Custom Search

The Hunting Of The Snark

Snark Injection for Guantanamo Trial

While the Supreme Court has most certainly dealt the strongest blows against the Bush administration’s handling of Guantanamo detainees, a lower court in the same city might have dealt the most creative one. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has rejected the government’s evidence for keeping a prisoner at Guantanamo by citing a celebrated poem of nonsense:

Lewis Carroll notwithstanding, the fact that the government has “said it thrice” does not make an allegation true. See LEWIS CARROLL, THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK 3 (1876) (”I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true.”). In fact, we have no basis for concluding that there are independent sources for the documents’ thrice-made assertions.

The opinion was referring to the government’s evidence against Huzaifa Parhat, who was detained in Afghanistan in 2001. While three documents were meant to convince the court that he should not be released, Judge Merrick B. Garland, who penned the ruling, flatly stated: “We are not persuaded.” His quite serious explanation, available in full as a pdf, follows:

Many of those assertions are made in identical language, suggesting that later documents may merely be citing earlier ones, and hence that all may ultimately derive from a single source. And as we have also noted, Parhat has made a credible argument that — at least for some of the assertions — the common source is the Chinese government, which may be less than objective with respect to the Uighurs.

Mr. Parhat is one of 17 Uighurs, a Muslim minority from western China, who were brought to the Guanatanamo prison after being detained in Afghanistan. As William Glaberson reported in The New York Times, their cases have drawn wide attention since they were spoiling for a fight against the Chinese, not Americans.

Despite the ruling, it is not clear what will happen to Mr. Parhat. No other country seems willing to accept him or the 16 others, except China, which may be all too eager. Washington refuses to send them back there, citing human rights concerns.

As for Mr. Carroll’s poem, it is available online for free in either text or audio. And feel free to channel Mr. Carroll yourself in the comments.

Original Source :

Now playing: Oasis - Go Let It Out
via FoxyTunes

Walmart New Logo

Wal-Mart Gets New Logo

The world’s largest retailer’s logo is getting a face lift. Beginning this fall the logos on the front of Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores will be replaced with a new design, according to the store’s spokesman.

He says some customers have already seen the changes on store signs and advertisements. More than 3,600 U.S. stores will now display a star where the hyphen is in the company’s name according to The Wall Street Journal. They say, the new logo would show the company's name in white letters on an orange background, followed by a small starburst.

Original Source :

Now playing: The Stone Roses - One Love
via FoxyTunes

Around The Horn

2 Mud Hens on World team

The Toledo Mud Hens will send two members of the organization to play and coach in the 2008 Futures Game.

Toledo manager Larry Parrish will join Detroit prospect Wilkin Ramirez (an outfielder currently with Double-A Erie) on the World Team during the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities during a game to be played on July 13 at Yankee Stadium in New York.

Ramirez, 22, who played with the Mud Hens earlier in the season, is ranked as the 14th best prospect in the Tigers organization.

Chicago Cubs: Reliever Scott Eyre was put on the 15-day disabled list because of a left groin strain. The Cubs recalled right-hander Jose Ascanio from Triple-A Iowa.

Florida: Second baseman Dan Uggla sprained his left ankle during Saturday night's game while trying to return to first after a single. Uggla began Saturday leading the majors with 23 home runs.

Kansas City: Alberto Callaspo, one day after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, was placed on the disabled list for undisclosed reasons.

Minnesota: Rightfielder Michael Cuddyer missed Saturday's game because of a strained tendon in his left index finger.

N.Y. Yankees: Manager Joe Girardi hinted Hideki Matsui, who is on the 15-day DL, could need surgery on his ailing left knee. "Could it be more? Yes," Girardi said.

Pittsburgh: Right-handed reliever Denny Bautista is considered day-to-day after being struck on the right forearm by a line drive Friday night. Bautista, the former Tiger, could be available again as soon as Monday.

Original source :

Now playing: James - Stutter
via FoxyTunes

Solar Magic

Conjuring up some ‘solar magic’

National Semiconductor Corp. becomes the latest semiconductor industry company to join in the solar energy craze.

National Semi today unveiled its new “Solar Magic” (there’s a high tech-sounding name for you) device that connects to solar panels and claims to boost the output of the panels by 30 percent or more, even when the panels are covered in shade. To illustrate how it works, National Semi had a sort of wacky “race” with solar-powered golf carts at his Santa Clara, Cali. headquarters that you can check out here.

The technology comes out of National Semi’s research into power mangement and conservation in semiconductors. Its “Solar Magic” boxes (check out the photo) will be made at factories in Arlington, Texas and in Scotland.


While this is National Semi’s first venture into solar, there’s lots more to come, company officials say. CEO Brian Halla has said the National Semi could someday get as much as 25 percent of its revenues from the solar business.

National Semi is just the latest high-tech giant to get into the solar business. Others include Intel Corp., which just spun off a solar cell making venture; IBM, which is researching solar concentrator and cooling technology, and Hewlett-Packard Co., which recently inked a deal with a photovoltaics company to share transistor technology.

Tech giants see the potential profits in solar. If they’re right, they could also drive down prices and boost efficiency in the industry — just as technology advancements do in almost any business.

Original Source :

Now playing: Oasis - She's Electric
via FoxyTunes

Can Deven Trabosh Get A Man

Just recently, Ian Usher of Australia, sold his life and belongings for $399,300 through eBay. He made the move to start a new life after breaking up with his wife. He was hoping for $500,000 but settled for less.

But even before that sale is finalized, here comes another odd offer. Deven Trabosh, a 42-year old single mom, is looking to sell on the Internet her four-bedroom home in South Florida and a chance at marrying her.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - She's tried night clubs and online dating sites, but now a 42-year-old single mother is looking for love where everyone else's heart is breaking — the real estate market. After a year of trying to sell her four-bedroom home and eight years of singledom, Deven Trabosh is offering her South Florida home and a shot at marrying her on the Internet."I figured let's combine the ad because I'm looking for love and I'm looking to sell the house," said Trabosh, a Barbie-esque blonde who teeters around the nearly 2,000 square-foot house in patent leather heels.

"Marry a Princess Lost in America," Trabosh wrote in the ads she posted on eBay and Craigslist last week. She describes a life of romance and travel and a home decorated with vaulted ceilings, upgraded tile and a soaking tub in a gated community with a pool and tennis courts. Trabosh, a licensed real estate agent who hasn't practiced in years, knew she would struggle to sell the home in the troubled real estate market, but insists her fairytale ad isn't just a sales gimmick.

"I'm struggling...I don't want to lose my house and I want to find somebody," said Trabosh, who changed her name in the ad to Traboscia to keep people from finding her in the phone book. "So I came up with this dream plan because I've always dreamt about being a fairytale princess." She listed the home for $340,000 on a sell-it-yourself web site, but upped the price, adding a $500,000 shipping fee to include her companionship on eBay.

Original Source :

Now playing: Raekwon - Fish & Chips
via FoxyTunes

Sunshine Tutt Maries Chris Kattan

Chris Kattan, a former cast member of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” tied the knot with model Sunshine Tutt in Yosemite Valley, Calif., on Saturday, his publicist, Jill Fritzo, said Monday.

Kattan, 37, appeared on “SNL” from 1996 to 2003. His screen credits include “Corky Romano” and “A Night at the Roxbury.”

The couple became engaged on Christmas Eve 2006.

Original Source :

Now playing: MGMT - Time To Pretend
via FoxyTunes

Samuel Clemens

'Mark Twain: An American Star' 'The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West'


By Elizabeth MacLeod

For ages 9-12


A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West

By Sid Fleischman

For ages 9-12, coming in July

It's a good thing that Samuel Clemens lived a long life -- 74 years -- because he had a lot of living to do.

