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December 30, 2011

kasey kahne

Filed under: Family News — genius @ 4:57 am

NEW YORK) — NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne is apologizing after drawing angry responses when he tweeted that he found a woman breast feeding her baby in a supermarket “nasty.”

The driver, who finished in fourth place in NASCAR standings this year and recently inked a multi-year agreement to take over the No. 5 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports, took to Twitter to express his disgust on Tuesday.

“Just walking though supermarket. See a mom breast feeding little kid. Took second look because obviously I was seeing things. I wasn’t!” he wrote, then graphically described what he saw. “#nasty,” Kahne added, “I don’t feel like shopping anymore or eating.”

The tweet from Kahne, who has over 100,000 followers on the social networking site, quickly led to widespread backlash.

“I hope someday you have a kid and someone tells your wife that feeding your child looks nasty,” Twitter user KnittingRad, who describes herself as a liberal, pro-choice, feminist mother of three responded. Kahne soon responded to her: “And your a dumb b*tch.”

Kahne soon removed the initial comments from his Twitter feed and took to his Facebook page Wednesday to apologize.

“I understand that my comments regarding breastfeeding posted on Twitter were offensive to some people. For that, I apologize,” Kahne wrote. “It was in no way my intention to offend any mother who chooses to breastfeed her child, or, for that matter, anyone who supports breast feeding children. I want to make that clear.”

“My comments were not directed at the mother’s right to breastfeed. They were just a reaction to the location of that choice, and the fashion in which it was executed on that occasion,” he added. “I respect the mother’s right to feed her child whenever and wherever she pleases.”

He also directly apologized to Twitter user KnittingRad: “I wanted to apologize for saying what I said to you yesterday. It was out of line,” he wrote, adding that she is welcome to directly message him to discuss the situation.

The controversy comes the same week that mothers from across the country have posted pictures of themselves nursing at Target stores, as part of “nurse-in” demonstrations at stores nationwide. The action comes after a nursing mother’s upsetting experience at her local Target last month.
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NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne is apologizing after drawing angry responses when he tweeted that he found a woman breast-feeding her baby in a supermarket “nasty.”

The driver, who finished in fourth place in NASCAR standings this year and recently inked a multiyear agreement to take over the No. 5 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports, took to Twitter to express his disgust on Tuesday.

“Just walking though supermarket. See a mom breast feeding little kid. Took second look because obviously I was seeing things. I wasn’t!” he wrote, then graphically described what he saw. “#nasty,” Kahne added, “I don’t feel like shopping anymore or eating.”

The tweet from Kahne, who has over 100,000 followers on the social networking site, quickly led to widespread backlash.

“I hope someday you have a kid and someone tells your wife that feeding your child looks nasty,” Twitter user KnittingRad, who describes herself as a liberal, pro-choice, feminist mother of three responded. Kahne soon responded to her: “And your a dumb b*tch.”

Kahne soon removed the initial comments from his Twitter feed and took to his Facebook page Wednesday to apologize.

“I understand that my comments regarding breastfeeding posted on Twitter were offensive to some people. For that, I apologize,” Kahne wrote. “It was in no way my intention to offend any mother who chooses to breastfeed her child, or, for that matter, anyone who supports breast feeding children. I want to make that clear.

“My comments were not directed at the mother’s right to breastfeed. They were just a reaction to the location of that choice, and the fashion in which it was executed on that occasion,” he added. “I respect the mother’s right to feed her child whenever and wherever she pleases.”

He also directly apologized to Twitter user KnittingRad: “I wanted to apologize for saying what I said to you yesterday. It was out of line,” he wrote, adding that she is welcome to directly message him to discuss the situation.

The controversy comes the same week that mothers from across the country have posted pictures of themselves nursing at Target stores, as part of a “nurse-in” demonstrations at stores nationwide. The action comes after a nursing mother’s upsetting experience at her local Target last month.

Kahne spent 2011 driving for Red Bull Racing, and on November 13 finished in first place at the Phoenix International Raceway. At Hendrick Motorsports he will join a juggernaut team that includes Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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Kasey Kenneth Kahne (play /ˈkeɪn/; born April 10, 1980) is a NASCAR driver. He is scheduled to drive the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Group Chevrolet Impala for Hendrick Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012.

Off the track, Kahne is active in charitable work and is a member of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. He also owns his own race team, Kasey Kahne Racing, that competes in the World of Outlaws series, fielding two cars, one for Joey Saldana, and the other for Cody Darrah. His team also fields a car in the USAC Sprint Car Series for Brady Bacon, and in USAC midgets for Brad Sweet. Kahne is a two-time Skagit Speedway winner of the Annual Jim Raper memorial Dirt Cup (2002 and 2003), and holds the current record for the fastest lap at Skagit.
Kahne began racing open wheel sprint cars at Deming Speedway at 17 in Deming, Washington, before moving up to Skagit speedway in Alger, Washington, and then he moved to USAC. In 2001, Kahne made a trip to Pennsylvania where he won the season opener at the historic Williams Grove Speedway. He was hired by Steve Lewis, who had also employed future NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Jason Leffler, Tony Stewart, and Kenny Irwin, Jr. In his first year on the circuit, he was named Rookie of the Year, as well as winning the national midget championship. He continued to run USAC, as well as the Toyota Atlantic Series and the World of Outlaws.

Kahne made 20 starts in the Nationwide Series driving the #98 Channellock Ford Taurus for Robert Yates Racing. His best finish was a tenth-place finish at Cabela’s 250. In 2003, he moved to the #38 Great Clips Ford for Akins Motorsports. He won his first pole at Michigan International Speedway and his first Nationwide race at the Ford 300. In 2004, he also made a pair of starts in the Craftsman Truck Series at Darlington Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway, driving the #2 Team ASE Racing Dodge Ram for Ultra Motorsports, winning both races.
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Kahne replaced Bill Elliott in the #9 Dodge at the end of 2003 when Elliott announced a part-time schedule starting with the 2004 season. Due to the fact that Kahne was still under contract with Ford, a lawsuit began when Kahne decided to go to Evernham, driving a car that was being sponsored by Dodge. Ford eventually got money from Kahne, allowing him to go to Dodge. In 2004, Kahne surprised many by nearly winning several races (including five second-place finishes and 13 top-fives), winning four poles and captured the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award. He drove 30 races for Akins in the Busch Series, finishing thirteenth in points.
[edit] 2005

Kahne scored his first career Sprint Cup victory in his sophomore season of 2005, after a dominating performance in the Chevy American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway. It was also the first victory for the Dodge Charger, which returned to NASCAR in 2005. In addition, he became the first driver born in the 1980’s to win a race in NASCAR’s premier series. He also scored two poles in back-to-back weeks at Darlington and Richmond during the same year. He made 22 starts in the Busch Series, splitting time with Akins and Evernham’s new #6 team. He won the O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, and the United Way 300 at Kansas Speedway.
On Monday, March 20, 2006, Kahne won the rain delayed Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Nearly three weeks later, he won the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas. He won four races after that, among them a season sweep at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 600 and the Bank of America 500, holding off Jimmie Johnson, who would go on to finish second in both events. He also won at California and Michigan.

On September 9, 2006, Kahne successfully raced his way into the Chase for The Cup by finishing third in Richmond. He was the 10th and last qualifier for the Chase. He edged defending Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart out by 16 points, but a disappointing crash at Dover made an impact on Kahne’s 8th place finish for the season. Kahne also won 2 Busch Series races in ‘06.

On November 27, 2006 Kahne was honored by being invited to raise the traditional 12th Man flag prior to the Seattle Seahawks Monday Night Football game against the Green Bay Packers at Qwest Field in Seattle. The ceremony has been ongoing since 2003, and involves a different Seattle-area sports hero and/or beloved member of the community kicking things off before every Seahawks home game. The Seahawks beat the Packers 34–24.
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During the qualifying for the 2007 Daytona 500, officials found holes in the wheel-wells of his Dodge Charger. A crew member said it was just tape that had fallen off of a hole in the tire. Officials said that the tape had been cut. He was one of the four drivers among Matt Kenseth and his two teammates, Scott Riggs and Elliott Sadler whose cars had been found with aerodynamic-improving modifications. His team was one of the six teams found with illegal modifications in the Daytona festivities.

On May 26, 2007 Kahne won the Busch Series CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway scoring his first win of 2007.

On August 24, 2007 Kahne won the pole for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol, his second pole of the 2007 Nextel Cup Series. Later that night, during the Busch Series Food City 250, Kahne passed Ryan Newman on the top side in a 3-wide pass that included Jason Leffler on the bottom. He held off the hard charging Leffler to win the Food City 250 for his 7th career Busch Series win and his 2nd of 2007.

The next day during the Sharpie 500, Kahne dominated most of the race leading 305 of 500 laps and finished 2nd to Carl Edwards. This was his best finish of the 2007 season.
On November 16, 2007 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Kahne was accused by Archibald Hutchinson, a 62 year old track security guard, of shoving Hutchinson to the ground. The incident occurred when Kahne was attempting to enter the motorhome lot and Hutchinson refused entry due to Kahne not having the proper credentials. Kahne claimed he had bumped into the security guard as he attempted to walk around the guard to enter the lot. Hutchinson was taken to the infield medical center following the incident complaining of elevated blood pressure. He was treated for scrapes and bruises and later released.[1] Kahne faced a misdemeanor assault charge over the incident which he pled not guilty to. Hutchinson also filed a civil suit against Kahne seeking more than $15,000 for medical bills, lost wages, and punitive damage.[2] In December 2008, the court agreed to dismiss the criminal charges and clear Kahne criminal record upon completion of 50 hours of community service and a donation of $50 to a court charity.[3] Hutchinson, through his attorneys, dismissed the civil suit in September 2009 following an undisclosed settlement.[4]

After a disappointing 2007 season Kahne finished 19th in points with no wins, 1 top 5, 8 top 10s and an average finish of 22.2.
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With new sponsor Budweiser, Kahne started off the 2008 season strong as he finished in the top 10 in both the Budweiser Shootout and the Gatorade Duel.

As a result of a 4th place finish in his duel, Kahne started 10th in the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on February 17, 2008. Kahne finished 7th behind teammate Elliott Sadler in the 2008 Daytona 500, this was a repeat of the 2007 race where Sadler and Kahne also finished 6th and 7th respectively.

During the early laps of the Auto Club 500 Kahne worked his way from 20th to 14th, but brushed the wall on lap 7. He however went on to finish a strong 9th after the long rain delay the race suffered. Kahne had to start in the back due to an engine change at the UAW-Dodge 400. He wound up 6th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

On May 17, 2008, Kahne was voted into the 2008 Sprint All-Star Race XXIV by his fans via cell phone text messaging and online voting. After performing a required stop-and-go pit stop, Kahne began the fourth segment in second place on old tires. He went on to win the race and win $1,012,975. Kahne became the first driver to win the race from the fan vote and the third driver to race in the Sprint Showdown and go on to win the All-Star race.

On May 25, 2008, Kasey Kahne won the Coca-Cola 600 by passing Tony Stewart with 2 laps to go, as Tony had a flat tire going into turn 1. It was Kasey’s first points-paying win of the season. He also became the sixth driver to win the race along with the All-Star

joseph gordon levitt

Filed under: Family News — genius @ 4:53 am

Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt[1] (born February 17, 1981) is an American actor whose career as both a child and adult has included television series and theatrical films.

He is known for his roles in the 2009 indie (500) Days of

Summer (for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination), a supporting role in the 2010 science fiction film Inception, and for starring in the 2011 drama 50/50. Beginning in commercials as a young child, he made his film debut in 1992’s Beethoven. Gordon-Levitt subsequently co-starred in the television sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996–2001) as the young Tommy Solomon. After a hiatus during which he attended Columbia University, Gordon-Levitt left television for film acting, appearing in films like 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) and Manic (2001), followed by critically acclaimed performances in 2004’s Mysterious Skin, 2005’s Brick, and 2007’s The Lookout. He runs an online collaborative production company titled HitRECord.
Gordon-Levitt was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in Sherman Oaks. His family is Jewish, though “not strictly religious”,[2] and his parents were among the founders of the Progressive Jewish Alliance.[3][4][5] His father, Dennis Levitt, was once the news director for the Pacifica Radio station, KPFK-FM.[6][7] His mother, Jane Gordon, ran for the United States Congress in California during the 1970s for the Peace and Freedom Party; she met Dennis Levitt while she was working as the program guide editor for KPFK-FM.[6] Gordon-Levitt’s maternal grandfather, Michael Gordon, was a Hollywood film director between the 1940s and 1970s, known for helming the 1959 Doris Day/Rock Hudson film Pillow Talk.[6] Gordon-Levitt had an older brother, Dan, who was a photographer and fire spinner;[8] he was born in 1974 and died in October 2010.[9][10]

Gordon-Levitt joined a musical theater group at the age of four and played the Scarecrow in a production of The Wizard of Oz.[6] Subsequently, he was approached by an agent and began appearing on television and in commercials for Sunny Jim peanut butter, Cocoa Puffs, Pop-Tarts, and Kinney Shoes.[6]
Gordon-Levitt began his acting career at the age of six, appearing in several late 1980s made-for-television films. In 1996, Gordon-Levitt began playing Tommy Solomon on the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun, a role that made him a popular TV personality.[6] The San Francisco Chronicle noted the coincidence that Gordon-Levitt was a “Jewish kid playing an extraterrestrial pretending to be a Jewish kid”.[11] Gordon-Levitt was attending Van Nuys High School while acting on the show.[12] During the 1990s, he was frequently featured in teenage magazines, something he resented.[6] He has also said that during this time period, he did not enjoy being recognized in public, saying that he “hates celebrity”.[11]

Gordon-Levitt starred in the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You, a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, and voiced Jim Hawkins in Treasure Planet (2002), a Disney adaption of the novel Treasure Island.[13]

In 2000, he began attending Columbia University.[6][14] He studied history, literature, and French poetry in General Studies.[6] He became an avid and self-confirmed Francophile and a French speaker.[6] He said that moving to New York City from his hometown “forced” him to grow as a person.[11] He dropped out in 2004 to concentrate on acting again.[6]
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Gordon-Levitt has said that he made a conscious decision to “be in good movies” after returning to acting.[14] His films include 2001’s drama Manic, which was set in a mental institution, Mysterious Skin (2004), in which he played a gay prostitute and child sexual abuse victim, and Brick (2005), a modern-day film noir set at a high school, in which he had the lead role of Brendan Frye, a teen who becomes involved in an underground drug ring while investigating a murder. Brick received positive reviews, with The Minnesota Daily’s critic commenting that Gordon-Levitt played the character “beautifully”, “true to film’s style”, “unfeeling but not disenchanted”, and “sexy in the most ambiguous way.”[14][15] Another reviewer described the performance as “astounding”.[16] He also starred opposite Steve Sandvoss as a young judgmental missionary in Latter Days (2003), a film that centers on a sexually confused Mormon missionary (Sandvoss) who falls for his gay neighbor. He had roles in Havoc and Shadowboxer.[17]

His next role was in 2007’s The Lookout, in which he played Chris Pratt, a janitor involved in a bank heist. In reviewing the film, The Philadelphia Inquirer described Gordon-Levitt as a “surprisingly formidable, and formidably surprising, leading man”,[18] while New York magazine stated that he is a “major tabula rasa actor … a minimalist”, and that his character worked because he “doesn’t seize the space … by what he takes away from the character.”[19] The San Francisco Chronicle specified that he “embodies, more than performs, a character’s inner life.”[11] His 2008 films include Killshot, in which he played a hoodlum partnered with a hired killer played by Mickey Rourke, and Stop-Loss, directed by Kimberly Peirce and revolving around American soldiers returning from the Iraq War.[14]

Gordon-Levitt played a lead role opposite Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days of Summer, a well-received 2009 release about the deconstruction of a relationship.[17] His performance, described as “the real key” to what makes the film work, credits him with using “his usual spell in subtle gradations.”[20] Variety’s Todd McCarthy praised his performance, saying he “expressively alternates between enthusiasm and forlorn disappointment in the manner Jack Lemmon could”.[21] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said the movie “hits you like a blast of pure romantic oxygen” and credited both lead actors for playing “it for real, with a grasp of subtlety and feeling that goes beyond the call of breezy duty.”[22] He was subsequently nominated for a Golden Globe Award.[23]

He later played villain Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.[24] On November 21, 2009, he hosted Saturday Night Live.[25] In 2010, replacing James Franco,[26] he starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Christopher Nolan’s science fiction thriller Inception, which received favorable reviews.[17] He played the role of the “Point Man” Arthur, Dom Cobb’s (DiCaprio) partner and the person responsible for researching the team’s targets.

He will play the younger version of Bruce Willis’s character in the time-traveling thriller Looper.[27] In 2011, he began filming Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, in which he plays John Blake, “a Gotham City beat cop assigned to special duty under the command of Commissioner Gordon.”[28] Steven Spielberg cast him to play Robert Todd Lincoln in the 2012 film Lincoln.[29]
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What are you doing on New Year’s Eve? Whatever it is, it’s probably not as cool as hanging out with offscreen BFFs Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. The “(500) Days of Summer” stars teamed up and recorded a new duet for Zooey’s website, HelloGiggles, and it’s basically the most adorable thing we’ve seen all week.

The duo covered Nancy Wilson’s classic “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” in a low-production video posted to YouTube. Ever since JGL joined ZD in She & Him’s “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here” music video, we’ve been obsessing about their mutual exploits off screen as well as on. We’ve been crossing our fingers for them to team up again onthe big screen, but the closest we’ve gotten is their hilarious Cinemash of “Sid and Nancy.”

As Zooey explains in her short blog post accompanying the video, she and Joe have been friends since they first met in 2000 while filming the movie “Manic.” They went on to star in the 2009 rom-com “(500) Days of Summer,” and have just generally been endearing to us all ever since.

“We bonded over a mutual appreciation for Harry Nilsson and Nina Simone, and I have been lucky enough to call him one of my dearest friends ever since,” Zooey wrote. “When we did ‘500 Days of Summer’ eight years later, we spent every lunch hour dancing to Marvin Gaye in the hair and makeup trailer. We had loads of fun. I hope to do a thousand more movies with him, because he’s simply the best.”

