Friday, July 29, 2011

Amy Winehouse's Death Wager Wins One an iPod Touch

A person's bad luck can be a fortune for others!

A woman has received an iPod Touch after correctly predicting the date Amy Winehouse would die on a website.

The website, created in 2007, has received hundreds of thousands of hits. Participators in the wager totaled 96,026, posting their predictions of when the famous singer’s death would take place.

On July 23, the day of Winehouse’s death, a note on the site read, “Out of all those entries only four were correct. The first person to do so did it on December 21, 2007 and we’ve called her the winner of the iPod touch. We will be contacting her via email.”

The website creators admitted that since they launched the site, they have received 237 emails where viewers accused them of “working for the devil in disguise.”

“Amy Winehouse has passed away. Let’s hope her demise is an example for young people in how not to deal with your problems. May she Rest In Peace and her music live on,” the note from site creators concluded on the day Winehouse died.

Winehouse received her first guitar aged 13 and began writing her own music a year later. Her powerful and deep contralto vocals combined with her use of R&B, soul, and jazz sounds won her five Grammy Awards in 2006.

The British singer suffered from substance abuse and participated in self-destructive behaviors such as drug and alcohol use.

Winehouse’s activities made her a regular in tabloid gossip from 2007 until her death last week. Found dead in her London apartment, the cause of her death remains unknown.

Mitch and Janis Winehouse, Amy’s parents, plan to set up an organization in her name for those who suffer from drug addiction.

There have been no comments from the woman who predicted Winehouse’s death four years in advance.

Pow! Zing! Marvel Comics KO's Jack Kirby's estate over copyrights!

LOS ANGELES - Marvel Worldwide, not the heirs of legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby, owns the rights to the iconic characters “Spider-Man,” “Iron Man,” “The Mighty Thor” and “The Incredible Hulk” a federal judge in New York ruled Thursday.

Kirby’s heirs claimed that the artist, who died in 1994, created the characters and owned their copyrights.

They also claimed copyright to lesser characters such as “Ant-Man,” “Nick Fury” and “The Rawhide Kid,” and to “The Fantastic Four,” “The X-Men” and “The Avengers.”

Marvel said it owned the characters.

In a 50-page decision, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon sided with Marvel. She ruled that Kirby was a freelance artist and that his was “work for hire,” and that Marvel editor Stan Lee wrote outlines for comics.

“The artists were always constrained by Lee’s plot outlines,” she wrote. “Lee retained the right to edit or alter their work, or to reject the pages altogether and not publish them if he did not like them.”

The judge wrote that Kirby “participated in the creation“ of the characters, but didn’t own them.

“The Kirby Works were created at the instance and expense of Marvel,” she wrote. “Therefore, Marvel is presumed to be their ‘author,’ and the holder of the statutory copyright as a matter of law.”

She also noted that “Kirby took on none of the risks of the successes of the many comic books he helped produce. His contribution to the enterprise was plainly critical, but Marvel, not he, bore the risk of its failure.”

The decision includes this note about “The Incredible Hulk“: “In that first issue, The Hulk had gray skin. However, the printer could not produce a consistent shade of gray throughout the book. By the second issue The Hulk had acquired his now-recognizable green skin. Lee picked the color green because there was no other green hero at the time.”

Disney, which now owns Marvel, issued a written statement saying, “We are pleased that in this case, the judge has confirmed Marvel’s ownership rights.”

Kirby’s family’s lawyer, Marc Toberoff, did not return several messages left at his office Thursday.

