Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jury Awards $310,000 For Spilled Starbucks Coffee

A lawyer has won a lawsuit against coffee chain, Starbucks, after a hot cup of decaf was spilled on her foot.

Alice Griffin, a 42 year old Manhattan attorney, says she was at a Starbucks on Seventh Avenue when the clerk failed to put an insulating sleeve on the cup, then slid the cup across the counter, where it fell on her foot.

A jury awarded Griffin $310,000 from Starbucks in a ruling upheld by State Supreme Court Justice Emily Jane Goodman.

According to CBS, Starbucks says it regrets her pain, but it says the company will appeal the jury verdict if a better settlement can't be reached.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Author of `Das Boot' dies at age 89

News Clip By MELISSA EDDY, Associated Press Writer

Lothar-Guenther Buchheim, the German author and art collector best known for his autobiographical novel, "Das Boot," has died at the age of 89, his museum and the office of the governor of Bavaria said.

Buchheim died late Thursday from heart failure.

Bavarian Gov. Edmund Stoiber praised Buchheim for his contribution to the southern German state, including the museum that houses his collection of art from the Bruecke group of expressionists, including works by Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and Otto Mueller

According to German naval records, the boat was a rarity among the submarine fleet because it suffered no casualties during its 11 wartime patrols.

Buchheim is survived by his wife, Diethild, and two grown children, Yves-Bruno and Nina. A private burial was planned, but no date was given.
Article Courtesy : Yahoo News - Entertainment, AP

On the Net: http://www.buchheimmuseum.de

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Moyle Interconnector Set To Pass On Scottish Electricity

A cross-border power-sharing deal of the non-political kind has been signed in order to keep the lights on in the Republic, it was disclosed today.

EirGrid, the company which manages the grid in the Republic, has secured extra electricity capacity of 100 megawatts from NI Energy Holdings.

The power will be supplied from Britain via the Moyle interconnector, which runs under the sea from Scotland to Northern Ireland.

From there it will be transmitted by means of the north-south interconnector to the Republic, where it will help to bolster supplies to ESB.

In recent weeks, there has been increasing concern in the Republic about a shortage of electricity, particularly at peak times.

As the economy grows, demand has been outstripping supply and already the Republic relies on supplies from Coolkeeragh power station near Londonderry.

Although the mild weather has helped to suppress demand this winter, economic development agency IDA Ireland has warned of the danger of power cuts.

The commercial agreement for extra power - the value of which has not been disclosed - also involves SONI, the system operator in Northern Ireland.

Alan Rainey, executive director of NI Energy Holdings, said the deal underlined the value of interconnection in terms of making electricity supply north and south more reliable.

He said: "This is a win-win for the energy consumer and shows that the Moyle interconnector is not there just for trading energy across systems.

"It is an ever-present source of support and stability for networks and systems operators in Northern Ireland and the Republic."

Mr Rainey said that the agreement would help meet the needs of ESB customers in the Republic and also provide a commercial benefit which would be passed through to consumers in Northern Ireland.

Dermot Byrne, the chief executive of EirGrid, said the deal showed the benefit of electricity links between Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic.

He said: "Increased electricity interconnection is a growing trend in the European Union. It provides concrete benefits including increased security of supply and also facilitates the development of competitive markets for power.

"Consumers should see even greater benefit in the future as the Tyrone to Cavan and Ireland to Wales interconnectors are constructed

News Clip Courtesy : Robin Morton, Belfast Telegraph

Friday, February 23, 2007

V.P.-Turned- Environmentalist Al Gore Creates Frenzy At U. Of T.

News blog ;

He's a former Vice-President of the United States.

His movie, "An Inconvenient Truth", is up for an Oscar.

And he's the poster boy for the environment - printed on recycled paper of course.

All of which is making Al Gore a hot ticket in Toronto.

The American politician turned environmentalist came to the University of Toronto, Wednesday night for a long awaited speech, and there were throngs of fans to greet him.

So were ticket scalpers, who are seeing a different type of green. Reports indicate more than 20,000 people were trying to get their hands on a ducat for the event. But there's only room for 1,500 of them inside.

What tickets there were originally cost $20. They sold out almost immediately.

"We had about 23,000 hits on our website, which of course collapsed the website because we couldn't sustain it," muses the University of Toronto's Ingrid Stefanovic. "So there's been a huge enthusiasm for the event."

And not just huge but expensive. The demand was so high that on the Internet auction site Craig's List, people were offering up to $500 for a single pass.

And that was too much for one man to resist. "I was going to give it to my colleague for 20 bucks, and I told him, hey, I'm a student," the unnamed audience member relates. "Someone else is giving me $200. He says 'okay, go ahead and sell it for $200.'"

"It's like a boy band or something coming to town because people just are clamouring to see Al Gore," laughs Catherine Febria. "It's kind of funny."

Cameras weren't allowed inside, but those who paid to listern to him speak were impressed.

"He was powerful," said one fan. "It was from the heart. It was unbelievable."

Gore sees the Great White North as a key cog in the environmental solution, but he's not happy with the Conservatives' plan to quash the Kyoto protocols.

"Canada, in the past, has always been known for its leadership," he assesses shortly after arriving at the campus. "And I think now is a time when some people put a question mark after Canada on this."

Gore can only wish U.S. voters were as intense and interested in him during the 2000 U.S. election, which he lost to George W. Bush. That put an end to his political career and launched him on a new environmental path.

And judging by Wednesday's response, many are apparently eager to follow him wherever it leads.

To see unedited video of Gore... CLICK HERE