Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fifty Years of James Bond: The Actors

Five decades of handsome, suave, tough portrayals of Agent 007, James Bond has left audiences to choose their favorite Bond actors. Surrounded by beautiful women, lavish locations, fancy cars and gadgets and coupled with plenty of rugged action, the actors were programmed to be successful. Each brought his own style and tone to the fictional character and developed an individual fan base. The devil is in the details some say, so let's look at the quartet of the highest money makers for the franchise.

Sean Connery, longest running actor of the Bond series, earned a total of $4.3 billion. He starred in five of the highest grossing films, Thunderball, Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, and From Russia With Love. The Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards (one of them being a BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award) and three Golden Globes (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award and a Henrietta Award). 1989, he was proclaimed "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine and in 1999, at age 69, he was voted "Sexiest Man of the Century". He was knighted in July 2000.

Roger Moore follows Connery, earning $3.8 billion starring in three of the top ten grossing Bond films, Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker. English actor Moore played the British secret agent from 1973 to 1985, claiming the title of the longest serving Bond actor. prior to his role as Bond, he starred as Simon Templar in The Saint, between 1962 and 1969. Knighthood came to Moore in June 2003, for his charity work throughout his career and not for his acting. On 11 October 2007, three days before he turned 80, Moore was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on television and in film.

In 1995, Pierce Brosnan became the fifth actor to portray secret agent James Bond in the film series, starring in four films between 1995 and 2002. He earned $2 billion for the franchise. Following a stage acting career, he rose to popularity in the television series Remington Steele (1982–87). Since playing Bond, he has starred in such successes as The Matador (nominated for a Golden Globe, 2005), Mamma Mia! (National Movie Award, 2008), and The Ghost Writer (2010). In later years, the Irish actor has become known for his charitable work and environmental activism. Brosnan became an American citizen in 2004.

Daniel Craig is breaking all Bond records in the latest Bond film, Skyfall. it well may be the first time a Bond film has been given serious consideration for the Best Picture Oscar. Currently, Craig has grossed $1.8 billion for the franchise in his three Bond films. Craig achieved international fame when chosen as the sixth actor to play the role of James Bond, replacing Pierce Brosnan. Though initially greeted with scepticism, his debut in Casino Royale was highly acclaimed and earned him a BAFTA award nomination, with the film becoming the highest grossing in the series to date. Quantum of Solace followed two years later, with the third film Skyfall, premiered on 23 October 2012.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Trick or Treat? Scary Halloween Movies

Trick or Treat? Have them both as we approach Halloween. Get a treat with a blast from the past. Turn the lights down and enjoy Michael Jackson's all time killer hit "Thriller".  Later, take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of the most memorable movie characters who exude evil and create fear in movie fans. Here are just a few.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Astronaut Sally Ride: Rest in Peace

Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, died on July 23, 2012 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, her company said. She was 61.

"Sally lived her life to the fullest, with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, commitment and love. Her integrity was absolute; her spirit was immeasurable; her approach to life was fearless," read a statement on the website of Sally Ride Science, a company she started to help teach students -- particularly young women and girls -- about science, math and technology.

In the obituary for Ride, female partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy, is listed first as a survivor. Then the obituary mentions her mother and other family members. Ride had been married to a fellow astronaut for five years, from 1982 to 1987. The news about O'Shaughnessy surprised those not in Ride's inner circle and sparked a national debate about the intensely complex and private issue of coming out and throwing your name behind gay causes.

"Could she have helped the cause? Maybe," says Fred Sainz, vice president of communications for the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. "For her not to have shared an incredibly important aspect of her life — being in a committed long-term relationship with a woman — meant many Americans did not get to see a dimension of her life that would have helped them understand us (gay people) and our contributions to society."

Her contributions can still be appreciated in a new context now, according to Ride's sister, Bear Ride, a lesbian who has supported gay rights causes.

"She was just a very private person who wanted to do things her way," Bear Ride told the Associated Press in an e-mail. "She didn't like labels (including hero)."
"At the end of the day, I gained an incredible respect for Sally Ride for knowing who she was and that she was true to herself and her family," says Sainz in an article for USA Today. "Clearly, it was not important to her that she live someone else's sense of who she should be. I think that's how we should all live our lives."

