Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dumadi 'Scoop' Orangutan

Posted By on Sat, Jun 30, 2007 at 6:01 PM

Our new investigative reporter just joined the staff and has decided to live in Grant Park. Zoo Atlanta reports that its newest resident primate Dumadi, an 8-month-old male orangutan, "is adjusting well to his new surroundings."

Actually, the orphaned infant arrived at the zoo June 20. According to a press release, "On Wednesday, he was introduced to 25-year-old orangutan Madu who is expected to serve as his surrogate mother. The pair spent their first night together last night. At the request of keepers, Madu woke Dumadi this morning to receive his first feeding of the day."

I just wanted an excuse to publish this picture of the little fella.

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As Dumadi adjusts to his new surrogate mother and surroundings, he has also begun to take notice of some of the other orangutans. For the surrogate introduction to be deemed a complete success, animal management staff will await signs of increased contact between Madu and Dumadi. Considering Madu’s past success in serving as a surrogate, staff is optimistic about the success of this introduction. The pair is expected to join its group and be visible to Zoo visitors within the next couple of weeks.

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My new iPhone ROCKS!

Posted By on Sat, Jun 30, 2007 at 3:22 PM

The Apple and AT&T stores were sold-out of the new iPhone, but I lucked out and ran into a guy in a parking lot near our office who was selling his.

Check out my new iPhone!

Pretty cool, I know.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Pic of the Day

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 11:36 PM

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Hank Johnson: Impeach Cheney

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 10:57 PM

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson of DeKalb County has joined 10 other members of Congress in co-sponsoring a bill to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney, Atlanta Progressive News reported today.

"I have certainly been displeased with the operations of the Executive Branch, particularly with regard to the secrecy, the incompetence, and the lack of cooperation that is coming out of the Vice President’s Office," Johnson said in a statement to the online news service.

Signing on to the bill ought to shore up the first-term Democrat's reputation among local lefties, who weren't too happy after he beat firebrand incumbent Cynthia McKinney in last year's Democratic primary.

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Atlanta still high in foreclosures

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 8:00 PM

According to a story on CNNMoney.com, Atlanta's 30310 ZIP code is second only to one in Cleveland as the single ZIP code with the most foreclosures over the past three months.

Cleveland's 44105 ZIP code had 783 foreclosures, followed by Atlanta's 30310 (southwest Atlanta) with 709. According to the story:

Many Sun-Belt buyers bought their high-priced houses using 2/28 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) which featured very low initial, or "teaser," rates that reset much higher after the first two years of fixed payments.

But ARMs are best used ... as credit-repair products. They're set up for borrowers to show they can keep up mortgage payments and then refinance out into affordable fixed-rate loans after two years.

Many buyers used ARMs to get into a house with little regard for whether they could afford the payments, betting that rising prices could build enough home equity they could tap for cash.

When prices stabilized or fell, that safety valve disappeared. Owners couldn't pay monthly bills, and they had no equity to draw on.

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Add It Up: Diversity 101

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 7:51 PM

Percentage increase in the number of African-American Georgians who enrolled in college from 1995 to 2005, according to a June 2007 study: 63

Percentage increase in the number of whites who did: 16

Total number of Georgians who enrolled in college in 2005: 426,650

Of those, the percentage that was African-American: 31

Percentage of Georgia’s overall population that’s African-American: 31

Out of 16 Southern states, the number with a higher percentage of African-American college enrollment than Georgia: 1

Of those states, the number that exceed Georgia in the percentage of African-Americans who hold bachelor's degrees: 1

Percentage of African-American Georgians who enrolled in historically black colleges in 1995: 28

Percentage who enrolled in historically black colleges in 2005: 15

Sources: Southern Regional Education Board Fact Book on Higher Education, U.S. Census Bureau

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Midnight, and afternoon, in the Garden of Good and Evil

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 7:21 PM

The New York Times' Shaila Dewan, who, when not reporting on Atlanta, Georgia and the Deep South, calls Ormewood Park her home, today dashed off one of those charming, helpful "36 Hours in ..." reports, this time from Savannah.

(Who knew there was such a thing as the "Creative Coast"?)

Although native Southerners might take exception to the following line:

"You're in the heart of the gracious South, so embrace every cliché from the frilly to the Gothic, with some eccentric characters for good measure."

Hasn't encouraging people to embrace clichés about the South become a cliché unto itself?

In her defense, the famous line from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was indeed, "This place is like Gone With the Wind on mescaline! Everyone’s drunk and heavily armed. New York is boring. I’ll call you tomorrow.”

I digress. A fun report nonetheless ...

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Word: Chambliss’ 'perfect' flip-flop

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 6:30 PM

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., endorsing the Senate immigration-reform compromise bill at its May 17 unveiling. He added that his legislative “language” already was in the bill:

The way you make good laws is to have people on both sides of the aisle come together on a bill that none of us would think would be perfect but a bill that is perfect for the American people. … Thanks to the leadership of Sen. Kennedy … and others, I think we’ve seen a bill that is truly good for the American people. … It’s not in the interest of Republicans or Democrats. It is in the interest of the American people.

Chambliss, on Thursday after voting against the bill that he was for before he was against it:

Senator Isakson and I participated in the process early on because we wanted to ensure that our views and concerns were expressed and that, first and foremost, the border security triggers were included in the bill. I believe our contribution to the process was critical in strengthening key components of the legislation. While it wasn’t incumbent that everybody agree with the overall bill presented to the American people, it was important that we have a meeting of the minds to allow a full and fair debate on this critical issue. ... I will continue fighting for border security and I will continue to oppose amnesty for those who have broken our laws. Georgians demand no less than our fullest commitment to this critical issue.

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The Hawks and the 2007 NBA Draft

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 5:10 PM

Of course, it'll be years before we really know whether the Hawks made the right decision with power forward Al Horford and point guard Acie Law. Will they regret not taking point guard Mike Conley with their No. 3 pick? Will Acie Law turn out to be another shooting guard playing the point? Will Al Horford turn out to be another Shelden Williams?

ESPN.com's Chad Ford is lukewarm on the Hawks' decision to draft Horford and Law. On the Horford pick:

He's the third best player in the draft, so you can't fault the Hawks here. He's better than any other power forward they have. He could be a poor man's Karl Malone. The Hawks did need a point guard, and I think Mike Conley was worth the No. 3 pick in the draft, so I would've taken Conley. But -- unlike Shelden Williams last year -- this isn't a bad pick.

And on Law:

The Hawks finally select a point guard. Law is fearless and ready to play now. I don't think he'll be a star, but he'll be an important part of this team ... unless the team trades this pick. The Hawks have spoken with several teams about trading for a veteran. So we'll see.

I share Ford's caution. I want Horford to be the dynamo that people say he might become in the NBA. But I also share Ford's enthusiasm for Mike Conley; I saw Conley play in high school, and we all saw him march Ohio State to the NCAA championship game as a freshman. I think he has a chance to be a very special player.

The one thing about drafting Horford: The Hawks now have a severe logjam at the 3, 4, and 5 spots, without a true center in the bunch. Is there a trade on the horizon?

What do you think? Did the Hawks make the right moves with Horford and Law? Or should they have picked Conley? How will this year's draft shake out for the team?

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Today's Best of Atlanta poll question

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 4:30 PM

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The new iPhone goes on sale today at 6 p.m. at local Apple and AT&T stores.

[poll=5]

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