Tag Archives: USA
A Virginia woman found out on April 7 she won $1 million in a lottery drawing. And then she won again.
Virginia Fike of Berryville, Virginia, had the good luck to buy not one but two lottery tickets from a truck stop that both turned out to be $1 million winners, matching five of the six Powerball numbers. Lottery officials presented her with a $2 million check on Friday.
It’s now time to move on from strange places, strange peoples to strange architectures around the world. In this post we are going to publish some of the strangest architectures which you would find around the world.
1. Rotating Tower, Dubai, UAE
Visionary architect Dr. David Fisher is the creator of the world’s first building in motion – the revolutionary Dynamic Tower. It adjusts itself to the sun, wind, weather and views by rotating each floor separately.
The story is old and one that exists in almost every other home in Pakistan. A young and ambitious man, full of enthusiasm, carrying dreams of a promising future decides to move to a foreign land.
The initial days are miserable and the harsh realities of life continuously slap him in the face. If he is resilient and hardworking, luck bends on his side and he crafts an admirable living, while others end up mopping floors, selling groceries and filling empty gas tanks.
However, the story of Shahid Khan is different, in fact it is inspirational. The 16 year old from Lahore, travelled to the United States to study industrial engineering at University of Illinois. While he was still a student, he began working at an auto parts company called Flex-N-Gate in Urbana.
He left his employer in 1978 with an idea to start up his own company. With his $13,000 savings and a $50,000 loan from the Small Business Loan Corporation, he created the start-up Bumper Works, which revolutionized the industry through an innovative one-piece bumper design.¬ Two years later he bought his former employer (Flex-N-Gate).
Today, Shahid’s enterprise employs 12,450 workers globally pumping more than $3 billion in revenue.
This however, is only one part of his amazing success story; the other part is much more fascinating. After years of tireless struggle, Shahid Khan aka Shah decided to shed his riches to achieve the unthinkable.
On 4th January 2012, the 61 year old business tycoon purchased a National Football League (NFL) team, Jacksonville Jaguars, for a whopping $760 million. By doing so he not only became part of America’s top sport but also became the first Muslim and first member of an ethnic minority to own an NFL team.
Call it the fulfillment of the American Dream or Pakistani ambition, Khan’s hold over the oval ball took the American public and media completely off-guard. All of a sudden his religion and birth place took center stage, while his accomplishments that are based on an amazing success story were pushed into the background.
Such an inspiring tale fuelled me to learn more about this remarkable man. After months of trying to get his contact, with the help of publicist Jim Wookcock, I was finally able to get a hold of the business maverick via Skype.
In my decade long career, this was the first time I was interviewing someone using the latest technology. The absence of formal greetings and the regular hand shake deprived the opportunity for a first hand personality impression and nerves to settle.
His long, wavy hair and thick mustache that ended in waxed tips was the first thing that caught my attention. They served as a perfect reminder that Shad still remains hooked to his roots.
According to one of his old friends, “That mustache didn’t come out of nowhere, that’s his signature.”
After his wealth, religion and ethnicity, it’s his frightening mustache that makes an impression; even the New York Times has showered their spotlight upon it.
But as we progressed along the Q&A session, I discovered that behind the fear-provoking mustache lay a shy, private and down to earth man.
Welcome to America
The 60’s was a time when people growing up in Pakistan wished to go to England, but Khan’s late father believed America was the land of opportunities and that is where Khan should go.
However, opportunities didn’t just welcome him with open arms rather it was the brutal climate that greeted the 16 year old upon his arrival to Illinois.
The bus deposited him at the small college town of Champaign, Illinois.
The same day Illinois received record snowfall of 2 feet in two days. Hailing from Lahore, weather such as that in Illinois was not normal for Khan. To make matters worse the 16 year old spent his first night at the YMCA at $2 a night till the university dorms opened, as he could not afford the $9 rate offered at the Students Union Hotel.
With only a handful of reserves pocketed from his father, Khan wasted no time in looking for a job, and started washing dishes for $1.20 an hour the very next day.
“I quickly forgot the comforts I had back in Pakistan. We were middle class, but back in the 60’s the concept of middle class in Pakistan would be very good. You certainly weren’t doing your laundry, your cooking or anything like that, so the comforts you had are all gone.
That’s another thing that till today I can’t make my bed or cook for myself.”
Passionate about building a new life, Shahid turned these obstacles into adventures. Realizing that his $1.20 an hour was what 99% of the people earned, he was all praise for the new country, quickly learning that the power of optimism was really the power of America.
Apart from his hunger to become a successful businessman, Khan found two other loves at university, his wife Ann Carlson Khan and the
American version of football
Hailing from a Country of Cricket Fanatics, How Did American Football Attract Him?
“The answer is simple. Football is by far the number one sport in America. It’s a very simple game and at the same time extremely complex. Very much like cricket where you hit the ball, here you have to carry it. When you become a fan you often get frustrated, because you don’t see the right players being selected, the right tactics being applied and strategies working. Things can be improved but there are only 32 people who can do that, and those are the owners of the teams.
I wanted to be one of those decision makers. We must also remember that Football is the highest grossing sport in America so the prospect for making good money is always there.”
A Football Team in Muslim Hands
Being the first Muslim to own an NFL team certainly came with lot of eyebrows lifting amongst fans in Jacksonville. Suddenly Shahid’s religion and birth place took center stage. One fan called into a live show and said he won’t buy any more tickets because he wanted an American owner. Shad however, chuckled softly and preferred to see the lighter side.
