Monday, June 20, 2011

Here's the one drawback with TV series about kids: they grow up.
Unless a showrunner can suspend the laws of time and begin writing seasons that address just days or weeks, they eventually face a decision as to how they'll adapt their shows to older stars. Will they follow them from high school to new stages in life? Or bring in new characters? Perhaps both?
According to "Glee" showrunner Ryan Murphy, he's leaning toward doing the latter.
He confirmed to Ryan Seacrest that he's looking to move the current cast on from high school, with them graduating at the end of the third season, and bringing in fresh talent to the show -- which is the entire function of the new Oxygen Network show, "The Glee Project."
"That is true. I don't think of it in terms of eliminating or replacing. Because I think the thing about this cast is people love them and they are incredibly talented. They've left sort of an indelible mark," Murphy told Seacrest on his radio show. "The thing that I wanted to do and the cast wanted to do, we didn't want to have a show where they were in high school for 8 years. We really wanted it to be true to that experience. We thought it would be really cool if we were true to the timeline."
That would mean seeing Lea Michele's Rachel Berry, the show's leading character, graduate, amongst many others. Murphy said that, with two adults to rely on, he's confident of being able to make new stars.
"We've got Matt Morrison and Jane Lynch who will stay and be the male and female lynchpins of the series, but I think the fun thing about the show is it's a celebration of youth and talent and I think that just like with the original cast, I think finding those young unknown people and giving them an opportunity to break into the business and become stars is a really fun and exciting thing and is the spirit of the series."

Already, Murphy is teasing a new cast member for the third season.
Of course, there are options if he doesn't fully want to let his original cast leave; a number of TV shows, past and present have mapped out different courses he could take. There's the "Saved By The Bell" approach: that show series created two shows, following the original, beloved cast to College Years, and creating a New Class, as well. Then there's the "Gossip Girl" model, which put many of its stars in the local university and continued on in the same series.

Bill Maher's New Rule For Cell Phone Cancer (VIDEO)

So yet another study has come out saying that there is indeed a link between cell phones and cancer. But it's not all bad. In fact, as far as Bill Maher is concerned, there's an upside to cell phones causing tumors; provided those tumors hurry up and get to work. See his "New Rule" in this exclusive clip from "Real Time With Bill Maher."


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Victory for Gay Cop at Gay Pride Parade

Gloria Allred knows how to get results. The California Department of Corrections has just folded like a cheap suit and will now allow a gay corrections officer to march in uniform in Sunday's West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade.

Officer Andrew Johnson and Allred held a news conference today and filed a complaint, alleging the Department was guilty of discrimination based on sexual orientation when it refused to allow Johnson to march in uniform, on grounds it would be a "discredit" to the Department.

The Department now says, "CDCR acknowledges that [its policy] is outdated and requires careful revision. Therefore, Correctional Officer Andrew Johnson will be allowed to wear the CDCR uniform in the upcoming Gay Pride Parade..."

by TMZ Staff

How To Disable Facebook's New Facial Recognition Feature

Facebook has rolled out a new feature that relies on facial recognition technology to automatically identify users in photos posted to the site and recommend people that others can tag in these images.
The feature, which was already live in the U.S., is now being launched in "most countries," according to Facebook, and has led privacy advocates to chastise the social network.
Not comfortable with the feature? Here's a step-by-step guide to how users can disable the facial recognition feature.
Go to "Account settings" and once there, go to "Privacy settings"

Click "Customize settings."
Go to "Things others share."
There, look for the option "Suggest photos of me to friends. When photos look like me, suggest my name" option, and click "Edit settings." Turn the feature from "Enabled" to "Disabled" and you're done.
Facebook explains the feature further in a blog post here.

