Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What is a 'Follow Me' tee?

Twitter is monstrously popular around the world. People use the site to connect with others they may never meet, keeping all sorts of people up-to-date on their whereabouts and activities. More and more celebrities are using the site as a way to connect with their fans--including Diddy, Nicki MinajKaty Perry, RihannaKeri HilsonSouljaBoy, Steven Colbert, Ashton Kutcher and Emmy Rossum--inspiring contests and/or feedback on what their next moves are or should be. Unlike Facebook and MySpace, Twitter is simply statuses, or "tweets" that simply answer the question, "What are you doing?."

Chris Brown too controversial for MJ Tribute

Chris Brown was a no-show at Sunday night’s BET Awards because producers pulled his performance at the last minute.

According to several insiders, Brown’s appearance was considered risky business on a night honoring Michael Jackson. The “No Air” singer is facing negative publicity after pleading guilty to the February assault of his ex-girlfriend Rihanna.

One source says Brown’s absence came at the insistence of the Rev. Al Sharpton. “Al made such a fuss to the BET executives that they pulled Chris,” says our insider, who adds that Jay-Z also had a hand in the decision. “Jay is a big name in the BET community, and he was very vocal about his displeasure with Chris attending the ceremony. He didn’t want Chris anywhere near the awards so close to the court’s ruling.”

Brown isn’t taking the public dis on the chin, either. “He’s furious,” a pal of the singer tells us. “BET asked him to perform and waited until the last minute to tell him it was off. He’s pretty shocked and outraged right now.”

Both BET publicists and Brown’s camp say the singer was never confirmed for the show.

Meanwhile, Rihanna’s absence from the event was just as noticeable as Brown’s. But while her ex fumed, the “Umbrella” singer was busy hanging out with her crush, Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis, in NYC. Says a rep for the beauty, “Rihanna was never meant to attend [the BET awards].”

Also expected at the ceremony were Usher and Justin Timberlake; both bowed out of the event but agreed to take part in a later tribute to Jackson on BET.

Usher, who attended fashion shows in Paris over the weekend, sent his regrets in a prepared statement. Timberlake was also out of the country, hitting up both Wimbledon and the Hard Rock Calling concert in London.

But perhaps JT should have made the ceremony at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium, because in his absence, he was the recipient of a roast by Jeremy Piven. “Justin should be here,” the “Entourage” actor joked. “If not for Michael Jackson, [Justin] would be selling curly fries in the Valley.”

(Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/06/30/2009-06-30_chris_brown_not_a_good_bet_for_bet_awards_says_al_sharpton.html)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sims-like app for the iPhone???

Last Day of Work (LDW), the premiere independent casual game studio, today announced the launch of their latest virtual life simulation game, Virtual Families, on Apple's App Store for iPhone and iPod touch. Virtual Families is currently a best-selling casual game on PC and Mac, and follows past LDW iPhone hits including Virtual Villagers 2: The Lost Children and Fish Tycoon. In the game, players adopt a character who then begins a life: choosing if they want to marry, deciding whether to have children, and furthering their career, all with the help and guidance of the player.

Virtual Families focuses on the true aspects that make a family unique, from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, displaying life in all its drama and glory. As with past LDW hits, Virtual Families runs in true real-time, meaning that even when the player is not interacting with the game, it continues to run, with the family members evolving and growing, based on what the player has taught them. There are various hurdles that appear throughout Virtual Families, from moral dilemmas to real-life situations such as allergies, promotions and chores. The game is set in bucolic suburbia and features a gorgeous hand-drawn scrolling map with a house and garden. It also employs sophisticated artificial-intelligence and a varied selection of characters with quirky personalities to adopt and take care of.

"Since people have their phones with them at all times, users can be even more attentive to their families and play from anywhere," said Arthur Humphrey, founder of Last Day of Work. "We are thrilled to bring our games to iPhone and iPod touch."

The mobile platform is ideal for Virtual Families where people play in short and frequent intervals, for minutes at a time, multiple times throughout the day. This constant interaction enriches the real-time simulation aspect of the game.

Virtual Families is now available for $3.99 from Apple's App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/

For more information, visit www.VirtualFamilies.com

(Source: http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/day-work-launches-virtual-families-apple-app-store/#)

No Attachments

Lost my Focus when I was 10
Daddy took the stability when he left
A couple of visits, phone calls and cash was my fatherly figure
Reading poetry beyond my years was his way of showing that his child was smart
Went to his house 5 times since he left
Still don't know his house number
And that's all it was for 6 years
No quality time
Just show-off time

Called me an idiot when I didn't make NHS
Made me work harder, smarter and worrisome 'til I did
Then college became a money factor when he realized that I wasn't the only smart girl in the world
My major...stupid
My school...too much
Staying on campus...what for?
All the crazy things he's said to keep his money from me were ignored 'cause I wanted a Daddy, not a pocketbook

Asking for money for anything seemed like pulling teeth
Headaches and nightmares and crying sessions became the norm
Grown ass woman...got into one of the best schools in the nation, but that didn't matter
It's not the field of his choice and not in his price range, so I'm screwed
That pissed me off

I finally decided to say "F*ck You" and choose the school and major of my liking
Imma perfect my work and party my ass off and it's nothing you can do about it 'cause I'm not letting you contribute to sh*t

Never thought my Dad would be a hater...but I gotta grow up, sometime
He was never Daddy, just him
And that's fine with me


For a song that relates to this topic, download "Anymore" by Emmy Rossum, and follow her on Twitter: @emmyrossum

"I will not let you define everything I am by one thing that I don't have...'cause I'm more than that. ...I will not be ashamed of my name, anymore." :-)

BET MJ Dedication

BET was the first network in which celebrities from around the world celebrated Michael Jackson's life, musically and verbally. For those of us without cable (like myself), the following YouTube clip was the first glance at how much these artists followed and devoted their careers to MJ. Although some bloggers believed the tribute did not suffice, BET produced their best with only 2 days to re-do their entire awards ceremony.

