Around 1.7 million Palestinians are under siege with nowhere to go in the packed Gaza Strip as the humanitarian crisis there worsens during the current Gaza war which entered its 22nd day.
As per a report by the Associated Press today:
Israel on Tuesday unleashed its heaviest bombardment in a 3-week-old war against Hamas, striking symbols of the militant group’s control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the strip’s only power plant. Thick black smoke from the plant’s burning fuel tank rose for hours. The station’s shutdown further disrupted the supply of electricity and water to the 1.7 million people packed into the narrow Palestinian coastal territory.
Since Hamas, a violently fundamental Islamist terror organization began its barrage of short and long range rockets on the State of Israel three weeks ago, the tiny Jewish state has been forced into action to protect its citizens, 80 percent of which have come under regular fire, rushing for air raid shelters and suffering casualties.
The Palestinians have seen a much higher death and injury toll than Israel as residents of the narrow Gaza Strip find themselves between a rock and a hard place, between Israeli airstrikes and Hamas threats of death if they leave their homes.
Never before has the world seen such a cynical war waged, whereby a radical terror group exploits its own population, actively trying to score as many casualties on both sides as it can in order to garner misguided world opinion to further their murderous cause.
As a result of the latest Israeli strike, as reported above, tens of thousands of Palestinians will find themselves without electricity for an extended period, while their “leaders” sit in the lap of luxury controlling the war from their five star hotel suites in Qatar.
Whilst it is tragic to see the levels of suffering endured by thousands of Palestinians in the current conflict there is no doubt who is to blame for the destruction and death.
Hamas, along with its cohorts Islamic Jihad and other extreme militant groups, have established a complex network in Gaza using Mosques, schools, UN facilities and kindergartens to store their deadly rockets, while hiding rocket launchers in the living rooms and kitchens of Palestinian civilians.
The name of the game for Hamas is casualties, Palestinian ones, and preferably woman and children, who they use as pawns to advance their agenda.
For its part, Israel has no choice but to fight such a deadly sworn enemy with might and determination as it struggles for its very existence in an ever-increasingly fanatically Islamist middle east.
Fortunately, most world leaders, as well as members of the public who are right-minded, back Israel’s right to self-defense in the face of ongoing rocket barrages, no matter how hard Hamas tries to use the western media to further its murderous goals.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is calling once again for more boots on the ground to stop the massive influx of illegal immigrants into the United States. The Lone Star State leader has been outspoken in his opposition to the way the Obama administration has borer security. While on a recent fundraising tour in the state, President Barack Obama declined a Perry invitation to tour the Texas border and witness the problems firsthand.
Rick Perry told the Tribune-Review that the 1,000 Texas National Guard members deployed to the Mexican border had nothing to do with “unaccompanied minors or children crossing the border.” According to both Perry and a new Pew report based upon government statistics, only about 20 percent of the illegal immigrants who stepped onto American soil this year are actually children.
A Texas Department of Public Safety study revealed that 203,000 illegal immigrants were arrested and charged with more than 640,000 crimes since 2008, according to the agency’s Texas Criminal Alien Arrest Data report.
The governor had this to say about the illegal immigrants’ crime report statistics:
“Of those crimes, 3,000 were homicides and nearly 8,000 were sexual assault. Thousands of lives have been shattered forever, that shouldn’t have been, if the federal government had done its job.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest does not appear phased by the illegal immigrants crime statistics as revealed by Perry.
Earnest had this to say about Governor Rick Perry’s comments on the number of murders, sexual assault, and other crimes committed by those who entered America illegally:
“Governor Perry will not just take these kinds of steps that are generating the kind of headlines I suspect he intended, but will actually take the kinds of steps that will be constructive to solving the problem over the long term.”
Perry further contends that President Obama took two years to react to the ongoing illegal immigration problem along the Texas border. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the governor wrote a letter to the president in May 2012 asking for more help securing the border and stating that drug cartels and criminals were “infiltrating Texas.”
Excerpt from Governor Perry letter to President Obama:
“[There is] an emerging problem with a growing wave of unaccompanied minors crossing the border. Inaction encourages other minors to place themselves in extremely dangerous situations. Every day of delay risks more lives. Every child allowed to remain encourages hundreds more to attempt the journey.”
U.S. Border Patrol statistics show that the number of illegal immigrant children coming into Texas has increased from about 5,000 in 2012 to 50,000 this year.
What do you think about the illegal immigrants’ crime report and the efforts to secure the border by the federal government?
Authorities have confirmed Austin Shedd was found alive in Kings Canyon National Park. The 13-year-old boy went missing during a hike on Sunday afternoon. Although he was located by a trail crew on Monday evening, a rescue flight could not be arranged until Tuesday.
Austin, his father, and a family friend were eight hours into a hike from Arrow Peak to Bench Lake. At approximately 2:30 pm, the older men stopped to make lunch. According to reports, Austin continued along the trail as he expected his father and his friend to catch up.
As reported by San Fransisco Gate, it “only took a few minutes” to make the sandwiches. However, Austin Shedd was nowhere to be found. The men searched the wilderness for nearly four hours, but they could not find any sign of the missing teen.
Prior to stopping for lunch, the three hikers agreed to exit “Taboose Pass in the Inyo National Forest enroute to Bench Lake.” However, the men were unable to locate Austin along the planned route.
Austin’s father, Dr. Rick Shedd, eventually hiked back to Owens Valley, while his friend continued to search. Officials said the teen was reported missing at approximately 2:00 am on Monday.
At least 25 National Park Service officials searched the region on foot and by helicopter. Authorities said the Austin Shedd vanished near the Arrow Peak at an elevation of nearly 13,000 feet.
Nearly 20 hours later, Austin Shedd was located by a trail crew. Although he was forced to spend another night in the wilderness, authorities said the teen was safe.