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Virgin Queen: Warrior, Woman, Queen

Hollywood created many films about Queen Elizabeth I. Recently, The Movie Channel presented a number of these biopics spanning from 1939 to the present. Take a look at a brief assortment:

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)

Matronly Elizabeth I loves Robert Deveraux, 2nd Earl of Essex, but politics come before the relationship. Better Davis stars, along with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Unification Church founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon dies at 92

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon was a self-proclaimed messiah who built a global business empire. He called both North Korean leaders and American presidents his friends, but spent time in prisons in both countries. His followers around the world cherished him, while his detractors accused him of brainwashing recruits and extracting money from worshippers.
These contradictions did nothing to stop the founder of the Unification Church from turning his religious vision into a worldwide movement and a multibillion-dollar corporation stretching from the Korean Peninsula to the United States.
Moon died Monday at a church-owned hospital near his home in Gapyeong County, northeast of Seoul, two weeks after being hospitalized with pneumonia, Unification Church spokesman Ahn Ho-yeul told The Associated Press. Moon’s wife and children were at his side, Ahn said. He was 92.
Moon founded his Bible-based religion in Seoul in 1954, a year after the Korean War ended, saying Jesus Christ personally called on him to complete his work.
The church gained fame — and notoriety — by marrying thousands of followers in mass ceremonies presided over by Moon himself. The couples often came from different countries and had never met, but were matched up by Moon in a bid to build a multicultural religious world.
A 1982 wedding at New York’s Madison Square Garden — the first outside South Korea — drew thousands of participants.
“International and intercultural marriages are the quickest way to bring about an ideal world of peace,” Moon said in a 2009 autobiography. “People should marry across national and cultural boundaries with people from countries they consider to be their enemies so that the world of peace can come that much more quickly.”
Today, the Unification Church has 3 million followers, including 100,000 members in the U.S., and has sent missionaries to 194 countries, Ahn said. But ex-members and critics say the figure is actually no more than 100,000 members worldwide.
Moon sought and eventually developed a good relationship with conservative American leaders such as former Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Yet he also served 13 months at a U.S. federal prison in the mid-1980s after a New York City jury convicted him of filing false tax returns. The church says the U.S. government persecuted Moon because of his growing influence and popularity with young Americans.
In later years, the church adopted a lower profile in the United States and focused on building up its businesses. Moon lived for more than 30 years in the United States, the church said.
As he grew older, Moon also handed over day-to-day control of his empire to his children. His U.S.-born youngest son, the Rev. Hyung-jin Moon, was named the church’s top religious director in April 2008. Other children run the church’s businesses and charitable activities in South Korea and abroad.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Astronaut Neil Armstrong: Rest In Peace

US astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, has died at the age of 82. Armstrong was commander of the Apollo 11 space flight and on July 20, 1969, he made "one giant leap for mankind". That “one small step” on the moon immortalized him in the annals of space exploration. An estimated 600 million TV viewers watched the event.

Armstrong had undergone heart surgery Aug. 8, three days after his 82nd birthday. In their announcement, his family said that he had died from post-surgery complications.

How Rich is the Queen?

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth, 85, has an estimated personal net worth of $500 million that comes from property holdings including Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands, stud farms, a fruit farm and marine land throughout the U.K.; extensive art and fine jewelry; and one of the world’s largest stamp collections built by her grandfather.

Not included are those assets belonging to the Crown Estate, which she gets to enjoy as Queen, such as $10 billion worth of real estate, Buckingham Palace (estimated to be worth another $5 billion), the Royal Art collection, and unmarked swans on stretches of the Thames. The Crown has claimed ownership of these birds since the 12th century when swan meat was considered a delicacy; they are no longer eaten. The Queen also receives an annual government stipend of $12.9 million.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Time, CNN Suspend Columinist Fareed Zakaiah

The Wall Street Journal reports that both Time magazine and CNN have suspended columnist Fareed Zakaria following the revelation of similarities between his recent writing for both news organizations on gun control and another reporter's writing in the New Yorker.

Newsbusters, a conservative media watchdog, flagged on Friday morning close parallels between a paragraph in an article in Mr. Zakaria's most recent column, about gun control, and an April 23 essay in the New Yorker by Jill Lepore.

Mr. Zakaria issued a statement on Friday conceding "I made a terrible mistake. It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault. I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at Time, and to my readers."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Politics of Black Hair:MHP's Crash Course

Most women cringe at the thought of switching up their tried-and-true hairstyle.Our identities are intricately linked to the face we show others. You may not realize that what you do with your hair in the morning matters as much as a first hello. Your hairstyle communicates who you are at a glance. It's a shortcut to your personality and allows you to express yourself without saying a word.