Feel free to comment below, but please, try and deter from commenting on Michael's life...comment on the first celebrity dedication since his untimely passing on June 25, 2009.


R.I.P. Michael. You will truly be missed!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Report: Michael Jackson's death crashes the Internet

How many people does it take to break the Internet? On June 25, we found out it's just one -- if that one is Michael Jackson.

The biggest showbiz story of the year saw the troubled star take a good slice of the Internet with him, as the ripples caused by the news of his death swept around the globe.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ashanti as Dorothy in "The Wiz"????

Judy Garland made her an icon. Diana Ross brought the funk. “Family Guy” took the air out of her. What kind of Dorothy will Ashanti be?

New York audiences will find out this week when the R&B singer, who had a No. 1 hit in 2002 with the song “Foolish,” skips down the yellow brick road as Dorothy in the Encores! Summer Series production of “The Wiz.” Ashanti is making her stage debut with co-stars Orlando Jones (making his New York stage debut) as The Wiz, and LaChanze (a Tony winner for “The Color Purple”) as Glinda.

The 1974 musical, with book by William F. Brown, music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and choreography by George Faison, is an all-black adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s classic “The Wizard of Oz.” This Encores! production, which opens Thursday, is directed by Thomas Kail and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, and runs through July 5 at City Center.

During a meet-and-greet session with the press, Ashanti answered a few questions about what it means to be Dorothy.

Evan Agostini/Associated Press Ashanti at a press preview for “The Wiz.”
How much did you know about “The Wiz” before you took on this role? Did you grow up listening to it, or was it new to you?
It was a little bit before my time, but my family members definitely let me in on the big musicals. My cousin used to make us watch the DVD down in the basement of my aunt’s house. I was well aware by the time I was probably about eight years old.

Was being in musical theater something you’d always wanted to do?
I always said I wanted to at least try it. When I was in high school I did “Oklahoma!” I was Gertie. I said this is something I wanted to try if the right opportunity presents itself. I think this was the perfect one.

Why this show?
It’s such a historical, historical piece. It means so much to my family. I actually played Dorothy in “The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz,” ironically. I can relate to her character so much, just being innocent and naïve starting out in this business and gradually learning as you move along.

The Encores! rehearsal schedule can be demanding. Do you thrive on a tight rehearsal schedule or do you like to take months to work something out?
In a way it is better because you’re focused and it’s nit-picking and you’re making sure that it’s perfect. It makes you work harder because you know you don’t have that much time. But sometimes it gets a bit much. You’d rather take a power nap but you don’t have time.

How closely do you work with with Andy Blankenbuehler, the choreographer? Dance is such a big part of the show.
Fortunately enough, this choreographer, he’s amazing. He definitely caters more toward the dancers. Dorothy and Scarecrow and Tin Man, we have our little piece here and there. But it’s more about the ensemble and making the piece come alive. We’re the accents. [Laughs]

Are there any other R&B singers who should come to Broadway? Maybe Mary J. Blige in “Mame”?
[Laughs] I don’t know. I’m not sure. It has to come from within. It’s all about what they feel. It’s about bringing passion to the stage. [Pause] I’d have to think about that.

(Source: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/ashanti-gets-her-brand-new-day-in-the-wiz/?ex=1260936000&en=319e59ea34e17209&ei=5087&WT.mc_id=TH-D-I-NYT-MOD-MOD-M102-ROS-0609-HDR&WT.mc_ev=click)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stops the Growth....

I try to grow
but then the clingy-ness starts
and it stops the growth.
...I want to be
yesterday's successor
wear the crown on my head
but when I clutch him like a glove
I get rags, instead.
...I can't stand clingy b*tches
can't live without they man
but where am I at 4 days a week?
...I guess I'll never understand.
...I know I'm not the only being seeking attention
but when it comes to his privacy
it's something I don't even mention.
...I don't wanna be the clingy, stuck-up b*tch
that screams out "no love"
...but that takes time and patience
which I got a lot of;
when I sit and think about it
I'm the one I'm annoyed of.
...It's sick...I get mad when he wants his own
but I need shut up 'cause it's part of being grown.
...I'm 20-years-old, still seeking the teenage life
but the fact that I wrote this poem notates progression of a strife.

...I'm Doing [not trying] it!!!

10 out of 12 IT Chiefs Dismiss the iPhone???

In the latest silicon.com CIO Jury, IT chiefs were asked whether they're planning to offer Apple's touchscreen device as part of their range of corporate mobile phones - and the vast majority of IT chiefs said they are not.

Tech chiefs dismissed the iPhone option for a variety of reasons ranging from the fact it's only available from a single mobile provider, to poor battery life and even a fear of appearing profligate.

Only two of the 12 IT chiefs were willing to give it a vote of corporate confidence.

However, the remaining 10 members of the CIO Jury are not heading to Cupertino - at least, not yet.

Gavin Megnauth, director of operations & group IT for recruiter Morgan Hunt, said although the iPhone has its attractions there are still big drawbacks to the device.

"While there is clearly some momentum to accept iPhones as a corporate tool we won't be adopting at this juncture. The iPhone battery life simply doesn't compare to that of a BlackBerry and speed of use as a mobile email tool still doesn't compare," he said.

"Our research suggests that companies adopting the iPhone are the sort of companies where the PDA is an executive status symbol rather than a workhorse to genuinely aid the productivity of staff," he added.

There are also too many potential iPhone 'cons' for David Suthers, CIO of Masterlease: "High cost of ownership, lock-in to O2 and potential abuse of company resources via iTunes would be my main reasons [against it]," he said.

For Rob Neil, head of ICT and customer services at Ashford Borough Council, the main reason to avoid the iPhone is the fact it's not available from the Council's corporate mobile telephony provider.

However, he added that there could also be issues around the perception of the device: "Whilst it is undoubtedly a fine email and mobile internet client, with useful GPS apps, I can just see the headlines saying 'council gives free iPod to staff'."

