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National Award Ceremony In Washington, D.C.

May31
Two Nebraska students, Jordan Somer, 16, of Papillion and Jaden Moore, 13, of Norfolk, were honored in the nation's capital last night for their outstanding volunteer work during the presentation of The 2010 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The two young people – along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – received $1,000 awards as well as personal congratulations from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Olympic snowboarding champion Seth Wescott at the 15th annual award ceremony and gala dinner reception, held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

Jordan and Jaden were named the top high school and middle level youth volunteers in Nebraska last February. In addition to their cash awards, they received engraved silver medallions and an all-expense-paid trip with their parents to Washington, D.C., for this week's recognition events.

"The Prudential Spirit of Community honorees give us great hope for the future,” said Dr. Rice. "Their compassion and commitment are already making a real difference in so many lives, and I have no doubt that their leadership will continue to positively impact the world for many years to come.”

Jordan, a junior at Central High School in Omaha, founded an annual "Miss Amazing Pageant” for disabled girls and women, and has donated more than $15,000 from ticket and auction sales to charities over the past three years. "There are no pageants for girls and women with disabilities,” explained Jordan, who was Nebraska's Junior Teen Queen in the National American Miss pageant in 2007, and has been an active volunteer with Special Olympics. "They aspire to be queens just like any other girl.”

Jordan secured a venue, contacted organizations that work with the disabled to find contestants, and obtained donated trophies and medals for prizes. She created a program, wrote a script for the show, coordinated a silent auction, planned a reception and luncheon, and supervised details such as flowers, tickets, and crowns. Jordan recruited classmates and other teens in her community to assist at the event. The revenue raised has gone to Ronald McDonald House, The Salvation Army, and local charities. In addition, more than 500 pounds of canned food – collected as pageant entry fees – have been donated to feed the hungry. "I continue to be touched by the participants each year,” said Jordan. "I am so proud of what they accomplish.”

Jaden, a 4-H member with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension and a seventh-grader at Norfolk Middle School, has made hundreds of colorful pillowcases over the past two years for sick and abused children. Jaden was introduced to the pillowcase idea when the local extension office asked 4-H families to make kid-friendly pillowcases. She helped deliver them to the hospital and was touched by the children's response. "It made me feel wonderful to see how happy they were when they picked one out,” she said.

Realizing that the supply of pillowcases would eventually run out, Jaden decided she wanted to continue the project. She appealed for fabric and monetary donations in a newspaper and on the radio, through 4-H and hospital newsletters, and with a poster at the county fair. Then with the help of some fellow 4-H members, she spent countless hours cutting fabric to size, pinning, sewing, and folding new pillowcases, which she delivered to the hospital's pediatric ward and to the child advocacy center of Faith Regional Health Services for distribution to children in dire need of some cheer. "When they receive their pillowcases, they know that people care about them and want them to feel better soon,” said Jaden. "Even the smallest things can make a huge difference.”

"Jordan and Jaden are wonderful examples of young Americans who care about the world around them and have taken the initiative to improve that world,” said John R. Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. "We salute their effort, their achievements, and their spirit of community.”

More than 21,000 young people submitted applications for the 2010 awards program last fall through schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of the Points of Light Institute's HandsOn Network. The top middle level and high school applicants in each state were selected in February and flown to Washington this week with their parents for four days of special recognition events.

Conducted in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards were created 15 years ago by Prudential Financial to encourage youth volunteerism and to identify and reward young role models. Since then, the program has honored nearly 100,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national level.

Source: www.businesswire.com

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Two South Dakota Youth Honored

May31
Two South Dakota students, Presley Door, 18, of Brookings and Kallen Rittberger, 13, of Hermosa, were honored in the nation's capital last night for their outstanding volunteer work during the presentation of The 2010 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The two young people – along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – received $1,000 awards as well as personal congratulations from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Olympic snowboarding champion Seth Wescott at the 15th annual award ceremony and gala dinner reception, held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

Presley and Kallen were named the top high school and middle level youth volunteers in South Dakota last February. In addition to their cash awards, they received engraved silver medallions and an all-expense-paid trip with their parents to Washington, D.C., for this week's recognition events.

