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Sunday, February 20, 2011

St Louis Blues Make Bold Move Trade Erik Johnson, Jay McClement get 2 Avalanche Players that Make Instant Impact VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

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Former Avalanche players Kevin Shattenkirk (top left) and Chris Stewart (top right) warm up in Blues uniforms prior to Saturday's game against the Anaheim Ducks at the Scottrade Center. They were acquired in trade for Erik Johnson, bottom left, and Jay McClement, lower right.
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Bernie: Blues take bold step

BY BERNIE MIKLASZ 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch  
February 20, 2011

The newcomers were impressive in Saturday's 9-3 smackdown of visiting Anaheim.
The sellout crowd of 19,150 at Scottrade liked the big trade.
Stewart offered an instant confirmation. He's legit. He entered with a double shot Saturday, scoring two goals in his Blue Note debut. Since the start of last season, Stewart has scored more goals (43) and has more points (96) and has averaged more goals per game (0.38) than any player on the Blues' roster over the same period of time. And Stewart has done that in only 114 games; he missed 21 contests earlier this season after breaking a hand.  
And if you don't mind me going numbers nerd on you, consider this: of the NHL players that have played in 114 games or fewer since the start of last season, only Evegni Malkin has scored more goals than Stewart. Make no mistake; Armstrong has landed a game-changing scorer here. The numbers back it up.
Sure, trading Johnson is risky. He has superstar potential. He's only 22, and may eventually become a great player. But for whatever reason, EJ had stopped progressing and his hockey instincts weren't getting any sharper. His passion for the game came under fire a bit.
Given the organizational depth at defense, Armstrong correctly figured it was time for a gamble. With no in-house scorers waiting in the wings, the Blues had to go outside the organization to find one. And Stewart certainly looks and plays the part. The hard-charging power forward already has produced and has considerable upside to deliver even more. Stewart will get more ice time -- and power-play duty -- with the Blues than he did in Colorado.
Shattenkirk, meanwhile, has flashed exciting ability as an offensive defenseman, and his righthanded shot should give some pop to the power play. The kid looked smooth and poised in his first game with St. Louis. Shattenkirk seems to have a genuine feel for the game. And by landing the rookie defenseman to take Johnson's spot, the Blues maintained depth on the blue line.
That's why this trade makes sense.  The Blues added scoring and a couple of components to enhance the power play -- and still have sufficient pieces on defense. If anything, the Blues have a surplus there; the Brewer-Johnson removals will create expanded opportunities to young defensemen Ian Cole and Nikita Nikitin.
Brewer and Johnson supplied bulk minutes, which could be difficult to replace in the immediate aftermath. But that wasn't a factor Friday and Saturday. Besides, the Blues can't worry about that now. Armstrong had to do something daring to ignite his team's sluggish attack — for now and the future.
Armstrong also had to send a message to the team: don't get comfortable, don't assume anything, don't think you're all on scholarship. The Blues had gotten complacement, and Armstrong wasn't going to put up with that. He's challenging the room and demanding more. We like it.  
As for Brewer, I think there was more to this than a routine salary dump. Sure, dollars were a factor in the Blues shipping their captain to Tampa Bay. Brewer, a pending free agent, wasn't going to be re-signed by the team, and Checketts saved $1.5 million (Brewer's remaining salary) in the transaction. As a bonus, the Blues did OK by picking up a decent prospect, defenseman Brock Beukeboom, and a No. 3 draft pick from Tampa Bay.
Blues management won't say this out of respect to Brewer, a good man. But my guess is that Armstrong wants to cultivate new leadership and energize the the locker-room culture. Brewer tried hard to be an effective team captain but was never ideal for the role. And the desire to clear Brewer out in order to put the responsibility of leadership on others was part of the shake-up.
Over the last year and a half, the Blues have fired a coach. They've put a new GM in place. They've made trades for a goaltender (Jaroslav Halak) and a scorer (Stewart).


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Stewart scores twice, Blues rout Ducks 9-3


by KMOV Web Producer
KMOV.com
Posted on February 19, 2011 at 11:54 PM


ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Chris Stewart used to be a scoring machine against the St. Louis Blues.  Now, he's on their side.
  
The former Avalanche forward made a two-goal debut, helping energize a franchise coming off a pair of high-profile trades, in a 9-3 rout of the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. He was running on adrenaline, after learning he'd been traded about 11 p.m. Friday night and taking two flights to St. Louis.
  