Can we consider that your New Year’s resolution, Zooey? Because we certainly are willing to sign on to watching everything you two collaborate on in the future.
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hypertrophic cardiomyopathy youtube

Filed under: Family News — genius @ 4:47 am

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a disease of the myocardium (the muscle of the heart) in which a portion of the myocardium is hypertrophied (thickened) without any obvious cause.[1][2][3][4][5][6] It is perhaps most well known as a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes.[7] The occurrence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a significant cause of sudden unexpected cardiac death in any age group and as a cause of disabling cardiac symptoms. Younger people are likely to have a more severe form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

HCM is frequently asymptomatic until sudden cardiac death, and for this reason some suggest routinely screening certain populations for this disease.[8]

A cardiomyopathy is a primary disease that affects the muscle of the heart. With hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the sarcomeres (contractile elements) in the heart replicate causing heart muscle cells to increase in size, which results in the thickening of the heart muscle. In addition, the normal alignment of muscle cells is disrupted, a phenomenon known as myocardial disarray. HCM also causes disruptions of the electrical functions of the heart. HCM is most commonly due to a mutation in one of 9 sarcomeric genes that results in a mutated protein in the sarcomere, the primary component of the myocyte (the muscle cell of the heart).

While most literature so far focuses on European, American, and Japanese populations, HCM appears in all racial groups. The prevalence of HCM is about 0.2% to 0.5% of the general population.

Myosin heavy chain mutations are associated with development of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
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Dynamic outflow obstruction (when present in HCM) is usually due to systolic anterior motion of the anterior leaflet of the mitral valve. Systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve (SAM) was initially thought to be due to the septal subaortic bulge, narrowing the outflow tract, causing high velocity flow and a Venturi effect—a local underpressure in the outflow tract. Low pressure was thought to suck the mitral valve anteriorly into the septum. But SAM onset is observed to be a low velocity phenomenon: SAM begins at velocities no different from those measured in normals [14] .[15] Hence, the magnitude and importance of Venturi forces in the outflow tract are much less than previously thought, and Venturi forces cannot be the main force that initiates SAM.

Recent echocardiographic evidence indicates that drag, the pushing force of flow is the dominant hydrodynamic force on the mitral leaflets [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] .[19] In obstructive HCM the mitral leaflets are often large [20] and are anteriorly positioned in the LV cavity [14] [21] due to anteriorly positioned papillary muscles[14] that at surgery are often “agglutinated” onto the LV anterior wall by abnormal attachments [18] .[19]

The mid-septal bulge aggravates the malposition of the valve and redirects outflow so that it comes from a lateral and posterior direction.[16] The abnormally directed outflow may be visualized behind and lateral to the enlarged mitral valve, where it catches it, and pushes it into the septum [14] [15] [16] .[17] There is a crucial overlap between the inflow and outflow portions of the left ventricle .[22] As SAM progresses in early systole the angle between outflow and the protruding mitral leaflet increases. A greater surface area of the leaflets is now exposed to drag which amplifies the force on the leaflets – drag increases with increasing angle relative to flow.[16] An analogy is an open door in a drafty corridor: the door starts by moving slowly and then accelerates as it presents a greater surface area to the wind and finally it slams shut. The necessary conditions that predispose to SAM are: anterior position of the mitral valve in the LV, altered LV geometry that allows flow to strike the mitral valve from behind, and chordal slack [14] [15] [16] .[17] SAM may considered anteriorly directed mitral prolapse [15] [16] .[17] In both conditions the mitral valve is enlarged and is displaced in systole by the pushing force of flow resulting in mitral regurgitation.

Because the mitral valve leaflet doesn’t get pulled into the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) until after the aortic valve opens, the initial upstroke of the arterial pulse will be normal. When the mitral valve leaflet gets pushed into the LVOT, the arterial pulse will momentarily collapse and be followed by a second rise, as the left ventricular pressure overcomes the increased obstruction that SAM of the mitral valve causes. This can be seen on the physical examination as a double tap upon palpation of the apical impulse and as a double pulsation upon palpation of the carotid pulse, known as bifid pulse.[23]
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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes thick. The thickening makes it harder for blood to leave the heart, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is often asymmetrical, meaning one part of the heart is thicker than the other parts. The condition is usually passed down through families (inherited). It is believed to be a result of several problems (defects) with the genes that control heart muscle growth.

Younger people are likely to have a more severe form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. However, the condition is seen in people of all ages.
Some patients have no symptoms. They may not even realize they have the condition until it is found during a routine medical exam.

The first symptom of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy among many young patients is sudden collapse and possible death. This is caused by very abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or from the blockage of blood leaving the heart to the rest of the body.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a major cause of death in young athletes who seem completely healthy but die during heavy exercise. However, certain normal changes in athletes’ hearts can confuse the diagnosis.
Exams and Tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and listen to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope. Listening with a stethoscope may reveal abnormal heart sounds or a murmur. These sounds may change with different body positions.

The pulse in your arms and neck will also be checked. The doctor may feel an abnormal heartbeat in the chest.

Tests used to diagnose heart muscle thickness, problems with blood flow, or leaky heart valves (mitral valve regurgitation) may include:
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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a heart condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick. The thickened heart muscle can cause the heart to have difficulty pumping blood. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy often causes the wall (septum) dividing the two lower heart chambers (ventricles) to thicken, which can cause reduced blood flow in and out of the heart.
Why choose Mayo Clinic for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

* Experience and expertise. Mayo Clinic doctors trained in heart conditions (cardiologists) and heart surgery (cardiac surgeons) have experience and expertise diagnosing and treating people who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Mayo Clinic doctors have evaluated and treated more than 5,000 people who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and doctors see more than 500 people each year. Trained staffs in the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Arizona provide care for people who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
* Team approach. Mayo Clinic cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, doctors trained in hereditary conditions (medical geneticists) and others work together to evaluate your condition and develop an individualized treatment plan to meet your needs.
* Latest diagnostic tools. Mayo Clinic doctors accurately diagnose your hypertrophic cardiomyopathy using echocardiograms, cardiac catheterization, genetic tests and other tests.
* Family education. Mayo Clinic doctors will educate you and your family about your condition and your treatment options. Doctors also may recommend evaluating family members for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
* Research. Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers study genetics, causes, diagnostic tests and potential treatments for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and conduct clinical trials.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children’s Hospitals for heart and heart surgery.
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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a genetic disorder that is typically inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion with variable penetrance and variable expressivity. The disease has complex symptomatology and potentially devastating consequences for patients and their families. (See Etiology and Prognosis.)[1]

The disorder has a variable presentation and carries a high incidence of sudden death. In fact, HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in preadolescent and adolescent children. The hallmark of the disorder is myocardial hypertrophy that is inappropriate, often asymmetrical, and occurs in the absence of an obvious inciting hypertrophy stimulus. This hypertrophy can occur in any region of the left ventricle but frequently involves the interventricular septum, which results in an obstruction of flow through the left ventricular (LV) outflow tract. (See Prognosis, History, Physical Examination, and Workup.)

Decades ago, HCM was written about and known as idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis (IHSS) or asymmetrical septal hypertrophy (ASH). These terms were replaced by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, because the segmental hypertrophy can occur in any segment of the ventricle, not just the septum. Furthermore, this entity can present without subaortic obstruction to flow yet still carry the same ominous risk of arrhythmogenic sudden death and many of its clinical symptoms.

HCM can be separated into obstructive and nonobstructive types. Obstructive HCM is due to midsystolic obstruction of flow through the LV outflow tract as a result of a Bernoulli effect–induced systolic anterior mitral valve movement toward the septum.

The significance of this obstruction, however, is highly controversial. Some investigators and experts believe the obstruction has less to do with the overall hemodynamic and pathophysiologic manifestations of this entity than it does with the inappropriate segmental hypertrophy, which, with its increased myocardial oxygen consumption and substrate for fatal ventricular arrhythmias, has much more significance in the overall clinical picture of this entity and in the treatment and prognosis of HCM.

HCM is a familial disease.[2] There are defects in several of the genes encoding for the sarcomeric proteins, such as myosin heavy chain, actin, tropomyosin, and titin.[3, 4] Multiple mutations have been identified, with genotype-specific risks for mortality and degree of hypertrophy. Interestingly, the genetic basis of ventricular hypertrophy does not directly correlate with prognostic risk stratification. (See Etiology.)

Patients with some mutations, such as specific tropomyosin substitutions, have only a mild degree of ventricular hypertrophy, with little or no LV outflow tract obstruction, but they still carry a disproportionately high risk for sudden death.[5]

Many patients, particularly children, with HCM may not be symptomatic. Careful evaluation of a heart murmur may reveal the condition. (See Physical Examination and Workup.)

2011 American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF)/AHA Guideline for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is now available.[6]
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kevin durant

Filed under: Family News — genius @ 4:41 am

Dec 30, 2011 – The Oklahoma City Thunder stand tall atop the Northwest Division at 4-0, but it was a close call on Thursday night against the Dallas Mavericks. Down by one point with just seconds left to go, Kevin Durant hit the game-winning three-point shot against the Mavericks for the 104-102 victory. That shot gave Durant 30 points on the night to go with his 11 rebounds.

Durant and Dirk Nowitzki were matching each other point for point most of the night, the latter finishing with 29 points. However, the defending NBA champion Mavericks are now 0-3 with the loss, dropping earlier decision to the Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets.

The Nuggets visited the Portland Trail Blazers to complete Thursday’s slate of action for the Northwest division. The Trail Blazers picked up its third win in 111-102 victory over the Nuggets. For the Nuggets, it was their first loss of the season. Denver battled back throughout the entire game and even tied held a lead midway through the fourth quarter. However, a 13-4 run by the Blazers at the end of the game sealed Denver’s fate. For extended coverage of the game, visit our StoryStream.

For more, visit Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs. Check out SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder are favorites to represent the West in the NBA Finals this season and remain one of the most exciting teams in the league. Beneath those plaudits, though, there’s brewing tension between stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Whether overblown or not, their relationship doesn’t seem quite perfect. And even if things were at one point fine, media consideration of the issue — Bill Simmons has written about the issue at length, and so did we in our Thunder preview — has turned it into something that everyone must acknowledge in some form.

For the most part, the discussion has been theoretical rather than based on several events. However, on Tuesday night, that perceived tension turned into something a little more tangible. Late in the second quarter of the team’s 98-95 road win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Westbrook passed to an open Thabo Sefolosha for a corner three. Sefolosha passed up the shot, which caused Westbrook to tell him to “shoot the (expletive) ball.” Several teammates, including Durant, thought he overreacted and tried to calm him down. Then things escalated on the bench, and Durant and Westbrook had to be separated. Probably because they hate each other!

The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry has more details (via J.A. Adande):

It didn’t appear to have anything AT ALL to do with the rumored rift that so many seemingly wants to be true. But they had to be separated more than once as they lashed out at each other. Fans in the first few rows behind the bench even came to their feet as if a fight was breaking out. The two eventually sat at opposite ends of the five-man unit that was sitting while waiting on Thunder coach Scott Brooks to enter the huddle. But when Durant and Westbrook took the court, Durant walked over and patted Westbrook on the back of the head.

Durant on the altercation: “We’re going to disagree sometimes, like I’ve always been saying. But I’m behind him 110 percent, and he’s the same way with me. And you seen when we came on the floor we clicked and everything started to work from there.” [...]

Westbrook was actually right when he demanded Thabo shoot. Westbrook just handled it the wrong way. Although Westbrook chose his words poorly, his reaction was no different than things I’ve seen from Chris Paul when demanding his teammates do something. Initially, I viewed it as a sign of Westbrook’s growing leadership and improved confidence in communicating, even if it means getting on someone. He was holding his teammate accountable, something he is obligated to do as the Thunder’s floor general. But it looked like he just didn’t know when to let it go. [...]

KD and Russ finished the game extremely well. Russ was passing Durant the ball according to the plays being called and there was no sign of resentment or tension. If there is something cancerous about their relationship, you certainly couldn’t tell by how they played together after halftime and cheered each other on the rest of the way.

There’s much more at that length, so read the whole thing if you want additional context. The story is pretty simple, though: Durant and Westbrook got in a bit of a fight before setting things aside and winning a tough road game against a very good opponent. Oh, and that happened despite Westbrook’s worst game ever, in which he shot 0-for-13 and turned it over four times.
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Arguments happen between competitive people, especially when those people are under as much pressure as Durant and Westbrook, young All-Stars on a team expected to make huge strides this season. It’s possible that this altercation represents some kind of point of no return in their relationship, but the fact that they came back to win the game together suggests that it was a momentary bump in the road.

The good thing for the Thunder, if this rift between their two stars really does exist, is that winning tends to smooth over a lot of rough edges. As long as the team keeps winning, Durant and Westbrook should be fine. A quick glance at the West landscape suggests there’s a good chance that will happen.
OKC needs to read a page out of the Timberwolves history about a Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury.
Westbrook is not going no where….why when westbrook have a bad day, you all hollo trade him..shut the hell up… like you dont have bad day,,again SHUT THE HELL UP…GO OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER… WE LOVE YOU WESTBROOK….play your game..
i think westbrook has the ability to be the best player on OKC over Durant, but he needs to limit his shots to about 16 or less, and pick ‘em better. Durant isn’t much of a closer so until he is, if Russ has the shot, he should take it. I’ve seen Durant have some bad shooting lines before too. Wow, just saw Vince Cancer hit a game leading 3 while I’m writing this. C’mon OKC!
Westbrook is stubborn and refuses to know his role. You should not be taking more shots than Durant. PERIOD. There is one solution. In the playoffs I saw for the first time James Harden making some really good decisions as a floor general. I think he has the court vision to know when to pass and when to shoot. And when he shoots its a LOT more accurate than westbrook. In summary, either trade Westbrook now for a premier pointguard, wait for the summer and vie for Dwilliams, or more practically move westbrook to the 2 guard position and let Harden start at 1. Yes i know Harden is a great boost off the bench but he would keep the offense clicking in ways that Westbrook refuses to do.
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yvette prieto engaged

Filed under: Family News — genius @ 4:38 am

(Reuters) – Basketball legend Michael Jordan is engaged to his long-time girlfriend Yvette Prieto, his spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Jordan, 48, considered the greatest U.S. basketball player of all time, proposed to Cuban-American model Prieto, 32, over the Christmas holidays, the spokeswoman told TV station WCNC in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The couple have been dating for about three years. It will be the second marriage for Jordan, who divorced his wife Juanita in 2006 after 17 years.

Jordan spent almost 19 years with the National Basketball Association (NBA), retiring twice from the Chicago Bulls before finally quitting the game and the Washington Wizards in 2003.

He endorsed the successful line of Nike Air Jordan athletic shoes and appeared as himself in the 1996 movie “Space Jam.”

Jordan is currently the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats.

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Michael Jordan is engaged to long-time girlfriend Yvette Prieto, according to media reports.

The NBA basketball legend and the model have been dating for three years.

The Christmas day engagement was confirmed by a Jordan spokesperson, according to WCNC.

It will be Jordan’s second marriage. He has three children with his ex-wife, Juanita Vanoy. They divorced in 2006, according to The Associated Press

No doubt Michael Jordan today feels like he is walking on air for the first time since quitting basketball.

For the legendary Chicago Bulls player has just got engaged to his long term partner, Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto.

The pair have been dating for the last three years, so Michael, 48, doubtlessly feels the 32-year-old is the woman for him.

The North Carolina native got down on one knee recently, and his spokeswoman confirmed today she had accepted his proposal.

However she added that rumours he was spending this week celebrating on a private yacht overseas were untrue.

So far there are no details about when they plan to walk down the aisle.

Michael has been married once before, and was with his first wife Juanita for 17 years before their relationship ended in divorce in 2006.

They had two sons together, Jeffrey, 23, and 12-year-old Marcus, and both went on to play the game that made their father famous at university.

They also have an 18-year-old daughter Jasmine.

The couple had been set to get divorced in 2002, but they attempted an unsuccessful reunion, before finally dissolving their marriage in 2006.

Juanita’s reported $168 million divorce settlement was the biggest celebrity settlement up to that point.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2080040/Michael-Jordan-gets-engaged-girlfriend-Yvette-Prieto.html#ixzz1i1UGbOKg

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The legendary shooting guard has had an eventful time since finally retiring from the NBA following a spell at the Washington Wizards in 2003.

He was fired from his position as the Wizards’ director of basketball operations that same year, and went on to concentrate on playing charity golf tournaments, promoting his Nike clothing brand and riding motorbikes.

However he also set up a motor-racing team called Michael Jordan Motorsports in 2004, and bought a stake in NBA side the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006.

He extended his stake in the latter, and became the side’s majority owner last year.

Michael is considered by many to be the finest basketball player off all-time, and his trademark slam dunks led to him being named Air Jordan and His Airness by fans.

Nike used his nickname to produce the Air Jordan brand of training shoes and other athletics apparel that have become a worldwide sales phenomenon.\

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December 24, 2011

Host Coupon

Filed under: Family News — Tags: — janellclemons @ 2:02 am

Host Coupon – HGCOUPONFREE – saves you 25% on all hostgator plans when you sign up for any hosting plan with host gator with this hg coupon

December 20, 2011

kardashian christmas card

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 7:30 am

The Kardashian Christmas card has been posted and the black-tie affair is getting mixed reviews.

The Kardashian Christmas card depicts the whole family — minus Kris Humphries, of course — decked out in sleek black and white suits and skirts. Kris Jenner gives the card a splash of color by wearing a teal sequin dress. Even Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick’s one-year-old son, Mason, got in on the action, wearing a bow tie and suspenders.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner — the Kardashians’ little sisters — are also on the card, sporting killer black stilettos and looking much older than 16 and 14.

The Daily Mail is helping fans recreate the Kardashian Christmas look for themselves, but not everyone is sold on the card.

“They all look great (credit to photoshop) but this looks more at home in vogue or elle- it’s hardly full of christmas cheer!” one commenter said, while another commented, “ADDAMS FAMILY SPRINGS TO MIND LOL.”

Check out the Kardashian Christmas card for yourself here.
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The 2011 Kardashian family Christmas card generated a variety of reactions across the internet when it debuted in both its traditional and 3-D forms. Some of the reactions included accusations of airbrushing and after photograph touch-ups. While some Photoshop body shaping may have occurred after the pictures were snapped, a series of “backstage” snapshots taken while the entire family prepped for their shoots show that any facial airbrushing that took place happened before the Christmas picture was taken.

