Monday, February 28, 2011

Is Chris Rock Right About the Tea Party?


image via BET


Chris Rock thinks racism is almost over—is it?


By Stephen Blackwell - deathandtaxesmag.com
In the most recent issue of Esquire, Chris Rock offered a unique perspective on the Tea Party. Really unique. It made me think he was crazy:
“I actually like [the Tea Party], in the sense that—you got kids? Kids always act up the most before they go to sleep. And when I see the Tea Party and all this stuff, it actually feels like racism’s almost over. Because this is the last—this is the act up before they go to sleep. They’re going crazy. They’re insane. You want to get rid of them—and the next thing you know, they’re fucking knocked out. And that’s what’s going on in the country right now.”
I’ve probably read over one thousand articles, blog posts and tweets about the Tea Party, and this is the first time I or anyone else has come across the opinion that the Tea Party is actually good for black people.
How to square this with their nearly unanimous opinion that “equal opportunity for blacks and minorities to succeed is important, [but] it’s not really the government’s job to guarantee it,” requires some mental flexibility. But there is this notion, where are they going to go next? This is what Rock is talking about.
The Tea Party is widely perceived to be comprised of racist hicks who shoot guns, and are therefore attracted to Sarah Palin’s lock-and-load rhetoric. This viewpoint isn’t entirely true.
The Party supports a few savvy politicians who are interested in repealing all the social services our country offers so their corporate benefactors can. They are also supported bythe no-longer-elusive Koch Brothers, who own the second largest privately-held company in the world. They have caucuses and infinite money, so the idea they might pass out like a sugared-up, petulant child on Halloween might be a bit premature.
Public Enemy’s incredible 1990 record, “Fear of a Black Planet,” never launched the revolution it promised. But “Fear of a Black President,” or at least another black president, has. The Tea Party’s elite like Michele Bachmann and Scott Brown may have trouble governing within the Tea Party’s pure lines, but they’ve still got some wind in their sails.
At the very least, it will add up to some entertaining fodder for Rock’s next HBO special.

Lady Gaga's 'Born this Way' : In Case You Forgot, She's Strange (Video)



“ As the wombs numbered and the mitosis of the future began, it was perceived that this infamous moment in life is not temporal, it is eternal. And thus began the the beginning of the new race, a race within the race of humanity, a race which bears no prejudice, no judgment, but boundless freedom. But on that same day, as the eternal mother hovered in the multiverse, another more terrifying birth took place: the birth of evil. ”




Seriously, where do we begin on this one? From the moment this seven-minute-and-a-bit-long video clip starts we're bombarded with unprecedented levels of bizarre. The video opens with a  "Manifesto of Mother Monster"--as Gaga calls herself, with her fans being "monsters"--where a Gaga voiceover tells the tale of the birth of good and evil. Or something. Frankly, it's hard to follow her story because at the same time that she's narrating it, we're witnessing what appears to be a gooey, kaleidoscopic alien birth, before we're plunged into the depths of hell. (A Lady Gaga-imagined hell, no less).

By the time the actual music starts--which is about 57 instances of vaginal and phallic imagery later--we've pretty much forgotten how much of rip off of Madonna's earlier sound the song seemed, just a week ago. Now that it's paired with this insane video, all we can think about it how, um, different Lady Gaga is. (We're putting it mildly).
Seriously, we haven't even mentioned the alien shoulders, the skeleton makeup, or the bodies writhing on the ground.

China Unicom to take on Apple & Google with New Linux Based OS


China Unicom, one of China's three largest wireless operators, plans to introduce its own mobile operating system to compete head-to-head with Apple's iPhone and Google's Android OS in China.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the wireless operator, which is building a third-generation wireless network that competes with China Mobile and China Telecom, is developing a new mobile OS brand known as "WoPhone."

The new operating system is based on Linux, and it's geared toward mobile handsets and tablets. Companies that plan to build devices using the new OS include China's ZTE, Huawei Technologies, and TCL. South Korea's Samsung Electronics, U.S.-based Motorola, and Taiwan's HTC are also building devices using the new OS, China Unicom's parent company, China United Network Communications Group, said in a statement today.

The company said in its statement that it hopes the new software will help the company develop 3G wireless devices more rapidly, thus getting them into the market more quickly. This is important because the Chinese 3G wireless market is just heating up with the major carriers battling for new 3G subscribers.

China Unicom has a long way to go in terms of winning new customers and trails behind larger players, such as China Mobile. As of January, China Unicom had 169.7 million mobile subscribers, including 15.5 million 3G customers. Meanwhile China Mobile had 589.3 million subscribers, including 22.6 million 3G customers.

Late last year, China Unicom launched WoStore, a mobile-application storefront that it said would support "all open smartphone platforms."

Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems are starting to gain market share in China. But they are not as prevalent as they are in other markets, such as the U.S. or Europe.
In China, Nokia's Symbian platform still garners the greatest market share in the smartphone market with 60.1 percent of all smartphones, according to Analysys International, a Beijing-based market research firm. Windows Mobile has the second highest market share with 13.1 percent. Google Android is third with 10.7 percent of the market. And Apple's iOS has about 5.4 percent.

Other wireless operators in China have also said they'd build their own operating systems for wireless devices. China Mobile launched its Android-based OS called "Ophone" in 2009, but the platform hasn't been a hit with customers.

A China Unicom spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that the China Unicom WoPhone platform will not be based on Android. But he declined to comment on whether that is because of Google's dispute with China's government last year. Google moved its search servers to Hong Kong from mainland China because it was worried about hacking and censorship.


Has Obama Failed To Reduce Hostility Toward Obnoxious Americans



In The Know panelists discuss Obama's failure to repair Americans' Bush-era reputation overseas as drunken belligerent assholes vomiting on ancient treasures.

Kings get Dustin Penner from Oilers



By Scott Burnside - ESPN.com

The Los Angeles Kings, desperate for a top-six forward, landed big-bodied winger Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
The Oilers get the Kings' first-round draft pick in 2011, prospect Colten Teubert and a conditional second- or third-round draft pick in 2012.
Teubert, a 6-foot-4 defenseman, was the 13th overall pick in the 2008 draft.
In Penner, the Kings get a 6-foot-4, 245-pound forward who has 21 goals this season. He had 32 goals and 31 assists last year.
"There were ups and downs," Penner said Monday of his time in Edmonton. "I had a decent first year. The second year was something I think a lot of people would like to forget. The last two I've enjoyed thoroughly.
"I came here with a big contract ... that also comes with big expectations and if I tried to meet everyone's expectations I would drive myself insane. So I focused on becoming more consistent and a player who could play every position. I think I'm on my way to that, I'm not there yet and it's too bad I won't be able to do it here."
Southern California is familiar turf for Penner, 28, won a Stanley Cup in Anaheim in 2006-07. He will see familiar faces in the Kings' locker room in former Oilers teammates Matt Greeneand Jarret Stoll.
Penner, 28, has one more year left on his contract that pays him $4.25 million.
Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.

Facebook Plans to Proceed With Feature that shares YOUR Phone-Number




By Eric Engleman

Facebook Inc. is moving forward with plans to let outside websites and applications request addresses and mobile-phone numbers from users, a feature that had prompted privacy questions from U.S. lawmakers.
The social-networking site has not determined when it will reintroduce the feature but is evaluating ways to “enhance user control,” including “potential additions to the permissions screen,” Marne Levine, Facebook vice president of global public policy, wrote in a Feb. 23 letterto U.S. representatives Edward Markey and Joe Barton.
Facebook also is “actively considering” whether to allow applications to request contact information from minors, Levine said in the letter.
Introduced on Jan. 14, the feature allowed application developers to request contact information from Facebook users who gave their consent. The company disabled it a few days later, saying in a Jan. 17 blog post that it had received feedback from users who wanted to “be more clearly aware of when they are granting access” to their data.
Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Barton, a Republican from Texas, sent a letterFeb. 2 to Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg asking about the company’s plans for the feature.
“Mobile phone numbers and personal addresses, particularly those that can identify teenagers using Facebook, require special protection,” Markey said in a statement today.
“I’m pleased that Facebook’s response indicated that it’s looking to enhance its process for highlighting for users when they are being asked for permission to share their contact information,” he said.
Andrew Noyes, a Washington-based spokesman for Facebook, said the company’s letter speaks for itself and had no additional comment.
To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Engleman in Washington at eengleman1@bloomberg.net

Oscars Autotuned: 'Twilight,' 'Harry Potter,' 'Toy Story 3,' 'The Social Network' Spoofed

It wasn't a good year for film musicals -- or was it?
The producers behind the Oscars put together a fun autotuned mashup of dialogue and lyrics from some of the biggest films of the year: "The Social Network," "Toy Story 3," "Twilight" and "Harry Potter."
WATCH:

Study: Americans Get Majority Of Exercise While Drunk (Watch Video)

Over 75% of an average American's exercise now comes from drunkenly dancing, stealing street signs, and carrying home passed-out friends.


Colin Firth: Oscars 2011 Best Actor Winner


The King has been crowned.
Colin Firth has taken home the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of King George VI in the hit film "The King's Speech". He plays a proud yet stuttering royal who works with eccentric speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to overcome his staggering speech impediment -- with the Nazis breathing down his neck and a nation looking for inspiration from its leader.
This completes a massive winter of award show wins for Firth, who won the Golden Globe for Best Actor, as well as the BAFTA.

Tobacco Industry Sues FDA On Proposed Menthol Cigarette Ban


Lorillard Inc and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co have filed a lawsuit against the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) saying there were conflicts of interest and bias among members of an advisory panel which may recommend banning menthol cigarettes.



