status and impress lenders.


Confused about what does and doesn't affect your credit rating?

What Matters:

· How You Pay Your Bills
· Amount You Owe
· Available Credit
· Length of Credit History
· Mix of Credit
· New Credit Applications

What Doesn't Matter:

· Age
· Race
· Length of Employment
· Education
· Marital Status

How to impress lenders
Make the most of your credit reports, what hurts your credit score -- and how to improve it.

January 14, 2005: 11:55 AM EST
By Jonah Freedman, MONEY Magazine

NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) - Evan Hendricks wants to arm you with knowledge. His exhaustive Credit Scores and Credit Reports is a new, plain-English guide to what consumers need to know about this arcane topic, a strange universe filled with pitfalls and fine print that makes the tax code read like Dr. Seuss.

As the book makes clear, it's a subject we ignore at our peril: Credit scoring is more than ever having a serious effect on all our lives.

So we asked Hendricks for tips on improving and protecting our credit status, plus how best to take advantage of the new Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), which is being touted as the best tool in a long time for those who are using credit but are anxious about identity theft.

Q. Is FACTA all that important? Will it make a big difference to most people?

A. It's a big deal. The first thing this law does is give everyone the right to free credit reports. There's also a requirement that when you apply for a mortgage, the lender must give you your credit score and show you the report it's based on. And it beefs up the system of fraud alerts to help protect against identity theft.

Q. What should you do with your free credit reports?

A. Checking that your credit report doesn't include any credit cards or loans that you didn't apply for is the best tool you've got against ID theft. Also, checking your report helps to make sure that your credit score is being calculated on the basis of accurate information.

And that matters: The lower your score, the more you pay for a loan.

Q. Can you clarify those terms? What's the difference between a credit report and a credit score?

A. Your credit report is a detailed dossier of your whole financial life. It lists all your open credit lines and shows who has looked at your credit report and for what reasons.

The credit score is an assessment of your creditworthiness boiled down to a single number that lets potential creditors make a quick judgment on you.

Q. Do you have to check both?

A. Focus on your credit report, which you should check three or four times a year because the information can change constantly. Once a year isn't enough anymore -- but doing it once a year is better than doing it only every two years.

FACTA created a centralized source ( to get one free report per year from each of the major credit bureaus. So far, only residents of the western states are eligible.

Midwestern states will be eligible on March 1, southern states on June 1, and eastern states on Sept. 1. You can elect to get one, two or all three reports at once. The best way to monitor your credit is to stagger your requests and get one report every four months.

The site started operating in December, so there are still a few glitches. It's going to take some patience. But with these free reports, there's no excuse not to become more involved with your credit reports.

Q. What do you do if you see a mistake?

A. Dispute it. There's a form attached to your report -- use that, and then you can also attach a very concise letter to explain your case, plus any supporting documentation. Send it to the credit bureau by registered mail and request proof of receipt.

Once they receive it, they have 30 days either to verify that what's on there belongs there or to remove the item from your report. If you don't hear from them in about 40 days, you win by default.

Write another letter saying, "Thank you for agreeing to delete that item, pursuant to the law."

One shortcut is to get the creditor to provide a letter saying you're right and this no longer belongs on your credit report. The bureaus will believe the creditor before they believe the consumer.

Sometimes it works the way it's supposed to. But I've seen cases where the only way people could get mistakes off their credit report was by filing a federal lawsuit.

Know the score
Q. And what about checking your credit score?

A. It's good to know where you stand, but you really only need to check it if you're planning on making a major financial transaction in the next 60 days: a home loan, a refi or an auto loan.

Make sure it's a so-called FICO score -- that's the one used by 75 percent of lenders. [It's a creation of the Fair Isaac Corp., and it's available at for $7.]

Two of the major credit bureaus sell their own versions, but those are knockoffs. They're fine if you want a general idea of where you stand. But if you're getting ready to make that transaction, get your FICO score.

Q. What are some common missteps that bring down your score?

A. Balance transfers on your credit cards, for one thing. It may seem smart to load all your debt onto one low-rate card. But if you max out on a high-limit card, your credit score takes a big hit. Even if you aren't applying for more credit, your current credit-card companies may raise your interest rates because your credit score dropped.

The whole instant-credit thing also hurts your credit, like when you're at the Gap and they say you get 10 percent off if you apply for a credit card and buy this thing using your new credit card.

You have the combined effect of an "inquiry for new credit" and a small credit limit on the store card, which you already filled up. Both are bad.