The Huffington Post  Amy Lee

Gwyneth Paltrow Talks Homosexuality In The Bible

Gwyneth Paltrow devotes this week's GOOP newsletter to the topic of homosexuality in the Bible, opening with remarks on a former Arkansas school board member who last year encouraged gays to commit suicide and justified his comments with his religious beliefs. Gwyneth writes:
A few months ago, in the heat of the tragic teen suicides that came about from intolerance of homosexuality, I saw a man on television who was apologizing for wishing death on gays from his facebook page. This member of an Arkansas school board was contrite for the violence in his words, but maintained that his values pertaining to homosexuality would remain, as he felt homosexuality was condemned in the bible. This concept, while foreign to me, is interesting, as it used to justify so much judgement and separation in our society. When my daughter came home from school one day saying that a classmate had two mommies, my response was, "Two mommies? How lucky is she?!" What does it actually say in the bible that will cause some people to be upset by my line of thinking?
Happy pride.
Gwyneth, who practices Kabbalah, follows with writings from several religious thinkers who thoughtfully denounce the use of the Bible to condemn gays. She also allows discriminatory remarks from a conservative Christian because she wanted to "include as many perspectives as possible." This man concludes with "Here, then, are three truths which Jesus affirmed: (1) heterosexual gender is a divine creation; (2) heterosexual marriage is a divine institution; and (3) heterosexual fidelity is the divine intention. A homosexual liaison is a breach of all three of these divine purposes."

Stephen Colbert 'Proves' Rand Paul 'Technically' A 'Terrorist' (VIDEO)

On Wednesday's show, Stephen Colbert trapped Rand Paul in his own logic. On May 27, the senator told Sean Hannity:
...if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that's really an offense that we should be going after. They should be deported or put in prison.
Colbert then went on to show a series of speeches that fit the bill, including one at a little event called the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot. And you'll never believe who showed up for that one.

Jon Stewart Mocks Anthony Weiner's 'Daily Show' Sexts, Apology To Bill Clinton (VIDEO)

Following up his epic Anthony Weiner press conference parody and subsequent injury Tuesday night, Jon Stewart dedicated yet another segment to the story that keeps on giving on Wednesday night's "Daily Show."
The latest development in the scandal (aside from Wednesday's report that Weiner's wife is pregnant) is that Weiner actually called former President Bill Clinton to apologize for his immoral behavior. Stewart couldn't understand why:
"What?! A congressman had a sex scandal and has to apologize to Bill Clinton? For what? A copyright infringement?"
Aside from that ironic detail, transcripts of Weiner's salacious Facebook message exchanges have been released and are being read on-air (Stewart especially got a kick out of Fox News' Brian Kilmeade's reading). But one part of the conversation really stuck out to Stewart. Let's just say it suggests that Weiner has a desire to have sex while simultaneously watching "The Daily Show." Stewart responded in the only logical way:
"You want me to cut my wrist again?"
A sickening as this was, Stewart had to assume that Weiner isn't the only person who's "getting down" while watching his program. To embrace the sexual nature of his show, Stewart concludes with the second musical accompaniment he's had in as many weeks: A sexy, shirtless saxophone player.

Citigroup Customer Data Exposed In Computer Breach

 Citigroup Inc confirmed a computer breach at Citi Account Online, giving hackers access to the data of hundreds of thousands of bank card customers.
The bank recently discovered unauthorized access at Citi Account Online through routine monitoring, a spokesperson told Reuters in an email.
The bank said about 1 percent of its card customers were affected by the breach.
The name of the customers, account numbers and contact information including email addresses of the affected accounts were viewed, Citi said.
Other information such as birth dates, social security numbers, card expiration date and card security code (CVV) was not compromised, Citi said.

Conan Presents The Sarah Palin History Channel (VIDEO)

Poor Sarah Palin. Even when embarking on a vaguely-defined bus tour, the darn media insists on asking her "gotcha" questions. The latest: "What did Paul Revere do?" Just despicable. Palin's answer, while not actually historically accurate (despite her supporters' best efforts to change Revere's Wikipedia entry to reflect her answer), felt like it could have been right answer based on her vision of what American history should be.
Which is why we're glad that Conan introduced the "Sarah Palin History Channel" on Tuesday's episode for a reenactment of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, disregarding the facts and heightening the guns and folksy platitudes that feel like the right version of history. Without the pesky liberal media and smarty-pants textbooks, maybe Americans will finally see our country's history for what it is: a hodgepodge of historical figures with awesome guns.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Internet Access Is A Human Right, United Nations Report Declares

