Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kris Humphries didn't know Kim Kardashian was married before???



I agree with the panel on HLN.

First, you're dating and then marrying Kim Kardashian and you've never looked up anything on her on the internet?

Second, does Kris know she became famous because of a sex tape?

Third - and I have to ask - do you have to have a name that starts with "K" to be involved with Kardashians?

Funny - ill-placed sales stickers


Anyone can have an accidentally lazy moment. But some of these pics of ill-placed sales stickers are very funny.

Click here to see more.

Kelly Clarkson's new track "Mr. Know It All" hits internet



Kelly Clarkson dropped her new single, "Mr. Know It All," on her website this week. It's the first track off her 'Stronger' album, due in October.

The song is an obvious Clarkson song: straightforward, with a strong melody and a sing-along chorus. The midtempo breakup tune is about a girl letting her guy know that despite thinking he's got it all figured out, he doesn't.

The track was written by Brett James (who has a country pedigree, having written for Carrie Underwood), Ester Dean (Beyoncé, Usher) and Dante Jones. Brian Kennedy (Chris Brown, Rihanna, Backstreet Boys) also co-wrote and produced the track.

'Stronger' is Clarkson's fifth album release. It's the follow-up to 2009's All I Ever Wanted. You can pre-order the CD on amazon.com.

Sarah Palin cancels another appearance

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sarah Palin canceled her Saturday appearance at a tea party rally in Indianola, Iowa.

The person cited “continual lying” from event organizers at Tea Party of America, including a recent mixup over whether former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell of Delaware would also speak.

Tea Party of America President Ken Crow told NBC News, "I had to cancel Ms. O'Donnell" after a conversation with Sarah Palin aides -- and is now hopeful Palin will attend the Saturday rally in Indianola. The group has spent about $100,000 on the event for Palin and are thus waiting "with baited breath" for an answer.

The former half-term governor of Alaska is known for last-minute schedule changes that whipsaw supporters and media across the country. But the latest decision is puzzling. Ms. Palin’s speech at the rally was viewed as her most high-profile appearance of the summer, fueling speculation she was indeed plotting to run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Her decision apparently stems from the on-again, off-again inviting of Christine O'Donnell at the rally, which there is some finger-pointing about over how that happened.

But for people looking for a sign of "seriousness" about a campaign, this is not it.

"The Amazing Race" - Survivors - and me


From EW.com: The Amazing Race has not been shy about having former CBS reality stars on the show. Boston Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich of Survivor fame played twice, while Big Brother‘s Jeff Schroeder and Jordan Lloyd, as well as Alison Irwin (and her non-Big Brother boyfriend Donny) all have appeared on the program.

But now, for the first time, two winners will team up to compete as Survivor: Africa champ Ethan Zohn and Survivor: The Amazon victor Jenna Morasca head up the cast for the show’s 19th installment (premiering Sept. 25 on CBS), which will also feature some new twists to the game.

For Zohn, racing across the world with his longtime girlfriend is especially sweet considering his recent medical battles after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “Last year I was attached to a pump in complete isolation in a f—ing hospital room, and now I’m out traveling the world with the woman I love. Whatever happens, it’s gonna be okay,” Ethan told EW.com just before embarking on the race. “But if she screws up, I’m gonna kill her.”

Michael, Ethan and I at dinner.  I was 6 weeks out of chemo (still bloated), and Ethan was fighting tough.
This corner of the table was where we talked 'cancer journeys.'

I met Ethan during the time both he and I were facing cancer. I had the opportunity to have dinner with him in NYC with Olivia Newton-John, and he was really in the middle of it.  He and I huddled at the corner of the dinner table and "talked cancer" and the journey ahead. He was clearly in a tough fight but he was always upbeat and knew he would win. And he did. He's a quiet, tough fighter.

For a full list of teams click here.