The other thing you have to watch out for are collections, the leading type of which is medical collection. Many of those are mistakes -- often an insurance company is responsible for a co-payment, but the doctor bills it to the patient and it ends up becoming a collection.

It's not your fault, but it will show up on your report and become bad news. Then you have to dispute it with the bureau, preferably with documentation from the doctor.

Q. Can you really improve your score?

A. Absolutely. But you can't do it instantly. It's like dieting: It takes patience and discipline. The first thing you can do is look at your balance/credit-limit ratio. The more you can do to get your balances down to less than 50 percent of your credit limit, the higher your score.

Then make sure the information on your report is accurate. Let's say you missed a 30-day payment deadline but your report has it down as 60 days late. Fix it.

Q. I hear everyone looks at credit scores these days.

A. Yeah, anybody with a so-called permissible purpose, which has historically meant primarily creditors, insurers and employers. But we're seeing credit scores used for more and more purchases.

Utilities and wireless-phone providers, for instance, are starting to get into it. Half the time, they don't even tell you they're running a check. And credit-card companies are getting prescreened lists from the bureaus.

Q. Is there any way to keep your name off some of these lists?

A. Yes. You can call 888-5-OPT-OUT. It's a joint entity operated by the three major credit bureaus.

Q. So given what you do for a living, you must have a perfect credit score, right?

A. It looks pretty good, but I have one 30-day and one 60-day late payment from 1999, both on a Sears account. I tried disputing them, but I didn't get anywhere, so I gave up -- it's old enough that it's not seriously impacting my credit.

Personal Finance > Money 101

Top things to know

1. Americans are loaded with credit-card debt.

The average American household with at least one credit card has nearly $9,200 in credit card debt, according to, and the average interest rate runs in the mid- to high teens at any given time.

2. Some debt is good.

Borrowing for a home or college usually makes good sense. Just make sure you don't borrow more than you can afford to pay back, and shop around for the best rates.

3. Some debt is bad.

Don't use a credit card to pay for things you consume quickly, such as meals and vacations, if you can't afford to pay off your monthly bill in full in a month or two. There's no faster way to fall into debt. Instead, put aside some cash each month for these items so you can pay the bill in full. If there's something you really want but it's expensive, save for it over a period of weeks or months before charging it so that you can pay the balance when it's due and avoid interest charges.

4. Get a handle on your spending.

Most people spend thousands of dollars without much thought to what they're buying. Write down everything you spend for a month, cut back on things you don't need, and start saving the money left over or use it to reduce your debt more quickly.

5. Pay off your highest-rate debts first.

The key to getting out of debt efficiently is to first pay down the balances of loans or credit cards that charge the most interest, while paying at least the minimum due on all your other debt. Once the high-interest debt is paid down, tackle the next highest, and so on.

6. Don't fall into the minimum trap.

If you just pay the minimum due on credit-card bills, you'll barely cover the interest you owe, to say nothing of the principal. It will take you years to pay off your balance and potentially you'll end up spending thousands of dollars more than the original amount you charged.

7. Watch where you borrow.

It may be convenient to borrow against your home or your 401(k) to pay off debt, but it can be dangerous. You could lose your home, or fall short of your investing goals at retirement.

8. Expect the unexpected.

Build a cash cushion worth three months to six months of living expenses in case of an emergency. If you don't have an emergency fund, a broken furnace or damaged car can seriously upset your finances.

9. Don't be so quick to pay down your mortgage.

Don't pour all your cash into paying off a mortgage if you have other debt. Mortgages tend to have lower interest rates than other debt, and you may deduct the interest you pay on the first $1 million of a mortgage loan. (If your mortgage has a high rate and you want to lower your monthly payments, consider refinancing.)

10. Get help as soon as you need it.

If you have more debt than you can manage, get help before your debt breaks your back. There are reputable debt counseling agencies that may be able to consolidate your debt and assist you in better managing your finances. But there are also a lot of disreputable agencies out there. (Click here for a guide to figuring out the difference.)

Good debt vs. bad debt
Sometimes it makes sense to borrow -- a lot of times it doesn't.

It's almost impossible to live debt-free; most of us can't pay cash for our homes or our children's college educations. But too many of us let debt get out of hand.

Ideally, experts say, your total monthly long-term debt payments, including your mortgage and credit cards, should not exceed 36 percent of your gross monthly income. That's one factor mortgage bankers consider when assessing the creditworthiness of a potential borrower.