As discussed by 100 Summits, the Grenadier Range offers a challenging course with magnificent views. Although Arrow Peak is quite popular with hiking enthusiasts, the slopes are considered “some of Colorado’s most difficult to climb.” Colorado. Lt. George Marshall, of the U.S.G.S., provides an eloquent description of the Grenadier Range:
“No where in Colorado can be found such steep slopes, such shapeless crags, such rocky and impassable ravines, such generally detestable characteristics and features as are here seen. The hard metamorphic rocks are shivered along their cleavage planes for hundreds of feet, leaving their odd pinnacles, there the likeness of the shattered outspread wings of some gigantic bird, and again of the grim grinning teeth of death.”
Although it was certainly challenging, Austin Shedd survived more than 24 hours alone on Arrow Peak.
Quentin Tarantino has officially confirmed his choice for his next film, and it’s a choice that’s surprising many.
When Tarantino announced The Hateful Eight last year before a single frame of film was shot, the wunderkind director hatefully trashed the whole thing. Why? An early draft of his western script was leaked onto the internet, prompting Tarantino to go on a tirade telling the world that they’d never, ever see the film.
Shortly after that, Tarantino staged a live reading of the script with such Tarantino alums as Sam Jackson, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, and Michael Madsen.
Tinseltown was abuzz with the question of whether or not Tarantino would get behind the camera for The Hateful Eight after all…
Now, it seems, after swearing off the film, we finally have a surprising answer.
When asked last weekend at San Diego Comic-Con what his next film would be,The Hateful Eight was brought up, and Tarantino, unreadable as usual, confirmed the flick.
“Yeah, we’re going to be doing The Hateful Eight.”
Simple. Straight forward. To the point.
No casting choices have been confirmed as of yet, but Kurt Russell – who participated in the live read of the script – dropped a tidbit to Cinema Blend earlier this month which couldn’t be confirmed at the time.
“There’s a Tarantino film project called The Hateful Eight that looks like it may go somewhere around the beginning of the year.”
In conjunction with what Tarantino said at Comic-Con, it looks like we have a production start date of early 2015 for The Hateful Eight.
Tarantino was actually at Comic-Con repping his new Django Unchained/Zorro crossover comic. The director – highly animated about the project – told fans at the Dynamite Comic’s panel that the events of the comic take place four years before those in the Django Unchained movie according to Indie Wire:
“I don’t want to make a ton of Django movies so this offered me a chance to keep control of the mythology, but to tell different stories.”
When asked about other upcoming films, Tarantino said he was open to the idea of doing a sci-fi flick or a fantasy film.
“If you had asked me a few years ago I would have said, ‘Nah, not really, I don’t know.’ But I have a little idea right now. It’s a little flower, you know, like a bean sprout, but those tend to grow into stalks. So this is the first time I’ll be able to say ‘maybe.’ It won’t be a spaceship sci-fi, it’ll be Earthbound.”
Pulp Fiction with aliens? Kill Bill with dragons? Quentin Tarantino always manages to keep things interesting.
[image Via Nacion.com]
A letter, written by Abraham Lincoln in 1840, which was valued at $40,000, shows a previously unseen nervous side to the iconic American leader.
The wording of Lincoln’s letter paints a picture of a man not totally comfortable with his growing reputation. Dated March 6, 1860, the letter was composed at a turning point in history and was sent just after Lincoln’s own Cooper Union address.
That historic speech was a key moment in Abraham Lincoln’s career and moved him into the national limelight and on to becoming the 16th president of the United States.
But as you can see from the excerpts below from the letter, Lincoln wasn’t too sure about himself and seemingly even needed a confidence boost:
Yours of the 2nd was received late last evening. I cannot speak in New Jersey this time. I have over staid my time – have heard something about sickness in my family – and really am nervous and unfit to fill my engagement already made here in Connecticut. Will you please excuse me?
As the Daily Mail reported, just four days prior to Lincoln’s letter, J.A. Freeman, secretary of the Republican Executive Committee of Orange, N.J., had written to Lincoln, saying his organization “most earnestly and cordially” requested him to address the Republicans of Orange at his earliest convenience.
Freeman wrote to Abraham Lincoln:
You have many warm political friends in this place who are very anxious to hear you, and as New Jersey is one of the doubtful states, we wish all the help that we can get from the eminent speakers of the Republican Party. If you can comply with our request, please let me know upon what evening we may have the pleasure of hearing you, and where in New York you may be found so that some friends can meet and bring you out here.
Till now the historic letter had been in the hands of the Freeman family but is now up for sale by The Raab Collection, a Philadelphia-based dealer of historical documents, which has valued it as $40,000.
In honor of Wil Wheaton’s birthday (as well as my own) I thought I would look up how come we celebrate birthdays to begin with.
Most people today who celebrate birthdays tend to have parties and the birthday person receives gifts from them, along with some rendition of a birthday song as they blow out an ever-increasing number of candles on their cakes. Even people who don’t go that far still get a lot of “happy birthday” wishes throughout the day. It’s become a tradition of sorts.
Birthdays started to be celebrated as soon as calendars were invented. In early civlizations where they used horoscopes of ruling monarchs, they wanted the most exact date possible to ensure a good casting. Birthday omens were meticulously examined because the prospects of the ruler directly affected the prospects of his subjects.
But the exact origin of birthday celebrations is lost somewhere in the past, even before these events. What we do know is that it is human nature to desire personal attention and also to celebrate, so the eventuality of the birthday celebration seems inevitable.
Birthdays most probably occurred when the way time was kept was altered. In ancient times people kept track of time through the changing movements of the sun or the moon, or by some important event that happened at regular intervals such as a passing comet. But the calenders were formulated in respect to lunar or solar positions, making it possible to mark time changes and other special days.
Most people believe that birthday celebration began with the pagan people, who had a great fear of occult powers and held them responsible for calamities. They thought people were susceptible to evil spirits and the birthdate added one more year to their life, changing the numbers that would affect them. They also believed that surrounding the person celebrating their birthday should be surrounded with laughter and joy to shield him or her from harm or evil spirits.