I don't think this is the last we hear from this.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Time Travel Impossible!" Say Hong Kong scientists

Hong Kong physicists say they have proved that a single photon obeys Einstein's theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light -- demonstrating that outside science fiction, time travel is impossible.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology research team led by Du Shengwang said they had proved that a single photon, or unit of light, "obeys the traffic law of the universe".
"Einstein claimed that the speed of light was the traffic law of the universe or in simple language, nothing can travel faster than light," the university said on its website.
"Professor Du's study demonstrates that a single photon, the fundamental quanta of light, also obeys the traffic law of the universe just like classical EM (electromagnetic) waves."
The possibility of time travel was raised 10 years ago when scientists discovered superluminal -- or faster-than-light -- propagation of optical pulses in some specific medium, the team said.
It was later found to be a visual effect, but researchers thought it might still be possible for a single photon to exceed light speed.
Du, however, believed Einstein was right and determined to end the debate by measuring the ultimate speed of a single photon, which had not been done before.
"The study, which showed that single photons also obey the speed limit c, confirms Einstein's causality; that is, an effect cannot occur before its cause," the university said.
"By showing that single photons cannot travel faster than the speed of light, our results bring a closure to the debate on the true speed of information carried by a single photon," said Du, assistant professor of physics.
"Our findings will also likely have potential applications by giving scientists a better picture on the transmission of quantum information."
The team's study was published in the US peer-reviewed scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

So "Back To The Future", "The Time Machine" "Dr. Who" and "Star Trek" are up the creek without a paddle!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse, singer "Rehab" "I'm No Good" 1983-2011

With her gravelly voice and eclectic style, Amy Winehouse, 27, who has been found dead in London, won comparison with some of the great female singers such as Sarah Vaughan and Nina Simone.

But like another great singer, Janis Joplin, she had a talent for self destruction, and fought a long battle against substance abuse.

Amy Jade Winehouse was born on 14 September 1983 in the well-to-do area of Southgate, north London.

Her taxi driver father, Mitchell, was a jazz enthusiast and often sang songs to his daughter as she grew up.

She trained at the Susi Earnshaw Theatre School from the age of eight and, by the time she was 10, had formed a rap group with one of her best friends.

Winehouse later attended the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School.

She began writing music at the age of 14 and a former boyfriend sent a tape of her singing with a jazz band to an A&R man.

It led to a contract with the Island/Universal record label and a publishing deal with EMI.

Her debut album Frank, released in 2003, was described by The Times newspaper as "earthy, warm, lived-in and astonishingly versatile".

She co-wrote all but two of the songs and won praise for what one reviewer described as "the cool, critical gaze" in the lyrics.

Frank was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for album of the year in 2004, and Winehouse won the Ivor Novello songwriting award for best contemporary song with Stronger Than Me.

But it was the critical praise that followed the release of her follow-up album in October 2006 that propelled her to international stardom.

Rehab, the first track released from Back to Black, reached number seven in the UK singles chart.

The song, about her refusal to attend an alcohol rehabilitation centre, generated huge publicity, with Winehouse frequently being photographed drinking on stage and in pubs.

In February 2007, she scooped the title for best British female at the Brit Awards and, four months later, she picked up song of the year at the Mojo Awards.

Winehouse was again nominated for the Mercury Prize and went on to be named artist of the year at the MTV Europe Music Awards in November.

But as her popularity soared, her health began to suffer and her behaviour became more erratic.

She appeared to be drunk on Channel 4's The Charlotte Church Show in 2006, and took part in Never Mind The Buzzcocks in a similar state.

Her weight plummeted during an exhausting schedule of promotional appearances and concerts in the UK and US.

She admitted punching a female fan at a gig in London and attacking her boyfriend when he tried to calm her down.

She confessed to self-harming and spoke of battles with eating disorders. And she shocked a journalist from US magazine Spin when she carved the name of then-boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil into her stomach with a shard of mirror during an interview.

It was a break-up with Fielder-Civil that inspired much of Back To Black.

But she surprised fans, and her own family, when she secretly married him during a trip to Florida in May 2007.

In November of that year, there was further turmoil when Fielder-Civil was arrested and accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Winehouse herself was arrested and released on bail in December 2007 but no charges were brought against her.

A month later she went into a rehab facility following the publication, by a tabloid newspaper, of pictures of a woman they claimed was Winehouse, allegedly smoking crack cocaine.