It's far too easy to spend more than you can afford, especially when you pay by credit card. The average U.S. household with at least one credit card carries nearly a $9,200 balance, according to, and personal bankruptcies have hit record highs in recent years.

Of course, avoiding debt at any cost is not smart, either, if it means depleting your cash reserves for emergencies. The challenge is learning how to judge which debt makes sense and which does not, and then wisely managing the money you do borrow.

Good debt includes anything you need but can't afford to pay for up front without wiping out cash reserves or liquidating all your investments. In cases where debt makes sense, only take loans for which you can afford the monthly payments.

Bad debt includes debt you've taken on for things you don't need and can't afford (that trip to Bora Bora, for instance). The worst form of debt is credit card debt, since it usually carries the highest interest rates.

Sometimes the decision to borrow doesn't hinge on how much cash you have, but on whether there are ways to make your money work harder for you. If interest rates are low, compare what you'll spend in interest on a loan versus what your money could earn if it were invested. If you think you can get a higher return from investing your cash than what you'll pay in interest on a loan, borrowing a small amount at a low rate may make sense.

Three examples of good debt
Home, school and your chariot qualify

Debt is not always a bad thing. In fact, there are instances where the leveraging power of a loan actually helps put you in a better overall financial position.

Buying a home: The chance that you can pay for a new home in cash is slim. Carefully consider how much you can afford to put down and how much loan you can carry. The more you put down, the less you'll owe and the less you'll pay in interest over time.

Although it may seem logical to plunk down every available dime to cut your interest payments, it's not always the best move. You need to consider other issues, such as your need for cash reserves and what your investments are earning.

Also, don't pour all your cash into a home if you have other debt. Mortgages tend to have lower interest rates than other debt, and you may deduct the interest you pay on the first $1 million of a mortgage loan. (If your mortgage has a high rate, you can always refinance later if rates fall. Use our calculator to determine how much you might save.)

A 20 percent down payment is traditional and may help buyers get the best mortgage deals -- although that's become less of a truism as the housing market has boomed along with the mortgage lending market. Many home buyers do put down less - as little as 3 percent in some cases. But if you do, you'll end up paying higher monthly mortgage bills because you're borrowing more money and you will have to pay for primary mortgage insurance (PMI), which protects the lender in the event you default.

For more on financing a home, read Money 101: Buying a home.

Paying for college: When it comes to paying for your children's education, allowing your kids to take loans makes far more sense than liquidating or borrowing against your retirement fund. That's because your kids have plenty of financial sources to draw on for college, but no one is going to give you a scholarship for your retirement. What's more, a big 401(k) balance won't count against you if you apply for financial aid since retirement savings are not counted as available assets.

It's also unwise to borrow against your home to cover tuition. If you run into financial difficulties down the road, you risk losing the house.

Your best bet is to save what you can for your kids' educations without compromising your own financial health. Then let your kids borrow what you can't provide, especially if they are eligible for a government-backed Perkins or Stafford Loans, which are based on need. Such loans have guaranteed low rates; no interest payments are due until after graduation; and interest paid is tax deductible under certain circumstances.

For more on educational financing, read Money 101: Saving for College and "Beating the Financial Aid Trap".

Financing a car: Figuring out the best way to finance a car depends on how long you plan to keep it, since a car's value plummets as soon as you drive it off the lot. It also depends on how much cash you have on hand.

If you can pay for the car outright, it makes sense to do so if you plan to keep the car until it dies or for longer than the term of a high-interest car loan or pricey lease. It's also smart to use cash if that money is unlikely to earn more invested than what you would pay in loan interest.

Most people, however, can't afford to put down 100 percent. So the goal is to put down as much as possible without jeopardizing your other financial goals and emergency fund. Typically you won't be able to get a car loan without putting down at least 10 percent. A loan makes most sense if you want to buy a new car and plan to keep driving it long after your loan payments have stopped.

You may be tempted to use a home equity loan when buying a car because you're likely to get a lower interest rate than you would on an auto loan and the interest is tax deductible. But before going this route, make sure you can afford the payments. If you default, you could lose your home. And be sure you can pay it off while you still have the car, since it's painful to pay for something that has been consigned to the junkyard.

Leasing a car might be your best bet if the following applies: you want a new car every three or four years; you want to avoid a down payment of 10 percent to 20 percent; you don't drive more than the 15,000 miles a year allowed in most leases; and you keep your vehicle in good condition so that you avoid end-of-lease penalties.