"It was a perfect start," Stewart said. "By the time I landed, I had three or four text messages from the boys and it was very comforting. It was an easy adjustment."
  
The 23-year-old Stewart totaled two goals in his last 14 games with Colorado after returning from a broken hand. Against the Blues, he has eight goals and 15 points in only nine career games.
  
"Yeah, a couple of the boys let me know before the game," Stewart said. "They were calling me the Blues killer, so I found that kind of funny."
  
The Blues just missed a franchise record with two goals in a 7-second span of the first period. T.J. Oshie had his first career two-goal game with an assist, playing a hand in both goals of the quick flurry that erased a two-goal deficit.
  
The record is two goals in 6 seconds, also against the Ducks on Oct. 11, 2010, at home.
  
It sparked a season best for scoring, topping the previous best by three goals. The Blues are 13th in the Western Conference, five points out of the final playoff spot, and in the last two days shook up the roster by trading Erik Johnson, Eric Brewer and Jay McClement.

"We lost three teammates, great guys, and it was a bit of a shock," said forward Andy McDonald, who had two goals and an assist. "It wasn't like we had a few days to adjust, it was on a game day, and I think the guys handled it pretty well."
  
Stewart was the fifth player in franchise history to score twice in his debut, getting his 14th and 15th on power plays in the second period after totaling two goals in his last 14 games with Colorado. Kevin Shattenkirk, also acquired from the Avalanche in the deal for Johnson, the No. 1 overall pick in 2006, set up Stewart's second goal.
  
St. Louis was 3 for 5 on the power play and Alex Steen had a short-handed goal to wrap up the scoring plus two assists.
  
The Ducks have been vulnerable with Jonas Hiller sidelined the last three games by a recurrence of dizziness and fatigue, surrendering 21 goals. Backup Curtis McElhinney was yanked after giving up four goals on 11 shots in the first period in favor of rookie Timo Pielmeier.
  
"It doesn't matter who's in net," forward Ryan Getzlaf said. "It's not that they're bad goals. They're getting bounces against us because we're not working for them."
  
Ty Conklin had a shutout Friday at Buffalo after the Blues traded Brewer, who had been captain, to Tampa Bay. He was lifted at 16:42 of the first period after surrendering three goals on five shots with Ben Bishop finishing.
  
Teemu Selanne scored his 19th for Anaheim before getting a game misconduct penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in the second period. Jarkko Ruutu and Ryan Getzlaf also scored for the Ducks, who'll play their next seven at home.
  
"It doesn't matter if you're at home or on the road," Getzlaf said. "We're going to have to go back to work."
   


The Blues set a season best with four goals in the first period, then matched it in the second in their highest scoring game since Brendan Shanahan had three goals and two assists in an 11-1 victory at Ottawa on Feb. 26, 1994. McDonald had two goals, scoring on the front end of the 7-second salvo off Oshie's setup.



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UPDATED: Aurora alert, CLASS X FLASH, Huge Solar Flare Jams Radio, Satellite Signals, could disrupt electrical power grids VIDEOS

Scientists warn of $2,000bn solar ‘Katrina’
By Clive Cookson in Washington
February 20 2011
The sun is waking up from a long quiet spell. Last week it sent out the strongest flare for four years – and scientists are warning that earth should prepare for an intense electromagnetic storm that, in the worst case, could be a “global Katrina” costing the world economy $2,000bn.
Senior officials responsible for policy on solar storms – also known as space weather – in the US, UK and Sweden urged more preparedness at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.
“We have to take the issue of space weather seriously,” said Sir John Beddington, UK chief scientist. “The sun is coming out of a quiet period, and our vulnerability has increased since the last solar maximum [around 2000].”
“Predict and prepare should be the watchwords,” agreed Jane Lubchenco, head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “So much more of our technology is vulnerable than it was 10 years ago.”
A solar storm starts with an eruption of super-hot gas travelling out from the sun at speeds of up to 5m miles an hour. Electrically charged particles hit earth’s atmosphere 20 to 30 hours later, causing electromagnetic havoc.
Last week’s solar storm may have been the biggest since 2007, but it was relatively small in historical terms.
It caused some radio communications problems and minor disruption of civil aviation as airlines routed flights away from the polar regions, said Dr Lubchenco.
A more extreme storm can shut down communications satellites for many hours – or even cause permanent damage to their components. On the ground, the intense magnetic fluctuations can induce surges in power lines, leading to grid failures such as the one that blacked out the whole of Quebec in 1989.
The 11-year cycle of solar activity is quite variable and the present one is running late, with the next maximum expected in 2013.
The peak was not expected to be very strong but that should not cause complacency, said Tom Bogdan, director of the US Space Weather Prediction Center.
The most intense solar storm on record, which ruined much of the world’s newly installed telegraph network in 1859, took place during an otherwise weak cycle. An 1859-type storm today could knock out the world’s information, communications and electricity distribution systems, at a cost estimated by the US government at $2,000bn.
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NASA satellite image shows a solar flare leaping from the Sun in 2000. A powerful solar eruption that triggered a huge geomagnetic storm has disturbed radio communications and could disrupt electrical power grids, radio and satellite communication in the next days, NASA has warned. 
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The NWS Space Weather Prediction Center said the solar flare, the largest since December 2006, occured Monday evening. The flare was cited for causing disruptions in high-frequency communications. More flares could occur Thursday night and Friday. 


NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) (part of NOAA's National Weather Service, NWS), has issued an alert for an increase in solar activity to moderate levels with a chance for an isolated major solar flare over the next few days. The consequent solar wind, consisting of charged atomic particles, is expected to intersect the upper atmosphere over polar regions February 17-19, leading to the possibility of brilliant auroras.
Whether or not we will be able to see an aurora locally in the northern sky depends upon several factors. Foremost is the degree of disturbance to the earth's magnetic field and latitude. The brilliance of Aurora's decreases the further south the location. At Washington D.C.'s latitude , it would probably take the magnetic disturbance arising from a major solar flare, now forecast as at least a possibility.
If this should occur you'll need to be in a rural location to avoid the obscuration of city lights. Over the next few days clouds should not interfere with viewing. However, even if all else were favorable, the light of the nearly full moon significantly diminishes chances of seeing an aurora, except within couple hours before moon set in the very early morning hours. Chances of seeing the northern lights are better in New England and the Great Lakes (not coincidentally locations farther north).


Huge solar flare jams radio, satellite signals: NASA
www.breitbart.com

A powerful solar eruption that triggered a huge geomagnetic storm has disturbed radio communications and could disrupt electrical power grids, radio and satellite communication in the next days, NASA said. A strong wave of charged plasma particles emanating from the Jupiter-sized sun spot, the most powerful seen in four years, has already disrupted radio communication in southern China.
The Class X flash -- the largest such category -- erupted at 0156 GMT Tuesday, according to the US space agency.
"X-class flares are the most powerful of all solar events that can trigger radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms," disturbing telecommunications and electric grids, NASA said Wednesday.
Geomagnetic storms usually last 24 to 48 hours -- but some could last for many days, read a statement from the US National Weather Service.
"Ground to air, ship to shore, short-wave broadcast and amateur radio are vulnerable to disruption during geomagnetic storms. Navigation systems like GPS can also be adversely affected."
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory said it saw a large coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the flash blasting toward Earth at about 560 miles per second (900 kilometers per second).
The flare spread from Active Region 1158 in the sun's southern hemisphere, which had so far lagged behind the northern hemisphere in flash activity. It followed several smaller flares in recent days.
"The calm before the storm," read a statement on the US National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Service.
"Three CMEs are enroute, all a part of the Radio Blackout events on February 13, 14, and 15 (UTC). The last of the three seems to be the fastest and may catch both of the forerunners about mid to late ... February 17."
The China Meteorological Administration reported that the solar flare caused "sudden ionospheric disturbances" in the atmosphere above China and jammed short-wave radio communications in the southern part of the country.
The CMA warned there was a high probability that large solar flares would appear over the next three days, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) said meanwhile that the solar storm would result in spectacular Northern Lights displays starting Thursday.
One coronal mass ejection reached Earth on February 14, "sparking Valentine's Day displays of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) further south than usual."
"Two CMEs are expected to arrive in the next 24-48 hours and further... displays are possible some time over the next two nights if skies are clear," it said.
The office published geomagnetic records dating back to the Victorian era which it hopes will help in planning for future storms.
"Life increasingly depends on technologies that didn't exist when the magnetic recordings began," said Alan Thomson, BGS head of geomagnetism.
"Studying the records will tell us what we have to plan and prepare for to make sure systems can resist solar storms," he said.
A 2009 report by a panel of scientists assembled by NASA said that a sustained and powerful solar flare outbreak could overwhelm high-voltage transformers with electrical currents and short-circuit energy grids. 