Historically, however, the only early evidence of celebrating births seems to occur among the nobility (an event which recently occurred for Prince George last week). Later on, the Germans are credited with celebrating all birthdays, especially those of children. They called such days “kinderfeste”, or “Child’s party”. Over time the tradition found its way into Christianity even though at first the idea had seemed abhorrent, and now it seems like almost everywhere in the world the tradition persists.
The most usual song at these parties today is “Happy Birthday to You”, which was written in 1893, technically, but altered afterwards as this article explains in more detail.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy is leaving Dancing With The Stars… as a dancer. According to Us Weekly, Maks has confirmed that he will not be dancing on the show anymore. It is unknown is Maks will return to the show in any capacity, but rumor has it he wants to take over for Len Goodman on the judge’s panel. Len has not yet said that he was leaving, however, so, for now, Maks is just moving on.
The ballroom dance pro sat down for an interview on Tuesday’s episode of The View and that’s when he made the official announcement. He said that after returning to the show after his previous break, things just didn’t seem right.
“I’m done dancing. I feel like it’s time. When I came back to the show, it was not the same—I was different, probably. When I came back, I saw this amazing talent…I looked at it and thought they can do much more and better. I was taking up a huge spot.”
Maksim Chmerkovskiy went out with a bang, however, winning his first Mirror Ball Trophy with partner, Meryl Davis. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, rumors that Maks and Meryl were keeping their hot-hot-hot chemistry alive off of the dance floor have simmered down quite a bit. As far as the public knows, the two have not been together since the beginning of June. While they have become good friends, it seems more than obvious at this point that they are not a couple.
According to NJ.com, Maks said that he “loved the experience” that Dancing With The Stars afforded him. However, he has been on countless seasons, and it’s a lot of work. He is clearly ready for a change, and while it isn’t what his fans want to hear, it is something that they must respect. Last season was very emotional for him — his partnership with Meryl Davis (romantic or not) really changed him. Now it’s time for him to have a new adventure.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy has danced with some amazing stars through his years on the show. They have included: Laila Ali, Mel B., Misty May-Treanor, Denise Richards, Erin Andrews, Brandy, Kirstie Alley, Hope Solo, and, of course, Meryl Davis (among others). Maks has been a great instructor and a great friend to most of these women, and he has made so many life-lasting relationships. He could easily find himself back on the show as a guest, and surely ABC would love to have him. Will you miss Maks?
Dancing With The Stars returns to ABC on Sept. 15.
[Photo courtesy of ABC/Craig Sjodin]
Melissa Gorga and Amber Marchese went head-to-head in Sunday night’s episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey. Marchese gossiped to newcomer Gorga that Nicole Napolitano broke up a marriage — only to have Melissa relay the information back to Nicole.
Amber tweeted about the incident Sunday, saying, “Seeing how Melissa treated her sister-in-law, not shocked she did this to me.” The reality housewife added that she earlier passed the rumor on to Nicole herself, so she was interested that Nicole and her twin sister Teresa Aprea acted shocked when Melissa told them what Amber had said.”
Amber Marchese went on to write about the incident in detail on her Bravotv.com blog, writing of Melissa Gorga, “Melissa just met these girls once at my party, yet she could barely even wait till the car was parked before running to the twins and mischaracterizing what I had said.” She added that her fellow RHONJ star “knew exactly what she was doing and that’s causing trouble. That might be how she rolls, but I want no part of it. Melissa behaved like a child, not like an adult.”
Reality TV Magazine notes that Melissa Gorga and Amber Marchese had history before they came together on RHONJ this season. Before the premiere, Marchese made it clear she interacted with Gorga in the past and the previous interaction didn’t go well. Amber was particularly upset about Melissa’s failure to remain by her side while the star was battling breast cancer. In Melissa’ defense, she wasn’t aware of her fellow RHONJ’s medial condition.
At the time, the new cast member admitted she believed Melissa was ditching her on purpose, saying, “It never even crossed my mind that you may not have known. I wrote you off as a cold-hearted b**** to be honest with you.”
Given their history, fans shouldn’t be surprised at Amber’s blog comments regarding Sunday’s episode where she stated that Melissa “has no ability to be a good, loyal friend.”
Still, Amber admitted that she shouldn’t have passed on the gossip, “However, I mistakenly though Melissa was trustworthy given our history together.”
Melissa defended herself on her own blog, writing that she only passed the rumor on because she heard Amber and husband Jim were talking bad about her and her extended family. She added that she wanted to give Nicole the opportunity to shoot down the rumor on camera — just like Amber had shared it on camera.
Melissa Gorga wrote, “If she had truly said it to me in confidence, I wouldn’t have stressed so much about wanting Nicole to be able to defend herself.”
With this season of Real Housewives of New Jersey in full swing, the drama between Amber Marchese and Melissa Gorga is sure to continue.
The Airbnb squatters in California have said they would do it all again, but the company they utilized has now banned them from their site. Maksym Pashanin and Denys Pashanin have caused a lot of chaos with their scheme, and Business Insider notes that this isn’t their first brush with questionable activities.
Maksym Pashanin also apparently initiated a 2013 Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $40,000. The funds were to be used for a video game called Confederate Express, and backers had been given an estimated ship date of June 2014. So far, the game has not been delivered and while Pashanin has offered up some excuses, his backers suspect he is scamming them. Business Insider says they have confirmed that the Pashanin brothers are behind the Kickstarter campaign and are the same men involved in the Airbnb squatter California situation.
The Pashanin brothers have allegedly taken advantage of state tenant laws in California to take hold of Cory Tschogl’s Palm Springs property. They originally booked the property via the site Airbnb and indicated they would stay for 44 days. Then they demanded a refund and refused to leave. The laws now protect them, and Tschogl has to wage a legal battle to evict them as they now officially have renters’ protections, notes the New York Daily News. This story may remind some of the other recent California squatter story involving a nanny who refused to leave after she stopped working. She has since vacated that home.
