Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mount McKinley


Mount McKinley
by Wikipedia
Mount McKinley or Denali in Alaska is the highest mountain peak in North America, at a height of approximately 20,320 feet (6,194 m). It is the centerpiece of Denali National Park
Notable features

Mount McKinley has a larger bulk and rise than Mount Everest. Even though the summit of Everest is about 9,000 feet (2,700 m) higher as measured from sea level, its base sits on the Tibetan Plateau at about 17,000 feet (5,200 m), giving it a real vertical rise of little more than 12,000 feet (3,700 m). The base of Mount McKinley is roughly a 2,000-foot plateau, giving it an actual rise of 18,000 feet (5,500 m).

The mountain is also characterized by extremely cold weather. A thermometer left exposed at an elevation of 15,000 feet on Mount McKinley over 19 years recorded a temperature of −100°F (−73.3°C) at some point during its exposure[citation needed]. There is also an unusually severe risk of altitude illness for climbers, due to not only its high elevation but also its high latitude. At the equator, a mountain as high as Mount McKinley would have 47% as much oxygen available on its summit as there is at sea level,but because of its latitude, the pressure on the summit of McKinley is even lower

Layout of the mountain

Mount McKinley has two significant summits: the South Summit is the higher one, while the North Summit has an elevation of 19,470 feet (5,934 m) and a prominence of approximately 1,320 feet (402 m). The North Summit is sometimes counted as a separate peak (see e.g., the List of United States fourteeners) and sometimes not; it is rarely climbed, except by those doing routes on the north side of the massif.

Five large glaciers flow off the slopes of the mountain. The Peters Glacier lies on the northwest side of the massif, while the Muldrow Glacier falls from its northeast slopes. Just to the east of the Muldrow, and abutting the eastern side of the massif, is the Traleika Glacier. The Ruth Glacier lies to the southeast of the mountain, and the Kahiltna Glacier leads up to the southwest side of the mountain.

Climbing history

The first recorded attempt to climb Mount McKinley was by Judge James Wickersham in 1903, via the Peters Glacier and the North Face, now known as the Wickersham Wall. This route has tremendous avalanche danger and was not successfully climbed until 1963.
Famed explorer Dr. Frederick Cook claimed the first ascent of the mountain in 1906. His claim was regarded with some suspicion from the start, but was also widely believed. It was later proved fraudulent, with some crucial evidence provided by Bradford Washburn when he was sketched on a lower peak.

In 1910, four locals (Tom Lloyd, Peter Anderson, Billy Taylor, and Charles McGonagall), known as the Sourdough expedition, attempted McKinley, despite a complete lack of climbing experience. They spent approximately three months on the mountain. However, their purported summit day was impressive: carrying a bag of doughnuts, a thermos of cocoa each and a 14-foot (4.2 m) spruce pole, two of them reached the North Summit, lower of the two, and erected the pole near the top. According to them, they took a total of 18 hours — a record that has yet to be breached (as of 2006). No one believed their success (partly due to false claims that they had climbed both summits) until the true first ascent, in 1913.

In 1912, the Parker-Browne expedition nearly reached the summit, turning back within just a few hundred yards of it due to harsh weather. In fact, that probably saved their lives, as a powerful earthquake shattered the glacier they ascended hours after they safely left it
The first ascent of the main summit of McKinley came on June 7, 1913 by a party led by Hudson Stuck. The first man to reach the summit was Walter Harper, an Alaska Native. Harry Karstens and Robert Tatum also made the summit. Tatum later commented, "The view from the top of Mount McKinley is like looking out the windows of Heaven!" They ascended the Muldrow Glacier route pioneered by the earlier expeditions, which is still often climbed today. Stuck confirmed, via binoculars, the presence of a large pole near the North Summit; this report confirmed the Sourdough ascent, and today it is widely believed that the Sourdoughs did succeed on the North Summit.
However, the pole was never seen before or since, so there is still some doubt. Stuck also discovered that the Parker-Browne party were only about 200 feet (61 m) of elevation short of the true summit when they turned back.

See the timeline below for more important events in Mount McKinley's climbing history.
The mountain is regularly climbed today, with just over 50% of the expeditions successful, although it is still a dangerous undertaking. By 2003, the mountain had claimed the lives of nearly 100 mountaineers. The vast majority of climbers use the West Buttress Route, pioneered in 1951 by Bradford Washburn, after an extensive aerial photographic analysis of the mountain. Climbers typically take two to four weeks to ascend the mountain.

Timeline

1896-1902 Surveys by Robert Muldrow, George Eldridge, Alfred Brooks.
1903. First attempt, by Judge James Wickersham.
1906. Frederick Cook falsely claims the first ascent of McKinley.
1910. The Sourdoughs ascend the North Summit.
1912. The Parker-Browne attempt almost reaches the South Summit.
1913. First ascent by Hudson Stuck, Walter Harper, Harry Karstens, Robert Tatum.
1932. Second ascent, by Alfred Linley, Harry Liek, Grant Pearson, Erling Strom. (Both peaks were climbed.)
1947. Barbara Washburn becomes the first woman to reach the summit as her husband Bradford Washburn becomes the first to summit twice.
1951. First ascent of the West Buttress Route, led by Bradford Washburn.
1954. First ascent of the very long South Buttress Route.
1959. First ascent of the West Rib, now a popular, mildly technical route to the summit.
1961. First ascent of the Cassin Ridge, the best-known technical route on the mountain. This was a major landmark in Alaskan climbing.
1963. Two teams make first ascents of two different routes on the Wickersham Wall.
1967. First winter ascent, via the West Buttress, by Dave Johnston, Art Davidson, and Ray Genet.
1967. Seven members of Joe Wilcox's twelve-man expedition perish in a storm near the summit. Up to this time, this was the third worst disaster in mountaineering history in terms of lives lost. 1970. First solo ascent by Naomi Uemura.
1984. Uemura returns to make the first winter solo ascent, but dies after summitting. Tono Križo, František Korl and Blažej Adam from the Slovak Mountaineering Association climb a very direct route to the summit, now known as the Slovak Route, on the south face of the mountain, to the right of the Cassin Ridge
1988. First solo winter ascent with safe return, by Vern Tejas.
1990. Alaskan Norma Jean Saunders became the first woman to officially document a solo ascent of Mount McKinley. She climbed the West Buttress.

