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<P>Environmental ImpactUp until recently, when it came to environmental impact, computers did not have the greatest track record. Each new generation of processors doubled speed, but consumed more energy. And software makers <STRONG>http://www.valentinoshoesboutique.com/valentino-sneakers-c-75/ </STRONG>ballooned their programs with new features that would use up all this capacity. As a result, consumers tended to discard their old computers even though they were still operational. This was especially problematic since computers had more than their fair share of toxic chemicals, including lead in the batteries, brominated flame retardants (BRFs), and the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used for coating wires.</P>
<P>Given La ChauxdeFonds watchmaking history, it little surprise that the town is also home to the International Clockmaking Museum. One of my favourite exhibits explained how a pocket watch designed between 1796 and 1800 by Breguet told the time with little pins that would jab its owner in the hand, allowing him to check the time without pulling it out of his pocket and potentially revealing his boredom to the person boss, emperor or spouse in whose company he found himself. The museum also has the world first quartz timepiece: the upright, fourdrawer filing cabinetsized contraption that almost killed La ChauxdeFonds.</P>
<P>There are hundreds of sneaker labels and shapes, and just as many languages. Doubters should cruise the boggling range around, from the kilometres of racks at Rebel, Foot Locker and The Athlete's Foot, to the minicollections in scattered, offbeat, urbanwear boutiques from Greville Street in Prahran, to Brunswick Street in Fitzroy.</P>
<P>Very occasionally, the show is absolutely on point. While some may think that willfully secluding oneself in the confines of classical music is its own form of masochism considering an infamous academic study in which orchestral musicians demonstrated less job satisfaction than federal prison guards one could argue that oboists have a particularly sorry lot. They have to deal with an incredibly finicky instrument, constantly make and refine their equipment in a very timeconsuming and mindblowingly detailed process and, at least according to tradition, suffer a higher risk of serious and alarming injuries (especially to the eyes and brain). So yes, Hailey, you're probably something of a masochist. AT</P>
<P>Songs In A Minor (J Records, 2001) Alicia Keys graduated from high school at age 16 with a scholarship to Columbia University. But she decided to pursue a future with a different Columbia instead Columbia Records, the label who signed her at age 15. Like many black women <a href="http://www.valentinoshoesboutique.com/valentino-sneakers-c-75/"><STRONG>Valentino Sneakers</STRONG></a> artists who came before and after her, she had to contend with people who lacked respect for her as a creator and a person. As she told The New York Times in 2002: "So I'm working with them, and them being not receptive to the fact that I play. 'Little girl, sit over there in the corner.' Them being attracted to me, whatever, 'Little girl let's go to the movies, let's go to dinner.'" Keys couldn't work under those conditions, so she found a Queens basement and made her own studio there. When she took her finished records to Columbia, they didn't like them. So she left and released Songs In A Minor with Arista Records. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and secured Keys' position as one of the most visionary composers of her time. A classically trained pianist raised on hiphop in Hell's Kitchen, Keys took varied influences including Chopin (her favorite composer), Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday and, with them, crafted a distillation of her spirit. The album's most enduring songs, "Fallin'," and "A Woman's Worth," are perfect. And when we listen to them, we should take care to remember the story of the young woman who made them. She taught an entire generation of us to persevere, to know our stuff and yes, to know our worth. Jenny Gathright (NPR Staff)</P>