It has also been discovered that the Airbnb squatter in California has sued a previous landlord. Maksym apparently tried to get $10,000 from a San Francisco homeowner in October 2012 because of construction noise that he claimed created a nuisance. The case was thrown out of court. Now that he is in the headlines, does Maksym have any regrets? Apparently the answer to that is no.
The Desert Sun shares that the Airbnb squatter in California admits that “10/10, would squat again,” indicating that others looking to rent out their places should keep an eye out for the Pashanin brothers. Tschogl is said to be utilizing a lawyer to work through the process of getting the brothers out of her Palm Springs condo, and it seems that may take a while yet.
Where will Maksym and Denys land next? Unfortunately it seems likely they will try to set up a new scheme targeting another unsuspecting homeowner, but Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas told Business Insider that they won’t be able to utilize their community again. Unfortunately it sounds as if these two brothers are pretty savvy and will surely find other means to score another shady deal, whether it be in finding a rent-free living situation or another Kickstarter-type of funding opportunity.
How long will it take before the Airbnb squatters in California are out of the Palm Springs condo? That much isn’t clear, and it would appear that the Pashanin brothers have no intention of making it easy on Tschogl.
[Photo via Yahoo!]
If you’re reading this, you’re probably doing so on a computer of some sort, and you’re likely not too keen on the idea of going back to an 18th century lifestyle. Lucky for you, then, because two years ago Earth just avoided catching the brunt of a solar storm that could have knocked human technology back three centuries.
The news came by way of a paper from Daniel Baker and a number of his colleagues from NASA. Titled “A major solar eruptive event in July 2012,” the paper described a coronal mass ejection that whipped through Earth orbit just over two years ago. The only reason you’re reading this now, apparently, is that Earth wasn’t there at the time. Lucky, that.
A coronal mass ejection, or CME, consists of solar wind and magnetic fields that rise up above the surface of the sun and are then ejected into space. The last really, really big one to hit Earth happened in September of 1859 and was called the Carrington Event. That one was so powerful that it ignited the Northern Lights as far south as Cuba. What’s more, telegraph lines around the world sparked and set fire to some telegraph offices.
Baker’s paper posits that the July 2012 CME was at least as powerful as the Carrington Event, and the havoc it would have wreaked on our modern technological infrastructure would have been mind-boggling.
A study by the National Academy of Sciences estimated the potential economic impact of a Carrington-level CME hitting now would exceed $2 trillion. Humans would likely be knocked back to the 18th century in terms of what technology would still work. And we’re not talking about 18th century living for just a few hours, days, or months. Multi-ton transformers, the type that we rely on to power our grid, could take years to repair.
That means no phone, no lights, no motor cars. Not a single luxury. Fortunately for us, the 2012 CME missed Earth. Good stuff, and we’re all safe, no?
Turns out the July 2012 solar storm was actually two coronal mass ejections separated by 10 to 15 minutes. According to some researchers, this sort of storm isn’t too uncommon, and some scientists have estimated that the probability of a Carrington-class storm hitting earth in the next 10 years is about 12 percent.
In case you maybe thought we’d skipped a decimal point or something, here’s that figure again: 12 percent.
So… We’re screwed, right? It’s a pressing question, as Baker notes. The only reason we knew about the 2012 storm is because we had a very fortuitously placed satellite out there in the dark of space. We really don’t know how many storms of this magnitude occur regularly and just happen to miss Earth and our space detection systems.
So forget the super volcano and the polar shift and wayward comets. The real danger is the big ball of plasma we’ve spent our lives orbiting. It might knock out your Internet, and what would you do then?
Australian female rapper, Iggy Azalea is on the receiving end of a rather jaded backlash that appears one-sided at best. One could say that Iggy is suffering from frenzied uncalled-for resentment — in Macklemore and Ryan Lewis style.
The Urban daily sounded off, clapped back and unleashed a salvo against the haters in defense of the Fancy femcee. It was said she, like many before her, followed the superstar format to success. And for that, she should be applauded. On the level? I can’t think of one reason to disagree
A writer from Urban took a bold step in balancing the toxic talk against the rapper with some come to Jesus support for Azalea’s place in the music game. The writer spoke candidly against the rapidly-moving anti-Iggy Azalea machine and attempted to remind haters on both sides of the fence that what the Aussie-born rapper is doing is no different than any other entertainer: selling albums, telling a story through music and stacking their chips.
Here are some excerpts from the writer’s point of view:
‘I been waiting on this topic for a long time. I wanted to find all the right words and to make sure I did it right. Plus I wanted to see how far the hate and slander would go and to see how real it was. Every once in a while an artist comes along and people decide on what “passes” to give them. White rappers get passes and International rappers get passes and female rappers get passes.”
“Recently, there has been nothing but slander, disrespect and discrediting to Iggy and her career. People want to see her fall, people want her in beef and she is either getting too much or too little credit depending on who you are talking to. Why? Because she followed the Rap Superstar Format that’s why…”
Azalea, 24, who hails from New South Wales, began her journey to rap and hip hop stardom eight years ago. The curvy diva from the southern hemisphere spent that time working on mixtapes and adapting to urban sets. Along came her single, Pu$$y, that went viral on YouTube and gave her a level of street cred.
Iggy’s Ignorant Art mixtape tore up the scene in 2011. Two years ago she hooked up with rapper T.I. and signed on to his Grand Hustle record label. That same year, Iggy Azalea began modeling, and soon made a name for herself as the New Face of Levis Jeans. Fast-forward to 2014, Iggy released a string of singles, including Fancy. It was this single that solidified her spot in the rap game.
Not surprisingly, a contingent of non-Iggy fans didn’t embrace her style and flow. Despite her music climbing Billboard charts and slaying keepsakes that reigned for a time, many were not feeling it. Soon thereafter, music critics began fanning flames against Iggy Azalea’s music, which didn’t make matters better for the rising star.
What came next was not unheard of, but still unfair and unjustified all the same: the verbal pimp-slaps were targeted against Azalea, not only as an artist, but a person. In short, the sentiment was that IA was unworthy to be in the same company of the likes of Nicki Minaj. Perhaps, a hip hop “hold up, wait a minute” is in order?