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ZZ TOP - Sharp Dressed Man, Legs MUSIC VIDEO Two-Fer One, With Carmen Electra and More Beautiful Dancers

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Eliminator is the eighth studio album by American blues-rock band ZZ Top, released in 1983 (see 1983 in music). It was the band's most successful album, having reached Diamond status. The album is a successful blend of blues rock and analog synthesizers. In 1989, it was ranked #39 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Albums of the 80s. In 2003, the album was ranked number 396 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
In the UK, it was the band's first album to be certified by the British Phonographic Industry, attaining Silver (60,000 units) in 1984. By the year end, it was certified Platinum (300,000 units) and currently it is certified 4x Platinum.
"Thug" was featured in the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV.

Eliminator
Studio album by ZZ Top
Released March 23, 1983
Recorded 1982
Genre Rock
Hard rock
Blues-rock
Length 45:22
1:18:10 (Collector's Edition)
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Bill Ham
Professional reviews



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Missouri 'Rock Snot' Trout Fishing Threat of 'didymo' Remember to 'Check, Clean, Dry'

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MDC to hold public forums on preventing invasive “rock snot”

Feb. 16, 2011
PHOTOS Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation
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JEFFERSON CITY Mo – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will hold public open-house forums in March and April to help educate anglers and boaters about the dangers of “didymo” or “rock snot.” This invasive alga forms large, thick mats on the bottom of lakes and streams, smothering aquatic life vital to the food chain that supports many fish species, including trout. Didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) has been found just south of the Missouri-Arkansas border in the White River.
According to MDC Fisheries Biologist Mark VanPatten, preventing the spread of this invasive species is critical to the health of Missouri’s lakes and streams. He added that recreational equipment such as boats, lifejackets, and fishing gear -- particularly waders -- are the most likely ways for Didymo to spread into Missouri.
“In addition to educating anglers and boaters about the threats of Didymo, we are considering potential regulation changes to prevent the spread of this invasive alga,” said VanPatten. “Public input in this process is very important.”
Public meetings will be held at or near the following fish hatcheries:
Montauk State Park: Searcy Building, Tuesday, March 15, 6 p.m.
Bennett Spring State Park: Hatchery Building, Monday, March 21, 6 p.m.
Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery – Lake Tanyecomo: U. S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dewey Short Visitor Center at Table Rock Dam, Saturday, March 26, 1 p.m.
Roaring River State Park: Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center, Thursday, April 7, 6 p.m.
Maramec Spring Park: James Memorial Library Meeting Room, 300 W. Scioto St. in St. James, Monday, April 11, 6 p.m.
To help reduce the spread of Didymo, remember, “Check. Clean. Dry.”
Check all gear and equipment and remove any visible algae. Do not dispose of algae by putting it down a drain or into bodies of water.
Clean all gear and equipment with a solution of 2-percent bleach, 5-percent saltwater, or dishwashing detergent. Allow all equipment to stay in contact with the solution for at least one minute. Soak all soft items, such as felt-soled waders and life jackets, in the solution for at least 20 minutes.
Dry all gear and equipment for at least 48 hours by exposing it to sunlight.
VanPatten added that replacing felt-soled waders with waders that have rubber or synthetic soles can also minimize the risk of spreading rock snot and other invasive species.
For more information about the meetings, contact VanPatten at 573-751-4115 ext. 3892 or mark.vanpatten@mdc.mo.gov.