Whatever route you choose, shop for the best deals. Remember, it's in the car dealer's best interest to finance at the highest rate possible, so look at what you'll pay overall, not just the monthly amount. If you tell your car dealer you can spend $400 a month, you could end up with a new car for $400 a month based on an uncompetitive interest rate.

For more on auto financing, read Money 101: Buying a car. And to get a sense of how much car you really can afford, click here.

Borrowing for other expenses
A home-equity loan or home-equity line of credit is smart in some instances.

Besides life's big-ticket items - home, car, and college -- you may be tempted to borrow money to pay for an assortment of other expenses such as furniture, appliances and home remodeling.

Generally speaking, it's best to pay upfront for furniture and appliances, since they don't add value to your home and are depreciating assets. If you do finance such purchases, however, read the fine print.

Retail stores often charge high interest rates. And even if they offer a low-interest or no-payment period for several months on a purchase, you may be required to pay for the item in full at the end of that period or risk being charged a high interest rate dating back to the day of sale.

Taking a home equity loan or home-equity line of credit makes sense if you're making home improvements that increase the value of your house, such as adding a family room or renovating your kitchen. The interest you pay in many cases is deductible and you increase your equity.

If, however, a home project doesn't boost your house value, consider paying cash or taking out a short-term, low-interest loan that will be paid off in five years or less.

Taking a loan to pay off credit cards
It can work, but there are drawbacks.

If you're saddled with a lot of high-interest credit card debt, you might be tempted to pay it off quickly by borrowing from your 401(k) or taking out a home-equity loan.

There are two key advantages to home-equity loans: They typically charge interest rates that often are less than half what most credit cards charge. Plus, the interest you pay in most instances is deductible. (Note, however, when you use a home equity loan for non-housing expenses, you may only deduct the interest paid on the first $100,000 of the loan, according to the National Association of Tax Practitioners.)

But there is one potential and very significant drawback when you borrow against your house to pay off credit cards: if you default on your home equity loan payments, you may lose your home.

Borrowing from your 401(k) is even less advisable. That's because you lose out on two of the biggest advantages to workplace retirement plans: tax-deferred compounding of your money and tax-deductible contributions. Sure, you pay yourself back with interest, but that interest is paid with after-tax dollars and it will be harder for you to make new contributions while you're repaying your old loan.

Also, if you quit or lose your job, you'll probably have to repay the entire borrowed amount within three months. If you aren't able to do that, you'll owe income taxes on the money, plus a 10 percent penalty if you're under 59-1/2.

One other word of caution if you take any kind of loan to pay off your credit cards: Once your credit card debt is paid off, you have to be vigilant about not running up your balance again, because you still will have big loan payments to make.

If you're having chronic trouble paying off your credit card debt, it may be time to consult a debt counseling service for help managing your finances in the future. For help in finding a reputable one, click here.

Managing your debt
Simple steps put you -- not your bills -- in charge.

Outside of fixed monthly bills such as your housing or car payment, you probably don't have a precise idea of how you spend most of your money.

If you want to get your debt under control, start by figuring out your spending patterns and identifying unnecessary expenses.

For one month, write down every cent you spend. "Every" means "every," including that $2 cup of coffee that starts your workday or that $4 magazine you buy on a whim. That will clarify in black and white how much of your spending is fixed and how much is variable (and hence easier to curb).

Tally the expenses on the list and compare the sum to your monthly income.

How much do you bring in after taxes? How much do you have left at the end of the month after paying fixed expenses? How much do you spend on variable items like that $2 cup of coffee every morning?

Consider, too, whether there's any way to boost your take-home pay. If you get a big tax refund every year, that means you're having too much withheld from your paycheck. If that's the case, you can reduce your withholding by changing your W-4 at work.

Next, make a list of all your debt obligations and the interest you're charged for each.

Once you've done all that, you're ready to start lightening your debt load.

The basics of debt reduction are simple: Cut down on your variable spending and put the extra money toward your debt payments. Once you determine the maximum amount you can pay off each month, pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first -- that usually means your credit card balance -- while paying at least the minimum monthly amount due on all other revolving bills.

Once the debt with the highest rate is wiped out, put your money toward paying the debt with the next highest rate. One exception: If you have a credit card with a low teaser rate that will go up after a fixed amount of time, strive to eliminate that balance before the low rate expires.

You might also consider moving some of your high-interest credit card balances to a card with a lower interest rate. But read the fine print on any invitation to transfer balances. Sometimes such low-interest-rate offers are only in effect for short periods of time, after which the rate skyrockets. What's more, consolidating your debt on one card may lower your credit score if your debt-to-available-credit ratio worsens.

