Friday, July 29, 2011

Pakistani Man Kills 6 Daughters in Honor Killing

A Pakistani man gunned down six of his daughters on suspicion that two of them were in relationships with older boys in the neighborhood.
Arif Mubashir, 40 of shot the teen-aged girls after his son told him that they were dating boys who attend a nearby college in Faisalabad.
Mushabir unregrettably admitted to police that he had killed his daughters because they were both “without honour.”
The father said he shot the other daughters, because they “sided with each other.”
Police took Mushabir into custudy, and filed a case against him, according to The Express Tribune.

He does not regret what he did. He boasted that he would do it all over again if he had to,” Police Inspector Javed Sial told reporters.
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Rosa Parks Reveals Rape Attempt

Long before Rosa Parks was hailed as the "mother of the civil rights movement," she wrote a detailed and harrowing account of nearly being raped by a white neighbor who employed her as a housekeeper in 1931.
The six-page essay, written in her own hand many years after the incident, is among thousands of her personal items currently residing in the Manhattan warehouse and cramped offices of Guernsey's Auctioneers, which has been selected by a Michigan court to find an institution to buy and preserve the complete archive.
Civil rights historian Danielle McGuire said she had never before heard of the attempted rape of Parks and called the find among Parks' papers astounding.
It helps explain what triggered Parks' lifelong campaign against the ritualistic rape of black women by white men, said McGuire, whose recent book "At the Dark End of the Street" examines how economic intimidation and sexual violence were used to derail the freedom movement and how it went unpunished during the Jim Crow era.

SCLC Head Howard Creecy Dies

The president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Rev. Howard Creecy Jr., has died seven months after taking office, the venerable civil rights group said Thursday.
Damien Conners, the SCLC's national program director, said the 57-year-old Creecy died of an apparent heart attack in Atlanta early Thursday. Creecy, pastor of The Olivet Church in Fayette County, was elected SCLC president in January after the position was declined by Bernice King, daughter of the organization's co-founder, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Before that, Creecy had served as the interim president of the civil rights organization founded in 1957. He was a native of Alabama.

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Old Spice Guy Wins Over Fabio

In this publicity image released by Old Spice, Italian model Fabio, left, arm wrestles with former American football player Isaiah Mustafa during a press event for Old Spice in Los Angeles, Thursday, July 28, 2011. Mustafa has been lead spokesman for the Procter & Gamble Co. brand of men's body washes and deodorants for nearly two years, starring in a popular series of marketing campaigns relying heavily on YouTube, Twitter and other social media. Now, he has held off a playful effort by the Italian model to become "the new Old Spice Guy." In a series of videos culminating Thursday, the muscular pitchmen dueled in tongue-in-cheek challenges from one another and viewers.

The Old Spice Guy has won his hunk-off with Fabio. Proctor and Gamble says Mustafa won based on consumer feedback such as "likes" and online comments. They called the competition "Mano a Mano en El Bano" (hand-to-hand in the bathroom).

Mustafa said he wasn't worried, even though Fabio has been "the epitome of the sex symbol as a pitchman."

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Florida Sells DMV Information for $63 Million

I know the states are strapped for cash but this should be a crime.

In 2010 Florida Department of Motor Vehicles sold the personal information of license holders for $63 million dollars. The information was sold to data collection firms. The information included names, addresses and birthdates. The state said no social security numbers were sold. People can opt out of this but the DMV said they might miss out on getting recall updates and other important information.

The state said selling the information is also a matter of public safety. There are 15.5 million registered drivers in Florida, and the state charges companies 1 cent per electronic file. If a vehicle is recalled, the state of Florida has the latest and most current information on who owns that vehicle, so the manufacturer can notify the owners of the recall.
Only judges and law enforcement officers can request their personal information not be sold.
If a company violates the Federal Driver Privacy Protection Act, they do face federal charges and federal fines.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Michael Phelps Loses to Team Mate Ryan Lochte...Again

Stunned Michael Phelps

Ryan Lochte overtook Michael Phelps on the final turn of the 200-meter freestyle to win one of the most highly awaited races of the world championships Tuesday, reminding everyone he is a threat to replace his American teammate as the world's top swimmer.
Lochte touched in 1 minute, 44.44 seconds, with Phelps taking the silver in 1:44.79 while defending champion Paul Biedermann of Germany - who handed Phelps a stinging defeat in this event at the last worlds in Rome two years ago - settled for bronze in 1:44.88.
"I can't complain," Phelps said. I'm bummed I didn't win, but you know at the same time, with what we've done over the last six to eight months, I'm over a second faster than I was last year. ... So I'm headed in the right direction."