The duos will experience a few new twists this time around, including the show’s first ever double elimination, and something called the Hazard, which is a penalty that one team will incur right at the starting line. And for the first time ever, The Amazing Race will be visiting the countries of Belgium, Denmark, Malawi, and Indonesia.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vanessa Williams sings George Green's "Higher Ground"



George Green, who wrote this song - "Higher Ground" - with Steve Dorff and Kent Agee, recently passed away.

Vanessa recorded the song for her CD "The Sweetest Days." It was later covered by other artists like Barbra Streisand.

I always loved the song. I think the lyric and melody speak of a life that's been lived.

Rick Perry's travel/security costs to be sealed until after 2012


During a special session that ended July 1, the Texas Legislature, at Governor Rick Perry’s urging, added language to a school finance bill that will seal the governor’s travel records for 18 months — until after the 2012 presidential election.

One Republican legislator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the governor as “extremely concerned” about keeping his records sealed, and said Perry was actively lobbying key legislators to get it passed in the waning days of the special session. The legislator said Perry’s wife, Anita, also was pressing legislators on the issue.

Texas newspapers have tried for years to see Perry’s travel records, which would include the costs of the governor’s security detail. But the state Department of Public Safety, run by Steve McCraw, a former FBI official and a longtime Perry friend, has said that the safety of Perry and his family could be jeopardized if the public knew how many officers accompany them, where they stay and Perry’s traveling patterns.

Records reported in 2005 by the Austin American-Statesman showed that Perry and staff members had traveled the previous year to the Bahamas for a meeting with top campaign donor James Leininger and Grover Norquist, a national anti-tax advocate. The records showed $4,200 in taxpayer money was spent for the six state troopers who went along, including costs for renting scuba gear, golf cars and cellphones, according to the newspaper.

Perry said later that the trip was to discuss education policy and finance with his political and technical advisers “in a setting removed from daily distractions.”

In 2009, Perry traveled to Israel where he was given the “Defender of Jerusalem” award. According to a local television report, he and his wife flew first class at more than $5,000 per ticket, paid for by an energy company financier. Four security detail officers also went on the five-day trip at a cost of more than $70,000 to taxpayers. The expenses included $17,000 for rooms at the King David Hotel, nearly $13,000 for food and more than 350 hours in overtime pay.

Read more at the Washington Post.

Watch GOP congressman answer the question "After Bush Tax Cuts - where are the job?"



Or rather - he DOESN'T answer the question.

I've been asking this question for a long time. IF the Bush Tax cuts create jobs, and we've had the Bush Tax cuts for over 9 years... where are the jobs?

History actually shows that job creation does not track with lower taxes.

As a matter of fact, while Rick Perry is traveling around touting Texas' low taxes (no state tax) his state actually has 8.4% unemployment (July 2011), ranking 27th. If Perry is such a genius and creating so many jobs, why is unemployment that high?

Ironically, the state with the LOWEST unemployment in the country is North Dakota with 3.3% unemployment. And North Dakota has a state income tax.

As a matter of fact, of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates for July 2011 - 8 have state income taxes. (South Dakota and Wyoming do not).

Do the math kids...



Reid announces 1st hybrid geothermal/solar plant


Sen. Harry Reid kicked off the fourth annual clean energy conference today by announcing the inauguration of the first-ever hybrid geothermal and solar plant, combining Nevada’s two most homegrown forms of renewable energy in a single power-generating project.

The plant, which will be situated about 75 miles outside of Reno, will generate an additional 24 megawatts of power and create about 150 installation jobs, according to Enel Green Power North America President Francesco Venturini.

More of this please.  Renewable energy that creates jobs and doesn't harm the environment.  Repubs must hate this.

Read more at The Las Vegas Sun.

Iowa Tea Party books then cancels Christine O'Donnell


From CNN: Organizers for Saturday's tea party rally in Iowa Tuesday blamed an internal miscommunication over the event's schedule for rescinding a speaking slot Tuesday for former Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell.