He was a sickly babe, causing his mother to proclaim: "I could see no promise in him." How wrong she was. Sam grew up to become a Mississippi riverboat pilot, a newspaper journalist and prospector in the Old West, a foreign correspondent traveling abroad and -- under the name we remember him by, Mark Twain -- a celebrated author and humorist.

These two new biographies will introduce you to this American treasure, whose creative mind gave birth to such classic literary characters as the adventurous Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and wonderful tales about jumping frogs and princes and paupers.

Sid Fleischman, a Newbery medalist for "The Whipping Boy," takes an in-depth look at Twain's early life, through the Wild West days.

Fleischman is a magician as well as a writer, and it shows in his magical way with words.

Elizabeth MacLeod has written more than two dozen children's books, including several biographies. This 32-page book has lots of photos (and cartoons), making it a better choice, perhaps, for younger readers looking for a brief overview of Twain's remarkable life.

Original Source :

Alvan Motor Freight Closes Its Doors

Alvan Motor Freight goes out of business

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The combination of rising fuel costs and the recent strike at American Axle & Manufacturing Holding Inc. have pushed a Kalamazoo-based trucking company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Alvan Motor Freight Inc., which employs 525 people in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, has ceased operations and arranged for another company to deliver its remaining freight, according to a press release from the company.

"They've issued a press release and that's all I know," said Tom Harty, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 7, which represents about 30 Alvan workers in Kalamazoo. "We're in meetings with the workers."

The 67-year-old company was founded in Kalamazoo by the family of James Van Zoeren, president and chief executive officer.

No one answered the phones this morning at Alvan, 3600 Alvan Road in Kalamazoo. A recording said the number listed for Van Zoeren's home has been disconnected.

In the company press release, Van Zoeren said he was trying to sell the business.

Van Zoeren told the Kalamazoo Gazette in May that American Axle, which was on strike 87 days, was one of the company's biggest customers.

"The American Axle strike is absolutely killing us because of the trickle-down effect with the closure of General Motors plants and how that impacts our customers who are first- and second-tier auto-parts suppliers," Van Zoeren said.

Gazette News Service contributed to this report.

Contact Gazette Staff Writer Alex Nixon by email or by calling (269) 388-2783.

Original source :

Now playing: Oasis - All Around The World
via FoxyTunes


EveryScape Takes You Where Google Can't

For those who want to cruise New York's city streets without ever having to leave a computer, Google offers a service called Street View, an interactive map made up of street-level photos.

And as the Internet giant plans to use the feature to replicate the streets of major cities worldwide, one company has begun to take this technology a few steps further.

Everyscape, a Massachusetts-based startup, has recently launched an online mapping service that allows users to not only explore a neighborhood but also to go inside shops and restaurants.

With a few clicks of a mouse, users can navigate through neighborhoods and tourist sites. A special icon next to a building invites users to enter and have a look around.

"While Google has focused their technology on building a better map, we wanted to do more and replicate the experience of actually being somewhere," Everyscape chief executive Jim Schoonmaker said.

And instead of dispatching a fleet of cars to scour major cities and capture snapshots the way Google does, the company relies on independent contractors recruited through its Web site. Trained to operate specialized equipment, these "destination ambassadors" are assigned regions and are paid per mile to map. By getting locals involved, Schoonmaker hopes to "enable the world to build the world."

West Coast representative Scott Gressit has spent the last six months doing just that, driving up and down the coast of California and snapping photos from a roof-mounted camera. Despite the constant commute, he's motivated by the project's prospects and plans to expand his efforts to major cities in Arizona and Nevada.

"It's an opportunity to be part something that will eventually be a household name, just like how Google is now," Gressit said.

On top of earning $10 for every street mile he helps put on the interactive map, the San Diego resident receives a commission whenever he convinces a business to have its interiors photographed -- a task that brings what he considers easy money.

"I met some people who immediately embrace and want to have a presence, while others have lots of questions and want to learn more," Gressit said. "But it's pretty well priced, so it's a pretty easy sale.

"I actually think it's underpriced," he said.

Joe Ryan, owner of the Press Box Sports Bar in Manhattan, was quickly sold on the idea when he was approached with an offer to lease his locale on the interactive map.

"It's absolutely worth the price of the lease," Ryan said. "We have a very nice private party room upstairs and whenever people call to see if they can have a party there, it was very hard for me to describe it. Now I just tell them to go to the site, and they can take a look around. It's a big help."

But even with a novel business plan and $7 million in investment from venture capital firms, challenges remain. Some experts say to cut into Google's market, the company would need to extend its mapping capabilities abroad to popular destinations like Sydney and London, where the legality of such technology has been challenged.

"It would be tough to expand what Everyscape does to other countries where privacy laws are more restrictive" said Kier Clarke at Google Maps Mania, which reviews Web sites inspired by Google Maps.

Last month, the European Union issued a statement warning Google to comply with the region's strict privacy laws. Google responded with a technology that blurs people's faces in photographs.

Still, Schoonmaker believes the promises are worth any potential difficulties.

"To be able to go to virtually visit a city like Aspen, walk down the street, hope on a gondola and go up a mountain and ski down," Schoonmaker said. "It's just a very powerful tool."

Original Source :

Now playing: MGMT - Time To Pretend
via FoxyTunes

Fire At Sweetwater Casino

Fire tearing apart South Jersey restaurant & bar

Flames are devouring the Sweetwater Casino Restaurant & Bar.

Chopper Six was first on the scene, the 2700 block of 7th Avenue in Sweetwater, Atlantic County. A huge plume of white smoke billowed into the air.

Firefighters encountered a problem when they arrived -- a lack of water. Since the area is rural, firefighters have had to call in extra tankers with water to battle the blaze. Firefighters were concerned about spreading brush fires as well, so some of the pumper trucks sucked water out of the nearby Mullica River in order to get water on the flames.

The flames were first reported around 5 a.m. and burned for nearly 2 hours.

The Sweetwater Casino doesn't actually contain a casino. It is a restaurant with a banquet hall.

Original Ssource :

James Bond Quantum Of Solace Trailer

Bond film trailer set for debut

Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig will reprise the role of James Bond

The trailer for the next Bond adventure Quantum of Solace will be shown for the first time on the internet on Monday.

The teaser for the new film, which stars Daniel Craig as 007, will be online from 1700-1900 BST before being released to the world's media.

Cinema-goers will be able to see the taster from Wednesday, when it will be shown before Will Smith's film Hancock.

Quantum of Solace is due out in the UK on 31 October and is released in the US

and elsewhere the following month.

Fan site

The trailer for the 22nd Bond bonanza will be available to internet users in the UK and other countries on MSN and via AOL in the US.

US internet users can expect to view the short film online from 0900-1100 Pacific Daylight Time or 1100-1300 Eastern Daylight Time.

It is set to be dubbed or subtitled into 13 languages for cinema fans around the world, and features expanded footage of the film.

Monday also sees the launch of a new Quantum of Solace website, which will offer fans news, images and downloads related to the film.

The title of the latest outing was confirmed by producers earlier this year.

Quantum of Solace was part of a collection of short stories, entitled For Your Eyes Only, published by Bond creator Ian Fleming in 1960.

The film also sees Dame Judi Dench take on the role of M for the sixth time.

Original Source :

Bell 407 Helicopter Collision

Medical helicopters collide, killing at least 6

At least six people were dead and one critically injured Sunday after a midair crash between two medical helicopters near a hospital in Arizona, authorities said.

The collision, at Flagstaff Medical Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, set fire to a 10-acre area, according to fire officials, and another two rescue workers were injured by a secondary explosion after the crash.

The helicopters collided at roughly 3:45 p.m. local time, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

"As you can imagine, we've got lots of heaps of metal to go through," said Capt. Mark Johnson of the Flagstaff Fire Department. "It's just difficult right now."

He said a landing pad on the roof of the hospital is used by medical helicopters.

Federal Aviation Authority officials originally had reported at least seven deaths and three critical injuries, but they revised those numbers after investigators spent more time on the scene.

