Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tony Curtis || 1925 - 2010

(Reuters) - Tony Curtis, whose dark hair and good looks made him a Hollywood star well before he became an accomplished actor in hit movies such as "Some Like It Hot" and "The Sweet Smell of Success," died Wednesday night at his home in Nevada. He was 85.

Curtis, one of the biggest box-office stars of the 1950s and 1960s and one of Hollywood's busiest playboys, died of cardiac arrest at his home in Henderson, Nevada, outside Las Vegas, where a memorial service is planned for Monday.

The handsome leading man starred in more than 140 films including the classic gladiator drama "Spartacus" and he received an Academy Award nomination for 1958's "The Defiant Ones."

Curtis, who was born Bernard Schwartz in New York to poor Hungarian immigrants on June 3, 1925, got off to a rocky professional start. In one of his first major roles, playing an Arabian in "Son of Ali Baba" in 1952, he wrote in a memoir that he was roundly mocked for proclaiming in a thick New York accent, "Yonduh in the valley of the sun is my fadder's castle."

Still, Universal Pictures' star-making machinery and teen fan magazines managed to make him a heartthrob, and movie-goers loved his dark-haired sex appeal and impish grin.

Within a few years, Curtis had improved enough for Saturday Review magazine to call him "a rare phenomenon, an authentic screen personality who, through hard work, has made himself into an actor of considerable subtlety and some breadth."

Two of his most enduring performances came in "Some Like It Hot" as he teamed with Jack Lemmon -- playing cross-dressers opposite Marilyn Monroe -- and "The Sweet Smell of Success," in which he played a fawning press agent.

His Oscar nomination was for "The Defiant Ones," playing a racist prison escapee chained to a black man played by Sidney Poitier. Other notable films included "Houdini," "Trapeze," "Operation Petticoat," "The Boston Strangler," "The Vikings" and "The Great Imposter."

When the leading movie roles dried up, Curtis struggled with cocaine and alcohol abuse. He eventually overcame those problems and transformed from leading man to character actor, taking roles on TV. He also turned to painting and art to fill his days.

"My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages," his daughter, actress Jamie Lee Curtis, said in a statement.

The actor's sixth wife, Jill Vandenberg, told celebrity news show Inside Edition that Curtis died peacefully in his sleep. "His heart survived many things that would have killed an ordinary man," she said. "This time his heart was ready to go."

In Hollywood, fans turned out on the Walk of Fame to lay flowers by Curtis' star.


Curtis started acting after serving on a Navy submarine tender during World War Two. He was known to be demanding at the height of his stardom and television producer Lew Gallo called him "an impetuous child."

His fans were as fascinated by Curtis' private life as they were his movies. He was an inveterate womanizer whose girlfriends included Marilyn Monroe and Natalie Wood. The first of his six marriages was to actress Janet Leigh -- a union he later admitted was partially motivated by publicity value. After divorcing Leigh, he married Christine Kaufman, who was 17 years old when they met while filming "Taras Bulba."

Canadian-Iranian blogger jailed 19 years || By QMI Agency

A Canadian-Iranian blogger, sometimes referred to as the Blogfather for kick-starting blogging in Iran, has been sentenced to 19.5 years in prison.

Conservative Iranian news site reported Tuesday that Hossein Derakhshan, who ran the popular blog for years, was convicted of collaborating with hostile governments, spreading propaganda against the Islamic state, spreading propaganda in favour of anti-revolutionary groups, insulting sacred beliefs and creating or managing corrupt and immoral websites.

His sentence, which can still be appealed, includes 19.5 years in prison and a ban from participating in any political or media activity for five years.

He must also return all funds he received through his blogging, which amounts to tens of thousands of dollars.

Derakhshan was arrested in 2008 and has been in prison ever since. His website is no longer active.

"We are deeply concerned about the news of this severe sentence. Our officials continue to seek confirmation of these reports from Tehran," Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said in a prepared statement Tuesday.

"If true, this is completely unacceptable and unjustifiable. Canada believes that no one should be punished anywhere for simply exercising one's inherent right to freedom of expression."

According to the foreign affairs department, Derakhshan's situation is made more complicated because of his dual citizenship, which Iran doesn't recognize.

Paris-based advocacy group Reporters Without Borders called for Derakhshan's release.

“Such a long jail term has never before been imposed on a blogger in Iran and is indicative of a desire to make an example out of Derakhshan,” the organization said in a statement.