Meanwhile Dr Ben Booth, global chief technology officer for Ipsos, believes security is still a bugbear. "The new model boasts lots more consumer-oriented features but (as far as I can see from the press releases) the basic security weaknesses have not been addressed," he said.

But the iPhone's charms are clearly hard at work elsewhere. While it's "not yet" on the menu at ITN, Ian Auger, head of IT & communications, said: "It is becoming more attractive though."

The Apple mobile is also turning heads at Sodexo - albeit as non-corporate devices. Kevin Fitzpatrick, CIO, Northern Europe, said the company offers BlackBerrys for "enhanced functionality/mobility users" and standard mobiles for the majority of staff but a "large number of colleagues" use iPhones as personal devices. It has no plans to offer corporate iPhones however.

One company already offering iPhones as corporate devices is Harvey Nash. "We already provision the device to senior sales people and see the new version as offering an increased set of capabilities/capacity to widen this pool even further," Alastair Behenna, CIO at the recruiter, said.

Another iPhone fan is Mike Roberts, IT director of The London Clinic, who spoke up for the iPhone's Outlook connectivity skills. "We use BlackBerry now and the iPhone offers better connectivity with Outlook," he said.

When polled about offering the iPhone as a corporate device back in 2007, 11 out of 12 CIO Jury members then said they had no plans to do so, suggesting Apple's hardware has made a degree of limited progress in infiltrating the business world.

This CIO Jury was:

*Ian Auger, head of IT & communications, ITN
*Alastair Behenna, CIO, Harvey Nash
*Dr Ben Booth, global chief technology officer, Ipsos
*Pete Crowe, IT director, Fat Face
*Kevin Fitzpatrick, CIO Northern Europe, Sodexo
*Steve Gediking, head of IT & facilities, Independent Police Complaints Commission
*John Keeling, CIO, John Lewis
*Gavin Megnauth, director of operations & group IT, Morgan Hunt
*Rob Neil, head of ICT and customer services, Ashford Borough Council
*Mike Roberts, IT director, The London Clinic
*Richard Storey, head of IT, Guys & St Thomas Hospital
*David Suthers, CIO, Masterlease

(Source: http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9595_22-313190.html)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chris Brown admits to assaulting Rihanna

rihanna-chris-court-appearBrown, 19, was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to do six months of community service.

Brown had faced charges of assaulting Rihanna, 21, during a row in February.

The last-minute plea deal came before a hearing at a Los Angeles court at which Rihanna was due to give evidence. She said the sentence was "fair".

Brown had been facing a potential jail sentence of four years.

His sentence involves five years of supervised probation and six months of community labour, such as picking up litter or removing graffiti.

He will also have to attend courses on domestic violence.

The Los Angeles County Superior Court judge also ordered Brown and Rihanna to stay at least 50 yards from each other, except at entertainment industry events when the distance is reduced to 10 yards.

Judge Patricia Schnegg told him: "I think it's commendable that you took responsibility for your conduct, sir."

Rihanna's lawyer, Donald Etra, said the singer believed it was a "fair and just resolution" to the case.

Brown, singer of the hits Run It and Kiss Kiss, was questioned by police on 8 February over a complaint of assault.

Police said he had been in an argument with an unidentified woman in a parked car in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, which escalated after they left the vehicle.

Both Brown and Rihanna, whose hits include Umbrella, pulled out of that night's Grammy awards, where they had been due to perform.

He has since said he was "sorry and saddened" by the incident and was seeking counselling.

After reports of the assault emerged, a photograph was posted on a US gossip website which purported to show Rihanna, who hails from Barbados, in the hours after the incident with welts, scratches, bruises and swelling on her face.

After it appeared, the Los Angeles Police Department launched an internal investigation and asked for the public's help in finding the person who leaked it.

(Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8114049.stm)

Jon and Kate File for Divorce

Willow Street PicturesAccording to People.com, Jon and Kate Gosselin from TLC's hit TV show "Jon & Kate Plus 8" filed for divorce on June 22, in Pennsylvania.

The relationship took a turn for the worse as Jon (32)---father of the famous sextuplets and twins---was caught leaving a bar one evening with an unknown female, while Kate (35) was on a book-tour.

Jon and Kate have given separate interviews with People Magazine staff, both telling their side of story, and have have agreed to go to extreme lengths to protect their children.

The fate of the television show, however, which has made them famous is unknown.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Does Bing.com have Google scared?

Microsoft may have developed a contender that threatens Google's Web search dominance.

In a story headlined "Fear grips Google," the New York Post reports that the launch of Microsoft's Bing search engine has so upset Google co-founder Sergey Brin that he has top engineers working on "urgent upgrades" to Google's service. Brin is said to be leading a team to determine how Microsoft's search algorithm differs from the closely guarded one Google employs. The tabloid also notes that it's rare for Google's co-founders to have such a hands-on involvement in the company's daily operations.

"New search engines have come and gone in the past 10 years, but Bing seems to be of particular interest to Sergey," an anonymous source described as an "insider" told the newspaper.

A Google representative declined to comment on the level of Brin's involvement but did tell the newspaper that the company always has a team working to improve search.

Microsoft, which launched Bing earlier this month as an upgrade to its default search engine, is reportedly spending $80 million to $100 million in an ad blitz to tout its latest search effort. Google, meanwhile, spent just $25 million in total on advertising last year, according to an AdAge report.

Bing's launch bumped Microsoft's search share up to 11.1 percent last week from 9.1 percent the prior week, according to numbers released by market researcher ComScore.

However, that initial increase didn't seem to impress Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who was pretty tight-lipped when queried about Bing's arrival.

"It's not the first entry for Microsoft," Schmidt said Tuesday in an interview with Fox Business Network. "They do this about once a year."

Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said Tuesday that the company planned to hold a "review...on it with the executive committee."

Although Microsoft has a long way to go before it makes a dent in Google's business, Bing may end up being the only true alternative to Google in a few years if Yahoo decides to stop competing in the search market.