For many people, reining in discretionary spending for a few months goes a long way toward tackling debt. But if that's not enough, try to reduce your fixed expenses. Take steps to lower your household bills; refinance your mortgage to get a lower interest rate; or, if you have a good payment history, ask your credit card company to lower the interest rate you're charged.

For budget tips, read Money 101: Making a budget.

Managing your debt
Simple steps put you -- not your bills -- in charge.

Outside of fixed monthly bills such as your housing or car payment, you probably don't have a precise idea of how you spend most of your money.

If you want to get your debt under control, start by figuring out your spending patterns and identifying unnecessary expenses.

For one month, write down every cent you spend. "Every" means "every," including that $2 cup of coffee that starts your workday or that $4 magazine you buy on a whim. That will clarify in black and white how much of your spending is fixed and how much is variable (and hence easier to curb).

Tally the expenses on the list and compare the sum to your monthly income.

How much do you bring in after taxes? How much do you have left at the end of the month after paying fixed expenses? How much do you spend on variable items like that $2 cup of coffee every morning?

Consider, too, whether there's any way to boost your take-home pay. If you get a big tax refund every year, that means you're having too much withheld from your paycheck. If that's the case, you can reduce your withholding by changing your W-4 at work.

Next, make a list of all your debt obligations and the interest you're charged for each.

Once you've done all that, you're ready to start lightening your debt load.

The basics of debt reduction are simple: Cut down on your variable spending and put the extra money toward your debt payments. Once you determine the maximum amount you can pay off each month, pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first -- that usually means your credit card balance -- while paying at least the minimum monthly amount due on all other revolving bills.

Once the debt with the highest rate is wiped out, put your money toward paying the debt with the next highest rate. One exception: If you have a credit card with a low teaser rate that will go up after a fixed amount of time, strive to eliminate that balance before the low rate expires.

You might also consider moving some of your high-interest credit card balances to a card with a lower interest rate. But read the fine print on any invitation to transfer balances. Sometimes such low-interest-rate offers are only in effect for short periods of time, after which the rate skyrockets. What's more, consolidating your debt on one card may lower your credit score if your debt-to-available-credit ratio worsens.

For many people, reining in discretionary spending for a few months goes a long way toward tackling debt. But if that's not enough, try to reduce your fixed expenses. Take steps to lower your household bills; refinance your mortgage to get a lower interest rate; or, if you have a good payment history, ask your credit card company to lower the interest rate you're charged.

For budget tips, read Money 101: Making a budget.

Black Deaf Education

How many of us are aware about the impact of the 1954"Brown v. Board of Education" decision, let alone how it impacted Black Deaf education from then on to today?

In DC, there was a presentation and discussion about this topic which took place on February 17. Read the info below. I challenge you to think about issues Black Deaf Americans face today in education and vocation. How many of us are aware about our former (or present) classmates, colleagues, and acqaintances who deal with this issue in their daily lives? I personally want to buy this book to learn more. Black history wasn't included in my school textbooks back then. It continues to not be in many American classrooms today. We still have a long way to go before our children finally read more accurate historical accounts in American History, including the history of oppression, slavery, and notable historical people of color. I hope I'll still be alive by the time this becomes reality.

The Impact of "Brown v. Board of Education" on Black Deaf Educational and
Vocational Issues


Dr. Ernest E. Hairston
Education Research Analyst
Office of Special Education Programs
U.S. Department of Education

Co-author of "Black and Deaf in America: Are We That Different?"

Prior to the 1954 "Brown v Board of Education" decision, the quality of
educational facilities and resurces among the "separate but equal" schools
for Black deaf students in most southern states were inferior as compared
with those for white deaf students. However, in some cases, the quality of
education, particularly vocational education, was often equal or superior.

After the "Brown" decision, integration amonth residential schools for the
deaf slowly took place over several years. One school for the colored deaf
and blind closed the school the year immediately following the decision and
sent students to the main campus of the school for the deaf and blind in
another town. Some schools continued to be segregated more than 10 years
after the decision.

As schools integrated, most of the ties that bound Black deaf students with
their schools, their histories, and culture were lost. The desegregation
processes within schools for the deaf, in many cases, were uneventful.
However, there were pockets of resistance among some administrators and

This presentation and discussion will cover some of the above issues
in-depth. This will be an open discussion, thus audience participation is

Thursday, February 17, 2005

12:00 Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Second Floor East Lobby
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library
901 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.