“He is the victim of political rivalry within the government and the case against him was fabricated. We urge President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to intercede personally in order to obtain his release without delay.”

An online petition at is demanding his freedom. It was set up shortly after Derakhshan was arrested and currently boasts just over 4,900 signatures. A Facebook group with the same goal has just over 2,000 members.

In the meantime, the Canadian government is also monitoring the situation.

"We will continue to press the Iranian authorities on Mr. Derakhshan’s behalf and urge Iran to fully respect all of its human rights obligations, both in law and in practice," Cannon said.

Ottawa demands release of Iran’s ‘blogfather’

Sonia Verma

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Ottawa is ratcheting up pressure on the Iranian government to release Hossein Derakhshan, the controversial Iranian-Canadian “blogfather” who was sentenced to 19½ years in prison by a revolutionary court.

“If true, this is completely unacceptable and unjustifiable,” Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Cannon said in a statement.

“Canada believes that no one should be punished anywhere for simply exercising one’s inherent right to freedom of expression,” he said, adding Canadian officials are still seeking consular access to Mr. Derakhshan, who is being held in a revolutionary guard jail within Iran’s notorious Evin prison complex.

Mr. Derakhshan, 35, is widely known by his online name “Hoder.” He was born in Iran, but moved to Canada and became a Canadian citizen in early adulthood. He is a staunch advocate of free expression in Iran, and became known as the “blogfather” of Iran’s on-line community for training pro-democracy advocates to blog and podcast in the late nineties. Later, he apologized for his dissenting views, and emerged as an unlikely supporter of the regime, at one point comparing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a modern-day Che Guevara.

So when the Iranian government invited him to travel to Iran in 2008, he accepted, thinking he would help his country reach out to the world, according to friends and family. Upon his arrival, however, another branch of the government arrested him.

On Tuesday, he was convicted of insulting Islamic thought and religious figures, managing obscene websites and co-operating with “enemy states” because he visited Israel five years ago. He was also ordered to pay the equivalent of approximately $45,000 in fines.

“It’s not as bad as a death sentence, but it’s an awful and really bad sentence for someone that’s only writing,” Mr. Derakhshan’s former wife, Marjan Alemi told CBC’s The Current.

“He went back thinking he could go back to Iran and help,” she added.

Ms. Alemi said Mr. Derakhshan has spent most of the two years preceding his trial in solitary confinement.

“He can’t exercise. He can’t have books. He can see his family for only five or 10 minutes a week,” Ms. Alemi said. Neither the family’s lawyer, nor any representative from the Canadian government were present at his trial.

While Mr. Derakhshan’s family has the right to appeal the ruling, they are not hopeful.

“He’s always very positive, but I don’t think anybody can keep strong for 19½ years,” his former wife said.

Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based advocacy group, issued a statement saying that “never has such a tough sentence been handed to a blogger in Iran.”

“This case, fabricated from start to finish, shows that part of the regime wants to make Hossein Derakhshan into an example.”

The group’s statement said Mr. Derakhshan’s sentence was due to “internal rivalries and struggles for influence inside the regime. We ask Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to intervene personally to free him as soon as possible.”

Some observers have drawn parallels between Mr. Derakhshan’s case and that of Maziar Bahari, an Iranian Canadian journalist who was imprisoned by the Iranian government for 118 days before he was released on bail last October, under pressure from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

So far, Mr. Derakhshan’s case has failed to ignite similar expressions of sympathy.

Mr. Cannon’s statement was the strongest issued yet: “We will continue to press the Iranian authorities on Mr. Derakhshan’s behalf and urge Iran to fully respect all of its human rights obligations, both in law and in practice,” it read.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bahari, who has returned to London where he is based as a correspondent with Newsweek magazine, is calling for the United Nations to intervene by assigning a human rights monitor to Iran.

“Hossein’s case is tragic, puzzling and mind-boggling,” Mr. Bahari said, noting Mr. Derakhshan’s support for the regime didn’t seem to mitigate the harshness of his sentence.

“This is a regime that’s treating its friends like that,” he said, “so you can imagine how it is treating its enemies.”

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Amazing Computer Technology

What really freaks me out is that this video is nearly 3 years old. Still, it's a type of computer system I've never seen. I definitely want one!!  

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Loose Change 2...The TRUTH Behind 9/11 Revealed!