Use of Denali and McKinley

Mount McKinley is also commonly known as Denali, which means "the great one" in the Athabaskan language, and which is also the name currently recognized by the State of Alaska. In 1896 the mountain was officially named Mount McKinley, after the former Governor of Ohio and future U.S. President William McKinley. When Denali National Park and Preserve was established by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, December 2, 1980, the Alaska Board of Geographic Names changed the name of the mountain back to Denali. However, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names maintains McKinley, which helps visitors differentiate between the mountain and Denali National Park, where the mountain is located. Alaskans tend to use "Denali" for the park and sometimes for the mountain as well, but "McKinley" is predominantly used to refer to the mountain

Weather station

The Japan Alpine Club installed a meteorological station on a ridge near the summit of Denali at an altitude of 5710 m in 1990. In 1998, this weather station was donated to the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In June of 2002, a weather station was placed at the 19,000-foot level. This weather station was designed to transmit data in real-time for use by the climbing public and the science community. Since its establishment, annual upgrades to the equipment have been performed with instrumentation custom built for the extreme weather and altitude conditions. This weather station is one of only two weather stations in the world located above 18,000 feet.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shannon Elizabeth Biography


Shannon Elizabeth Biography
Shannon Elizabeth (born September 7, 1973) is an American actress, poker player, and former fashion model. Elizabeth came to prominence in the 1999 comedy film American Pie.
Early life
Elizabeth was born Shannon Elizabeth Fadal in Houston, Texas, the only child of Patricia Dianne (née Abbott) and Gerald Edward Fadal. Her father is of Syrian and Lebanese descent and her mother has English, Irish, German, and Cherokee ancestry. She was raised in Waco, Texas. In high school, she was very much interested in tennis and at one point even considered a professional tennis career. She worked as a model before she began a career in film.
Career
Elizabeth appeared in several films, including the horror film Jack Frost and Dish Dogs, before being cast in 1999's American Pie, which was a major box office success and garnered her fame for the famous 'webcam scene' in which she appeared topless. Elizabeth subsequently appeared in several major Hollywood films, including Scary Movie (2000) and Tomcats. Elizabeth starred in the UPN series Cuts until the show was canceled in May of 2006. Cuts and its parent show, One on One, were two of the many shows not to be picked up by The CW.
In August 1999, she posed for a nude pictorial in Playboy magazine. In 2000 and 2003, she was featured in Maxim magazine.
She also provided the likeness and voice for Serena St. Germaine in the 2004 video game, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing
Shannon Elizabeth (July 2005)She is among the 12 celebrities joining the March 2008 cast of Dancing with the Stars. She is partnered with Derek Hough
Personal life
Elizabeth was in a relationship with actor Joseph D. Reitman for ten years, including three years of marriage. The couple separated in March 2005, and Elizabeth filed for divorce in late June 2005. Some media outlets speculated that the cause of their breakup was Reitman assisting in a practical joke on Elizabeth for Ashton Kutcher's MTV television series Punk'd, a year before their divorce, which involved leading Elizabeth to think that she was caught on a sex tape
Animal Avengers, a non-profit animal rescue organization founded by Elizabeth and her then husband Reitman, is dedicated to rescuing and finding a home for homeless pets, reducing pet overpopulation, promoting responsible pet guardianship and preventing animal cruelty. Among the many fund raising events, Team Bodog raised over $50,000 for Animal Avengers in a celebrity poker night on October 8, 2005. The event was hosted by noted tournament director Matt Savage. Over the past year Shannon Elizabeth has participated in numerous other Bodog-sponsored charity events as well. After the attacks of September 11, Shannon recorded a public service announcement in which she said, "I'm half Arabic, but I am one hundred per cent American. What is going on affects me the same as everyone else."
Elizabeth was spotted kissing her Dancing with the Stars partner, Derek Hough, at a beach in Malibu. Shannon Elizabeth and her dancing partner have denied the rumors on the show saying, "we were trying to feel the moment for the dance."
Poker
Elizabeth, who describes poker as her "second career" has been called "one of the leading celebrity poker players." She visits Las Vegas up to three times each month to participate in poker games with the top players of the United States. Elizabeth played in the Main Event of the 2005 World Series of Poker and won a special tournament celebrating the opening of a new poker room at Caesars Palace hotel in January 2006, beating out 83 celebrities and poker professionals to win $55,000. She has also cashed four times in the World Series of Poker in 2006 and 2007, but again busted out of the Main Event early. In 2007, she advanced to the semi-finals of the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship in a field consisting of the top poker professionals before losing to eventual champion Paul Wasicka. Among the four opponents she defeated were three World Series of Poker multiple bracelet winners: Jeff Madsen, Barry Greenstein, and Humberto Brenes.
The online poker room Full Tilt Poker once had a sponsorship agreement with Elizabeth
Filmography
Jack Frost (1997)
American Pie (1999)
Scary Movie (2000)
Seamless (2000)
Tomcats (2001)
Thir13en Ghosts (2001)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
American Pie 2 (2001)
Love Actually (2003)
Johnson Family Vacation (2004)
Cursed (2005)
Confessions of an American Bride (2005)
The Kid & I (2005)
The Grand (2008)
Deal (2008)
Television

That '70s Show (2003–2004)
Cuts (2005)
Thank God You're Here (2007)
One on One Dancing with the Stars (2008)
Erin & Allison's Life (2008)
The Twilight Zone (2001)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nora Zehetner Biography


Nora Zehetner Biography
Nora Angela Zehetner (born February 5, 1981) is an American film and television actress.
Early life

Zehetner was born in El Paso, Texas, the daughter of Nancy Lynne (née Nelson) and John Carol Zehetner.
She attended elementary school in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, before moving back to El Paso.
When she was 14 she moved to Dallas where she attended the McKinney High School for several years.
She also attended the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, a post-high school program for students interested in engineering or medicine, for one year.

Acting career
At the age of 18 Zehetner started an acting career, something she had been interested in since she was 8, and moved to Los Angeles.
She appeared in a number of films like Tart (2001), American Pie 2 (2001), R.S.V.P. (2002), May (2002), The Song of Rose (2003) and others as well as in several TV series and commercials.
While she is best known for her role as Laynie Hart on the WB's show Everwood, her movies are often from the comedy or the horror genre like May or R.S.V.P..