Ken Crow, founder of the Tea Party of America, said initially he was "under the assumption we had an open slot" after her supporters had inquired Monday about whether she could speak.

O'Donnell is on a national speaking tour for her book, "Troublemaker."

After the request for her to appear at the event was made to a fellow organizer, Crow looked at the speaking agenda and thought there was space for her. She was informed Monday she could speak, event co-organizer Charlie Gruschow told CNN Monday night.
Tuesday morning it was determined there was not enough time for her, Crow said.

Joey Kovar of MTVs The Real World takes it off for Playgirl

Joey Kovar, who appeared on "Celebrity Rehab 3" and the Hollywood edition of MTV's long-running reality series 'The Real World,' has taken it all off for Playgirl and claims he's hotter than the guys on Jersey Shore.

Apparently his online profile from 'The Real World' has been viewed 68 million times.

Kovar is also taking jabs at his 'Jersey Shore' rivals by claiming to be the hottest Italiano. “I’m more muscular than them, I’m tanner than them," he says. "The Jersey Shore‘ guys have nothing on me.”

Kovar was allegedly paid $20,000 to bare all. The issue of Playgirl with Kovar's pictures will be available September 13, but check out a few advance pics from the shoot below.




Ben Cohen kicks off Gay Softball World Series - Chicago



Great TV appearance by Ben Cohen to promote the opening of the Gay Softball World Series in Chicago and his new StandUp Foundation.

CNN Poll: Rick Perry leads GOP candidates at 32%


CNN is the latest national poll to show Rick Perry in the lead.

Rick Perry - 32%
Mitt Romney - 18%
Michele Bachmann - 12%
Newt Gingrich - 7%
Ron Paul - 6%

Monday, August 29, 2011

Remember when the gov't helped people in times of disaster? Cantor says not without budget cuts.



House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today stood by his call that no more money be allocated for disaster relief unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere.

FEMA will need more funds than it currently has to address the devastation from this weekend's Hurricane Irene. Cantor took this position following the tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri and elsewhere in the spring and summer, and after last week’s earthquake, the epicenter for which was in his district, but the hurricane’s level of destruction is far beyond that of those disasters.

Cantor told Fox News that while “we’re going to find the money,” “we’re just going to need to make sure that there are savings elsewhere to do so.”

How A Do-Nothing Congress Can Almost Eliminate The Deficit


From ThinkProgress.org: Center for American Progress Director for Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden notes that “if Congress does not pass any new fiscal policies between now and January 2013, the federal budget deficit will dwindle to just 1.6 percent of gross domestic product — the largest measure of our economy — by 2014, and continue dropping.  Similarly, debt as a share of GDP will peak at 73 percent in 2013 and then decline down to 61 percent by 2021.”

The decrease would be due to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the triggered spending cuts that were included in the debt ceiling deal going into effect, as well as the enactment of various policies that Congress always puts off, like the alternative minimum tax.

Michele Bachmann - hurricanes and earthquakes are about politics


Speaking in Florida, Michele Bachmann assigned political motive to natural disaster as she told a group that recent events like Hurricane Irene were messages to her to cut the federal budget:

"I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?' Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending."



Bachmann's campaign later insisted the congresswoman was joking.

The full measure of Hurricane Irene's fury came into focus Monday as the death toll jumped to 38, New England towns battled epic floods and millions faced the dispiriting prospect of several days without electricity.

Quite the "joking" topic, isn't it?

Can I say the only good thing about Rick Perry is he will save us all from a Bachmann Presidency...

Philadelphia Phillies and "It Gets Better"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Beyonce announces from VMA Red Carpet - Having a baby!



According to sources attending the MTV Video Music Awards 2011, Beyonce apparently announced on the Red Carpet that she and Jay-Z are expecting a baby.

Post-Hurricane Irene photo over NYC

photo credit: Inga Sarda-Sorenson


The sky over NYC after Hurricane Irene.  Click for larger view.
Wow.  Gorgeous.

