Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sullum's Folly

This morning I was thumbing through Saturday's New York Post where I saw a ridiculous op-ed column by Jacob Sullum entitled "Case Makes Computer Use A Crime." This is all about 13-year old Megan Meier, the girl who killed herself after her heart was broken on MySpace by 49-year old Lori Drew, who was masquerading as a teenaged boy with a crush on Megan. . A grown woman steering a child toward suicide? Drew should hang. Sullum needs a brain scan. Drew is just as guilty as those guys who get snared in computer stings where police psoe as 12 and 13 year old girls and try to lure men out to meet them at fast food joints, where they are promptly arrested and humiliated.

The law is the law. If Sullum believes Lori Drew was treated unfairly, then all the men with criminal records thanks to a cop posing as a young girl should be exonerated and paid reparations.

Sullum's original article appeared on townhall.com under the headline "Thomas O'Brien's MySpace Hoax" - O'Brien nailed it, IMHO!

Key events in the Megan Meier case

Government's Star Witness Stumbles: MySpace Hoax Was Her Idea, Not ...

Mom wants Drew to serve the max - three years and $300000

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Around The Blogosphere 30 November 08

Pakistan: Blame Game On Mumbai Terror - The Blogosphere Speaks leads off today's round-up of posts from blogs worldwide... India, Pakistan simmer over Mumbai attacks via daryllorette... 'I was told to kill to my last breath' via dailymail.co.uk — The only terrorist captured alive after the Mumbai massacre has given police the first full account of the extraordinary events that led to it. First pictures from inside...

Looks like we have a deal: Hillary Clinton gets Secretary of State nod on Monday...

fayans offers 10 Tips for a Blog Design Makeover

Liz Funk has a new blog and she's looking for feedback: Check out her post entitled "Is It Cool or Self-Indulgent When People Publish Their Novels-in-Progress?"

Nicole Wong and her colleagues decide what the world can see on YouTube. Are they also determining the limits of free speech? - via The New York Times: Google’s Gatekeepers

Dugg Up this: Fully one quarter of employees who use the Internet visit porn sites during the workday, according to October figures from Nielsen Online; that's up from 23 percent a year ago. And hits are highest during office hours than at any other time of day, reports M. J. McMahon, publisher of AVN Online magazine, which tracks the adult video industry.DetailS…

Hope y'all enjoyed Thanksgiving 2008! Signe reminds us Christmas is Next!

Mathilde Bagatelles posted a tweet: du nouveau du côté des cadeaux de naissance : http://tinyurl.com/5dcjd9

Top 10 Greatest Anti-Heroes

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pop Clips » 29 Nov 08

Bangladeshi-American blogger Mash at Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying posts a transcript of the interview with a Mumbai terrorist (translated from Hindi) which was broadcast in an Indian TV channel.

Smalbany Blues: Citing an unforeseen scheduling conflict, Times Union Center officials say Lil Wayne has opted out of his Thursday concert.

Blogger Takashi reports [jp] on the Second International Congress of Asian Hemp Industry (第2回アジア大麻産業国際会議) held in Donghae (Korea) at the Hangzhong University from the 20th to the 23rd of November, 7 years after the first congress took place. Participants from Japan, China and South Korea [jp] debated the hemp industry in their respective countries and the necessity for new regulation, stressing the importance of creating an Asian “hemp road” which places emphasis on the use of the plant as a textile and a medicine, as well as on its traditional values. [ i-morley]

当人已成为往事
一个人就是一个人,你知道当一个人变成了一件事的时候,或许是过去了的人 ...


THE SOUL OF A HORSE: Life Lessons from the Herd

The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd romped into its third printing by Random House/Harmony Books less than six months after publication, well on its way to changing traditional thinking about horses forever.

Joe Camp, whom The New York Times has called "a master storyteller" said, "I couldn't be happier. My greatest fear was that people would think this book was just for horse lovers, but that has not been the case." The book went into its third printing soon after Michael Korda's Washington Post review stated, "One cannot help but be touched by Camp's love and sympathy for animals and his eloquence on the subject"

"Reviews and word-of-mouth have been amazing," Camp said. "One called it Marley & Me on a mission, which is pretty impressive company. We're making a big difference in the lives of horses and people all across the country, and that carries with it one terrific feeling."

Joe Camp is a man used to trusting his instincts--and he's usually right. In the early 1970s, Joe knew he had a special story to tell about a dog. But Hollywood didn't see what Joe saw, and he was met with "no" at every turn. Believing in the story he had to tell, Joe produced, directed, and distributed the movie himself--and the phenomenon of Benji was born and became the #3 movie of the year.

When Joe became a new horse owner a mere three years ago by way of a birthday surprise from his wife, Kathleen, he once again trusted his instincts. As complete neophytes, Joe and Kathleen were without a clue as to what horses needed or wanted, but they plunged headfirst into this new adventure, navigating unexpected, uncharted, and often controversial territory.