Black Hair has always been mysterious, but so, so sexy and Black hairstyles for 2011 are diverse, beautiful, and appealing. Naturals, weaves, braids, locks, twists-you name it and you can have it. Pick your style...pick your color. Get a mid-year boost and make a change in your image.  Whatever you do, have fun with it.

What message is your 'do is sending? Check out the celebrities below and see how the "pros" do it. Then check out Melissa Harris-Perry's crash course on the Politics of Black Hair.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Robin Roberts Takes Medical Leave of Abscence

Robin Roberts says there’s no better medicine in her ongoing battle with myelodysplastic syndrome than beating the competition at NBC’s “Today.”
But even four straight weeks of wins for ABC’s “Good Morning America” can’t hold off the next crucial step in her fight with the blood and bone marrow disease. Roberts said Thursday she is taking a medical leave in late August or early September to get a marrow transplant.

My message to Robin is that she will be in our thoughts and prayers and that she should keep that wonderful smile as she tackles the fight of her life. God speed and hurry back, we'll miss you.

Read more:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Scribbles: Did You Know ??

True or False?

Need a break from the everyday struggles? Guess which of the following are true and which are false?
(Answers below-no peeking.)

1. Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

2. Alfred Hitchcock did not have a belly button.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rest in Peace Sherman Hemsley

Sherman Hemsley is dead at the age of 74. He was found in his El Paso home by his nurse and is believed to have died of natural causes. Born February 1, 1938, he served in the Air Force, then worked at the post office while working his way into show business. He never married nor had any children.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Did You Know: Presidential Firsts

Everyone is focused on Election 2012, wondering who will be the next occupant of the White House. Take a breather from the current political chatter and look at some presidential history featuring ten former presidents.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Serena Williams Wins 5th Wimbledon Title

Some had already written her off after she lost the first round at the French Open. But, Serena Williams is back.

The 30-year-old American won her fifth Wimbledon title Saturday on Centre Court, beating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 to claim her 14th major championship.
“It’s been an unbelievable journey for me,” said Williams, who has battled health issues since winning the 2010 Wimbledon title.

Williams is the first woman in her 30s to win a Wimbledon title since Martina Navratilova, who won at the All England Club in 1990 when she was 33.

Power of Words Can Transform Your Life

From the very beginning when the first words were uttered, the ability to communicate has played an important role in our world. Whether within our own thoughts, spoken or written, words have the power to transform the world we live in.

Love, laughter, heroism, friendship, and virtually every emotion we feel as human beings can be inspired by words. Unfortunately, fear, anger, and hatred, can also be invoked by words.Changing your words can transform your life and the lives of others.

Language is at its best when used to inspire others to find the best in themselves. The words we speak do more than express how we feel, words can actually affect feelings. Your words can be a healing power to someone. You can create the energy to turn your dreams into reality by knowing what to say when you talk to yourself. A candle loses nothing of its own light when lighting another candle.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday First Daughter Malia Obama

Tom Cruise may be remembered for his Viet Nam era movie Born on the Fourth of July, but as the nation celebrates Independence Day, the Obama are celebrating Malia's fourteenth birthday. Yes, there's a teenager in the White House and while the President deals with critical international and domestic issues, he and First Lady Michele are raising their two daughters in the fish bowl at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D. C. Happy Birthday Malia!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Southern Baptist Convention Elects Black President

The predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention made history and headlines late Tuesday when they elected Fred Luter, Jr. their first African-American president. Luter is pastor of Franklin Baptist Church in New Orleans.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Weight of the Nation:About the Project

Obesity in America has reached a catastrophic level. Almost every aspect of our lives is threatened. The first step toward ending the damage is learning how to fight back.

To win, we have to lose.

About the Weight of the Nation project:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Zuckerberg's Busy Week

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg updated his status to "married" on Saturday, capping off a very buzy week..

Zuckerberg and 27-year-old Priscilla Chan tied the knot at a small ceremony at his Palo Alto, Calif., home, capping a busy week for the couple, according to a guest authorized to speak for the couple. The person spoke only on the condition of anonymity.

Zuckerberg took his company public in one of the most anticipated stock offerings in Wall Street history Friday. And Chan graduated from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, on Monday, the same day Zuckerberg turned 28, the person said.

The couple met at Harvard and have been together for more than nine years, the person said.
Zuckerberg designed the ring featuring "a very simple ruby," according to the person.