Olivia Newton-John almost didn't release mega-hit "Physical"



In a recent interview for AOL/Spinner.com, Olivia Newton-John talks about the anniversary of her mega-hit "Physical" and how she almost didn't release the song.

"I had a bit of a panic session," she tells Spinner. "I went, 'Oh my God! I can't put this out. It's way too radical! What are people going to think of me?' I said to my manager, 'You've got to pull it. It's too cheeky.' And he said, 'It's too late, it's gone to radio.' Of course, it went to No. 1 in like four weeks. I've learned to live with it."

'Physical' became Newton-John's biggest hit single in the U.S., where it topped the Billboard charts on Nov. 21, 1981, and stayed there for a total of 10 weeks. The song was accompanied by a music video featuring a headband-wearing Newton-John and a group of muscular and overweight men exercising in a gym.

"It seems like a long time ago," Newton-John says now about recording the song, "but it also seems like no time ago. It's really interesting -- just recently, I got a call from Brian Grant, who was the director of the [video]. They're doing a life story on him and I haven't seen him since we did the video. And then I did it again on 'Glee.' They recreated the whole set. It's sort of following me around again."

Read more at Spinner.com

Colin Powell not happy with Dick Cheney's "tabloid" headlines



In an appearance on CBS' Face The Nation, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell made it clear he wasn't thrilled with the way Former VP Dick Cheney has been hyping his new book "In My Time."

Referring to the language Cheney has used of late - which he predicted will have “heads exploding all over Washington" - Powell said That’s “the kind of headline you might see [on] one of the supermarket tabloids.” He added “it’s not the kind of headline I would have expected to come from a former Vice President of the United States of America”

Via ThinkProgress.org: In a withering criticism of the former vice president, Powell goes on at length and in detail to explain how the “cheap shots” Cheney aims at Powell and “other administration officials” are false, and how Cheney is himself to blame for much of it. “I’m the one who said to President Bush, [about Iraq] that if you break it, you own it,” Powell said, but “Mr. Cheney and many of his colleagues did not prepare for what happened after the fall of Baghdad.” On the Valerie Plame scandal, Powell says “White House operatives,” especially those “on Mr. Cheney’s staff,” did not fully cooperate in the FBI’s investigation and were not “forthcoming.” Powell also addresses his 2004 resignation, his speech the United Nations about the Iraq war, and other accusations Cheney makes about Powell in the book.

Powell said Cheney also unfairly attacks former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former CIA chief George Tenet, and even President Bush himself. “It’s not necessary to take these kind of barbs and then try to pump a book up by saying ‘heads will be exploding,’” Powell says, noting Cheney’s comments go beyond mere disagreements are personal in nature.

This isn't the first time Powell and Cheney have publicly feuded. Powell’s former chief of staff once referred to Cheney as “evil,” and Cheney has said he agreed with Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell after the Powell criticized the Limbaugh's divisive rhetoric.

Times Square: Shirtless Hurricane Hockey



You've gotta love New Yorkers.

News cameras captured impromptu street hockey and soccer games in Times Square as rain and high winds blew through New York City ahead of a direct hit from Hurricane Irene.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene TV coverage



Slight nudity - and by slight, I mean it - at the :18 mark.

Ah those crazy kids in Virginia Beach, VA. They know how to enjoy a hurricane.

Veterans protect the funeral of a fallen soldier



I have hated, more than I could know, the Westboro "Church" for their ignorant protests at a family's most vulnerable time.

Bravo Patriot Guard for doing something about this horrible behavior.

OK - we got the wine... did you wrap the Land Rover, honey?


So some New Yorkers get to the wine store to stock up on the important things before a hurricane.

And others make sure they protect their Land Rover from the elements.

Not sure who to feel worse for — the misguided owners, or Land Rover for having customers who think their SUVs must be sheltered from storms by a jury-rigged hair bonnet.