Flagstaff Police Department Sgt. Tom Boughner said the two rescue workers were not immediately believed to be seriously injured. He said the helicopters crashed into a wooded area near a neighborhood and that no one on the ground was believed to have been injured or killed in the crash.

He said the fire had been contained by Sunday evening.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said at least one of those killed in the collision was a patient.

He said three of those killed, including the patient, were aboard a Bell 407 helicopter operated by Air Methods Corporation, an air medical service provider. The other helicopter, operated by Classic Helicopter Service of Utah, also was a Bell 407. The other four victims, including the one critically injured, were on that helicopter.

Both helicopters were headed to the hospital at the time of the crash, Gregor said.

FAA safety inspectors from Phoenix, Arizona, were en route to the scene Sunday, and additional inspectors from Washington were expected to arrive Monday morning. The National Transportation Safety Board will lead a probe into the crash, Gregor said.

Original Source :

Arizona Lottery

State budget plans seems like a gamble

There's simply no way to endorse a state budget that balances the books by counting on Arizonans to gamble more and to drive dangerously fast on the freeways.

After months of dragging its feet, the Arizona Legislature finally adopted a new budget Thursday - one that eliminates a predicted $2 billion shortfall but significantly avoids hard decisions about state priorities. Gov. Janet Napolitano heavily shaped the final outcome and quickly signed the budget into law Friday.

True budget cuts came in at $348 million, with $50 million falling on the state's three universities, according to Capitol Media Services. Another $106 million will be taken from the tax dollars used to support highway construction and maintenance to fund the state Department of Public Safety instead.

But this budget also borrows about $1 billion in a variety of ways, including postponing $660 million in monthly payments to school districts into the state's next fiscal year. This means the next Legislature will return in January facing yet another huge shortfall. Meanwhile, the "rainy day" emergency savings will be gone and many of the speciality funds will be empty as well.

Then, there's how lawmakers and Napolitano handled the issues of university building construction and a new statewide photo enforcement program.

The new budget authorizes the Arizona Board of Regents to borrow $1 billion to repair existing buildings and to add new ones. Earlier versions of this package had required the universities to pick up 20 percent of the debt payments out of their own budgets, with the Legislature funding the rest starting in 2010.

Now, the Arizona Lottery will have to cover the debt payments. To make that possible, the lottery no longer will have limits on its advertising budget and can create new games to entice more people to play.

We have supported photo enforcement as a useful law enforcement tool. But this budget undermines that value by saying violators caught by state cameras won't have points added to their driver's licenses or face higher insurance premiums. Sen. Marsha Arzberger, D-Willcox, told Capitol Media Services this was done to encourage people to just pay the fines so the state could raise as much money as possible.

Given the enormous scope of the budget problems and the political divide at the Capitol, there was no path to a final budget that would have made many people happy. But we suspect lawmakers will come to regret postponing so much of the problem into the future on the hope that the economy and tax collections will boom again sooner rather than later.

Original Source :

Now playing: Raekwon - Verbal Intercouse
via FoxyTunes

Supermodel Ruslana Korshunova Falls To Her Death In Manhattan

Supermodel falls to her death in Manhattan

NEW YORK: A European Vogue cover model fell to her death from her Manhattan apartment building yesterday in an apparent suicide.

Ruslana Korshunova, 20, died in a fall from a building on Water Street, in Manhattan's financial district, about 2.30pm on Saturday (4.30am yesterday AEST), local media reported, citing unnamed officials and police.

Police said the fall was under investigation. Korshunova's New York agency and a spokeswoman for medical examiners did not immediately return telephone messages.

But a bystander told The New York Post: "I heard what sounded like a gunshot or a bomb or an explosion.

"I looked down the street, and I say to the cop, "Did that person just get hit by a car?"' said an electricity company worker, who identified himself only as Patrick, 32, of Brooklyn.

The two men raced over to the scene. "Her arms were crushed," Patrick told the Post. "Her head was on the left side and blood was coming out in a pool."

Police said there were no signs of a struggle in the apartment.

The window from which she fell had a balcony, which had construction netting around it that appeared to have been cut.

Originally from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, the almond-eyed, flowing-haired Korshunova appeared in advertisements and on runways for such designers as Marc Jacobs, Nina Ricci and DKNY. British Vogue hailed her as "a face to be excited about" in 2005.

Her break came when modelling booker Debbie Jones noticed her while reading an in-flight magazine article about Korshunova's home town of Almaty, according to the Vogue report.

"She looked like something out of a fairytale," Jones told the magazine. "We had to find her and we searched high and low until we did."

A friend told The Post yesterday: "She's one of the sweetest, nicest people you'll ever meet.

"I'm still in shock. The world lost a great person."

The friend said Korshunova had just returned from a modeling assignment in Paris and seemed to be "on top of the world".

"There were no signs," the paper cited him as saying. "That's what's driving me crazy. I don't see one reason why she would do that."

Korshunova, who had been sending money back to her parents in Kazakhstan, was in love with the city, he added.

"People made her feel comfortable here."

Korshunova's doorman, who did not want to be identified, remembered the catwalker as "very soft-spoken".

"She always said hi and bye," he said. "She was beautiful, beautiful."

Original Source :,25197,23941898-2703,00.html

Now playing: The Lightning Seeds - Ready Ar Not
via FoxyTunes

Gay Pride Parade NYC

Gay Pride Parade Expected To Draw More Than 1 Million

The 39th annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride parade stepped off at noon Sunday on Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street. The march, which is New York City's largest, then followed the Lavender Line to its conclusion at the intersection of Christopher Street and Greenwich Street.More than 300 organizations and 500,000 marchers were expected to participate in the march, and more than 1 million were expected to watch them go by.

Led by Grand Marshals Gilbert Baker and Candis Cayne, the New York City LGBT Community Center and PFLAG NYC (Parents, Families and Friends of Gays and Lesbians), the march included floats, marching bands, and representatives from more than 300 LGBT organizations and businesses from all over the Northeast.

Members of New York's gay community are using the Gay Pride parade to praise Gov. David Paterson for his executive order saying New York will recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The legally blind Paterson, one day after eye surgery, drew cheers as he joined the throng for Sunday's annual march down Fifth Avenue from Midtown to Greenwich Village.

New York City's annual Pride March began in 1970 as a commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The march has since grown to become the oldest and one of the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender events.

Over the years, its purpose has broadened to include recognition of the fight against AIDS and to remember those who have been lost to the illness, violence and neglect. It has also evolved to include being a celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual transgender lives and the community. A moment of silence was observed at 2 p.m.But the march is just the beginning. Dance 22, the Dance on the Pier, begins at 4:00 p.m. at Pier 54.

This year's deejays were Tracy Young and Joe Gauthreaux.The Dance on the Pier is Heritage of Pride's largest fundraiser of the year.

Original Source :
Now playing: Wu Tang Clan - can it all be so simple
via FoxyTunes

Vince LaPira Recieves Brian Piccolo Award

Piccolo Award recipient LaPira highlights spring sports night

One year after suffering an aneurysm that put him in life-threatening coma, Vince LaPira received a standing ovation as he accepted the Brian Piccolo Award at Wethersfield High School's spring sports awards night.

"The Vince LaPira story is one where we're just happy he was around and he made it through," said Joseph Cottone, Wethersfield's athletic director.
The Piccolo Award is named after Brian Piccolo, the former Chicago Bears player who died at a young age of cancer. His story and friendship with teammate Gale Sayers is the subject of the popular movie "Brian's Song."

A senior volleyball captain, LaPira's moment on stage was the emotional highlight of ceremony, which took place June 5. The annual event caps off the spring season and the athletic year and Cottone said it's one of his favorite nights as athletic director.