For more information, call Library Services to the Deaf Community at (202)
727-2145 TTY/Voice or send e-mail to

Macys Shopping Spree

Went on a shopping spree with a dear friend last week. Actually, she did all the buyings. I simply bought pantyhose for upcoming events.

Everywhere we turned in the large block-long department store, we saw a particular perfume advertisement (poster). I didn't notice it at first. My friend kept on checking to see if I saw it. The first time I saw it, I barely kept my face straight as I passed it. My friend broke out into laughter after we got out of that section. I didn't want to laugh in front of several store workers. This was a perfume ad for "Echo Woman." In it, a woman's face was full of lust and passion as she held a silicone-implantlooking blob (large round glass actually) in one hand and something else in her other hand. Around her were pink flower petals, and she appeared to be wearing a flowery pink ruffled shirt or something. The model looked as if she was caught in the throes of passion or copulation from the sensation of holding that implant blob thing in her hand. I'm serious. It looked just like a silicone breast implant. Once I noticed that poster, I started noticing it each time we passed one. We broke out into giggles each time and locked arms as we walked past.

Later we had a yummy dinner at a restaurant inside. Service was excellent. However, our waiter needed a little more practice and improvement in being prompt. While chatting and waiting for our meals to arrive, I turned my head to my left and noticed a model of Curious George hung in the air near the bartender in the adjacent room. A glass wall was between Curious George and I. My eyes travelled down his body then from left to right. I noticed two interesting gestures with his hands. Correct me if I'm wrong. Nowhere in my memory since I was a kid did I ever see Curious George in a compromised position or gesturing in a particular manner. I turned my head to my friend, nodded and indicated her to follow my gaze back to Curious George. We became curious. She bursted out in laughter. Curious George's left index finger was pointed toward his mouth as if signing "sticking my finger down my throat to retch" or "disappointed." We discussed which one he was actually saying. The right hand was right below his butt and tail as if he was waiting to catch something about to drop or fall. I'll leave this up to your imagination where to go from here.


Got this from a friend in NC.

Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Love waxes and wanes.
Hearts break.
Careers end.
Jobs come and go.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Men don't call when they say they will.


Girlfriends are there, no matter how much
time and how many miles are between you.

A girlfriend is never farther away than
needing her can reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley
and you have to walk it for yourself,
your girlfriends will be on the valley's rim, cheering you
on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on
your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.

Sometimes, they will even break the
rules and walk beside you. Or come in and carry you out.

Daughters, Daughter-in-laws, sisters,
sisters-in-law, mother, mother-in-law,
aunties, nieces, cousins, extended family, and
friends bless our life!

The world wouldn't be the same without
them, and neither would I.

When we began this adventure called
womanhood, we had no idea of the
incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead.
Nor did we know how much we would
need each other.

Every day, we need each other still.

Pass this on to the women who help
make your life work.

I just did

Friday, March 11, 2005

Missing In Action

I'll continue to be missing in action for at least few more days until the dial tone is restored to the apartment phone jack boxes. I've been without internet access at home for nearly a week now. I think I'm starting to go into depression from lack of access and having to schedule everything way in advance. I was going to buy a pager last week. That has to wait. Being MIA helped me realize how cut off I am from the world in terms of technology and communicating with people besides my cat, Emma, whenever I'm at home. Emma, I love you. But, I need human interaction and communication access.

It's been internet cafes for me at least once every 2 days. Right now, I am at the large one on 42nd St. It used to be open 24x7. Now, they close at 1 AM every night.

Tomorrow, the phone company comes to fix whatever's wrong with the line. I hope to have service restored by tomorrow night. If not, my friends need to do a serious intervention before I go legally insane. :)

I've got few blogs lined up. They will be posted after I have internet access restored at home.

Until then, have a great life. I'll continue to be missing in action. You'll hear from me when I've been rescued by either Verizon or my friends.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Just In Case You Weren't Feeling Old

Many thanks to Alyssa for reminding me about this... and helping me become more aware of certain things... ACK!

Oh man! Why is it that signs that I am starting to "get older as an adult" are coming up more frequently these days? I am NOT saying that I am old. I am not old in any sense. I am just "older."

Yesterday, I found a new strand of white hair. Pulled it out as usual. It's no longer a once a year occurence. Don't tell me that pulling out white hair leads to the growth of few more white hair. That's old wives tale which hasn't proven true over the past 6 years. Let's bet how long it'll be before I need to dye my hair. :) You're as old as you think you are (my current outlook on age; this is liable to change as I "age").