Heck, even Madd Mary took a pot-shot at Iggy recently. Last week, The Inquisitr reported that the California MC dissed Azalea, and claimed that she exploits African American culture for fame and fortune. Is it exploiting or embracing? Marinate on that for a moment.
Some possible reasons mentioned behind the spewed-up hate towards Iggy Azalea are the race card, jealousy and double-standards. Perhaps, all of them have a basis in this discussion, but the latter-two are likely culprits.
Appearance: Idol judge J.Lo and Voice coach Adam Levine often tell aspiring artists that a “look” is essential to fans when trying to make a mark. Oftentimes, artists have the voice and talent, but lack stage appeal. Arguably, Iggy doesn’t lose points here; the Aussie hitmaker is a good look. Heck, the girl is a model and can rock a pair of jeans (you’re welcome Nick Young).
Talent: Some artists are criticized for not writing their own lyrics or music and use ghostwriters instead. Allegedly, this is part of the rumored beef Iggy A. and Nicki M. have that’s still alive and well on the Internet, long after the BET Awards last month. T.I. came to his protege’s defense and called her talent “art,” while denying being a writer of lyrics for Azalea, according to the Christian Post.
Membership-only genre: It’s no secret that Iggy Azalea is white, not a chocolate diva like the YMCMB Anaconda singer. Urban seems to think this is part of the huff and puff, primarily from those who think hip hop artists belong to a fraternity/sorority composed of people of color. What’s more, as the Daily mentioned, there is an unwritten rule that anyone not fitting that bill must be vetted first or given a symbolic nod, aka “pass.”
Granted, Iggy has not quite matched Minaj’s status in the rap game, but she doesn’t appear to be slowing down and heading towards the one-hit-wonder crematorium. Because she dons a different color paint job or doesn’t hail from a U.S. urban set shouldn’t bar her from spitting in the rap and hip hop genres.
Dr. Dre protege Eminem got the “pass,” Vanilla Ice received enormous radio play back in the day (but was “too cold, too cold”) and Mackelmore is fighting the same battle as Iggy. He and Ryan Lewis nearly swept the rap category at the 2014 Grammy Awards. The Best New Artist trophy was expected, but three others, according to critics, music fans and even entertainers, suggested they were “stolen.” Imagine that?
Most notably, Young Money crooner Drake was the most vocal about the Grammy selections, and Mackelmore’s text apology to Kendrick Lamar was dismissed as “wack as f**k” as Rolling Stone wrote.
Since when does anyone need to be vetted or pre-approved to offer music creativity to any genre? If there is such a governing body, which I assure you there isn’t — who is the boss knighting the candidates? Who’s handing out the fast-passes?
One only has to consider the universal reach of music. Its existence is based on a voice that is shared, received and embraced by many, who often don’t look alike, live alongside one another or even share the same cultural beliefs.
If music genres were based solely on homogeneity, Aerosmith and RUN-DMC wouldn’t have ccollaborated on Walk This Way, Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland and the Experience wouldn’t be part of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Hootie and the Blowfish would just be Hootie or Blowfish, and Ricky Martin wouldn’t be Livin’ la Vida Loca — at least not in the United States.
With Remy Ma, Eve, Rah Digga, Queen Latifa, Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, MC Lyte and Mystic (shout out to the Bay Area!) not tearing up the charts like they did in their heyday, there’s plenty room to share the limelight with the First Lady of Young Money. And if she happens to be Aussie-bred, so be it.
Is the disrespect towards Iggy Azalea unfair or does it go with the territory?
Zealous sports officials in China have built a running track. But this is no ordinary track and will require some stunning footwork to maneuver as there are no curves. The running track has perfect 90o turns instead of gradual bends, as is the norm in a standard oval track.
The sports officials built a rectangular running track because they were concerned they wouldn’t get an oval one finished in time for a Communist Party inspection. The bizarre circuit was built as a part of a major refurbishment of a 10,000 square foot stadium in Tonghe County in the north-eastern Heilongjiang province.
With the big-budget project running significantly behind schedule and an inspection by notoriously finicky Communist Party officials quite close, managers made the decision to quite literally cut corners and create a running track with awkward 90-degree bends, reported Short List.
Their justification for a right angled running track? They are much easier and faster to measure and lay out. The officials argued that the old and correctly laid out oval track was excessively worn out and couldn’t be used as a template for repainting. Moreover, Communist Party officials announced their ‘surprise’ visit and that left no time for the officials to measure the curvature and paint as per the standards. So they chose to instead cover the track with perfect corners at every bend.
Except for the square running track, almost everything is picture perfect; from the perfectly laid grass in the center of the sports field to the massively improved seating facilities for spectators. But the right angled sports track has been strongly ridiculed by the reporters who were invited to cover the visit by the Communist Party officials, reported The Daily Mail.
Needless to say, the right angled rectangular track is extremely dangerous for athletes that will have to drastically reduce their gait in order to stick to their lane. Sports enthusiasts also warned about head collisions as athletes would have to bend unnaturally in order to turn effectively. Despite being strongly criticized, a stadium manager was quoted as saying,
“In order to get it ready for the leaders, we painted it like that… We think it is ugly too but if the leaders don’t ask us to change it, what are we supposed to do?”
If at all the track does open up for athletes, it will surely result in a lot of injuries. But for now, the track appears all set for its re-opening. Wonder how the starting position will look like?
[Image Credit | Short List]
Jodie Foster’s upcoming Money Monster will star George Clooney, a long-time staple of Hollywood since playing a janitor on The Facts of Life.
Clooney has rarely shown much range when it comes to acting, having had most of his success playing a doctor on the TV classic ER and as heist frontman Danny Ocean in Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen. Of course, we will always remember him as the one who almost destroyed Batman under director Joel Schumacher.