"I think it's the culmination of the whole year," he said. "When you get a chance to look back on the successes that the students have had here, it gives me great pleasure to stand there and watch these kids receive awards for their hard work that started really four years ago. It's tremendous to see such leadership in high schools students; kids that can put together their academics and athletics. We are tremendously proud, as a school and as an administration, of how many of our students make the honor roll and still go out for sports."

Cottone had all the student-athletes who made general honors and high honors stand up during the ceremony. Although exact percentages were not available, an overwhelming majority got out of their seats.

But the night was also about celebrating on-field achievements and Wethersfield certainly had plenty of those to celebrate.

"From an athletic director's point of view," Cottone said, "I'm very, very proud of all the athletes and coaches this spring. Every team did very, very well. Coming away with four CCC-West champions and one state champion is just phenomenal. It's a great tribute to the students hard work and the coaches ability to really relate to the kids and to understand what's best for their teams."

The state champion was the boys track team, which won the Class MM title. They also won the CCC West, along with the volleyball team, the baseball team and the softball team.
Individually, several athletes were honored, including four-year varsity letter-winners in at least one sport. All those who achieve that feat received Wethersfield blankets with their names, the sport they lettered in, and their graduating year.

Six athletes qualified in two sports but Kelsey McDonald put herself in rare company by lettering four years in three different sports - girls soccer, girls basketball, and girls track and field.
"You never know when it's going to happen," Cottone said, "because it's so difficult in high school to earn a varsity letter your freshman year through your senior year in three different sports. It doesn't happen very often."

Original Source :

Now playing: The Beautiful South - 13 - Prettiest Eyes
via FoxyTunes

Canadians Urged To Don Sealskin As "Birthday" Suit

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadians should wear sealskin to celebrate the country's birthday on July 1, an Inuit leader said on Friday, in defiance of a European movement to ban the import of Canadian seal products.

"I am quite tired of other people telling us how to live our lives, without taking the time to learn about our culture and way of life," National Inuit leader Mary Simon said.

"I am calling on Canadians who support us to get some seal clothing and wear it in a show of solidarity to Inuit and other Canadian sealers on Canada Day."

Simon said she made the plea in response to plans by animal rights protesters to gather in Brussels and demand a prohibition on seal items like furs, skins and health products.

Protesters -- supported by celebrities like Paul McCartney and Brigitte Bardot -- have long objected to the seal hunt for its cruelty. They've won widespread public opinion over the years with graphic footage of young seal pups being bludgeoned to death on the ice.

Canada's assurances this year that it would impose new rules to ensure the animals are killed more humanely has done little to dampen the protests.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper defends the seal hunt as a traditional way of life among Canada's aboriginal peoples and a an important source of income for many small communities along the Atlantic Coast.

"Sealing is still important to the Inuit economy in 2008," said Simon, who wore a sealskin vest at a public event earlier this month.

"It angers me that animal-rights protesters, ignorant of and callous toward Inuit culture, are trying to take that away."

Original Source :

Now playing: Natalie Imbruglia - Satellite
via FoxyTunes

Obama & Clinton First Post-Primary Event

UNITY, N.H. — Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton came to this tiny town of Unity on Friday for their first public appearance after a bitter primary fight. Less certain was whether Unity would come to them.

“We had a spirited dialogue,” acknowledged Mrs. Clinton, speaking first before a crowd of roughly 3,000, many laughing.

She was referring to the presidential nomination campaign, not the extended time the former rivals spent together Friday en route to the premiere of what the Obama campaign hopes will be a long-running buddy movie, at least through November. “That was the nicest way I could think of phrasing it,” Mrs. Clinton added, to more laughter.

Unity was both the venue and the watchword of the heavily choreographed event, held on the grounds of an old elementary school, adjoined by fields of wildflowers. Event organizers were hoping to evoke the feel of a latter-day Woodstock — only with better weather, more portable toilets and no skinny-dipping. It was left to the main acts, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, to supply the peace and love.

“Unity is not only a beautiful place, as we can see, it’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it?” Mrs. Clinton said while Mr. Obama sat on a stool, nodding in agreement.

A few minutes later, Mr. Obama said of his vanquished rival, “I know firsthand how good she is, how tough she is, how passionate she is, how committed she is.”

Woodstock or no, Unity at least provided the ultimate festival for students of political body language. Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, and Mrs. Clinton appeared arm in arm, waving to a cheering crowd. U2’s “Beautiful Day” blared over loudspeakers, sputtering out for a few nervous seconds before recovering. Mr. Obama’s too-long blue tie went nicely with Mrs. Clinton’s blue pantsuit.

Once on stage, Mr. Obama placed his hand on Mrs. Clinton’s shoulder but stopped short of a full hug. There was minimal physical contact between the two throughout, though they shared a few close whispers, punctuated by laughter. He waved, she waved, often in opposite directions. There was no joint raising of hands. She smiled deferentially while he spoke, hands folded at her waist.

The Unity spirit was every bit in keeping with that of recent days. Mrs. Clinton returned Tuesday to the Senate and spoke of her commitment to campaign for Mr. Obama. The two held a joint fund-raiser in Washington on Thursday night, and later in the evening, Mr. Obama’s ever-present “body man,” Reggie Love, was seen dining in Georgetown with his Clinton counterpart, Huma Abedin, and two other people.

On Friday, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama arrived simultaneously at an airport in Washington, where they exchanged a kiss and smiled as they stepped onto a chartered plane. They chatted through the 70-minute flight, sitting side by side, and continued the conversation during a 60-minute bus ride to Unity.

As has been well chronicled, this remote town near the Vermont border was chosen not just for its Hollywood name, but also for the perfect split of votes cast in the New Hampshire primary — 107 for each candidate.

“Divine intervention,” explained Jeanne Shaheen, a former New Hampshire governor and now a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate.

Less well known is that the town of Unity was nearly torn asunder by a land dispute in the 18th century. Then called Buckingham, it was rechristened Unity in 1764 after the conflict was resolved. Democrats were seeking a similar rapprochement Friday, and both principals were very much with the program.

“I hope you’ll work as hard for Senator Obama as many of you did for me,” Mrs. Clinton said, directing her remarks to her supporters, some of them with Hillary T-shirts and placards.

Mr. Obama said, “Hillary and I may have started with separate goals in this campaign, but we made history together.”

He placed special emphasis on her groundbreaking campaign as a woman. She demonstrated that “women can do anything that the boys can do, and do it better, and do it in heels,” he said.

“Hillary rocks,” a woman shouted from the back, and Mr. Obama agreed (“she rocks, she rocks”) and a chant of “Unity, Unity” went up from the back.

Not everyone received the unity memo, however. Carmella Lewis of Denver chanted “Hillary” while Mr. Obama spoke, smirked throughout his remarks and then stuffed her ears with scrunched-up tissue.

“I can’t listen to him,” Ms. Lewis said. “No way are we voting for Obama. We’re all voting for McCain.”

Friday’s crowd began descending on the school grounds at dawn. It was hot and sunny; at least three people in the crowd passed out from the heat before the candidates arrived after 1 p.m. A giant blue banner, “Unite for Change,” provided a backdrop. Many in the crowd, who came from New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and beyond, wore faded stickers of their favorite candidate.

Asked if the town had ever seen such excitement, Tammy Dowd, board of selectmen secretary, mentioned something about Arlo Guthrie’s having played nearby West Unity in 1979, but that was nothing like this.

The pleasantries between the candidates belied a litany of extenuating issues between them. Mrs. Clinton has asked a Washington power broker and lawyer, Robert B. Barnett, to help negotiate the talks, which include helping repay her campaign debt and securing a prominent spot at the party’s summer convention. But the enmity of recent months was left behind Friday, at least by the former combatants on the stage.

“We have to make it a priority in our lives to elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States,” Mrs. Clinton told her supporters, including many who came with their own checks for Mr. Obama’s campaign.

“This was a hard-fought campaign,” she said. “That’s what made it so exciting and intense and why people’s passions ran so high on both sides. But we are a family, and we have an opportunity now to really demonstrate clearly we do know what’s at stake, and we will do whatever it takes to win back this White House.”

