The next C-car variant on Ford’s agenda is a Mercury

Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas said during a speech at the West Michigan Automotive Manufacturing Summit that is planning on making a Mercury variant of its new C-car architecture.

His comments underline the Ford CEO Alan Mulally statement towards Inside Line earlier this week that the company still supported the brand.

“That’s our plan — to continuously improve the Mercury and Lincoln brands,” Mulally said.

Except for the Milan and the aging Grand Marquis, Mercury hasn’t any other passenger car offerings so it better put on the table something – anything – especially a C-car. It will also help Ford held its promise to craft 10 new vehicles from it’s global compact car architecture. So far they have the C-Max and Grand C-Max minivans (launched at the 2009 Frankfurt show – the latter is destined for the U.S.), while the new Focus sedan and five-door hatchback were unveiled at this year’s Detroit auto show.

“Certainly, one will be a Mercury, it’ll give us something to put into showrooms, and help energize the Mercury brand.” said Mark Schirmer, spokesman for Lincoln-Mercury.

There are no details unveiled for the “mini-Merc” so far and no official name. It could be the new Focus or the Lincoln C concept shown at the 2009 Detroit auto show.

The new Mercury model is slated to be unveiled later this year (likely at the Los Angeles auto show), and should go on sale in early 2011, shortly after the 2012 Focus arrives on showroom floors.

Beyoncé duels Taylor Swift for a Grammy

Beyoncé/Tumblr

Beyoncé has 10 nominations going into Sunday’s extravaganza at the Staples Center, just ahead of the precocious 20-year-old Swift, who has eight.

Moreover, super star Beyoncé has nominations in the coveted record of the year and album of the year categories, for her single “Halo” and her chart-topping double-album “I Am … Sasha Fierce.” The former “Destiny’s Child” singer is also nominated in the song of the year category.

The singer has to face competition in the main categories not only with Swift, but also with eccentric pop star Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas, who all have nominations in the best album, record and song categories.

On the other hand, Swift, who enjoyed success last year at the American Music Awards and Country Music Awards, has rocketed to fame over the past two years.

According to a source, Swift is considered to be the top-selling digital artist in music history with over 24.3 digital tracks to date.

Grammy chief Neil Portnow has praised Swift as a “phenomenon in entertainment.” “She crosses so many genres and generations. She’s really struck a chord with people because her music is so honest,” Portnow said.

Nevertheless, there will be a tribute to Michael’s Jackson career that seems to include a 3-D film clip made before his death as well as performances from Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Celine Dion, Smokey Robinson and Usher. Jackson will also be honored with a lifetime achievement award during the show.

In terms of the record of the year, the battle will be between Beyonce’s “Halo” and Black Eyed Peas’s pop track “I Gotta Feeling”, the Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody,” Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and Swift’s “You Belong with Me.”

On the other hand, the nominees for song of the year, awarded to the songwriters, are Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings,” Beyonce’s No.1 single “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It),” Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” and Swift’s “You Belong with Me.

Consequently, the best rock album nominees are AC/DC’s “Black Ice,” “Live From Madison Square Garden” by Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood, “21st Century Breakdown” by Green Day, “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King” by the Dave Matthews Band and “No Line on the Horizon” by U2.

The best new artist category features the Zac Brown Band, Keri Hilson, MGMT, Silversun Pickups and The Ting Tings.

The first photo camera in the world estimated to € 700.000

Valuables are sold for heavy money, and this camera has absolutely nothing to do with numerous kitsch that mimic art in the age of technology. We present the first camera produced on a large scale. It was designed in 1839 by Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre (hence the name of the Giroux Daguerreotype), and on May 29 will be put up for auction.

Starting price is 200,000 Euros. It is estimated that the battle waged with enthusiasm by people to raise the bar somewhere in the 700,000 Euro and to make this camera not only first but also the most expensive camera ever sold.

The camera is in excellent condition and can still be used if you follow the accompanying instructions. Focusing is made by opening interior box from the front lens, and the exposure time required to immortalize a scene lasts between three and 30 minutes. Of course, this matter doesn’t count al all. It’s like you get to race with a Japanese train, you being in the first locomotive ever built. It all depends on taste. Some would like to be in a Japanese train, while others would be glad to make contact with almost priceless things entered into history.

Image source: Reg Hardware

Fashion icons which revolutionized fashion industry

Classic and elegant style, has never failed revolutionizing the fashion world, created trends, current and life stories.

Audrey Hepburn is a standard of beauty and elegance, is considered one of the most beautiful women of all time, her image being used in numerous advertising campaigns.

After having taken the Oscar in 1953 for Holiday at Rome, Audrey Hepburn has become one of the most photographed women of all time.