“Oh yes, there was a huge amount of apprehension. The area of North Florida and South Georgia is very football crazy. They don’t have any other sports here, no baseball, basketball, hockey, nothing. Football is all they care about. Fans here were apprehensive and very concerned.”
Shrugging off concerns Shahid adds that stereotypes against Muslims need to be addressed,
“It’s my duty to make them realize that we are here to stay and lift the team. The team has great potential and we are committed to make it rise. There are some stereotypes that exist and you have to get those removed.”
Ready to franchise a Pakistani T-20 Team
He might have been living in America for the past 40 years, but the Gulberg Lahori still finds cricket running in his veins. He still rejoices when he remembers the last time he saw a test match between Pakistan and Australia at the Qaddafi stadium, way back in 1966.
And here comes the big news, folks: Shahid loves T-20 cricket and regularly follows it.
This news left me itching to ask if he would be interested in using his riches to buy a local team. The question instantly garnered an exciting answer, with Khan shifting his position and bending over the screen to say: “Obviously, if Pakistan decides to launch a Pakistan Premier League I would definitely love to hire a team there.”
Expressing his concerns over Pakistan’s security issue and the lack of international sports being played in the country, he said: “It’s really sad that Pakistan is forced to play its game in other countries.
It’s a dilemma for the fans. I would love to help Pakistan in this area, not only in financing, but image, organization, stadiums and most importantly security. With that settled Pakistan can launch its own league that is compatible with the IPL and later on have a Super-Bowl of cricket in the sub-continent.”
Those who know Khan say that he is not a reckless adventure seeker; rather he is an audacious opportunist. The NFL has given him a wonderful opportunity to shine, let’s hope the security situation in Pakistan allows him to flex his gates for his homeland.
3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined..
6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.
7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.
9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 2,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago..
11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth’s population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.
13. Wal-Mart has gross sales that total more than the total revenue of all the countries in the world, except 6.
b. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
c. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke..
d. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the poor” and they only want more.
f. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.
g. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.
Whitney Houston was found underwater in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills hotel where she was pronounced dead, US newspaper quoted police official as saying.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Beverly Hills Police Department said “She was underwater and apparently unconscious,” adding that authorities “cannot speculate on what may have caused or contributed to her death.
Several prescription drugs were found in Houston’s hotel room, but Los Angeles County coroner’s officials said it’s too soon to say whether the medications played any role in the singer’s death.
Source: Geo News
Warm sun, white beaches, and million-dollar mansions notwithstanding, Miami has captured the dubious distinction of being the most miserable city in the United States, according to a new poll.
The playground of the rich and famous is home to a crippling housing crisis, one of the highest crime rates in the country, and lengthy daily commutes for workers, all of which have propelled it to the No. 1 position in the Forbes.com list.
“Miami has sun and beautiful weather but other things make people miserable. You have this two-tier society: glitzy South Beach attracts celebrities, but the income inequality has skyrocketed in recent years,” explained Forbes Senior Editor Kurt Badenhausen.
The rankings are based on factors including jobless rates, violent crime, foreclosures, income and property taxes, as well as considerations like weather, commute time and political corruption.
Reeling for decades from the decline of the U.S. auto industry, Michigan’s troubled duo of Detroit and Flint registered at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, among the most miserable cities.
“Detroit and Flint are struggling,” said Badenhausen. “Violent crime is highest in the country in Detroit; housing prices are down 55 percent. Detroit is closing schools and laying off policemen. In recent years they have been demolishing houses to change their city landscapes”
West Palm Beach, Florida and Sacramento, California rounded out the top five cities.
“We’re trying to judge cities where residents have a lot of complaints. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t terrific things there,” he said.
And for the haves Miami’s charms remain undiminished.
“The one percent in Miami is doing fantastic. But for the vast majority, who make less than $75,000 (a year), Miami can be a challenging place,” he said. “Forty-seven percent of homeowners sit on underwater mortgages. That’s tough.”
Source: Geo News
Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington approved a recommendation from an investigating officer who presided over a weeklong pre-trial hearing in December and suggested all the charges against Manning be referred to a court-martial, ABC News reported Friday.
A trial date will be determined after a military judge has looked over the case, a statement from the Military District of Washington said.
The “military judge will set the date for Manning’s arraignment, motion hearings and trial,” the statement said.
Manning, 24, is accused of handing over hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. Prosecutors said the private had access to the documents while serving as an army intelligence analyst in Baghdad from late 2009 to early 2010.
He is facing 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet knowing that it is accessible to the enemy, theft of public property or records, and transmitting defense information.
Prosecutors said they will seek life in prison if Manning is convicted.
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning.
He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace.
He collected $32.
When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it.
No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.
Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
My additional thoughts would only be that so many people do things because they are “fashionable” that they forget to look at things with their own eyes, listen with their own ears, and appreciate anything with their own hearts.
The dollar firmed slightly in Asian trade Wednesday as the yen slipped on official data showing Japan saw an annual trade deficit for the first time in more than 30 years.
But the greenback’s upside was limited as many exporters were still selling the US unit.
The dollar stood at 77.79 yen in mid-morning trade in Tokyo, edging up from 77.71 yen in New York Tuesday.
The euro was at $1.3024 and 101.31 yen, from $1.3030 and 101.25 yen in New York.
Importers and foreign investors sold the yen after Japan said, as expected, it had logged a calendar-year deficit in goods of 2.49 trillion yen ($32 billion) in 2011, its first since 1980.