(Source: http://bit.ly/17v318)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Obama has hair just like mine....

littleboy_obamaAn young African-American boy heard from his mother that President Obama was the "first" and that he has hair "just like your's." Since the little boy's parents are White House officials, the adolescent was allowed to meet Mr. Obama and asked the President if he could touch his hair, to see if it was, indeed, like his. The President kindly obliged and leaned towards the young man, so that he could verify his mother's statement.

The accompanying photo is priceless and sends a statement to all American children, no matter their race, that in this country, one can grow up to be whatever the dream of--even of becoming the President of the United States.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Update on Captive American Journalists in N. Korea: Victims' Families Seek Compassion

The families of two American journalists sentenced by North Korea to 12 years' imprisonment in a labor camp have urged Pyongyang to show compassion and release them early.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling were detained in March while working on a report near the Chinese-North Korean border for U.S. media outlet Current TV.

Pyongyang announced Monday that the two women had been found guilty of a "grave crime," without giving further explanation.

In a joint statement, the women's families expressed concern over their mental and physical well-being, adding that Ling suffers from an ulcer. The statement also says Lee's four-year-old daughter is showing signs of anguish over her mother's long absence.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on North Korea to release the two young women immediately on humanitarian grounds. The White House says North Korea will be among topics discussed next week when Mr. Obama meets with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Washington.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson told U.S. television interviewers Monday he is optimistic that diplomacy might convince North Korea to free the journalists. Richardson helped secure North Korea's release of a U.S. citizen and a captured U.S. helicopter pilot in the 1990s, when he was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

There has also been speculation that former Vice President Al Gore may get involved in helping secure the release of the two journalists and possibly serve as an envoy. Gore is a co-founder of Current TV.

(Source: http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-06-09-voa14.cfm)

Why Must You Alter???

Gotta shape up or ship out, right?
Adapt to the times, fix yourself, or be gone.
...it's not an overnight thing
You don't wake up the next day all shaped up
...It takes time
But most importantly

You can spend all night staring at a math problem,
but if you put any effort towards it,
nothing'll get done.

...You have to want to do something, yourself
before you can do it for anyone else.
You and your God are the most important beings in your life
If you don't please them
You're not pleasing anything.

...The teenage years of changing yourself
for the man
for the girl
for whomever you're trying to please
is set for teenage years
to teach you how not to conduct yourself.
...If a peer hints at a fault
and you acknowledge it, as well
that creates more incentive to better your fault
not the sole reasoning for this fixing, get me???

...It's not about the man
it's about The Man
and the person who just said "The Man"
which is You.
...Don't make someone else your reasoning for change
make YOU your reasoning for change
'cause the only two to witness your Final Judgement is
The Man
and the man He'll speak to.

Relatives of Journalists Sentenced to Hard Labor???

By Jon Herskovitz

SEOUL, June 9 (Reuters) - Relatives of two U.S. journalists sentenced to 12 years hard labour in North Korea called on the reclusive state to show compassion, while U.S. President Barack Obama's spokesman said the two were innocent and should be freed.

Monday's harsh sentence by one of the North's top courts deepened the chill between Washington and comes as global powers are looking to punish destitute Pyongyang for a nuclear test in May that put it closer to having a working atomic bomb.

Analysts said Pyongyang is using the journalists as bargaining chips to gain the upper hand with Washington, which for years has tried to use sweeteners in return for Pyongyang reducing the security threat it poses to the North Asia region, responsible for one-sixth of the world's economy. [ID:nSP482596]

"We believe that the three months they have already spent under arrest with little communication with their families is long enough," the families for Laura Ling and Euna Lee, of U.S media outlet Current TV, said on a statement obtained on Tuesday.

The two were arrested in March near the border between North Korea and China while working on a story for the company, co-founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. The North convicted them of "grave crimes," saying they illegally entered the country.

"We ask the government of North Korea to show compassion and grant Laura and Euna clemency and allow them to return home to their families," they said.

The communist North maintains a network of prisons where inmates are overworked and underfed and brutality is the norm, human rights groups and defectors have said.

In Washington, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the journalists' fate should not be linked to the dispute over Pyongyang's nuclear programme. [ID:nWBT011335].

"If they (North Korea's leaders) wanted them for any other purposes, they would have made a big deal of it in domestic media," said B.R. Myers, an expert on the North's state ideology at Dongseo University in South Korea.

"The fact that they have not gives me hope that a resolution can be reached."


South Korea's main stock index dipped late on Monday as the news of the sentencing weighed on sentiment. Analysts say it would take a military clash at sea or on the border to have a major impact on global markets.

North Korea appears ready to further ratchet up tension by preparing for tests a long-range missile that could reach U.S. territory and mid-range missiles capable of striking anywhere in South Korea and in most of Japan, officials have said.

The North also issued a no-sail warning through the end of this month for a wide area off its east coast, indicating possible short-range missile tests. It launched a short-range missile in the area in May and a barrage of short-range missiles in 2006.

Analysts said the military grandstanding may be primarily aimed at the internal audience to help leader Kim Jong-il, 67, arrange for eventual succession in Asia's only communist dynasty for his youngest son, Swiss-educated Jong-un.

The U.N. Security Council may adopt a new resolution as early as this week to clamp down on the country's arms trade and finances, but members are divided on how to respond.

China, the North's biggest benefactor, is seen as nervous of measures that might push its fragile neighbour into collapse -- especially at a time when there is uncertainty about the health of leader Kim, who is believed to have suffered a stroke last year.

"China will support strong sanctions, but not extreme ones," said Qin Yaqing, Vice President of China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing and an adviser to senior leaders on regional affairs, in an interview with Reuters.

"We don't want sanctions that could further risk turmoil or serious instability in North Korea. That's in nobody's interests.

North Korea threatened on Monday to retaliate with "extreme" measures if the United Nations punished it for the nuclear test.