Recent productions featuring the actress include the film Brick which won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, in which she plays the role of the rich femme fatale Laura.
The soundtrack CD of this film, released on March 21 2006 by Lakeshore Records, features a full unedited performance of "The Sun Whose Rays Are All Ablaze" by Zehetner.

In the thriller-horror film Beneath, she appears in the leading role of Christy.

Zehetner recently guest-starred as Eden McCain on NBC's Heroes for eight episodes.
Zap2It.com proclaimed Zehetner as one of "The Underrated of 2006" for her role.

Together with the actors and comedians Tom Arnold and Dax Shepard, Zehetner embarked in 2007 on a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour to the Persian Gulf region to meet with service members and sign autographs.

In 2007, Zehetner played together with Marisa Berenson in the short movie Jalouse: Elegante, famous, beautiful, jolie which was produced by the French fashion magazine Jalouse to celebrate their 10th anniversary

Movies

Tart (2001)
American Pie 2 (2001)
An American Town (TV movie) (2001) May (2002)
R.S.V.P. (2002)
Point of Origin (TV movie) (2002)
The Burning Land (2003)
Fifty Pills (2005)
Brick (2005)
Conversations with Other Women (2005)
The Adventures of Big Handsome Guy and His Little Friend (2005)
Beneath (2007)
Remarkable Power (2007)
The Brothers Bloom (2008)
Spooner (2008)
Television
Gilmore Girls: "Rory's Birthday Parties" (2000)
Going to California: "Taking Care of Biscuits" (2001)
Septuplets (TV series) (2002)
She Spies: "Daddy's Girl" (2002)
Off Centre: "The Deflower Half-Hour" (2002)
Everwood (2003-2004)
Heroes (2006)
Princess (2007)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Miguel Tejada Biography


Miguel Tejada Biography

Miguel Odalis Tejada (born May 25, 1974 in Baní, Dominican Republic) is currently the shortstop of the Houston Astros Major League Baseball team. He began his first six seasons of his career with the Oakland Athletics, where he began his streak of 1,152 consecutive games, that ended with the Baltimore Orioles on June 22, 2007. In 2002, he was awarded the AL MVP award, and he was the MVP of the 2005 All-Star Game. Tejada entered the 2007 season with an active streak of eight straight 20 home-run seasons.

Early life

Tejada grew up in extreme poverty in Baní, a city approximately 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic. Miguel Tejada grew up idolizing the Baltimore Orioles SS Cal Ripken Jr.

At age 19 his childhood dream of playing professional baseball was realized when he signed with the Oakland Athletics for $2000, although at the time the organization believed him to be 17 years old.

Oakland A's

Tejada developed quickly into a top-notch prospect, showing early signs of power. He reached the Majors towards the end of the 1997 season, joining a struggling Oakland Athletics club. Though he only hit .202 in 26 games that year, the A's saw potential in the 23-year-old Tejada and gave him the starting shortstop job beginning in 1998.

The A's, and Tejada, steadily improved over the next two years. His hitting improved as he gained more discipline at the plate. In 1998, he hit .233 with 11 home runs and in 1999 his average jumped to .251 with 21 home runs.

After a solid 87-win campaign in 1999, Tejada and a core of young players led their A's to their first American League Western Division title in eight years in 2000. Bolstered by an American League MVP-winning performance by first baseman Jason Giambi, and aided by Tejada's .275 average and 30 home runs, the A's won 91 games. The A's faced the New York Yankees in the first round of the postseason, which was won by the Yankees 3-2 in Oakland. The Yankees would go on to win the World Series that year, their fourth championship in five years.

In 2001, Tejada had a comparable offensive year, hitting .267 with 31 homers. The A's captured the American League wild card with a 102-60 record. In the postseason, however, the A's fell to the Yankees in five games, blowing an initial 2-0 series lead.

Tejada's breakout year came in 2002. With the departure of Jason Giambi to the New York Yankees during the offseason, and a leg injury to slugger Jermaine Dye, the A's lost two of their key offensive players. Tejada hit .308 with 34 homers and led the A's to their second Western Division title in three years. Their campaign included an American League record 20 game win-streak. Tejada contributed one-out, game-winning hits in the 18th and 19th games of that run: a three-run homer off Minnesota Twins closer Eddie Guardado for a 7-5 victory and a bases-loaded single against Kansas City Royals reliever Jason Grimsley to break a 6-6 tie.

Tejada also showed modest speed on the basepaths with 18 steals over a two-year stretch. His performance was rewarded with the 2002 American League MVP award. For the third straight year, though, the A's fell in the fifth game of the ALDS, this time to the Minnesota Twins.

The next year, both the A's and Tejada got off to a slow start, with the shortstop hitting under .200 for the first month of the season. Improved play in the second half of the season led the A's to their second straight Western Division title and their third in four years. Tejada hit .278 with 27 homers for the year, a decrease from his numbers in 2002, but still leading many offensive categories for shortstops.

In a tension-filled series, the powerful offense of the Boston Red Sox narrowly edged out the A's in the first round, once again in five games. Tejada was known for his public display of anger toward Boston starting pitcher Derek Lowe at the series' conclusion for what he perceived as obscene gestures. Lowe denied the accusation, claiming his fist pump was in celebration only.
By the end of the 2003 season, Tejada had established himself as one of baseball's premier shortstops. The A's elected not to resign the free agent, citing budget concerns and a young Bobby Crosby coming through the system, so Tejada signed a six-year, $72 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles during the offseason

Baltimore Orioles

As an Oriole, Tejada followed in the footsteps of legendary Baltimore shortstop Cal Ripken Jr.. Like Ripken, Tejada is a strong and durable shortstop with unusual power numbers for a middle infielder. Ripken currently holds baseball's record for consecutive games played at 2,632. Tejada played in his 1,000th consecutive game on July 1, 2006.

Tejada's streak was at 1,151 games when he was hit on his left wrist by a pitch on June 20, 2007. The next day, he went up to bunt in the top of the first inning, bunted into a force play, and was replaced by a pinch runner. Following that game, it was announced that he had a broken wrist. On June 22nd he was placed on the disabled list, ending his streak at 1,152 consecutive games, the fifth longest in Major League history, behind Cal Ripken (2632), Lou Gehrig (2130). Everett Scott (1307). and Steve Garvey (1217).

