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October 21 2014


The Definitive Ranking of Ballpark Food Items | Thomas McKenna

No American sporting event is as closely tied to food as a baseball game. Chowing down on a good snack isn't just an incidental part of the experience, it's an integral part of it, and it has been for more than a century.

However, in the many years since Norworth & Von Tilzer first penned "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," stadiums have begun offering a lot more culinary options than just peanuts and cracker jack. So which is king of the ballpark kitchen? And which are just pretenders to the throne?

Here is my definitive ranking of baseball stadium food:

12) Corndogs

Corndogs are disgusting. You have never had a good corndog. Those memories you claim you hold from your childhood of chowing down on delicious corndogs never happened.

11) Pizza

Don't get me wrong, I love pizza. But context matters, and we're talking solely about ballpark pizza here. It's been sitting too long under those heat lamps, the cheese is clumpy, and it's never as filling as you want it to be. For a truly delicious slice, you're almost always better off frequenting the joints around the stadium.

10) Cotton Candy

If you're over the age of 10 and you're still ordering cotton candy at a baseball game, you need to get your act together. Those things are a root canal on a stick. I last had cotton candy in like 2005 and my fingertips are STILL sticky from it.

9) Nachos

The quintessential "eyes are bigger than your stomach" stadium food. Those first few handfuls of chips and toppings are so tasty, but five minutes later you're pawning them off, asking everyone around you to help finish them. Rarely worth their price tag.

8) Chicken Fingers

The Mark Buehrle of stadium food -- undeniably solid but rarely spectacular. Go with the honey mustard dip over BBQ sauce to maximize their value.

7) Peanuts

Enjoy Green Mansions Golf Course

For some pastime purists, a baseball game isn't complete without approximately 50,000 peanut shells strewn around their feet. Let me be democratic and just say that I am decidedly not one of those people.

6) Soft Pretzels

Now we're getting to the all-star foods. You can even improve this ranking by 2 or 3 spots more if you're ordering the soft pretzel at a Phillies game.

5) Soft Serve Ice Cream

Look at that ice cream cone. It's looks so inviting. It's so hot at this baseball game. I need one. Now I have one! It melted :(

4) Chili Cheese Fries

Cheese fries ... chili fries ... chili cheese fries... It doesn't quite matter how they come. Regardless of presentation, this is an absolute must-have sporting food indulgence.

3) Hot Dogs

Hamburgers and cheeseburgers might get more love at your typical backyard cookout. But, at the ballpark, it's the hot dog that's king of the grill. Attending your first baseball game and realizing you can eat a hot dog the size of your arm is a seminal moment in any young fan's life.

2) Cracker Jack

Cracker Jack is as underrated as its "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" brothers, peanuts, are overrated. Each box is a nonstop supply of mouth-watering, finger-licking, candy-coated nirvana. And then there's their ineffable qualities: their timelessness, their tradition, the fact that it just somehow feels cosmically right and good to be chowing down on these guys as you cheer from the crowd.

1) Beer

Because all of this food has made you very thirsty. Also, because beer.


October 05 2014


Brazil election: Brazil to elect president after dramatic campaign

BBC News - Brazil election: Brazil to elect president after dramatic campaign

5 October 2014 Last updated at 08:09

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Brazil election: Brazil to elect president after dramatic campaignAecio Neves, Dilma Rousseff and Marina SilvaMs Rousseff (centre) is expected to face either Mr Neves or Ms Silva in a run-off voteContinue reading the main story

Related StoriesThe women vying for presidency WatchThe players and their policiesHackers target Brazil electionMore than 142 million Brazilian voters are due to go to the polls to choose the country's next president, following a dramatic election campaign.

Early on, incumbent Dilma Rousseff had been expected to win outright.

However, the death of one of the main candidates and the popularity of his replacement, environmentalist Marina Silva, means the vote is now likely go to a second round.

Ms Rousseff's other main rival is Aecio Neves, a centrist, pro-business figure.

Voting starts at 0800 (11:00 GMT) and voters will also select a federal parliament and state governors.

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Mr Neves was narrowly ahead of Ms Silva, according to several opinion polls published on Saturday, which all put Ms Rousseff in a commanding lead with about 45%.

Brazil's voting system is all electronic and is likely to deliver a result within an hour or two of polls closing at 22:00GMT.

On the eve of the vote, the Superior Electoral Court moved to dismissed reports that the system was vulnerable to hacking, saying it was "fraud-proof", despite frequent attempts to hack into the ballots.

Voting machines in Brazil, 24 Sep 14More than 530,000 voting machines will be used across the country.