THIS WILL MAKE YOU SICK. ANY OF YOU "THERE IS NO 9/11 CONSPIRACY" IDIOTS WILL THINK AGAIN IF YOU WATCH THIS DOCUMENTARY. Our government arranged this, paid for this, and covered it up the best they could. Why? Nearly $100 BILLION was lost in gold bullion and made in insurance money. I know a guy who will commit MURDER for $200 literally. I wonder what he or other like-minded sicko's would do for $100 Billion...surely kill some people!! Watch, learn and be amazed.

9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB. WATCH THIS VIDEO. Its as close to pfoof as you can have with out the CIA showing up at your door!!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Senate Bill s510 to Crush our American Basic Freedoms!

This is not something I wrote. My friend Simon P. texted me about some horrible new bill the government is trying to fuck us with. I did a couple hours of research and had to post this entry directly from another site (I hope this doesn't get me sued or kicked of blogger...)but I felt under the circumstances I didn't want to wait two weeks for me to come up with a polished piece. So here, in the words of a respectable journalist, are some fact you should know about why this bill will infringe upon our basic American rights. Please read on and email to others...

Senate Bill S510 (FDA Food Safety Modernization Act) Explained:

When I heard about Senate Bill s510 I was completely freaked out. The first thing I heard about it was that it makes it illegal to grow your own food. I immediately got on the phone to call my senator about how OUTRAGED I was and why was he planning on putting my grandma in jail for that cute little patch of cucumbers she grows for her canned pickles! What kind of man likes to put grandmas in JAIL HUH? In fact, I think I will just go down there and tell him what an asshole he is in person!! But then I regained some of my brain cells and remembered that MY senator probably didn’t write the bill and took a journey down the rabbit hole to see what I could find out about this bill.

The first thing I found out was it doesn’t make growing your own food at home and eating it yourself illegal. PHHHEWWWW!! Grandma’s pickles are SAFE!! Then I started actually reading what WAS in the bill.

You will probably think this bill is a good thing. Unless you are one of those tin foil hat wearing weirdos who think you need rights and freedoms. It might even be better than that wonderful piece of extistence we call the Patriot Act (Don’t you LOVE that one?)

A couple pertinent facts on the bill include:

The original bill no longer exists. The new S510 is only one part of an amendment they kept. (Kinda makes you wonder how bad the first one was huh?) It also is only in committee, which means the senate has been asked to consider it. Will they vote on it? Why yes of course, otherwise the senate doesn’t care about the children. Did I mention the bill is sponsored by congressman Dingell?

but here is why you should be mad as hell and just aren’t going to take it anymore:

If you trade or give your food away, or sell it at farmers markets, you are no longer considered growing for personal consumption which puts you in a category as a Community Supported Agriculture supplier, or so you forget what it actually means CSA’s for short. This is a whole world of difference because now your food has to be “traceable” That means if your neighbor little sally walker has a tummy ache, you need to be held accountable for giving her those bacteria laden zucchinis. What it really means is a drive to the freshly built State Agriculture Office, to talk to the ladies who got promoted from the DMV to fill out a stack of paperwork the size of War and Peace, pay a handy little “CSA Liscensing fee” plus all the taxes and stuff of course, agree to surprise inspections, OH, and don’t forget that dollar to the blabbity blabb fund. By the way would you like to register to vote sir?

So in other words you don’t grow it yourself, you probably aren’t going to get to eat it. Which is going to make you a pretty big ball of sad if you get most of your fruits and veggies from farmers markets. Is this going to be the end of organic farming? No probably not directly or in the near future but farmers who can afford to give away 50% of their profits to the government to implement this bill will probably not going to be living in your town. And because of the lack of farmers putting their heirloom seed grown produce out there, we will eventually see a decline in the amount of heirloom seeds available to the public. The worst part though is the bill will directly affect pet and animal feed manufacturers as well, which means higher feed costs for farmers, which means you ain’t makin chicken wings for the backyard barbecue buddy. It’s all hot dogs from here. We will probably still get hamburgers for a while, but eventually hamburgers will be the price of steak, steak will be the price of lobster, lobster will be filled with oil.

So the question now is how much do you love freedom? And vegetables.

PS there is a counter part in the house of representatives to this bill called H.R. 2749 I haven’t checked it out but it may be cause for a part 2 and s510 could cost Americans $825 billion in 2010 alone

Click here for an opportunity to send a letter opposing S.B. 510 as it is currently written.