On July 12, 2004, Tejada won the Century 21 Home Run Derby in Houston. Tejada hit a record 27 home runs in the contest, including a record 15 homers in the second round. He defeated Houston Astros outfielder Lance Berkman 5-4 in the final round of the contest. Both records were broken the following year in Detroit by Bobby Abreu.Tejada led the league with 150 RBIs in 2004.

While Tejada did not participate in the Home Run Derby in 2005, he was an All-Star and starter for the AL. In his first All-Star start, Tejada hit a solo home run against John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves, had a sacrifice RBI and was part of an all-Oriole double play with teammate Brian Roberts. His efforts earned him the All-Star MVP, winning a Chevrolet Corvette.
On December 8, 2005, it was widely reported by the Associated Press that Tejada asked the Orioles for a trade, citing unhappiness with the team's direction. Tejada challenged those statements in an interview with Comcast Sportsnet's Kelli Johnson, saying he only asked for a better team, referring to his hope that the Baltimore Orioles would improve after their eighth straight losing season.

Several weeks later, Tejada reiterated his complaints with the Orioles' lack of action and demanded to be traded, sparking immediate rumors of a trade to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Matt Clement and outfielder Manny Ramírez. Tejada stated that he wants a "good group that helps me to win" and commented briefly on his alleged non-involvement in Palmeiro's steroid scandal.

Rumors went around in early 2006 that Tejada might be traded to the Red Sox or Cubs. But on January 7, 2006, Tejada stated his intent to remain with Baltimore for "the rest of [his] career." This statement was made to Orioles Vice President Jim Duquette in a meeting arranged by mutual friend and teammate Melvin Mora. It was reported that Tejada was claimed by the Chicago White Sox off trade waivers, but the two teams did not make a deal for Tejada to go to Chicago

Houston AstrosOn December 12, 2007, Tejada was dealt to the Houston Astros for five players, including SP Troy Patton, OF Luke Scott and SP Matt Albers.. The Astros then opted against a new contract to their incumbent shortstop, Adam Everett, ensuring Tejada's place and role on the team.

Steroid Allegations

On September 22, 2005, ESPN reported that Rafael Palmeiro, who had tested positive for steroids and was suspended for 10 games under Major League Baseball's steroid policy, implicated Tejada to baseball's arbitration panel, suggesting that a supplement given to him by Tejada was responsible for the steroid entering his system. Tejada has denied the allegations, saying that the only thing he gave Palmeiro was vitamin B-12, a completely legal substance under current MLB policy.

On September 24, 2005, The Baltimore Sun reported that "The Health Policy Advisory Committee, which oversees baseball's testing policy, issued a statement that exonerated Tejada and chastised the media for reporting that he might have distributed steroids to another player."
In José Canseco's 2005 book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, he mentions that he believes Tejada might have taken steroids. He claims to have spoken to him about them and the next season seeing him at spring training looking more defined. He never claims to have injected him with them, like he did with Palmeiro, McGwire and other ballplayers.

On September 30, 2006 the Los Angeles Times reported that former relief pitcher Jason Grimsley, during a June 6, 2006 federal raid, told federal agents investigating steroids in baseball named Tejada as a user of "anabolic steroids." The Times reported that Tejada was one of five names blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court. However, on October 3, 2006, the Washington Post reported that San Francisco United States attorney Kevin Ryan said that the Los Angeles Times report contained "significant inaccuracies."[7] Tejada, along with the other four players named, has denounced the story.

On December 13, 2007, Tejada was mentioned in the Mitchell Report in connection to steroids. In the report, Tejada is said to have received $1,500 worth of steroids and $4,000 worth of anti-diarrhea and stool softener medications between 2003-2004. The link between the two purchases is not clear, however, it is assumed Tejada used these substances in conjunction with one another.

A report surfaced on January 15, 2008 stating that Rep. Henry Waxman had asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Tejada was truthful when speaking to the House committee when being interviewed in 2005 regarding possible connections to Rafael Palmeiro

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ollie Johnston Biography


Ollie Johnston Biography
Oliver Martin Johnston, Jr. (October 31, 1912 – April 14, 2008) was an American motion picture animator.

He was one of Disney's Nine Old Men, and the last living member.

His work was recognized with the National Medal of Arts in 2005.

He was a directing animator at Walt Disney Studios from 1935 to 1978.

He contributed to many films including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Bambi and Pinocchio.

His last full work for Disney came with The Rescuers, in which he was caricatured as one of the film's characters, the cat Rufus.

Ollie Johnston on his garden railroad in 1993Johnston co-authored, with Frank Thomas, the reference book The Illusion of Life.

This book helped preserve the knowledge of the techniques that were developed at the studio.

The partnership of Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston is fondly presented in the documentary Frank and Ollie, produced by Thomas' son Theodore.

Personal life

Born in Palo Alto, California, Johnston attended Stanford University- where he worked on the campus humor magazine Stanford Chaparral with fellow future animator Frank Thomas - then went on to the University of California, Berkeley and Chouinard Art Institute.

Ollie married a fellow Disney employee, ink and paint artist Marie Worthey, in 1943. Marie Johnston died May 20, 2005.

Ollie's lifelong hobby was live steam trains. Starting in 1949, he built a 1" scale backyard railroad, with three 1/12th scale locomotives, now owned by his sons.

This railroad was one of the inspirations for Walt Disney to build his own backyard railroad, the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, which again inspired the building of the railroad in Disneyland.

In the 1960s Ollie acquired and restored a full-size narrow-gauge Porter steam locomotive, which he named the "Marie E." In 2005 it ran during a private night event on the Disneyland Railroad.

This engine was sold to John Lasseter (of Pixar Studios fame).

The engine is fully operational and ran recently at the Santa Margarita Ranch in May 2007.
Lasseter paid a tribute to Ollie Johnston with an animated cameo of Johnston in the 2004 Pixar film The

On November 10, 2005, Ollie Johnston was among the recipients of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, presented by President George W. Bush in an Oval Office ceremony.

Ollie Johnston died on Monday, April 14, 2008 at the age of 95.