Foster has had a much more successful career all around, starring in the crime thriller classic Silence of the Lambs and the one movie where we didn’t mind Kristen Stewart, Panic Room. Since then, she has directed House of Cards for Netflix and received a nomination in 2013 for directing an episode of Orange is the New Black.
— Grantland (@Grantland33) July 29, 2014
Jodie Foster‘s impressive resume may bring George Clooney into a new light as a TV show host who’s been taken hostage on the air and forced to tell the audience some powerful secrets in order to survive. If anyone can bring out the acting potential of Clooney, it’s Foster.
Clooney could be a natural as TV show host Lee Gates, but showing terror in front of two audiences, both real and fictional, could be a challenge for him. He’s always played characters who have control over their situations, so Foster is definitely stretching the aging actor’s limits giving him a starring role in Money Monster.
TriStar Productions has acquired worldwide rights to the film and has it slated to hit globally in early 2015. Can George Clooney show us he can act outside his comfort zone or will this be the first time Foster fails to get a decent performance out of her main cast?
Hollywood powerhouse Jodie Foster isn’t worried and appears optimistic about the film:
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to start our Money Monster adventure alongside such a talented and passionate team. [Chairman] Tom Rothman and TriStar really get the movie and are the best cheerleaders our filmmaking team could hope for.”
The stakes will be high in almost every way when Jodie Foster’s Money Monster hits theaters next year. Will you be watching?
[Image via celebrities.yoangames.com and fanpop.com]
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, Bülent Arinç, reportedly made some highly offensive during an event in the Turkish city of Bursa, where he spoke during a breaking of the fast festive meal to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
During his speech the minister shared his true position when it comes to his views on woman, revealing that he is an out and out sexist.
His comments speak for themselves, as he urged the fairer of the species, who in civilised countries are considered equals, not to “laugh out loud in public” and also, just cos he felt he should mention it, should “stop talking about ‘unnecessary’ things on the phone.”
His sexist rant, which was like something straight out of the Hamas charter, also included allegations of “moral corruption” caused by television, claiming Turkish teens are being turned from “symbols of chastity” into “sex addicts.”
He went on to claim that Turks have lost their values and need to immediately return to the ways of the Koran, and Islam, the religion of “peace.”
Discussing his view of the perfect man (or woman), Arnic said they need a sense of shame as well as honor:
“Chastity is so important. It is not only a name. It is an ornament for both women and men. [She] will have chasteness. Man will have it, too. He will not be a womaniser. He will be bound to his wife. He will love his children. She will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness,” he said.
The minister seemed to be in a very loose-tongued mood as he continued, amazingly, to condemn woman for wanting to be modernized: “Where are our girls, who slightly blush, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their face, becoming the symbol of chastity?’” He said.
According to the way Arinc would like to see life in Turkey, in keeping with the Prime Minister and virulent anti-semite and anti-westerner, Tayyip Erdoğan, woman should refrain from discussing unnecessary things on the phone like “recipes” and should only conduct such conversations face-to-face, when they meet.
No doubt, Tayyip Erdoğan will be proud of his deputy minister for forwarding the agenda of an even more fanatical society in Turkey, which once was the secular Muslim center of the world.
ABC’s new show Bachelor in Paradise begins next Monday, and fans of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette can’t wait to check it out. A lot of fan favorites are involved, as well as some of the franchise’s most controversial personalities. Folks want Bachelor in Paradise spoilers for the first episode airing on Monday, Aug. 4, and there are some great tidbits available.
According to the press release from ABC for the first episode, the premiere will start out with a big party as the cast gets acquanted and Chris Harrison explains how things will work. Bachelor in Paradisespoilers indicate that there will be date cards and dates each week, and contestants who do not receive roses at the end of the week will head home. ABC teases that as soon as that news is shared, “the anxiety amongst the women immediately intensifies as they begin to evaluate the eligible men.”
Lacy Faddoul will take Robert Graham for “a steamy dip in the ocean,” but she later is seen “canoodling with Marcus.” Interestingly, Bachelor in Paradise spoilers from Reality Steve indicate that one of those two pairings leads to what may well be a long-term commitment come finale time.
As the date cards arrive, drama ensues. Clare Crawley gets a date card first, and her first pick leads to a meltdown from another contestant. Reality Steve’s spoilers indicate that it is AshLee Frazier who freaks out, and it is all over Graham Bunn. AshLee has set her sights on Graham, and apparently she will actually manage to snag him, at least for a while.
Clare will then turn to choose Robert, and Lacy ends up with a date with Robert as well. Which lady does he end up spending time with as the season continues? It seems that he sticks with Clare over Lacy, who ends up focused on Marcus anyhow. That isn’t the end of the drama in week 1 of BIP either.
Reality Steve’s spoilers also indicate that contestant Michelle Kujawa, from Jake Pavelka’s season and the first season of Bachelor Pad, gets herself into a sticky situation. Apparently she got caught with one of the show’s sound guys in her room. Oops. Reality Steve says that the guy jumped off Michelle’s balcony to try to avoid getting caught, and he broke his feet or legs.
Michelle makes it to the rose ceremony and apparently eliminates herself, saying she has no connection with anybody. ABC teases that “one bachelorette interrupts everything to make a surprise announcement that leaves everyone speechless,” and this clearly is related to Kujawa’s self-elimination. However, there is more to this one.
Fans have seen the preview with Michelle slamming the door in host Chris Harrison’s face. It seems this happens because Harrison goes to her hotel after the elimination to confront her about the hook-up with the sound guy. This should make for crazy, yet entertaining, moments on the first episode depending on how much is shown.
As for other eliminations in the first episode, one other lady will be left without a rose. Bachelor in Paradise spoilers indicate that Graham Bunn gives AshLee Frazier his rose, while Marquel Martin gies his to Michelle Money. Dylan Petitt gives his rose to Elise Mosca, while Robert gives his to Clare. Marcus Grodd presents his rose to Lacy, which means that Ben Scott is the last guy with a rose. He has to choose between Sarah Herron and Daniella McBride, and he gives his rose to Sarah, meaning Daniella is out.