She played a number of gigs in 2008 but it became increasingly apparent that the turmoil of her private life was having a severe effect on her ability to perform.
Time out

Following a diagnosis of what could have been the onset of emphysema, she managed a creditable performance at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert in June 2008.

But her performance at Glastonbury a few days later was described by one critic as "dismal" and tabloid interest centred on an incident where she appeared to punch a fan.

Amy Winehouse took some time off after a slew of festival appearances in 2008.

In 2009, she was found not guilty of assaulting a burlesque dancer at a charity ball in central London.

She made a low-key return to the stage in a surprise performance at her local pub in London in October 2010.

Earlier this year, Winehouse was admitted for treatment at the Priory clinic in south-west London.

Last month, she pulled out of her European tour after she was jeered at the first gig in Serbia for appearing to be too drunk to perform.

For 90 minutes, she mumbled through parts of songs and at times left the stage - leaving her band to fill in.

In her short career Winehouse gave us just a glimpse of what might have been, before she was undone by her own personal demons.

But the songs she recorded, and the string of awards they brought her, served to underline what a talent she was.

This ending is not surprising. It's just sad. Rest in peace.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Sitting Dead Man.

In life his name was Carlos Cabrera. He used to live in the San José area of the San Juan Metroplex. He was a Gulf War Vet, that was loved and admired by his neighbors and family. He was killed last week, defending a boy from a couple of guys beating him with a baseball bat. He got hit in the head and died of his injuries. His last request was that his wake was in the favorite place in the area, the basketball court and in his favorite meditative position, with his favorite Salsa music blasting all around, no casket until the funeral, please.

So the family did just that. And another myth of Puerto Rican folklore has been created. The Sitting Dead Man. Following in the footsteps of other unusual wakes like "El Muerto Para'o" (The Standing Dead Man, article here) and "El Muerto en Motora" (Motorcycle Dead Guy, Article here.)

There was a Dead Guy on an Ambulance, but seriously, there's a lot of dead people on ambulances anyway.

From now on, Carlos Cabrera, known before as "Che Cabrera" (He was an ardent fan of Che Guevara) will be forever known as "El Muerto Senta'o" (The Sitting Dead Man)

May he rest in Peace.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Russia classfies beer as alcoholic!

Wait, What????

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has
signed a bill that officially classifies beer as alcoholic.

Until now anything containing less than 10% alcohol in Russia has been considered a foodstuff.

The move, signed into law on Wednesday, will allow ministers to control the sale of beer in the same way that spirits are controlled.

Russian alcohol consumption is already twice the critical level set by the World Health Organization.

Although vodka has long been the traditional tipple in Russia, beer has soared in popularity, being marketed as a healthier alternative to spirits.

Over the past decade, beer sales in Russia have risen more than 40% while vodka sales have fallen by nearly 30%.

Correspondents say it is common to see people swigging beer in the street and in parks as if they are drinking soft drinks.

It is not restricted to certain stores and is sold around the clock.

"The law brings some order into the sale of beer," Vadim Drobiz, director of the Centre for Federal and Regional Alcohol Market Studies, told US broadcaster Bloomberg.

Last year the Russian beer industry was hit by a 200% tax hike on its products as ministers sought to bring consumption under control.

The new measures - which come into effect in 2013 - will stop alcohol being sold in unlicensed kiosks, ban its sale from stores between certain hours and restrict its advertising.

In 2009 President Medvedev ordered the government to prepare draft laws on a package of measures to counter growing alcohol abuse.

And remember..."In Russia, you don't drink beer. Beer drinks YOU!"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dr. Ricardo Alegria, Antropologo e Historiador Puertorriqueño. 1921-2011

El antropólogo e historiador Ricardo Alegría falleció hoy en San Juan, dejando un enorme legado tras dedicar su vida a la promoción cultural de Puerto Rico y del resto de América.

Alegría falleció a los 90 años de edad en la Unidad de Coronaria del Centro Cardiovascular de Puerto Rico y el Caribe, donde en junio había sido sometido satisfactoriamente a un cateterismo y angioplastia luego de unos episodios de hipertensión.