"Nobody can exclude the possibility that North Korea will opt for more missile launches or nuclear tests," Qin said. (Additional reporting by Chris Buckley in Beijing, Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations and Doina Chiacu and Caren Bohan in Washington; Editing by David Fox)

(Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSSP145127)

Monday, June 8, 2009

David Carradine's Death: Suicide, Heart Failure, Sex Act Gone Wrong???

david_carradineThai police: FBI can observe Carradine probe
By MICHAEL CASEY – 12 hours ago

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai police said Monday that they would welcome the FBI's assistance in investigating the death of American actor David Carradine, but only as observers in the high-profile case.

Carradine's naked body was discovered last Thursday morning in his luxury suite at Bangkok's Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel. Police initially suspected his death was a suicide, but have since said it may have been accidental suffocation or heart failure after revealing he was found with a rope tied around his wrist, neck and genitals.

The circumstances suggested he might has died as a result of a dangerous sex game, Pornthip Rojanasunand, a prominent Thai forensic pathologist, said last week.

With the uncertainty and conflicting information surrounding the death, Carradine's family in the U.S. went to the FBI last Friday asking for its help investigating the case.

"If the FBI wants to get involved, we will do our best to cooperate," Thai police Maj. Gen. Amnuay Nimmano told reporters, adding that it would have to be in an observer role as mandated by Thai law. "We have nothing to hide."

Sirisak Tiyapan, director-general for International Affairs of Thailand's Attorney General's Office — which would handle any cooperation with U.S. law enforcement agencies — said his agency had not yet received a request from the FBI to assist in the Carradine case.

U.S. Embassy Spokesman Michael Turner said he couldn't comment on the investigation but did acknowledge that FBI agents attached to the embassy were talking informally about the case with their Thai police counterparts.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said earlier that the agency generally only gets involved in death investigations overseas if a crime is suspected.

After numerous leaks about the crime scene and cause of death, Maj. Gen. Amnuay at Monday's press conference sought to quash further speculation. He refused to comment on the condition Carradine's body was found in or the reports that he died from the dangerous form of sex play known as auto-erotic asphyxiation.

"The previous conclusions on the cause of death were made by people who know nothing about the case," Amnuay told reporters, adding that he had to protect the privacy of Carradine's family.

The actor's family has said they hoped his body would arrive in Los Angeles by Monday, said their attorney, Mark Geragos, but he did not give specifics.

The family will also seek an independent autopsy by famed forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden to determine whether another person could have been involved in causing Carradine's death, Geragos said. Results of an autopsy performed Friday in Bangkok were not expected for at least three weeks.

Carradine flew to Thailand at the end of May and began work on a film titled "Stretch" two days before his death. His friends and associates told CNN's Larry King he had a happy marriage, had recently bought a new car, and had several films lined up after he finished work in Bangkok.

A martial arts practitioner himself, Carradine was best known for the U.S. TV series "Kung Fu," which aired from 1972-75. He played Kwai Chang Caine, an orphan who was raised by Shaolin monks and fled China for the American West after killing the emperor's nephew in retaliation for the murder of his kung fu master.

Carradine also appeared in more than 100 feature films with such directors as Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman and Hal Ashby. He returned to the top in recent years as the title character in Quentin Tarantino's two-part saga "Kill Bill."

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

(Source: http://bit.ly/N2ESv)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

In and Out of Time

By: Dr. Maya Angelou
(Recited in the film "Madea's Family Reunion")

The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance...
our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out of time.
When the first stone looked up at the blazing sun
and the first tree struggled up from the forest floor
I had always loved you more.
You freed your braids...
gave your hair to the breeze.
It hummed like a hive of honey bees.
I reached in the mass for the sweet honey comb there....
Mmmm...God how I love your hair.
You saw me bludgeoned by circumstance.
Lost, injured, hurt by chance.
I screamed to the heavens....loudly screamed....
Trying to change our nightmares to dreams...
The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out
in and out
in and out
of time...

Conan O'Brien Blasts Twitter???

We don't know how we missed this before, but sometime in the last few months, Conan O'Brien took over for Jay Leno as host of the Tonight Show! We know, we know, can you believe it? All kidding aside, night two of Conan's brand-new gig was a better indication of how his show will go than night one, which mainly consisted of video bits highlighting Conan's attempt to transform himself into an Angeleno. There were some of those last night, too — specifically, there was a mildly humorous pretaped segment where Conan got confused between the posh Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and the rugged Rodeo Road in Compton — but in general, the show stuck a little closer to the kinds of topical humor that have been a staple of late-night comedy ever since the genre was invented. However, there was one topic that has bubbled up in popularity in the time since Conan went off the air in February that he finally got the chance to address: Twitter!

Judging by the way this bit was slanted, it's readily apparent that Conan sees Twitter as nothing more than a way for celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Dennis Haysbert to indulge in ego-tripping. From the way the whole bit was positioned (which, btw, would've been greatly improved had Conan used real tweets instead of fake ones as a base), Conan kind of comes off like he's dismissive of not only the banal ways in which a lot of celebrities tend to tweet, but also of the service in general. This, of course, stands in stark contrast to the way Jimmy Fallon has worked to position himself as someone who embraces Internet culture, new media, geeky gadgets, and the like.

While we would be remiss if we said we didn't laugh out loud a few times during the bit ("Bro's a No-no for CoCo?"), the stance it took did concern us a little. Sure, we can see how the sudden ubiquity of Twitter is not only something rife with comedic potential, but something that virtually demands a public takedown of some sort. However, Conan has always positioned himself as a bit of a comedic renegade, one who has built his audience by tailoring his comedy to the scores of college kids who watch his show while they're putting off studying for their calc exams. And while we're perfectly okay with anyone who participates in the backlash against Twitter, we couldn't help but feel a little like this blatant dismissal of the service is something that, dare we say, a stodgy, old-school conservative comic like Jay Leno would've done. We're cognizant that Conan has to tweak his comedy ever so slightly to appeal to the older-skewing 11:30 audience, but we're hopeful that in his pursuit of winning over a more "adult" audience, he doesn't end up alienating his core fan base along the way, by decrying the the kinds of things that "those youngsters with their rock-and-roll music" are wholeheartedly embracing.