This is an engaging, emotional, and often humorous book in which a riveting expedition of discovery unfolds defining relationships, leadership, choices, trust, and love. THE SOUL OF A HORSE: Life Lessons from the Herd (Random House/Harmony Books; $24.95), according to Camp, is not a horse book. "I mean, yes, of course, it has to do with horses, but first and foremost it's a story. I've spent most of my life telling stories, most of them involving animals. And I found this one particularly fascinating. Two complete novices--my wife and I--with no idea what to do with these beasts. The mistakes, the fear, the fascination, and the frustration with some of the answers we were getting. And ultimately the discovery that something was very wrong in this world of horses."

"Joe Camp is a natural when it comes to understanding how animals tickand a genius at telling us their story. . . . The Soul of a Horse is a must-read for those who love animals of any species."--Monty Roberts, author of the New York Times bestselling The Man Who Listens to Horses

Friday, November 28, 2008

Around The Blogosphere 28 November 08

Mumbai-based blogger Dina Mehta

Mumbai Massacre Updates: Dina Mehta: … and then there was Light - TimesOnline: Terorists used BlackBerries to communicate... Reuters : Blogs feed information frenzy on Mumbai and Mumbai and Terror: The Day After via Global Voices... Israel: Updates on the Chabad Home Hostage Operation in Mumbai... India: Mistakes, Media and Mumbai

Gaelle Mann writes that Malagasy-born designer Loumia Hiridjee and her husband Mourad Amrasy were among the casualties of the attacks at the Oberoi Restaurant in Mumbai (fr). Loumia Hiridjee, 47, had a dual Indian/ French citizenship and created with her sister Shama the successful lingerie brand princesse tam-tam (fr). The couple is survived by their three children.

TechCrunch : Live Cashback Having A Bad Black Friday - Microsoft lined up some great deals for Live Cashback users today. But users reported the site was down much of the morning...

Michelle Malkin :Where in the world - Hope you all are having a good, safe post-Thanksgiving Friday.... oh yeah, everybody except this guy: Black Friday kills

La Shawn Barber's Corner : Baby-Kill Gift Certificates - Nothing says “I love you” like a gift certificate from Planned Parenthood. Available in increments of $25, Planned Parenthood’s certificates are the ideal ...

MsPixel : Using Google to Create Pixel Art

Geoffrey Philp's Blog Spot : “Trust the Darkness – My Life as a Writer" by Tony Winkler

World For Fun has posted about Miley Cyrus shower pictures...

Taylor Davidson: How to Fail: 25 Secrets Learned through Failure

Holiday Video and mp3 Gift Suggestions

The GPX ML638B

If you've been shopping already (or just reading the sales fliers) you've noticed how much the various mp3 players and VIDEO players (like the GPX ML638B) have come DoWn in price. Today I purchased an mp3 player for $9.99 and a pair of GPX to give as gifts for $19.99!
Looking to give the Gift of Music? Look Hereand also here!
The best thing about these gizmos is: you don't need to join iTunes or go through a bunch of complicated crap to load up your players with music and / or video! If you refer to my article about the GLX, you'll have all you need to really get the most out of your player!

Elsewhere I have posted complete instructions on how to download and convert videos, including youtube video to mp3 conversions!

Here's yet another tool to convert youtube videos to other formats: VIXY - Online Video Converter - with both online and downloadable versions! Screenshot:


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Black Friday 2008

See you at Crossgates Mall!

Black Friday Strategy Guide for Gadgets
Bargain hunters should not miss out on this 20+ page PDF guide to successfully compete in the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Find hints and tips from seasoned Black Friday shoppers and hand-picked lists of the best gadget deals. It's free to download here >>

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Enjoy!



Despite the terrorist attacks in India, enjoy this day, give thanks, appreciate everything around you and all you have, even if you are carrying all your worldly posessions with you. Peaceful blessings upon you!

Here's my "Holiday Agenda" -

9 - Macy's Parade

2 - Dinner

Friday - Crossgates Mall!

Mumbai Massacre

Australian soap opera star Brooke Satchwell hid in a cupboard ... Satchwell, her boyfriend David Gross and seven other Australians, English and Americans were trapped in a hotel in south Mumbai, unable to get help: "They said they were in a secure room but the hotel is on fire and we lost contact with them ..."

A horrifying scene is still unfolding this morning in old Bombay... a series of terrorist attacks [Google Map] carried out by what have been described as " a terror alert. Blogger Dina Mehta has been tweeting almost all night from Mumbai. She writes that she is "Upset and angry and bereft."

Live updates: Mumbai attacks via BBC News

Twitter: Mumbai, Bombay, #Mumbai, and @BreakingNewz.

Attack timed to coincide with U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday?