Source and Photo: Yahoo! News

Thursday, May 17, 2012

R.I.P. Donna Summer

Disco Queen Donna Summer, a five-time Grammy award winner famous for 1970s hits like "Hot Stuff" and "She Works Hard for the Money," died on Thursday May 17, 2012 in Florida after a long battle with lung cancer. She was 63.

The Queen of Disco ruled the dance floors with anthems like “Last Dance,” “Love to Love You Baby” and “Bad Girl,”. Always in demand, the Pop diva performed during the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo December 11, 2009 and was in Las Vegas with the David Foster and Friends concert at the Mandalay Bay Events Center October 15, 2010. Her music lives on.

Rest in Peace Donna Summer.

Michael Vick to Wed

According to the New York Post, Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Michael Vick will wed his longtime fiancee Kijafa Frink in an intimate ceremony for 300 guests at the Fountainbleu hotel and resort in Miami in June.

Vick popped the question in 2009. The couple have three kids together.

Frink has been at Vick’s side through some of the quarterback’s most troubled times. She stood by him during his 2008 dog fighting controversy, for which he received a three-year suspended sentence. Of his behavior on the matter, Vick said, “I want to apologize to the court, my family, and to all the kids who looked up to me as a role model”. Following that case, during Vick’s bankruptcy court proceedings, he provided for Frink’s living arrangements despite selling three of his six homes.

The Inquisitr reports that things are looking up for the couple, as Vick is currently signed the the Eagles under a six year deal with $40 million guaranteed, and $100 million offered over the life of the contract. Frink pays the bills through co-ownership of accessories line and boutique PNK Elephant.

Here's wishes for a happy life to Michael and Kijafa.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Scandal" is Sensational!

Olivia Pope

Have you watched Shonda Rimes new show "Scandal"? Olivia Pope is causing a stir.  She's the show's lead character played by Kerry Washington. If it's broken...she'll fix it.  Olivia is based on Judy Smith, a Black woman who was a "fixer" from the Bush Administration and co-producer of "Scandal".

From the creator and executive producers of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" comes a drama revolving around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mommy Wars: Breast-feeding

The Time Magazine cover depicts a pretty young woman wearing skinny jeans and a tank top, nursing her nearly 4-year-old son. Women are buzzing about the cover and the subject. We'd love to hear your comments on the issue. Take a minute and share your point of view.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Sherlock" Shines on Masterpiece Mystery

It's time for the next season of "Sherlock and it'll be well worth the wait.
”Sherlock” is both an adaptation and a modern update. Gone are the Victorian clothes, the horses and carriages, and the genial but bumbling Dr. Watson. Instead we get text-messaging, Skyping, and a blogging Watson (Martin Freeman) with the spirit and wit to match his famous comrade in arms.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fury Over Racist Black Cake in Sweden

Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, Sweden's culture minister, faced furious calls to resign after she was pictured cutting a 'racist' black cake designed like a naked African woman as the "cake" was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm. she was invited to cut the cake which was designed like a naked African woman.

The Swedish minister cut pieces from the black cake, which had blood-red sponge and was designed to highlight the issue of female genital mutilation.
Despite the intentions of the bizarre cake, however, critics described it as a 'racist spectacle', and demanded Ms Liljeroth resigned for participating in the 'tasteless' event. The Association for African Swedes said the cake was a crude racist caricature which 'makes a mockery of racism'

Makode Linde, the artist who came up with the cake, had placed his own head at the top of the cake and said it had been misunderstood.
The black cake, part of an exhibition on World Art Day, was intended as part of the artist's project illustrating degrading stereotypes of black people through history.
Liljeroth, whose photograph cutting a piece of the cake was widely shown in Swedish media, said she understood why people would be offended by the incident.
She said in a statement: 'I was invited to speak at World Art Day about the freedom of art and its right to provoke.
'And then they wanted me to cut into the cake. I don't review art, but I can very well understand that this whole situation was misunderstood.'

Is this just a "tasteless" event or is it racism and racist caricature?  What do you think?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Afro Style Washing up Sponges from U K

Tom Gardner, Mail Online, reports on a company behind a new range of Afro style washing up sponges has been slammed for being racist.

