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Archive for July, 2008

Obama + 5%

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 31, 2008

I watch the daily changes in the polls and believe they are extremely inaccurate. So inaccurate, they obama president should add 5% to an Obama numbers.

If Obama is forecasted at 46% (Gallup Daily Election Poll Results for the General Election, July 27-29, 2008, Based upon a three day rolling average of national registered voters. ) we should consider Obama’s number 51%.

Do I have any formal basis of knowledge to back it up? No. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night 😉 )

The major factor in the inaccuracy of the polls is the pollsters are not reaching a dominant sweet spot for Obama (Ages 18 – 25, cell phone users, students, online users, etc…)

I imagine Gallup is making calls to people. Reaching people over 30 years old… The bottom line is anyone who is picking up the phone (landline and cell) is not that sweet spot.


I checked to make sure the Gallup people were calling cell phones and found they do call them. (That’s a step in the right direction.)

Survey Methods (From Gallup)
For the Gallup Poll Daily tracking survey, Gallup is interviewing no fewer than 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide each day during 2008.
The general-election results are based on combined data from July 27-29, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,682 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
To provide feedback or suggestions about how to improve, please e-mail

Good. At least they are calling cell phones.

I found it interesting that the chart on this page was a three-day rolling survey. They state they interview no fewer than 1,000 adults nationwide each day. So this is a three-day survey, wouldn’t they have at least 3,000 results in the survey versus the 2,682. (I am sure they can get 3,000 registered voters surveyed over the period.)

Remember this post in November, when Obama and McCain are 2 points apart in the polls going into the election and Obama wins by at least 7 points.


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Obama and experience – no problem

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 29, 2008

Being the President of the United States is not about being an expert in all subjects. The job requires obama president of USyou to have a basis of knowledge, common sense, and the ability to surround yourself with experts in the areas. Selection of a cabinet is key.

Being President is unlike any other position in the world. It is not like being a Senator, Representative, Governor, or Mayor. Are there aspects of these positions with similarities to aspects of being President? Of Course!

So let’s stop talking about experience. Until you are President, you do not have experience at being President.

Judging by his campaign, Obama seems to surround himself with productive people who are good at their jobs. If consistent with his campaign, Obama will appoint a solid, productive cabinet.

Obama and his “future Cabinet members” will be good for the U.S. and the world.


Posted in politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

ESPN (OTL), Penn State Football incidents and elite athletes

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 28, 2008

ESPN (Outside the Lines 7.27.08 ) did a story on Penn State University Football players getting in Cheerleaders Penn State trouble off the field. They have been getting in fights, drinking, and other troublesome activities.


I don’t have the answers but none of this should be unexpected.

Elite athletes, such as Division 1 football players, are recognized at young ages. By the time they are in Junior high school, people are kissing their butts, telling them how great they are, and at times, are being contacted by colleges.

By the time they are in high school, everyone is kissing their butts, colleges are visiting, and they are constantly being told they are special. They naturally start feeling they are better than others and rules do not apply to them. At practice and on the field they are trained to be aggressive, give 100% effort, protect teammates, and leave it all on the field…

So now they accept a scholarship to a big time Division 1 footbal school. Everyone kisses their butts. Girls want them. They get to “cut the line” on their class schedules so they can make practices and games. They generated press and dollars for the university so the administration kisses their butts. They continue to be treated special and feel the rules don’t apply to them….

… and, realistically, the rules don’t appy to them….

So now you have a 20 year old kid who is getting in trouble or fights? Since he was 13 years old, he has been told is special and (directly or indirectly) that the “rules” don’t apply to him .

Are we surprised? Actually, we should all be surprised this isn’t happening more often on more campuses.


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Facebook, MySpace, and Social Networking – Will it affect the election like it does business?

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 25, 2008

Millions of people regularly use social networking sites MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Skyrock Blog, StudiVZ, Hi5, Orkut ,Friendster, and Cyworld. Big audiences. Although often they are “Segmentable” and “Targetable”, no one has been able to monetize the audience.

Banners. Interstitials. Widgets. Surveys. Blogs. Etc. There is a ton of participation but little purchasing and transactions for businesses. Facebook PPC (for example) has been a disappointment to advertisers. Click-throughs and conversions are low.

It will be interesting to see if it will be the same for the U.S. Presidential Election. There are many Obama groups across all the platforms. Members of the groups are almost fanatical. Comments galore.

It will be interesting to see if these people get out to the polls and vote… or will it be a disappointment like the businesses experiences in the social networking world.

Posted in Buying Online (eCommerce), offbeat news and videos for college students, politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Funny Prank Phone Call – Phone Salesman calls murder scene

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 21, 2008

This is an old video prank phone call. So Funny. Enjoy. —

Posted in humor, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Selecting the right college – go away to school

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 19, 2008

There are many factors you need to consider when selecting your college. Once you have narrowed down the schools, give extra consideration to the schools where you would need to live away from college dorm roomhome (on campus).