(Source: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2009/06/conan_fallon_twitter.html?f=most-viewed-24h10&imw=Y&f=most-viewed-24h10)

Ether Saga...My First Gaming Experience

Ether Saga Online is the English-based version of KDXY, one of the newest and most popular titles released by Perfect World Beijing. Ether Saga Online combines lavish graphics with a young anime style. It features a slew of unique features and systems that make the game truly one of a kind.

Unlike other MMORPG games that charge subscription fees, Ether Saga Online will be Free-To-Play. Once inside the game world, players can earn and spend money to upgrade a large variety of items to enhance their game play experience.

There are three races in Ether Saga Online. In terms of game play the three races all behave the same and can all play as any of the six Classes. They live harmoniously and without serious conflicts. This is because they all have different aims. Each race will have its own quests (in addition to shared ones) which will all be aimed at completing that race’s particular objective. In addition to these race dependant quests/goals is the shared ultimate goal of being selected to join the Mission West.

Ether Saga Online (ESO) houses a unique pet system. When you start your journey, you will be given a pet according to your race. As you advance, you will be given the opportunity to capture, tame, and raise many different types of monsters. Monsters that can be tamed will be indicated by a marking on their name panel.

(Source: http://www.onrpg.com/MMO/Ether-Saga-Online)

Google Wave...Sounds Pretty Amazing

Google Wave is a new communication service previewed today at Google I/O. "A wave is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more."

The service seems to combine Gmail and Google Docs into an interesting free-form workspace that could be used to write documents collaboratively, plan events, play games or discuss a recent news.

Google Wave has been designed by the founders of Where 2 Tech, a start-up acquired by Google to create a cutting-edge mapping service, which later became Google Maps.

"Back in early 2004, Google took an interest in a tiny mapping startup called Where 2 Tech, founded by my brother Jens and me. We were excited to join Google and help create what would become Google Maps. But we also started thinking about what might come next for us after maps. As always, Jens came up with the answer: communication. He pointed out that two of the most spectacular successes in digital communication, email and instant messaging, were originally designed in the '60s to imitate analog formats — email mimicked snail mail, and IM mimicked phone calls. Since then, so many different forms of communication had been invented — blogs, wikis, collaborative documents, etc. — and computers and networks had dramatically improved. So Jens proposed a new communications model that presumed all these advances as a starting point; I was immediately sold," explains Lars Rasmussen.

"In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It's concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content -- it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use "playback" to rewind the wave to see how it evolved."

You can see some screenshots of the service and find some details about the API that could be used to extend the service and the Wave protocol that allows anyone to run a "wave" server. Google promises that Google Wave will be available later this year.

(Source: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/05/google-wave.html)

Zac Efron on "Entourage"???

HBO really loves hot boys. Zac Efron has signed on to star as himself in the hit show "Entourage" this summer, according to E! Online. The Hollywood-centered show has a long history of featuring celebrities as themselves. Mandy Moore, Jamie Lynn Sigler and Kanye West are just a few of the many stars who have made guest appearances on the popular show.

Efron recorded his scene Tuesday at the Nike Town store in Beverly Hills.

"He was wearing sunglasses, and he left in a limo with another guy," a source told E! Online.

The "High School Musical" songbird was seen recording a scene where he was talking on his cell phone away from any other cast members.

Season six of "Entourage" is slated to begin July 12 at 10:30 p.m. EST on HBO. Lil' Wayne, Tom Brady, LeBron James and Gary Gole are slated to appear on the newest season of the show.

(Source: http://www.thecelebritycafe.com/features/28443.html.)

Sacha Baron Cohen Sued for a Brüno Fight??

Some people get a chuckle when, say, Austrian fashion correspondent Brüno floats down from the rafters and greets someone with his undercarriage. But, according to TMZ, a California woman is suing Brüno creator Sacha Baron Cohen over a 2007 incident at a Palmdale, California, bingo hall that she claims left her in a wheelchair.

Richelle Olson, the executive director of Desert Valley Charities, is suing Cohen, NBC Universal and several others over the incident, which occurred when Brüno was scheduled to call numbers at a bingo game for the elderly that she organized. But when the flamboyant Brüno — whom she describes in the suit as an "extreme, outrageous, offensive caricature of a gay man dressed in sexually revealing clothing with an Austrian accent" — showed up, Olson alleges that the character used "vulgar and offensive language."

When she tried to take the microphone away from Brüno, she claims a "physical struggle ensued" and Brüno "offensively touched, pushed and battered" her, causing her to fall to the ground. Then, when three cameramen and others rushed the stage, Olson claims that they "attacked [her] for a period of one to five minutes to intentionally create a dramatic emotional response ... while [they] recorded her humiliation and embarrassment."

Following the alleged assault, the suit claims Olson went into an adjoining room, where she was "sobbing uncontrollably" before becoming unconscious and "falling forward onto the thinly covered concrete slab, passing out and causing her to hit her head." She was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with "two brain bleeds" according to the suit and has been confined to a wheelchair and walker ever since. Olson and her husband are suing for unspecified damages, including loss of marital relations.

This is the latest in a long line of lawsuits launched at Cohen over the outrageous antics of his various characters, including Borat. A spokesperson for Cohen could not be reached for comment at press time.

(Source: http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1613157/story.jhtml#)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Black Trash Bags

I was 10…
…10 years old…
…when you walked out that door.
You said, “This is for the best and God Bless.”
…My Mother and I sat on the couch
And watched Jay Leno tell some stupid joke
As you gathered your things
And left.
…I crawled closer to my Mother…
…and I didn’t sob,
I didn’t cry,
I didn’t scream…
…I was just confused.

…I came home from school one day
And saw what it seemed like
Dozens of black trash bags
Filled with your things.
…I ripped them open
And tried to put your items back.
“I don’t understand, Mom;
I don’t get it.
Why is Daddy’s stuff tucked away?”
…She said…
…”He wants to be somewhere else,
So I’m letting him be.”

