Brian Banmiller's blog

Watching the Moon Walk from Teheran

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Our country is proudly celebrating the 40th anniversary of the day Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. It was an incredible moment for all Americans, and for me, a very poignant one.

Forty years ago today I was serving my country as a Captain in the United States Air Force, based in Teheran, Iran. I was attached to the same U-S Embassy that was later taken over by Islamic fundamentalists. My assignment was with the USAF Postal and Courier Service, responsible for all routine and classified material transiting the Middle East and Africa.  read more »

Resume Blooper

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Landing a job is hard enough, landing a job with a resume that belongs on a blooper reel is even harder.

A telephone survey on 100 Candian senior executives published earlier this week showed more than twenty percent of executives said a single typo could cost the potential employee the job and twenty eight percent of those surveyed said two mistakes would kill any chance that person had for ever working at that company. But don't get too dejected, nineteen percent said they would still consider someone with four or more typos on their resume.  read more »

Parisian Charm for Cash

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While famous for its culture and architecture, Paris isn’t known for having the world’s friendliest citizens. But that may soon be changing, thanks to the worldwide recession.

Parisians have a well-deserved reputation for rudeness to foreigners. Have you ever walked into a Paris shop knowing the clerk speaks English, but insists on speaking French? Or have you noticed that while traveling by train in other countries, stops are announced in the local language and in English, except on French trains, where only French is spoken.  read more »

Economic Assassinations

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A few weeks ago I wrote about French employees who were kidnapping their bosses to keep their jobs. Now it’s getting a lot more deadly, in Spain.

Last week Spanish police in the capitol city of Madrid arrested a man suspected of hiring a contract killer to murder his boss, in an attempt to keep his job. The man was the head of audiovisual services at the Barcelona International Convention Center.

After hearing his boss was going to lay him off due to a restructuring, he began to plan the execution. The Spanish newspaper El Paisa reported that the man contacted a group of Colombian criminals through his sister, and the group carried out the February ninth shooting.  read more »

Strategies for the Job Hunt

Unemployment is pushing ten percent. But don't let that discourage you from getting a good job.

The Governments latest unemployment numbers are certainly sobering. Four hundred thousand more jobs were lost in June alone. But Tom Musbach, Senior Editor at Yahoo Hot Jobs says it was encouraging that job losses are slowing when he compared the second quarter numbers to the first. But Musbach says that might not be enough to stop the march to a double digit unemployment rate.  read more »

French Tourists Stink

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I know. You think I’m talking about their reputation for not taking baths as often as Americans, who cruelly call a French bath just spraying with perfume.

Au contraire! I’m talking about their talking, only in French. According to a new survey of 4,500 hotel owners across the world, commissioned by the internet travel site Expedia and reported by Reuters, French tourists are rated the worst in the world.

The polling firm, TNS Infratest, said “It's mainly the fact that they speak little or no English when they're abroad, and they don't speak much of the local language," Expedia Marketing Director Timothee de Roux told radio station France Info.  read more »

Million Dollar Artifacts

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The TV program “Antiques Road Show” has been waiting for one unique milestone. And after thirteen years they’ve finally reached it.

This past week a woman who had inherited some Chinese carved jade from her father received the first $1million dollar appraisal from experts on the show. In a record for the show, the four pieces of jade and celadon, a type of glaze, from the Chien Lung dynasty, including a large bowl crafted for the emperor, were estimated at $1.7 million dollars.  read more »

Greed Through the Years

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This past Monday Bernie Madoff was sentenced for his $50 billion ponzi scheme but he wasn't the first greedy figure to enter the pages of history.

Victims felt some vindication when Madoff received the maximum sentence of 150 years behind bars. Judge Denny Chin said despite Madoff's guilty plea it's important for the sentence to serve as a deterrent to future offenders. And so with the swing of the gaval, Madoff joined the nefarious group of the greediest people in history.  read more »

Popped Too Soon

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A chance to get something for nothing can appear out of thin air.

To celebrate its fifth anniversary, the Hungarian airline Wizz Air was set to release 1,000 balloons at a recent celebration. But the attempt popped too soon after the public saw what freebie was attached.

Before the balloons could be released in the air over Budapest, people spied free coupons for the airline valued at $49 U-S dollars attached to the strings, and started a free for all pop and grab.  read more »

Tributes for Mikey

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As you may know from reading my blog below, our furry friend Mikey passed late last week. In the hope that writing about his life would ease the pain of his death, I posted a memorial on my web site.

The response has been overwhelming. I never knew so many people shared the passion and pain of caring for animals. So I’ve decided to post some of the responses, in part to keep his memory alive, but more important, to share the message that caring for animals can highlight the best of our humanity.

These are samples from family, friends and comments on my web site:

“I'm like you, never understood what it could mean. With me, Sophie
is the first pet I really have loved and just the thought of losing her hurts.
So my heart goes out to you and Jennifer.” (Ronn)  read more »