If you can afford it, you should live on campus. It is a large part of the college experience. It is a large part of the maturation process…
Living with people. Relationships. Doing laundry. Budgeting time .Parties. Managing money. Social life. Parties. Study groups. Parties. Girls. Parties. And More… It’s the best memories of school…

Living away from home is not always easy and you have to grow up quickly. The benefits and memories are endless.

Of course it is much better living on campus not at a “commuter school”. You will see that more often than not, the people you live with in college will be some of your best life-long friends.

Do it if you can!

Good luck.


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Selecting the right college – public versus private – school services

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 19, 2008

Let’s preface this post… For any school you are considering you need to do your homework. Check with all resources: the school, students, blogs/online, anything you can think of… be creative. college students selecting school classesWe also realize a private school is typically more expensive that attending an in-state private school.

Before selecting a school, you need to know who you are. Are you ambitious? A go-getter? Would you prefer things handed to you? A part of the selection process should be for the student to take a self inventory… know who you are… and then match to the characteristics of the school.

I have a friend who had twins graduate from 2 different universities. One graduated from Boston College (private) and the other from University of Delaware (public). Both are great schools. Both kids got good educations and had fun college experiences.

The difference in the schools was how the services worked for the students. A few examples…
• At Boston College, the career planning department followed up and prep’d students and made sure they were ready for interviews. There was more “spoon feeding” going on.
• At The University of Delaware, they got you interviews but you (the student) needed to be more independent getting ready for the interview.
• At Boston College it is easy to get a tutor.
• At The University of Delaware, it took our student 7 weeks to get his tutor.

This is just an example and may greatly vary from school-to-school and department-to-department. Of course it also varies on the personality of the student.

So, when selecting a school, look into services such as extra help and career guidance. Get some detailed information and speak to some students about it. It can make your school education and your job-search experiences much easier and productive.

Good luck!


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Selecting the right college – remember the alumni and school name

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 18, 2008

These days it’s easy to apply to 10, 15, or even 20 schools. If you have the money, the Common Application makes it pretty simple. As a result of the increase in applications, there is a corresponding columbia university selecting a collegeincrease in the number of acceptances.

So, now I have been accepted to 7 schools, how do I decide which school to attend?

Do your homework. Take a look at the standard sources of data such as US News And World Reports college ratings. What will you study (major)? How much school can you afford? Are you going to graduate school? Etc…

It is important to take into consideration the name of the school and the strength of the alumni.

When you are applying for jobs, the school alumni can be an incredible help. Certain schools have strong presences at major companies. (I can personally give you examples. When I worked at American Express, my division had an inordinate number of Columbia University graduates. True, Columbia is a good school, but it was because of a VP who attended Columbia.)

Another example is Notre Dame. They have an incredibly strong alumni that does everything in its power to assist it brothers.

Certain schools are stronger in certain regions. Ask around and surf to find out. You should also research some of the interesting companies in your area. Quite often companies have reputations as “[blank] shops” ( as in “Columbia shops”)

Keep it in mind when you make this important decision.

Good luck!


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Bobby Murcer dies of cancer

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 13, 2008

Bobby Murcer, R.I.P. – You will be greatly missed. You’re a true Yankee in every sense. Bobby Murcer True NY Yankke star

Murcer Loses His Fight With Cancer
Bobby Murcer dies at age 62
Bobby Murcer, 62, Yankee on Field and Air, Dies
Ex-Yankees star, broadcaster Murcer dies at 62
Bobby Murcer statistics


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“He’s already dead, DO SOMETHING!” — True Story — Father brings his son back to life

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 12, 2008

It’s summer. Kids are out of school and in pools.

Here is an email from a friend who saved his 4 year old son after he had drowned (or nearly drowned) in a learn cpr save a lifefriend’s pool… It can happen anywhere and anytime. A story that fortunately had a happy ending because people acted quickly. (Note: This is a true story but the the names were changed.)


From: “Alan Smith”
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 8:54 AM
To: “”
Subject: Michael nearly drowned Sunday

If you didn’t hear, my four year old son Michael nearly drowned Sunday.
He’s finally home recovering after spending two days in the Pediatric ICU. I wanted to send this email both to let my friends and family know what happened, and also to pass on the lessons my wife Elsee and I learned.

We had just arrived at a friends house Sunday and couldn’t wait to get into the pool on the 95 degree day. Within ten minutes, there were three adults and four kids in the water having fun. This was not a big party where you sometimes read about how a child drowns right in front of 50 people. Honestly, I can see how that could happen.

It was me, Elsee and Rob, the owner of the house, in the shallow end of the pool. The four boys were spread out throughout the pool. Two can swim, two can’t.