During Ms Rousseff's tenure as president, unemployment has been lower than under any of her predecessors, at about 5%. The minimum wage has risen and the number of undernourished Brazilians has been falling.

But the past 18 months have been marred by recession and corruption scandals, and protests over poor public services and the World Cup costs.

Despite widespread dissatisfaction with Ms Rousseff's centre-left Workers' Party (PT), polls early in the campaign suggested she was well ahead of her leading rivals - who were then Mr Neves and Socialist Eduardo Campos.

But then Mr Campos died in a plane crash and his replacement, Ms Silva, emerged as a surprisingly strong contender.

Protesters blocking an access to the Arena Fonte Nova Stadium in SalvadorLast year, thousands of Brazilians protested at what they said was excessive spending on the World Cup

However,the former minister and environmental campaigner has lost ground in recent days.

Most analysts expect no clear winner to emerge in the first round. This mean the top two candidates are likely to face each other in a second round on 26 October.

Voting is mandatory for those aged between 18 and 70.


September 21 2014


2006 Ryder Cup Host Selects ProLink Solutions as GPS Provider; Ireland's K Club to Install State-of-the-Art System on Palmer and Smurfit Courses

CHANDLER, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 17, 2006--ProLink Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ProLink Holdings Corp. (OTCBB:PLKH) and the world's leading provider of Global Positioning Satellite ("GPS") systems for golf courses, today announces that its European distributor, Elumina, will install the ProLink system at the K Club (Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland), which will soon command the international spotlight as host of the 2006 Ryder Cup.

ProLink's industry-leading, solutions-based GPS system will be installed at the K Club's Palmer and Smurfit courses, two of Ireland's most highly regarded championship golf facilities. Together, these critically-acclaimed courses comprise what many consider to be the finest 36 holes of inland golf in Ireland, a nation steeped in golf tradition and rich with courses ranked among the best in the word.

When faced with choosing a GPS system to complement and enhance its operations and customer experience, the first Irish golf club to host a Ryder Cup selected ProLink over all its competitors. Installed at more than 500 courses, worldwide, ProLink is featured at PGA Tour event venues, such as Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head, S.C., as well as past Ryder Cup sites (Valderrama).

"Elumina and ProLink are the perfect partners to carry out our mission of being one of the world's premier golf destinations," says John McHenry, Director of Golf at the K Club. "The rich graphics, robust features and on-screen advertising initiatives make it the natural choice as the K Club's GPS system. Our golfers will benefit from the precise yardages and hole descriptions while the club will achieve greater efficiency in all golfing operations. The stylish ProLink monitors fit seamlessly with our golf car fleet and provide a look and feel consistent with the club's high-end aesthetic."

"Elumina and ProLink are honored to have been selected over the nearest competitors to provide this state-of-the-art GPS system to the K Club, one of the world's elite golf destinations," says Angela Catlin, Marketing Director for the Elumina Group. "This partnership greatly enhances Elumina's and ProLink's position as the standard-bearer of quality, reliability and customer service in the GPS industry."

Designed by Arnold Palmer and opened in 1991, the Palmer Course plays 7,337 yards from the back tees and incorporates the River Liffey as a hazard on several holes. From September 24-26, 2006, the Palmer Course will host Ireland's first-ever Ryder Cup as twelve-man squads from the U.S. and Europe square off in the game's marquee team event.

Also designed by Palmer, the Smurfit Course opened in 2003 and in July hosted for the second time the Smurfit Kappa European Open - one of the top events on the PGA European Tour. The Smurfit Course stretches to 7,277 yards and features native grasses and links-style playing conditions, as well as some 14 acres of water hazards.

Founded by Jefferson Smurfit chairman Dr. Michael Smurfit, the K Club also boasts Ireland's only Automobile Association Five Red Star hotel complete with spa, three restaurants and 550 acres of idyllic scenery, all just 45 minutes from the capital city of Dublin. The hotel contains remnants of Straffan House, constructed in the 1830s by winemaker Hugh Barton, while the property's history dates to 550 AD.

The K Club joins such prestigious European counterparts as Alicante, La Moraleja and La Sella golf clubs in Spain, Terre Blanche and Les Bordes in France, Brocket Hall, Kilworth Springs and Whittlebury Park in England, in offering the ProLink system.

About Elumina

One of the fastest growing businesses in the international golf industry with offices in the UK, Spain and France, Elumina is building the ProLink brand across Europe (and the Middle East and Asia). In September 2005, ProLink and Elumina were officially endorsed as the "Official GPS of The PGAs of Europe," and Elumina has installed the ProLink system at such prestigious venues as Valderrama, Alicante, and La Sella golf clubs in Spain, Terre Blanche and Les Bordes in France, and Brocket Hall, Kilworth Springs and Whittlebury Park in England and now the famed K club.