Internet access is a human right, and ensuring universal access to the Web "should be a priority for all states," according to a new United Nations report.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the report -- which comes on the heels of a communicationsblackout in Syria last week -- was written by Frank La Rue, a special rapporteur to the U.N. who was quick to acknowledge the importance of Internet access as demonstrated by the recent "Arab Spring" uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries. Though the Internet has been in existence since the 1960s, La Rue notes it is its "incorporation into virtually every aspect of modern human life" which makes an unprecedented force and thus worthy of protection.
From the report:
The Special Rapporteur believes that the Internet is one of the most powerful instruments of the 21st century for increasing transparency in the conduct of the powerful, access to information, and for facilitating active citizen participation in building democratic societies.
Indeed, the recent wave of demonstrations in countries across the Middle East and North African region has shown the key role that the Internet can play in mobilizing the population to call for justice, equality, accountability and better respect for human rights.
La Rue goes on to urge governments to eschew laws that block citizens' Internet access:
The Special Rapporteur remains concerned that legitimate online expression is being criminalized in contravention of States' international human rights obligations, whether it is through the application of existing criminal laws to online expression, or through the creation of new laws specifically designed to criminalize expression on the Internet. Such laws are often justified as being necessary to protect individuals' reputation, national security or to counter terrorism. However, in practice, they are frequently used to censor content that the Government and other powerful entities do not like or agree with.
The report, which the Atlantic describes as reading "like a hat tip to WikiLeaks and its campaign for transparency," was met with strong praise from groups like the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).
"As Rapporteur La Rue affirms, the Internet's unique ability to provide ample space for individual free expression can lead to the strengthening of other human rights, including political, economic and social rights," Cynthia Wong, Director of CDT's Project on Global Internet Freedom, tells PC Magazine. "In order for these rights to be realized, governments, civil society and industry must all continue to build on the work begun by the Special Rapporteur."

Colbert Defends Sarah Palin's Paul Revere Story. LOL (VIDEO)

Say what you will about Sarah Palin, she's got to be doing something right to inspire such intense support. She's so beloved by her fans, in fact, that when she gets her American history facts wrong, they simply decide it's best to change history so that she becomes retroactively correct.
After her now infamous, "ringin' those bells, ringin' those bells," statement, Palin supporters went on Wikipedia and altered Paul Revere's entry so that it reflected her embellishments to the story. Meanwhile, Palin herself has stridently defended her bells-and-warning-shots version of history, taking the celebrated GOP strategy of framing the debate a step further by framing the facts, which we weren't aware you could do.
Of course, Colbert is always ahead of the curve and he totally gets it. He even picked up where Palin & Co. left off after they were foiled by the Wikipedia nerd police:
Unfortunately, the hardcore fact addicts at Wikipedia have undone the changes and locked Paul Revere's page. Which is why I want all of you to go to the Wikipedia page for "bells" and make sure it reads, "Bells: Used by Paul Revere to warn the British that hey, you're not going to succeed in taking our guns. USA! USA!"
And in an act of devotion not dissimilar to a Palin supporter, Colbert Nation responded within a minute.
Watch the whole clip below which culminates in Colbert showing exactly how Paul Revere could have accomplished riding a horse, firing and reloading a musket, and ringing a bell all at the same time.

