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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Billions to be spent on six to 23% of the voters, mostly in 7 key states (including Nevada)


Obama-Romney Race Is Focused on 7 States





On the eve of their national party conventions, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are locked in a close race to amass the requisite 270 Electoral College votes for victory. And the contest is exactly where it was at the start of the long, volatile summer: focused on seven states that are up for grabs.
Neither candidate has a significant advantage in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire and Virginia, which offer a combined 85 electoral votes, according to an Associated Press analysis of public and private polls, spending on television advertising and numerous interviews with Republican and Democratic strategists in battleground states.
The analysis, which also took into account the strength of a candidate's on-the-ground organization and travel schedules, found that if the election were held today, Obama would have 19 states and the District of Columbia, offering 247 votes, solidly in his column or leaning his way, while Republican Romney would have 24 states with 206 votes.
Both sides are working to persuade the 23 percent of registered voters who said in an Associated Press-GfK poll that they are either undecided about the presidential race or iffy in their support for a candidate.

Big names behind all-new downtown Las Vegas FM station


By Caitlin McGarry
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
 
Carlos "Big Daddy" Adley's music venues at 601 Fremont St. were scheduled to open Labor Day weekend, but music fans will have to wait until October for a first glimpse of Backstage Billiards and Fremont Country Club.

Adley has a major project in development on the second floor of the former Sears department store, and that project has pushed back the opening dates of his venues.

The second floor will be home to an FM radio station showcasing acts that perform at the two joints. Artists will perform acoustic sets and do live interviews before and after their performances, which will be broadcast outside the building for passers-by on Fremont Street.

"It will be like Times Square and MTV," Adley said. "You'll be able to look up and wave to whatever celebrities are doing their interviews."

The station, which is currently going through the approval process with the Federal Communications Commission, will have the vibe of the famous KROQ in Los Angeles, Adley said.

The station is a partnership between Adley; DJ Lethal, formerly of House of Pain and Limp Bizkit; and DJ Scotty Boy, a Las Vegas-based producer who spins at the Marquee nightclub in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

"The homework's been done. We're not throwing together a lemonade stand here," Adley said.
DJ Lethal is a partner in Backstage Billiards and plans to be in Vegas every weekend, if possible, to promote the club and host a show on air. He said he likes the vibe of downtown, and prefers Fremont to the more "mainstream" Strip.

"I came down a few months ago and checked it out, saw where the revival of Fremont Street is going," he said. "After I got more into it and did the research on the history of Fremont Street and the whole downtown - that's where it all started."

Adley had long planned to use the second floor as a radio station after opening Backstage Billiards and Fremont Country Club, but he realized the renovations would force him to close his ground-floor venues for a few weeks. He decided to speed up the radio station's schedule, delaying the venues' launch by about a month.

"Look for in the next several weeks the second- and third-floor windows on Sixth Street to be knocked out," Adley said.

Backstage Billiards is now expected to open at the end of September or early October; the Fremont Country Club at the end of October.

With Commonwealth soon opening on the opposite corner and restaurateur Michael Morton's Mexican restaurant in development on Sixth Street, Adley is expecting Fremont and Sixth streets to galvanize more downtown development.

"That corner is going to be on fire," he said.

Contact reporter Caitlin McGarry at cmcgarry@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5273.

How Overconfidence and Paranoia Become Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

People's overconfidence can be confused with competence, while their paranoia can elicit the very anger and rejection they're seeking to avoid.


From Shakespeare to The Secret, the idea that our thoughts and perceptions shape our reality is recognized as a powerful truth. As the Bard wrote, “[T]here is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
While charlatans have long used this belief to promote bogus cancer cures and get-rich-quick schemes, psychologists are now actually beginning to understand how “faking it ’til you make it” — or alternatively, psyching yourself out with negative thinking — works in the social world. Two fascinating recent studies — one on confidence; the other exploring social fears — reveal how our own positive and negative stances work to alter our relationships and careers.
The first study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, explored the positive effects of overconfidence, showing that it enhances social status by presenting a false image of competence. If you’ve ever wondered how the utterly clueless rise to the top, or why managers often seem to make worse decisions than dart-throwing bonobos, this research provides some insight.