With its superior in-house engineering, mapping, technical services and innovative financing and advertising options, Elumina is uniquely positioned to exponentially grow installations of ProLink GPS systems at public, private and resort courses in a wide variety of countries and economic environments. The company's leasing arm - Elumina Finanzia - provides courses with a flexible, accessible financing mechanism for purchasing golf cart fleets custom equipped with ProLink GPS systems.

In 2005, Elumina pioneered a successful multi-national advertising program - GP Ads - that enables courses to offset the cost of, and even profit from, the installation of ProLink GPS. The system is fully administered by Elumina and its advertising partners, and courses are paid monthly on total rounds played and average price-per-round. The financing and advertising programs provide a complete, turn-key marketing solution capable of funding capital projects, equipment purchases and other on- and off-course programs. GP Ads' client base includes government organizations, blue chip companies and high-end luxury good distributors.

About the ProLink System

Innovators of golf GPS technology, ProLink Solutions' core philosophy is to be a "Trusted Partner" in golf course management. From enhancing golfers' overall experience and improving pace-of-play, to bolstering revenue streams and creating new profit centers, ProLink Solutions products and services have captured markets both nationally and globally.

Installed at more than double the courses of its competitors, combined, ProLink is featured at more than 500 resort, private and public courses worldwide, including Valderrama Golf Club in San Roque, Spain; Dal-Takararazuka in Osaka, Japan; and Kapalua Resort in Maui, Hawaii. The world's most respected golf management companies have also adopted the innovative technology and marketing richness: Billy Casper Golf, Evergreen Alliance Group, Kemper Sports, and Pacific Golf Management all engage with ProLink.

Golf cart fleets are custom fit with 10.4" high-resolution color monitors that broadcast vibrant, easy-to-read graphics of each hole. Throughout their rounds, golfers continually refer to the screen to pinpoint distances, locate hazards, navigate the golf course and to place food and beverage orders with the touch of a button. The ability to relay medical emergencies and receive dangerous weather condition warnings from the pro shop provides golfers with a full suite of communication tools.

From the pro shop, management utilizes the ProLink system to monitor golf cart fleets and optimize operations using fully integrated, Windows-based workstations. The precise locations of golf carts, color-coded pace-of-play status for each cart, as well as cart battery levels and other wear and tear indicators are readily available. Robust back-end reporting through user-friendly software yields a multitude of course statistics, all designed to raise the bottom line. Courses engaging with ProLink report pace-of-play improvements of up to 30 minutes per round, resulting in four additional rounds per day.

Food and beverage managers are able to post daily lunch specials and/or high margin items on the ProLink units, boosting sales by up to 30 percent. Event planners are able to maximize tournament and corporate outing revenue via the ProLink system. Through its ScoreCast and ScoreMaster software suites, ProLink units offer a simplified-yet-comprehensive tournament set-up that allows for any format and for any number of tournaments to be carried out simultaneously.

ProLink Solutions also offers financial solutions through ProLink Capital for leasing the system, fleet expansions, or course improvements. The ProFit program is another alternative for courses to leverage financing options and generate substantial advertising revenues to substantially reduce or eliminate the system cost.

Risks and uncertainties are described in reports filed by ProLink Holdings, Corp with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information about ProLink, visit www.goprolink.com, call 480.753.2337 or email info@goprolink.com.

Safe Harbor

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 about ProLink Holdings Corp. (PLKN). Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. Such forward-looking statements, based upon the current beliefs and expectations of PLKN's management, are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from the forward looking statements. The information set forth herein should be read in light of such risks. PLKN does not assume any obligation to update the information contained in this press release.


September 02 2014


Want to own your own island? - Page 3

Chandler Island will only set you back $40,000. (Image courtesy of PrivateIslandsOnline.com)

You can own a private island for a mere $40,000. As you might expect, such a meager sum won't buy you much more than the concept that you own a private island. Chandler Island is "an acre, more or less," according to the listing, situated in Wohoa Bay in Maine. At high tide, it's about "the size of an average suburban yard." The only thing included with the property, besides its natural vegetation, is a gazebo.

At least it's easily accessible -- the island is only 80 miles from the state's third most-populous city, Bangor, and boats can reach the island at all times, except at very low tide, when you can actually walk to it because the water is only waist-deep.


August 08 2014


Why Hiking Is A Good Recreational Activity

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July 25 2014


North Carolina Shark Attack Girl in Good Condition

ABC News | More ABC News Videos


A 6-year-old girl is in good condition after being attacked by a shark on a North Carolina beach Tuesday evening.