Click here to read the entire bill

Posted via web from laughterandliberty’s posterous

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Here we will focus on some of the most blatant liars in modern times. This might even get turned into a regular NATIONAL AFFAIRS DESK LIVE weekly podcast...on with the lies!

Bush Caught Lying About 9/11

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I know it's not "news", but after you watch the video you'll see why I had to post it. People actually do this sort of thing? It was news to me! Get you trunks on! Real news coming shortly...come back won't you?

Friday, September 17, 2010


Sub-Sahara Africa leads global decline in new HIV cases
Sculpture of an HIV ribbon The UN called for greater global investment in HIV/Aids prevention

Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are leading a global decline in new HIV infections, the UN has said.

UNAids said 22 countries in the world's worst affected region had seen a drop in new cases of more than 25%.

The fall was because of greater awareness and better use of preventative measures, it said.

But UNAids also noted that cases of HIV were increasing in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and among gay men in developed countries.

Michel Sidibe, UNAids executive director, said the world was making "real progress" towards achieving the sixth Millennium Development Goal (MDG6) of halting and reversing the spread of HIV/Aids by 2015.

"For the first time change is happening at the heart of the epidemic. In places where HIV was stealing away dreams, we now have hope," he said.

UNAids says there are now 5.2 million people worldwide receiving treatment for HIV/Aids, which has helped to ensure that 200,000 fewer people died from the virus in 2008 than in 2004.

The agency said young people "are leading the prevention revolution by choosing to have sex later, having fewer multiple partners and using condoms, resulting in significantly fewer new HIV infections in many countries highly affected by Aids".

The use of male condoms has also doubled in the past five years, while the report notes that "tradition is giving space to pragmatism" in many communities as they embrace male circumcision, which research shows has the potential to reduce HIV infections among men by nearly 60%.
'Challenges remain'

China, where cases are largely concentrated within high-risk groups, was praised for its efforts to increase preventative measures for drug users.

UNAids said South Africa had also rapidly increased "efforts to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support".

But there was a warning that "challenges remain" in the global fight against HIV/Aids, including expanding epidemics in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and resurgence in new infections in wealthier nations among men who have sex with men.

The UN also called for greater investment in HIV/Aids prevention, warning that there was a $10bn (£6.4bn) shortfall in 2009.

It said those countries most severely affected by HIV/Aids could not handle the crisis with their own resources alone.

"At this turning point flat-lining or reductions in investments will set-back the Aids response and threaten the world's ability to reach MDG 6," said Mr Sidibe.

"Investing for Aids is a shared responsibility - between development partners and national governments."

Excerpts from the BBC

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The Arctic from space The Arctic on 3rd September, as visualised using data from Nasa's Aqua satellite

Ice floating on the Arctic Ocean melted unusually quickly this year, but did not shrink down to the record minimum area seen in 2007.

That is the preliminary finding of US scientists who say the summer minimum seems to have passed and the ice has entered its winter growth phase.

2010's summer Arctic ice minimum is the third smallest in the satellite era.

Researchers say projections of summer ice disappearing entirely within the next few years increasingly look wrong.
Continue reading the main story
Related stories

* Norway and Russia 'open up for business' in the Barents sea
* Arctic starting to feel the heat
* In pictures: Arctic peril

At its smallest extent, on 10 September, 4.76 million sq km (1.84 million sq miles) of Arctic Ocean was covered with ice - more than in 2007 and 2008, but less than in every other year since 1979.

Walt Meier, a researcher at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, where the data is collated, said ice had melted unusually fast.

"It was a short melt season - the period from the maximum to the minimum was shorter than we've had - but the ice was so thin that even so it melted away quickly," he told BBC News.

The last 12 months have been unusually warm globally - according to Nasa, the warmest in its 130-year record.

This is partly down to El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean, which have the effect of raising temperatures globally.

With those conditions changing into a cooler La Nina phase, Nasa says 2010 is "likely, but not certain" to be the warmest calendar year in its record.
Ice made

Arctic ice is influenced by these global trends, but the size of the summer minimum also depends on local winds and currents.
Walruses Walruses have claimed parts of the Alaskan coastline as the sea ice they use was absent

This means ice can be concentrated in one region of the Arctic in one year, in another region the next.

This year, the relative absence of ice around Alaska has brought tens of thousands of Pacific walruses up onto land recently.