Monster Arizona Wildfires Continue To Expand, Thousands Evacuated

Officials are hoping their efforts overnight will keep a mammoth forest fire from cresting a ridge and racing into two eastern Arizona towns, giving firefighters the upper hand on the 11th day of what has proved to be an overwhelming battle.
About half of the 4,000 residents who call Eagar home were forced to leave Tuesday afternoon as flames from the Wallow fire licked the ridges surrounding the area. Residents in the rest of Eagar and in neighboring Springerville grew worried as they awaited word of whether they will have to flee, too.
"Everybody that's here is suffering from anxiety from this," Apache County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Brannon Eagar told residents who gathered for a public meeting Tuesday night.
"We never thought we'd see this roll over the hill, but it's here and we're going to deal with it the best that we can. Some people are frustrated, and I can understand that, and I'm sorry," he said.
As daylight waned Tuesday, cars, trucks and trailers loaded with belongings streamed out of Eagar as sheriff's deputies and police officers directed traffic. Flames dotted a ridge on the southeastern side of Springerville, and columns of orange smoke rose from the hills. Ash rained from the sky, which was filled with thick smoke, and when the sun peeked through, it was blood-red.
Crews worked feverishly overnight to ignite unburned areas of grass and other fuel to starve the fire in case it burned over the ridge and into the grasslands and stands of trees that border the two towns.
"Right now, it's not moving as fast," fire commander Joe Reinarz said. "This is our chance. When we get it down here in the pinon and juniper and the grasslands, we can make a lot of advances on getting a corral around this thing."
The blaze has burned 486 square miles of ponderosa pine forest, driven by wind gusts of more than 60 mph, since it was sparked May 29 by what authorities believe was an unattended campfire. Now more than twice the size of Chicago, the fire became the second-largest in Arizona history Tuesday.
No serious injuries have been reported, but the fire has destroyed 10 structures so far. It has cast smoke as far east as Iowa and forced some planes to divert from Albuquerque, N.M., some 200 miles away.


 Delta Air Lines is facing intense criticism after charging 34 U.S. soldiers returning from Afghanistan $2,800 in baggage fees.
The incident came to light on Tuesday after a couple of the new-media savvy soldiers recorded a video about their ordeal and posted it on YouTube.
"We showed up and found out we had too many bags," said Army Staff Sgt. Robert O'Hair in the video, which was shot on their flight. "We had four bags, and Delta Air Lines only allows three bags. Anything over three bags you have to pay for, even though there's a contract between the United States government and Delta Air Lines: When returning from Afghanistan on military orders, you're authorized up to four bags."
O'Hair added that all the soldiers with a fourth bag had to pay $200 out-of-pocket. The total for the 34 soldiers was more than $2,800. O'Hair's fourth piece of luggage was his weapons case, carrying the tools he used, in his words, to "protect myself and Afghan citizens while I was deployed in the country."

A Delta social media manager identified as Rachael R. responded in a blog post on the company's website on Tuesday, clarifying the airline's policy: "Currently, Active Duty U.S. Military Personnel traveling on orders may check up to 4 bags in First/Business class and 3 bags in Coach for free both domestically and internationally. Additionally, to help with the travel process, we allow each bag to weight an extra 20 pounds over the standard allowance."

She apologized to the Army unit on behalf of Delta and said the airline would be reaching out to each of them personally "to address their concerns and work to correct any issues they have faced." Rachel R. did not say whether the soldiers would be reimbursed.

"A $200 bill for extra baggage by a government-contracted airline is the worst welcome home any soldier could receive," said Joe Davis, director of public affairs for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, in a statement. "We know this is a business issue and that the troops will be reimbursed if they are authorized additional baggage in their orders, but the shock of even being charged is enough to make most servicemen and women simply shake their heads and wonder who or what it is they are protecting."

The overwhelming majority of the comments on the Delta blog post were not on the company's side.

"Having been deployed three times in eight years, I have never had to pay out of pocket for bags on other airlines," wrote a user identifying themselves as brianmcgovern. "Flying with Delta has always been a crap shoot. We can never tell when there will be an issue with baggage, especially once the major airlines got together and started soaking all passengers for baggage fees."

A user named hotberry simply said, "You people should be ashamed of yourselves."

Delta made $3.7 billion in 2010 off of ancillary revenue -- charging passengers for food, drinks and extra baggage.

According to Stars and Stripes, the men in the video are deployed with the 95th Infantry Division, a Reserve unit in Georgia. In the video, they say they were bound for Fort Polk, La.