The girl's parents issued a statement saying their daughter was in good spirits and had commented, "I hate sharks. I like dolphins way better."

The child was swimming with her father in shallow water when she was bitten on the right leg and part of her foot, according to Kenny Ballance of the National Park Service for Cape Hatteras.

She was swimming on a boogie board in about a foot of water.

Hyde County EMS, the National Park Service and the Ocracoke Fire Department responded to a call at Ramp 72 on Ocracoke Island.

"The Ocracoke EMS and another park ranger, Shane Bryant, [were] on the scene right away," Ballance said. "The rescue squad began working on the little girl when ranger Bryant arrived. It was apparent that she was bitten below the knee in the foot area is the report."

Pitt Memorial Hospital flew a helicopter into Ocracoke Beach and flew the child to the hospital in Greenville.

"We were told she was in stable condition, then we called this morning to learn she's in critical condition," Ballance said.

Authorities said the last shark attack in the area, in Cape Hatteras, was a fatal one.

"The last shark attack in Cape Hatteras was in 2004 and that was in one of the villages north of us here," Ballance said. "The guy was bitten in a major artery and he bled to death before we were able to get to him."

Ocracoke Island is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The entire island is owned by the U.S. National Park Service, except for the village.

Shark Attacks in North Carolina

A 10-year-old girl was attacked by a shark earlier this month in North Topsail Beach in North Carolina.

Cassidy Cartwright of Erie, Pa., like the 6-year-old victim, was also playing on a body board and was wading knee-deep in only 3.5 feet of water.

"It pulled me down, and it hurt," Cartwright told ABC News affiliate WWAY. "I just thought it was somebody messing around, and I found out that it wasn't because it pulled me down again."

Cartwright's mother, Carolyn, who rescued her daughter with the help of a friend, described the scene as "bloody."

"Together we got her out, but when we pulled out of the water her leg was wide open and it was just ... a lot of blood," Carolyn told WWAY.

Biologist Andy Dehart told ABC News earlier this month that the murky water around the North Carolina shore is often to blame for unprovoked shark attacks in this area.

"The shark sees a flash of pale skin which has a high contrast in the dark, murky waters and often times that can confuse sharks a little bit." he said. "They bite down thinking they are biting a fish but it's a person."

The Florida Museum of Natural History keeps an international shark attack file, which was last updated in January. It shows 41 unprovoked shark attacks from 1935 to 2010.


July 24 2014


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July 21 2014


Rory McIlroy Wins U.S. Open to Become Youngest Champion in Nearly a Century

ABC News | ABC Sports News


Rory McIlroy made history on Sunday, becoming the youngest U.S. Open champion in almost a century.

By almost every statistical measure, McIlroy's triumph at Maryland's Congressional Country Club was one of the great performances in golf history. The baby-faced 22-year-old from Northern Ireland did something almost impossible on the course: he made golf look easy.

But that is not why McIlroy is beaming today in photographs beneath newspaper headlines across the globe.

Just two months back, the young pro suffered what many thought could be a confidence shattering round on the final day of the Masters.

McIlroy started off the Masters strong, taking the lead after the first day of the first of the sport's four major tournaments. He was the youngest player in history to lead the Masters at the end of the first day, and held the lead going into the final round. But then disaster struck.

He shot the worst round in history by any professional leading the pack after the third day of the competition, finishing up with an 80.

"Rory McIlroy was at absolutely rock-bottom," Christine Brennan, a veteran sports columnist for USA Today, told ABC News. "It was embarrassing ... it was stunning to see the leader of the Masters in this trouble."

Such a crushing defeat could have been too much to handle for many young athletes, but McIlroy showed his resilience in the words he spoke just moments after his loss.

"Hopefully next time in this position, I'll be able to handle it a bit better," he said at the time. "It was a character building day, put it that way, and I'll come out stronger for it."

Not only did he go on to show his strength of character on a Maryland golf course Sunday, he has also shown it in his private life.

Just two weeks ago, McIlroy did something few athletes in his presumably fragile state might do, forgoing preparation for the Open to visit earthquake-ravaged Haiti. He left the still-broken nation, he said, feeling lucky, a tacit agreement that golf, even if it is an unforgiving sport, is still just a game.

"I feel like I got over the Masters pretty quickly ... I kept telling you guys that and I don't know if you believed me or not. Here you go," he said as he held up his trophy at a post-game press conference following Sunday's winning round.


