Mark Bieganski: March 2009 Archives

The Supreme Court refused today to throw out a Chicago man's murder conviction even though a judge seated a juror that his lawyer wanted dismissed.

In a unanimous opinion, the high court refused to reverse the conviction of Michael Rivera, who was found guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of 16-year-old Marcus Lee and sentenced to 85 years in prison. Lee was a distant relative of talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

Rivera's lawyer wanted to use one of his peremptory challenges on a female juror candidate, but a state judge refused to let him do it. The woman, Deloris Gomez, a business office supervisor at Cook County Hospital's outpatient orthopedic clinic, went on to become the jury forewoman.

The Illinois Supreme Court said she should have been dismissed, but that the error was harmless. Rivera's lawyers argued that the seating of an illegal juror should have required an automatic reversal.

"A state trial court's good faith but erroneous denial of a criminal defendant's peremptory challenge, we hold, does not require automatic reversal of the defendant's conviction, provided that all persons seated on the jury are qualified and unbiased," said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court. - AP

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Star Jones appears on Wednesday's airing of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (George Burns/Harpo photo)

Star Jones -- whose rapid weight loss played into her rocky exit from "The View" in 2006 -- denies she took an easy way out having gastric bypass surgery and without the changes, Jones was told she would have died.

"I'm still 300 pounds in my head some days," Jones told Oprah Winfrey in a taped episode airing Wednesday.

Jones admitted she was scared to disappoint people and ashamed that she wasn't able to control her weight.

"... I was an addict for all practical purposes, that I had never stuck to a real diet, that I'd never stuck to a real exercise program, and that when confronted by my doctor and the doctor said if you don't make changes, you will die. I had no choice." Jones said. "When you hear people say, oh, you took the easy way out, I would have longed for an easy way. It was not an easy way. It was this -- the hardest struggle of my whole entire life and I still struggle."

Jones responded to remarks by former co-host Barbara Walters that after the surgery, the show's audience couldn't relate to Jones anymore.

"I was hurt and upset initially," Jones said. "I'm so sorry that I placed a burden on my colleagues. I never asked them to lie."

Jones' appearance is part of a show on losing weight in the public eye. Valerie Bertinelli and Marie Osmond will also appear on Wednesday's show.

Friday's live episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show couldn't get any better than this, don't you think?

In case you missed original "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson on Oprah Winfrey on Friday, here's video of her songs new and old.

Clarkson performed a medley of her hits "Because of You," "Behind These Hazel Eyes," and "My Life Would Suck Without You."

Michelle Obama pregnant?

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Michelle Obama is putting supposed baby rumors to rest: She's not pregnant.

The First Lady told that in a interview this month with Oprah Winfrey in "O: The Oprah Magazine."

Michelle Obama apparently has been the speculation of baby rumors ever since Barack Obama got elected.

Not happeneing, she says. See an excerpt from the interview below:


O: Well, you look better than ever - despite the rumors that you've got a baby bump.


MO:[Laughter] I know - I was like, "Baby bump? As hard as I work on my abs?!"

O: By the way, nobody would be happier if you were pregnant than Gayle King. Out of nowhere, she'll tell me, "Oh God. I really hope Michelle gets pregnant - and that it's a boy!"

MO: [More laughter] Here's the scoop. Not pregnant. And not planning on it.

O: Not pregnant.

MO: Not pregnant.



Oprah Winfrey's recovering pup Sadie made a guest appearance on today's show from her Downer's Grove animal hospital today.

Sadie -- who has been in the hospital since last week after being exposed to the deadly parvovirus -- is about 80 percent on her way to being a normal puppy again, her veterinarian said.

A second golden cocker spaniel pup -- Ivan -- adopted by Winfrey died last weekend from the deadly virus.

First Michelle Obama, now Ellen DeGeneres.

After a months-long quest to appear on the cover of "O: The Oprah Magazine," Winfrey surprised DeGeneres by appearing via satellite on her show to extend an invitation.