Campaigners have attacked British makers Paladone for its latest range of dish cleaning products which caricatures black soul legend Diana Ross as having a brillo pad for a hairstyle.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto

Cornell West and Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley said on "Face the Nation" Sunday that poverty in America "threatens our very democracy," and that it threatens our national security.
"There seems to be a bipartisan consensus in this town - and you know how hard that is to do - but a bipartisan consensus that the poor just don't matter, that poverty is just not an important issue," Smiley said. "We cannot abide another campaign for the White House where the issue of poverty isn't raised higher on the American agenda."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Black Women Breaking the Glass Ceiling

I read an article in The Root that caught my fancy."Black, Female, and In Charge" sounded good to me. The survey of the accomplishments of twenty Black women who become CEO in their companies encouraged me to reach out to young women, share some of these role models that might be unfamiliar, and highlight some of the traits they exhibited that contributed to their success.

When we think black, female and in charge, we think Oprah Winfrey, Madame C. J. Walker, Linda Rice Johnson, Tracy Edmonds, Debra L. Lee and Desiree Rogers. You might even know Rosalind Brewer, new CEO at Sam's Club or Ursula Burns, CEO at Xerox. If pressed to name others, we probably couldn't add names to the list.  So let's get started, find out who some of the women are, and what helped them succeed.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

'60 Minute' Icon Mike Wallace Dead at 93

Broadcasting legend Mike Wallace has died, CBS News announced on Sunday. He was 93. After years of illness, Wallace died on Saturday night in a long-term care center in New Canaan, Connecticut. He was surrounded by family. 

Wallace, a veteran CBS journalist, was one of the original hosts and correspondents of "60 Minutes." He was a trailblazer, known for confronting his subjects and originating the news magazine format. His style became standard for television news. He joined "60 Minutes" at its inception in 1968, and retired at the age of 88 in 2006. He continued to do occasional interviews until 2008.

Mike Wallace was married four times. In 1986, he wed Mary Yates Wallace, the widow of his close friend and colleague Ted Yates, who had died in 1967. Besides his wife, Wallace is survived by his son, a stepdaughter, Pauline Dora, and stepson Eames Yates.

Related Articles:

Mike Wallace, `60 Minutes' interrogator, dies
Huffington Post

Tulsa Shooting Spree Suspects Arrested

Recent shootings terrorized Tulsa's black community and left three people dead and two others critically wounded. After police received an anonymous tip, they arrested two men at a home just north of Tulsa about 2 a.m. Sunday. The men are expected to be charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill in the wake of shootings early Friday.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Rest in Peace, Tyler Winstead

Another family mourns the death of a young family member.

Tyler Winstead, a high honors student in the eighth grade at Wilkes-Barre Area's GAR High School, was shot in front of 117 Hill St., just two houses away from his home at 121 Hill St., where he lived with his grandparents Willie and Carol Golden, just before 7:30 Thursday night.

Tyler was walking with a friend from the Catholic Youth Center on South Washington Street where he played basketball Thursday night when he was shot. Carol Golden said Winstead, her grandson loved playing basketball and video games.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Life Serving Service: African Americans in U. S. Coast Guard

Alex Haley
In my close to 70 years on earth, I'm ashamed to say that I've only read two items about African-Americans in the U. S. Coast Guard.  On May 24, 1939, Alex Haley began his service in the Coast Guard. During his time in the Pacific Theatre Operations, he wrote love letters for his fellow enlisted men to fight his boredom and was able to transfer into the field of journalism in 1949. After twenty years of service, Haley retired from the Caost Guard as Chief Petty Officer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Daylight Saving Time-Who Thought of it Anyway?

366 • 90 • Daylight saving

Daylight saving time (DST)- spring forward by setting your clocks ahead an hour on Saturday night,  March 11, 2012.

My questions is "how did it all get started" and "why do it at all".

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

James Patterson Send Books for the Troops

James Patterson Polski: James PattersonJames Patterson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

James Patterson is the world's leading author and his books top the best seller lists continuously. Here's one American who wanted to recognize fully the tremendous sacrifices that thousands of U.S. troops make while they are stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places throughout the world.

Newsmax reports, in an exclusive interview, that the man who has made millions from titles such as “Kiss The Girls,” “Tick Tock,” “Private,” and “Along Came a Spider” has just donated a massive cache of 200,000 books to service men and women stationed overseas.

Patterson, along with the nonprofits Operation Gratitude and Books for Heroes, had to get 20,000 boxes of books from his printers in Indiana to Fort Benning, Ga., and the Van Nuys National Guard Armory in California, from where they are shipped.