The next thing we know, my eight year old son Ronald, who happens to be on the swim team, noticed his brother floating face up under the water. He went to Michael and was trying to hold him over the water when Elsee spotted this going on and quickly realized something was terribly wrong.

She yelled to me and I ran over to get Michael. His face was turning blue and he was foaming at the mouth. In what seemed like HOURS, I was trying to check his breathing and calling his name to wake him up. I honestly expected him to wake up. WAKE UP, MICHAEL! He wasn’t waking up.

I was afraid that once I started CPR, it meant this was really happening. With the three adults near by, and the other three adults in the house not aware of what was happening, the words of the instructor of the CPR class that I just took TWO MONTH PRIOR were in my head: “He’s already dead, DO SOMETHING!”

I yelled for someone to call 911, which Elsee immediately conveyed to Katina (the homeowner). Then I startedchest compressions. I was worried that I couldn’t remember the new “rules” on how to do CPR. They actually just changed the guidelinesagain (see the link below). So I started off with 30 chest compressions, at which point John, another guest at the house and NYC cop and volunteer fire fighter, ran over and immediately started the breathingpart of CPR.

We worked on Michael for what I estimate to be 90 seconds (but who knows), stopping only to turn him on his side and clear the vomit from his mouth a few times. Then… he started to cry! HE’S CRYING! I haven’t heard him cry like that since the day he was born. HE’S CRYING! THANK G-D HE’S CRYING!

A Suffolk Police Officer was first on the scene as I recall, and within seconds there were many, many EMS, firemen and policemen standing over us; each holding an AED and other rescue gear.

Michael was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Islip (we were in Commack at the time) because they have a strong Pediatric ICU department. Everyone there was terrific; wonderful. I cannot say enough about them!

Michael, my Michael– he’s a terrific patient; always has been. He put up with the neurological exams every two hours, the treatments, the tubes, wires and literally dozens of doctors and nurses that came to see him over the next two days. He has a way of deeply touching everyone he’s around. He’s just a sweet boy. A pleaser, as his mother says. To the point where he doesn’t complain even when he should!

So with fluid in his right lung, which is also partially collapsed, his spirits sky high and being all excited about “graduating” from pre-school today from XXXXXX School, he’s home. He’s home because:

– Ronald spotted him floating in the water.
– Elsee saw something was terribly wrong.
– We called 911.
– I started CPR.
– John ran over to help perform CPR.
– Every emergency and medical provider did their job.
– And in concert, we all performed a miracle!

Thank you.
I thank every single person I saw, met (and those I didn’t see or meet) over the last few days that helped. Thank you, my friends, neighbors co-workers and family members who called and offered your support.

Thank you xxxxx and xxxxxx for teaching the CPR class.
Thank you XXXXXXXXXXXX Little League for offering the CPR class at no cost to the coaches.

So what is the point of this email other than being therapeutic for me to write? I said at the onset that I wanted to share a few lessons Elsee and I learned. Hopefully they WILL help you:

– THIS WAS TOTALLY PREVENTABLE! That’s the scariest and most valuable part. We were right there IN the pool with Michael, but yet for a few seconds, we didn’t notice that he slipped on the drop-off at the beginning of the deep end. (Michael told us he was reaching to recover Ronald’s goggles for him.)

– Call 911! I cannot tell you how that basic step is so easily overlooked. Because of how it became ingrained in my head from the class, I called out for Elsee to call 911. I honestly don’t think it would have dawned on me to do that without practicing it in class. Amazing as that sounds, it’s the truth.

– Do something, because he’s already dead! Every time I think it, I get the chills and start to cry.

– And lastly, attend a CPR class. They’ve actually changed a lot of it since 9th grade health class (30/2 now, not 5/2)! They even changed it since I took the class a few months ago recommending compressions-only as an acceptable method. Also, there are some great web sites and flyers to read on the subject. Just reading it once in a while could be helpful.

But remember, at the time of an emergency, there are no instructors grading or critiquing what
you’re doing. Did I do it right? Could I have done it alone without John’s help or vice versa? If we did nothing but wait for 911responders would Michael be alive today? Would he have brain damage? Who knows. What I do know, is that I’m bringing my video camera today because I’m sure it’s going to be a tearful, happy day!

Here’s a great link with concise CPR instructions:

Also, the children’s ICU at xxxxxxxxxxxxx, has a new play room. It even has a cool outdoor roof-top play area. Michael was SO excited to go there every day. They accept all kinds of donations. Michael told me they are lacking in the Thomas the Tank Engine department and he
wants to give them some of his toys. 😉

Thanks for reading.
Michael’s Dad
PS I tried to email this to my friends and family that have young kids or grandkids. If I missed anyone, please feel free to forward this note to anyone you think may benefit from reading it. Thanks.

Alan Smith


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