I was watching satellite last night (BBC and SKYTV). Keep in mind that Thanksgiving is a holiday ONLY in the USA and this attack could well have been served up as a "keep us in check" measure. Now you have people scared to hop on the subway, scared to go to the Macy's Parade, scared to go to the mall on Black Friday. Word comes from wired.com that Dozens of videos have been uploaded to YouTube. But the most remarkable citizen journalism may be coming from "Vinu," who is posting a stream of harrowing post-attack pictures to Flickr.

Accounts of Mumbai attacks from media in India

India has experienced terrorism in the past but never at this level. The rag-tag boy terrorist group claiming responsibility, Deccan Mujahedeen, is believed to be an Al-Qaeda affiliate. The attack bears some of the hallmarks of the senior terrorist group. If they follow protocol, we should be watching a videotape by this evening or sometime tomorrow. Or not.

BBC: Explosions and shootings rock India's financial capital...

Neha Viswanathan writes in Global Voices that anger at the media coverage of the Mumbai terror attacks is apparent throughout the local blogosphere.

Why this attack should have India very worried

Bloggers from the Middle East also were quick to respond to the Mumbai terror attacks with shock and anger. Amira Al Hussaini has reactions from bloggers in Israel and Egypt.

Here's an aggregate of citizen journalism/ social media coverage of the Mumbai terrorist attacks: [RoundUp]

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Around The Blogosphere on Thanksgiving Eve

"We're facing the worst crisis of our lifetimes, and no one can say with certainty what lies ahead or how long it will last." - That's what the President and CEO of Technorati had to say after news broke that the firm is cutting jobs. Richard Jalichandra said that to allow the company to "weather the storm," six employees were being laid off and two others would not be replaced. But he sees beyond the current economic turmoil, declaring that "In the long run, Technorati will emerge a stronger and more profitable place for us, and the bloggers we serve, to thrive personally, professionally and financially."

Bishop TD Jakes attended the Dallas TX premiere of Will Smith’s latest movie, “Seven Pounds.” The Bishop has posted a bunch of pictures! Speaking of pictures, XiaXue has been on a photoshop binge: no pictures were sacred!

Watch ‘Best of the Blogs' Awards LIVE: The winners of this year's Best of the Blogs awards (The BoBs) will be announced in Berlin Thursday November 27, 2008 (8pm CET). The event is open to the public. If you're not in Berlin, you can watch the whole thing online via this post.

Britney Spears is back (just in time for Xmas gift-giving) with a new album "Circus," due to be released December 2nd. The LP available now on imeem where you can stream it for free.

I have a challenge for you: Britney Spears VS. Yarah Bravo. Listen to both albums and tell me which one you like better.

Yarah Bravo is also out with a new CD:

Yarah Bravo - Good Girls Rarely Make History
(CD) self-released, 2008-11-10




Tracklisting :
01. Rambling From A Sober Mind
02. Stop
03. Double Trouble In Paris
04. Chase The Sun
05. Freedom Fighters
06. Chillin'
07. She Said
08. Mold
09. Fat Freddy's Drop - Cay's Cray (One Self Remix feat. Blu Rum 13 & Yarah Bravo)
10. Kidkanevil feat. Yarah Bravo - F.I.R.E.
11. 6ix Toys & Yarah Bravo - Wanna Ride?
12. You Are Yours (Live!)
13. Helicopters In Your Speakers
14. Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
15. DJ Vadim - Cum Shots (feat. Yarah Bravo)
16. Agujitas
17. I Sit In Darkness
18. One Self - Bluebird (Freaked )
19. Hollow Human Beings (Freaked)
20. Ignis Fatus
21. Rambling From A Smoked Up Mind

I think if you can pick up the One Self CD as well, the two discs would be a wonderful package to turn a friend or two on to the whole Little Miss B / DJ Vadim / BluRum13 experience!

Make a "Custom" Christmas CD for a friend or loved one... here's how: Let's say I purchased the "One Self" CD as a gift. I want to not only give the gift of music, but some background and video as well. Check the closeout bins at dollar stores for 2-disc CD's. Throw out the CD and cover art. Now, take the One Self cover art and CD and transfer it to the 2-disc jewel case. Go to YouTube and select some of the Yarah Bravo and DJ Vadim interviews and some of their videos and live performance videos. Burn them onto a Video CD using my method. You can either custom-print a CD label or simply use Red, Green and Black Sharpies to label and decorate the VCD, which you then place in the case as the second disc! It adds a nice personal touch to the gift and it's really great if the giftee isn't all that familiar with the artist.

Much concern about music and the way it has evolved: the evolution of music-from mtv to myspace tells us nothing we haven't kown for a long time: "MTV has lost its way as a brand with television no longer being the dominant media of the youth generation, music video dying as a form and the network shifting focus away from music to regular television shows."