Celebuzz showed off a large group of pictures of the girls as they waited to pose, received last minute make-up touch-ups, and reviewed the various Christmas card photographs taken. In all of the pictures, it is clear that Khloe, Kim, and Kourtney Kardashian as well as Kylie and Kendall Jenner received their most drastic airbrushing in the make-up chair.

In all of the photographs, the girls look like they are wearing several layers of foundation as well as sculpting make-up such as blush. Kim was also wearing highly dramatic eyeliner and lipstick to give her a more gothic look in her menswear inspired ensemble. Of all the girls, Khloe and the two Jenner girls looked the best. While their make-up was heavy, it did manage to look a bit more natural than Kim and Kourtney’s – which, admittedly, isn’t saying a lot.
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It will take a third dimension to keep up with the Kardashians this year. The family has unveiled their annual Christmas card and, this time around, it’s available in 3-D.

“Here it is! Our 2011 Kardashian/Jenner family Christmas card!!!” Kim Kardashian tells the Web site Celebuzz.com. “It was shot by the amazing Nick Saglimbeni and there’s a special 3-D version that you can view with 3-D glasses … I love our family Christmas cards shoots and I think this one looks amazing!”

But despite Kim’s enthusiasm, the card is actually a fallback plan for her. According to Radar Online, the reality TV star had hoped to send out a Christmas card featuring one of her wedding portraits and had even ordered proofs from a high-end stationery company. But when she filed for divorce from Humphries on Oct. 31, that plan went out the window. The new card was shot on Nov. 21, sans Humphries.
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The Kardashians’ blue-tinged Christmas card shows the family — all in matching bowties — spread out on stairs underneath sculpted arches. The entire family wears black and white, except for matriarch Kris Jenner, who stands in the center of the photograph in a blue sequined dress.

Kim stands slightly off center in the photo, to the right of Khloe and her husband Lamar Odom. Kim sports a tuxedo look, complete with a sequined jacket, which she also wore to cheer on Rob during “Dancing with the Stars.”

To Kim’s right is Kourtney leaning on an armchair, along with her partner Scott Disick and son Mason Disick.

Kendall Jenner has the most glamorous look of the year, in a gown with a black taffeta skirt that frames her long legs. Kylie Jenner leans on her shoulder. On her other side is Rob, with his hands stuffed in his pockets.

Kourtney is very excited about the card. “There’s nothing I love more than getting everyone together for the Christmas card shoot!” she wrote on her blog when the image was shot. “I love everyone’s matching bow ties!”

Khloe echoed, “We had soooooo much fun getting all dressed up for it and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!”
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jon bon jovi dead or alive

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 7:27 am

on Bon Jovi is not dead, reports the New York Daily News. But the Daily News reported that a random blog post claiming he had died of cardiac arrest on Monday created a Twitter storm to that effect.

The good news is that the 49-year-old rocker is still alive and kicking and that means if he’s anything like you and me, he could use a good investment. Read on for two that worked in 2011 and will probably keep doing so in 2012.

The single best investment idea of 2011 was volatility – the extreme up and down movement in markets. But volatility bets are risky — so for those who are less prone to living on a prayer, there are Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS).

Let’s look at how to place volatility bets first. Investors can measure and place bets on volatility by trading in the Chicago Board of Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index (VIX). VIX has spiked 40% in 2011. So if you wanted to boost the value of your portfolio in 2011, you would have bet on the VIX rising – and it now stands at 24.92.

Therein lies a problem with VIX – the VIX itself is highly volatile. This means that it has gone up and down wildly in 2011. This summer, the VIX peaked at 48 and it has unsteadily risen and fallen to its current level.

A look back at VIX over the last five years reveals that it peaks during periods of maximum global instability. For example, VIX peaked at 62 in September 2008 in the midst of the financial crisis.

And it soared again this summer when S&P downgraded the U.S. bond paying rating – a move whose effect was the opposite of the one intended. Instead of scaring away investors, they poured money into U.S. 10 year securities – causing the interest rate that the U.S. must pay for a 10 year loan to plunge about 33%.

My conclusion is that the VIX was a risky bet for 2011 but one that has delivered returns that vastly exceeded 2011’s 3.4% inflation rate and returns in stocks — the S&P 500 has fallen 3% so far in 2011. A final thought on the VIX — if it does not exist, someone should invent a way to bet on volatility in the VIX — the VIX-squared.

Meanwhile, if you wanted a far less risky return – and I think most of you would prefer that – you could have invested in TIPS – they rose 11%. And when you adjust for the low risk in TIPS, they trounced money-losing stocks in 2011.
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Behind the massive amount of volatility were four of the biggest economic and financial news stories of 2011:

Instability in the Eurozone. This story got massive coverage in the business media with every deal or no-deal rumor regarding whether Germany and France would get together to bail out the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) moving markets up and down. As of this writing, there does not appear to be any solid resolution of this situation to investors are left to ponder the chance that 2012 could witness the dissolution of the Eurozone and that event’s accompanying global instability.
Dominance of High Frequency Trading. This story was not covered at all – it’s the fact that about 70% of all trading in stocks is done by computers that make tiny profits by intercepting buy and sell orders on their way to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) computers and placing trades that get executed right before those intercepted orders. This story is important for three reasons: First, if not illegal front-running, at a minimum it puts the average investor at a huge disadvantage; second, it means that the entire idea of a company’s stock price being related to its financial prospects is worthless; and finally, the hedge funds that do HFT are sucking talent away from more socially-useful activities.
Wall Street’s failure to profit. All the volatility has scared away investors and since Wall Street makes much of its money on trading commissions, its revenues are down. Furthermore, financial regulation has made it harder for Wall Street to trade for its own account. Moreover, the people who are good at such proprietary trading are leaving for hedge funds that don’t face these restrictions. As a result, Wall Street is in the midst of about 200,000 layoffs and 30% lower bonuses. What’s been bad for the bottom 99% is also turning out to be bad for many Wall Streeters as well. But they’re just realizing what it’s like to be in the bottom 99% now – that’s because only the top 0.01% are still prospering while Wall Street is only in the top 0.1%. (Is it time for Wall Street layoff victims to carry a sign: We are the top 0.1%?).
Lack of U.S. leadership. Finally, there was nothing going on in the U.S. that seemed to drive global markets. It looks as though U.S. leaders are just sitting on the sidelines waiting to react to the latest rumor out of Europe. In the third quarter, the U.S.’s 2.5% economic growth was among the best in the so-called developed world – but it’s nothing to get investors excited. More importantly, Washington appears broken as the House and Senate disregard what might be in the best interest of America’s middle class – such as passing legislation that would boost U.S. growth and help create jobs. President Obama, meanwhile, appears either unable to come up with any good ideas on what Washington could to do help or incapable of leading Washington to enact these ideas.

I don’t see much change in any of these stories in 2012. This makes me think that if you don’t mind a bumpy road, you should buy the VIX and if you do mind, TIPS might continue to be a good bet for 2012.
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According to a fake story being spread on Twitter, the rock star was found “in a coma” at a hotel in New Jersey and taken to a hospital, where he supposedly “suffered cardiac arrest.”

It is 100% fake.

Bon Jovi is NOT dead.

He’s alive and well.

To prove his point, Bon Jovi even tweeted and posted to Facebook the picture here – showing him very much alive and joking, “Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey.”

RELATED – Bon Jovi and Wife Open Pay-What-You-Can Restaurant

His sense of humor is a lot better than the idiots who have been spreading “death” rumors about Will Smith, Eddie Murphy, Lady Gaga and dozens of other stars.
In a tragic turn of events, legendary 80′s frontman Jon Bon Jovi was found dead last night after law enforcement officials found him unresponsive in a New Jersey hotel. This terrible news comes only months after actor Adam Sandler died in a terrible snowboarding accident and Will Smith fell off of a cliff while mountain climbing in New Zealand.

Of course, all of these things were only true for a few hours on Twitter.

The Bon Jovi lead singer is the latest victim of a Twitter death rumor, the type of inaccurate viral news that has fake-claimed-the-lives of people like Justin Bieber, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Chan and many more.
This particular rumor was spread on the site with the help of a link to a pretty horrible looking press release on a wordpress blog called dailynewbloginternational. The release claimed that Bon Jovi had died at the age of 49 after “paramedics found him in a coma at his Empress hotel.”

Just above the headline is a link to “Megan Fox is the 14th Hottest Woman of All Time: HIV POSITIVE,” so, yeah.

This is not the only fake celeb news source for those looking to start a Twitter rumor. For years, folks have been able to turn to the “Global Associated News” and their “Fake a Wish” service, a celebrity fake news hoax generator. The fake news stories always look like this, and come with a (very small) disclaimer at the bottom of the page describing the site as FAKE.
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December 18, 2011

timberwolves nba season

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 9:07 am

A couple of years too late, but Ricky Rubio finally played his first game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The new Minnesota rookie connection, with Derrick Williams also making an impressive debut in the Target Center, joining the reliable stat machine Kevin Love. Suddenly, the Timberwolves seem like an intriguing team to watch, and even, dare we say, a playoff contender.

It’s still pre season, and these are only names on the paper. After all, the Minnesota have never been to the NBA playoffs without Kevin Garnett wearing their jersey, and even with him, the team hasn’t made a post season visit since 2004. In the last two seasons under Kurt Rambis, they’ve won a total of 32 games. Rick Adelman, the new head coach, hasn’t finished below .500 since the 1996-1997 season. Good signs.
And there was last night, hosting the Milwaukee Bucks. Ricky Rubio came off the bench to play 24 minutes. The guy won’t be scoring a lot of points, his abilities aren’t lighting up the scoreboard. But he’s a great floor general, being a starting point guard in professional basketball since he was 16. He finished with 7 assists, and unlike most European players, his defense shouldn’t be an Achilles heal. On the contrary, it’s one of his strongest points.
And there’s the show. Rubio has fundumentals, but he’s got the flair too. Kevin Love will get you a double double every night, but he’s not exciting to watch. A Kevin Love – Williams front court doesn’t sound too shabby. Williams finished with %56.8 from three point land on his sophomore year with Arizona. Alongside a hopefully improved Wesley Johnson, this team looks a whole lot more dangerous.

There’s a long way to go from NBA bottom feeders to playoff contenders and even more, a few steps and stages to go through. On a shortened season, packed with back to back and back to back to back games, you never know with a young team. The fresh legs can be an advantage, but young teams, despite one of the more experiences NBA coaches possible, tend to have many highs and lows, with back to back nights prime from and on-off display.

Lets keep the playoff hopes at bay until we’ve seen more than one preseason game. One thing for sure – The Timberwolves will actually be interesting to watch after a long long time of being, as sad as it is to say, irrelevant.
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Minneapolis, MN—
Kevin Love netted 21 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 117-96 victory over the

Milwaukee Bucks in the preseason opener for both squads.

Michael Beasley also netted 21 points and grabbed six rebounds, while J.J. Barea made a good impression on his new team, finishing with 14 points and six assists. Former Arizona standout and second-overall pick Derrick Williams donated 14 points.

Jon Leuer led the Bucks with 18 points, while Mike Dunleavy added 16 points and five assists. Carlos Delfino chipped in with 11 points and Brandon Jennings donated seven points.
klahoma City Thunder: OKC won its first division title last season before bowing out in the conference finals, and the expectation around town is that this year’s squad is capable of advancing to the NBA Finals and challenging for a championship.

Of course, several other teams in the West also feel that way (starting with the defending champion Mavericks, who bounced the Thunder from the playoffs in five games), but Oklahoma City has as good a chance as any to win the West this year.

Kevin Durant has won the past two NBA scoring crowns, and there’s no reason to expect a drop-off in production this season. Russell Westbrook continued his ascension to the league’s elite in 2010-11, posting career highs across the board. Perhaps most encouraging, Westbrook’s field goal percentage rose for the second year in a row, from a dismal 40% in his rookie season to 42% in 2009-10 to 44% last year. That’s why you know that Westbrook’s bump in scoring (16 PPG in 2009-10 to 22 PPG in 2010-11) wasn’t a fluke—he played pretty much identical minutes per game, yet shot better from the field and got to the line more (7.7 times per game last year compared to 5.1 the year before).

There’s a family atmosphere in OKC, and like any set of brothers, Durant and Westbrook won’t always get along. There does seem to be a hint of truth to the rumors of a Durant-Westbrook power struggle, but I don’t think it’s strong enough to derail this team. Both guys are only 23 years old, and last year was the first time they had truly contended at the NBA level. Expect Westbrook to learn from his benching in last year’s playoffs and for this team to win the division and lock up a high seed. How the Thunder fare beyond that, though, will depend on the supporting cast, especially presumptive third-scorer James Harden. Harden, the third pick in the ’09 draft, really came on in the playoffs last year, but fell short in a couple crucial moments, tallying just 14 points, total, in Game 3 and 4 losses to Dallas.
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The good thing about guys like Harden and Serge Ibaka, both 22, is that they are still young with room for improvement. Both have taken steps in their careers so far, but the next one—from decent role player to legitimate third/fourth guys on a championship team—is the hardest one to make. [Editor's Note: Throw in known-entity role players like Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha, Eric Maynor, Nick Collison, and Nazr Mohammed, and Oklahoma City is the only team that one can argue has more good depth than the Bulls, which could become quite important in a tough season that is likely to require a little more than normal from most teams' benches.]

Could Make the Playoffs (in order of likelihood)

Portland Trail Blazers: It’s beginning to look like the Blazers are cursed. Brandon Roy was forced to retire due to a chronic knee injury (though at least that answers the question of whether they would amnesty him), and we all know Greg Oden’s injury history. Now that LaMarcus Aldridge’s heart ailment has resurfaced, the three most important Blazers of the last decade have all been struck with tremendous bad luck. Portland will press on, however, behind a deep, rugged frontcourt. Assuming Aldridge will be okay to start the season, he’ll be joined Marcus Camby (still a force on defense, but rapidly declining on offense), Kurt Thomas (another ancient banger), Gerald Wallace (defensive maven who plays bigger than his listed 6-foot-7) and flashy Frenchman Nicolas Batum.

The problem Portland faced last season, however, was that, apart from Aldridge, they couldn’t rely on anyone to consistently score inside, and that led to a FG% that ranked 24th in the league, and second-to-last among playoff teams. Portland’s guards are slightly above average: Wesley Matthews surprisingly played up to his contract last season, and Raymond Felton is solid if unspectacular at the point. Jamal Crawford will be fine for them as long as they keep him in the proper role—a scorer off the bench who can carry the offense for brief periods. This team won’t win a title any time soon, but they’re good enough to pull a first-round upset (and maybe more) if they get the right matchup in the playoffs.

Denver Nuggets: No team has had a busier (or stranger) off-season than the Nuggets. Usually, a team in Denver’s position would look to build on the success of an 18-7 regular season finish (after trading Carmelo Anthony) and a close playoff loss to the Thunder (Denver’s four losses were by an average of four points). But the lockout crippled Denver’s roster, meaning that their squad will have a very different look when they take the court in 2011-12. Here’s a breakdown of what’s happened, and what still needs to happen:
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-Wilson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, and J.R. Smith–all key pieces of last year’s playoff run–signed with the Chinese Basketball Association during the lockout and won’t be able to return to the NBA until March because their Chinese contracts don’t include escape clauses. While all three were free agents, it’s likely Denver would have re-signed two, if not all, of them, considering that they are still way under the cap with a week to go until the season begins.

-The Nuggets sent point guard Raymond Felton to Portland for Andre Miller on draft night. They also received the rights to #26 pick Jordan Hamilton and drafted Kenneth Faried at #22. [Editor's Note: Everyone knew before the draft that Faried would drop down to the 20's and everyone also knew his career would be much better than that - one of the most bizarre combinations we've seen in quite some time. There is no question that Faried will very quickly go down as one of the top steals in recent NBA history, yet everyone knew this would be the case before the draft. WTF NBA scouts and GM's?]

-Nene, one of the prize free agents in this year’s class, re-upped for five years and $67 million.

-They acquired Corey Brewer and Rudy Fernandez from Dallas for a second-round pick on December 13.

-Denver still needs to re-sign guard Arron Afflalo, which may end up costing them big since he’s one of the top remaining free agents and a lot of teams still have cap room.

What the Nuggets have now is a weird roster that divides pretty cleanly into two main groups. Half the team (Nene, Chris Andersen, Faried, Brewer, and Afflalo if he signs) are tough, defensive-minded guys. The other half (Al Harrington, Danilo Gallinari, Fernandez, Ty Lawson because of his size) are very talented on offense but are questionable on D. In a way, it’s nice to have players that display a variety of skills, but it’s not great for a team when everyone’s pulling in a different direction. I’d expect Denver to play at a fast pace, with Miller, who’s 35, ceding minutes to Lawson, one of the league’s fastest players. Lawson and Fernandez will look to get a lot of steals and turn them into easy baskets.

If everyone’s in shape, Denver could steal a bunch of wins just by pushing the ball and playing hard at home; the elevation coupled with the compressed schedule will do the rest. The biggest problem Denver faces is that it lacks a great player, and in the NBA, the track record of teams without a bona fide star is pretty poor. A return to the playoffs is possible, but this roster is still too discombobulated to hope for much more.
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No Playoffs

Utah Jazz: This isn’t a great team right now, but it’s clear that GM Kevin O’Connor has a plan in place. The trade with New Jersey netted them (yes, pun intended) two top-3 picks in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. They form the centerpiece of what has the potential to be an absolutely dominant frontcourt when you add in Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap (both of whom are only 26 years old). Devin Harris is a good all-around guard (though with a career 30% 3FG, he has to either get better at shooting threes or stop launching them). And once Mehmet Okur’s $11 million salary comes off the books at season’s end, Utah will have the chance to address their biggest need, a stud shooting guard.

