Thursday, July 29, 2010

American Idol Replacing Simon Cowell With Jessica Simpson

I highly doubt that American Idol will actually give Simon Cowell’s judge chair to Jessica Simpson..especially since the latest rumor is that Nigel Lythgoe from So You Think You Can Dance is headed back to Idol. Nigel oversaw Idol for its first seven more popular seasons and Fox wants him back to fix shit.

Word on the street is that Nigel and Simon Fuller have Justin Timberlake and Elton John at the top of their judge wish lists..so there is no way in hell Jess is gonna beat out JT or Sir Elton.

But wouldn’t she make a perfect replacement for Paula Abdul’s booze and Vicodin rants?

Life and Style is reporting that she is “in negotiations” to fill Simon’s vacant spot.

“She’s met with producer-creator Simon Fuller several times. They like her — she’s a good fit — and she likes it. Now it’s just a question of how to fit her in.”

I say they squeeze her in right between Randy and Kara. Catfight on one side and bitch slappin’ on the other.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Khayri Williams Clark Arrest

Khayri Williams-Clark and Nigel Dumas have been charged with the murder of Abelino Mazariego. Nigel Dumas, 19, of Morristown, and Khayri Williams-Clark, 18, of Summit, along with an unidentified 17 year old, have been charged with the brutal beating death of Abelino, 47, today.

Prosecutors contend the beating was unprovoked. Williams-Clark is out on a $100,000 bail, Dumas remains in jail on a $250,000 bail; the 17 year old is a juvenile detention center.

Abelino Mazaniego was a Salvadoran immigrant who did nothing but sit on a bench in an upscale section of a New York town after his job working at a restaurant. Abelino Mazaniego, a father of 4, was even videotaped being beaten. A fourth teen reportedly recorded the beating.

Abelino Mazaniego had worked at Dabbawalla Indian restaurant for three years as a cook’s assistant. His cook, Colin Castro, called Mazaniego friendly and hardworking.

Clark and Dumas’ charges originally were manslaughter but have since been upgraded to murder. The question remained unanswered is how many teens were in the group. Police confirm money was not the motivation for the beating. Abelino Mazaniego had $640 on him when he was found by police. Once in a local hospital, nurse Stephan Randolph allegedly stole the money; Randolph has been charged with third degree theft.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Death toll rises to 19 at Love Parade music festival stampede

At least 19 people were confirmed dead Sunday after partygoers at a German music festival stampeded through a tunnel that served as the venue's sole entrance.


The Love Parade, a techno music party, will never be held again, founder Rainer Schaller confirmed at a press conference following the tragedy.


Authorities have provided scant information about why hundreds of thousands of people were funneled through a highway underpass and into a former railway station where the party was being hosted.


German media reported that officers in Duisburg, a city near Duesseldorf in Germany, closed one end of the tunnel when the venue became overcrowded. The entrance, however, remained open allowing people to pile in as others tried to leave.


Witnesses recalled a scene of panic with people piling on one another as others scrambled over those who had fallen.


"I saw 25 people piled on top of one another -- a huge heap," wrote one man online. "The people couldn't get any air. One person was completely pale and I wanted to give him some water, but a medic that wouldn't help him – he was already gone."


More than 300 people are believed to have been injured.


Those killed ranged in age between 20 and 40 and include an Australian, an Italian, a Chinese citizen and a person from Holland.


"At some point the column (of people) got stuck, probably because everything was closed up front, and we saw that the first people were already lying on the ground," Partygoer Udo Sandhoefer told n-tv television.


Rescuers struggled to reach victims as many others at the venue remained unaware of any problem and the music continued. Officials opted to keep the concert going to avoid another crush of people trying to leave.


The cell phone system in the area temporarily froze, preventing anyone outside the venue from being able to reach partygoers. Frantic parents drove to the site to look for their children.


German leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, voiced shock that an event meant to celebrate youth, peace and love could turn so deadly.


"The young people came to celebrate and instead there are dead and injured," Merkel said Saturday. "I am horrified by the suffering and the pain."


It was the worst accident of its kind since nine people were crushed to death and 43 more were injured at a rock festival in Roskilde, Denmark, in 2000. That fatal accident occurred when a huge crowd pushed forward during a Pearl Jam gig.


The Love Parade, where people from across Europe gather to dance, watch floats and listen to DJs spin, was once an institution in Berlin, but has been held in the industrial Ruhr region of western Germany since 2007.