El gobernador Luis Fortuño declaró cinco días de duelo en honor a la memoria de Alegría.

Le sobrevive su esposa, Carmen Pons de Alegría, y dos hijos.

La actriz Yohanna Rosaly reaccionó a la noticia destacando que el pueblo puertorriqueño tiene una "inmensa" deuda con él, por todo lo que ha representado para la cultura del País.

Recordó que Alegría fue instrumental, durante la década de 1950, en la Operación Manos a la Obra, bajo la administración del extinto gobernador Luis Muñoz Marín.

También fue el responsable del "desarrollo de todos esos valores culturales puertorriqueños a base de lo que es la esencia del ser puertorriqueño", señaló en una entrevista con Univisión Radio (WKAQ-AM).

Rosaly indicó que fue su profesor en el Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe, institución que fue su creación y dirigió, además de enseñar por varios años en su sede en el Viejo San Juan.

De igual manera recordó su contribución a la preservación histórica y arquitectónica del Viejo San Juan y la creación del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, entre otras cosas.

Primera Hora supo que las personas allegadas a Alegría planifican efectuar su velorio en la sede del Centro de Estudios Avanzados, en la calle del Cristo del casco antiguo.

Que descanse en Paz, un gran Puertorriqueño.

Via Primera Hora

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fool that predicted end of the world, moved to a nursing home.

Harold Camping, the Alameda preacher who falsely claimed that the rapture would come on May 21, has been put in a nursing home. In addition to having his radio show yanked form the airwaves, the 79 89-year-old soothsayer could face the remainder of his life (presumably) inside an assisted-living facility.

"Camping's daughter confirmed that Camping moved from an area hospital to a skilled nursing home where he is undergoing therapy and rehabilitation to build is strength," reports SF Weekly.

Camping, if you recall, suffered a stroke on June 9.

As far as the failed rapture goes, Camping rescheduled the apocalypse start date to October 21, 2011.

Friday, July 1, 2011

US. Government sues Apollo 14 astronaut over lunar camera!

Read this and laugh!

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. government has sued a former NASA astronaut to recover a camera used to explore the moon's surface during the 1971 Apollo 14 mission after seeing it slated for sale in a New York auction.
The lawsuit, filed in Miami federal court on Wednesday, accuses Edgar Mitchell of illegally possessing the camera and attempting to sell it for profit.
In March, NASA learned that the British auction house Bonhams was planning to sell the camera at an upcoming Space History Sale, according to the suit.
The item was labeled "Movie Camera from the Lunar Surface" and billed as one of two cameras from the Apollo 14's lunar module Antares. The lot description said the item came "directly from the collection" of pilot Edgar Mitchell and had a pre-sale estimate of $60,000 to $80,000, the suit said.
Mitchell was a lunar module pilot on Apollo 14, which launched its nine-day mission in 1971 under the command of Alan Shepard. The sixth person to walk on the moon, Mitchell is now retired and runs a website selling his autographed picture.
He has made headlines in the past for his stated belief in the existence of extraterrestrial life.
"All equipment and property used during NASA operations remains the property of NASA unless explicitly released or transferred to another party," the government suit said, adding NASA had no record of the camera being given to Mitchell.
The suit said the government had made repeated requests to Mitchell and his lawyer to return the camera but received no response.
Mitchell's lawyer, Donald Jacobson, said NASA management was aware of and approved Mitchell's ownership of the camera 40 years ago.
"Objects from the lunar trips to the moon were ultimately mounted and then presented to the astronauts as a gift after they had helped NASA on a mission," Jacobson said.
Bonhams said in an emailed statement that the camera had been slated to be auctioned off in May when it learned about the ownership dispute from NASA. The auction house withdrew the camera from sale "pending further discussion between NASA and the consignor," a Bonhams spokesperson said.
The government is asking the court to stop Mitchell from selling the camera to anyone, to order its return and to declare that the United States has "good, clean and exclusive title" to the camera.