All this means that there’s a lot to be excited about in Utah…in 2013. As is the case with every rebuilding team, the Jazz will have to take their lumps, and that means no playoffs this season and the possibility of no playoffs next year too. But those losing records will yield lottery picks, and adding low-cost talent is the way to go when you’re rebuilding. Until Favors and Kanter get stronger, teams will dominate Utah around the rim, and the Jazz’s backcourt (Harris, Raja Bell, C.J. Miles, and Josh Howard) won’t score enough for the team to be competitive. At least head coach Tyrone Corbin had some time to get to know his players at the end of last season, rather than rushing to prepare his new team in a shortened training camp. There’s no guarantee that either Favors or Kanter develop into stars, but if one of them does, Utah will be dangerous in the near future. And if both do? They sky’s the limit.

Minnesota Timberwolves: For the first time since Kevin Garnett left, there is hope in Minnesota.

Yes, they somehow still have three point guards after signing J.J. Barea. But even David Kahn’s front office fumblings don’t change the fact that Minnesota has a glut of young talent, led by the league’s leading rebounder (Kevin Love) and possibly the best player in the most recent draft in Derrick Williams. Kahn also brought in new coach Rick Adelman (after dragging out Kurt Rambis’ firing WAAAY too long) who’s had success in Portland, Sacramento, and Houston. However, this team has been the worst in basketball over the past two years, tallying just 32 wins total, and because of that, there are naturally several areas of concern.

Though Love and Williams are almost guaranteed to find success in the NBA (Love already has), the same can’t be said about the rest of Minnesota’s roster, all of whom face serious questions about their ability to hack it in the league. Michael Beasley averaged 19 PPG last season, but he did it extremely inefficiently (took 17 shots a game and shot 45% FG). He also has a marijuana problem. Ricky Rubio–whose arrival has been anticipated for what seems like forever–could be a transcendent player, but he can’t shoot at all (his career high FG%, over six seasons in Spain? 41%), and his numbers in the Spanish League/Euroleague are far from impressive. Wesley Johnson’s already 24 years old and didn’t show much in his rookie season. Anthony Randolph’s potential has been talked about since his rookie year of 2008-09, but he’s not much further along now than he was back then. Minnesota’s more experienced players aren’t much better. Their center situation is a joke with Darko Milicic, Brad Miller, and Nikola Pekovic. No one on the team can score consistently apart from Love; Minnesota is just lucky that he gets plenty of putback opportunities because he’s a great offensive rebounder.
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In fact, apart from Love, the Timberwolves are below average at every spot on the court, sometimes considerably so. Ridnour, Johnson, and Milicic all started at least 63 games last season and all have an argument as one of the worst five starters at their position across the league. There is one bright spot, though, in the signing of Bonzi Wells. Only joking—I think that Wells (who’s been out of the league since 2008) just follows Rick Adelman around the league at this point. The best the T-Wolves can hope for is that their young talent isn’t as flawed as it looks and that they land another high draft pick in 2012…oops, their draft pick now belongs to the Hornets due to a trade for Marko Jaric back in 2005.

Top 5 Players

C: Nene, Denver Nuggets

F: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

F: Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

F: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers

G: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

jeff green replaced

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 9:03 am

The Boston Celtics announced Saturday that reserve forward Jeff Green will miss the entire 2011-2012 season to have surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. The news is far worse than anyone had imagined and sheds some light on why the Celtics delayed making an announcement until now.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said via a statement: “While we are saddened that Jeff will not be able to play this season, the most important thing is his health, and we were fortunate to have access to an amazing team of specialists to evaluate Jeff’s case, the entire Celtics family supports Jeff during this difficult time in his career.”

Jeff Green also took to his personal twitter account and offered the following: “Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers… much appreciated love you all..and I’ll be back soon stronger and better than ever I promise”

As a result of the failed physical, Green’s $9 million contract has been voided by the league. Since the Celtics were already above the cap, little relief is gained as a result of the money, allocated to Green, coming off the books. The Celtics do hold onto Green’s rights for when he is able to resume his basketball career after this season.

Green averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds last season for the Celtics following the mid-season trade that sent Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City.

In his absence, expect Marquis Daniels and Sasha Pavlovic to vie for Green’s minutes. Since the Celtics are handcuffed by the cap, little relief from the outside is expected.

The recent news is a devastating blow to the Celtics, but even more devastating for Green himself. Sometimes basketball is only a game and we wish Green a full and speedy recovery.
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TORONTO – Now that the Celtics know Jeff Green will not return this season because of a heart ailment, coach Doc Rivers said the team will move forward with parts from the current roster.

Green would have served mostly in a reserve role up front, and Rivers said Friday night he will rely on Marquis Daniels and Sasha Pavlovic to fill that role for the time being.

Daniels is finally healthy after having surgery to repair his spine following a series of stingers and a scary incident last February against Orlando that left him temporarily paralyzed after a collision with Gilbert Arenas.

Pavlovic was signed to a one-year deal last week and the Celtics believe he can make a significant impact if he plays more aggressively. Rivers said earlier in the week that Pavlovic’s biggest obstacle is confidence and he has spent time providing encouragement.

Green averaged 9.8 points per game last season and likely would have produced more as his comfort level with the team’s offense increased. But Rivers said the Daniels-Pavlovic duo doesn’t need to replace Green’s offensive contributions. Brandon Bass can provide a majority of the scoring for the second unit.

“That’s not a hard one,’’ Rivers said. “I think Brandon’s going to give offense from the [power forward] spot. We’re going to get some offense from that spot if Marquis can post the way we think he can. Brandon and Keyon [Dooling] will give us offense from that spot and maybe some other guys just by making plays.’’

The Celtics could look outside the organization for potential replacements, but they only have the league minimum to offer. Even with Green’s $9 million salary voided, the Celtics are still over the salary cap, limiting their opportunities to chase quality free agents.

An intriguing possibility is former Celtics James Posey, who was waived by the Pacers through the amnesty clause. Posey played with the Celtics for just one season but was a key component off the bench in the team’s title run in 2008.
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O’Neal stepping up

Rivers said Jermaine O’Neal continues to be the most impressive player in camp. The veteran center was offered to the Hornets in the David West deal but that fell through and the Celtics appear to have a rejuvenated player on their hands.

“If we had an MVP trophy for camp, I think he would win it,’’ Rivers said. “He’s been phenomenal throughout camp, really wonderful.

“He’s really bought in defensively; he really knows where to be all the time. And now he’s become a talker and that’s one of the things Kevin [Garnett] and [Kendrick Perkins] and [Glen Davis] had and Jermaine was new to it. We didn’t have that a lot last year. It’s good that Jermaine got it.’’

Film selections

The club took the day off yesterday on the court but watched film in preparation for today’s preseason game against the Raptors in Toronto. The Raptors come to TD Garden for the preseason finale Wednesday night . . . Paul Pierce (sore right heel) will not play today but is expected to return Wednesday. Garnett, who injured his right thumb in practice Thursday, is questionable . . . Rivers said Avery Bradley, Pavlovic, Daniels, and E’Twaun Moore will be competing for minutes to back up Ray Allen. “There’s a spot there and all of [them] aren’t going to play it, so it makes for a competitive camp.’’
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The Boston Celtics announced Saturday that forward Jeff Green will undergo heart surgery next month and will miss the entire 2011-12 season.
A routine physical administered after Green agreed to a one-year, $9 million contract with the Celtics last week detected an aortic aneurysm.
After consulting with leading cardiac specialists, the decision was made to completely repair Green’s condition, and doctors indicated to him that he should be able to resume his basketball career during the 2012-13 season.

“While we are saddened that Jeff will not be able to play this season, the most important thing is his health, and we were fortunate to have access to an amazing team of specialists to evaluate Jeff’s case,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. “The entire Celtics family supports Jeff during this difficult time in his career.”

In detailing the condition, Dr. Michael Kaplan, a senior medical correspondent for ESPN, stressed that the rupture of the aorta could be catastrophic. He said that surgery is still a major procedure, but Green, 25, indeed could resume his basketball career down the road.

“An aortic aneurysm is a condition where the abdominal aorta, which is the largest blood vessel in the body, has a dilation, meaning the wall of the blood vessel thins and then balloons out,” said Kaplan, who is not involved in Green’s treatment. “It’s more typical in older individuals with some sort of blood vessel disease, but we see it occasionally with people as young as Jeff, usually from other conditions.”

Kaplan said that the condition could be congenital, or the result of another disease process such as Marfan syndrome.

Green’s contract has been voided because of the failed physical, but the Celtics retain their rights to him when he returns.
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“Thank u everyone for ur thoughts and prayers,” a post on Green’s Twitter account read. “…much appreciated love u all..and I’ll be back soon stronger and better than ever I promise.”

Green will undergo surgery Jan. 9 at the Cleveland Clinic. At the request of Green, the team declined all further comments on the situation.

Kaplan said there are two types of surgery Green could undergo — a full open-chest procedure, or a less-invasive synthetic graft replacement of the dilated segment. Either way, he cautions, it’s a big deal.

“Regardless of technique, surgery is a major undertaking with long recovery and significant potential complications,” he said.

Kaplan emphasized the dissimilarity between Green’s condition and the one that claimed the life of Celtics star Reggie Lewis (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).

“Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most frequent reason for which we see young athletes go down and, occasionally, die on the court,” Kaplan said. “That’s a condition that is post-viral, where the person has a virus and the heart wall muscles are affected by it due to a thickening. It’s a different situation than (what Green is facing).”

Green, 25, averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds last season after joining the Celtics in a trade that sent Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Around the league, the news of Green’s looming surgery seemed to strike some players hard. Steve Nash and Baron Davis were among those sending best wishes via Twitter, and in Miami, LeBron James seemed taken aback when asked about Green after the Heat finished practice.

“I think it’s unfortunate for the game to be taken away, especially after a summer like this where we already had 2½ months off,” James said. “Hopefully he can get back healthy, they can figure out what’s going on and he can get back on the floor. I had an opportunity to play in a few charity games with him this summer. He looked fine to me, but I’m not a doctor. I wish him the best.”
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j.r. martinez dad!

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 9:00 am

Winning “Dancing with the Stars” doesn’t compare to J.R. Martinez’s next gig: Fatherhood!

The Iraq war vet and girlfriend Diana Gonzalez-Jones are expecting their first child together, due in the spring.

He broke the news yesterday to PEOPLE, telling the mag the couple is having a girl and “With the holidays coming up, this is the biggest and best gift we could get.”

His “Dancing” partner Karina Smirnoff offered up some congratulations on Twitter, telling him “heard the news @knowjr Congratulations! So happy for u! Can’t wait to meet baby Diana!” — with J.R. responding “you’ll teach em dancing. lol.”

J.R. is definitely one proud papa-to-be, and has been non-stop tweeting since the news broke.

“Big #thanks to everyone for the well wishes and funny comments. Didn’t think it would be such news but happy for the luv! #fatherhood,” he said, before adding “First thing that crossed my mind when we found out we were having a girl.All the #emotional feelings, all the #beautyproducts, & the #OMG ’s”

Martinez and Gonzalez-Jones met on the set of “All My Children,” he was acting in the show and she was working as an assistant to the soap’s executive producer.

Congratulations to the happy couple!
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Celebrities announce pregnancies every other day and it’s always joyous news, except when it happens to someone truly inspirational and deserving like JR Martinez, the former Iraqi vet turned DWTS champion. When impending parenthood happens to people like that you don’t simply offer congratulations, you dance on the tables screaming YAYYYY!!! Martinez and his girlfriend Diana Gonzalez-Jones are expecting their first child next spring, and the couple are high as a kite over the news. But judging from all the Tweets and comments going around the web, I think his fans might be even more excited than they couple is … if that’s even possible!

Thrilled 2 hear JR Martinez is gonna be a dad. He’s such an inspiration. Seems like a wonderful guy who will b a fab dad:) … tweeted Guiliana Rancic yesterday. Martinez will likely never forget the year 2011, what with winning the latest season of Dancing With the Stars, and now this. He said in People:

2011 has been full of a lot of surprises and opportunities and ultimately, a lot of blessings. Diana and I were just asking ourselves, ‘How is 2012 going to top 2011?’ Well, we have our answer!

As grateful as Martinez is for this blessing, his future child — a girl! — is equally blessed to have been given such an amazing father. For all that he endured in battle in Iraq, being burned over his entire face, only to triumph over those setbacks to become a successful actor and performer, Martinez is one of the best parental role models I could possibly think up for any child. He has seen and lived through so much strive and struggle in his young life, and knows what’s truly important in life.

Congratulations, JR, on your latest role — it’s going to be your hardest but most fulfilling one yet!
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Less than a month ago we were writing about how J.R. Martinez had just won this season of Dancing with the Stars. The Iraq War veteran had inspired people throughout the show and together with professional partner Karina Smirnoff, was a deserved and much-acclaimed winner. Now it seems J.R. Martinez has another reason to celebrate as he is expecting his first child with partner Diana Gonzales-Jones.
The couple met each other back in 2008 when Martinez was appearing on ‘All My Children’ and Gonzales-Jones was an assistant to the executive producer of the show. However, although they became friends at that time, their relationship didn’t progress further until last year. Earlier this year Martinez told People, “We were so good as friends that romantically, we just clicked right away. There was no adjustment period.” Now Martinez has spoken to People again, this time to share the good news about the baby.

Martinez said, “We found out just last week it’s a girl and we are over the moon. Diana has a little baby bump now and it’s the cutest thing ever. With the holidays coming up, this is the biggest and best gift we could get.” Martinez spoke of his good fortune this year and said that the idea of fatherhood was “sinking in.” He added, “2011 has been full of a lot of surprises and opportunities and ultimately, a lot of blessings. Diana and I were just asking ourselves, ‘How is 2012 going to top 2011?’ Well, we have our answer!”

Martinez seems hardly able to contain his joy and yesterday afternoon tweeted, “Already getting my father to boy talk down,” according to NYDailyNews. The baby is due next spring. We’d like to pass on our congratulations to the happy couple. If you have any thoughts you wish to share about this lovely news then let us have your comments.

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December 17, 2011

holiday season

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 11:28 am

CBN

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith has been a constant, if at times unspoken, aspect of the campaign. Polls have shown evangelical Christians in particular may be weary of voting for a Mormon. In an exclusive interview with CBN News, Rev. Franklin Graham weighed in on that notion.

So, can an evangelical Christian vote for a Mormon for president? Yes, Graham said.

“Yes. The fact that Mitt Romney‘s a Mormon doesn’t bother me,” Graham told CBN. “I think when we’re voting for president we need to get the person who is absolutely the most qualified. You can have the nicest guy and he can be a Christian and just wonderful but have absolutely no clue as to how to run a country. You don’t want that
Calling Romney a “very capable fellow” and similarly praising the other candidates in the field, Graham said this election is a time for Christians to pray.

“We need to pray that God would give the right man [or] woman to lead this country,” he said. “This is probably the most critical election in my lifetime — our country is headed on the wrong course, and we’re going the wrong direction…people have lost their homes, they’ve lost their livelihoods and the politics of Washington right now is not helping.”

Graham said the shape the country is in could be “God’s judgement,“ and that a ”new crop” of politicians is needed to pull America out of its current state.

“We pray that God would — and this could be God’s judgement, he could judging this country for the rejection of his son and our government, our government leaders have turned their back on God and his laws and his statutes. We need to pray that God will give us a new crop of politicians, I don‘t care if they’re Republican or Democrat, but who fear god and who will put God’s standards over everything else, who will take us back to the God of our fathers and that’s what we need to pray.”
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SATURDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) — The busy holiday season may disrupt many people’s daily routines, but at this time of year it is especially important to remember to look after your teeth, an expert advises.

“Holiday get-togethers tend to lead people to consume sugary treats and drink alcoholic beverages more than usual,” Dr. George Shepley, spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry, said in an academy news release.

“Additionally, with their busy schedules and increased stress levels, I’ve noticed that my patients’ oral hygiene suffers. They forget the most basic of oral hygiene tasks that can counteract the effects of sugary snacks and drinks,” he pointed out.

Shepley offers suggestions on a number of ways to protect your teeth during the holiday season.

To reduce the risk of damage from drinking red and white wines, which are highly acidic and can eat away at a tooth’s enamel, refrain from swishing wine around in your mouth and drink water between glasses of wine to rinse acid from your teeth.

And, while holiday goodies such as cookies, chocolate and candy canes are tempting, the sugar in them promotes the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. If you can’t brush or floss after eating sweet treats, drink water or chew a piece of sugarless gum, which will increased saliva flow and help wash away the bacteria.

Finally, Shepley pointed out, holiday stress can cause some people to grind or clench their teeth, potentially resulting in chipped teeth, jaw pain and headaches.

“Finding ways to alleviate your anxiety can help, but it’s also important to see your dentist, who can recommend solutions like a custom night guard,” Shepley said. “Wearing one at night will prevent you from taking out the holiday stress on your teeth while you sleep.”
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SATURDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) — From buying a Christmas tree to stringing up lights and wrapping gifts, there are a number of health and safety issues parents and guardians should consider during the holidays, according to child health experts.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following tips to help keep children and the whole family safe:

Christmas trees

Make sure, if you select an artificial tree, that it is flame-resistant.
When selecting a live tree, find one that is fresh. Being green, having a sticky trunk and having needles that don’t bend, fall off or break easily are signs that a tree is fresh and less likely to pose a fire hazard.
Trim a few inches off the bottom of the trunk to help it absorb more water and refill the tree stand with water regularly.
Trees should not be set up in high-traffic areas or near fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters.

Holiday lights

When hanging tree lights, always make sure that each bulb works and there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.
To avoid electrocution, electric lights should never be used on a metallic tree.
When decorating with lights outside, check to make sure the lights have been certified for outdoor use.
Hooks and insulated staples should be used to hold lights in place — not nails or tacks.
All lights should be plugged into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.
Never leave lights on when you are not home because a short circuit could cause a fire.
When it’s time to take lights down, don’t pull or tug on them.

Decorations

Only flame-resistant materials should be hung on a tree.
Choose only plastic or nonleaded tinsel or artificial icicles.
Open flames, such as lighted candles, should not be placed near a tree or in an area where children can touch them or knock them over.
Avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable — especially if there are small children in the home.
Decorations with small parts or those that look like real candy or food should also not be used near small children, who could swallow or choke on them.
Wear gloves and follow directions carefully when using spun glass, known as “angel hair,” or fake snow sprays.
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Wrappings

All wrapping papers, bags, ribbons and bows should be removed from fireplace areas once gifts have been opened to avoid fire hazards.
Quickly dispose of plastic bags and long ribbons, which can pose suffocation hazards to small children.