DeGeneres has been making the pitch to appear on the cover for months. She's made repeated calls to Harpo Studios during episodes of her show, imposed her picture on various covers of the magazine and even sold autographed copies of the magazine -- signed "Oprah" by Ellen -- in her gift shop.

"I'm serious about this," Winfrey told DeGeneres. "I believe that when you dream it and conceive it, you can have it and achieve it."

DeGeneres -- who was stunned by the invitation -- set a new goal to make the issue the best selling magazine Winfrey has seen to date.

"I can't believe you're serious about this, I'm freaking out now," DeGeneres said.

For the first time since its debut, Winfrey shared the cover of her magazine this month with Michelle Obama.

"I didn't even want to call because I've had so much fun watching you putting yourself on various covers," Winfrey told DeGeneres. "We will coordinate our outfits so we don't clash. Maybe I'll wear pants, too."

No date has been set for DeGeneres' appearance on the magazine's cover.

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Oprah Winfrey is tackling domestic violence head on again this week -- airing a second show Thursday dedicated to the topic that's dominated headlines since an incident between singers Chris Brown and Rihanna last month.

Winfrey warned Rihanna and women everywhere in a show last week with Tyra Banks that if a man hits you once, he'll hit you again.

Tomorrow, Winfrey will talk to men who've hit women in the past and also interview Robin Givens, ex-wife of boxer Mike Tyson. Givens has spoken out before about her abusive past with Tyson.

"When you grew up in an environment where there is abuse, it's more acceptable to you," Winfrey said last week. "If you go back with a man who hits you it's because you don't think you're worthy of being with a man who won't."


Oprah Winfrey holds recently adopted puppy "Sadie" while Ali Wentworth holds "Ivan" on the show earlier this month. "Ivan" was adopted by Winfrey after the airing and died over the weekend.

A second golden cocker spaniel pup recently adopted by Oprah Winfrey died over the weekend from the deadly parvovirus.

Winfrey adopted Ivan -- the brother of the Sadie, the first puppy she adopted this month -- shortly after showing off the litter on her show March 6.

Both dogs were adopted from the PAWS animal shelter in Chicago.

Parvovirus is a deadly disease which can cause a canine to suffer from diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy.

"I'm saddened by his passing though we only had him for a weekend," Winfrey said in a statement to the Sun-Times. "I remain hopeful that Sadie will pull through."

Dr. Jean Dodds, D.V.M., said the two puppies were brought to Arboretum View Animal Hospital in Downer's Grove on Thursday. Dodds said at the time, Ivan was critically ill, however Sadie wasn't showing signs of the virus.

"Sadie was healthy until Thursday night," Dodds said. "It's a dicey situation because puppies can get sick very quick."

"They treated Sadie, but she is now very ill," Dodds said. "She became ill as quickly as [Ivan] did."

A Winfrey spokesperson told the Sun-Times that Sadie continues to get stronger and that she's stable for the first time since being admitted on Thursday.

"[Sadie's] white blood cell count did not drop overnight and she's holding her own," a spokeswoman said.

PAWS animal shelter released a statement Tuesday, wishing the best for Sadie.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Oprah Winfrey on the loss of Ivan, and we are hopeful that Sadie makes a full recovery," a PAWS spokeswoman said.

"At PAWS Chicago, all of our animals receive excellent medical care. We take stringent precautions to prevent life-threatening diseases, including parvovirus. Our medical protocols are best-in-class in the industry and the steps we take prior to adoption include administering all required vaccinations, diagnostic testing, multiple veterinary checks, and a 14-day isolation period for puppies. Of the 501 puppies that PAWS Chicago took in during 2008, 99.2% either did not contract parvovirus or were cured of the disease."

Dodds, who runs Hemopet, a California-based organization which provides plasma to treat the virus, said Parvo is more life-threatening for dogs then people think, and that puppies shouldn't be vaccinated too young or too often.

The other two puppies seen on Winfrey's show -- Gordie and Webster -- are doing well and were also treated for the virus, according to Dobbs.

Former talk-show host Montel Williams broke down to Oprah Winfrey on today's show, pleading with her to continue her successful talk show beyond its 2011 run date.