The FDA advisory panel's recommendations are not binding, however the agency usually goes along with its advice. Panel members are expected to put forward their recommendations regarding menthol-flavored cigarettes on 23rd March this year.

Nearly 1 in every 3 cigarettes sold in the USA is mentholated. R. J. Reynolds sells a menthol Camel version as well as the Kool brand, while Lorillard's Newport brand is the number one menthol cigarette seller in the country.

Legislation was passed in 2009 giving the FDA the power to decide over tobacco products, such as cigarettes, pipes and cigars. The agency banned fruit, chocolate and other flavored cigarettes, which were thought to be aimed at getting children to smoke.

The new law asked the FDA to get a panel of outside experts to look into the health and social aspects of menthol cigarettes before deciding on whether to ban them.

Three panel members are accused of having severe financial and appearance conflicts of interest and associated biases, according to the lawsuit.

Pharmaceutical companies have financially rewarded three advisers for consultation work and research - these companies make products that to help people give up smoking, the lawsuit claims.

Two more members of a panel subcommittee have appeared as expert witnesses in suits against cigarette makers, the suit also claims.

Those wanting to prevent children from ever starting to smoke say the lawsuits are frivolous attempts to derail much needed legislation.

In an online communiqué, Matthew Myers president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says this latest suit is an act of panic. He accuses the tobacco companies of fearing that the committee will recommend effective actions that either undermine or completely destroy a very lucrative market for menthol cigarettes,"Once again, they are putting profits ahead of lives and health."

Myers says the lawsuit is groundless. The advisory committee was legally set up in accordance with the 2009 legislation. The evidence is compelling that the presence and availability of menthol cigarettes is linked to a higher incidence of smoking among children - the tobacco industry want to keep the evidence secret, Myers said.

Myers wrote:

It is critical to public health that the committee moves forward with issuing its menthol report on March 23, as required by Congress when it enacted the law giving the FDA authority over tobacco products.


A 2009 study by scientists at the University of Medicine and Densistry of New Jersey found that menthol cigarettes are harder to give up, especially among African-Americans and Latino smokers. (Link)

Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today

Frame Rate 13: We're seeing Starz (VIDEO)



Frame Rate with Hosts:Brian Brushwood and Tom Merritt
Hulu Plus gets an upgrade, studios and publishers seeking "Rights of Publicity", a fan-assembled Star Wars documentary, an Leo's new diet.
Download or subscribe to this show at twit.tv/fr.
We invite you to read, add to, and amend our show notes at wiki.twit.tv.
Thanks to Cachefly for the bandwidth for this show.
Running time: 1:00:44




Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscars 2011 Winners List


Here's the full list of winners:
1. Best Picture: "The King's Speech."
2. Actor: Colin Firth, "The King's Speech."
3. Actress: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan."
4. Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, "The Fighter."
5. Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, "The Fighter."
6. Directing: Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech."
7. Foreign Language Film: "In a Better World," Denmark.
8. Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, "The Social Network."
9. Original Screenplay: David Seidler, "The King's Speech."
10. Animated Feature Film: "Toy Story 3."
11. Art Direction: "Alice in Wonderland."
12. Cinematography: "Inception."
13. Sound Mixing: "Inception."
14. Sound Editing: "Inception."
15. Original Score: "The Social Network," Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
16. Original Song: "We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3," Randy Newman.
17. Costume Design: "Alice in Wonderland."
18. Documentary Feature: "Inside Job."
19. Documentary (short subject): "Strangers No More."
20. Film Editing: "The Social Network."
21. Makeup: "The Wolfman."
22. Animated Short Film: "The Lost Thing."
23. Live Action Short Film: "God of Love."
24. Visual Effects: "Inception."


It was film's biggest night, and after a year of box office battles, politicking and smaller statuettes, Hollywood immortality was handed out tonight.
"The King's Speech" was crowned the Best Picture; the World War II-set drama about friendship, trust and overcoming the odds beat out nine other films, including Golden Globe winner "The Social Network". It's the first time the Academy has awarded a film about British Royalty the top slot.
"The King's Speech" star Colin Firth took home Best Actor, finishing off a remarkable sweep of the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and now, Hollywood's biggest prize for a leading man. The awards are just rewards for his portrayal of King George VI, the stuttering, reluctant World War II-era royal that had to overcome a debilitating stutter to inspire his nation as the Nazis rained bombs down on England.
"Black Swan" star Natalie Portman was awarded Best Actress, giving her every major statuette in film this year. She won theGolden Globe and Independent Spirit Award and now, with the Oscar, the sacrifice - she starved and tortured herself to get in shape for her powerful performance in the ballet psycho-thriller - was all worth it.
Christian Bale took home Best Supporting actor for his emaciated, frantic and empathetic performance in "The Fighter" wowed audiences and maybe even scared them a bit with its dead-on accuracy.
Also, pay special attention to brand new hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway, an unusual pair that has people very, very curious as to what they'll come up with.