The original Berlin Love Parade grew from a 1989 peace demonstration into a huge outdoor celebration of club culture that drew about 1.5 million people at its peak in 1999. But it suffered from financial problems and tensions with city officials in later years, and eventually moved.


The website of the Love Parade -- whose motto this year was "The Art of Love -- went black on Saturday night, with words in white saying:


"Our wish to arrange a happy togetherness was overshadowed by the tragic accidents today. ... Our sincere condolences to all the relatives and our thoughts are with all of those who are currently being taken care of."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aral Sea Before and After

It is really shocking to see that one of the largest lakes in the world doesn’t even amount to one of the middle sized lakes anymore as global warming is making its impact be known by the Aral Sea before and after images and discoveries which show it completely dried up. It isn’t all because of global warming though as much of the drying up has to do with this cotton boosting initiative that Russia took some years ago in the process of which it changed the directions of the rivers or diverted them to cotton plantations which in the end left no water making it to the Aral Sea.


The Aral Sea before and after notion is really shocking sometimes when we think of how little it takes to make such a big devastating change to the lakes and other natural resources of our planet and I hope that Russia can do something about it but it is way too late by now. The Sea, or lake, used to be one of the central Asia’s most promising fishing sites where there were many fishermen who relied on the sustenance of this lake for their livelihood but thanks to the greed of the wealthy, the poor now sit and starve in a town that was just on the edges of the lake.


There will be a time when we look at the Aral Sea before and after documents and realize that this world is not ours to destroy for our own profits and that a lot of people depend on us being environmentally friendly to make a living in these hard times.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why Motorola Can Motor Higher

A $1.2 billion wireless asset sale and a strong relationship with Google should help boost Motorola's stock.

GOOGLE MIGHT BE STRUGGLING with its own business, but the search giant has helped resuscitate at least one business: Motorola.

The one-time mobile standard bearer has tied its fortunes to Google's (ticker: GOOG) open-source mobile platform known as Android. Years after Motorola's (MOT) Razr lost its relevance, Android is helping the handset maker regain its edge.

Motorola launched its latest device, the Droid X last week. The smartphone is winning strong reviews and could be the primary beneficiary of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 4 antenna issues, as well as the supply issues facing Taiwan-based HTC.

An earlier Droid model released last year has helped power Motorola's stock as shares are up 21% over the last 12 months, compared to 13% for the S&P 500.

Motorola, meanwhile, continues to hone its corporate focus. On Monday, the company announced it was selling its wireless infrastructure business to Nokia Siemens, the joint venture created by the two European telecom giants.

The deal is valued at $1.2 billion and frees Motorola from an aging business providing base stations to mobile carriers. Nokia Siemens was largely attracted to the unit's relationships with carriers including Verizon Wireless, according to Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt.

Investors are applauding the deal, sending Motorola shares up 3.5% to $7.76.

"Generally, I think it cleans up the story," McCourt tells Barrons.com.

Motorola now has two primary parts: One focuses on handsets and set-top television boxes, while a second unit concentrates on government and public safety.

Motorola is aiming to separate the businesses by the first quarter of 2011. By that point, McCourt sees a stock that could fetch as much as $12, if the handset momentum continues.

So far, Motorola's decision to use Google's open-source mobile operating system is paying off. Android has emerged as a credible alternative to Apple's iOS platform (See this weekend's Barron's cover story about Google "Looking Up," July 17).

We've recently touted the success of Android, while writing about other telecom players. (See Barron's Take, "Qualcomm: A Sound Investment," July 12).

Android has undoubtedly helped Motorola sales and it should continue to power the stock, as well.

Last week, Morgan Stanley turned bullish on the name, upgrading shares to Overweight from Underweight. In part, the firm thinks Motorola can benefit from continued supply problems at HTC, which has had trouble keeping its popular Incredible Android phone on store shelves.

Morgan Stanley estimates that Motorola could nearly double its market share of smartphones from 4% at the start of this year to 7% in 2012. (The firm sees Motorola capturing approximately 25% of the Android phone market by the fourth quarter of this year.)

It's been a long road back for Motorola, but the signals of success keep getting stronger.

Lohan gets new celebrity attorney

Los Angeles – Lindsay Lohan has a new attorney after Shawn Chapman Holley resigned from her case. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Lohan has hired former O.J. Simpson lawyer Robert Shapiro, who purportedly agreed to representation for the star upon her agreement to comply with her recent sentence terms.