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Trout fishing and the threat of rock snot

By Kathy Etling • Special to the Post-Dispatch St. Louis Post-Dispatch   
Sunday, February 20, 2011

A recent day of winter trout fishing at Bennett Spring State Park, near Lebanon, Mo., proved to be a success on several levels. The weather was beautiful, the trout wanted to bite and the stream was filled with gregarious anglers, some of whom were eager to share their fishing secrets.
Jerry Crump, who once called St. Charles home, loves trout fishing so much that he retired to a spot almost within casting distance of the park. If Jerry isn't the most popular fisherman at Bennett, he has to be right up there. It's easy to see why. Not only is the angler easy to talk to, he is extremely knowledgeable. His fly boxes are full of nymphs, streamers and other furry, feathery offerings in bright or muted patterns. He's tied most of the flies himself, and some are his own personal creations. The Crumpster, for instance, as well as the Bedspread, made of a hard-to-find material and one of the angler's trout-catching favorites.
Jerry bestowed upon one envious angler a number of Crumpsters and a Bedspread to try at her leisure. The angler first tried the Bedspread and watched nearby trout go wild as the fly floated past. Sadly, there were no hook-ups, at least not until Crump waded into the current just downstream and started casting. In short order he'd caught and released three fish that had fallen victim to the cunningly simple Bedspread.
And that, as they say, is how one distinguishes an expert trout angler from a rank amateur.
Missouri's winter catch-and-release trout park season concluded Feb. 15.
Speaking of trout and the streams they inhabit, bistate anglers have yet another invasive aquatic species to worry about, that is, in addition to zebra mussels, Chinese mystery snails, rusty crayfish and New Zealand mud snails. That something is didymo — short for Didymosphenia geminata — also known as rock snot, and the worry arrives just in time for Missouri's trout season opener March 1.
Rock snot, as one might guess from its name, is bad news. It is an invasive alga — not "algae" because it is singular, one organism, and not plural — that forms a continuous, thick mat on the beds of lakes and streams. This mat looks like dense snot and smothers aquatic life while also fouling anglers' hooks and lines. Originally native to more northern latitudes of Europe, Asia and North America, didymo has recently been expanding into areas where it never before caused problems, including New Zealand, British Columbia and much of the American West. In South Dakota, biologists suspect didymo run amok contributed to the precipitous decline of several brown trout populations. Further to the east, didymo has been discovered in many of New England's classic trout streams to the dismay of the many anglers who make pilgrimages there.
Midwest anglers should be aware that didymo now has been discovered in Arkansas' White River, just to the south of the Missouri border. The White's once pristine gravel bars are "covered with didymo," according to Jeff Williams, Arkansas' trout program supervisor.
Arkansas' White River is a stream increasingly under siege, first from the threat of snakeheads, an invasive carnivorous fish that now inhabits a portion of the White River basin, and now from didymo. According to one New Zealand-based didymo expert, Dr. Barry Biggs, mats of didymo can make the adjoining water 'so alkaline that it could attack the delicate gills of fish.''
New Zealand biologists have been testing a chelated copper compound as an agent of didymo control with good results. The operative word, however, is control; so far nothing appears able to eradicate the alga completely.
Mark VanPatten, a fisheries biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said that preventing didymo's spread is critical to the future health of Missouri's lakes and streams. He noted that the organism would most likely arrive via contaminated recreational equipment such as boats, lifejackets and fishing gear.
MDC is preparing a two-pronged response to the threat lurking just south of the state's border: 1. education and 2. potential regulation changes to prevent didymo's spread.
Anglers and boaters can help reduce the spread of didymo by remembering to "Check. Clean. Dry."
Check all gear and equipment and remove any visible algae. Do not dispose of algae by putting it down a drain or into bodies of water. 
Clean all gear and equipment with a solution of 2 percent bleach, 5 percent saltwater, or dishwashing detergent. Allow all equipment to stay in contact with the solution for at least one minute. Soak soft items, such as felt-soled waders and life jackets, in the solution for at least 20 minutes.
Dry all gear and equipment for at least 48 hours by exposing it to sunlight.
VanPatten said that replacing felt-soled waders with waders that have rubber or synthetic soles can also minimize the risk of spreading aquatic invasives such as rock snot.
One new feature at all four Missouri trout parks this year will be the presence of wader-wash stations where anglers can clean waders and other gear in a 5 percent salt solution prior to entering the streams.
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Brower County Florida Woman Attacks Bus Driver CAUGHT ON VIDEO TAPE

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Feb 19, 2011

In Brower County Florida A woman attacked a bus driver because he asked to get off the bus after she claimed she had no money to pay the fare.

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Collier Florida Woman Run Over By Police Car CAUGHT ON VIDEO TAPE

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Feb 19, 2011

A Collier, Florida Woman was run over by a police cruiser as she was walking her bike across a dark highway.  No word on her condition.


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