Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kanye West's Stage Invasion

Kanye West’s Stage Invasion

Rolling Stone reported on the behavior of Kanye West at the 2009 VMA Awards.
Leave it to Kanye West to produce one of the most infamous moments in VMAs history before the 2009 show was even an hour old. It happened after Taylor Swift’s victory in the Best Female Video category for “You Belong With Me,” which beat out Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).” Just moments after Swift accepted the Moonman and began her acceptance speech, West stormed the stage, taking the microphone from Swift to announce Beyoncé deserved the award.

Everyone at the Radio City Music Hall looked stunned, as the cameras captured an astonished and horrified Beyoncé still in her seat.

Near the end of the show, Beyoncé invited Swift onstage to have the acceptance speech she deserved while picking up her own Moonman for Video of the Year. Later, West posted an apology on his blog.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Kanye has stormed a VMA stage because he didn’t like the results inside the envelope. At the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards in Denmark, West crashed the stage during the winning group’s acceptance speech, after his “Touch The Sky” lost. And then there was the incident at the VMAs in Las Vegas, with Kanye flipping out because his performance of “Stronger” was relegated to a suite and not the main stage. Adding fuel to the fire was the fact that Kanye lost in all five of the categories he was nominated, resulting in West totally losing it in a backstage flip-out. It seems bad behavior is a regular thing with Kanye.

Just goes to show...some people have class as Beyonce demonstrated with her generous and sensitive gesture to Taylor Swift, and some folks (Kanye West) have none. E'nuf said!

Serena Williams' Meltdown

Serena Willliams' Meltdown

Well-known for nearly a dozen Grand Slam titles, a clothing line, and a glamorous presence, Serena Williams is now known for a profane game stopping outburst too. Her threat to shove a ball down a lineswoman's throat in the U.S. Open peppered with frequent use of the “F” word is inexcusable. Her lips were readable and her words were audible over the courtside microphones: She cursed and threatened physical violence. When reporting on Serena Williams antics, Washington Post Sports Columnist Sally Jenkins wrote “The awful irony was ...that at least it was a sincere expression of who she really is: a competitor of roaring fury”..."You don't win nearly a dozen Grand Slam titles without some kind of fierce commitment". Jenkins noted “People who lose their temper let their emotions, their urgency, their needs, trump everyone else's”.

Serena Williams' profanity-laced, finger-pointing tirade at a U.S. Open linesperson drew a $10,000 fine Sunday, and more punishment could follow from a broader investigation into what the head of the tournament called her "threatening manner." The rules allow for a fine as high as all of a player's prize money from the tournament - and a suspension, Williams also was docked $500 for smashing her racket after the first set of the match. The chairman and CEO of the women's tennis tour, Stacey Allaster, issued a statement calling Williams' conduct "inappropriate and unprofessional."

Harry Potter Theme Park

"The Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter," a new theme park based on the exploits of the hugely popular boy wizard, is set to open in spring 2010 at Universal Studios, the Orlando resort, in its Islands of Adventure theme park. The theme park will recreate the fabled Hogwarts school for wizards that Potter and his friends attend, as well as the surrounding village of Hogsmeade. "Harry Potter continues to spark the imaginations of fans of all ages and we really have seen the anticipation continue to build for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

The park will also feature theme rides, including the "Flight of the Hippogriff," which will simulate a training flight on the magical, quick-to-offend creature. The rides are set around Hogsmeade Village, which will have medieval British architecture and ambience and will include businesses that fans will recognize from the books and movies.

At a replica of the Three Broomsticks, one of Hogsmeade's popular pubs, visitors will be treated to traditional British fare and have the chance to sip on Butterbeer -- Potter's tipple of choice. In Honeydukes, visitors will be able to buy sweets including Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans. At the Three Broomsticks and Hog's Head Pub, Butterbeer will be available. At the Owlery, guests can send postcards via owl. And at Ollivanders Wand Shop, the appropriate wand chooses the wizard, instead of the other way around.

Fans of the fast-paced wizard sport Quidditch will also have a chance to partake in a simulated Triwizard Tournament, as well as examine Quidditch equipment and even the elusive Golden Snitch at several Hogsmeade shops.