…I ran to my Great-Grandmother’s house.
I screamed and told her my Mom was ludicrous,
But she couldn’t respond….
…She was very ill and had to deal with her own issues.
…I crawled into her nursing bed
And just laid on her chest;
…Her heartbeat was the ONLY thing
That kept me sound.
…The beat put me to sleep…
…and I dreamt of the days
When they didn’t hate each other.
…My Great-Grandfather
Walked into the room
And said,
“She’s been looking all over for you, Pammie.
Head home, child.
I need to be with my wife now.”

…I came back home
To see my Mother
Throwing hard objects at my Father
And my Father striking back
And my Brother walking upstairs…
…ignoring it all….
“Stop, yall, stop!”
I screamed and screamed and SCREAMED
And couldn’t feel
My neighbor dragging me out the house.

…The following day,
As I came home from school,
I heard my mother
“You got that bitch on my phone!
Get the hell out!”
…My Mother lurched toward him
And I ran out the house.

…I just ran and ran…
…and it seemed like
Chester’s streets were too little
And not big enough
For me to run
‘Til my legs got tired.
…I ran around the whole city…
…just trying to fill the time,
So I wouldn’t have to see them argue.
…I finally ended on 10th Street,
Dropped to my knees,
And sobbed,
…Tears of confusion
Streamed down my face
And onto the ground.
…I could feel my stomach grumbling
And hated the fact
That I had to return to
To satisfy this STUPID thing called hunger.

…I made my way back,
To walk in and see the black trash bags
Scattered across the floor,
…I removed a picture from one
And spotted one of Daddy, my Brother, and I holding each other….
…I screamed…
And tore it into pieces.
…I turned,
To see my Father walking into the room.
I brushed pass him,
Ran into my room,
And slammed the door.
…Just the sight of him
Made me wanna cry
…and pretending that I never saw him
Made me feel better….
…It seemed like sleeping
Was my only haven
Through all of that chaos.

I was waken, hours later,
To the hurling of those
Trash bags
Down our steps.
…I walked downstairs
And sat on the couch
Next to my Mother.
…As he moved
HIS things
Into the car,
…I could feel
The confusion…
…And anger…
…And hatred…
I had inside.

…Why’d you leave,
What’s the matter?!
Were we not good enough?!
Was I not a good enough child for you?!
Did my Mother not do all you wanted?
Was she not pretty enough?!
Did we stink?!
Did we look ugly?!
Were my Brother and I too much of nerds for you?!
Did my Mother not please you the way you wanted?!
Was your ass too horny to wait ‘til you got home from work?!
And why…
Did you renew your vows
And let your family look like fools in the Chapel
And lie in front of God,
If you didn’t want what the fuck we were there for?!
Why Dad, why?!
Please make me understand
Because I still don’t get it
And this shit happened
Almost 9 years ago.
You asshole?!

…I sat on that couch and tried to find a reason…
…But I still don’t have one.
You left us because you were impatient
And that…
Forgive you for.
…I love you…
But grow the HELL UP!

Spill My Soul

I’ve been beaten and bruised
By a man’s angry heart.
I’ve been pushed and slapped…
Stomped on and spit on…
By words one’s heart should not tolerate.
I’ve been kicked and I screamed,
I’ve been punched and I hollered,
But no one seems to hear me.
I can’t tell my mom ‘cause she’ll give me,
“Well…when I was your age, honey….”
I can’t tell the girls, either, ‘cause they’ll give me,
“I told you he was crazy. Girl, you should’ve….”
There’s no one out there that’ll hear my cry,
Soothe the pain and wipe the tears away
Without feeding me bullshit and saying,
“You’ll get over it in time.”
…The time’s not right now
And I need someone who’ll let me vent
Before I lose my SANITY!
….but I met someone,
A BOY someone,
Who claims that,
“I’m not like the rest.”

I hide my pain…
…because who wants their first impression to consist of
Past troubles and dumb romances?
The dates are good, however, and the personality’s nice,
But I’m not ready to spill my soul just yet.

Songs play on the radio of,
“…how he did me wrong”
And movies showcase the life after a break-up.
It gets to a point where
My soul can no longer endure its 5 years of hurt.

We stop at a parking lot
And I begin spill my soul…
…all the abuse I’ve endured…
…all the stress I’ve accumulated…
…all the tears I’ve let dry…
…and it felt sooo good.
I’m confused about why he listens attentively, though…
…And holds my hand,
And kisses my cheek,
And snuffles his nose…
…along with mine.
I shed my tears
And wipe his away…
“Why are you crying,” I say,
“What’s the matter?”
His astounding response is,
“You’re hurting and I can’t stand to see you like this.”

It hit me:
He feels my pain…
He sheds my tears…
He cries my sorrow…
And why?
Because we SHARE the same torn heart
And hope to heal quickly…

I look into those bright brown eyes
And feel his soul…
…the eternal of someone the same as I.
I think we realize this at the same moment;
We shed the same tears
And reach for another’s lips.

His warmth makes me feel welcome…
…and I realize that this is what I should’ve felt
Those five years ago.
I kiss him for hours on end,
Not wanting to let go the part of my soul
I’ve been missing for years.

Pro-Life Extremist kills Abortion Doctor at Church

By Peter Grier | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor



Analysts who study American extremism are pointing to a 1996 arrest report that, they say, links the leading suspect in the murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller to some of the most zealous antigovernment groups in the United States.

Law enforcement officials currently have in custody Scott Philip Roeder of Merriam, Kan., age 51. Thirteen years ago, someone named Scott Roeder, 38, was arrested in Topeka, Kan., and charged with criminal use of explosives after police found fuse cord and a pound of gunpowder in his car trunk.

He also had a homemade license plate on his car proclaiming he was immune from Kansas law – a type of tag that's been associated with the Freemen organization, which rejects the authority of the US government. Freemen in Montana were involved in an 81-day standoff with US marshals in 1996 after they tried to set up their own system of government.

The 1996 Roeder case was eventually dropped due to problems with the initial search of the car. At the same time, his name appeared on an FBI watch list of possible Freemen members.