Shapiro, whose son passed away in 2005 from a drug overdose, is quoted by the AP as stating of Lohan, “Ms. Lohan is suffering from a disease that I am all too familiar with… Hopefully I can be of assistance.” The actress is reportedly staying at a substance abuse treatment center founded by Shapiro, Pickford Lofts.

Lindsay Lohan has been sentenced to 90 days in jail as well as three months in a rehab facility stemming from a probation violation for a 2007 drug case.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Motorola Droid X Sold Out After First Day

The reviews are great, the iPhone 4 is getting negative press, and the Verizon brand is still going strong—so it is any wonder that the Motorola Droid X sold out on the same day it made its debut?

The Verizon Website currently has no Droid Xs for immediately delivery but promises shipping by at least July 23.

"Customers have been enthusiastic about the launch of the Droid X by Motorola and inventory is either out or very low in some parts of the country," a Verizon spokeswoman said in a statement. "Customers may continue to order their phones and our expectation is the phones will ship on or before July 23."

This makes the Droid X the latest smartphone this summer to have a shortage. The HTC EVO 4G on Sprint and the HTC Droid Incredible on Verizon have also had problems keeping up with demand. HTC acknowledged it was having a hard time maintaining supplies. Because the Droid X is manufactured by Motorola, there is a possibility there will not be as many persistent shortages.

The Droid X is a strong alternative to Apple's mega-popular iPhone 4 on AT&T. It has many top-notch features like a 4.3-inch LCD screen, a 1 GHz processor, and an 8-megapixel camera.

INCEPTION review

"Inception", the latest thriller from writer/director Christopher Nolan ("Memento", "The Dark Knight"), is as multi-layered and dense as the dream world its characters transverse. Exploring dreams has been a central concept in visual storytelling since the beginning. From the dawn of cinema, we've seen just about every approach to dreams on screen, from the earliest work of Georges Méliès to recognizably unsettling imagery in works of Bergman, Antonioni, and Polanski, to the "you die in your dream, you die for real" central conceit of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series. With "Inception", Nolan brings, I believe, a rare fresh concept aboard the rickety dream-boat. The story chronicles the adventures of a freelance team of experts specially trained to invade the sleeping minds of others (when valuable secrets are most vulnerable), and steal valuable ideas and/or information. Corporate espionage at its stealthiest.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

“The Kids Are Alright” Trailer Is Awesome

I’m on vacation this week in a wonderfully sunny local and haven’t really even keeping up with the celeb buzz. I mean really, do you really care if Brisol Palin got engaged without telling her mom or that Mel Gibson said more dickhead stuff when you can be laying on the beach having a a cocktail at 11am in the morning?

 

Hell no.

 

But when I logged on in a moment of weakness this morning I stumbled across the trailer for The Kids Are Alright I had to take a minute to share. This movie looks amazing. It’s already has tons of  Oscar buzz coming right out of Sundance. And given its reviews so far, the Oscar buzz is still building.

 

Annette Benning + Julianna Moore + Mark Ruffalo = Perfection. Add in Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson and as the kids of a lesbian couple wanting a relationship with their donor dad and you’ve got movie gold.

Ed Thomas Family Recognized with Arthur Ashe ESPY Courage Award

LOS ANGELES – The family of the late Ed Thomas was recognized tonight with the Arthur Ashe ESPY Courage Award; Ed Thomas’ Family was honored following Ed’s work as a beloved Aplington-Parkersburg football coach in a moving tribute narrated by Keifer Sutherland.

“The Thomas family showed us how people can come together under extraordinary circumstances that would normally drive them apart,” said ESPN executive John Skipper in a statement this evening.

In the summer of 2008, Thomas’ town was hit by an EF-5 tornado. Despite the adversity, he used football to keep a community together. The team in a town of only 2000 citizens went to a 11-1 season. But 13 months later, Ed Thomas was murdered by Mark Becker.

ESPN honored Thomas’s Family for their “capacity to forgive”. Aaron Thomas said of his dad tonight “He was led by his faith, his family and finally his football.”

Previous recepients of the award have included Nelson Mandela.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lady Gaga Is Extremely High Rent

Edgy avant-garde pop star Lady Gaga has moved into the up-and-coming artsy trendy L.A. neighborhood of ... Bel Air!