"The Prudential Spirit of Community honorees give us great hope for the future,” said Dr. Rice. "Their compassion and commitment are already making a real difference in so many lives, and I have no doubt that their leadership will continue to positively impact the world for many years to come.”

Presley, a senior at Brookings High School, has played a key role in the operation of the Brookings Regional Humane Society since she was a freshman in high school, spending 8 to 10 hours a week cleaning, caring for animals, and performing basic medical procedures. Presley learned about the society's need for volunteers while looking for a dog to adopt, and because she had always wanted to be a veterinarian, she signed up. "I had no idea that the shelter would instill in me a passion so strong that it would consume most of my time,” she said.

Presley started out performing routine tasks such as cleaning kennels, sweeping and dusting, grooming and socializing animals, and checking food and water. As she gained more experience, she learned to give vaccinations and medications to animals, draw blood for medical tests, and assist with simple surgeries. She also helps with fund-raising events, and sometimes travels to Indian reservations to rescue dogs and help at a spay/neuter clinic. Presley was so effective at the shelter that she was offered a part-time paid position as an animal care technician after a year, but she continues to volunteer about 10 hours a week outside of her job. "Volunteering has given me the experience and the confidence to know that I can handle a career in veterinary medicine,” said Presley.

Kallen, a member of the Kids Inc. 4-H Club and a seventh-grader at Custer Middle School in Custer, has taken part in a broad range of service projects benefiting senior citizens in his area through his 4-H club, church, and school. Several older people have taken an active interest in helping Kallen over the years, so "I was motivated to give back to people who had been kind and caring to me,” he said. "Then I realized that others needed help as well.”

Kallen has collected and delivered holiday meals for the elderly, raked their yards, made sweet breads to take to a nursing home, and played games with patients at a senior care facility. He also helped prepare and serve a spaghetti dinner to honor grandparents, cooked food for funerals, scraped and painted a senior citizen's house, and made bandage-rollers for the Red Cross. In addition, he recruits other students to join his volunteer efforts, and helps his own grandparents whenever he can. "It would be really easy to make an excuse to not do things for other people,” said Kallen. "But if everyone could help each other, our whole country would be better for it.”

"Presley and Kallen are wonderful examples of young Americans who care about the world around them and have taken the initiative to improve that world,” said John R. Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. "We salute their effort, their achievements, and their spirit of community.”

More than 21,000 young people submitted applications for the 2010 awards program last fall through schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of the Points of Light Institute's HandsOn Network. The top middle level and high school applicants in each state were selected in February and flown to Washington this week with their parents for four days of special recognition events.

Source: www.businesswire.com

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National Award Ceremony:Two Oklahoma Youth Honored

May31
Two Oklahoma students, Kenna Baker, 18, of Yukon and Alana Ralson, 11, of Warr Acres, were honored in the nation's capital last night for their outstanding volunteer work during the presentation of The 2010 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The two young people – along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – received $1,000 awards as well as personal congratulations from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Olympic snowboarding champion Seth Wescott at the 15th annual award ceremony and gala dinner reception, held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

Kenna and Alana were named the top high school and middle level youth volunteers in Oklahoma last February. In addition to their cash awards, they received engraved silver medallions and an all-expense-paid trip with their parents to Washington, D.C., for this week's recognition events.

"The Prudential Spirit of Community honorees give us great hope for the future,” said Dr. Rice. "Their compassion and commitment are already making a real difference in so many lives, and I have no doubt that their leadership will continue to positively impact the world for many years to come.”

Kenna, a member of the Canadian County 4-H in El Reno and a senior at Yukon High School, has made more than 6,000 "cooling ties” over the past five years to keep American soldiers cool in the desert heat of Iraq and Afghanistan, and has conducted more than 300 workshops to teach others how to make the ties. During a student trip to Washington, D.C., Kenna visited the war memorials and "felt a tugging at my heart to do something for the soldiers serving our country,” she said.

Soon after, she read about a woman who wanted to make cooling ties for troops overseas, and since Kenna had used them before, she contacted the woman and taught her how to make them. Together, they began seeking volunteers and donations to help make the ties, which contain water-absorbing crystals that become cool to the touch when moistened, and are called "hugs” because they fit snugly around the neck. In addition to making more than 6,000 hugs herself, Kenna has taught more than 4,000 other people to make them at fairs, conferences, schools, libraries, 4-H and scout gatherings, and organization meetings. And she invented a "turning tool” with her father that makes the process faster. Kenna also sews quilts for injured soldiers, the elderly, hospice patients, and neonatal infants, and makes stocking hats for newborn babies. "I feel strongly that everyone should work toward the betterment of their community, country, and world,” said Kenna. "One way to do this is through volunteer work.”