June 25 2014


Give A Gift That Saves Lives by Joe Ebner

An Inexpensive NOAA Weather Radio Can Give You The Time To Seek Safety.

Shortly before sunrise on November 16 an F3 tornado ripped through the tiny community of Riegelwood, NC. Within seconds 8 people were dead and 20 more were seriously injured. Among the dead were 4 children under the age of 12.

The tornado struck at a bad time. Most of the residents were still asleep or just beginning their day. There was little warning. The National Weather Service office in Wilmington, NC issued a tornado warning at 6:29 am. Eight minutes later the tornado touched down.

Severe Weather Can Strike At Any Time

Severe weather like tornadoes and thunderstorms can strike with little warning. They develop very quickly and their lifespan is relatively short. But during their brief time tornadoes bring terrible destruction, injury and loss of life. Other weather-related events like flash flooding and lightning can put many lives in jeopardy.

While we currently don't have technology to control the weather, we do have technology in place that can warn us to approaching severe weather and give us enough time to seek safety.

Weather Warnings by Radio

NOAA Weather Radio is perhaps one of the best kept secrets in the United States. Many of us are Learn More Here unaware that the National Weather Service operates nearly 1,000 radio transmitters throughout the country. The transmitters are in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week continuously streamming current weather conditions, forecasts, warnings, and other crucial weather information.

NOAA Weather Radio advises people of severe weather watches and warnings, buying extra time for people to react before dangerous storms hit their area. When you're in the path of something like a tornado, seconds can mean the difference between life and death.

However, a special kind of radio receiver is needed that is capable of receiving the alerts. Special NOAA Weather Radios are available in electronics stores, sporting goods stores, marine supply stores, and on the Web. They are inexpensive (starting at about $30.00) and programmable for a specific area. NOAA Weather Radio receivers are built to utilize the features of NOAA Weather Radio.

Each advisory, watch, or warning transmitted by NWS is preceded by a special alert tone. When the radio detects the tones transmitted by the NWS, it activates itself. Weather Radios respond to the alert tones by activating a built-in audio or visual alarm. The alarm feature is especially useful for warnings that are issued during the night when most people are asleep.

SAME Technology

The best Weather Radios use SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding)technology. SAME uses a series of digital tones that identifies the type of warning being sent and the denotes the specific geographic location the event affects. SAME allows you to filter out distant warning broadcasts and monitor only those messages intended for your local area. For example if you live in a coastal county but not right on the beach, you may not be interested in a Coastal Flood Warning.

SAME technology is also the primary trigger for activating the Emergency Alert System used by commercial radio, television and cable TV outlets.

Each county in the U.S. is assigned a 6-digit code by the NWS. This code can be easily programmed into the radio (Detailed instructions for your area are included with the radio.). Once the code is set the radio responds only to alerts issued for the area programmed. If you move, the radio can be reprogrammed for your new location.

Depending on the model you choose, further programming can be done to minimize false alarms or to include neighboring counties in your alert area. This is important for those who live near county borders.

SAME radios are available in desktop and portable models. Portable radios allow you to take the radio with you wherever you go and they can be reprogrammed to work when you're on vacation or on the road. If you work outside or participate in outdoor activities a protable unit can alert you to unknown weather dangers wherever you happen to be.

For desktop models, a battery backup feature is important. Having the option to operate independent of commercial power will keep the receiver armed and working even if the power fails.

Weather Radio has evolved over the years to broadcast non-weather emergency information making the system an "All Hazards" network. Information of events such as chemical spills, earthquakes, and even terrorist attack are broadcast if the need arises.

While we cannot recommend any specific brand of receiver, we do recommend that the radio you consider buying comes with the Public Alert logo. The Public Alert Standard was adopted by the Consumer Electronics Association in conjunction with the National Weather Service. Radios that carry the Public Alert logo meet specific technical standards and include the features we mention here.

We have smoke detectors in our homes that alert us to fire. We have carbon monoxide detectors that alert us to potential deadly gasses from our furnaces/fireplaces/gas heaters. An NOAA Weather Radio should be included in your arsenal of weapons to safeguard against severe and deadly weather events. Early warnings of severe weather can give you just enough time to take cover.

Consider purchasing NOAA Weather Radios as gifts this holiday season. It could save the lives of those you love.


June 16 2014


TownePlace Suites Jacksonville | Gather


Our all-suite, extended stay Jacksonville hotel is near Camp Lejeune, Camp Johnson, New River Air Station, and Camp Geiger, as well as business destinations such as Onslow Memorial Hospital and MSA. Visiting for fun? The beaches of Topsail Island, Emerald Isle, and Surf City are just a short drive away.


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