 

The 24-year-old is reportedly plunking down $25K a month to rent this one acre $5 million mansion in Bel Air.

0714-lady-gaga-rented-house-splash-inset-credit
And just to make herself even more inaccessible to her fans, the house of Gaga is also gated.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mel Gibson 'threatens to kill ex-girlfriend' in new tape

Mel Gibson has allegedly been recorded in another audio tape in which he appears to threaten to kill his ex-girlfriend.

In an eight minute recording of a telephone rant, released by celebrity website Radar, the Oscar winning actor-director suggests that Oksana Grigorieva needs a "bat in the side of the head" and threatens to "put her in a rose garden."

At times during his expletive-ridden shouting Gibson is so angry he stops and starts panting.

At one point Miss Grigorieva, the mother of Gibson's eight-month-old daughter Lucia, accuses him of having previously hit her and broken two of her teeth.

She says: "What kind of a man is that? Hitting a woman when she's holding a child in her hands? Breaking her teeth twice in the face! What kind of man is that?"

Gibson responds: "Oh, you're all angry now! You know what, you ------- deserved it!" Miss Grigorieva, who secretly recorded the phone call, tells Gibson that he is "gonna answer one day" for his behaviour.

He replies: "I'll put you in a ------- rose garden you ----. You understand that? Because I'm capable of it. You understand that?"

At one point Miss Grigorieva tells Gibson he needs medication and he screams: "You need a ------- bat in the side of the head. Alright, how about that?

"You need a ------- doctor. You need a ------- brain transplant. You need a ------- soul. I need someone who ------- treats me like a man." He goes on: "Don't hang up on me! I have plenty of energy to drive over there. And I will! So just ------- listen to me. Listen to my ------- ranting! Shut the ---- up! You should just ------- smile and ---- me because I deserve it!"

Alan Nierob, a spokesman for Gibson, declined to comment on the tape.

Gibson, 54, and Miss Grigorieva, 40, a Russian-born pianist and singer, have been locked in a bitter custody dispute over their child in Los Angeles.

She has accused Gibson of domestic violence and sheriff's officials have launched an investigation.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore would not confirm whether the new recording would become part of the investigation.

But he said: "Everything is part of the investigation. Anything that is connected to the case we will investigate."

In a previous recording released by Radar last week it was alleged that Gibson unleashed a racist rant and told Miss Grigorieva that she was dressing too provocatively, and that it would be her fault if she were raped.

Spain's press hail 'poetic justice' after World Cup final victory

World Cup Final - The Spanish press hailed Spain's World Cup victory as "poetic justice" for its style of passing football against the negative tactics of the Dutch.

Under the front page headline "World champions," El Pais described the 1-0 win in South Africa on Sunday as "an ode to happiness." The paper said Spain "gave an injection of universality, showed its style of football despite those who sneer at it, after an emotional, uncomfortable game against a coarse Netherlands.

"It succumbed to a rival that was well-versed in the art of the unpredictable, as well being intoxicating and mature."

Holland's physical approach – which saw the team receive nine yellow cards and have one player sent off – was heavily criticised by the Spanish press. Sports daily Marca attacked "Netherlands' intimidating plan". "The violence restricted Spain's usual play but not enough to negate its superiority," the paper continued.

The winning goal came with four minutes of extra time remaining, as Andrés Iniesta controlled a pass from Cesc Fábregas and blasted the ball past the goalkeeper.

"It was poetic justice because football won and football, that marvellous universal folklore, is Iniesta," El Mundo said. "The little wizard had to be the one who in minute 116 put the nail in the coffin of the 11 most quarrelsome Dutchmen in history."

Iniesta's role highlighted Barcelona's contribution to the victory. He and his seven team-mates at the Catalan club including Xavi, Gerard Piqué and Carles Puyol formed the spine of the national team.

Pro-Barcelona daily Mundo Deportivo pointed out that "yesterday there were eight privileged ones who joined the select group that can presume to have achieved the greatest honour a sportsman can manage: to be the best on the planet."

Some reports saw the national team as an example to follow for a country that has severe economic problems. "The Spanish team is a metaphor for what Spain can aspire to be, as long as we are prepared to apply the same criteria that have been the basis for the successes of the national team," ABC said.