Other books
Too Funny for Words: Disney's Greatest Sight
Walt Disney's Bambi—the Story and the Film
The Disney Villain

source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ollie_Johnston

Student Loan Consolidation Repayment Options

Student Loan Consolidation Repayment Options
by Ryan Konecky

Making the decision to consolidate your student loans has a big impact on your financial future.
There are a few repayment options that you have for repaying the loan.

Equal (or Standard) Repayment Plan

This repayment plan allows you to make equal monthly payments towards your loan.
The advantage to choosing this payment option is that all of your eligible student loans are consolidated into one single payment.
The term on these loans is typically 10 years.

Extended Repayment Plan

This plan is similar to the equal repayment plan in that you have a set amount to pay towards the loan every month.
However, the schedule for the loan is extended up to 30 years.
The monthly payments are much lower than that of the equal payment plan, but the total amount that you pay over the lifetime of the loan is much higher.
This is because you have a lot more to pay in interest because of the longer schedule.

Graduated Repayment Plan

This plan starts with very low monthly payments which gradually increase every couple of years.
This plan is excellent for those that want the payments to increase as their salary increases.
The loan term can be up to 30 years depending on how much was borrowed.
The payments cannot be 50% less and not more than 150% more than what would be paid
under the equal repayment plan.

Income Sensitive Repayment

Under the income sensitive repayment plan, the monthly payment is calculated based on a percentage of your expected monthly income.
This amount is then re-evaluated every year for up to 5 years.

It is important that you understand the impacts of consolidating your federal student loans for both the long term and short term.
You need to understand the many options that you have for repayment in order to make the right decisions for your financial future.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film review


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 fantasy adventure film, based on the novel of the same name, by J. K. Rowling. Directed by David Yates, produced by David Heyman's company Heyday Films, and written by Michael Goldenberg, it is the fifth film in the Harry Potter film series. The story follows Harry Potter in his fifth year at the magic school Hogwarts. The Ministry of Magic refuses to believe the return of Lord Voldemort and appoints bureaucrat Dolores Umbridge as a teacher at the school

Live-action filming took place in England and Scotland for exterior locations and Leavesden Studios in Watford for interior locations from February to November 2006, with a one-month break in June. Post-production on the film continued for several months afterwards to add in visual effects. The film's budget was reportedly between GB£75 and 100 million (US$150–200 million).Warner Bros., the distributor of the film, released it in the UK on 12 July 2007, and in the US on 11 July, both in conventional and IMAX theatres.

It is the sixth-highest grossing film of all time, and a critical and commercial success, acclaimed by Rowling, who has consistently offered praise for the film adaptations of her work, as "the best one yet". In general, critics received the film well. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film "the best of the series so far, [with] the laughs, the jitters and the juice to make even nonbelievers wild about Harry".The film opened to a worldwide 5-day opening of $333 million, third all-time, and grossed $939 million total, the second to Pirates of the Carribean: At Worlds End for the greatest total of 2007

Plot

Harry Potter and his cousin Dudley Dursley are attacked by two Dementors, and Harry drives them off with a Patronus charm. Shortly, thereafter, the Ministry of Magic detect the act of underage wizardry and attempt to have him expelled from Hogwarts immediately, but this is modified to a trial later in the summer. After experiencing horrible nightmares depicting the evil Lord Voldemort's return, Harry is awoken by the arrival of an advance guard of wizards who escorts him to headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, a secret organisation founded by Dumbledore. It is only now that harry discovers that, under the Ministry's influence, the newspaper The Daily Prophet has launched a smear campaign against anyone who claims that Voldemort has returned, leaving Harry feeling isolated and betrayed by the wizarding community


With the help of Dumbledore and Harry's neighbour, Mrs. Figg, Harry's name is cleared of all charges at the Ministry and is allowed to return to Hogwarts. However, the Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge has appointed a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge, a Senior Ministry official who refuses to teach practical magic to her students, as the Ministry fears Dumbledore will organise his own personal wizard army. As Umbridge's control over the school increases, Ron and Hermione aid Harry in forming a secret defence group, calling themselves "Dumbledore's Army" or DA for short.

Harry's nightmares continue, including a dangerous attack upon Arthur Weasley in the Department of Mysteries. Fearing there may be a connection between Voldemort and Harry, Dumbledore immediately initiates Occlumency lessons (given by Professor Snape) to close Harry's mind from the Dark Lord's influence.

Promoted to High Inquisitor, Umbridge, Filch and her loyal Inquisitorial Squad, including Draco Malfoy, uncover Dumbledore's Army after interrogating one of the students, Cho Chang for whom Harry had developed intense feelings. Dumbledore is questioned and makes an impressive escape as Fudge orders his arrest. With Dumbledore gone, Umbridge becomes the new Headmistress, and her sinister dominance over the school continues.

During an O.W.L. exam, Fred and George launch a firework display causing chaos for Umbridge. As the students cheer joyously outside, Harry suffers a vision of Sirius trapped within the bowels of the Ministry. Umbridge, soon after, catches the trio attempting to use the Floo Network, and begins interrogating Harry. Hermione leads Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest in search of a faux weapon when a herd of centaurs emerge and carry the Headmistress into the darkness. Finding Ron and other DA members, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, and Ginny Weasley, they fly to London by winged-horses named Thestrals

The six enter the Department of Mysteries, where they uncover a prophecy involving Harry and Voldemort, but are soon ambushed by Death Eaters, including Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange, Sirius's deranged cousin. A battle erupts as the Death Eaters try to stop the students from escaping, resulting in Sirius's death at Bellatrix's hand. Back in the Atrium, Harry corners Bellatrix, where she struggles with his desire to enact the Cruciatus curse. Voldemort himself appears, ready to kill Harry when Dumbledore emerges.

A brief but furious duel between Voldemort and Dumbledore takes place, in which Bellatrix escapes through the Floo Network. When Voldemort disappears, and the battle seems over, Harry suddenly finds himself possessed by Voldemort-- recalling images of his past, of his family and his friends--but throws off Voldemort's influence. Ministry officials, including Fudge, arrive mere seconds before Voldemort disappears.