Don Lemon hosts The Joy Behar Show on LGBT acceptance

CNN’s Don Lemon, (a guest speaker in Philadelphia this weekend for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association) recently guest hosting an LGBT issues episode of the Joy Behar Show, interviewed guests who are exploring Christianity’s view of being gay. His conversation featured Randy Roberts Potts, grandson of televangelist Oral Roberts, and Jay Bakker, a New York City-based pastor.

The conversation took on a personal tone, established by Lemon’s first sentence, “It’s usually not easy to come out as a gay man, I know.” Lemon publicly came out in May. Potts has only recently started speaking out publicly about his family and experience growing up and coming out. I follow Randy Roberts Potts on Facebook and his posts are often quite inspirational to read.

A major portion of the conversation centered on Potts’ family. His grandfather, Oral Roberts, was a high profile Pentecostal televangelist. He is credited with bringing Pentecostalism into the American mainstream. Additionally, he was a pioneer of televangelism and founded a university that still bears his name.

Potts discussed the pressure that he received from his family, even before coming out, partly due to his uncle’s death. After Potts came out to his family, he lost most contact with them.

“I feel like they`re trapped in a lot of fear. I think they really are legitimately afraid that I am going to hell. And they are too scared to look beyond that. And so it hurts me, but I also feel badly for them to be trapped or feel trapped in a place like that.”



Fear was also a prominent theme in the follow-up conversation with Jay Bakker, pastor of Revolution New York City and son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.

Bakker said that Jesus’ actions and teachings always pointed clearly toward expressing love and hospitality, and spending time with people who need more grace. He remarked that the Christian church has, over its history, completely reversed the teachings of Jesus, setting up restrictions and disassociating with whole populations.

Bakker noted that now there are more and more LGBT-affirming churches, but it is still a struggle.

“I almost went bankrupt when I said I love everybody. You know, this wasn’t a popularity contest. This was just me following a deep conviction. And it all came from understanding god’s Grace and god’s love, you know. They say—I’ve always had people say, you know, Jay, too much grace, it’s a slippery slope. And it is a slippery slope to loving everybody. I’m glad I got to slide on down it.”

Wine preparedness in NYC. These are my people.


Parts of New York City are under evacuation orders, with more than 370,000 people ordered to leave low-lying areas as Hurricane Irene approaches the city. But on Saturday afternoon, at least, some residents were making the most of it.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports for All Things Considered that "Frankly Wines, a small shop just outside the evacuation zone, was doing a pretty brisk business today. Owner Christy Frank lives around the corner. Late August is normally a slow time, she says, but Irene has been great for business.

"We've been calling it the 'hurricane stimulus package,'" Frank said. "It's definitely been good for business. I have a number of other friends who own wine stores elsewhere in the city, and after yesterday, we were all just beat. It was like the day before Thanksgiving, or New Year's Eve."

These are my people.  Let's get the important things taken care of.

Amen.

But if you really want to talk "preparedness"...


I don't think you can do better than this guy - who is clearly ready for anything Hurricane Irene may bring.

Time Square's Naked Cowboy prepares for Hurricane Irene


If you've spent any time in Times Square, you know "The Naked Cowboy" - who has become a kind of urban celebrity of sorts.  Thank goodness he's playing it safe in advance of Hurricane Irene and donning a smart life preserver.  Just in case.

Thanks to Michael Halden for sharing this pic.

FOX News: "Poor people lack a richness of spirit"



Stuart Varney, who hosts a show on the Fox Business Network, began a rebuttal of Jon Stewart skewering him for his comment that poor people aren't that bad off because "99.6% have a refrigerator" by saying poor people "have things - what they lack is a richness of spirit."

SRSLY.

No words left for that.

NYC - Grand Central Station today


This was posted by Grand Central Station today, obviously abandoned due to Hurricane Irene.

Wow.