Williams -- who hosted a long-running talk show for 17 years and is battling multiple sclerosis -- said when Barack Obama was elected president in November he realized for the first time that without his show, his voice wasn't going to be heard.

"Really think hard before you say enough. You owe it to us," Williams told Winfrey. "Even if you retire from doing this everyday, we've got to hear from you everyday."

Oprah Winfrey sports new 'do -- do we like?

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Oprah Winfrey warned Rihanna and women everywhere Thursday that if a man hits you once, he'll hit you again.

"I've said before love doesn't hurt, and if a man hits you once, he will hit you again," Winfrey said during a show about domestic violence.

The show -- aired live from Chicago with guest Tyra Banks -- comes after last month's domestic incident between singers Rihanna and Chris Brown.

Although Brown has been charged with two felonies for allegedly attacking Rihanna, rumors continue to swirl that the duo are back together. Reports also indicate the two are recording a song together about love and that they may co-author a book about domestic violence.

"It's so sad that even when you grow up in an environment and you disdain that environment, you really cannot help yourself until someone helps you," Winfrey said.

Banks -- who's interviewed both Brown and Rihanna separately on her show -- said both singers have told her about their previous bouts with domestic abuse.

"Rihanna told me that her parents used to argue so intensely and she used to get these headaches, almost migraines ... and it was almost living hell for her," Banks said. "The moment her parents separated, the headaches went away."

Banks also said Brown witnessed domestic violence in home with a man his mother was with. That scarred him so much -- she said -- that Brown used to pee in his bed.

"When you grew up in an environment where there is abuse, it's more acceptable to you," Winfrey said. "If you go back with a man who hits you it's because you don't think you're worthy of being with a man who won't."

Happy double belated birthday today. Oprah Winfrey's beau -- Stedman Graham -- celebrated his birthday Friday. Graham celebrated by golfing with close friends, Winfrey said on Friday's show.

Another happy belated birthday to Bryon Fielding -- a loyal Winfrey fan and follower of this blog.

Fielding celebrated his birthday last night at the David Archuleta concert at the House of Blues with close friends.

Happy Birthday!

Oprah Winfrey relaunches Sirius XM channel

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Oprah Winfrey rebranded her presence on Sirius XM on Wednesday, launching Oprah Radio -- formerly titled Oprah and Friends.

The channel will feature new shows -- capitalizing on the success of O, The Oprah Magazine and Winfrey's popular Book Club -- including a new two-hour show hosted by former Sun-Times columnist and sex therapist Dr. Laura Berman.

Winfrey also adds former newser Daryn Kagan to the lineup of life coaches. Kagan is a former CNN anchor who'll provide news updates between shows.

FULL RELEASE FROM HARPO

OPRAH RADIO LAUNCHES ON SIRIUS XM

Renamed and revamped expanded 24/7 exclusive channel
brings millions of listeners more live, more relevant, more relatable talk radio


NEW YORK - March 6, 2009 - SIRIUS XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) and Harpo Radio, Inc. announced today the launch of Oprah Radio, formerly Oprah & Friends, an expanded 24/7 channel featuring a diverse and lively programming lineup that will inform, entertain and inspire listeners across the country to live their best lives.

Oprah Radio launched Wednesday, March 4, 2009 on XM channel 156 and is available on SIRIUS channel 195 as part of "The Best of XM" package. Daily and weekly shows--hosted by Gayle King, poet and bestselling author Dr. Maya Angelou, medical expert Dr. Mehmet Oz, fitness trainer Bob Greene, renowned sex therapist Dr. Laura Berman, financial expert Jean Chatzky, acclaimed psychologist Dr. Robin Smith, design expert Nate Berkus, organizational expert Peter Walsh, and news anchor-turned-inspirationalist Daryn Kagan--explore how to nourish the body, mind and soul.