Alana, a sixth-grader at Western Heights Middle School in Oklahoma City, volunteers for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), working to promote public awareness and education, raise funds for diabetes research and patient care, and lobby Congress to provide more funding for diabetes research. "Eight years ago I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and my life drastically changed,” Alana said. After her family started a team to participate in an annual walkathon, Alana began participating in as many activities and fund-raisers as she could to support JDRF, the Children's Miracle Network, and Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma.

She has helped with fund-raising auctions, presented at awards dinners, sold raffle tickets, assisted at a "poker run” to raise money for a diabetes camp, and volunteered at a benefit rodeo. She also organized a walkathon at her school for JDRF and persuaded a family fun center to donate 10 percent of its profits on a busy Saturday to the foundation. In addition, she has told her story in television and radio interviews, and recruited other volunteers to help find a cure. Last year, Alana was selected to represent Oklahoma as a delegate to JDRF's Children's Congress in Washington, D.C, where she met with President Obama and delivered scrapbooks on her life with diabetes to three congressmen. "I will keep telling my story until I can tell the final chapter: The Cure for Diabetes is Here!” she said.

"Kenna and Alana are wonderful examples of young Americans who care about the world around them and have taken the initiative to improve that world,” said John R. Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. "We salute their effort, their achievements, and their spirit of community.”

Source: www.businesswire.com

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Top Ten Youth:Texas’ Benjamin Sater Of Plano

May31
Benjamin Sater, 18, of Plano, Texas, was named one of America's top ten youth volunteers for 2010 in a ceremony today at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, winning a national Prudential Spirit of Community Award for his outstanding volunteer service. Selected from a field of more than 21,000 applicants across the country, he received a personal award of $5,000, an engraved gold medallion, a crystal trophy for his school, and a $5,000 grant from The Prudential Foundation for the nonprofit charitable organization of his choice.

Also honored in Washington was Emily Lites, 11, of Roanoke. She and Benjamin were named Texas' top youth volunteers in February, and were officially recognized last night at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, along with the top two youth volunteers of every other state and the District of Columbia. At that event, all of the Prudential Spirit of Community State Honorees for 2010 were presented with $1,000 awards, and congratulated by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Olympic snowboarding champion Seth Wescott. The honorees also received engraved silver medallions and an all-expense-paid trip with their parents to Washington, D.C., for this week's recognition events.

"The Prudential Spirit of Community honorees give us great hope for the future,” said Dr. Rice. "Their compassion and commitment are already making a real difference in so many lives, and I have no doubt that their leadership will continue to positively impact the world for many years to come.”

Benjamin, a senior at Plano West Senior High School, has raised more than $800,000 for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children over the past seven years by hosting an annual children's golf tournament called "KidSwing.” Benjamin visited the hospital frequently as a child for free treatment of a condition affecting the tendons in his fingers. "Scottish Rite became a very special place to me,” he said. When he discovered that the hospital exists solely on donations, "I knew right away that I wanted to give back to them since they had done so much for me.”

So Benjamin, only 11 at the time, created "KidSwing.” He worked with a local golf pro to set up the course, recruited kids from his school and neighborhood to play in the tournament, and sent letters seeking corporate sponsors. There are no entry fees, but players are encouraged to raise at least $100 each for the hospital by asking friends and family members to sponsor them. Participation has grown every year, and today, it is one of Scottish Rite's biggest fund-raising events, benefiting a different hospital program each year. One year it funded a learn-to-golf program for children with physical disabilities, many of whom actually participate in the charity event thanks to special prostheses the hospital created for them. "I am extremely proud of what the event has become,” said Benjamin. "There is no better feeling than giving back and making a difference.”

Emily, a fifth-grader at Roanoke Elementary School, has filled more than 700 brightly colored boxes with toys, games, and goodies and delivered them to local hospitals to cheer up young patients and their siblings. Emily's baby brother had a stroke before he was born, and Emily has accompanied him many times to the hospital. "I learned firsthand how sad and boring hospitals are,” said Emily, "so I decided to spread some smiles with Emily's Smile Boxes.”