Police investigating the Tiller shooting have not said they are investigating any links between Mr. Roeder and right-wing extremism. But Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research for the Anti-Defamation League, says these two Roeders are almost certainly the same person.

A report in the Kansas City Star, moreover, quotes Morris Wilson, former commander of the Kansas Unorganized Citizens Militia as saying he knew Roeder, calling him "a fanatic about abortion."

"It's not unusual at all that someone who is anti-abortion might be involved with one of these other kinds of extremist movements," Pitcavage says.

Tiller, a doctor who carried out late-term abortions, was shot and killed Sunday at his church in Wichita, Kan. Witnesses said the gunman fired at Tiller, threatened to shoot others who attempted to intervene, and then escaped in a blue Ford Taurus.

Three hours after the shooting, a suspect was detained in the Kansas City suburb of Merriam, Kan. A spokesman for the Johnson County sherriff's office identified the suspect as Scott Roeder.

To this point all evidence in the Tiller murder case points to a gunman who was acting alone, according to Kansas police.

The shooting comes at a time when federal law enforcement agencies have been worried about a resurgence in right-wing extremist violence.

There has been an upsurge in anger levels on extremist web sites and in group internal communications, he says.

"Two broad things underlie this: the economic crisis, and the election of Barack Obama, which has made the extreme right very angry," says Pitcavage.

Recently the extreme fringe of the anti-abortion movement has become more and more frustrated, adds Brian Levin, director of the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino.

They are facing a situation in which for the first time a majority of US residents consider themselves "pro-choice," according to polls. At the same time, the extremists believe that their leadership has become tame.

Whoever shot Dr. Tiller, "it is someone who not only disagrees with abortion, but more fundamentally disagrees with the democratic process and the whole direction and ethos of the country," says Mr. Levin of California State University.

By carrying out the attack in church, the gunman was likely trying to send a message, he adds.

"These individuals believe that they are in a war for existence, and that they answer to a higher authority," he says.


(Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0602/p02s01-usgn.html.)

Eminen furious at MTV Awards??

Eminem returned to the spotlight Sunday, spitting the lyrics of his name-dropping single "We Made You" and "Crack A Bottle" from his hit album Relapse at the MTV Movie Awards. But not long after his performance, he stormed away from his seat at the auditorium when Sacha Baron Cohen, in a barely-visibly thong as his flamboyant character Brüno, descended like an [angel] and landed face down in the rapper's lap.

The body guards pounced and Eminem's entourage made its exit in what was the most outrageous moment on a night of irreverence that included host Andy Samberg spoofing box office hits like Slumdog Millionaire (which was nominated six times but came up empty handed) and Star Trek, an absent Amy Poehler accepting the Golden Popcorn trophy for the best "WTF moment" and Forest Whitaker singing an operatic rendition of Samberg's Emmy Award winning song "D– in a Box."

But the night belonged to the film sensation Twilight, which picked up five awards, including the top prize for best movie.

After Shia LaBeouf handed out the best fight award to its stars Robert Pattinson and Cam Gigandet for their tussle in the vampire movie, Pattinson also picked up the award for the best breakthrough performance by a male. Later, he and costar Kristen Stewart teased the crowd by nearly reenacting the kiss between their characters Edward Cullen and Bella Swan while accepting the award for best buss.

Stewart also won the prize for best female performance. "I was just about as awkward as you thought I was going to be," the flustered star said at the podium.

Other winners included High School Musical 3: Senior Year's Ashley Tisdale, who won in the female breakthrough performance category while her costar Zac Efron won for best male performance. Jim Carey won for best comedic performance for his role in Yes Man and Heath Ledger was posthumously honored for his legendary performance in The Dark Knight.

The best song from a movie went to Miley Cyrus for "The Climb," which was featured in Hannah Montana: The Movie.

Efron, Kiefer Sutherland and Triumph the Insult Dog presented former MTV Movie Awards host Ben Stiller with the MTV Generation Award, honoring the actor for a career of "selling out box offices without selling out."


(Source: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20282355,00.html.)

Last Survivor of Titanic Dies, 97-years-old

Mon Jun 1, 2009 10:14am IST
LONDON (Reuters) - The last survivor of the 1912 sinking of the "Titanic," Millvina Dean, has died in a nursing home in England at the age of 97, the Titanic International Society said on Monday.

Dean was just nine weeks old when her family sold a pub they owned in London to travel on the maiden voyage of the passenger liner and begin a new life in Wichita, Kansas, in the United States, where her father Bertram hoped to open a tobacconist shop.

Her father was one of the 1,517 people who died after the supposedly unsinkable ship hit an iceberg in the Atlantic and sank.

Dean, who was wrapped in a sack to protect her from the cold and lowered into a lifeboat, was the youngest of the 706 Titanic survivors. Her mother Georgetta and two-year-old brother Bertram also survived, dying in 1975 and 1992 respectively.

Dean, who never married, said she had no memory of the disaster but was told of the event at the age of eight when her mother was about to remarry.

It wasn't until Dean was aged in her 70s that she became a Titanic celebrity, appearing at conventions, exhibitions and in documentaries and other media about the ill-fated ship.

The Titanic International Society said on its website that Dean passed away in her sleep early Sunday at a nursing home near Southampton. She was recently released from hospital after a bout with pneumonia.

Last month the stars of the Hollywood blockbuster movie "Titanic" -- Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and the film's director James Cameron -- donated $30,000 to support Dean in her last years after it was reported that she had resorted to selling her autograph to pay her nursing home bills.

The 1997 drama "Titanic" made more than $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the highest-grossing film of all time in figures not adjusted for inflation.

(Source: http://in.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idINIndia-40003820090601.)

Stoned Games


A very comical, yet informative video, made by Justin (my bf) and our good friend, LJ. ...It took them two days to complete, so pleaseee, go to http://yolookatdat.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/stoned-games-lmao/ and comment on the video OR comment on this post, and I'll let Justin and LJ know how much you appreciate their work.

...Support my boys, pleaseee :-)