New shows launching on Oprah Radio include the O Magazine Show, a weekly show that brings the pages of O, The Oprah Magazine to life featuring Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King and writer Lisa Kogan; Better in Bed with renowned sex therapist Dr. Laura Berman; The Oprah Book Club on Oprah Radio, an exciting new show featuring the audiobook editions of Oprah's Book Club selections, exclusive author interviews and commentary; and Oprah Radio News Updates, hosted by Daryn Kagan, designed to inform and inspire.
"With the channel's re-launch and expanded live programming we expect Oprah Radio will now reach even more people with its message of motivating people to live their best lives," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SIRIUS XM Radio. "On the unique platform of satellite radio, Oprah Radio--powered by Oprah Winfrey and her unparalleled team of experts--offers SIRIUS XM listeners extraordinary inspiration and information daily."

"We are thrilled to expand our already robust radio programming for fans who are seeking to live their best lives. We are excited about the limitless possibilities of the Oprah Radio brand, and SIRIUS XM is a terrific platform for this type of content," said Erik Logan, Executive Vice President, Harpo, Inc.

Oprah Radio daily programming lineup includes:

New time - The Gayle King Show: 9:00 am - 10:00 am ET (live)
Self-proclaimed news junkie Gayle King offers her unique perspective on an array of topics ranging from current events and cultural trends to politics and more. King brings listeners closer to their favorite celebrities and notable public figures with her revealing, compelling daily interviews.

The Dr. Robin Smith Show: 10:00 am - 11:00 am ET
Dr. Robin's combination of psychological insight and practical advice helps listeners transform their relationships and personal lives. On her daily show Dr. Robin interviews experts, takes listener calls and helps people strip away emotional barriers so that they can experience more fulfilling and enriching relationships.

The Dr. Oz Show: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm ET
Get the essentials to living a longer, more vibrant life during this caller-driven show. Through in-depth conversations on health, "Oprah" show health expert Dr. Mehmet Oz arms listeners with the crucial knowledge they need to take better care of their bodies. Dr. Oz and co-host Dr. Michael Roizen--bestselling author and anti-aging expert--discuss healing techniques, preventative medicine and the latest in health news so that Americans can make well-informed decisions about their health.

The Jean Chatzky Show: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET (live)
Jean Chatzky offers listeners life-changing financial advice and helps them achieve their financial dreams and take control of their lives. Now more than ever Americans need Chatzky's expertise and tips on how to lower debt, find financial security, improve their credit scores and create a budget.

New show - Better in Bed with Dr. Laura Berman: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm ET (live)
Renowned sex therapist and bestselling author Dr. Laura Berman is devoted to helping listeners enjoy the best relationships and the best sex of their life. Dr. Berman dispenses down-to-earth advice, keeps listeners up to date on the latest news and research about sexual health and takes calls about love, sex and relationships.

New show - The Oprah Book Club on Oprah Radio: 11:00 pm - 2:00 am ET
The Oprah Book Club on Oprah Radio powered by Audible.com is the ultimate audio companion to Oprah's millions-strong book club. Kicking off with the current Oprah's Book Club pick--The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski--the show will feature the complete audio versions from many of the 62 Oprah's Book Club selections to date. The show also will feature Winfrey's own reflections, questions and thoughts about these books and authors culled from The Oprah Winfrey Show and HYPERLINK "http://www.oprah.com" www.oprah.com. In addition, The Oprah Book Club on Oprah Radio will feature exclusive interviews from the authors, who will provide background on that day's chapters, plot lines and characters to make it easy for listeners to follow along.

New segment - Oprah Radio News Updates: 2 minutes at the top of each hour between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm ET
For the first time, Oprah Radio listeners will get a daily dose of the day's headlines with a twist from former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan. Kagan hosts customized Oprah Radio news updates, which feature ABC News Radio updates intertwined with uplifting real life human interest stories. Kagan gathers these stories from DarynKagan.com, an online community devoted to telling inspiring stories that show the world what's possible.