Black Student Denied Valedictorian Status Files Lawsuit

After four years of nearly straight-As, Honors and Advanced Placement classes, 18-year-old Kymberly Wimberly achieved the highest GPA at McGehee Secondary School southeast of Little Rock, Ark., according to a court complaint.
However, instead of awarding the student for her hard work and dedication, the school denied her the valedictorian status because she was black, claims the document filed by Wimberly's lawyer, John W. Walker.
According to the court document, this is not the first time this has happened in the school's history:
"[The] defendant's actions were part of a pattern and practice of school administrators and personnel treating the African-American students less favorably than the Caucasian ones...Until Wimberly, the last African-American valedictorian in the McGeeHee school district was in 1989."

Wealth Gap Widens Between Whites, Minorities

The wealth gaps between whites and minorities have grown to their widest levels in a quarter-century. The recession and uneven recovery have erased decades of minority gains, leaving whites on average with 20 times the net worth of blacks and 18 times that of Hispanics, according to an analysis of new Census data.

The median wealth of white U.S. households in 2009 was $113,149, compared with $6,325 for Hispanics and $5,677 for blacks, according to the analysis released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. Those ratios, roughly 20 to 1 for blacks and 18 to 1 for Hispanics, far exceed the low mark of 7 to 1 for both groups reached in 1995, when the nation's economic expansion lifted many low-income groups to the middle class.

The white-black wealth gap is also the widest since the census began tracking such data in 1984, when the ratio was roughly 12 to 1.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Emma Watson: Kisses With Harry and Ron Plus Vogue Photoshoot

Emma Watson might have been branded an ‘animal’ by both of her Harry Potter co-stars after filming kissing scenes (did she look like an aggressive kisser in the Part I?), but she hasn’t been so complementary about them.
The 21-year-old actress has likened Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe to her brothers, which made it hard for her to step into character for the kisses.
‘Rupert was the weirdest. Dan wasn’t so bad’, she told OK! Magazine while discussing the scenes.

‘I just had to remind myself, I am an actress. I am Hermione, this is a role – but it was really hard.
‘We just have so much history together. They are like my brothers.’

Cinema's Most Lucious Liplocks

Total Film recently published the 50 Best Movie Kisses. Pucker Up! Here's the top ten:

Number 10-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

The Kissers: Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

World's Most Powerful Women-2010

Forbes released its latest list of the world's 100 most powerful women.  The list was interesting and full of surprises. They are heads of state and first ladies, bankers and cultural icons, CEOs and entrepreneurial athletes. Let's take a look at the top ten, a fresh look at power and creative influence:

(Rank, Name, Age, Country, Category and Title)
1 Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

First Lady

47  United States  Politics
2 Irene Rosenfeld

Irene Rosenfeld

Chief Executive, Kraft Foods

American Idol Top Earners

Carrie Underwood

Though many former "Idol" stars are cashing in on their fame, their fortunes are just a small part of the program's economy. "American Idol" has been the top show in America for eight years in a row, and the winners' vote totals often rival those of presidential candidates. Some industry observers have estimated that "Idol" generates $1 billion in total revenue per year.  It's interesting to note that  "Idol" gets a big piece of recent alumni's album sales and the nationwide concert tour that the top contestants embark upon every year after the finale. 

Carrie Underwood leads the Forbes list of the "American Idol" top earners with $20 million over the past year. The country star cashed in on a tour that included over 80 dates in 12 months and banked as much as the rest of the top five on our list combined. 

Walter Reed Army Medical Center Hospital Closing

Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Army's flagship hospital where privates to presidents have gone for care, is closing its doors after more than a century.

Hundreds of thousands of the nation's war wounded from World War I to today have received treatment at Walter Reed, including 18,000 troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Dwight Eisenhower died there. So did Gens. John J. Pershing and Douglas MacArthur.

It's where countless celebrities, from Bob Hope to quarterback Tom Brady, have stopped to show their respect to the wounded. Through the use of medical diplomacy, the center also has tended to foreign leaders.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Emergency Surgery For R. Kelly

Grammy-winning R&B singer R. Kelly underwent emergency throat surgery and will be unable to perform for an indefinite period, his spokesman said on Wednesday.