In the aftermath of this battle, the Ministry is forced to end their smear campaign and Umbridge is removed from Hogwarts, awaiting a formal investigation. Dumbledore explains that he had attempted to distance himself from Harry all year, hoping it would bring less risk as Voldemort would not try to invade his mind. The film ends as Harry tells his friends that they have one thing Voldemort does not: love, a power worth fighting for.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Review


Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace review

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is a 1999 space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It was the fourth film to be released in the Star Wars saga, and the first in terms of internal chronology. The film follows two brave Jedi Knights, played by Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor, who flee the planet Naboo with the planet's queen in the hope of finding a peaceful end to a trade dispute. Along the way, the ship must stop for repairs on the planet Tatooine, where the Jedi encounter Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), a young slave boy who is unusually strong with the Force. When the group returns to Naboo, they realize that the situation is much worse than they thought—the Sith have returned.

The release of the film on May 19, 1999 came almost sixteen years after the previous film in the series, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Lucas began production when he felt special effects had advanced to the level of what he had envisioned for the film. Shooting took place during 1997 at various locations including Leavesden Studios and the Tunisian desert. The release was accompanied by extensive media coverage and great anticipation. Despite mixed reviews by critics, it grossed US$924.3 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing Star Wars film in the series (fourth when adjusted for inflation).

The opening crawl reveals that the Trade Federation has blockaded the planet of Naboo in hope of resolving a galactic trade dispute. Chancellor Valorum of the Galactic Republic secretly sends two Jedi Knights — Qui-Gon Jinn and his padawan learner Obi-Wan Kenobi — to meet with the Trade Federation to settle the crisis. Unknown to them, the Trade Federation is in league with the mysterious Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who orders them to invade Naboo with their immense droid army as well as kill the two Jedi. It is later revealed that this was part of a complex plan by Darth Sidious to become Chancellor of the Republic. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan escape and flee to the surface of Naboo, where they meet local Gungan outcast Jar Jar Binks. As Jar Jar brings them to an underwater Gungan settlement, the Trade Federation captures Naboo's leader, Queen Amidala. Through a Jedi mind trick, Qui-Gon secures a submarine, which he, Obi-Wan, and Jar Jar use to reach the capital of Naboo and rescue Queen Amidala and her escort. The group departs for Coruscant, the Galactic Republic's capital planet, to seek help from the Senate.

During the escape, the ship is attacked by the Federation blockade, forcing R2-D2, one of the ship's droids, to fix the shields. The attack damages the ship's hyperdrive, forcing the party to land on the desert planet of Tatooine for repairs. While searching for needed parts, Qui-Gon and a handmaiden named Padmé befriend young Anakin Skywalker, a nine-year-old human slave gifted in piloting and mechanics. Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force in Anakin, and feels that he may be the "Chosen One" — an individual the Jedi believe will fulfill a prophecy by bringing balance to the Force. At Anakin's insistence, Qui-Gon enters Anakin into the Boonta Eve Podrace in a bet with Anakin's master, Watto, to gain the needed parts as well as Anakin's freedom. Anakin eludes several obstacles—including rival racer Sebulba—to win the race, gaining his freedom and bankrupting Watto.

After hesitation, Anakin leaves his mother and his droid (C-3PO) behind on Tatooine to go with the Jedi. As the group prepares to depart, they are attacked by the Sith apprentice Darth Maul, who battles Qui-Gon until the heroes escape. On Coruscant, Qui-Gon informs the Jedi Council of the mysterious, well-trained attacker. The Council becomes concerned that this may indicate the reappearance of the Sith, an opposing order that followed the dark side of the Force. Qui-Gon informs the Council about Anakin, hoping that he can be trained as a Jedi. After testing the boy the Council refuses, worried that he is too old for training and that the fear and anger that he harbors will damage his future. Meanwhile, Senator Palpatine (unknown to the Republic as the Sith Lord), begins to put his plans into effect. He persuades Amidala to call a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Valorum. The vote removes Valorum from power and leads to Palpatine's nomination for the position, which Amidala considers too late to be effective. To stop the Federation invasion by herself, the Queen decides to return to Naboo with her security team, the two Jedi, R2-D2, Anakin, and Jar Jar

On Naboo, Padmé reveals herself as Queen Amidala and forms an alliance with the Gungans for the battle against the Trade Federation. The Gungans march into battle to divert the Federation army away from the capital, allowing the others to infiltrate the palace. Once inside the palace hangar, the Jedi free several Naboo pilots, who regain their starfighters and assault the Federation droid ship. As they make their way to the throne room, the infiltration team is confronted by Darth Maul. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan engage Maul while the others take an alternative route. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan duel with the Sith Lord amongst the catwalks of a massive power-generating reactor core. Obi-Wan is briefly delayed, separating him from Qui-Gon and Maul.
Meanwhile, Queen Amidala and her forces fight their way into the palace and capture Nute Gunray, Viceroy of the Trade Federation. Anakin—inadvertently joining the dogfight in space—destroys the droid-control ship's reactor with proton torpedoes, which deactivates the droid army in the midst of taking Gungan prisoners. In the reactor core, Qui-Gon re-engages Darth Maul singlehandedly, but is mortally wounded. Obi-Wan catches up with Maul and kills him in another intense lightsaber battle, cutting him in half. Obi-Wan approaches his dying master, who uses his final breath to instruct him to train Anakin to become a Jedi

In the aftermath, the newly elected Chancellor Palpatine congratulates Queen Amidala on her victory and promises to watch Anakin's career with great interest. Meanwhile, the Jedi Council promotes Obi-Wan to the level of Jedi Knight, and Yoda reluctantly accepts Obi-Wan's request to train Anakin as his padawan. During Qui-Gon's funeral, Mace Windu and Yoda agree that Maul was indeed a Sith. However, because there are always two Sith at any given time (a master and an apprentice), they believe that another Sith still exists, although who that Sith is remains uncertain. A large celebration is held on Naboo to celebrate the world's liberation and the newborn alliance between the Naboo and the Gungans.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Beyoncé Knowles Biography


Beyoncé Knowles Biography

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981), commonly known as Beyoncé, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, music video director, actress, film producer, dancer, and fashion designer. Beyoncé rose to fame as the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny's Child, the world's best-selling female group of all time.

After a series of commercially successful releases with the group, Beyoncé released her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love, in June 2003. The album became one of the biggest commercial successes of the year, topping the albums charts in the United States and the United Kingdom. It also spawned the number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy" and earned Beyoncé five Grammy Awards in a single night in 2004. Beyoncé's second album, B'Day, was released worldwide on September 4, 2006 to coincide with her twenty-fifth birthday. The album spawned the UK number-one singles "Déjà Vu" and "Beautiful Liar", as well as the worldwide hit "Irreplaceable". It also earned Beyoncé her seventh solo Grammy Award, garnering a total of ten.