I want to personally thank someone for another eye-opening reminder and something to look forward to. Her 42 years old friend said: "I've given up on feeling young. You know when you are TRULY old when you look down and have a field of grey pubic hair." Never once in my life did it occur to me that any hair follicles south of my head would go white as well.

Here's what Alyssa shared. It was sent in an extra-large font. I have a heart to spare you this and present it in normal fonts.

Just in case you weren't feeling too old today, this will certainly change things.

The people who started college this fall across the nation were born in 1986.

They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.

Their lifetime has always included AIDS.

Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.

The CD was introduced the year they were born.

They have always had an answering machine.

They have always had cable.

They cannot fathom not having a remote control.

Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.

Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.

They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.

They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.

They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.

They never heard: "Where's the Beef?", "I'd ! walk a mile for a Camel", or "de plane, Boss, de plane".

They do not care who shot J. R. and have no idea who J. R. even is.

McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers.

They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.

Do you feel old yet? Pass this on to the other old fogies on your list. Notice the larger type, that's for those of you who have trouble reading.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Asian Food

Here's my bitch entry, a lame spin-off of RT's bitch session. I pale in comparsion to his bitch sessions. So, I'm writing my own bitch entry here.

Don't get me wrong. I like Asian food. I love Thai, Korean, and more. Yet, these days, I've been finding myself feeling sick with the thought of such consumption. Everyone I meet for a meal or chat seem to suggest or choose an Asian restaurant. I love Asian, but I've had enough these days to the point that I view it as a staple equivalent to kids eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day. I'd rather eat a variety of ethnic culinaries.

Pubes Interview

I laughed and groaned when I saw this email sent to people who subscribe to NOW-NYU's email forum. Ladies have more important and urgent feminist rights and issues to address besides how women deforest, prune or groom their pubic hair. I respect her for taking on a different angle at this subject.

Sounds like she is doing a paper at the last minute. It is midterm season, after all. Read on for your entertainment.


Will you talk to me about your pubes?

No, seriously. I'm a senior journalism major currently working on an article for class about the feminist politics of body hair -- specifically pubic hair. How have feminists responded to crazes like the Brazilian bikini wax? Are young feminists less likely to take issue with pubic hair removal? I'm looking to speak with women of all ages about their personal body hair removal (or non-removal) choices, and how a feminist belief system does or does not factor into them. This article is for a class, but there's a very small chance I may pitch it elsewhere if it turns out well. And since I need to talk to women of all ages, if any of you have mothers or relatives or friends who would be willing to speak with me, please pass my info along! You can reach me by email at X or phone at X. The interviews need to be done this weekend, so if you're available, call or email asap! Thanks so much.


This is what happens when you work in human services for a while. You develop a certain sense of humor, and it becomes like this when you feel fried at the end of a long week with clients. Regardless of what happens or how stressful things are, life goes on, no matter what.

Happy reading excerpts from the online conversation with a colleague.

A: I've had such a bad headache all day
A: This is the same kind of headache I get from giner and allergies. Been drinking lotsa water so I know it's not from dehydration.
A: It'll pass.
B: the earth turns
B: babies born
B: old people kick the bucket
A: old folks drop dead
B: hahah
A: dirts blow in the wind
A: seedlings sap
A: and plants wither
B: rabbits screw
A: water ebbs and tides
A: ants climb atop each other
A: and bite living creatures
A: in africa
B: the drones tends to the queen bee
A: birds fly
A: bugs squashed and splattered onto car windshields and walls in south america
B: idiots jump into train track for their dropped cell phone and is hit by the coming train
A: butterflies flutter, creating winds
A: planes take off
B: birds smash themselves on clean window plate
A: women rush up escalators and stand 1 cm from a deaf person's ear, yelling
B: god!
A: babies coo
B: deafie gives hearie a dirty look
A: mid-aged men fart
B: signing 'go fuck yourself'
A: and dream of fucking
B: call girls fix their thong wedgies
A: couples thrust in the middle of passionate throes during copulations all over the world
A: trans stuffing their bras with fake boobs
B: fireworks
B: the fridge blows a fuse and breaks down
A: and all lights in the building go dark
B: "Who is it this time!"
A: as well-lit planes fly overhead
A: and bathroom tubs clog with long hair
B: surivellance helicopters choppers by
A: endless unanswered emails to the super and landlords
B: the landlord is screwing his pretty sec'y on his desk
A: spy satellites zoom onto suspected Al Qaeda operations and training bases
A: and rubber-shooting the unneeded condom
B: the al quaeda gives the satellite the finger
A: while holding a large gun in the other arm
A: and shoots at the satellite
B: weith safety still on
B: ouch
A: Another American solider dies
A: under "friendly fires"
B: another american tortures an arab
B: okay that's enough haha
B: people starve in north korea
A: dinosaur bones are detected on mars