Oprah Radio weekly programming lineup includes:

New show - O Magazine Show: premieres March 10, airs Tuesday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET
The pages of O, The Oprah Magazine come to life through this weekly look at the current issue. Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King will host the first show of each month and offer their perspective and thoughts on that month's issue, discuss popular articles and answer "Letters to the Editor." O Magazine Writer-at-Large Lisa Kogan hosts the other three shows per month, sharing additional insights and interviewing contributors. On the debut broadcast of the show Winfrey and King share the story behind the story of O's interview with First Lady Michelle Obama in the April 2009 issue and the magazine's history-making cover featuring Mrs. Obama and Winfrey.

Oprah's Soul Series: Monday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET (expanded to one hour)
Spiritual teacher Elizabeth Lesser and Reverend Ed Bacon will host Oprah's Soul Series three times a month, inviting leading spiritual scholars and teachers to share insights and reflect on their own journeys. Once a month, Winfrey puts her feet up and talks with some of the most important figures in the world of spirituality about her favorite subject--the evolution of the soul. Kicking off the series for this month is a special Oprah interview with Rainn Wilson, star of NBC's The Office and founder of SoulPancake.com.

The Dr. Maya Angelou Show: Wednesday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET
Hailed as a remarkable Renaissance woman, beloved poet and best-selling author, Dr. Angelou has the unique ability to captivate listeners through the vigor and sheer beauty of her words. Dr. Angelou shares her legendary wisdom to help listeners find their true voices. Taking on issues spanning race, sex, age and religion, Dr. Angelou's extraordinary insight continually challenges and inspires listeners.

The Bob Greene Show: Saturday 8:00 am - 9:00 am ET
Exercise physiologist and certified personal trainer Bob Greene brings his bestselling philosophies to listeners, providing them with advice, emotional support and guidance on their road to better health. Greene helps people create and maintain a nutrition and fitness program that fits their individual lifestyles.

New time - The Marianne Williamson Show: Thursday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET
Spiritual author Marianne Williamson teaches listeners how to cope with the overwhelming stress and frustrations of daily life by encouraging them to develop a sense of divine purpose and perspective. Williamson offers a plan of action that shows listeners how to create small wonders in their everyday lives. By popular demand, Williamson's wisdom is also available at Oprah.com by way of her daily "Miracle Thought" podcasts.

The Peter Walsh Show: Friday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET
Organizational design expert Peter Walsh teaches listeners how to focus on the stuff of life--not just the stuff in their homes and their heads. Walsh's unique approach confronts both the emotional and design obstacles behind organizational challenges with practical, easy-to-manage solutions so listeners can improve their lives and personal spaces.

The Nate Berkus Show: Saturday 10:00 am - 11:00 am ET
Design expert Nate Berkus brings his style secrets to listeners seeking to upgrade their homes from drab to fab. He takes listeners' decorating questions and helps them create living spaces that reflect their personal tastes and lifestyle and helps transform their houses into homes.

For more information please visit HYPERLINK "http://www.sirius.com" www.sirius.com, HYPERLINK "http://www.xmradio.com" www.xmradio.com and HYPERLINK "http://www.oprah.com" www.oprah.com.


THE RELEASE FROM "O" Magazine ...

For the first time in nine years, Oprah Winfrey shares the cover of her best-selling magazine with another big "O:" First Lady Michelle Obama. Inside, the pair talk about everything from the joys of White House pie to Obama's decorating philosophy and how she hopes to use "one of the best jobs in the world" to help women transform their lives. The April issue of O, The Oprah Magazine hits newsstands on March 17th. Oprah will discuss the interview in depth with O editor-at-large Gayle King on Tuesday, March 10 at 1 PM EST on the new SIRIUS (channel 195) XM (channel 156) Oprah Radio O Magazine Show.

"Say what you will about books-people do judge a magazine by its cover, which is why it's important to me to keep the cover of this one looking fresh," says Oprah. "And right now nothing-and I mean nothing-is fresher than the family that moved into the White House in January, sparking a national spirit of renewal the likes of which I've never seen."