The Harry Potter series continues to be a global phenomenon -- over 400 million copies of the books, which are available in 67 languages, have been sold in more than 200 countries and the movie adaptations have broken box office records.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the first of a two-part film adaptation of the seventh book in the series, is scheduled to be released in 2010, followed by the final movie in 2011.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A New Look for Semeyer

South Africa’s Caster Semenya has a new look.

Semenya won gold in the 800 m at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics with a time of 1:55.45 in the final, again setting the fastest time of the year. Plaqued by rumor and innuendo about her gender, the star athlete was tested to detemine if she was a female. Recently she was featured on the cover of a popular magazine sporting a new hair style, a fashionable black dress, and nail polish.

If Semenya has made this change for her own personal reasons, more power to her. However, if she is responding to public pressure in abandonding her normal manner of dressing, I can only caution her to be true to herself.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Record Breaking Pharm Settlement

The Obama administration is cracking down on health-care fraud, and federal prosecutors have already have their first mounted head: Pfizer, which agreed to a record $2.3 billion settlement this week. The Washington Post reports that Pfizer's Pharmacia & Upjohn subsidiary pleaded guilty to a felony charge for marketing anti-inflammatory drug Bextra for uses the FDA has not approved. Prosecutors also say the company gave doctor lavish trips, falsified records, and improperly financed articles promoting their pills. Pharmacia & Upjohn will pay $1.3 billion in fines and forfeits, the biggest criminal penalty in U.S. history, and Pfizer will pay an extra $1 billion to resolve civil cases connected to Bextra and three other medications.

Explaining Pfizer's steep penalty, one U.S. attorney called the company a "recidivist" lawbreaker. The world's largest drugmaker, he said, has entered into four settlements with the Justice Department over the past decade. Pfizer voluntarily withdrew Bextra from the market in 2005 amid concerns about its link to such health problems as strokes, heart attacks and blood clots in the lungs.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ain't I A Woman, Too?

Lots of folks have their panties in a knot. It’s about a gender test being demanded of an athlete, South Africa’s Caster Semenya. Semenya won gold in the 800 m at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics with a time of 1:55.45 in the final, again setting the fastest time of the year. After the race, other runners raised suspicions about her gender. Semenya stated she was unconcerned about the rumours or the verification and that she considered boycotting the medal ceremony as a result.

The world track and field federation calls this test, “extremely complex, difficult,” involving a gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist, an internal medicine specialist and an expert on gender. I’m curious what constitutes such an expert. The spokesman for the track and field federation is quoted as saying

"If there’s a problem and it turns out that there’s been a fraud … that someone has changed sex, then obviously it would be much easier to strip results. However, if it’s a natural thing and the athlete has always thought she’s a woman or been a woman, it’s not exactly cheating."

The IAAF's handling of the case has spurred many negative reactions. A number of athletes, including retired sprinter Michael Johnson, have criticised the organization for its "unfair" and "embarrassing" treatment of Semenya. Prominent South African civic leaders, commentators, politicians, and activists have characterized the controversy as racist, as well as an affront to Semenya's privacy and human rights. Media commentators have also characterized the controversy as sexist, saying it highlights unfair treatment of female athletes.

The IAAF said it only made the sex test public after it had already been reported in the media, denying charges of racism and expressing regret of "the allegations being made about the reasons for which these tests are being conducted." The federation also explained that the motivation for the test was not suspected cheating but a desire to determine if she has a "rare medical condition" giving her an unfair competitive advantage. The president of the IAAF stated that the case could have been handled with more sensitivity.

Does LOL mean "laughing out loud"?

Source: Wikipedia

The Death of Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year- old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Panadol, sun lotion or a Band Aid to a student - but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

(Author unknown: This has been around for some time, but I guess some folks just don't get it.)

Nine Words Women Use

Nine words women use...

(I saw this in an email. It was funny, but true. You might recognize these words too.)

1.) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2.) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour.
Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more
minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3.) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something,
and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing
usually end in fine.

4.) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5.) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6.) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7.) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome.
8.) Whatever: Is a women's way of saying F@!K YOU!

9.) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to #3.