"It would be good if the collective enthusiasm for the team became a stimulus for Spanish society in the face of the current problems and even that it became the motive to demand that our country should resemble and work like this group of young men."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lindsay Lohan...Still No Lawyer

Lindsay_Lohan Lindsay Lohan has not decided on a new lawyer yet, but hopes to have one by next week ... this according to her lawyer in New York.


As we first reported, Shawn Chapman Holley resigned as Lindsay's lawyer just days after Lindsay was sentenced to 90 days in the pokey.

 

Stephanie Ovadia, who is representing Lindsay in her lawsuit against E*TRADE, tells TMZ they are still interviewing lawyers and "no attorney has been retained." She added that they hoped to have one chosen in the next couple of days.

 

Sources close to Lindsay have told us she has vowed to appeal her sentence.

 

Source: Tmz

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Home equity loan delinquencies fall for first time in two years

The delinquency rate on home equity loans has fallen for the first time in two years, reflecting the slowly stabilizing housing market and consumers' efforts to clean up personal balance sheets, the American Bankers Assn. said Wednesday.

The percentage of home equity loans on which consumers were at least one payment late declined to 4.12% in the first quarter from 4.32% the previous quarter. Not since the first quarter of 2008, when the rate fell to 2.34% from 2.39%, had there been a decline.

Missed payments on consumer loans overall improved for the third straight quarter, the ABA said in its quarterly Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. Bank card delinquencies fell from 4.39% to 3.88% of all accounts -- the first time since 2002 that card delinquencies were below 4%.

Home equity loans, which are second mortgages, differ from home equity lines of credit because borrowers can't withdraw more money once the loan has been made.

Delinquencies on home equity-linked credit lines peaked at 2.12% in the third quarter last year, fell to 2.04% in the fourth quarter and dropped again in the latest survey to 1.81%.

In another sign that consumers are cleaning up their personal finances, applications to refinance home loans jumped by 9.2% last week to the highest level in nearly 14 months, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. said in a separate report. With mortgage rates near record lows, refinancing can allow homeowners to lower their monthly housing costs.

However, the mortgage group's index of applications to buy homes declined 2% from the previous week. The index has fallen in eight of the last nine weeks, reflecting the end of federal tax credits for home buyers at the end of April. Economists are hoping purchase lending may revive by the end of this summer, signaling a fundamental improvement in housing.

"Maybe we're starting to see an inkling of stability in the housing market," said James Chessen, chief economist for the ABA. "The pace, though, of the housing recovery is still going to be very long and drawn out."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hillary Clinton talks tough with the Kremlin, but Russia has won the geopolitical war

In Georgia for a brief visit on Monday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had some tough words for Russia, the mountainous country’s former imperial master. She denounced the Kremlin’s “occupation” of two Georgian regions that Russian troops seized during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war and said it was high time Russian forces were pulling back. She also blasted Russia’s ongoing efforts to install permanent military infrastructure in the two breakaway regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Her words came at a sensitive time in the run-up to the war’s second anniversary when tensions are running high on all sides. The reaction was perhaps as you would expect. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili did his best to show he felt reassured that Washington was not selling his country down the river in favour of Moscow. The two renegade regions issued furious statements insisting they were not being occupied by anyone. And Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, parried that it was pointless to involve Washington, arguing that Georgia needed to negotiate with the two breakaway regions if it wanted to make any progress on the issue. “Some people believe that it (the territory) is occupied, others believe it is free,” he said with a mischievous sparkle in his eyes.

It was, in short, an example of the Obama administration’s new pragmatism towards Russia in action, a policy which essentially boils down to cooperation where possible but agreeing to disagree otherwise. As Mrs Clinton said: “We can walk and chew gum at the same time.” There is no question that countries such as Georgia have, understandably, fretted that Washington’s much hyped reset of its relationship with Moscow might come at their expense. As such, Mrs Clinton’s visit was designed to reassure an old friend that he was not forgotten or forsaken. It probably worked, up to a point. Yet her visit and her rhetoric also underlined Washington’s impotence when it comes to Georgia.

She could only offer two pieces of advice to ordinary Georgians on how they could get the rest of their country back. Do not react to Russian provocations and grow your own democracy and economy so that people living in the two breakaway regions will one day want to reunite. It was sound advice but it was also a tacit admission that Russia had won the geopolitical as well as the hot war, that the territory is perhaps irreparably lost, and that there is nothing that anyone can do about it. Or as Mrs Clinton put it: “It’s a mistake to focus on the past.”