Toys

Be sure to select age-appropriate toys to match the abilities, skills and interests of each child, and to avoid potential dangers such as choking on small parts or button batteries.
Give children under the age of 10 years battery-operated toys rather than those that must be plugged in to an electrical outlet.
Strings and ribbons should be removed from toys before they are given to young children to avoid strangulation, particularly cords that are more than 12 inches long.
Toys should be kept in a designated location to keep youngsters from gaining access to older kids’ toys.

Food

Keep hot liquids and foods away from the edges of tables and counters where they could be easily reached by young kids or knocked over.
Be sure young children do not have access to microwave ovens.
Fully cook meats and poultry, and thoroughly wash raw vegetables and fruits to avoid harmful bacteria.
Frequent hand washing and using separate utensils during food preparation will also help avoid bacterial infection.
Thaw raw meat in the refrigerator and put cooked foods away within two hours of preparation.

Visiting

Clean up immediately after a holiday party so that children do not face potentially dangerous situations in the morning, such as leftover spoiled food or alcoholic beverages.
Remember that not all homes you visit will be child-proofed, so be aware of potential dangers, such as unlocked medicine or cleaning supply cabinets.
Keep a laminated list of important phone numbers, such as the police, fire department and pediatrician, that can be accessed in the event of an emergency. The Poison Help Line is 1-800-222-1222.
Traveling and holiday festivities can be stressful for children. Try to maintain children’s sleep, nap and eating schedules to help them feel more comfortable.

Fireplaces

Remove all greens and other decorations from fireplace area and be sure the flue is open before building a fire.
Keep “fire salts,” which produce colored flames, away from children. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense stomach and intestinal irritation and vomiting if swallowed.
Do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace.
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Thousands marched against racism in Florence on Saturday after a far-right activist killed two Senegalese street vendors in a shooting spree in the historic Italian city this week.

“We want today to be the dawn of a new hope so that our brothers did not die in vain,” said Pape Diaw, a spokesman for the Senegalese community.

“We really have to work for peaceful coexistence and respect of people but it has to be a real struggle not just a facade,” he told reporters.

Around 10,000 people took part in the demonstration, according to police, while organisers put the number at some 12,000. Participants carried Senegalese flags and placards including one that read: “Racism? Not in my name.”

The city is still in shock after Gianluca Casseri, a Holocaust denier and author of fantasy novels, went on the rampage on Tuesday with a Magnum revolver at two local markets including the tourist-heavy San Lorenzo in the centre.

Two Senegalese street vendors were killed and another three wounded before the 50-year-old killed himself when police began closing in on him.

Senegalese authorities have called for a full inquiry into the killings.

Dozens of Senegalese gathered at the Dalmazia Square market where the spree began to read passages from the Koran and pray in commemoration of the dead, as others left flowers and messages at an impromptu shrine.

“There needs to be a strong commitment against racism by everyone and we need to put in place an immigration policy in line with our constitution,” said Vannino Chiti, a senator from the centre-left Democratic Party.

Chiti, who took part in the demonstration, said Italian law should be changed before the next elections to allow the children of immigrants to obtain citizenship — echoing a demand made by President Giorgio Napolitano.

Several members of the Senegalese community have also called for the immediate closure of Casa Pound, a national right-wing social group that Casseri belonged to but which has been quick to denounce the violence.

At a similar march in Milan on Saturday in which hundreds of people took part, some immigrants shouted “Racists!” and “Murderers!” at police.

Senegalese people staged other protests in the cities of Bologna and Naples.

Many street vendors in Italian cities, who sell everything from African sculptures to tourist trinkets to fake designer accessories, are Senegalese.
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Their makeshift stalls are popular but they are often selling without official licences and are forced to run off whenever police approach.

In an interview on Saturday, International Cooperation and Integration Minister Andrea Riccardi warned attacks like the one in Florence and an arson attack on a Roma camp in Turin last Saturday were “a warning bell”.

Riccardi told La Stampa daily: “We can’t dismiss these as one-off events. They are a risk for the integration and the solidarity of our country. And they show that the crisis is not just economic but much deeper.”
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — At The Apothecarium, a quaintly upscale medical marijuana club in San Francisco’s Castro District, the vibe is even jollier than usual this month. To boost holiday spirits, the dispensary is giving a storewide 15 percent discount to patrons who donate to its canned food drive, making year-end contributions to local charities and raffling off a seriously spiked “ganja-bread” house made with a whopping 80 “doses” of pot-infused butter.

“We have a whole bunch of decorations up, holiday music playing. It’s pretty festive here right now,” said Ryan Hudson, The Apothecarium’s executive director. “Why not? We are just like any other business, in that regard.”

Maybe it was just a matter of time. Now that using marijuana for medical purposes is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia, some of the plant’s purveyors and advocates are putting a leafy slant on the winter season, a reliable sign of a maturing industry with its own customs, community outreach and commercial pull.
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Nowhere is the high-ho-ho-ing of Christmas more evident than in Michigan and the five western states where storefront medical marijuana dispensaries have flourished. Despite the near-constant threat of law enforcement raids, some pot shops are stocking up on pumpkin and peppermint-flavored edibles, serving as toy and winter coat collection points, and extending a dazzlingly creative assortment of holiday specials and gift-giving options to regular members.

The Yerba Buena Collective, a club with six locations in San Jose, Calif., launched its seasonal promotions on Black Friday, when it offered hourly promotions that included up to half off the expensive, smokeless vaporizers pot connoisseurs covet like some consumers prize big screen televisions and up to 30 percent off concentrated cannabis waxes.

The dispensary, which is hosting a toy drive this season, also has put together a prepackaged $100 gift box that comes up with two marijuana strains, hash, four pot-laced treats, a hemp energy drink imported from Amsterdam and the buyers’ choice of an herb grinder, a pipe or a lighter-rolling papers combination. On its web site, it advises customers the boxes are designed for “gift ideas, sampling packs, and most importantly SAVINGS!”

In gratitude for living in a state where marijuana is easy to come by, a Northern California legalization activist with a devoted YouTube following who goes by the stage name Coral Reefer organized a “Smoky Santa” giveaway for her loyal viewers. In exchange for a donation — the amounts she received averaged $13 — 110 people will receive a marijuana-themed holiday gift bag.

Reefer, 23, said she does not use her real last name because she does not want her online social network followers to know who she really is. And she did not want to disclose the bags’ contents to avoid ruining the Christmas surprise.

“I feel in California we can get really spoiled with what we have, especially when I get feedback from the rest of the country how they aren’t able to partake in cannabis at all,” she said. “So many viewers are young people and they feel like there is no friend they can smoke with, no adult they know who smokes and has a regular job, no community they can even talk to.”

Adding a charitable dimension to their operations in the face of continued federal raids is another way pot outlets build loyalty and legitimacy.

Kitty Miller, who along with her husband operates a twice-monthly cannabis farmers market in Washington state, was moved by the number of regular customers she saw struggling with illness or finances this year to give a philanthropic angle to their annual fall marijuana-tasting competition. Proceeds from the event, scheduled for Saturday night, will go toward providing Christmas dinner and gifts such as wheelchairs, children’s toys and clothing for needy medical marijuana patients.

Washington residents with doctors’ recommendations to use marijuana will be asked to pay $80 to serve as judges in the contest, which Miller has dubbed the “Kindness Cup.” For the admission price, they will receive goodie bags filled with one-gram samples from the 11 growers who have entered the competition, tastes from the 27 entrants in the edibles category, 14 different marijuana salves, creams and cosmeceuticals, and an assortment of beverages.

“There are a lot of people who have suffered through hard times themselves, and the holidays speak to everybody’s hearts,” Miller said. “Harvest was a month, month-and-a-half ago for some (growers), and if at any time any of us have anything to give, it’s at this time.”

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Afghans Security

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 11:24 am

Afghanistan has achieved political stability, yet Afghans still do not feel personally secure in their daily lives, President Hamid Karzai said in an interview to be aired on Sunday.

“The international coalition and the Afghan government have been able to provide, in the past 10 years, political stability to Afghanistan,” Karzai said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

“But we have not been able — the United States, NATO and Afghan government together — to provide the Afghan people with their individual personal security. That is yet to come.”

Karzai said the troops have slowed the mobility and activity of the Taliban and other militant groups, but he stopped short of saying the war has been won.

“I’ll have to wait a bit longer to confirm that we have reversed the trend and that the Afghan people will see the fruits of our efforts and see peace and further security,” he said, according to a transcript of the interview CNN released on Saturday.

Karzai also said his government would welcome the creation of a Taliban political office where Afghan and other officials could hold meaningful discussions about a possible political resolution to the war. If the Taliban decided to open an office, it would signal their willingness to talk peace, Karzai believes.

Efforts to reconcile with the Taliban were dealt a major setback when former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani was assassinated on Sept. 20. Rabbani, who was leading the government’s campaign to broker peace with the insurgents, was killed by a suicide bomber posing as a peace emissary from the Taliban.

After Rabbani’s death, Karzai said informal peace efforts would not resume. Instead, he said, the Taliban had to stop fighting and establish an official address.

Earlier this week, Karzai said that if security concerns make it impossible to set up an office in Afghanistan, then it should be established in another Islamic nation, such as Saudi Arabia or Turkey.

“That address must have the clarity that this representative is authorized and is representing the Taliban movement,” he said.
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Karzai also said that because Taliban leaders were based in neighboring Pakistan, “a meaningful peace process cannot go well or end in satisfactory results without Pakistan’s participation and help.”

U.S. officials have said that so far, Pakistani officials have not offered to bring Taliban leaders to the negotiating table.

On other issues, Karzai said that U.S. and Afghan officials are still negotiating a strategic partnership document that will govern how some American forces will stay in Afghanistan after foreign troops ends their combat mission in 2014. A sticking point in the talks are nighttime raids that target suspected insurgents and terrorists.

Karzai has repeatedly argued that the troops who push into compounds to search the premises and the residents treat too may civilians as if they are insurgents and violate citizens’ privacy in an intensely conservative society. He said the raids result in too many civilian deaths.

“What we are asking for, in very specific and clear terms, is that no foreign forces should enter Afghan homes,” Karzai said.

NATO has said that more than 90 percent of night operations are done alongside Afghan forces and that more than 85 percent are conducted without any shots fired.

The night raid controversy was evident on Saturday when the coalition and local Afghan officials released differing accounts of a raid on a home around 1 a.m. Saturday in the Ahmadaba district of Paktia province.

The provincial governor condemned what he said was a raid on the home of the provincial counternarcotics chief, said the governor’s spokesman, Rohullah Samon. He said local authorities, who believe the counternarcotics chief has not committed any crime, have contacted the coalition about getting him released.
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The coalition said three men who were detained included a leader with the Haqqani militant network, which is affiliated with al-Qaida and the Taliban.

A joint Afghan-NATO force returned gunfire coming from the house, the coalition said. After the shooting stopped, they called for those inside to come out.

Two Afghan women inside were wounded and evacuated to a medical facility and one later died of a gunshot wound, the coalition said.
Karzai is really a useless piece of trash. Arrange for him to not be protected and hope the replacement is more capable.
Really!!! Karzai is a terrorist and has been working against the very people that ar eputting him in power!!! His brother was one of the biggest distributors of heroin coming out of that country!!! LEt see how you fare when we leave you terrorist!!!!
The reason why the people do not feel secure is they cannot stand Karzai the Bush/Cheney installed crook who is nothing more than the mayor of Kabul.His days are numbered as soon as we pull out all combat troops. Reminds me of the crook Diem we put in charge of south Vietnam when the country was… More
They will never have true security unless they provide it to themselves with vigilance on a daily basis and cooperation with one another working together as one nation. True and lasting security is never provided from without. It is only provided from within. They aren’t hungry enough yet to claim what they want by taking the necessary internal steps as a united people to achieve their goals. They are too used to bickering and short-sighted provincial self interest.
They were killing each other before we got there. They killed each other while we were there. They will continue to kill each other after we’re gone. With our billions of dollars spent and thousands of American lives lost, all that was accomplished by our involvement was taking the Sunnys out and putting the Shittys in charge.
An entire country that finances itself through the heroin trade, and we’re fighting to save them from themselves. Pull all US troops out and let them kill each other. One thing that might help, use agent orange on the poppy crops.
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Washington, Dec 17 (IANS) US President Barack Obama has named Nancy Powell, a career diplomat who has served as envoy to Pakistan and Nepal, as the next ambassador to India to fill the key post lying vacant for nearly six months now.

Powell, who holds the rank of career ambassador, a prestigious title given only to select career diplomats based on their service, will take the place of Timothy J. Roemer, a political appointee who resigned in June. The post has been lying vacant since then.

In a statement announcing Powell’s appointment and a separate appointee, Obama said: ‘These fine public servants, both bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their new roles.’

‘Our nation will be well-served by these individuals, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.’

Powell, who joined the foreign service in 1977 after teaching at a school in Dayton, Iowa, has also served as US ambassador to Ghana and Uganda, besides Pakistan and Nepal.

Her stint in Pakistan between 2002-2004 came as the US was first seeking Islamabad’s cooperation in fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban after the Sep 11, 2001, attacks. Her other overseas assignments included service in New Delhi, Calcutta, Ottawa, Kathmandu, Islamabad, Lome, and Dhaka.

Her Washington assignments have included: Refugee assistance officer, principal deputy assistant secretary for African affairs, acting assistant secretary for international narcotics and law enforcement activities, and the national intelligence officer for South Asia at the National Intelligence Council.

She’s currently serving as director general of the foreign service and director of human resources at the State Department. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa.

The Senate must confirm Powell’s appointment.
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Washington, Dec 17 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his US counterpart Barack Obama are likely to meet in Seoul in March 2012, the White House has said.

Obama and Medvedev had a phone conversation Friday, where the US president congratulated the Russian leader on Russia’s admission to the World Trade Organisation and voiced America’s plan to continue mutually beneficial cooperation, said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

‘The two presidents said they looked forward to meeting next at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea in March 2012,’ Carney said in a statement.

Obama and Medvedev last met on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Hawaii in November 2011.
A new research has found that Gross Domestic Happiness in the United States is declining since April 2009 amid increasing Gross Domestic Product over the past two years.

“After a gradual upward trend that ran from January to April, 2009, the overall time series has shown a gradual downward trend, accelerating somewhat over the first half of 2011,” the study said.

The University of Vermont researchers mapped over 46 billion words of Twitter tweets, ranging from “the” to “pancakes”, to gauge the relative mood of human groups through an Amazon service, Mechanical Turk.

A group of research volunteers rated their sense of the “happiness” of the ten thousand most common words in English on a one to nine scale.

Averaging their scores, the volunteers rated, for example, “laughter” at 8.50, “food” 7.44, “truck” 5.48, “greed” 3.06 and “terrorist” 1.30.

The Vermont team applied these scores to words they gathered from Twitter.

The tweets provide insights into people’s feelings since they contain date, time and occasionally other demographic information.

The study noted though the ultimate aim of public policy is to improve but efforts to measure happiness have been “overshadowed by more readily quantifiable economic indicators such as gross domestic product.

The Vermont scientists hoped that they would be able to infer happiness dynamics “such as individual stability, social correlation and contagion and connections to well-being and health” by following the tweets over long time periods.he research is published in the December 7 issue of the journal PLoS ONE. (ANI)
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New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) Anna Hazare and his team members may have time and again slammed and questioned its integrity, but Interpol says the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was renowned in the world for its ‘impartiality and independence’.

‘The CBI has a world wide reputation for its integrity, independence and impartiality,’ Interpol chief Ronald K. Noble told reporters here.

The CBI has been a focussed target of opposition parties and social activist Hazare who say the agency was a mere political tool in the hands of the government and suggested that it should come under the proposed Lokpal.

Asked about his comments on the CBI, which is the official Interpol unit in India, Noble said: ‘India should count on the CBI for its fairness in investigation of cases of corruption.’

I think the certificate from Interpol chief Ronald K. Noble is uncalled for and unwarranted. And we hope and expect it to be so…then where is the problem in bringing it away from the govt. influence which can not be ruled out completely. This is India and “being flexible” to the convenience of political posses is not uncommon. Let it be answerable and accountable to Parliament / or Jan Lokpal Panel. It would only increase it’s reputation and create a fear in politicians that they are not immune to probe by the watchdog.
The CBI has no blemish in the large view of investigation and detection etc. But the organisation have in the recent past displayed signs of partial judgement in the states though not in Centre. Every cloud has a silver lining and by and large one should support the CBI for a well kept organisation in the face rising inflation and corruption .
Well it is the view of Interpol and nothing wrong about it.But the decision for CBI to be under lokpal is by the people for whom these elected members forming government works. The certifying agency regarding integrity (very wide scope) will be given by the people. Hence Govt has lot of work to do to keep people correctly apprised and cannot decide without taking people into confidence.
What happened with all the CBI investigations for the guilty people for 1984 riots across India. As these riots were planned and executed with the blessings of Rajiv Gandhi and the ruling congress party no one was punished for killing thousands of innocent Sikhs.
As no one was punished Modi repeated the same by killing thousands of innocent Muslims in Gujrat.
Shame on CBI the ruling congress and Modi’s BJP and the whole judiciary system of India which is corrupt to its core.
The CBI is after all another Jackob or his Sardar predecessor.. all had their own pound of flesh from the Govt. What interpol knows? It seems interpol is the least intelligence organisation or the Ronald Noble is heaping such praise at the behest some politician from home.
All political parties, activists, media demand CBI inquiry in sensitive cases. This is the proof of CBI’s efficiency and impartiality. In case of NC worker’s death all opposition parties and main stream media including the Timesnow, were demanding CBI inquiry despite institution of Judicial probe.
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Anand Giridharadas Debuts His Novel

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 11:19 am

The land of opportunity beckons many an Indian with a few ever looking back. For those who do, it’s one of the biggest decisions that is fraught with emotions, and the constant back-and-forth of the “should we or shouldn’t we” return to India. With preferences boiling down to individual decisions, the journey back home is met with mixed emotions. New York Times columnist-turned-author Anand Giridharadas, a second generation immigrant, did just that.