In terms of the longer-term picture, Dr Meier said the 2010 NSIDC figures tally with the idea of a gradual decline in summer Arctic ice cover.

But computer models projecting a disappearance very soon - 2013 was a date cited by one research group just a few years ago - seem to have been too extreme.

"The chances of a really early melt are increasingly unlikely as the years go by, and you'd need a couple of extreme years like 2007 in a row to reach that now," he said.

"But the 2040/2050 figure that's been quoted a lot - that's still on track. It could end up being wrong, of course, but the data we have don't disprove it."

NSIDC will release a full analysis of the 2010 data next month.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why Good Journalism Is Important
There is a disturbing trend I have watched develop over the last decade or so.

Yellow Journalism seems to be taking over more and more respectable news sources.

Now, before anyone forgets, Faux News, I mean, Fox News, has never been even close to a semblance of a credible news source.

I mean, come on. One of their own spokesmen ADMITTED that they use propaganda on a consistent and constant basis.

Now that we have that out of the way, I would like to talk to YOU, CNN.

Yellow Journalism, as I learned it, is the use of attention-grabbing headlines in order to draw in readers or the practice of presenting opinion as fact.

Now, more than ever, we are bombarded with a never-ending stream of information. Whether it is the internet, cable news, or the slowly dying print media, if you want to find out about what is going on in the world, it is literally less than a click away.

The information junkie part of myself is in love with this fact, but the cynical side of me often wonders just how reliable these sources are that the information is coming from.

Really? A helium balloon can carry a six year old child? How stupid do you think we are? Do you mean to tell me you are seriously going to cover this ALL DAY when it takes 4 SECONDS for it to register in your brain that this is physically impossible??? Wow. Faaaaaaantastic.

You see, I don't know if it is because I am the daughter of a former Washington Post reporter and Virginian-Pilot editor or maybe I just have common sense, but more and more I am noticing a lot more opinion seeping in and less and less facts.

And, it bothers me.

It bothers me, immensely.

I see it as a personal responsibility as a journalist, no matter what "type" of journalist you are, to present the facts as they are and NOT what you think of said facts.

I understand that as a writer, you are allotted your own voice and must use it, BUT I draw the line when journalists delve into opinion territory while reporting facts.

Call me silly, but isn't that an editorial and not a report?

I truly believe that especially now we, the American people, DESERVE to be given facts.

Just the facts.

I don't know about you, but if you give me the facts, I can pretty much ascertain my OWN opinion from it, without the help of any "talking head."

And, I truly believe that the rest of us are perfectly capable of doing that, as well.
So, this is my open letter to you, Journalists of America. It is time to bring TRUE fact reporting back.

Walter Cronkite would be pleased.
Your thoughts?

by the National Affairs Desk "House Guest",

Stephanie Stebbins

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Why won't my editor, Adam Dolin, return my emails?

TO: Assistant Editor Adam Dolin
FROM: The Good Sir

Dear Mr. Adam Dolin, assistant editor, N.A.D.Chicago**

Good day to you sir. All apologies for writing to you in this state, but sweet jumping Jesus do I have good reason.
Due to a rent payment "disaster", the building management/ bastards have kindly asked me to vacate the building...including, of course, the National Affairs Desk HeadQuarters.
This indeed poses all of the "what the fuck am I going to do?" type of head-spinning worry, in addition to neatly packing up the National Affairs Desk for secure transport to a new HQ location.
Ist and foremost, I believe you have a good bulk of some of my earlier work and original "Friday Releases". And I need 'em...or at least copies OF them. I can't very well archive my work if you have a third of it in your bottom left desk drawer at the firm. I have NO idea where my copies are, but THAT my friend is utterly besides the point.
Please send word of their safety or disappearence. I won't be angry or anything if they ARE gone, I'd just have to realize that they may very well have gotten sucked into the very same VOID that stole 9 years of my life and most of my hair at that firm. If so, the material is gone...and for good.
I'm opening up several new blog sites and working with a couple others and will be shucking out copies of a few of my more "polished" stories over the www, and I for one know we'll need a level head to assist in the effort. If you can make time to help or have an interest on any level get in touch with me so i can fill you in. Either way I'll need a response before I feel the need to publicly post more emails you have failed to return. Don't fuck around on this one bud, now is the we need you.
Right-e-o...........................Matt (Hell-Dog, ect)