Beyoncé also achieved success in the film industry, starring in such Hollywood films as the 2006 comedy The Pink Panther and the 2006 musical film Dreamgirls, which earned her two Golden Globe Award nominations—one for acting and other for Dreamgirl's soundtrack "Listen".

Early life

Knowles was born in Houston, Texas to Tina (née Beyincé), a costume designer of Louisiana Creole descent, and Mathew Knowles, a record manager and former salesman, is African American. The elder of two children, her parents decided on her first name as a tribute to her mother's maiden name. Her maternal grandparents, Lumis Albert Beyincé and Agnéz Deréon (a seamstress), were French-speaking Louisiana Creoles.

She is the older sister of Solange Knowles, an actress and singer-songwriter, and cousin to Angela Beyincé, her then-personal assistant and song co-writer. By age seven, she was attending dance school and was a soloist in her church's choir. Her parents were completely taken aback and at first, could not recognize her. After that, Knowles decided on her profession and went on to win 30 local dancing and singing competitions.

As teenager, Knowles attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, where she showed her musical talents. She later went to Alief Elsik High School, in the Houston neighborhood of Alief.

Destiny's Child era

Knowles and her childhood best friends LaTavia Roberson and Kelly Rowland along with LeToya Luckett formed a quartet that would perform in their backyards and at Tina Knowles' hair salon. After singing at local events, they got their break when they entered Star Search. The group, then named Girl's Tyme, were disappointed after losing the competition. Mathew Knowles, Knowles' father and Rowland's legal guardian, decided to help the girls reach their dreams of becoming singers. He quit his six-figure salary job as a multi-million dollar equipment salesman at Xerox to manage the group.This decision by Mathew eventually affected the whole family. Their income had been cut in half, causing the family to move into two different apartments. When the group was signed to Columbia Records in late 1996, it gave the entire family a second chance at making things work.

The group underwent several name changes—Girl's Tyme, The Dolls, Something Fresh, and Cliché—before sticking with Destiny's Child, based on a passage from the Book of Isaiah in the Bible. Knowles' mother Tina had found the word "Destiny", but since that name was already taken, they settled for Destiny's Child. After making their recording debut with "Killing Time" for the soundtrack to the 1997 film Men in Black, the group rose to fame in 1998 with the Billboard Hot 100 top five, R&B number-one single "No, No, No Part 2". Even after much-publicized turmoil involving the departure of LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson, Destiny's Child (eventually a trio) became one of the most successful R&B/pop acts of the early 2000s, charting four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, several top ten hits, and two number-one albums.
Destiny's Child performing their 2000 hit "Say My Name", from their 1999 platinum-selling album The Writing's on the Wall, during their farewell concert tour, Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' ItTheir platinum-selling debut album, Destiny's Child, released in 1998, was produced by Wyclef Jean and Jermaine Dupri and featured the double platinum number-one single "No, No, No Part 2". The group's second album, The Writing's on the Wall, released in 1999, featured the number-one hits "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Say My Name", besides the popular singles "Bug a Boo" and "Jumpin' Jumpin'". It went on to sell eight million in the U.S. and twelve million copies worldwide. Furthermore, "Say My Name" won two awards at the 2001 Grammy Awards: "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" and "Best R&B Song".

Their following album, Survivor, proved to be another big success, going to number one on both the U.S. Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, as well as the Canadian and the UK Albums Charts. Two singles from the album went to the top of the Hot 100: "Independent Women Part I" and "Bootylicious", while "Survivor", the album's title track, reached number two and "Nasty Girl", the final single, missed the chart. In the United Kingdom, the first two tracks released reached number one consecutively. "Independent Women Part I" had been the theme song for the 2000 film Charlie's Angels, before the album's release. The title track, "Survivor", earned the group their third Grammy Award, "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals". The album has sold over ten million copies worldwide.

In 2001, Knowles won the "Songwriter of the Year" award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Pop Music Awards, becoming the first African-American female and second overall female songwriter of all time to accomplish this.

After the three-year journey that involved concentration on individual solo projects, Knowles rejoined Rowland and Williams for Destiny's Child's fourth (and so far final) studio album, Destiny Fulfilled, released in November 2004. The album hit number two on the Billboard 200 and spawned the hits "Lose My Breath", "Soldier", "Girl", and "Cater 2 U". It has sold seven million copies worldwide.

In 2005, Destiny's Child embarked on a world tour sponsored by McDonald's titled Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It, visiting over seventy cities throughout Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America from April to September. On June 13, 2005, it was announced that the group would disband after their world tour ended in September 2005. In October 2005, the group released their final album, entitled #1's, including all of Destiny's Child's number-one hits and most of their well-known songs. The greatest hits collection also includes three new tracks, including "Stand Up for Love". The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and number seven on the UK Albums Chart. #1's went on to sell three million copies worldwide

source:

Monday, April 7, 2008

Discover Credit Cards: A Look At The Top 3

Discover Credit Cards: A Look At The Top 3

by Ed Vegliante

Although Visa and MasterCard might be the forerunners of the credit card industry, Discover card has been increasing in popularity over the last decade or so. Except for student credit cards, most Discover cards have a comparatively low APR, and they never have an annual fee.

They have also been commended for customer service and for fraud prevention. With more than 50 million cardholders and more than 4 million merchant locations, Discover is proving their critics wrong. When they first opened in the early 90’s, their competition scoffed and it didn’t look as though they would make it in the credit card industry.

They were hoping to brand a new trend in credit cards, and they have succeeded after years of marketing and communication.


Here are three popular Discover credit cards:


The Miles Card from Discover


The Miles Card is one of the most versatile frequent flier credit cards in that it allows you to earn miles as well as gift certificates or cash back. Customers earn one mile for every dollar spent, and can choose how they want to redeem their points.


Discover recently increased the bonus miles card holders can earn with the Miles Card to 12,000. On both purchases and balance transfers, the introductory rate is 0%. There are no blackout dates and miles can be redeemed both online and over the phone.

In addition, you can redeem your points for flights on any airline. Discover might not offer some of the fringe benefits that accompany Visa and MasterCard credit cards, but they make up for it in rewards.