With her mother's help, Emily created a website (www.emilyssmileboxes.com) to solicit donations, and so far has raised more than $5,500 to buy items for her boxes. She invites friends to help her put the boxes together, and then personally delivers them to hospitals. "My goal is to make sure that every hospital in the nation has smile boxes to cheer up the patients and their siblings,” said Emily. "I truly believe that one child can make a difference in the world, and I want to be that kid!”

Source: www.businesswire.com

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Snow-Search Japan Wins IPPY Award

May31
WSG Media are proud to announce that their latest title, Snow-Search Japan, has won the Gold Medal in the best Travel Guidebook category at the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY's).

The IPPY awards are the World's largest international and regional book awards competition and this year the 14th annual competition saw 3,890 entries in the 67 main and US regional categories.

Launched in 1996, IPPY's were designed to further recognition for the deserving, but often unsung, titles published by independent authors and publishers. Established as the first awards program open exclusively to independents, over 2,000 "IPPYs" have been awarded to authors and publishers around the world.

The medals ceremony will be held in New York on May 25th during the same week North America's largest book convention, the BookExpo is held.

The silver medal in the Travel Guidebook category went to Music + Travel Worldwide: Touring the Globe through Sounds and Scenes, by Museyon Guides, and bronze went to The Beatles' London: A Guide to 467 Beatles Sites in and around London published by Interlink. Previous travel publishers have included Lonely Planet, Michelin Travel Publications and Getty Publications.

"Proud doesn't even begin to describe my feelings right now. As my first authored book, and the inaugural guide in the Snow-search series, this award was completely unexpected,” said Author Keith Stubbs, when he heard the announcement.

"I feel tremendously honoured and, most of all, I am hugely appreciative towards all our contributors and supporters. This is a book that has involved many different people over the three years it took to put together, so I'd like to say a massive thank you to every single person that has helped us along the way.”

Snow-Search Japan is the first book in a new series which explore countries in more depth than ever before. It also heralds a change in direction for WSG Media, from previously covering just snowboarding to including skiing as well.

The book has been designed for travellers who are visiting Japan for snow sports but want to experience many of the cultural delights Japan offers whilst there. It covers the major cities such as Tokyo that you'll fly into and the ski towns where you'll be based whilst there. Amongst other topics, travel, food, language, and working in Japan are all covered in detail, plus over 70 resorts have been comprehensively reviewed and broken down into easy-to-read sections and rated according to your style of skiing/riding.

Snow-Search Japan is available to buy in many book stores across the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand, as well as online.

Source: www.pr.com
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Intel, Qualcomm go dual-core for small devices

May31
Both companies are announcing new dual-core processors for small devices, upping the performance potential for ultra-mobile computing.
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China duels U.S. on supercomputer speed list

May31
The U.S. Department of Energy's Jaguar system kept the No. 1 spot on the Top500 list, but China's new Nebulae is close behind at No. 2.
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PHP Web Developer (Los Angeles)

May31
Fast-paced interactive agency in Los Angeles is currently looking for PHP web developer to join our web development team.

The candidate should be ambitious, dynamic, resourceful, and willing to learn fast and independently. Primary responsibilities include web site development, testing, and troubleshooting.

Responsibilities:
• Develop, test, and debug web sites and applications
• Work closely with developers and designers

Requirements:
• 1+ years PHP5
• Flex/Flash ActionScript 3
• MySQL (Clustering/Load balancing a plus)
• Visual Studio 2008

Optional:
• B.S. in Computer Science or Engineering or Mathematics preferred but not required
• 1+ years in C#.NET
• Objective-C
• Java or C+
• AJAX
• Web Services

Skills/Personal Characteristics:
• Self-motivated
• Can work independently
• Good communication skills
• Team player
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How Google Voice got me out of a bind

May31
For this editor, a broken cell phone plus Google Voice adds up to a quick, smart way out of a communications dead zone.
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Skype 2.0 for iPhone: Is it worth it?

May31
An update to Skype's iPhone app opens the door to 3G calling, but after a trial period, callers will have to pay up.
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