The 44 year-old Kelly, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was in severe pain and was rushed to a Chicago hospital on Tuesday where an abscess on one of his tonsils was drained, according to a statement from spokesman Allan Mayer.

Kelly just completed the U.S. leg of his worldwide "Love Letter" tour, but it was not known when he will be able to resume performing, said the statement.

In his last Tweet a week ago, Kelly wrote that he did not want to take any more medicine. "I feel like my throat is coming back. I've been in bed sweating like crazy. Thanks guys."
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grey's Anatomy Star Eric Dane Checks Into Rehab

Eric Dane recently checked into an undisclosed rehab center to treat his addiction to pain medicine. reports that Dane got hooked on painkillers after suffering from a sports-related injury.
Dane's rep released this statement: "Actor Eric Dane voluntarily checked himself into a treatment facility to help him get off of pain medication that he was prescribed for a sports injury that he suffered over the recent hiatus. He reports back to work next week. Business as usual."more
Just a few weeks ago, a rep for Eric Dane and his wife, Rebecca Gayheart announced they are expecting their second child.


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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fab Five Female Billionaires

In the spirit of the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, one might consider writing up a post on Joanne Kathleen Rowling and the creation of her billion dollar wizarding empire. Upon reading an article (ironically enough with Forbes) that mentioned J.K. is part of the top five self-made female billionaires in the world, I was curious to know who else rounded out the list. Being a self-made billionaire is the dream of all entrepreneurs. Have idea, will travel with it.

For many women and female business owners, it is difficult to sit with the knowledge that only five ladies make the cut in being worth billions. But I’d rather see five women than two or one or none. They made it. These five women defied the odds, created outstanding brands for themselves, and held a heavy hand in influencing lives with such an impact they might never know about.

Here are the others on this short list:

Forbes Lists The 10 Most Powerful People in the World

There are 6.8 billion people on the planet. Forbes says that there are 68 who matter. We'll take a look at the top ten. There are certainly some surprises. The editors picked Hu Jintao, the president of the People's Republic of China as the world's most powerful man, ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama (No. 2).

Most people are fascinated by power. We stand in awe of those who apply it adroitly -- and in fear of those who abuse it. Many lust for power and most would rather be a hammer than a nail.
Here's the Forbes Top Ten:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'll Miss Harry Potter

Folks that know me will tell you there are four men in my life, my spouse and best friend Henry, my awesome son Kreighton, my president Barack Obama and J. K. Rowling's wonderful character Harry Potter.

The final episode comes to a close tonight at midnight with the first open viewing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. In tribute to my friends from the Harry Potter books and movies, I tried to think of the things I'd miss the most with the conclusion of the series.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Burr Oak Cementery Ex-Director Sentenced

Carolyn Towns

The former director of a historic black cemetery south of Chicago was convicted Friday in a money-making scheme that involved digging up bodies and reselling plots, a development that left still-bitter relatives reliving the grief of not knowing their loved ones' final resting place.

Carolyn Towns, 51, of Blue Island, pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to 12 years in prison, according to the Cook County state's attorney's office.

R. Kelly Faces Foreclosure

Grammy-winning singer R. Kelly faces a $2.9 million foreclosure on his suburban Chicago mansion.
A Crain's Chicago Business publication reports that JPMorgan Chase Bank filed the foreclosure lawsuit last month in Cook County Circuit Court. The complaint states that Kelly hasn't made monthly mortgage payments since June of last year.

Crain's reports the Olympia Field home's appraised value fell 26 percent in a year, to $3.8 million in 2010. The original 1999 loan was for $3.5 million. The principal due is more than $2.9 million.

The R&B superstar's spokesman Allan Mayer declines to comment on the foreclosure. But he tells The Associated Press that Kelly isn't having financial trouble.

Mayer says the singer now lives in Chicago. Mayer says Kelly's recent tour and 2010 album, "Love Letter," have been successful.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ruby Bridge's Walk-50th Anniversary

President Barack Obama last week made a request to the Normal Rockwell Museum to hang the iconic painter’s art work inside the White House to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Ruby Bridge’s walk to integrate the William Frantz Public School in New Orleans on Nov. 14, 1960.

The painting portrays the little girl being ushered to school by deputy U.S. Marshals.

Rockwell's "The Problem We All Live With," will hang outside the Oval Office. Rockwell's painting was made for the cover of the January 14, 1964, issue of Look magazine. It's one of his most powerful, courageous, and ardent pictures.

