Tuesday, May 8, 2007

MAY 8, 2007

It's time to recognize the real heros of today: our teachers.

This week has been declared "National Teacher Appreciation Week," by the National Parent Teacher Association, and today has been designated "National Teacher Day" by the National Education Association.

Outside of parents, no profession shapes tomorrow's future leaders more than teachers. So today, open a door for your teacher, bring an apple or just tell them how much you appreciate their efforts.

It's not a bad habit to get into at all.

The website Salary.com came out this week with what they believe a stay-at-home mom is worth. The total paycheck of 10 jobs they figure a mom is juggling came out to be...drumroll please...$138,095. They say a working mom is worth her salary plus an "at-home" salary of $85,939.

Moms are a housekeeper, cook, driver, nurse, secretary and the list goes on. But being a mom is more than just the physical act of those tasks. It's the mental aspect of being a mother...the thought process, the attention to details, the staying one step ahead of the game...the stuff you never see...but it's in their heads...long after the kids are in bed. It's the "do they have their homework, lunch money, permission slip, shots, summer camp registration, birthday present for the party, fruit and veggies in their diet, enough milk, good friends, good manners, and not too much TV/video games/computer time?" Oh, and did anyone feed the dog?

Now before you write and tell me that dad's help with that too....I know they do. I know dads who help with the chores and the child care. I hope to be one. But it’s Mother’s Day coming up after all, and they deserve a lot of credit.

Moms know they're not going to get a $100,000 paycheck for what they're doing. Most wanted to be mothers and the return on their investment is well worth the struggle. But maybe, a thank you would be nice every now and then.

Comcast Corp., the biggest U.S. cable operator, has held talks with Hollywood studios to show movies on cable on the same day as they open in theaters, the company said on Monday as rivals also outlined plans for more premium content on television.

Comcast Chief Operating Officer Stephen Burke told a trade show that subscribers could be charged $30 to $50 to watch an opening-day movie at home, narrowing the "window" between big screen and small screen debuts to nothing.

Theater owners have staunchly resisted any effort to cut the time between theatrical and DVD releases for fear that attendance would drop, while movie companies which get most of their profit from DVDs want a narrower window that would bring earnings forward and reduce the need for a second advertising campaign when a film is ready for home viewing.

Most 'windows' discussions have focused on closing the gap between when movie DVDs go to retailers rather than as pay-per-view cable offerings.

"Everybody's looking at new windows," said Burke. "We've talked to the studios about this and they're all interested." Burke said there were no imminent developments.

Comcast has been one of the biggest supporters of on-demand video for its 24.2 million subscribers. More than 95 percent of such programming it carries is free to it subscribers.

The competitors on last night's Dancing With the Stars raised the bar when asked again to perform two dances -- a Latin and a ballroom -- to receive one combined score. The evening started when 9-0-2-1-0's Ian Ziering landed a solid 47 of 60 for his fox trot and rumba. 'N-Sync's Joey Fatone garnered a 55 for his waltz and near perfect Latin number, which judge Bruno Tonioli called a "pimped out mambo." Host Tom Bergeron called female boxer Laila Ali's waltz "the moment of the season" when she performed for her mother and father, legendary boxer Muhammed Ali -- who was in the audience for the first time. The tribute awarded Laila a 27, which when combined with her jive gave her a combined 53 for the evening. Olympic speed-skater Apolo Anton Ohno received the only perfect 30 of the night when he and partner Julianne Hough smoked the floor with a sizzling paso doble -- when combined with their near-perfect tango gave them a 59. It wasn't all brilliance though. Actor and country star Billy Ray Cyrus attempted a fox trot that Tonioli politely called "deliciously awful," but after hearing the studio audience's opposition, he more strongly remarked, "It was crap!" The stinging words haunted Billy Ray's mambo, which resulted in a mere 38 out of 60 points and likely a spot in the bottom two tonight. However anything could happen as the at-home audience casts their votes with the results revealed on tonight's Dancing With the Stars: The Results.