Mr. Obama responded in a similar spirit. ”For 16 months, Senator Clinton and I have shared the stage as rivals,” he said. “But, today, I couldn’t be happier and more honored and more moved that we’re sharing this stage as allies.”

He largely stuck to his standard stump speech, sprinkled heavily with “Hillarys” and “Unitys.” “Thank you, Senator Hillary Clinton; thank you, New Hampshire,” he said, and the candidates rejoined at the podium for more synchronized waving.

After a few seconds, Mrs. Clinton disappeared down some back steps, leaving Mr. Obama on stage by himself.

Original Source :

Now playing: LL Cool J Ft DMX, Method Man & Redman - Fuhgidabowdit
via FoxyTunes

Electric Daisy Carnival

Who said rave was dead?

Get ready for a full-blown disco circus on June 28 when downtown’s Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Park turn into a beat-infused festival with all the carnie works from rides to dance-crazy party people decked out in their urban tribal best. But the big draw will be the music. The party will also have six areas for live performers and superstar DJs like Moby, Z-Trip, Heather, Colette, BT, Armand van Helden, Paul Van Dyk, and our fave up-and-comer Paparrazzi.

Be sure to hit the "So Sweet" stage, where you'll find the electro heat of Blake Miller, Boyz Noize, Le Castle Vania and more.

Original Source :

Now playing: Pet Shop Boys - I Want a Dog
via FoxyTunes

Six Flags Decapitation

Six Flags Decapitation Shocks The Nation

The Six Flags decapitation that took place earlier today has shocked the nation as news of a horrifying accident took place in Cobb County, Georgia, Atlanta. It was one of the worst accidents to have ever happened at the amusement part and the Six Flags decapitation was so vivid that the part was cleared to allow further police investigations. The accident happened earlier today in the afternoon. Can anyone imagine the scene at the Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park as the decapitation must have left a lot of traumatized young and old who have never seen such a morbid sight before.

The Six Flags decapitation how it took place is still anybody’s guess. Not much information is available as one is saying this while another is saying that. There are more questions than answers available at the moment. It is all very confusing and we will probably need to wait for more details from the police to learn what happened with the Six Flags decapitation. Or someone could go to the Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park and question the staff there for they must know something. Who is the person who was in the Six Flags decapitation?

What usually happens when such an accident as this Six Flags decapitation takes place? Should the people call 911 and ask for help? That should be quite obvious. But how do you deal with the shocked and traumatized who witness the Six Flags decapitation? It is enough to turn any stomach. And where exactly is this Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park where the terrible accident took place? It might actually lead to a temporary closure of the place as safety officials might want to look into the incident and find out how things can be improved to avoid another Six Flags decapitation.

The Six Flags accident would also cause much distress to friends of the teen who suffered the decapitation as they were with him. And they were also together with him when they jumped into a limited area. If they had not done such a stupid thing, this Six Flags decapitation accident would never have happened. So now who should be responsible for such a terrible end to a young life? Is it the park’s responsibility to keep them away from the restricted areas? Or should the group where the Six Flags decapitation took place have been more sensible and stick to where they are allowed?

Original Source :

Now playing: Eminem - Just Don't Give A F*ck
via FoxyTunes

Stacy Lewis Leads

New professional Stacy Lewis leads by one

AN American playing her first golf tournament as a professional has upstaged the big guns to take the third round lead at the US Women's Open.

On a day when the Australian challenge petered out, Stacy Lewis, a 23-year-old who turned pro less than three weeks ago, carded a sizzling six-under-par 67 in strong winds at Interlachen outside Minneapolis, Minnesota.

She posted a nine-under 210 total, one stroke better than fellow American Paul Creamer, with Swede Helen Alfredsson and Korean Inbee Park two behind.

But if Lewis was surprised to lead, she wasn't admitting it.

"Truthfully, I'm not really that surprised," she said.

"I felt I could play and compete at this level. It was my goal to put myself in contention to win going into the last day."

Lewis didn't sound boastful, just honest, and she might not be unduly nervous about leading the biggest championship in women's golf, not after what she endured in her childhood.

She was diagnosed with scoliosis, a severe curvature of the spine, at the age of 11 and wore a hard plastic brace for the next seven years.

When that didn't correct her problem, she had surgery, a rod and five screws inserted into her back.

"From there I had to wear a brace for another three months," she explained.

"And then I couldn't bend or twist for six months.

"When I found out I had to have surgery, I thought I was done playing golf forever."

But Lewis eventually made a near full recovery and now stands 18 holes away from what would be a stunning achievement.

Australian Katherine Hull, who started the day only four strokes from the lead, was never a factor after two early bogeys, battling to a 77 that left her equal 31st, 11 strokes off the pace, one stroke better than Karrie Webb.

"I fought my swing all day and didn't make a whole lot of putts," said Hull.

"It wasn't an ideal start (three bogeys in the first five holes) but that's golf.

"It's not a game of perfect but most of us are perfectionists so when it doesn't go the way we want, we get a little stroppy."

Original Source :,23739,23940906-10389,00.html

Now playing: Inspectah Deck Feat. Donnie Cash, King Just, La Banga - 10304
via FoxyTunes

Rhythm And Booms

Area in severe thunderstorm watch until 7 p.m.

The Madison area is in a severe thunderstorm watch until 7 p.m. Saturday, perhaps putting a damper on Rhythm and Booms at Warner Park.

Hail was falling on the west side of Madison around 2:15 p.m. Saturday.

Thunderstorms are likely later in the day, said Mike Stiller of Weather Central. Clouds began moving in around noon with most of the thunderstorm activity expected to hit later Saturday and early Sunday, Stiller said.

That might make Rhythm & Booms a little wet, but still likely to happen, Stiller said.

"I think we'll have a chance of a few isolated showers," he said. "I don't think it will be a washout, I don't expect the event to be canceled, the fireworks and activities should still be OK."

Saturday's high temperature is expected to hit a comfortable 76 degrees, down from a normal of 81 at this time of year. Lows tonight are expected to dip to 56 degrees.

Winds are expected to pick up throughout the day. The National Weather Service predicts a west wind between 15 and 20 miles per hour with gusts as high as 30 mph today. The NWS says storms later tonight could produce small hail and gusty winds.

Sunday is expected to be mostly cloudy, with a high in the low 70s and more scattered showers.

Friday's high was right at the seasonal average of 81 degrees, with a low of 64. Two-tenths of an inch of rain fell, bringing June's total to 10.89 inches as measured at Dane County Regional Airport.

Original Source :

Now playing: Björk - Charlene
via FoxyTunes

Uga Vi Dies

UGA's popular mascot Uga VI dies of heart failure

The University of Georgia's beloved and Churchillian English bulldog mascot Uga VI died peacefully Friday night in Savannah of congestive heart failure after serving nine years on the Bulldog sidelines as the school's winningest mascot.

Uga VI, owned by Savannah attorney Frank W. "Sonny" Seiler, was the biggest in the line of six solid white English bulldogs to serve as UGA's mascot since Uga I became a Georgia football game fixture in 1956.

"He was a good one," Seiler said in a prepared statement. "What can I say? He had a marvelous record. He was a very strong and healthy dog. He was the biggest of all the dogs, and he had the biggest heart. It just played out."

Damon Evans, UGA director of athletics, bestowed the highest praise on the beast that he could Saturday, in a statement:

"Uga VI was a damn good mascot and a damn good dog," said Evans.

With the passing of one Uga there's always speculation which bulldog is heir to the throne, which comes with a few perks, including an air-conditioned dog house, travel by Delta Airlines to away games, celebrityhood (Uga V was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1997 as the nation's best mascot) and a fanbase that's paparazzi-like in its obsession.

"People pet him so much his head gets sore," Seiler once said of his line of Ugas. "He's like a politician who shakes too many hands."