Even today Hepburn is considered the most important fashion icon of the 20th century. It is practically impossible to talk about Audrey Hepburn style without thinking about Hubert de Givenchy in which the actress has worked for almost all her films.

Black Givenchy dress from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s was sold in 2006 to over £ 462,000, the highest price for a dress from a film.

Brigitte Bardot sex-symbol of the ’60s has managed to transform the initials B.B. on a legend that will always evoke the beauty, the pleasure of living and freedom.
She worked first as a dummy for major Parisian fashion houses. At the age of 15 years she first appears on the cover of Elle and begins to film in 17 years.
In 1956, she triumphs in the film with premonitory title “Et Dieu créa la femme” directed by Roger Vadim. It is he the one who has launched a new image of femininity, free from the complex, direct, innocent and provocative at the same time.

Grace Kelly has all it takes to be a fashion icon.Grace Kelly created the impression that the elegant look was easy to obtain. She does not follow trends in fashion, but she adapt her style. Classic American beauty, scale model, memorable roles in great movies, a dream wedding and a marriage with a prince and a Hermes bag that bears her name. Grace had the style of a princess in her everyday life and the big screen where she made history with the costumes in The Philadelphia Story, Mogambo and To Catch a Thief.

These fashion icons implemented a dress code and elegancy among first lady, such as Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

Did Niccolo Paganini soled his soul to the devil?

It’s obvious that few people who read this article might think that at the great composer and Italian violinist as a person who gained his talent as a result of a pact to the devil.

But, a closer look to the period’s sources shows that Paganini wasn’t at all away from the bad rumors so that he decided to never infirm it.

Moreover, even from his birth moment, in a pour salesman and no luck family, his mother had a premonition dream, in which, her future son will be world’s greatest violinist.

As a result of this dream, his parents made everything possible to make it come true.

Until the age 7, Paganini knew perfectly how to play mandolin and violin. Until age 11 he gave to perform alone, so that until her turned 13 to be already known as a violin expert.

At age 19 he started composing his own music and by 23 he already created works of a huge amount. At 27 he already had a huge public success and a crazy success … and rumors about the secret pact which is responsible for his fame, already circulating on everyone’s lips.

Curious is that when he was asked if such a rumor is true, Paganini answered off-hand: “How else do you think I could play the way I do it?”.

Paganini’s decline began at the age of 40 years, when he was diagnosed with syphilis. Empirical treatments of the time, treatments that included mercury and opium, have practically destroyed his health.

Dressed in black evergreen, pale, almost without any teeth, Paganini was only a shadow of the beautiful and talented young who dazzled Europe. People were convinced that Paganini now paying the price which gave him that unnatural talent.

Image source: commons.wikimedia.org

What if you can pay with your credit card via your mobile phone?

Software engineer Jack Dorsey is the Co-Founder of Twitter, and was the CEO until October 2008. In May 2009, Dorsey announced his latest project code name Squirrel, which was later changed to Square. Square is a new mobile payment startup. It’s both an app and a piece of hardware that allows users to accept and pay via physical credit cards on a mobile device.

In February 2009, Jim McKelvey wasn’t able to sell a piece of his glass art because he couldn’t accept a credit card as payment. Even though a majority of payments has moved to plastic cards, accepting payments from cards is still difficult, requiring long applications, expensive hardware, and an overly complex experience. Square was born a few days later right next to the old San Francisco US Mint.

Here is a demo made by Jack Dorsey
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Today the Square team is focused on bringing immediacy, transparency, and approachability to the world of payments: an inherently social interaction each of us participates in daily. We’re starting with a limited beta and rolling out to everyone in early 2010.

Square is backed by Khosla Ventures and a team of angels which was publicly announced yesterday. The full list includes: Marissa Mayer from Google, Dennis Crowley from Foursquare, Kevin Rose from Digg, Ron Conway, Biz Stone of Twitter, Joshua Schachter, Shawn Fanning (who’s starting a new venture with Dave Morin), Zachary Bogue, Andrew Rasiej, Greg Yaitanes, Jean-David Blanc, David Lee, Esther Dyson, Robin Chan, First Round Capital and Fritz Lanman. Basically, it’s an extremely impressive list.

Most notable are Marissa Mayer and Dennis Crowley, making their first investments, and it seems like a great investment to get into.

Square has gotten off to a fast start these last few months. When it raised $10 million, it was rumored that the company was valued at $40 million. For a company whose product isn’t even available to the public, that’s not bad.

Square, Inc. has offices in San Francisco (Product & Engineering), Saint Louis (Operations), and New York City (Risk & Partnerships).

Blues legend Etta James hospitalized

Etta James, known as a blues legend is being treated in hospital in California after suffering from various ailments, including a blood infection.