n a series of six experiments, researchers led by Cameron Anderson at the University of California, Berkeley, showed that when you think you’re better than you are at certain tasks, people tend to believe you. In groups, people are easily persuaded by others’ confidence, even if it’s unjustified.
The first study involved 76 undergrads, who worked on a geography task in pairs. Before starting the task, each student was given a blank map of the U.S., labeled only with rivers and lakes, and was asked to locate 15 specific cities. Then, they were asked to rate how well they thought they did on this test; a comparison between that perception and their actual performance was used to gauge their level of overconfidence. (Their actual performance wasn’t disclosed to them.)
Afterward, the participants collaborated on the same task with a partner. Once they finished, they privately rated their partner’s performance as well as whether they thought he or she had high social status. The status rating was based on whether the partner had led decisions, otherwise influenced them or was seen as worthy of admiration or respect.
The researchers found that ratings of both high status and high competence were linked with the person’s level of overconfidence. “In fact,” the authors write, “overconfidence actually had as strong a relationship with partner-rated competence as did actual ability.” In other words, people who think they are good at something are seen as being good at it, whether or not they actually are. (Even dogs demonstrate this effect: ever watch a chihuahua intimidate a much larger dog?) Unfortunately, even in the absence of actual ability, the illusion of strength and competence that people exude makes others see them as good potential leaders.

The story continues with more from Time Magazine (click here).

Political Icons

The Democratic Donkey began during the 1828 presidential campaign of Andrew Jackson, who opponents called a stubborn jackass. He adapted the animal as his official campaign image, saying he was strong as any ass could be.

The Republican Party mascot of the Elephant came almost a half century later,  from an 1874 political cartoon in which a Democratic donkey dressed in a lion's skin scared off all of the farm and zoo animals, except for the strong, brave Elephant.

So stubbornness and strength are behind both political icons.

Rembering Neal Armstrong

Neil Armstrong testifies before a House panel about human space flight in 2011. Armstrong died on Saturday at 82.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Neil Armstrong testifies before a House panel about human space flight in 2011. Armstrong died on Saturday at 82.

It was the kind of history that ignites the imagination of humanity.
On July 20, 1969, hundreds of millions of people around the world watched or listened as the lunar module Eagle carried astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon. Armstrong got on the radio to let them know "the Eagle has landed."

Armstrong stepped into history July 20, 1969, leaving the first human footprint on the surface of the moon.
Enlarge NASA/Getty Images
  Armstrong stepped into history July 20, 1969, leaving the first human footprint on the surface of the moon.
Almost seven hours later, Armstrong stepped off the ladder in his bulky white space suitand said those famous words: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind"

Astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth person to walk on the moon in November of 1969. He says Armstrong hadn't thought a lot about his historic words because he wasn't sure the landing would be successful.

"Neil thought he had about a 90 percent chance of getting back alive — that was a guess," Bean says. "But he thought he only had about a 50 percent chance of making a landing and that's why he says, and I believe him, that he didn't spend a lot of time thinking about what his first words would be."

Bean says a number of astronauts could have done the mission as well as Armstrong, but he's not sure how many could have dealt with the aftermath with such humility.

Astronaut Rusty Schweickart, who piloted the lunar module in March of 1969, says Armstrong had a great sense of humor.
"Not a lot of people were aware of [it], but he was a very modest and gracious person," Schweickart says.
Neil Alden Armstrong was born Aug. 5, 1930, and had been fascinated by flying since his first airplane ride as a 6-year-old boy in Ohio. He earned his pilot's license before his driver's license, and by the age of 16 was not only flying airplanes but also experimenting with a wind tunnel in his basement.
Armstrong earned a Navy scholarship to Purdue University, but was called to active duty and flew 78 combat missions in Korea. He became a test pilot for the forerunner of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and was accepted into the second group of astronauts.
Armstrong made his first spaceflight in 1966, and just three years later, took humanity's first steps on the moon.
"Landing on the moon was a dream that millions of kids have had for hundreds of years," Schweickart says, "and Neil was lucky enough to have been in the right place at the right time."
But Armstrong — a quiet man who valued his privacy — left NASA in 1971 and moved his family back to Ohio, where for a time he was a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.
Roger Launius, the senior curator in space history at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, says Armstrong wanted to be remembered as a good engineer and a good research pilot.
"He could have done anything, and gone anywhere, made tons of money [and] done very high-profile sorts of activities," Launius says. "What he chose to do was go to work as a university professor and teach engineering. Can you imagine taking your Engineering 101 class from Neil Armstrong?"
In a 2009 appearance at the National Press Club, Armstrong displayed his sense of humor as he was asked whether he had dreams about being on the moon.
"I can honestly say, and it's a great surprise to me, that I have never had a dream about being on the moon," he said to a crowd of laughter. "It's a great disappointment to me even more than to you."
A crater on the moon is named after the former astronaut, a hero to many around the world. But perhaps Schweickart says it best: "He was a symbol of what humanity can do when it sets its mind to it."