Ron Paul - "We Don't Need FEMA"


Via CNN: As Hurricane Irene barrels along the U.S. East Coast, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said the nation would be much better off without the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"I live on the Gulf Coast. We put up with hurricanes all the time," the GOP presidential candidate told an NBC News reporter Friday at a New Hampshire campaign event. "There's no magic about FEMA. More and more people are starting to recognize that."

Paul has long been a critic of the agency, which he calls a "great contributor to deficit financing."

Citing the Galveston hurricane in 1900 that obliterated much of the Texas coast, the libertarian-leaning congressman said Americans were able to rebuild their cities and put up a seawall without the federal government's help.

"FEMA is not a good friend of most people in Texas," Paul said. "All they do is come in and tell you what to do and can't do. You can't get in your houses. And they hinder the local people, and they hinder volunteers from going in."

The agency received wide criticism in 2005 after failing to respond in a timely, organized manner to the vast destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Friday, August 26, 2011

“Hotel Room Portraits” By Richard Renaldi

New York-based Richard Renaldi is a gifted photographer whose work is exhibited internationally and has been published in The Advocate, GQ, Out, Time and Vogue.

One of Renaldi’s ongoing projects is the series of intimate portraits he shoots of himself and partner Seth Boyd in hotel rooms around the globe. This stylish, playful and fascinating body of work is also a document of Renaldi and Boyd’s longtime relationship.

Btw - you may notice - they are very easy on the eyes.

Some of my favorite images from the couple's travels below.  I'm not sure why, but the Missoula, Montana, pic is my favorite.  Maybe because of all my traveling.

Click on a picture to see a larger version.

Or even better, to read and see more about Renaldi and his work, make sure you go to his website - www.renaldi.com.

Livingston, Guatemala

Washington, D.C.

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Turin, Italy

Missoula, Montana

'Ab Fab' is filming again! Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley

It’s been way too long since we’ve seen fabulous Eddy and Patsy crack a bottle of Bolly.

Shooting new episodes for the first time since 2004, Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders are filming scenes for an all-new 'Absolutely Fabulous Christmas special.'

The Daily Mail UK snapped “the pair parading up and down Bond Street laden with designer bags from the likes of Louis Vuitton, The Kooples and Lanvin, in the never-ending quest to stay hip and cool.”

Last year, creator/writer/star Saunders fought and won a battle with breast cancer and announced the return of the series was coming.

Sweeties, dahlings, you look still absolutely fabulous!

Puerto Rico's Sen. Roberto Arango posts naked pics on Grindr


UPDATE: Sen. Roberto Arango, a Republican who represents the capital of San Juan for the island's governing party, presented his letter of resignation after a weekend meeting, Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz said.

Schatz did not release the lawmaker's letter, but said the circumstances that led to the resignation "are very lamentable."

Local news media published photos from the application showing a man's nude upper body with a cell phone obscuring his face. Another photo showed a rear view of a nude man on his hands and knees. Another showed a fuzzy image of a face that seemed to match Arango's.

Arango has neither confirmed nor denied suggestions by local media that the photos might be of him and apparently was not asked if he had posted them. During a recent interview with WAPA TV in Puerto Rico, the senator said he has taken pictures of himself with a cell phone to document his recent weight loss.

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ORIGINAL POST: Puerto Rico's 'Anthony Weiner' is much more exciting than ours: Last week, images from Puerto Rican senator and GOP cheerleader Roberto Arango's alleged profile on gay hook-up app Grindr surfaced.

Puerto Rico's Sen. Roberto Arango, who chaired the local 2004 campaign to reelect George W. Bush, has been found showing his anus (NSFW) on the gay hook-up site Grindr.

Arango acknowledges that the photos are of him, but says he was merely posting images to show off his recent weight loss.  IN HIS ANUS.

"You know I've been losing weight. As I shed that weight, I've been taking pictures. I don't remember taking this particular picture but I'm not gonna say I didn't take it. I'd tell you if I remembered taking the picture but I don't."