Her son, Donto James, declared: “She’s been in a pretty big battle”. The singer has been in hospital for a week.

Mr James said his mother, 72, became ill while in a detoxification clinic for treatment to an addiction to painkillers and other medicines.

The R&B star is probably best known for 1961 ballad, At Last. Beyonce sang the track at President Barack Obama’s inaugural ball last year.

James has several medical problems including the blood infection sepsis, believed to have started with a urinary tract infection and also suffering from speech difficulties, her son said.

After she will be discharged, the singer would be moved to a nursing home for follow-up care.

Johnny Otis was the one who discovered Etta and for that her career has spanned five decades.

In the 1960s, Etta developed a heroin addiction that was to last for more than a decade, and saw her spend time in a psychiatric hospital.

In 1994 she scored a top 10 hit in the UK when her version of I Just Wanna Make Love To You was featured in an advertisement for Coca-Cola.

In 2007 was another year with medical problems for the singer due to fact that she spent several weeks in hospital after suffering complications during abdominal surgery in Los Angeles.

Image source: saltlakemagazine.com; movies.popcrunch.com

Tips on how to verify if your Toyota is included in the recall

If you want to know if your Toyota is included in the recall you will have to check your vehicle identification number and the pedal itself.

Toyota uses as a source for accelerator pedals the Denso and CTS suppliers.
The latter supplies the pedals that are currently being recalled. Toyota announced that the vehicles built in Japan all use pedals from Denso, while those built in North America are equipped with the recalled CTS pedal.

It seems that vehicles such as the FJ Cruiser, which is built only in Japan, can only be equipped with the Denso pedals. Meanwhile, vehicles that are only built in North America such as the Tundra, Avalon, Matrix, and Sequoia, are virtually guaranteed to be equipped with the recalled CTS pedals.

Therefore, if you take a look at your VIN, which is affixed in the lower left hand corner of the windshield and in the driver’s doorjamb you will know if your Toyota is included in the recall.
If the first character of the VIN is a “J,” then your vehicle was built in Japan and is not part of the recall. If the first character is a “1,” however, the vehicle was made in North America, and is part of the recall.

Nevertheless, there’s an exception to the rule. Camrys with VIN sequences starting with “4T1” were built with both pedal types, making a visual inspection necessary.

According to Inside Line, owners can identify CTS pedals from Denso units by crawling under the dash and looking at the accelerator pedal assembly. Denso assemblies sport four silver bolts on the left-hand side of the assembly casing, and is also stamped “Denso.” CTS units, however, are devoid of the bolts, and sport a rectangular metal plate on the assembly’s left-hand side.

Nevertheless, if there are any doubts on whether or not your car falls under the recall, don’t hesitate to visit your local Toyota dealership for an inspection and more information.

Image source: autopolis.wordpress.com

Serena Williams won Australian Open

According to Reuters, American player Serena Williams defeated Belgium’s Justine Henin 6-4 3-6 6-2 Saturday to win the Australian Open. This is the fifth time, after a match of unrelenting tension, between the two best players of their generation.

At the beginning of the battle both players suffered from nerves but they still managed to provide the packed Melbourne Park center court crowd with some exquisite shot making and intense drama in their first grand slam final meeting.

For this battle, Williams wore a citrus-colored outfit, thumped down 12 aces and 32 winners while Henin provided a reminder of the form that saw her win seven grand slam titles, including the 2004 Australian Open, with 28 winners of her own.
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Williams had also played with her sister Venus in the women’s doubles and won. Venus was wearing heavy bandages on both her legs but just when it seemed she was fading, she found a way to weather the storm.

The win gave Williams her 12th grand slam singles title and saw her join American Billie Jean King, who was watching from the Rod Laver Arena stands, in equal sixth place on the list of female grand slam singles champions.

Image source: news.xinhuanet.com

Pininfarina has a surprise for the new 2010 Geneva motor show edition

This year, Pininfarina celebrates its 80th anniversary. Due to this special occasion the firm decided to build a Alfa Romeo special concept car that follows to be presented at the 2010 Geneva motor show.

For the moment, Pininfarina offered only a sketch of the future car concept from which we can tell that the car will be a two seat with a convertible version of its Brera coupe.

On technical area, if Pininfarina chooses to build a power train, then the power will be produced by a turbocharged 1.8-liter I-4, a normally aspirated 2.2-liter I-4, or a 3.2-liter V-6 — to be sent to the front wheels.

It seems that Pininfarina wants the new concept to represent its past, present and future. Also, Pininfarina has a strong relationship with Alfa Romeo due to the legendary 1966 “Duetto” Spider .

The Pininfarina Spider will be unveiled on March 2nd.

Image source: automobilemag.com