The O Interview Facts

* Oprah's interview with Michelle Obama on February 17 was the first to take place in the White House.
* The First Lady gave Oprah a personal tour of the White House grounds including the Jacqueline Kennedy Gardens, the East Colonnade, The Truman Balcony and the Yellow Oval Room (part of the First Family's private residence, where the interview took place).
* Photographer Bruce Weber, shooting for the magazine for the first time, captures relaxed, real "moments" in the conversation.
* Fashion facts: Michelle Obama wears a Michael Kors dress and Dear Cashmere cardigan. Oprah wears a dress by Rachel Roy New York.

Michelle Obama Interview Highlights:

On her first weekend in the White House after the inauguration:

"Well, we still had family here, so it was almost like a wedding. A huge, very complicated wedding. The last visitors didn't leave until Sunday. And then the first Monday was kind of weird. You know: Now we live here, and Barack is getting up and going to work, and it's just us. This is our home now."

On her decorating philosophy:

"It will reflect our family. I want comfortable sofas, I want art that reflects contemporary and traditional, I want to bring in new American artisans," she adds, "and you've got to be able to make a fort with the sofa pillows! Everything must be fort-worthy."

On her vision for the White House:

"It's a beautiful home. When you go out and come back, especially at night, with all the white lights on--it's just beautiful. We feel privileged, and we feel a responsibility to make it feel like the people's house. We have the good fortune of being able to sleep here, but this house belongs to America"

On What She Knows For Sure:

"I know that all I can do is be the best me that I can. And live life with some gusto. Giving back is a big part of that. How am I going to share this experience with the American people? I'm always thinking about that."

On keeping up with friends:

That's the thing about being the First Lady: You try to catch your friends up on what's happening in your life, and they're like, 'We know - we read it in the paper."

How Malia and Sasha now know dad's home:

"Once someone on my staff e-mailed to tell me that the president was on his way. But you could already hear the helicopter, so it was like, well, no kidding."

"The girls don't move. I'm like, 'You want to see Daddy landing in the helicopter?' 'No, that's okay. We already saw it.'"

O, The Oprah Magazine April cover image is attached. Visit www.oprah.com/michelle-obama

for additional information and pick up the April issue of O, The Oprah Magazine which hits newsstands on March 17th for the full interview and photos.

She's a new mommy, but it's not what you think.

Oprah Winfrey showed off her new pooch today -- a blonde Cocker Spaniel she adopted from the PAWS shelter in Chicago.

Winfrey showed off her new pride and joy during Friday's "Live!" show from Chicago.

Winfrey also showed off several other pups still looking for a needy home.














Oprah Winfrey's new dog: a cocker named Sadie

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The Big ''O'' likes the letter ''S'' -- at least when it comes to naming her cocker spaniels.

Oprah Winfrey told the Sun-Times' Bill Zwecker on Thursday that she's settled on ''Sadie'' as the name for the new canine addition to her household.

En route to her Harpo media empire headquarters Thursday, the TV queen carefully cuddled the little blonde cocker puppy, carrying Sadie along with a bright red Pets Are Worth Saving kerchief.

Read more in Zwecker's piece at Suntimes.com >>

Oprah Winfrey fans will get their first look Friday at the cocker spaniel she adopted recently at a Chicago PAWS shelter.

Winfrey will show off the pooch -- also being dubbed as her new baby -- during tomorrow's live show.

Winfrey also will talk about her recent trip with Gayle King to the White House and her interview with First Lady Michelle Obama.

New puppy for Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah Winfrey holds her dog Sophie, who died last year.

There's a new addition to the Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham household: a new puppy.

Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reports today the power duo showed up at PAWS animal shelter in Chicago on Sunday and took home a female cocker spaniel puppy.

Winfrey's 13-year-old cocker spaniel, Sophie, died of kidney failure last March. She also has a pair of golden retrievers. (A loyal Oprah blog reader -- Taryn from Memphis -- pointed out that both of Winfrey's cocker spaniels, Sophie and Solomon, have died).

Winfrey is a big fan of the PAWS animal adoption center, sponsoring a room at the facility to showcase a needy dog.


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Mark Bieganski in March 2009.

Mark Bieganski: February 2009 is the previous archive.

Mark Bieganski: April 2009 is the next archive.

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