The painting will be on display at the White House until October 31st.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Billion Dollar Babies: Movies that Crossed the Ten Figure Mark

Only eight movies have ever crossed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office. The newbie to the club is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which reached the milestone over the July 4th weekend, fueled by a massive showing overseas. If there’s a studio that owns the club, it’s Disney, which has four films on the list. When it comes to directors, James Cameron is the champ, between Avatar and Titanic, which are No. 1 and No. 2. And there’s no doubt that Johnny Depp remains the world’s biggest box office star, with three films in the club.

Elizabeth Smart's New Job

Elizabeth Smart and her father

Elizabeth Smart, who in 2002 and 2003 endured nine months of captivity and sexual abuse after she had been kidnapped at age 14 from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah has a new job. As a commentator for ABC News, she will focus on helping viewers understand missing person and child abduction cases. She'll be a regular contributor to Good Morning America.

"I can confirm that Elizabeth Smart will be an ABC News contributor available to all ABC News programs and platforms," ABC News spokeswoman Julie Townsend told The Cutline. The news was first reported Wednesday night by the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz, who was reasonably skeptical about Smart's addition to the ABC contributor roster.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

CNN Shakeup: Spitzer Out-Anderson Cooper In

CNNImage via Wikipedia
CNN is shaking up its primetime lineup, and one of its evening hosts didn't make the cut.

The network unveiled a new fall lineup Wednesday that will move 10 p.m. anchor Anderson Cooper into the 8 p.m. slot that former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has manned since last October. Spitzer failed to build up an audience even after ditching Kathleen Parker.  Example, when Keith Olbermann's new show premiered on the little-watched Current TV several weeks ago, he managed to pull in more than double the viewers in the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic than tuned in to Spitzer during the same hour.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Play Silverlady's Dail Trivia Game

Trivia 1Image via Wikipedia
Stop by my Bits and Pieces Blog and play Silverlady's Daily Trivia game.

It'll only take a minute to test your knowledge and have a minute or two of fun, only ten simple multiple choice questions. Select your choice for each question, then click "submit".  The correct answers will pop up and you'll get your score for the day.

Good Luck!
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Nike Re-signs Michael Vick to Endorsement Deal

Football: Jets-v-Eagles, Sep 2009 - 72Image by Ed Yourdon via Flickr
Nike re-signed Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick to an endorsement deal Friday, nearly four years after dropping him amid his legal troubles.

Nike, which signed Vick as a rookie in 2001, terminated his contract in August 2007 after he filed a plea agreement admitting his involvement in a dogfighting ring. Vick spent 21 months in prison.
Terms of the deal were not released.

"Michael acknowledges his past mistakes," Nike said in a statement. "We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field."

IL Officially Shuts Down Death Row

After years of stories of men sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit and families of murder victims angrily demanding their loved ones' killers pay with their own lives, the end of the death penalty in Illinois came quietly Friday when the bill banning executions took effect.

That bill was signed with much fanfare in March by Gov. Pat Quinn, who subsequently commuted the sentences of the 15 men on death row to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Fourteen of those prisoners have been placed in maximum security prisons around the state, while one was placed in a medium-high security prison with a mental health facility.

Happy Birthday Malia

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Ob...Image via Wikipedia
Malia Obama, the eldest of President Barack Obama's two daughters, turned 13 on the Fourth of July. But as usual, she'll have to share her parents with hundreds of others on her special day.
Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have invited hundreds of troops and their families from across the country to attend a special barbecue and USO concert on the South Lawn. They'll also have one of the best views of the annual fireworks show on the National Mall.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Mark Halprin Suspended from MSNBC

Time Editor-at-large and MSNBC Analyst Mark Halprin was indefinitely suspended for calling President Obama a "dick".  The comment came on the Morning Joe Show after Halprin discussed taking a chance that his remarks wouldn't be heard and was encouraged to take the chance. Due to a technical glitch, the time delay failed to censor his remark and it was broadcast. Halprin gave a half-hearted apology, never taking responsibility for his remark.

David Kurtz, Talking Points memo, shows a pattern to Halprin's modus operandi:

Shocking New Cigarette Labels

The new cigarette labels are shocking, but will they be enough to make smokers give up their habit?
While I hope so, I doubt it.  It takes a personal decision to make a change and only the smoker can make that decision.