B: i'm well known for my sense of humor
A: i know :)
B: foofoo
A: i am not... they just havent realized it yet
A: only some know
A: otherwise, i'm just a stone face
B: i was trrying to MO you into the damn moldy shower
A: eewe!
A: now i dont wanna shower
A: yuck!
B: *cackle*
A: good thing i have low vision
B: shower anyway
A: so i dont see the mold while washing my hair
A: yes i will
B: it hasn't killed me *yet*
A: i do not want to kill u and bec with my olfactory issues - or char during dinner
B: possible cute waitress?
A: :-X
A: yes!
A: :)
A: no idea where char is taking me to
B: for the love of goddess, shower
A: i just hope it's a good mexican place she has in mind
B: yeah?
A: cuz few that i know in that area suck
A: I'm sure she has good taste. Finally know of a good decent mexican place in that area
B: oh
B: keep ur stone faced expression then
A: right
A: i'm a pro at that
A: a stone face pro
A: i just told a friend that you called me a bitch
A: and she said.... yes yes yesssssssssssssssssss
A: :)
B: ohh
A: :)
B: tsk
A: i need to go to therapy
A: for being called a bitch by few people
A: *sob*
A: cuz they broke my stone face
A: and cracked it
B: tough shit, bitch
A: lol
A: i snorted at that one!
B: tmi
A: i didnt shoot snot outta my face
A: just snorted... as in nose vibration while laughing
B: man i must be outta my mind - i filed the wrogn stuff
B: need a vacation
A: u wanna know waht's wrong?
A: yes
B: yeah i know :)
A: u need a vacation
B: what the fuck
B: yeah
A: oh, i saw a $119 roundtrip special to ft launderdale
A: perhaps take a long weekend vacation to fla
B: old people. next!
go drive around to miami and key west
A: i was thinking of going
B: damn headache!
A: yes!
A: and your damn filing skills!
B: and damn your....
B: um...
A: go and fuck, whore
B: split ended hair?
A: u need it
B: *gasp*
A: it'd set ur mind straight
A: and take care of ur split ends
A: (i dont see any, by the way)
B: straight as in str8, you tristate whore
B: i do
A: lol
B: i hide them well ha
A: you international whore!
A: you're the one who's been to ireland and all that
A: u trying to tell me something abt my split ends?
A: what split ends?
A: i dont hide nothing
B: well you were saying you need a haricut
A: yes
A: not cuz of split ends
A: cuz i need style
A: and a trim
A: that's all
A: so there
B: mary retton haricut shd look lovely
A: oh yes!
B: ok i betta shut up and get oofline
A: and the mary poppins wld do u dandy
A: ok
A: :) you'll be home before u know it

History Lesson: The Liberty Bell

Courtesy of Travel Channel
As seen on March 6, 2005, 12:00-1:00 PM


- The Liberty Bell can be visited in Philadelphia, known as the City of Brotherly Love.

Note: Philadelphia was founded in 1682 by William Penn. He created the name based on the Greek meaning of city of brotherly love.

- The Liberty Bell isnt the original bell brought in from London. The original one cracked the first time it was rung in Philadelphia. So, it was recast by 2 local smiths.

- In 1837, the first real crack took place.

- Anti-slavery folks (abolitionists) adopted the Liberty Bell as symbol due to a Bible verse on the bell stating "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof" (Leviticus 25:10).

Note: To learn more about the Liberty Bell in laymen terms, go to: ~S

- The Liberty Bell rang in Philadelphia for 90 years before it cracked for the first time (or for good) on Washington's Birthday in 1846.

Note: This remains a historical dispute. Some say it cracked for good while others say it truly cracked for the first and last time in 1846. Some say there was a pre-existing repaired crack that worsened and became apparent on his birthday. ~S

- A 1846 attempt to repair the cracked bell consisted of drilling out the crack with the belief that separating the sides of the crack would prevent each side from rubbing each other. Unfortunately, the Liberty Bell rang for the last time on GW's birthday.

- When the new crack opened up and sounded bad ringing at noon one day, it was "forced involuntarily into retirement."