Truth of the matter is, record numbers of music videos are being copied from youTube and placed on portable devices and VCDs for home-viewing. MTV lost sight of its mission years ago and the music industry is "lost" when it comes to cyberspace, which explains why "Music is given away and streamed, the value of this is to provide exposure and shared advertising revenue for bands and record companies. The money is not made in the music, but in the merchandise and concert ticket revenue."

If you LOVE music videos, GO HERE!!!

Here's something every budding artist should have "in development" : a backstage rider... the one linked to here is used by prego rapper M.I.A.

Around The Blogosphere 26 November 08

Blogger of the week: Katina!

Top 10 celebrities who play World of Warcraft via timesonline.typepad.com — Out of more than 11 million players worldwide, some of these people have got to be famous. So here, in no particular order, is a top ten list of Warcraft-playing celebrities.

The Most (and Least) Green Electronics Companies via thedailygreen.com — Greenpeace has released its annual Guide to Greener Electronics, which rates electronics manufacturers on their record of reducing the use of toxic materials, recycling and reducing their contributions to global warming. Here's a ranking of the companies, from greenest to least green:

via Voices Without Votes: Africa: Back to Reality after Obama's Election

Irie City - Jamaica Themed Global Social Networking Site To be "irie" is to be at total peace with your current state of being, the way you feel when you have no worries and a city is a center of population, commerce, and culture; a town of significant size and importance.

Casting Call: MTV Looking for Fashionistas! MTV NETWORKS CASTING CALL!Calling all Tastemakers, Trend Spotters, Artists, Sneaker Heads etc...

Umm Naief in Bahrain takes a dog named Henry to the Bahrain Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals annual Dog Walk - she shares her experience here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

David's Dilemma

New York Governor David Paterson has some soul-searching to do in picking a replacement for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. New York Magazine says that when "Paterson took the gig as Eliot Spitzer’s lieutenant governor, his long-shot plan was to get the nod to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate if her bid for president was successful...But now that Barack Obama is poised to name Clinton secretary of State, it won’t be Paterson going to Washington."

The Weekly Standard points out that "New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has long been seen as a likely primary opponent to Paterson in 2010, and given his famous name and fundraising base, he's likely to offer a stiff challenge. Paterson will surely be tempted to dispatch Cuomo to Washington--if he's willing to go. Recent reports say Cuomo would turn the job down, but his attitude might change once the discussion moves past hypotheticals."

The New York Post reports that Governor Paterson and Senator Chuck Schumer may already have a deal. Schumer nyets Cuomo, opting for a less high-profile junior Senator--someone like Buffalo Representative Brian Higgins, or Congresswoman Gillibrand.

Kirsten Gillibrand is mentioned by some as a very strong contender. Others say look no farther than RFK JR.

Daily Kos may have the answer in Leecia Eve: Eve's name entered the picture in the last few days and might be the person who ends up replacing Sen. Clinton. Kos is conducting a poll...

gaysocialites.com is plugging for New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn...

The New York Times weighs in on David's Dilemma:
"Now we are about to have a designated senator.

That is reason in itself to comb upstate for a gay black Roman Catholic woman with a Latino surname and a Jewish connection. No way will two hours pass, let alone two years, with 72 percent of New Yorkers blanking on her name. The way things are, we can’t afford someone who walks in anonymity."
Rochester City Newspaper cautions Governor Paterson that he "would be wise to look north or west of Albany - many New Yorkers are concerned that too much of the state's political power is concentrated in and around New York City. Especially since Democrats now control the governor's office and both branches of the State Legislature. Also, US Senator Chuck Schumer is from Brooklyn."

Sex, Politics and Loose Ends

Remember Natalee Holloway? I once blogged that perhaps she was sold into slavery, a victim of human traffickers. Was she? Could that also be the fate of other missing women all over the USA? Holloway Case suspect Joran van der Sloot (arrested twice in connection with the Natalee Holloway case but never charged with a crime) tells a new story about what happened to Natalie.
Archives:

Natalee Holloway Sold As Slave?

Natalee Holloway Recruited For Porn?
The final chapter has been written in The Mia Henderson Murder: Case Closed

Do teens need Text Ed? Salon discusses the rise in naked cellphone pics aka "sexting." Also: TV and teen sex

The Dance: I've always been fascinated by the way certain political figures move across the dance floor of life. Like cagey lawyers in a courtroom, they have a way of crafting words (and getting away with all kinds of stuff!)

Like you, I saw the televison news reports about Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsing while delivering his Federalist Society address.

I also read Michelle Malkin's column about the incident. But now, the plot thickens, and the dance has begun...

Is THIS a joke? Pres-elect Obama looking to place Monica Lewinsky in the White House?