Seiler said Saturday that the "lineage is taken care of" and would be announced by Seilers and the UGA athletic association later.

Uga VI will be buried in a marble vault in the Southwest corner of Sanford Stadium with his ancestors in private ceremonies expected to be held early next week.

There had been speculation earlier this year that the 2007 season might have been Uga VI's last as a mascot because of his age. He would have turned 10 on July 22.

Seiler said in a statement Saturday he noticed Uga VI was breathing heavily shortly after Seiler arrived home from work Friday evening. He was taken to Dr. Stanley Lester, the family's veterinarian, who consulted with Dr. Bruce Hollett at UGA's College of Veterinary Medicine.

"I noticed a little congestion in his throat, which usually is not cause for alarm," said Seiler in the release. "I gave him a bath, which he always loved, to cool him off. After that, I called Dr. Lester, whose office is about a four-minute drive from our house.

"His heart just played out. He suffered no pain and died peacefully."

UGA president Michael F. Adams said in a statement Uga VI will be "missed and remembered by UGA alumni and friends everywhere."

During his reign as mascot, the UGA football team compiled a record of 87 wins and 27 losses, captured the 2002 and 2005 Southeastern Conference championships, and won six of eight bowl games, surpassing Uga IV's record of 77-24-4.

By far the biggest of the Ugas — he weighed 65 pounds, more than twenty pound heavier than his father — his full name was pretty hefty, too: "Uga V's Whatchagot Loran?"

That's what Georgia radio play-by-play announcer and voice of the bulldogs Larry Munson says when he's trying to get more information from sideline reporter Loran Smith.

Original Source :

Now playing: The Doors - The Crystal Ship
via FoxyTunes

World Series Of Golf

Can bets and putts pay off?

World Series of Golf backer hopes unique format will ensure franchise's longevity

Terry Leiweke doesn't want his World Series of Golf franchise to end up in the cemetery of Las Vegas-based sports teams and golfing events.

It's not that he couldn't handle the failure. It's that he couldn't handle the humiliation in the eyes of his brothers.

From arenas to teams, the four Leiweke brothers have become synonymous with success in the sports business. Terry Leiweke believes the Las Vegas-based World Series of Golf, which just completed its second season, is well on its way to similar accolades.

The made-for-television event, a unique format that combines the skill of golf with the wagering savvy of high-stakes poker, allows an amateur golfer the opportunity to win a top prize of $250,000. The tournament will be expanded next year to add two more events, including one where the top prize will be more than $1 million. Plans call for the concept to be eventually tried in Europe.

Leiweke, 58, said he didn't expect the World Series of Golf to make money in its first two years, and it hasn't. However, he was up-front about those prospects with his initial investors and he firmly believes 2009 will be the tipping point.

"The graveyard is full of headstones of ideas, especially TV golf ideas," Leiweke said. "We have a clear business model. Of course, there has never been a business with this particular model. We know what we need to do to grow this business."

The World Series of Golf, which took place over three days in May at the Paiute Golf Resort, allows amateur golfers to pony up $10,000 each as an entry fee. Players wager on each tee, then bet the others in their foursome on whether or not they can make their subsequent shots. Rather than shooting the lowest golf score, the object of the game is to claim the money pot on each hole, eventually eliminating opponents by winning all the chips.

Leiweke said he and several partners were presented the idea three years ago. They played a round of golf using the format. By the ninth hole, they were hooked.

"My family has been in the sports business for 30-plus years," Leiweke said. "We knew this was a cool format."

The timing also turned out to be fortuitous. The PGA Tour has changed the name of its annual event in Akron, Ohio, to the World Golf Championship, leaving the familiar-sounding World Series of Golf moniker on the open market. Leiweke swooped in and claimed the name, which has since been trademarked.

In February, the World Series of Golf went public as an Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board stock. The 21.6 million shares have traded as high as $4.50 and closed at $1.10, down 10 cents, or 8 percent, on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of almost $25 million.

"We're a content company and you're investing in management," Leiweke said. "We have a history of being able to execute."

Unlike a casino in high-stakes poker, which takes a 6 percent to 8 percent cut of each prize pool, the World Series of Golf pays 100 percent of the prize pool to the players. Leiweke said the business makes its money in sponsorships and other areas. This year, major sponsors included, an online gambling Web site, and The Mirage, which served as the host hotel-casino.

"In two years, we've paid out more than we've taken in," Leiweke said, saying golfing events are expensive to operate. The World Series of Golf also pays for the players' hotel rooms. He said the company paid $50,000 alone to train "croupiers" who act as scorers and keep track of the wagers.

The growth market, Leiweke said, is additional events. Next year, a $200,000 buy-in event with the same format as the $10,000 buy-in model will be added, along with a Ryder Cup-style team event.

Also, the World Series of Golf plans on launching a Web site where online golfers, for a fee, sign up to play a digital version of the tournament. The concept, Leiweke believes, could match the once lucrative online poker phenomenon.

The Leiweke brothers' track record is impressive.

Terry Leiweke was involved with the World Hockey Association in the 1980s and was responsible for the early development of indoor soccer, including an ownership interest in the Kansas City Comets, one of the sport's one-time premier franchises.

Older brother Tracey Leiweke sits on the World Series of Golf's board of directors.

Younger brother Tim Leiweke is CEO of Anschultz Entertainment Group, which operates the Los Angeles Kings and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Younger brother Tod Leiweke is the CEO of Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, the company that manages the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trailblazers.

After the World Series of Golf was completed, the brothers got together. Terry Leiweke said his brothers believe the franchise will be successful.

"It's a tedious job to do a start-up," Leiweke said. "But we think this idea is global. It could be every bit as big as the World Series of Poker."

Original Source :

Now playing: Belle And Sebastian - The Rollercoaster Ride
via FoxyTunes

Samantha Mumba

Samantha Tamania Anne Cecilia Mumba[1] (born 18 January 1983)[2] is an Irish singer and actress.

Her first album was released in 2000. Her most notable role was Mara in the 2002 film The Time Machine. She has also appeared in a number of Irish independent films.[3]


Mumba was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her father, Peter Mumba, is a Zambian aircraft engineer[4] and her mother Barbara is an Irish woman who works as a cabin crew member with the Irish airline Aer Lingus.[citation needed]

Mumba attended Dublin's Billie Barry Stage School from the ages 3 to 15. In 1998, Mumba was cast as the lead in The Hot Mikado, a jazzy production based on Gilbert and Sullivan's opera.[5]

Music career


At the age of 15, Mumba was discovered on an RTÉ TV talent show Let Me Entertain You by Irish music Svengali Louis Walsh (manager of Boyzone and Westlife). Walsh was impressed by her talent and she was signed to Polydor Records. She subsequently spent several months moving between Denmark, Sweden, the UK and Ireland where she co-wrote and recorded her debut album, Gotta Tell You. She eventually dropped out of school to focus on her music career, explaining that it was becoming difficult to stay in school and work on her music.

Mumba's first single, "Gotta Tell You", was released in 2000 and reached No. 1 in the Irish charts. It later reached No. 2 in the British charts. Mumba also had success in the USA, with the song peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album Gotta Tell You stayed on the charts for 6 months and was eventually certified Platinum for sales of 1 million copies. Five more Top 10 hits followed in the UK and she had another top 50 hit in the US. To date, her first album has sold over 4 million copies worldwide. In 2001 Mumba contributed to the track "You Raise Me Up" by the Celtic Tenors. An EP was also released in 2001 at Christmas called Samantha Sings Christmas, it is also a bonus disc on rare special editions of Gotta Tell You.

On October 2000, "Gotta Tell You" was released in France.


In 2002 Mumba released a new single I'm Right Here with a slightly more laid-back sound. The video features Damien Marley, son of Bob Marley. The video was a television favourite in both the US and UK. The single became Mumba's fifth UK top 5 single and her fifth top 40 single in Ireland. In the US and Germany the song was less successful, peaking at 80 and 81.