What about those Bachelor in Paradise spoilers from the big season preview showing someone in handcuffs and remarks about blood and a dire situation? It isn’t clear just when that footage will show up in the season, but Reality Steve’s spoilers have said that things are not at all what they seem in that clip. It is clear that the editors had a bit of fun piecing that one together, and the real events will play out much differently.
From the looks of things, this show will be a wild ride filled with drama, romance, tears and perhaps even some true love. It all begins on Monday, Aug. 4 when Bachelor in Paradise premieres on ABC.
[Image via ABC/Craig Sjodin]
Did BBC’s Top Gear anchor Jeremy Clarkson use a racial term in the Top Gear Burma Special broadcast earlier this year? British media regulator Ofcom thinks yes. The authority has ruled that Clarkson used a racial term in the midst of the episode “deliberately and without justification”, reports The Guardian. Ofcom also ruled that Jeremy Clarkson was in breach of what it termed to be “generally accepted standards” of broadcasting.
So, what exactly did Jeremy Clarkson say?
The Burma Special episode shows Jeremy Clarkson and his other Top Gear co-presenter Richard Hammond upto their usual antics. The episode shows them making a makeshift bridge over the famous river Kwai. When an Asian man is seen walking towards them via the bridge, Clarkson is heard saying…
“That is a proud moment… but… there is a slope on it.”
Hammond joins in too… “You are right… it is definitely higher on that side.”
Clarkson doesn’t stop there. He goes on to narrate…
“We decide to ignore the slope and move onto the opening ceremony.”
In case you are wondering what the fuss is all about, Ofcom received two complaints from viewers of the show who said that the term “Slope” was offensive and racist and that Jeremy Clarkson had no business using it at that particular instance. According to Urban Dictionary definitions, a “slope” is a racist term used to describe east Asians and refers to the slope of their eyes. Another definition says that it is an acronym for Silly Little Opium Peddling Easterner. A BBC report however claims that not many people are aware of this term and do not know that it has racist connotations.
In response to the complaints, Top Gear’s producer Andy Wilman claimed that the term was “a light-hearted wordplay joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it”.
Ofcom however ruled that the term did have the potential to cause offense and that the usage of the term was unnecessary at that juncture. Ofcom found TopGear in breach of section 2.3 of their broadcasting code. This section largely deals with generally accepted broadcasting standards. Ofcom also believed that the sequence involving the Asian man was scripted in advance and that the decision to use the offensive term was taken after due consideration.
“Ofcom’s view is that the word ‘slope’ is a pejorative racial term which has the potential to be offensive to Asian people specifically, as well as to viewers more generally,” they clarified in a statement.
“Various nationalities have, at some point, been the subject of the presenters’ mockery during the history of this long running programme. The regular audience for this programme adjusts its expectations accordingly. In our view, however, in this case Jeremy Clarkson deliberately employed the offensive word to refer to the Asian person crossing the bridge as well as the camber of the bridge.”
Do you think Jeremy Clarkson was being needlessly racist in this case? Or do you think the usage of the term fell within acceptable limits? This is not the first time that Clarkson has been pulled up for alleged racist comments. In 2011, Clarkson had raked up a storm after he called Mexicans “feckless and flatulent.”
[Image Via Top Gear]
Workers at the New York Morgue have been “leering” at autopsy photos of dead celebrities, claims a whistleblower.
According to the Daily Mail, workers at the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office and Morgue have been accused of appalling abuses of privilege by gawking at autopsy reports and photos of recently dead celebrities such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, L’Wren Scott.
In a report filed by whistleblowers, the final details and images of certain celebrities most intimate, final moments have been handed around like a bad joke among unauthorized morgue workers. These details — including morgue photographs — are supposed to be secured by the medical examiner’s office, but insiders tell the New York Post that the practice of unauthorized morgue personnel accessing dead celebrity files is commonplace.
A source at the ME office said:
“Too many people have access to the files — crime scene photos, autopsy reports — and share it with coworkers.”
Though attempts have been made to stop the practice from happening, insiders say the security at the morgue is far from fool-proof. “There’s a million holes,” cited one source.
At the morgue, ME spokeswoman Julie Bolcer refused to believe the whistleblower’s claims.
“Only authorized employees who use our systems for their daily casework have access. There are extensive security measures in place.”
The news comes on the heels of two high-profile celebrity deaths in New York City. Philip Seymour Hoffman, the acclaimed actor who died in February of a drug overdose, and L’Wren Scott, a fashion designer and Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, who committed suicide in March. Information and photographs regarding the two celebrities were accessed and leered at by morgue workers, say whistleblowers.
Morgue autopsy reports document an autopsy for medical or legal purposes. The autopsy consists of a thorough examination externally and internally of a corpse to determine the cause of death, and/or to evaluate any injury or disease that may be present. In the course of an autopsy, detailed notes and photographs are taken in the morgue before the body is weighed, cleaned and sewn back together.
Both Hoffman and Scott experienced dramatic deaths — something that most likely fueled the intense voyeurism and gossip allegedly exhibited by workers at the New York Morgue.
Hoffman’s struggles with drugs were well documented, and even admitted to by the actor himself. Mimi O’Donnell, Hoffman’s longtime girlfriend and the mother of his children, had actually thrown him out of their apartment shortly before his death, telling him that he needed to get his drug problem under control. L’Wren Scott was rumored to be suffering financially at the time of her suicide.
No criminal or civil charges have been filed in connection with the alleged security breaches at the New York Morgue.
Freddie Prinze Jr. rose to fame at the back end of the 1990s, and was given a lot of love for his roles in films like She’s All That and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
The now 38-year-old appeared in various movies and TV roles until 2010 when he went to work alongside Kiefer Sutherland in the show 24. But Prinze revealed to ABC News that he hated his time working with Sutherland on 24 — and ultimately left acting as a result:
“I did ’24,’ it was terrible. I hated every moment of it. Kiefer was the most unprofessional dude in the world. That’s not me talking trash, I’d say it to his face, I think everyone that’s worked with him has said that. I just wanted to quit the business after that. So, I just sort of stopped.”