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Fortune Tellers

Ripped from Drudge: Here is another article that supports a theory a friend of mine holds dear: he tells me that government uses the media to prepare the sheeple for things to come. He says the TV series "24" was all about getting us to accept the idea that a President could be black. He believes that years and years of UFO and Sci-Fi tales have conditioned us so that when the real aliens meet us face-to-face we won't bat an eyelash. And I'm sure if he were here right now, he would say the following piece (along with the TV series "Dark Angel" and "Jericho") is yet another conscious "plant" to get us all ready for something new:

RUSSIAN ANALYST PREDICTS DECLINE AND BREAKUP OF USA
Tue Nov 25 2008 09:04:22 ET

A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts.

Professor Igor Panarin said in an interview with the respected daily IZVESTIA published on Monday: "The dollar is not secured by anything. The country's foreign debt has grown like an avalanche, even though in the early 1980s there was no debt. By 1998, when I first made my prediction, it had exceeded $2 trillion. Now it is more than 11 trillion. This is a pyramid that can only collapse."

The paper said Panarin's dire predictions for the U.S. economy, initially made at an international conference in Australia 10 years ago at a time when the economy appeared strong, have been given more credence by this year's events.

When asked when the U.S. economy would collapse, Panarin said: "It is already collapsing. Due to the financial crisis, three of the largest and oldest five banks on Wall Street have already ceased to exist, and two are barely surviving. Their losses are the biggest in history. Now what we will see is a change in the regulatory system on a global financial scale: America will no longer be the world's financial regulator."

When asked who would replace the U.S. in regulating world markets, he said: "Two countries could assume this role: China, with its vast reserves, and Russia, which could play the role of a regulator in Eurasia."

Asked why he expected the U.S. to break up into separate parts, he said: "A whole range of reasons. Firstly, the financial problems in the U.S. will get worse. Millions of citizens there have lost their savings. Prices and unemployment are on the rise. General Motors and Ford are on the verge of collapse, and this means that whole cities will be left without work. Governors are already insistently demanding money from the federal center. Dissatisfaction is growing, and at the moment it is only being held back by the elections and the hope that Obama can work miracles. But by spring, it will be clear that there are no miracles."

He also cited the "vulnerable political setup", "lack of unified national laws", and "divisions among the elite, which have become clear in these crisis conditions."

He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong.

He even suggested that "we could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all." Panarin, 60, is a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has authored several books on information warfare.

Tuesday's Child

It's still dark as I begin typing this... it was dark when I got out of work last night at 5... but I do enjoy this time of year so much... the hustle and bustle of the holiday season vecer bows to the economy or war or just about anything else... I just want to take a moment and thank my loyal readers and followers and wish you all a safe and happy Holiday Season from right now thru the early days of the coming New Year.

Here in the Northeastern USA we're in for some stormy weather over the next 36 to 48 hours, perfect weather to stay inside, get cozy and COOK! I'll probably gain 10 pounds between today and next Tuesday! All the Turkey, holiday food... and just as I start to lose the extra, the Christmas parties will begin! This year I may take cellphone pix at some of the parties I attend. We'll see.

You might have noticed a few things missing from my sidebar. Had to kick 'em out! Scoutle messed with my blog template, something I never forgive. One infraction and it's goodbye! Amazon widgets were nice but slowing the blog down and trying to download some flash crap onto people's computers. That's not nice!

Stay tuned to my blog, as I'll probably be online for a little while Thanksgiving Day morning... I'm heading out to Crossgates Mall and Colonie Center for some Black Friday action, so I'm not sure what'll happen here on Friday... maybe I'll do another "Open Thread" post...

Some new readers (esp. those in Asia) have been urging me to install a C-box in the sidebar... I had a tagboard once but had to remove it because of all the darned pop-up ads it brought with it... how do you C-box fans keep the ads away?

Around The Blogosphere 25 November 08

Oh Mandy! Such a cruel instrument of torture: The Barry Manilow punishment

Miss Info blogs President Bush pardons* John Forte on his way out of office - (wow, talk about a moment in time. Canibus, DMX, John Forte, Big Pun, Mic Geronimo [obscured] and Mos Def***)

The Penan tribe, indigenous people of East Malaysia, have taken quite some press and blog space this year. Bloggers react to stories of abuses committed against the Penan people.

Joe Torres writes about hunger and poverty in the Philippines and Asia.
Prices of staple foods have increased from 30 per cent to 150 per cent in 2007 and 2008. At least 290 million people in countries most vulnerable to the crisis are at risk of falling into poverty.
In Japan, reefer has captured the attention of bloggers.

Pssssst! Here's 4 ways to hide a hard drive on your PC.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Save The Citi

UPDATE: Yes, Uncle Sam to the rescue! The CBS Morning News trotted out economist par excellence Paul Krugman a few minutes ago. Mr. K. doesn't like the idea, and that's good enough for me!