Rumors circulated that Mumba was getting ready to release a second album, Woman, but due to the poor sales of the lead single "I'm Right Here" in the US and a short lived time on the UK chart, she was dropped from her label, but Mumba stated on the Late Late Show (3 February 2007) that there never was a second album and the tracks leaked on the internet were attempts by her to find a new sound.

On October 23, 2006, a compilation album, The Collection, was released. The album features songs from Gotta Tell You, B-sides and two brand new tracks including her single I'm Right Here.

Samantha was to begin her comeback with a concert in Dublin’s Vicar Street on March 2 2007, but this was canceled on 27 February after only 30 tickets had been sold. She also did a nightclub show at Limerick’s Trinity Rooms on Sunday March 18th 2007 to showcase her new grittier club sound.


On Thursday 17th Jan 2008, Samantha appeared on U.K daytime T.V show "Loose Women". After discussing her time away from the music scene, and her appearance on ITV reality TV show "Dancing On Ice" (which ended abruptly after three weeks), the singer stated that she had almost finished recording her new album, and hoped it would be released in the summer of 2008.

She also appeared on the Clubland Live tour performing a dance mix of her debut single Gotta Tell You.


Shortly after the success of Gotta Tell You, Mumba was seen as the face of the fashion designer Louise Kennedy's spring/summer collection.[6]

She also became a Dior ambassador when she launched the Dior Watch Collection in Ireland. Around the same time, Mumba also became the face of Reebok appearing in print advertising in the UK and Ireland for the Quest range.[7]

In 2005, Mumba became the face (and body) of the Ultimo Per Amore Lingerie range, available exclusively at the Irish high-street chain Dunnes Stores.[8]

In February 2008, Samantha appeared on the South Bank in London with a candyfloss cart carrying Tate & Lyle Fairtrade cane sugar. The company announced its ambition to move 100pc of its retail cane sugars range to Fairtrade by 2009.

Television career

After Woman was cancelled, Mumba's music career was put on hold and she began auditioning for films. In 2002, Steven Spielberg picked her to play Mara in The Time Machine. Mara is a girl who is part of a human civilization which has regressed to a hunter/gatherer lifestyle in the year 802,701 AD. She co-starred with Guy Pearce and the movie earned $56,684,819 in the US. Mumba's second venture into films was in 2003, where she appeared in the film Spin the Bottle.

In 2005, Mumba returned to acting with the lead role of Jessica in the Irish film Boy Eats Girl. The film was a box office failure in Ireland, making a little over €1 million despite it's €5 million budget.[9]

In 2006, Mumba starred in the thriller Nailed, playing the character of "Sapphire", Mumba also co-starred in Johnny Was, a British gangster movie. 2007 saw Mumba filming her part in the movie 3 Crosses.

Mumba confirmed on the Late Late Show, 9 February 2007, that a camera crew has been following her on and off for the past 6 months for a Reality TV show which was shown on Channel 4 at the end of March 2007. The show was called Get Your Act Together with Harvey Goldsmith and follows Mumba's attempts to revive her music career with Harvey Goldsmith as her mentor.

In 2007 Music mogul Harvey Goldsmith has put his considerable weight behind Samantha Mumba as the newest judge for the X Factor. The famous music promoter and manager has spent the last six months working with Samantha on the relaunch of her career in the UK and The US.“It wasn’t a smooth path by any means, and at times she drove me half mad,” he says, “but at the end of the day, Samantha revealed she’s got the great natural talent it takes to be a huge star.“I believe Samantha would make a fantastic judge, having experienced the highs and lows of success herself, and she isn’t shy of making her thoughts known.”

Mumba starred on the 2008 series of Dancing On Ice but was eliminated in week 3.

Original Source :
Now playing: Oasis - Gas Panic!
via FoxyTunes

Sunshine Tutt To Marry Chris Kattan

She must never have seen any of his Saturday Night Live skits, but Sunshine Tutt is set to marry unfunny comedian Chris Kattan today.
The coupler started dating in the spring of 2005 after meeting her at a birthday party. He proposed on Christmas Eve 2006.

“Originally I was going to do something very special,” Kattan said about the engagement. “I tried to get Bono of U2 to serenade her. That didn’t happen. Then I asked Justin Timberlake. No answer. After hundreds of phone calls and text messages, I finally ended up asking one of the members of the Hanson group. He didn’t want to get involved.”
See, we told you he wasn’t funny.

Original Source :

Dropa Stones

The Dropa Stone Discs

The Dropa (also known as Dropas, Drok-pa or Dzopa) are, according to certain controversial writers, a race of dwarf-like extraterrestrials who landed near the Chinese-Tibetan border some twelve thousand years ago. Skeptics note, however, a number of problems with the case (and a lack of corroborative evidence), which offers significant doubt as to the reality of the more sensationalistic Dropa claims. Mainstream critics argue that the entire affair is a hoax.

Alleged Discovery -- Chi Pu Tei, a professor of archaeology at Beijing University, and his students were on an expedition to explore a series of caves in the pathless Himalayan mountains of the remote Bayan-Kara-Ula in Qinghai on the border of China and Tibet. The caves may have been artificially carved to be a system of tunnels and underground storerooms. The walls were squared and glazed, as if cut into the mountain with great heat.

They found many neat rows of tombs with short 4 ft 4 in inch skeletons buried within. The skeletons had abnormally big heads, and small, thin, fragile bodies. A member of the team suggested that these might be the remains of an unknown species of mountain gorilla. Prof. Chi Pu Tei was said to respond, "Who ever heard of apes burying one another?"

There were no epitaphs at the graves, but instead hundreds of one foot wide stone discs ("Dropa Stones") were found having 3/4 inch wide holes in their centers. On the walls were carved pictures of the rising sun, moon, stars, the land, mountains, and lines of pea-sized dots connecting the earth with the sky. Along with the discs, the cave drawings had been determined to be about 12,000 years old.

Dropa Stones

Each stone disk was reportedly inscribed with two fine grooves spiraling from the edge to a hole in the disk's center, perhaps not unlike the Phaistos Disk.

The disks were labeled along with other finds of the expedition and stored away at Beijing University for 20 years, during which deciphering attempts were unsuccessful. When the disks were closely examined by Dr. Tsum Um Nui of Beijing around 1958, he concluded that each groove actually consisted of a series of tiny hieroglyphs of unknown pattern and origin. The rows of hieroglyphics were so small that a magnifying glass was needed to see them clearly. Many of the hieroglyphics had been worn away by erosion. When Dr. Tsum deciphered the symbols, they told the story of the crash-landing of the Dropa spaceship and the killing of most of the survivors by local people.

According to Tsum Um Nui, one of the lines of the hieroglyphs reads, "The Dropas came down from the clouds in their aircraft. Our men, women and children hid in the caves ten times before sunrise. When at last they understood the sign language of the Dropas, they realized that the newcomers had peaceful intentions . . . ." Another section expresses "regret" by the Ham that the aliens' craft had crash-landed in such a remote and inaccessible mountain range and that there had been no way to building a new one to enable the Dropas to return to their own planet.

Dr. Tsum's report supposedly appeared in a professional journal in 1962. He was subsequently ridiculed to the point of self-imposed exile in Japan, where he died. The Peking Academy of Pre-history never allowed him to publish and never speak of his findings.

"Tsum Um Nui" is not a real Chinese name, and critics suggest that Dr. Tsum may not have actually existed. However Tsum Um Nui is a Japanese name adapted to Chinese language. There is no evidence of him beyond the Dropa allegations.

Further research

In 1965, Professor Chi Pu Tei and four of his colleagues were finally given permission to reveal their theory. They published it under the title "The Grooved Script concerning Space-ships which, as recorded on the Discs, landed on Earth 12,000 years ago".

