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July 23, 2006

Divas Ride For A Cure

Over the next 23 days, I will be riding for a cure for breast cancer and will be visiting 17 cities in 13 states across the U.S. on my Harley Davidson HD06 Street Glide motorcycle.

I am a member of the Divas for a Cure, an amazing non-profit organization committed to promoting education, early detection and research for a cure for cancer of any kind. This first annual cross country breast cancer ride will help raise money for the organization’s goals and a cure.

After buying a bike as a special birthday present to myself years ago, I became hooked on riding, and motorcycles have become my passion. I have an adventurous spirit and love the thrill of an adrenalin rush: from bungee jumping to roller-coasters. I’ll try just about anything once. It was great to find Real Divas Ride, a group of professional and inspiring women who share the hobby of riding. These woman and other volunteers have come together to participate in this first annual Divas for a Cure ride.

To me, The Breast Cancer Ride is a once in a life time event. Aside from the adventure of riding across America, the real thrill for me is riding for the cause and the opportunity to support such a positive thing, especially for women. I’m a diverse person and I love people. I’m looking forward to all the stories that will be told along the way and those that I get to bring back with me and hold close to my heart and tell my kids and someday my grandkids about. It’s such a neat thing.

The cause is close to me. I’ve lost several family members and a dear friend to cancer. We get so busy with our careers we often forget to take care of ourselves. Spreading the word about the importance of exams and helping educate women without health insurance is part of our mission. My personal goal is to raise $5,000 in sponsorships for the organization.

The ride kicks off on July 23 from the Dudley Perkins Company in San Francisco and continues on through cities such as Las Vegas, NV; Houston, TX; Pensacola, FL; Washington, DC; and New York, NY and will end up back in Oakland on August 14.

If you happen to see us on the road, honk to show your support of the cause!

Kim Terrell … “Special K”

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July 20, 2006

Introducing RSS Smart Answers

Great news, our Smart Answers program is expanding and we're excited about it. We think you will be too.

Today, we're formally introducing RSS Smart Answers.

What are they?

Now, when you conduct a web search for many of your favorite blogs, RSS feeds, or news sites, it's likely that at the top of the web results list, you'll find the last three posts from that site’s feed. New items appear very quickly after the publisher hits the publish key. Of course, you'll also find a direct link to the blog or news source to see the entire post.

Here are just a few examples:

BoingBoing
MetaFilter
TechCrunch
Search Engine Roundtable

So far, we've got a varied selection from popular political blogs like Daily Kos to tech news from Digg.

Stand by, because many more RSS Smart Answers are on the way. The initial list was selected based on the most popular feeds chosen by our users in Bloglines. Over time we’ll be adding a more comprehensive list - the possibilities for RSS Smart Answers are endless and go way beyond news and blog feeds.

Yes, of course, sometimes you need to search for blogs and feeds. Our brand new Ask Blogs & Feeds Search, which has garnered high praise from many, is the place to turn when this type of search is required. Ask Blogs & Feeds Search is available on the Ask.com site or the Bloglines site. Same database, different features. More about Ask Blogs & Feeds in this post.

Gary Price,  Director of Online Resources at Ask.com
Ryan Massie, Ask.com Product Management

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July 11, 2006

Under The Tuscan Sun

Ciao. Just wanted to write a quick post to say Thanks Italy!!! What a wonderful night you gave us. No other country has such a strong passion for football as the Italians, and we all had a good reminder when there was no city in the whole of Italy without the famous “made in Italy” whirl of cars. Everybody was out on the streets celebrating our heroes.

We are the World Champions for the fourth time and it did not matter how big the other players were. It did not matter how bad we started off this World Cup Tournament. What mattered was the strong team spirit and the strong will to do the best and to win the Title back.

There is a bit of Tuscany in this victory. Marcello Lippi, the Italian’s team coach, comes from Viareggio, a small village only 20 miles away from Pisa where the R&D Centre of Ask.com is located. The team of Ask.com is proud of the surroundings they all come from and to have inherit the same spirit of the leader of the Italian team!!!

Related links: World Cup News Photo Gallery | Ask.com Italia

Antonio Gulli
Ask.com Italian Team, Pisa, Tuscany, Europe

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July 04, 2006

The United States at 230

usa flag

If you do a search on Ask.com for the 4th of July, it will lead you to a holiday-related Smart Answer with interesting historical info about the day (from the Library of Congress), recipes for your BBQ, games for the kids, and much more.

Of course, Ask also provides Smart Answers (365 days a year) for many of the legendary figures involved in America's independence like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock and Betsy Ross. Other locations, many in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are also Smart Answer enabled. For example, Independence Hall and other places in the Independence National Historical Park like the Liberty Bell have Smart Answers.

Ask Maps and Aerial imagery can also be fun to look at on a holiday like this one. Here's Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center from the air. The National Archives of the U.S. (technically the National Archives and Record Administration), located in Washington DC, is home to the Declaration of Independence. They offer a wonderful online site complete with interesting essays, hi-res imagery of the actual document, and more. You'll also spot a link to Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention that have been digitized as part of the American Memory Project from the Library of Congress.

Finally, statistics can be lots of fun and just about each and every U.S. holiday gets a fact-filled document compiled and published by the U.S. Census titled, Facts for Features. They're loaded with all sorts of interesting stats relating to that day, each with a link to its source. The Fourth of July, 2006 is no different. Here are just a few entries from this year's U.S. Census Independence Day "Fact For Features." The compilation is available here as an HTML web page or here as a PDF. A list of links to other "Facts for Features" are available here. Fun, interesting, and more than worthy of your attention

Some Fast Facts for the Fourth of July, 2006

* 2.5 million - the number of people living in the US colonies in July 1776

* 150 million - the number of hot dogs (all varieties) expected to be consumed by Americans on this holiday. That’s one frankfurter for every two people.

* Better than 50-50 - the odds that the beans in your side dish of baked beans came from North Dakota, Michigan or Nebraska, which produced 60 percent of the nation’s dry, edible bean.

* $201.9 million - the value of fireworks imported from China in 2005, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($211 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $14.9 million in 2005, with Australia purchasing more than any other country ($4.4 million).

* 30 - the number of places nationwide with “liberty” in its name. The most populous one is Liberty, Mo. (28,528). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.

* 32 - the number of places that are named “eagle” — after the majestic bird that serves as our national symbol. (Places include cities, towns, villages and census-designated places.) The most populous such place is Eagle Pass, Texas, with 24,847 residents. There is also Eagle County, Colo., with a population of 47,530.

* 11 - the number of US places have “independence” in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Mo., with 111,023 residents.

* 5 - US places adopted the name “freedom.” Freedom, California., with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these.

* 1 - There is one place named “patriot” — Patriot, Indiana, with a population of 195.

And what could be more fitting than spending the Fourth of July in a place called “America”? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, population 22,387.

Fast Fact Source: U.S. Census Facts for Features: The Fourth of July, 2006

Gary Price & Scott Grieder
Ask.com Bloggers

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