Will the US Government Rescue Citigroup?
(Originally posted Sunday AM)

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Pop Clips » 24 Nov 08

YES, we love our vampires! Twilight was the #1 movie over the weekend...

CBS Morning News is holding a contest to find a singing family "maybe the next Jackson 5 or Partridge Family" (yawn) --- someday when you're googling check out which came first: the Partridge Family or the Cowsills. I've always heard the PF was a rip-off the Cowsills righgt down to the group's "sound" --- long ago I read that the producers originally considered the Cowsills but decided they weren't photogenic enough. I've also noticed a lack of proper history and documentation of mid-to-late 1960s pop music on the Net (unless you're talking Beatles, Doors, Rolling Stones, Joplin, Hendrix, etc.)

The Roots are on the mend after their tour bus crashed en route to Paris.

wired.com: J.J. Abrams' "younger, faster, louder" Star Trek.

“Jericho” joins The CW...

"The 8 Most Underrated Muppets."

One-week after launching dedicated MySpace social networking application on its smart phones, BlackBerry has announced that it has shattered downloading records for the devices. Since the application launched Nov. 13th, there have been more than 400,000 downloads, marking an all-time high for both BlackBerry developer Research In Motion (RIM) and MySpace in terms of first-week application downloads.

The "Storm" is squeezing Verizon's data flow...

Popular Posts From The Past - Part One

The always lovely Miss Izzy

As I look back over X years of blogging, one of the most interesting internet personlaities / bloggers I've ever run across is Miss Isabella Chen aka Miss Izzy aka Sarong Party Girl. Always a hottie, Miss Izzy never strays too far from controversy. Or from the camera. We've corresponded by email and we've had a couple of chats by phone. Of course I always admire, and naturally there is a special place in my heart, for celebrities who will take the time to speak with me.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chance

Over the weekend, the name "Harry Carnevale" popped up in the news. The Times Union reported that a judge had ordered police records tied to the teenaged motorists death released to Carnevale's parents.

Friends, family and others who knew him agree that had young Harry lived he most certainly would have made a name for himself in the movie industry. (some say he would've eventually rivaled George Lucas and Steven Spielberg - he was simply "just that good"!) Had Harry driven through the intersection of his death either 30 seconds sooner or 30 seconds later, he'd probably be attending film school in Hollywood right now.

Such "what-if" and "paralell universe" scenarios have been the topic of many a science fiction story.

I have my own story to tell you, about a time very late in the 1990's when I was working at a place staffed with several other multi-talented individuals, all of us certainly destined for brighter days. Mysteriously, within a seven-month window, all of us found ourselves "back at square one" and the miracle here is, although two of us came close, no one died.

When explaining my role in that to friends, I say "...think of a big huge tank, like the oil storage tanks at the Port of Albany. Now, imagine there is something really wonderul inside, so you begin to climb the tank ladder so you can look over the top and see what it is... but just as you're about to get a glimpse of whatever it is, something pulls you back (or if you were dreaming, that's when you awaken)."

As the five of hurtled toward "wonderful things," the first, a very savvy and cool young lady, received the job offer of a lifetime. Of course she took it. And all was good. We'll return to her in just a moment.

Friend #2 had just made some strong career advances and was about to be taken under the wing of a powerful individual. Things went wrong... he was publicly arrested during a performance on charges that obviously were concocted. (He was framed!) At the time it happened, I strongly suspected he was set up, as the newsroom at one of the radio stations where we all were employed at the time received a fax of the gentleman's arrest record and a lot of private data. This was unusual: with all the countless arrests of people across New York and western Massachusetts, in years of working in radio, I had NEVER received such exhaustive detailed information on someone charged with a relatively minor crime. Looking back, I'm sure the sender was hoping the fax would result in my friend being fired. Which it did. And as Gillian Chung may attest, the road to get back up and running after public exposure to a mistake you've made can be a long and difficult one!

Friends #3 and #4 were an extremely talented "couple" who worked marvelously together, always on top of their game. Because I lost touch with them, I'm not exactly sure how they managed to fall from impending fame's graces, but they did. I was incredulous.

Now, back to Friend #1. Within 3 months, her new employer went "belly up" and the wonderful gig was gone. For a minute it seemed like she had landed on her feet, but the second opportunity turned out to be one of those deals where you get paid a penny and a pittance. She faded fast. She's still around in a much lower professional position, so I can't help but wonder if we all got scooped up in some kind of funky cosmic dust bent on derailing our careers.

I was "last to go" : for me things came to a screeching halt when I was involved in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. The woman totalled my car on Wolf Road in Colonie. I was at a red light, positioned to enter the Northway ramp, when I saw a pair of healights coming up fast in my rear view mirror. Then I saw a young woman on a cellphone. When I woke up, I told the investigating officer that the woman had been on the phone. He said "Don't worry about that --- she's been charged with DWI." I found out later she had been at a bar when she got the call from her boyfriend who had decided to dump her for another girl. The crash thing put the kebosh on my career for several months. My road to recovery was a long one.