Born in Ohio and brought up in Cleveland and Maryland, Giridharadas works as an analyst for CNN and CBC Radio, besides being a columnist for the NY Times. He also has a background in politics and history. In 2003, he moved to Mumbai as a consultant at McKinsey.

Giridharadas’ latest book India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking explores the changes and discovery of a new India. He told Outlook magazine that his aim was to “speak to Indians as an insider-outsider…to help society choose among the multiple futures available for India.”

This novel, India Calling, marks his return to a new India. The new India that he speaks of is reflective of the collective changes in people’s lives, and this in turn, heralds a change in the nation. The novel is replete with immigrant family history and childhood memories coupled with characters as diverse from entrepreneurs to industrialists and spiritual seekers among others. Through this book, he gives an insight into how relationships are being reinvented between families among others.

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Flash floods devastated a southern Philippines region unaccustomed to serious storms, killing more than 400 people while they slept, rousting hundreds of others to their rooftops and turning two coastal cities into muddy, debris-filled waterways that were strewn Saturday with overturned vehicles and toppled trees.

Most of the victims were asleep Friday night when raging floodwaters cascaded from the mountains after 12 hours of rain from a late-season tropical storm in the southern Mindanao region. The region is unaccustomed to the typhoons that are common elsewhere in the nation of islands.

Ayi Hernandez, a former congressman, said he and his family were resting in their home in Cagayan de Oro late Friday when they heard a loud “swooshing sound” and water quickly rose ankle-deep inside. He decided to evacuate to a neighbor’s two-story house.

“It was a good thing, because in less than an hour the water rose to about 11 feet (3.3 meters),” filling his home up to the ceiling, he said.

At least 436 were dead, based on a body count in funeral parlors, Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Gwen Pang told The Associated Press. She said that 215 died in Cagayan de Oro — a city of more than 500,000 — and 144 in nearby Iligan, with more than 300,000 residents. The rest died in several other southern and central provinces, she said.

Many of the bodies were unclaimed after nearly 24 hours, suggesting that entire families had died, Pang said.

The number of missing was unclear Saturday night. Before the latest Red Cross figures, military spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said about 250 people were still unaccounted for in Iligan.

The swollen river sent floodwaters gushing through neighborhoods that do not usually experience flooding. A man floated in an inner tube in muddy water littered with plastic buckets, pieces of wood and other debris. Ten people in one home stood on a sloping roof, waiting for rescuers even as water still flooded the lower floors.

Local television footage showed muddy water rushing in the streets, sweeping away all sorts of debris. Thick layers of mud coated streets where the waters had subsided. One car was thrown over a concrete fence and others were crushed and piled in a flooded canal.
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Benito Ramos, chief of the government’s Civil Defense Office, attributed the high casualties in Mindanao “partly to the complacency of people because they are not in the usual path of storms” despite four days of warnings by officials that one was approaching.

Thousands of soldiers backed up by hundreds of local police, reservists, coast guard officers and civilian volunteers were mobilized for rescue efforts, but they were hampered by the flooded-out roads and lack of electricity.

Many roads were cut off and there was no electricity, hampering relief efforts.

The missing included prominent Filipino radio broadcaster Enie Alsonado, who was swept away while trying to save his neighbors, Iligan Mayor Lawrence Cruz said.

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro said that about 20,000 residents of the city had been affected and that evacuees were packed in temporary shelters.

Authorities recovered bodies from the mud after the water subsided. Parts of concrete walls and roofs, toppled vehicles and other debris littered the streets.

Rescuers in boats rushed offshore to save people swept out to sea. In Misamis Oriental province, 60 people were plucked from the ocean off El Salvador city, about six miles (10 kilometers) northwest of Cagayan de Oro, said disaster official Teddy Sabuga-a.

About 120 more were rescued off Opol township, closer to the city, he added.

Cruz said the Philippine coast guard and other rescuers were scouring the waters off Iligan for survivors or bodies that may have been swept away to sea.

Tropical Storm Washi dumped on Mindanao more than a month of average rains in just 12 hours.

It quickly cut across the region overnight and headed for Palawan province southwest of Manila on Saturday night.

Forecaster Leny Ruiz said that the records show that storms that follow Washi’s track come only once in about 12 years.

Lucilo Bayron, vice mayor of Puerto Princesa in Palawan, said he already mobilized emergency crews but local officials have not ordered an evacuation yet because the weather was still fine.
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That, clearly, is cause for plenty of concern.

Speaking from Canberra, after India’s tour-opener against the Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI, the source said: “As Ishant’s left ankle is again troubling him, he got a cortisone injection during the day… However, the team management has no plans, right now, of asking for a replacement/additional player.”

[Rohit Sharma, who interacted with the media in the Australian capital, didn't go beyond saying: "He (Ishant) had some discomfort while bowling and has seen a doctor. Hopefully, he should be fit before the first Test."]

The four-Test series begins in Melbourne on Boxing Day.

Ishant bowled just 5.3 overs on Thursday, the opening day of the two-day match, but his coming off quickly was promptly played down by the team management.
Invariably, that’s the reaction, so there was no deviation from the script which has been followed for years.

The public posturing notwithstanding, the team management is very worried as two first-choice medium-pacers — Praveen Kumar and Varun Aaron — pulled out even before setting out for Australia.
Moreover, spearhead Zaheer Khan has only just come back after a lengthy lay-off. After what happened in England, in July, the team management can hardly be faulted for being wary.

By his own admission, Ishant requires surgery on the left ankle, but it got put off till after the tour of Australia. The Canberra development, though, is discouraging to say the least.

Ishant came of age on the last tour of Australia, in 2007-08, but has never quite played at the international level for a length of time. In between, he either lost form or suffered injuries.

In four-and-a-half years since his debut in Dhaka, the 23-year-old Ishant ought to have played more than 41 Tests and 47 ODIs.

Ishant, it may be recalled, returned home (injured) after the Test series in England and made a comeback in the Tests against the West Indies. He was rested during the ODIs which followed the Test series.

Should Ishant have spent more time in rehab and not rushed his return to the big league? Only he and those who treated him can answer.

Today, injury management seems to be the biggest challenge both for individual cricketers and the team managements.

Getting back to Ishant, not for the first time in his career, it’s fingers crossed for him.
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A wooden ship believed to be carrying more than 200 migrants, many of them from the Middle East, sank Saturday off Indonesia’s main island of Java, local media reported. So far only 33 people have been rescued.

Police blamed the accident on overloading, telling the official news agency Antara that the vessel appeared to have been carrying more than twice its capacity.

One of the survivors, Esmat Adine, told Antara the ship started rocking from side to side, triggering widespread panic.

Because people were so tightly packed, they had no where to go, said the 24-year-old Afghan migrant.

“That made the boat even more unstable and eventually it sank,” he said. Adine said that he and others survived by clinging to parts of the broken vessel until they were picked up by local fishermen.

He estimated that more than 40 children were on the ship. It was not immediately clear if any were rescued.

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelagic nation of 240 million people, has more than 18,000 islands and thousands of miles (kilometers) of unpatrolled coastline, making it a key transit point for smuggling migrants.

Those on board Saturday — apparently heading to Australia — were from Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

The private television station Metro TV reported that 33 people had been found alive and that perhaps 215 others were still missing.

Last month a ship carrying about 70 asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan capsized off the southern coast of Central Java; at least eight people died.
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barefoot bandit jailed

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 9:50 am

At times, Colton Harris-Moore’s two years on the run were euphoric – the nights of beatific solitude in the woods, the soaring adrenalin rush of his first moments airborne in the cockpit of a stolen plane.
But most other times were far less glamorous: sleeping in portable toilets or culverts as he sought shelter from the elements and the police.

The youthful thief who rocketed to international notoriety as the “Barefoot Bandit” is done with both extremes for the moment. He was sentenced Friday to more than seven years in a Washington state prison after pleading guilty to dozens of charges, including burglary and identity theft, stemming from his crime spree.

RECOMMENDED: Four famous modern manhunts

Harris-Moore, now 20, showed no reaction as the sentence was delivered by a judge who took pity on his bleak upbringing at the hands of an alcoholic mother and a series of her convict boyfriends – a situation she described as a “mind-numbing absence of hope.”

“This case is a tragedy in many ways, but it’s a triumph of the human spirit in other ways,” Island County Judge Vickie Churchill said. “I could have been reading about the history of a mass murderer. I could have been reading about a drug abusive, alcoholic young man. That is the triumph of Colton Harris-Moore: He has survived.”

Harris-Moore’s daring run from the law earned him international fame and a movie deal to help repay his victims after he flew a stolen plane from Indiana to the Bahamas in July 2010, crash-landed it near a mangrove swamp and was arrested by Bahamian authorities in a hail of bullets.
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Friday’s proceedings consolidated cases against Harris-Moore in three Washington counties. He has already pleaded guilty to federal charges in Seattle and will be sentenced for those crimes early next year, but the sentence is expected to be shorter than his state term.

Harris-Moore faced a sentencing range of just over seven years to just under 10 years.

“Colton’s very pleased,” said his attorney John Henry Browne. “He was expecting the worst.”

Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks said he’s glad the case is over and he could live with the sentence.

“I can see why people are sympathetic to him,” Banks said. “It’s still a significant amount of time for someone who’s never been in the adult system.”

Harris-Moore spoke softly in court while entering his pleas. He wore an orange jail uniform as his hands were cuffed in front of him.

In a letter to the judge, he said his childhood was one he wouldn’t wish on his “darkest enemies.” He told a psychiatrist and his lawyers that his earliest memory was his mother telling him she wished he was stillborn.

Still, he said he takes responsibility for the crime spree. He apologized profusely to his victims and said he learned only too late of the fear he was instilling in them.

Harris-Moore said he studied manuals and online videos to teach himself to be a pilot, and the thrills he experienced while flying stolen planes renewed his passion for life and will help him rehabilitate while in prison.

“The euphoria of the countdown to takeoff and the realization of a dream was nearly blinding,” he wrote of his first illicit flight on Nov. 11, 2008. “My first thought after takeoff was ‘Oh my God, I’m flying.’ I had waited my entire life for that moment.”
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Reporting from Seattle—
The notorious “Barefoot Bandit” was sentenced to 7½ years in prison Friday for an improbable odyssey of burglaries, thefts and stolen-aircraft joy rides across eight states that turned him into a cult hero around the world — and in the remote wooded islands where he grew up, an object of fear.

Judge Vickie Churchill declined to impose the full 10 years sought by prosecutors for Colton Harris-Moore, 20, citing the young defendant’s offer to make restitution to his victims, his expressions of remorse and a dramatic history laid out in court of a childhood full of abuse, neglect, poverty and alcoholic parents that led him to begin stealing food and shoes from neighbors at age 13.

“It’s a tragedy that he had to steal food because he had nothing to eat as a young boy. That he had to bear the taunts and jeers of classmates who ridiculed him because he lived in a derelict mobile home. That he had an alcoholic as a mother.… This is a case also about the triumph of the human spirit,” the judge said.

Harris-Moore, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit with his wrists shackled, said almost nothing during the daylong hearing, casting his eyes down at the floor even when he was whispering to his lawyers.

The hearing set up a stark juxtaposition between two opposing views of a young man who drew thousands of followers on Facebook before his arrest last year in the Bahamas, where he arrived on a stolen plane from Indiana.

Prosecutors portrayed Harris-Moore as an ingenious thief who taught himself to fly stolen planes, turned pursuing police into Keystone Kops, left neighbors terrified after repeated burglaries and used people’s stolen credit cards to order merchandise for them, then broke into their houses to steal it when it arrived.

But the defense — in a series of written statements from family members, neighbors and a consulting psychiatrist — painted Harris-Moore as a young man crippled with learning disabilities and other “lifelong neurocognitive impairments” as a result of his mother’s heavy drinking while pregnant. Harris-Moore began stealing necessities from neighbors when the family’s welfare checks were spent on alcohol and cigarettes, he said in court documents.

The food always ran out by the second week of the month. The third week, Harris-Moore’s statement said, would be the beginning of what his mother would call “the starvation days,” and she would pawn things — in one case the only video game console he ever had — to help ride out the rest of the month.

“My childhood was one that I would not wish on my darkest enemies,” he said in a letter to the judge.

The defense report told of a family trailer strewn with garbage and mold in which Harris-Moore had to share a bed with his usually drunk mother. Witnesses told of Harris-Moore phoning them so they could hear the sounds of his mother shouting and firing a shotgun in the background.

She shared the trailer at one point with two men, both of whom occasionally beat Harris-Moore, yet the boy, described by neighbors and other relatives as sweet and shy, considered all of them part of his family.
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The report included a childhood drawing that Harris-Moore did of a large heart addressed to his mother and both of the men in her life, whom he regarded as father figures. “I love Bill — I love Mom — I love Gordy,” he wrote.

“Colton’s first memory … is when his mother told him we’d all be better off if he’d been born dead. That’s his first memory,” said his lawyer, John Henry Browne.

Flying was Harris-Moore’s lifelong passion; the defense presented intricate drawings of planes and helicopters he scrawled as a child. In his letter, he wrote of spending more and more time alone in the woods and at nearby airports, studying aircraft manuals, listening to aircraft VHF frequencies and watching planes take off and land.

The day in 2008 when he stole and flew his first plane was “the single most defining event and terrifying day” of his life, he wrote.

“My first thought after takeoff was, ‘Oh my God, I’m flying.’ I had waited my entire life for that moment. However, my second thought immediately after was that I probably was going to die.”

Harris-Moore managed to crash-land and walk away from the stolen plane — an event that prosecutors said led to a total loss of the expensive aircraft, owned by a well-known radio personality.

Harris-Moore has signed a movie deal with Fox that could be worth $1.3 million, with all the money destined to repay victims.

In arguing that Harris-Moore should spend at least 10 years behind bars, government attorneys said the youth, far from being mentally handicapped, proved ingenious at stealing planes, boats, SUVs and other expensive items in a spree that left residents of secluded Camano Island, where he grew up, and nearby Orcas Island afraid for the first time to be alone in their homes at night.

“The defendant wreaked havoc on people … throughout the Northwest [and] across the country,” prosecutors said in their sentencing memorandum. “He brazenly burglarized and stole from people, indifferent to the harm he caused.”
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A US man known as the “Barefoot Bandit” has been sentenced to more than seven years in a state prison after pleading guilty to a string of charges.

Colton Harris-Moore, 20, made global headlines during a two-year crime spree in which he evaded police in stolen cars, boats and planes.

Footprints left at some of the crime scenes earned him his nickname.

He told the court in Washington state that his childhood was one he wouldn’t wish on his “darkest enemies”.

He stood with his wrists shackled and made no reaction as the sentence was delivered in the packed courtroom in Coupeville.

Judge Vickie Churchill described Harris-Moore’s early life with an alcoholic mother and a series of her convict boyfriends as a “mind-numbing absence of hope”.

“This case is a tragedy in many ways, but it’s a triumph of the human spirit in other ways,” she said.

“I could have been reading about the history of a mass murderer. I could have been reading about a drug abusive, alcoholic young man. That is the triumph of Colton Harris-Moore: He has survived.”
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Harris-Moore’s crime spree began in 2008 after the then teenager absconded from a halfway house in Seattle where he had been placed following previous run-ins with the police.
Movie deal

Detectives chalked up some 65 cases against him across Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, and parts of Canada that included car theft, bank robbery, assaulting police and the repeated burglary of empty holiday homes from which he took food, electronic items and credit cards.

Despite not having a pilot’s licence, Harris-Moore stole at least three planes, flying them across the US and eventually to the Bahamas in July 2010, where he crash-landed near a mangrove swamp and was arrested in a hail of bullets.

He has since signed a $1.3m (£835,000) movie deal, enabling him to tell his story and also to repay his victims.

At his appearance on Friday he had faced a maximum sentence of just under 10 years for his dozens of crimes.

“Colton’s very pleased – he was expecting the worst,” said his lawyer, John Henry Browne.

Prosecutor Greg Banks said he was glad the case was over.

“I can see why people are sympathetic to him,” Mr Banks said. “It’s still a significant amount of time for someone who has never been in the adult system.”

In his statement, Harris-Moore said he took responsibility for his crimes and that he learned too late of the fear he was instilling in his victims.

He said he had studied manuals and online videos to teach himself to fly a plane. He said he would use his time in prison to study for college, with the hope of achieving a degree in aeronautical engineering.
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COUPEVILLE, Wash. – Colton Harris-Moore, the “Barefoot Bandit,” was sentenced Friday to more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty to dozens of state charges.

The 20-year-old man gained international notoriety while evading police across the country in stolen planes, boats and cars during a two-year crime spree.

He looked down and showed no reaction as the sentence was delivered.

Judge Vickie Churchill said, “This case is a tragedy in many ways, but it’s a triumph of the human spirit in other ways.” She described Harris-Moore’s upbringing as a “mind numbing absence of hope,” and believed he was genuinely remorseful and contrite.

Barefoot Bandit” pleads guilty
Read a letter Colton Harris-Moore wrote to the judge (PDF)

Friday’s proceedings consolidated cases against Harris-Moore in three Washington counties. He has already pleaded guilty to federal charges in Seattle and will be sentenced for those crimes early next year. He will serve his state and federal sentences at the same time.

Wearing handcuffs and an orange jail uniform, Colton Harris-Moore spoke softly in court while entering his pleas and sat next to his attorneys with his eyes downcast, looking even younger than his 20 years.

In a statement provided to Judge Vickie Churchill, he said his childhood was one he wouldn’t wish on his “darkest enemies.”

Still, he said he takes responsibility for the crime spree that brought him international notoriety.

Harris-Moore said he studied manuals and online videos to teach himself to be a pilot, and the thrills he experienced while flying stolen planes renewed his passion for life and will help him rehabilitate while in prison.
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“The euphoria of the countdown to takeoff and the realization of a dream was nearly blinding,” he said of his first illicit flight on Nov. 11, 2008. “My first thought after takeoff was `Oh my God, I’m flying.’ I had waited my entire life for that moment.”

He said he’ll use his prison time to study and get ready to apply to college, with the hope of earning an aeronautical engineering degree.

Several victims and a few curious citizens watched Harris-Moore enter his pleas in Island County Superior Court, along with Harris-Moore’s aunt.

“He was a menace,” Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks told the court. “His burglaries threatened and distressed people. People were afraid to leave their houses.”

Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to a total of 16 counts from Island County, including identity theft, theft of firearm and residential burglary. Then the hearing continued with Harris-Moore pleading guilty to 17 counts from San Juan County.

Harris-Moore’s daring run from the law earned him international fame and a movie deal to help repay his victims after he flew a stolen plane from Indiana to the Bahamas in July 2010, crash-landed it near a mangrove swamp and was arrested by Bahamian authorities in a hail of bullets.

State prosecutors asked for a nine-and-a-half year sentence. His attorneys John Henry Browne and Emma Scanlan sought a low-end, six-year term, citing Harris-Moore’s bleak childhood in a Camano Island trailer with an alcoholic mother and a series of her convict boyfriends. They laid out the details of his upbringing in psychiatric and mitigation reports filed with the court.

Browne also said the young man’s time on the run was horrific and included spending nights in culverts and portable toilets.

Harris-Moore’s first conviction came at age 12, in 2004, for possession of stolen property, and according to the reports, his first experience with burglary came when he broke into the homes of his classmates to steal food because his mother spent most of her Social Security income on beer and cigarettes — something she has denied.
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Over the next three years he was convicted of theft, burglary, malicious mischief and assault, among other crimes. At one point he was arrested when a detective posed as a pizza-delivery driver.

In 2007, the boy was sentenced to three years in a juvenile lockup after pleading guilty to three burglary counts in Island County. But he fled the minimum-security facility in April 2008 and was soon back to his old tricks, breaking into unoccupied vacation homes, stealing food and sometimes staying there.

As red-faced investigators repeatedly failed to catch him, his antics escalated: He began stealing planes from small, rural airports and crash-landing them — at least five in all.

“What was characterized by the media as the swashbuckling adventures of a rakish teenager were in fact the actions of a depressed, possibly suicidal young man with waxing and waning post-traumatic stress disorder (following his first plane crash in November 2008),” wrote Dr. Richard S. Adler, a psychiatrist who evaluated him for the defense lawyers.

Waves of burglaries broke out on Orcas Island, where Kyle Ater runs his Homegrown Market and Deli, in late 2009 and in early 2010, after stolen planes were found at the airport there. The second time, Harris-Moore left Ater’s new security system in a utility sink, under a running faucet. He took cash and a tray of croissants, and Ater’s insurance company jacked up his rates.
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(AP) Mike Parnell, a former owner of the Oakley sunglasses company who lives on Orcas, was repeatedly victimized. Harris-Moore hid out for long periods in the second level of his hangar at the airport, and when Parnell and his family would go on trips in their plane, Harris-Moore would take their car to their house and eat their food. At one point, Harris-Moore entered their home while Parnell was there with his wife and three children and grabbed his wife’s car keys off a counter.

“We were all fearing for our lives,” Parnell said Thursday. “The kids wouldn’t sleep in their own bedrooms. We purchased night vision goggles. I’m glad that day is finally approaching when we will finally know what the consequences are, and I hope it’s sufficient for the way our whole island suffered.”

Harris-Moore’s final spree came after he stole a pistol in eastern British Columbia and took a plane from a hangar in Idaho, where investigators found bare footprints on the floor and wall. That plane crashed near Granite Falls, Wash., after it ran out of fuel.

He made his way to Oregon in a 32-foot boat stolen in southwestern Washington — stopping first to leave $100 at an animal shelter in Raymond, Wash. From Oregon, authorities said, Harris-Moore traveled across the United States, frequently stealing cars from the parking lots of small airports. In Indiana, he stole another plane and made for the Bahamas, more than 1,000 miles away, where authorities finally caught him in a manhunt that spanned multiple islands.
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mong the courtroom spectators Friday were 18-year-olds Annie Cain and Hayley Hanna, who drove from nearby Langley to be at the courthouse at 5:30 a.m. — four hours before the hearing.

“We wanted to be here just because he’s so young, and everything he did, it’s fascinating,” Cain said.

Hanna got to the point even more quickly: “He’s a badass,” she said.

“This man is a serial burglar,” San Juan County Prosecutor Randall Gaylord told The Associated Press. “I’m glad he’s going to be held accountable, and I’m really glad he’s taking responsibility for these things. I hope he gets through this chapter in his life, is resilient and is able to move on.”

Fox bought the movie rights in a deal that could be worth $1.3 million, and Dustin Lance Black, who won an Academy Award for writing the movie “Milk,” about the gay rights activist Harvey Milk, is working on the screenplay.

Harris-Moore doesn’t get to keep any of the money under the terms of his federal plea deal.
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etta james

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 9:45 am

Grammy-winning R&B singer Etta James is terminally ill, her live-in physician said in an interview this week that confirmed reports of the singer’s fading health.

Dr. Elaine James, who is no relation to the singer, told a California newspaper in a video interview that the 73-year-old “At Last” singer has leukemia, dementia and kidney disease among her “many, many illnesses.”

“At the present time, Etta is considered terminally ill,” the doctor told the Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside, California, east of Los Angeles. Dr. James added that the diagnosis was made about two weeks ago by three medical specialists including an oncologist and an internist from a local hospital where the singer is frequently treated.

James’ two sons, Donto and Sametto, told Reuters on Friday that they were not sure the terminally ill diagnosis was accurate and it was announced without the family’s agreement.

The singer’s sons are currently involved in a court battle with their stepfather Artis Mills over conservatorship of James’ $1 million estate.

Both sons agree that their mother’s health is deteriorating and felt that she should be admitted to hospital rather than receiving care at her home in Riverside.

“I saw her the day before yesterday, and I think she needs to be in the hospital. She doesn’t look good,” said Donto James.

With songs like “The Wallflower” and “Good Rockin’ Daddy,” James, a three-time Grammy winner, was a key figure in the early days of rock ‘n’ roll and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

The singer has battled obesity and heroin addiction throughout her life. She lost more than 200 pounds after undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2003.

More recently, she was hospitalized in 2010 with numerous ailments including a bloodstream infection. She become ill while being treated for an addiction to painkillers and over-the-counter medicine in a detoxification center.

James has remained active in the music industry despite her ailments, and she released an album in November this year entitled “The Dreamer.”

“I don’t think it was meant to be her final album, of course she wants to make more music,” said Sametto James.
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Etta James, the voice behind At Last, Stormy Weather and I Just Want to Make Love to You, is terminally ill with cancer, it has been revealed today.

The iconic entertainer’s health has been fading in recent months, but her leukemia was deemed incurable two weeks ago.

The 73-year-old singer’s doctor is asking for prayers, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
Elaine James, who isn’t a relation, has cared for at her Riverside, California home since March 2010.

She says she’s spreading word of James’ ailments so that people will pray for her.

She has many fans, given that she’s such an iconic musical figure with six Grammy Awards to her credit.

She has influenced American musicians like Diana Ross, Janis Joplin and Christina Aguilera.

She has also made her mark on British artists like The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone and Adele.

Etta was also played by Beyonce Knowles in the 2008 film, Cadillac Records.

Her fans know that she’s been ailing, but do not not realise the extent to which her health has been failing.

According to the New York Daily News, the At Last and Mama Said singer’s probate case show she also suffers from dementia and kidney failure.

She will be survived by son Donto James and husband Artis Mills.

There is dispute over her $1 million estate; her son is fighting to have a conservator take over his mother’s property instead of his father.
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The 73-year-old singer was diagnosed with the illness earlier this year, but doctors have now said that her condition is incurable, claims the Riverside Press Enterprise.

James, who is best known for her recordings of songs such as ‘At Last’ and ‘Tell Mama’, was reportedly told that her illness was terminal two weeks ago and has been receiving 24-hour care from her doctor.

Doctor Elaine James, who has been treating the singer, said:
The physician was speaking outside a courtroom, at a hearing to determine who should assume control of her estate. Her husband Artis Mills has asked a California court to allow him to take control of more than $1 million (£630,000) of her money, but her son Donto James would rather a conservator was in charge to manage her payments and expenses.

Court papers had previously revealed that James was unable to sign her own name and needed help eating and dressing. She was also diagnosed with dementia in January of this year.

Etta James was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and is the recipient of six Grammy awards.

Raised in Los Angeles, James began singing as a child at church and joined a doo-wop group in her early teens. Addicted to heroin throughout the ’60s, she got clean in the mid-’70s and became one of the most respected singers in soul and blues. She has released 30 albums.

Beyonce is one of her many famous fans and covered ‘At Last’ at Glastonbury and T In The Park earlier this year. James released her version of the track in 1961. In 2008 Beyonce appeared as James in the film Cadillac Records.
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“At Last” and “Tell Mama” blues singer Etta James, whose health has been fading in recent years, is now terminally ill, and her live-in doctor is asking for prayers.

Dr. Elaine James, who isn’t related to the 73-year-old entertainer, tells the Riverside Press-Enterprise that the singer’s chronic leukemia was declared incurable two weeks ago.

The doctor has cared for Etta James at the singer’s Riverside, Calif., area home since March 2010.

Elaine James says she’s spreading word of the singer’s ailments so people will pray for her. She says fans know Etta James has been sick “but not how sick.”

Court records in the singer’s probate case show she also suffers from dementia and kidney failure.

Elaine James made her comments outside a Riverside conservatorship hearing over the singer’s $1 million estate. The singer’s son, Donto James, wants a conservator rather than the singer’s husband, Artis Mills.
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slim dunkin

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 9:42 am

Atlanta police say the rapper Slim Dunkin was gunned down Friday evening in a music studio as he was preparing to record a video.

Police Maj. Keith Meadows said the rapper, whose real name is Mario Hamilton, was fatally shot in the chest after getting into an argument with another individual.

He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

PHOTOS: Recent celebrity deaths

OBITUARIES: Read all recent obituaries, and place death notices

Meadows told The Associated Press late Friday that police have not been able to identify the shooter. He said investigators have been interviewing those who were inside the studio. He said as many as 20 people were inside the small office-type building at the time of the shooting, which took place around 5:30 p.m. local time, but they were in different places.

Police have not recovered the handgun that was used. Investigators remained at the scene late Friday evening.

“Right now we’re just trying to….identify who may have seen what, really just trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together,” Meadows said. “It seems everybody witnessed something very different. We’re just trying to go back and make sense of everything.”

Slim Dunkin had appeared on a number of songs with the rapper Waka Flocka Flame. The website Mtv.com reported that the Brick Squad Monopoly rapper was on a solo track and had recently released a 20-track mix tape that featured Gucci Mane, Roscoe Dash and Pastor Troy.

“It appears the victim was scheduled to do a photo shoot,” Meadows said of Friday’s events. “Before the video shoot took place, it appears the victim and suspect got involved in a verbal altercation. We don’t know what that altercation was about.”

“The suspect produced a weapon, discharged that handgun one time, striking the victim in the chest,” Meadows said.

Meadows said the victim was in his early 20s and resided in the Atlanta area.

Many fans were posting messages late Friday night on a Facebook page for the rapper.

The website AllHipHop.com last February described Slim Dunkin, a Detroit native, as an up-and-coming talent with “a unique lyrical ability and style all his own.”

In an interview with the website, he described himself as someone “trying to provide for his family by making something out of nothing just trying to beat the odds.”

“I don’t have amazing lyrical ability I just know how to speak on what I been through and where I came from,” he said.

Asked what to expect from him in 2011, he responded: “Music, music, music!”
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(AP) ATLANTA — Atlanta police say the rapper Slim Dunkin was gunned down Friday evening in a city music studio as he was preparing to record a video.

Police Maj. Keith Meadows said the rapper, whose real name is Mario Hamilton, was fatally shot in the chest after getting into an argument with another individual.

He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Meadows told The Associated Press late Friday that police have not been able to identify the shooter. He said investigators have been interviewing those who were inside the studio. He said as many as 20 people were inside the small office-type building at the time of the shooting, which took place around 5:30 p.m., but they were in different places.

Police have not recovered the handgun that was used. Investigators remained at the scene late Friday evening.

“Right now we’re just trying to….identify who may have seen what, really just trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together,” Meadows said. “It seems everybody witnessed something very different. We’re just trying to go back and make sense of everything.”

Slim Dunkin had appeared on a number of songs with the rapper Waka Flocka Flame. The website Mtv.com reported that the Brick Squad Monopoly rapper was on a solo track and had recently released a 20-track mix tape that featured Gucci Mane, Roscoe Dash and Pastor Troy.

“It appears the victim was scheduled to do a photo shoot,” Meadows said of Friday’s events. “Before the video shoot took place, it appears the victim and suspect got involved in a verbal altercation. We don’t know what that altercation was about.”

“The suspect produced a weapon, discharged that handgun one time, striking the victim in the chest,” Meadows said.

Meadows said the victim was in his early 20s and resided in the Atlanta area.

Many fans were posting messages late Friday night on a Facebook page for the rapper.

The website AllHipHop.com last February described Slim Dunkin, a Detroit native, as an up-and-coming talent with “a unique lyrical ability and style all his own.”

In an interview with the website, he described himself as someone “trying to provide for his family by making something out of nothing just trying to beat the odds.”

“I don’t have amazing lyrical ability I just know how to speak on what I been through and where I came from,” he said.
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Atlanta police say the rapper Slim Dunkin has been gunned down in a city music studio as he was preparing to record a video.

Police Major Keith Meadows said the rapper, whose real name is Mario Hamilton, was fatally shot in the chest after getting into an argument with another individual on Friday evening.

He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Meadows told The Associated Press late on Friday that police have not been able to identify the shooter. He said investigators have been interviewing those who were inside the studio. He said as many as 20 people were inside the small office-type building at the time of the shooting, which took place around 5.30pm local time, but they were in different places.

Police have not recovered the handgun that was used. Investigators remained at the scene late on Friday evening.

“Right now we’re just trying to … identify who may have seen what, really just trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together,” Meadows said. “It seems everybody witnessed something very different. We’re just trying to go back and make sense of everything.”

Slim Dunkin had appeared on a number of songs with the rapper Waka Flocka Flame. The website Mtv.com reported that the Brick Squad Monopoly rapper was on a solo track and had recently released a 20-track mix tape that featured Gucci Mane, Roscoe Dash and Pastor Troy.

“It appears the victim was scheduled to do a photo shoot,” Meadows said of Friday’s events. “Before the video shoot took place, it appears the victim and suspect got involved in a verbal altercation. We don’t know what that altercation was about.”

“The suspect produced a weapon, discharged that handgun one time, striking the victim in the chest,” Meadows said.

Meadows said the victim was in his early 20s and lived in the Atlanta area.

Many fans were posting messages late on Friday night on a Facebook page for the rapper.

The website AllHipHop.com last February described Slim Dunkin, a Detroit native, as an up-and-coming talent with “a unique lyrical ability and style all his own”.

In an interview with the website, he described himself as someone “trying to provide for his family by making something out of nothing just trying to beat the odds”.

“I don’t have amazing lyrical ability. I just know how to speak on what I been through and where I came from,” he said.

Asked what to expect from him in 2011, he responded: “Music, music, music!”
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U.S. rapper Slim Dunkin was Friday shot and killed at an Atlanta music studio, WSB-TV reported, citing both police and the performer’s attorney.

Atlanta Police Department spokesman Maj. Keith Meadows said Dunkin, whose real name was Mario Hamilton, was shot and killed outside a music studio in the 1000 block of Memorial Drive on Friday night. He was at the studio to shoot a music video.

“Now it’s my understanding prior to the video shoot, Mr. Hamilton became involved in a verbal altercation with another individual who we believe produced a handgun, discharged that weapon at least one time, striking Mr. Hamilton in the chest,” Meadows said.

Dunkin’s attorney Michael Mann told WSB-TV that the rapper was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Homicide detectives were on the scene late Friday conducting an investigation, Atlanta police spokesman Curtis Davenport told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Music news website HipHopDX reported that Dunkin was a childhood friend of Waka Flocka Flame and appeared on Gucci Mane and Waka’s “Ferrari Boyz” album released over the summer.

Another industy website, TheBoomBox, reported that the Brick Squad affiliate was to appear in the “Push Ups” video for Mane and V-Nasty when he was shot.
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vanessa bryant

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 9:40 am

ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, filed for divorce on Friday from the Los Angeles Lakers star, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split from her husband of more than 10 years.

She signed the papers on Dec. 1 and Kobe Bryant filed his response on Dec. 7.

A representative for the couple released a statement saying, “The Bryants have resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately with the assistance of counsel and a Judgment dissolving their marital status will be entered in 2012.”

In the filing, Vanessa Bryant asked for joint legal and physical custody of the couple’s two daughters, Natalia, 8, and Gianna, 5. Kobe Bryant asked for the same in his response.

In the statement, the Bryants “ask that in the interest of our young children and in light of the upcoming holiday season the public respect our privacy during this difficult time.”

Bryant met his future wife in 1999 on a music video shoot when Vanessa Laine was 18. Six months later, she and the then-21-year-old Bryant became engaged. They married on April 18, 2001.

The couple have been through trying times together.

When Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault in 2003, she appeared at a news conference, holding his hand and stroking it tenderly as the NBA star admitted he was guilty of adultery — but nothing else. Earlier, she had issued her own statement to the media, vowing to stand by her husband.

“I know that my husband has made a mistake — the mistake of adultery,” she said in the statement at the time. “He and I will have to deal with that within our marriage, and we will do so. He is not a criminal.”

The case against Kobe Bryant was later dismissed.

Last year, Kobe and Vanessa Bryant settled litigation with a former maid who accused the NBA star’s wife of harassment. The Bryants countersued Maria Jimenez for violating a confidentiality agreement by talking to reporters about the family.
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Divorce papers filed by Vanessa Bryant Friday in Orange County Superior Court suggest that she and Kobe Bryant had been negotiating the terms of their split for some time.

Though details of the settlement were not in the document, Vanessa Bryant’s mother previously told a Times reporter that the couple had no prenuptial agreement.

She told The Times in 2005 the couple choose to forgo one after months of negotiations. The court filing Friday indicated that property rights were to be determined.

Photos: Kobe and Vanessa Bryant through the years

“She just came home one day and said something to the effect that Kobe didn’t want a prenup, that he loved her too much,” Sofia Urbieta Laine said in a 2005 interview.