“It’s a lot of books,” he said. “It’s a miracle. If we had saved 20,000 puppies, it would be on the front page of every newspaper. This is actually cooler, getting 200,000 books out to troops.”

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Harry Potter" Actor Jailed

Judge Simon Carr sentenced Jamie Waylett, who played Hogwarts bully Vincent Crabbe in six of the Harry Potter films, to two years in jail.

Prosecutors said Waylett was part of a small gang that took part in the riots in north London on Aug. 8. A jury found Waylett guilty of violent disorder, but acquitted him of another charge of intending to destroy or damage property with a fire bomb he was holding. The 22-year-old had already admitted swigging from a bottle of Champagne stolen from a supermarket during the riots.

The judge told Waylett that he would be eligible for release from jail after one year.

Waylett has a previous conviction for growing marijuana.

The star, who had a goatee and shaved head, nodded to the public in the gallery as he was led down to the jail cells.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

ENDER's GAME Casting News

Oscar Scott Card's novel Ender's Game is considered one of the greatest works of the science fiction genre, winning both the Nebula and Hugo Awards in 1985 and 1986 respectively.  The book has been translated into 28 languages and is recommended on the U. S. Marine Corps Professional reading list. A film adaptation is currently in the works and filming in New Orleans. The release date is targeted for March 15, 2013, which gives you ample time to read the book, if you desire to do so.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

AZ State Senate: Doctors Lie To Your Patients About Birth Defects

AZ State's Senate passed a bill that would essentially allow doctors to lie to women about birth defects in the name of preventing abortion. In theory, this law would make it legal for doctors interested in pushing their own agenda on parents to withhold information on anticipated birth defects they believe might lead the parents to choose to terminate their pregnancy. Opponents point out that "wrongful birth" lawsuits are rare and don't need to be combatted with their own legislation.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

KKK Numbers Decline As Hate Group Membership Explodes

It's a mistake not to stay informed about the state of the KKK, the "nation's oldest domestic terrorist organization", as it struggles to keep pace with its competition, the "hate group" phenomenon.

Some are aware of the history of the Ku Klux Klan and the resurgence of the group after the 1915 release of D. W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation. You might have seen footage of the thousands of white robed Klansmen marching near the Capitol during its heyday in the 1920s, declining from millions to between 3000-5000 members today.  In 2012, Slate contributor Brian Palmer reports the Klan lost one-third of its chapters in one year, shrinking from 221 to 152.

The Klan struggles to keep pace with the rising number of racist hate groups. Mergers change the number of its chapters, but doesn't change the number of members. Defections from the Klan to newer outside groups shift individuals to a more selective universe that caters to specialized "taste".  While the target audience tends to be "rural, uneducated, and technologically unsophisticated", white supremacist competitors offer new choices. No longer limited to hating general populations i.e., African Americans or Jews, hate groups offer new selectivity. Anti-Muslim, homophobic, xenophobic or "suit-and-tie"-name your poison and you can find a hate group that focuses on your specific interest.

The availability of the web and social media allow racist individuals to feed their need to link with those of similar interest, to either join a group, or to participate as an unconnected individual. These choices affect the numbers. You can find groups that advocate the level of violence they support or those who pursue a discourse of intellectualism which offers pseudo-scientific "proof" for claims of white supremacy.

Terrorist are still out there, so don't be fooled by the shell games. Racism is alive and well and growing by leaps and bounds. Keep your eye on the ball.

(Photo by Getty)

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

President Obama on Rush Limbaugh's Apology

Here's the full text of President Obama's answer to a question by USA TODAY's Aamer Madhani about Rush Limbaugh's apology for calling a law student "a slut," the talk show host's subsequent loss of sponsors, and the nature of political discourse.
"You know, I'm not going to comment on what sponsors decide to do. I'm not going to comment on either the economics or the politics of it. I don't know what's in Rush Limbaugh's heart, so I'm not going to comment on the sincerity of his apology.
"What I can comment on is the fact that all decent folks can agree that the remarks that were made don't have any place in the public discourse.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Nick Cannon's Lupus Related Ailment

During an appearance on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, actor, comedian, and musician Nick Cannon announced that he has lupus-related kidney disease, called lupus nephritis.
Lupus is a disease that can affect any organ system and kidney involvement is one of the most serious manifestations of the disease. By publicly discussing a very personal health issue, Nick Cannon is helping to increase awareness of lupus and its health effects on the kidneys.