Maybe you can point to an episode in your life that represents a "crossroads" for YOU, good or bad. I had an old high school chum who was convinced of the existence of "Time Gods" who covered your ass if you respected them. Maybe he was right. He's very successful today. Any thoughts?

MySpace Suicide Case: "Bloggers" Blamed Unfairly

Don't get me wrong --- I like MySpace. I have a MySpace page. But MySpace "blogs" are NOT real blogs. I've had issues with this ever since Technorati screwed up their entire blog ranking system by ranking MySpace pages as "blogs" --- and now, I've seen too many newspaper and TV reports about poor sick Abraham Biggs, Jr., the psycho 19-year old who killed himself and invited the world to watch via webcam, the media pointing a finger at "bloggers." Wake up, idiots!

#1 - webcams are not blogs
#2 - webcams are not "MySpace"
#3 - MySpace participants are NOT bloggers
(although they may be blogging somewhere else)

It galls me to hear that the suicide was "cheered on by an audience of bloggers." Nothing could be farther from the truth. These individuals were merely connected to Biggs through his MySpace page which he had rigged to feed video through.

The so-called MySpace "blogs" are more correctly "electronic newsletters," like the single 8.5 x 11 sheet I get every Christmas from my cousin in Utica. The typical MySpace "blog" is more like an e-mail announcement of what's going on, although there are a FEW people who do use MySpace as if it were a blog, they are way in the minority.

MySpace is really finding its own as a source of MUSIC. By the way, fans of hip-hop artist Kanye West can sample his latest release "808s & Heartbreak" through his MySpace page prior to the CDs Monday release.

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The Misfortunes of Gillian Chung

Gillian Chung ( 钟欣桐 ) (born January 21, 1981) is a Hong Kong-based actress and singer. She is best known as a member of the Cantopop group Twins, alongside Charlene Choi. In 2000, one of the model agencies that Chung worked for as part-time while in HK contacted Chung about a job opportunity offered by Emperor Entertainment Group (EEG). Chung accepted the offer in 2000, became a contracted artist of EEG, which led to career in movies and music. It's good to be with a company like EEG, because even after the February 2008 Edison Chen photo scandal, the company found work for her: when she wasbanished from the 2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, held in Beijing, on the instruction of director Zhang Yimou, Chung came to the United States, where she appeared in W, an Oliver Stone film financed by Emperor Entertainment.

In an earlier post I mentioned Gillian Chung, whose career was derailed by a very bad personal choice. She was swept up in the Edison Chen scandal.
Ah Gil concentrates on studying, rejects a chance to work with Ethan Ruan and will conquer Taiwan next year.

Gillian Chung (Ah Gil) who has been training eagerly for her return was spotted by Taiwanese channel SEETV to participate in an idol drama with the popular Taiwanese actor Ethan Ruan. However, EEG feels that this has been too rushed and to prevent distracting Gillian from her studies, EEG has rejected the offer for her.

Ah Gil has been hidden for a long time now since the nude photo scandal and has been training very hard for her return. Lately there has been news that SEETV has spotted Ah Gil and invited her to act in Taiwanese drama “ ??????” but recently EEG has helped Ah Gil reject the offer. Gillian’s manager Mani admitted and stated that “We have helped Ah Gil reject it because this has been too rushed.”

Idol drama that fits perfectly
Mani revealed that the filming of the drama will start this month and due to the big rush, Ah Gil is unable to adjust to the schedule. Mani says: “Ah Gil still has many lessons to attend, our company wants her to focus on finishing all her courses first. It’s too early to prepare any work for her.” Even though Ah Gil is unable to participate in the Taiwanese drama, Mani still thanks SEETV and says “Although this year’s cooperation has been unsuccessful, we can save it for next year. SEETV said that they will create a drama that fits Ah Gil

Source: On.cc
Last week I borrowed a movie from Albany Public Library's Chinese Collection... Gillian starred in the "Twins Effect II" vampire movie which also featured Jackie Chan. It started off a bit goofy, but it did get interesting, and Gillian added a nice presence to the cast (which included Edison Chen) - that's when I put two and two together ...
source: UDN
translated by:x-WISHFULthinking @ http://asianfanatics.net

SETTV new drama “Bai Quan Nv Wang” has confirmed leads Ethan Ruan and Cheryl Yang. However it took a long time to look for the second female lead, even Ethan’s ex-girlfriend Esther Liu passed up the role. In the end, because there is a character called “Chen Guan Qi” in the drama, the drama crew rested on Gillian Chung from TWINS to play the second female lead. Coincidentally, Angie Chai’s new drama will begin filming in December, and Charlene Choi and Mike He have been chosen as the leads.