Discover Platinum Gas Card


With gas prices rising nearly every day, many consumers are turning to gas rebate cards to offset the amount they’re spending at the pump. Gas rebate cards, such as the Discover Platinum Gas Card, offer cash back rewards for every dollar you spend at gas stations.
The Discover gas rebate card is singularly unique because of its double-reward program.

Typically, customers earn 5% cash back on all purchases at gas stations, but if you redeem your cash back rewards with select merchants, you receive double the original amount. Discover offers a 0% introductory APR, which applies to both purchases and balance transfers.


Customers also enjoy 0% fraud liability and free online Bill Pay. This card does require excellent credit, however, and they do have a minimum spending limit to receive the full 5% cash back. This card has up to a $50,000 credit limit.


Discover Gold Card


The Discover Gold card is one of the oldest Discover credit cards, and is still popular today. Like the platinum card, the Gold card allows customers to earn up to 5% cash back on purchases at select merchants and the cash back doubles if used within the Discover Merchant Network.


Customers can choose between three unique card faces and enjoy 0% fraud liability. Stores within the Discover Merchant Network include Red Lobster, Sharper Image and the Sunglass Hut. As with most Discover cards, there is a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the Gold card.


The Gold card requires a good credit rating and there is a minimum spending limit in order to receive the full 5% cash back rewards. The card offers up to $25,000 in auto rental insurance coverage and up to $500,000 in travel accidental death insurance.


Discover Card is the newest credit card company, but it is growing in popularity as they continue to offer excellent customer service and valuable rewards programs. Take a look at our top three Discover cards and choose the one that works for you

by http://ezinearticles.com/?Discover-Credit-Cards:-A-Look-At-The-Top-3&id=211845

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Consumer Credit Counseling Services

Consumer Credit Counseling Services
By Neil D'silva

What are the functions of Consumer Credit Counseling Services?

Contrary to what most people think, or want to think, about consumer credit counseling services, these services are not just about mere counseling for your financial credit problems. They are much more than that.

The following is a list of all the services that the consumer credit counselors will provide to you:-

· Of course, the first service is counseling itself. They will listen to your financial problem carefully. When you are speaking all these things out, you are yourself realizing the extent of the problem you are in. Anyways, the credit counseling services will try their best to counsel you verbally about your financial problems at the outset.

· The next step is to train you in financial management. The credit counseling services will sit with you and discuss how you can better manage your finances. They will prepare a budget for you and your family so that you can make the best use o the income you are getting and efficiently manage the payments you need to make.

· Most importantly, they will tell you of schemes in detail, such as the debt consolidating and debt refinancing plans by which you can solve all your credit problems. Debt consolidation means clumping all your individuals into a single loan which you can pay with greater ease. While, debt refinancing means getting your existing loan renewed through another lender at a cheaper rate of interest. The consumer credit counseling service will coach you in these plans, and will help you implement them too.

Why choose Consumer Credit Counseling Services?

It is very difficult for people who are deep in debt to manage their finances properly. Sometimes, these people might have the financial capacity to come out of their debts, but because they are not managing their loans properly, they are not able to solve the situation. This is where the consumer credit counseling services help. They will actually sit and discuss the problem with you and will tell you of ways by which you can be debt-free.

Most people when they approach consumer credit counseling services, they do not even know what debt consolidation or debt refinancing means. Even if they know about them, they have most likely a very hazy idea about it. It is the job of the counselor to make people aware of these viable solutions to their problems.

Credit counselors also become important when a person is to file for bankruptcy. In fact, the American law has made it compulsory for people to enroll into the programs of the credit counselors before their bankruptcy so that they can seek knowledge of how to avoid this sticky scenario the next time round.

Thus the consumer credit counseling services are not all out there to make a fast buck. Most of them have genuine intentions and a noble way of doing business.

Which Consumer Credit Counseling Services to avoid?

Many credit counseling services are nothing but scams, and you need to avoid them like the plague. Avoid all companies that are not registered with the government. Their programs have no value at all in the courts. Do not go for any consumer credit counseling services who want to push a particular policy of theirs. You must make sure that they are understanding your problem first, and working with you to find a solution for it.

Are Eloans A Better Alternative

Are Eloans A Better Alternative
By Joseph Kenny

Eloans are the same as those applied for at local and commercial bank chains with some interesting differences. These are loans which are applied for through the web pages of the internet.

Eloans are actually easiest for the loan agency whether it is an investment group, bank, credit card company, insurance company or even an HMO rather than the customer. Credit checks are perhaps quicker, as well as background investigations and loan equity verifications for the agency to perform

The time needed for an Eloan application to be approved can be measured in minutes if not seconds. A longer time may be required if there is a large Eloan requiring the securing of personal property or real estate to act as collateral.

Before such business is transacted you should perform your own investigation into whom you are doing business. Herein lies the homework since the internet is not a totally truthful place to find out information concerning an investment firm

The library has bound references dealing with the objective and subjective evaluation of both private and public investment firms. A few of these are "Standard and Poor's" and "Barron's". You can also research these reporting sites on the internet as well. You need to check on the stability of the firm and the profits gained from the past eight financial quarters or even longer.

Other means of research can be obtained by visiting the web site of the many local banks in your hometown. They offer eloans and other services through the internet. Shop around these and others to get the best deals in interest rates

Now I mentioned that these were easier for the lending institution than you the customer. The reason being is that they are closely tied to the credit card companies and credit reporting agencies. Having worked in the bowels of the loan sharks I know that there are only four major credit reporting agencies. These have had the past eleven years to convert their databases to merge and work flawlessly through the internet.

There is a startling fact well hidden by those of us who have been geeks, there are several supreme echelons of computer excellence. They are from number one to four; the pornography industry, the stock market, the banking and financial industry and the federal government

Your credit information has a higher security than most people understand. The acquisition of credit information carries a minimum fine of $10,000 and ten years imprisonment according to federal statute if it is used for purposes other than securing a loan. This is the reason why insurance companies go mum when asked how they derive insurance rates. They will claim that they use age groups instead.

My point is that your credit rating is available to these lending agencies; there may be a lot more information but you will not know about it. This is the statistical information about what your indebtedness quotient is, how expensive a house do you own or rent, what is your telephone bill, water and gas bills. All of these facts about you are much more available through the agencies that handle eloans.
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