The records, some 716 grooved discs later uncovered in the same caves, tell an astonishing story of a space probe sent by the inhabitants of another planet. After landing at the Bayan-Kara-Ula mountain range, the scripts allegedly say, the peaceful intentions of the aliens confused the members of the Ham tribe, inhabitants of the neighboring caves, who hunted down and killed the extraterrestrials.

Photos claiming to show Dropa Disks are in fact Bi Disks, thousands of which have been found throughout China, mostly in the Southeastern Provinces. Bi Disks range in size of a few inches to several feet, and are most commonly made of jade or nephrite, with a round or square small central hole.

Most Bi Disks date to the Neolithic Period (c. 3000 BCE), but are found up to the Shang Dynasty Period. Bi Disks beyond the Shang Period are usually more ornate, carved with dragons, snakes and sometimes fish, and used in ritual ceremonies.

Most Neolithic Bi Disks were found in gravesites, buried beneath the head or feet of the deceased. It is theorized that this was to assist the deceased's spirit. No Bi Disks have been found to contain writing or spiral grooves as described in the Dropa story by authors such as Hartwig Hausdorf.

The Dropa Disks are said to be only 12 inches in diameter. However, one black and white photograph claimed by Hausdorf and others to display a Dropa Disk clearly shows the disk resting on a seat, and it is clearly several feet in diameter and has no markings whatsoever.

Russian Research

Russian scientists asked to see the discs and several were sent to Moscow for examination. They were scraped free of rock particles which had stuck to them and then put through chemical analysis. To the surprise of the scientists, the disks contained large amounts of cobalt and other metallic substances. What is more, when placed on a special turntable, according to Dr. Vyatcheslav Saizev, who described the experiments in the Soviet magazine Sputnik, they vibrate or "hum" in an unusual rhythm as though an electric charge is passing through them. Or as one scientist suggested, "as if they formed some part of an electrical circuit." At some time, they have clearly been exposed to extraordinarily high voltages. "They seem like ancient hard disks, spinning like the hard disks we have now days. Perhaps if we could read these ancient hard disks, we would find more answers."

Wegerer's Photos

In 1974, Ernst Wegerer, an Austrian engineer, photographed two disks that met the descriptions of the Dropa Stones. He was on a guided tour of Banpo-Museum in Xian, when he saw the stone discs on display. He claims he saw a hole in the center of each disc and hieroglyphs in partly crumbled spiral-like grooves.

Wegerer asked the managers of Banpo-Museum for more information on the pieces in the showcase. The manager knew nothing of the stones' history, though she was able to tell a complete story about all the other artifacts made from clay. She only knew that the stone discs were unimportant "cult objects".

Wegerer was allowed to take one of the discs in his hand. He estimated their weight at 1 kilogram or 2 pounds, and the diameter at one foot. The hieroglyphs can't be seen in his photos, because they have crumbled away partly, and his camera's flash washed out the fine detail, such as the spiral grooves.

A few days after his visit, the manager was called away from her job without telling her why. She and the two stone discs vanished, according to Professor Wang Zhijun, the Director of the Banpo-Museum in March of 1994.


In the years since the discovery of the first disc, archeologists and anthropologists have learned more about the isolated Bayan-Kara-Ula area. Much of the information has been interpreted as corroborating the story recorded on the discs.

Legends supposedly still preserved in the area speak of small, gaunt, yellow-faced men who "came from the clouds, long, long ago". The men had huge, bulging heads and puny bodies and were so ugly and repellent that they were shunned by everyone. "Men with the quick horses" hunted down the ugly dwarfs. Strangely, the description of the "invaders" is said to match that of the skeletons originally discovered in the caves by Professor Chi Pu Tei.


Critics have largely rejected the above claims, arguing they are a combination of hoax and urban legend. For example, writer David Richie notes that the Dropa tales intrigued Gordon Chreighton, a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society and Royal Geographical Society. Upon investigation, Chreighton judged the sensationalistic Dropa-Extraterrestrial allegations to be "groundless," and detailed his findings in an article for Flying Saucer Review.

No traceable, credible evidence for this theory exists, or can be proven to have existed in the past. Proponents of the Dropa-stones story claim that this is the result of social disruption caused by the Chinese Cultural Revolution and of a conspiratorial coverup by Chinese authorities. However this story goes well beyond China. Its opponents claim it is long proven to be a forgery by Erich von Daniken.

Below is a detailed rebuttal of most sensationalistic Extraterrestrial/Dropa claims:

    1. The discovery. There are no mentions of 'Tsum Um Nui' anywhere; as he is supposed to have fled China and died in Japan in the 1960s this cannot be negated by Cultural Revolution, Communist coverup theory. Also, there is no mention of the 1938 archaeological expedition to the Banyan Kara Ulla range. No "Peking Academy of Pre-History" ever existed.

    2. Early Sources. The earliest mention of the story is in Erich von Damien¹s infamous 1968 book, Chariots of the Gods. The book has been widely criticized as unreliable; in fact, the vast majority of names and sources appearing in the book cannot be corroborated, and no existence of the following Soviet or Chinese scholars can be found anywhere outside this story: Cho Pu Tei, Tsum Um Nui, Ernst Wagener, Vyatcheslav Saizev, and Sergei Lolladoff. Most tellingly, Däniken gives his main source for the story as a Soviet science fiction writer Alexander Kazantsev; however Kazantsev himself disagrees with Däniken's account and says that it was Däniken who told him the story, not the other way around.

    3. Later Sources. The 1978 book Sungods in Exile "edited" by David Agamon, appeared to lend support to the story of the Dropa, but Agamon admitted in the magazine Fortean Times in 1988 that the book was fiction and that its alleged author, a British researcher named Dr. Karyl Robin-Evans, was imaginary. Some websites claim to show a photo of Dr Robin-Evans with the Dalai Lama. A frail, old man assisted by the current Dalai Lama, the photograph is quite recent and can not be Dr Robin-Evans -- he died in 1978, according to Hartwig Hausdorf.

    4. Translation. There is absolutely no precedent for an unknown language being successfully deciphered. All lost ancient languages have been rediscovered only because they survived in forms familiar to scientists. Even in such cases, deciphering and understanding these older language forms and their scripts has usually taken decades for multiple teams of highly competent linguists, and their findings are constantly being debated and updated. Many ancient scripts (notably Linear A from the island of Crete and Rongorongo from Easter Island), have defied deciphering precisely because they cannot be linked to any known language. Given these facts, there would be even greater difficulties in translating a truly extraterrestrial language. It is therefore highly unlikely that a single Chinese scholar with no reported background in linguistics could single-handedly decipher an alien script or language in his spare time.

    5. The Disks. All that exists of the supposed alien disks are several wide-angle photographs. The disks photographed, firstly, do not match the described "12-inch disks"; the disks photographed are very large. Secondly, the photos show none of the supposed deep grooves. Finally, absolutely no photos, descriptions, analyses or any other evidence of the actual 'alien script' appear anywhere at all.

    6. The Evidence. The disks were supposed to be stored in several museums in China. None of these museums have any traces of these disks, nor can any be found of the ones supposedly sent to USSR for analysis.

    7. The Dropa Tribe. While reported to be a tribe of feeble dwarfs, in actuality the Dropas are nomadic herders who inhabit most of the northern Tibetan Plateau. The Ham are also inhabitants of Tibet, and traditionally have supplied Tibet's warriors: many of the 13th Dalai Lama's bodyguards during his escape from the Chinese invasion were Ham Tibetans. The word "Dropa", according to Chrieghton, describes the nomadic residents of Tibetan highlands, and can be roughly translated as "solitude" or "isolated". Furthermore, Chreighton described the Dropa as not resembling "troglodytes", or as stunted; on the contrary, they tend to be rather large and sturdy, befitting their occupation as herders. (Richie, 95-96)

Original Source :

Now playing: The Enemy - Well Live And Die In These Towns
via FoxyTunes