In the petition filed in Orange County Superior Court, Vanessa Bryant cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the divorce. In what appears to be an effort to keep the details of their split out of the public eye, the couple said in a joint statement late Friday that they had “resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately.”

Vanessa Bryant and her attorney had signed the petition Dec. 1, long before it was filed Friday. Her husband’s response was signed Dec. 7. Both sides requested joint custody of their daughters Natalia, 8, and Gianna, 5.

A final judgment dissolving their marriage will be entered sometime next year, representatives for the couple said.
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ORANGE, Calif. — Kobe Bryant’s wife, who stood by her husband when he was charged with sexual assault in 2003, filed for divorce on Friday from the Los Angeles Lakers star, citing irreconcilable differences after a decade of marriage.

Vanessa Bryant signed the papers on Dec. 1. Kobe Bryant signed his response on Dec. 7 and it was filed Friday, according to the documents.

“The Bryants have resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately with the assistance of counsel and a judgment dissolving their marital status will be entered in 2012,” according to a statement from a representative for the couple.

In the filing, Vanessa Bryant asked for joint legal and physical custody of the couple’s two daughters, Natalia, 8, and Gianna, 5. Kobe Bryant asked for the same in his response. Vanessa Bryant also requested spousal support.

The Bryants “ask that in the interest of our young children and in light of the upcoming holiday season the public respect our privacy during this difficult time,” according to the statement.

Bryant met his future wife in 1999 on a music video shoot when Vanessa Laine was 18 years old. Six months later, she and the then-21-year-old Bryant became engaged. They married on April 18, 2001.

The Bryants have been through trying times together.

Vanessa Bryant appeared at a news conference with her husband when he was charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman who worked at the exclusive Lodge & Spa at Cordillera near Vail, Colo., in 2003. She held his hand and stroked it tenderly as the NBA star admitted he was guilty of adultery – but nothing else. Earlier she had issued her own statement to the media, vowing to stand by her husband.

“I know that my husband has made a mistake – the mistake of adultery,” she said in the statement at the time. “He and I will have to deal with that within our marriage, and we will do so. He is not a criminal.”

A year later, prosecutors dropped the criminal charge against Kobe Bryant because the woman did not want to go ahead with a trial.

Last year, Kobe and Vanessa Bryant settled litigation with a former maid who accused the NBA star’s wife of harassment. The Bryants countersued Maria Jimenez for violating a confidentiality agreement by talking to reporters about the family.
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Vanessa Bryant, the wife of NBA star Kobe Bryant, filed for divorce Friday afternoon, citing “irreconcilable differences.” They were married 10 and a half years.

Sources say that Vanessa decided to end the marriage because she thinks the Los Angeles Lakers guard has been unfaithful … and not for the first time.

As one source close to Vanessa put it, “She’s been dealing with these incidents for a long time and has been a faithful wife, but she’s finally had enough.”

“This one is the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Apparently the cheating didn’t end there, though, and while Kobe “desperately” wants to win her back and will do “whatever it takes” … good luck.

Vanessa is asking for joint custody of their two daughters, Natalia, 8, and Gianna, 5, but is asking that the basketball superstar get visitation rights

There is no prenup, so 29-year-old Vanessa is entitled to half the empire built over the last decade by NBA MVP and five-time champion Kobe, 33.

She’s also requesting spousal support, which Kobe will pay. The Bryants released a joint statement saying they have “resolved all issues” privately.

No word on whether Kobe plans on changing his uniform number yet again or if Vanessa plans on joining the new season of VH1’s Basketball Wives.

SIDE NOTE: That $4 million ring Kobe gave Vanessa after the 2003 scandal – later referred to as “the Kobe special” by Tiger Woods – all hers. Gift, babe.

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December 16, 2011

ghost protocol review

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 8:43 am

They’ve done without the number this time, but anyone who cares knows that “Mission Impossible — Ghost Protocol” is really “Mission Impossible 4,” the fourth time Tom Cruise’s intrepid Ethan Hunt has taken on the evildoers of the world. And the fourth time a different adventurous director has orchestrated the action.

Brian De Palma, John Woo and J.J. Abrams were the choices the first three times around, and the selection here is the most unexpected yet: Brad Bird, making his live-action debut after directing three exceptional animated films: “Ratatouille,” “The Incredibles” and “Iron Giant.”

Bird has done a stylish and involving job here, turning in an entertaining production that’s got considerable visual flair, especially in its action-heavy Imax sections. Many of “Ghost Protocol’s” key action sequences were filmed with that 65 mm camera. There are only 27 minutes of Imax footage in the film, but every one of those minutes counts, which is one reason why Paramount chose to open this film in Imax theaters Friday, five days before its general release. For a film with these kinds of visuals, it must have been an easy choice.

Bird also brought a touch of playfulness to the proceedings in moments like a self-destructing phone booth that refuses to self destruct. If “Ghost Protocol” doesn’t display as much individualism as Bird’s animated features, that likely wasn’t in the cards with a tent-pole series like this.

What is in those cards is another unswerving performance by Cruise, whose onscreen commitment to the role is key to making these two-fisted tales — not to mention lines like “nobody leaves this hotel alive” — believable. If Rhino the hamster in the animated “Bolt” ate danger for breakfast, Hunt eats it for lunch and dinner too.

Before the main course, the film opens with an appetizer involving a fellow agent from the Impossible Mission Force organization (Josh Holloway) interacting with a sultry assassin played by France’s Lea Seydoux and a mighty important briefcase that everyone wants to get their hands on.

That briefcase turns out to contain Russian nuclear launch codes that are coveted by brilliant madman Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), a stone-cold nihilist who believes that the only way to save the world is to destroy it and who will stop at nothing — nothing! — to put his plan into action.

Hendricks, code name Cobalt, is so feared that an IMF team is dispatched to liberate Hunt from a Russian prison where undisclosed actions have landed him. Teammates include the tough-as-nails Jane Carter (Paula Patton, a long way from “Precious”) and not-as-funny-as-he-thinks techie Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg).

Once out, Hunt and his gang make their way into the Kremlin to gather vital information only to have things go horribly wrong. The Kremlin explodes in an excellent effects shot, the IMF folks get the blame, and the dread Ghost Protocol is invoked: The United States government disavows the team (talk about ingratitude) and Hunt and company are left to their own resources to save the world.

Those resources still include some nifty gizmos that have the air of James Bond about them. There is a large-scale invisibility shield (which comes in handy in the Kremlin), contact lenses that work like a computer screen, and Gecko Gloves suitable for major climbs.

As written by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, whose credits include the “Alias” TV show, “Mission Impossible” is essentially a series of elaborate action set pieces. There is exposition thrown in here and there, especially after circumstances force policy wonk William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) to join the team, but that is not the heart of the matter.

All that action benefits greatly not only from Cruise’s presence but also his willingness and ability to do big chunks of his own stunt work. An action moment in Moscow, which has Hunt escape from a fourth-story ledge via some elaborate maneuvers, was, the press material informs, actually performed by the actor himself. And more is yet to come.
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Director Brad Bird, for most part, lends Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol a sense of splendid urgency with fast-moving impulses and ambitious set pieces but lacks the smarts to wholly approve, writes Sukanya Verma.

Just a week ago, Tom Cruise [ Images ] walked the red carpet in Mumbai [ Images ] for the premiere of his latest movie.

Fans and press, restricted by strong-willed barricades on either side, screamed for a piece of the small-framed, casually-dressed Hollywood actor. That evening, it was hard to tell one from another. It was even harder to believe that someone would actually take money to cheer for the man. If you would have attempted to leave the venue between this frenzy, you’d know. An unlikely audience staunchly stood outside the gate hoping to catch a glimpse of the 49-year-old refusing to even slightly budge and let this writer pass.

Meanwhile, Cruise, accustomed to outrageous amounts of attention, handled it all with amazing calm, gratifying admirers and reporters with autographs and answers. But, of course, there was plenty to ask; after all his fourth film in the Mission Impossible series has a reasonable chunk set in India [ Images ].
Question is, is it worth this hype? Read on.

Tom Cruise returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt in the action-based franchise, directed by Brad Bird (acclaimed filmmaker of animated films like The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille [ Images ]) under challenging circumstances following his organization’s disavowal when the blame for a spectacular bomb strike on Kremlin is laid upon them.

In a bid to hunt down the real troublemaker, a Scandinavian diplomat turned demented terrorist (Michael Nyqvist [ Images ]), Hunt and his squad — fellow agent Jane Carter (Paula Patton), tech whiz Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and IMF analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner [ Images ]) globetrot from Moscow [ Images ] to Dubai [ Images ] to Mumbai engaging in fast-paced conflicts and nail-biting encounters.

As promised in the teasers, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol delivers on account of its jaw-dropping action. Whether it’s the justifiably talked-about stunt with Cruise clambering the 124th floor of Dubai’s landmark aka Tallest Building in the World, Burj Khalifa or an elaborate chase between him and Nyqvist in a brilliant sandstorm or a high-octane climax in a sleek parking lot (of what is Vancouver pretending to be Mumbai), Ghost Protocol, in all its IMAX glory, has its bright points.

Unfortunately, the most exciting aspect of Ghost Protocol turns out to be a major letdown. The Mumbai bits, most of which turn out to be Canada [ Images ] (Vancouver Convention Centre), are ridden in tedious clichés and shoddy detailing – women strolling on the street dressed in out-of-date, rich zardozi salwar-kameezes, board signs written in what looks like a Kannada script, billboard advertisements of Coca Cola Zero and a state-of-art multi-level parking with mechanical lifts. And then there’s a lecherous billionaire Brij Nath (Anil Kapoor [ Images ]) and his India-on-a-platter themed grand bash that does very little to contest this culture rut.
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Nevertheless, a good pace always works in an action film’s favour and Ghost Protocol adheres to this mantra. Right from Hunt’s fabulously staged escape from a Russian prison, a slight tribute to The Great Escape, till the time they get to India, the daredevilry fest keeps it fast and furious.

Though it’s all computer generated, the Kremlin blasts are authentic enough to cause discomfort. A typically Mission Impossible moment occurs within its interiors when a disguised Hunt and Benji sneak in to collect crucial information, hoodwinking the security using quick tactics and cool gizmos. Pegg’s Benji is the only reason the script coughs up a few laughs every now and then.

If Pegg brings in humour, Paula Patton pitches in the glamour whereas Jeremy Renner contributes in intensity, courtesy a futile sub-plot that never really comes into its own. As for Cruise, after a brief show of emotionality in the third movie, he’s back to playing Ethan Hunt nice and starchy. With so much exaggeration to contend with, a reserved disposition strikes a good balance.

Unlike his sly, intimidating host in Slumdog Millionaire [ Images ], Anil Kapoor is squandered in a tiny role, usually reserved for the likes of Gulshan Grover [ Images ] that asks for nothing except playing dumb bait. To Kapoor’s credit, he’s quite a sport and appears much too happy to star in a franchise of this stature to care.

Also, it’s equally criminal to underuse the talent of Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist (As it is In Heaven, The Millennium Trilogy). The man with the most stabbing pair of eyes is reduced to an exotic evil caricature when he’s capable of exuding refined menace in a feature that doesn’t really have a sharp antagonist to counter. Note Philip Seymour Hoffman’s menacing turn in the previous installment.

While Ghost Protocol isn’t really an upgrade in the series, it has several adrenalin-charged moments, based on the generic elements that have unfailingly worked in the brand’s favour –an undemonstrative Tom Cruise, self-destructing messages, ever-deceitful masks, infiltrating into high-security zones, leaping or clambering from a dizzying height, the works. What the plot lacks in cohesion or characterization, it compensates with spectacular displays of adventure.

Brian De Palma’s MI-I was elusive and canny, John Woo’s MI-2 reveled in style and attitude, J J Abrams’ MI-3 kept it edgy and layered. Brad Bird, for most part, lends Ghost Protocol a sense of splendid urgency with fast-moving impulses and ambitious set pieces but lacks the smarts to wholly approve.

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jo hum chahein review

Filed under: Family News — AnilB @ 8:39 am

Since over two hours had been spent watching Jo Hum Chahein, which effortlessly finds a prestigious place in the yearend’s Worst Films list, an hour should be now spent writing about the gem that it is.

An extremely over-confident, narcissist for a hero and his awkward former beauty queen female stuck in a hackneyed plot, could be the most polite description of what’s in store with Jo Hum Chahein.

Still, if you insist, here’s what happens… Our preening hero Rohan Bhatia (Sunny Gill) is a fresh MBA graduate, determined to make it big in the corporate world. Rohan and his friend Abhay bag a job in a stocks company in Mumbai. Lured by greed and putting to use his “charisma”, Rohan is noticed by stock market whiz Vikram (Alyy Khan), who in turn introduces Rohan to a visibly sex-starved socialite Amrita (Achint Kaur). Amrita invests through Rohan and he earns handsome commissions.

Enter aspiring model Neha Kapoor (Simran Kaur Mundi) who falls in love with Rohan. She even changes his philandering ways, only to be later shocked to catch him in bed with Amrita. Phew!

This reviewer is still figuring what the storyline was and where it was headed to justify the existence of the film and this review.

The writing is amusing. Writer and director Pawan Gill garnishes his script with all the cheese in the world, using every possible English idiom to emphasise emotional tension. You can’t help but snigger. One could carve out a neat almirah out of the wooden Sunny Gill, while Simran Kaur Mundi could be his pink curtain.

Achint Kaur is uptight yet tolerable. Beggars can’t be choosers, they say. This reviewer has been bitten by the proverbial bug since the torture of Jo Chahein Hum.

To get a better idea of how the cast of Jo Hum Chahein interacts, watch cartoon Doraemon on Disney channel. Jo Hum Chahein is a life-size Doraemon, minus the joy the little Japanese characters give you.

You wonder why we watch such films and review them. It’s all in the interest of you, dear reader. Jo Hum Chahein is everything you never want.
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New Delhi: The filmmakers have always been interested in youthful love stories. It’s a long list of films such as ‘Bobby’, ‘Love Story’, ‘Kaho Na Pyaar Hai’, and ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ that have been appreciated by the audiences due to their fresh appearances.

Debutant director Pawan Gill has said that the film is an ode to Yash Raj films. Gill has worked with Yash Raj Films and Aditya Chopra on various projects and thinks that ‘Jo Hum Chahein’ will reflect Yash Raj style of filmmaking.

The film has two absolutely new faces at the helm of the proceedings. Rohan Bhatia (Sunny Gill) is an ultra ambitious and confident young man who doesn’t want to wait for the success. He has the courage to go to any length to make his desire possible. Rohan’s dreams take him to Bombay Stock Exchange where his quest for success begins.
Rohan meets a headstrong girl Neha Kapoor (Simran Kaur Mundi) who doesn’t believe in casual flings. Neha’s aspiration to be a film actor has brought her to Mumbai.

They casually start dating each other before the girl falls in love with the high flying guy.

The film doesn’t boast of a powerful backing of big production houses like Film Kraft or Yash Raj Films still the songs have managed to fetch attention.

Two songs of the film ‘Peepni’ and ‘Aaj Bhi Party’ are constantly featuring in all the countdowns. Composer Sachin Gupta has come up with some peppy tunes in ‘Jo Hum Chahein’.

Some trade pundits have predicted a good show by the film at the box office due to the lead couple. Whatsoever of the film is revealed via promos suggests that Sunny Gill and Simran Mundi have the star quotient which can help the film in becoming a sleeper success.

The audiences have seen many other films with the same theme so the storyteller will have to come up with innovative ideas to keep them hooked to the screen.
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Director: Pawan Gill
Cast: Sunny Gill, Simran Kaur Mundi, Achint Kaur, Alyy Khan

To be fair to the film, the male lead Sunny Gill (despite his hopeless Hrithik Roshan hangover) makes a handsome debut. Also he’s decent enough in the acting and emoting department. And devoid of a star-studded cast, the film still boasts of high production values. What goes horribly wrong with the film then is that it’s backed by an outmoded plotline that is certainly not jo hum chahein.

What annoys you is the hero’s (Sunny Gill) incessant arrogance and cockiness. He reeks of overconfidence which impresses everyone from his babe (Simran Kaur Mundi) to boss (Alyy Khan) but the audience. He takes his girlfriend to spiritual dates across temples, churches and gurudwara across the city. Until he wakes up one morning to realize he has lost his virginity to a nymphomaniac aunty (Achint Kaur).

As the narrative wanders aimlessly amidst ambition and love, the viewer seems more lost about the central plot of the picture. Until you realize it archaic and nothing more than Shah Rukh Khan’s Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992) revisited or for that matter Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420 (1955). The lovers part ways, the hero turns toy-boy of aunty and the heroine inevitably has to be pregnant. The only thing you derive pleasure from in the otherwise predictable proceedings is to see the downfall of the hero who was so full of himself throughout the first half.

The film certainly might be having its heart at the right place but the dated chronicle fails to touch your heart by any means. The romance is cheesy, the writing is verbose and the emotions are so soap-opera that it seems like watching a TV serial. A multitude of songs only add to your tedium. And the second half almost seems like an endless saga with the hero trying to mend his ways.

While director Pawan Gill doesn’t impress much in terms of storytelling, he ensures that the film is a technically sound product and extracts notable performances from the cast. The film is tailor-made as a launch pad for Sunny Gill and he makes a confident debut. Unlike the recent amateur lot of first-timers, Sunny is natural in his act and appeal and has good screen presence (though he could let himself a little loose). A better script could tap the immense potential of this actor. Simran Kaur Mundi is decent. Achint Kaur and Alyy Khan play their parts well.
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This is a coming of age story of Rohan Bhatia and Neha Kapoor, two young, hip, effervescent individuals whose lives change forever once they meet and fall in love. Rohan is a brash, cocky, ambitious, 24 year old MBA graduate who wants instant success and he’ll do anything to make that come true! Rohan moves to Mumbai to pursue a career as a stockbroker where he meets Neha, a no nonsense, strong headed girl who’s come to Mumbai to follow her dreams, the dream of becoming a film actor. Neha is someone who believes in love, but hasn’t given and guy a chance because no one measures up to her standards of Mr. Right. That’s until Rohan comes along and her life changes completely. Both of them have different wants, desires and quests but they manage to come together and go on a journey that intertwines their personal and professional lives where they touch the peaks of love, loss, despair, longing, betrayal and redemption.

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