It seems that TWINS have both chosen to develop in Taiwan. Charlene does not need to worry about this, however ever since the nude photo scandal, Gillian has been unemployed till now. Even her scenes in “Mei Lan Fang” were completely cut out. Now that SETTV have come to her door, Gillian has expressed great sincerity, and whether it is schedule or pay, she only wishes to adapt a low profile.

However, Gillian’s pay will still be more than Ethan and Cheryl. Previously, TWINS once requested a $4,000,000 pay for one month. Now, there has already been a discount. SETTV director Chen Yu Shan expressed, “We can only say that this is a female star’s pay, but she really is very sincere.”
And here's another fanposting...
Charlene Choi (Ah Sa) attended a party organized by Yang Shoucheng to celebrate the release of Mo Yuk-ping.* Gillian (Ah Gill) was also invited at the party. Joey told reporter "Ah Gill looks well. Give her plenty of time to return. When she is ready she will announce her first job."

Speaking about Ah Gill's readiness and her feelings about returning to the entertainment industry, Joey responded "She is alright, I will give her confidence." There were rumors earlier on about Ah Gill has financial problems. She may even be worse now that there is an economic recession. Joey replied "Ah Gill's mother is in charge of her finance. She has saving too. I don't think she has money problem."

Source:MingPao
Translator:dragon888@ http://www.asianvn.com

Credits:mv_288
Nevertheless, despite the Tammy Nyps, Edison Chens et al, people still don't get it:
Phillip Sherman of Arkansas left his phone behind at a McDonald's restaurant and nude photos of Mrs. S. ended up online. Now he and his wife, Tina, are suing the McDonald's Corp., the franchise owner and the store manager.
What a dumb ass! She posed for the pix HE took. He's the fool who left the phone behind. sue yourself, pal! Now here's what he wants: a jury trial and $3 million in damages for suffering, embarrassment and the cost of having to move to a new home. SOMEBODY HAND ME A CELL PHONE AND A WOMAN SO I CAN GET 3 MILL!!!!! Now, back to our story:

For those of you interested in following Gillian Chung there is an English-language fan-site, Gillian-Chung.org, from which most of this post is derived.

In the drama, Gillian will play a girl who was born in America and is a very innocent beautiful young girl. However, because she got raped by a bad guy called “Chen Guan Qi”, she leaves and hides in Taiwan. While in Taiwan, she uglifies herself, wearing big black-framed glasses and braces, but one day in the magazine office, she meets Ethan Ruan.

This drama has been tailored to fit Ethan, and wants to strongly promote his assets, which is to reveal his Taiwan stallion good body. In the drama, he will go surfing, have bed scenes, and he even needs to take off his upper clothing to be a window-washer. He will no longer be “Ji She Zhang” but rather he will be from the working-class, and on Christmas night, he meets Cheryl Yang, and out of sympathy, he sleeps with her.

Extra info from chinatimes:

- Gillian will be paid $100,000TWD per episode, higher than Ethan's $80,000 and Cheryl's $70,000
- To prevent from being linked to Edison Chen’s name – Chen Guan Xi, the character in the drama – ‘Chen Guan Qi’ will be changed to ‘Mai Si Ding’
- SETTV Director Chen Yu Shan expressed, “Gillian's acting is not bad, and is suitable to play an innocent beautiful young girl. This role is quite hard to play, so we’re afraid that if we get a newbie to play it, the result will not be as good.”
- Coincidentally, the character that Ethan plays is named Lucas, which is also Cecilia Chung's son's english name. Gillian's manager Huo Wen Xi yesterday replied, “If there is anything new, we will let everyone know. Thanks for everyone’s concerns.”

Credits:mv_288

While most people in North America may be unfamiliar with Gillian Chung, the fansite excerpts above give a bit of insight into the shame and the difficulty of getting back up after your knees have been knocked out from under you (even if it is by your own doing)... how many people reading this article have a dark unpleasant secret they'd rather not ever let see the light of day? Right!

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JFK: I Remember YOU!


Anybody here seen my old friend John? Not in 45 years.

Like Pearl Harbor, memories fade with time. Saturday marked the anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy, felled by a hail of bullets while he was riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas.

Remembering The Day JFK Died

Hundreds gather in Dealey Plaza...

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Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State

If Hillary becomes Sec'y of State, what happens to Huma?

Here's a coincidence for ya: as I was watching The Rolling Stones "Shine A Light" DVD, just as the part where Bill, Hillary and Huma appear onscreen, I glanced at the morning paper and saw the headline "Insiders: A Clinton 'yes'" --- but deeper in the Times Union, an article by Irene Jay Liu looks at the list of contenders for Hillary's seat in the U-S Senate. My choice would have to be EITHER Andrew Cuomo OR Nydia Velazquez.
Who would be YOUR choice?

However it all goes down, Hillary should have a good run!

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