After that, Freddie Prinze Jr. faded away from the public eye and found himself working less and less in the movie and TV industries.
While promoting his new Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels at Comic-Con in San Diego, he revealed to reporters that working with Vince McMahon at the WWE was even worse than working with Kiefer Sutherland:
“I went and worked for Vince McMahon at the WWE for Christ’s sake and it was a crazier job than working with Kiefer. But, at least he was cool and tall. I didn’t have to take my shoes off to do scenes with him, which they made me do. Just put the guy on an apple box or don’t hire me next time. You know I’m 6 feet and he’s 5’4.”
It’s lucky though that Sutherland and Prinze didn’t lock horns at Comic-Con, where the former was promoting his all-new 24: Live Another Day. Then again, Sutherland said back in 2009 that he only had fond memories of working with Freddie Prinze Jr.
In an interview with Parade in 2009, Sutherland, in fact, had nothing but positive things to say about working with Prinze: “We have some great actors joining us (…) Freddie Prinze Jr. is playing my partner.”
Shame the feeling wasn’t mutual, and allegedly led to Prinze leaving his acting career.
Chris Martin, the frontman for the band Coldplay and estranged husband of Hollywood superstar Gwyneth Paltrow, was interviewed by the radio show Valentine in the Morning on Friday and made some interesting remarks about his wife, according to US Magazine.
Although Chris Martin seems to have finally come to terms with his split from the GOOP goddess, he expressed discomfort in talking about ending his eleven-year marriage.
“The truth is – well, I don’t really love talking about this stuff. But the thing we told everyone at the beginning of the year is true. We are very close, we are not together. But we’re… you know… that’s the truth… and uh, that’s it. You know, there’s a lot of love. So there’s nothing – there’s no scandal I’m afraid. I wish I could give you a scandal.”
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow split last March when Paltrow announced their “conscious uncoupling.” Since then, the two have remained extremely amicable. Martin and Paltrow have been seen several times together with their daughter, Apple, and their son, Moses. In fact, just last week Chris and Gwyneth were seen having lunch in Montauk, New York at Joni’s Kitchen according to the Daily Mail. Casually dressed, the uncoupled couple ate at a picnic table and followed lunch with a leisurely stroll down the beach.
The amount of time Chris Martin and Paltrow spend together only seems to fuel rumors of – dare we say it – a “conscious recoupling.” The Inquisitr reported earlier this month about the couple spending time together in the Hamptons looking “anything but divorced.” Chris and Gwyneth clearly want to keep things normal as possible for the sake of their children, but the affinity Martin and Paltrow have for each other clearly leads everyone to question their breakup.
Just last month, Peoplequoted a friend of the couple saying, “They haven’t made any concrete decision to get back together yet, but clearly it’s a possibility.”
Judging from Chris Martin’s comments a few days ago, that statement may have been premature. However, the stilted language Chris used in the interview might suggest that he is unsure about how to respond to questions about Paltrow and Martin’s relationship.
According to People, another source said of the couple:
“Gwyneth didn’t want to end the marriage and is happy that she and Chris still have a close relationship. He’s been a great father and that has helped keep the flame alive. They clearly love each other and always will, and if the romance comes back, they’ll go with it if it feels right.”
We’ll all just have to wait and see. For the moment, the only ones who seem to really know the solid scoop are Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.
[Image Via sheknows.com]
Crufts is renowned as one of the world’s largest dog shows, so when a canine attending the prestigious Kennel Club event picks up a Good Citizen award for the most obedient and well-trained dog, you’d probably think,”Here’s a hound you can trust.”
Yet, you’d be wrong. Or you would be in the case of last year’s Crufts Good Citizen champion Eddie.
The brown and snow-white Akita whose ‘nice-guy Eddie’ act won the hearts of the Crufts’ judging panel, disgraced the title a mere hours after winning it.
The Daily Mail reported that as the Crufts Good Citizen was celebrating his triumph and enjoying a photo-call with his proud owner when he unexpectedly lunged at a nearby woman, savagely sinking his teeth into her knee and hand.
Eddie’s victim was a former accountant called Louise Nelson, but such was the ferocity of the Good Citizen’s psychotic attack that she was left needing surgery on her knee and has permanent nerve damage to her hand.
The Good Citizen’s owner, 52-year-old Lorain Ronis was found guilty of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place by a district judge at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard how dog trainer and dog walker Mrs Ronis was posing with her five-year-old Crufts champ for a picture to celebrate his triumph, when the Good Citizen turned on a nearby Akita called Banks and sprang into attack like a rattlesnake.
After being restrained by his owner, the good Citizen lunged for a second time, clamping the kneecap of Miss Nelson in his crazed jaws.
Miss Nelson, an experienced dog owner who has been attending shows like Crufts for 13 years, revealed to the court how frightened she was that her kneecap would be ripped off by the Good Citizen during the six second attack.
The 33-year-old explained: “I tried to get out of the way but it (the ‘Good Citizen’) grabbed hold of my knee and was shaking my kneecap.”
Miss Nelson, who was fired from her previous post as an accountant for stealing £10,000 from her employer, said as she attempted to free herself, she also received a bite to the hand.
Mrs Ronis claims that Miss Nelson had told her at the time: “Dogs will be dogs, don’t worry about it.”
Mrs Ronis denies that the Good Citizen was aggressive and insisted the other Akita attacked first. The disgraced Crufts champ’s owner claims witnesses exaggerated the attack because they were fierce rivals on the dog circuit and wanted her out of the way.
It transpires that the Good Citizen will live to bark another day after the judge in the case convicted Mrs Ronis of the offense, but made no order to have Eddie destroyed.
Perhaps the lesson to be learnt here is that no-one, not even Crufts Good Citizens, is immune to celebrity culture and the very tangible dangers of letting fame go to your head.