Prior to this scandal, Arango was mostly known for the ridicule he endured after publishing a grammatically disastrous letter demanding statehood for Puerto Rico because (among other reasons) so many fast food restaurants have outlets there.

In 2009 he voted in favor of Resolution 99 which would have amended Puerto Rico's constitution to ban the recognition of same-sex marriages (it didn't pass).

He has been opposed to civil union bills and in 2004 he used a rubber duck and made it quack to make fun of an opponent (in Puerto Rico, the word for duck, "pato", means faggot.)

SRSLY people - how many 'holier than thou' - 'I just want to keep my money and be rich' closeted Republicans can there be?



Via JoeMyGod

100s of New York area flights getting cancelled ahead of Hurricane Irene

Airlines have begun cancelling hundreds of flights to and from New York-area airports as Hurricane Irene draws closer—bad news for travelers trying to get the hell out of Dodge.

JetBlue has cancelled 882 flights so far, from Saturday through Monday, most of them at JFK Airport. The airline is waiving some change fees for cancelled flights — check their official site for more details.

AirTran is also cancelling flights across the East Coast and waiving some fees — here's a full list of locations affected. Delta is too (full list here), as well as Continental-United (full list here).

The Port Authority has said they will be ready with “hundreds of cases of bottled water, diapers, cots, blankets and pillows” for any passengers that get stranded due to heavily delayed or canceled flights, and they have arranged to have at least one food vendor open day and night at JFK and LaGuardia.

More at the Gothamist

Dogs, friendship, love and loyalty



Wayne Giroux’s family sure misses him after he was killed by a drunk driver last summer.

But there’s also someone else who misses Wayne — his dog Spot.

From WFAA-TV video:

It’s hard to tell who misses Wayne more… Wayne's son Paul or Wayne's dog.

At the same time, every day, Spot hangs around this quiet country road waiting for Wayne to come home.

“I have no doubt that‘s what she’s waiting for,” Paul said. “It breaks my heart every time I go over there.”

Twice a day, Spot leaves her post when Paul looks in on her. But he knows it’s not him the dog really wants to see.

“If you can ever find anything that loves you that much, it’s the most precious gift in the world,” he said.

It’s possible, one day, Spot might give up. But Paul doesn’t think so.

Around here, friends are for a lifetime.

Dogs rule. Period.

Navy SEAL's loyal dog to be adopted by his master's friend


Few stories in the past week or so have touched more hearts that that of Hawkeye, the loyal Labrador retriever who lay down next to the flag-draped casket of his master, U.S. Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson.

One of the 30 U.S. military personnel killed in Afghanistan when their helicopter was hit by enemy fire on Aug. 6, Tumilson was remembered at a funeral service in Rockford, Iowa, on Aug. 19.

Hawkeye — not a military dog, but Tumilson's personal pet — "led the family into the gym" where the funeral was held, as the Des Moines Register reports. And then he lay down.

A poignant picture taken by Tumilson's cousin, Lisa Pembleton, has gotten lots of attention since then. So too have video reports aired and posted by local TV stations and the news networks.

Many readers wanted to know what was going to happen to Hawkeye and wondered if they could adopt him. There's good news: According to Home Post, "Tumilson's friend, Scott Nichols, will be Hawkeye's new master."

Hawkeye by his master's casket - photo:Lisa Pembleton

Rick Perry signs anti-gay marriage pledge


After explicitly stating that marriage is a states rights issue, Rick Perry has joined Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum in signing the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay marriage pledge.

The candidate vowed to establish a “presidential commission on religious liberty” to investigate instances of discrimination against conservatives, “send a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification, and appoint U.S. Supreme Court and federal judges who will “reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution.”

Earlier this week, Time Magazine discovered that Perry compared homosexuality to alcoholism in his 2008 book about the Boy Scouts.

Ben Cohen Will Be A Guest At The Gay Softball World Series Opening Ceremony


Opening Ceremonies for the 35th Annual NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series will take place on Monday, August 29, beginning at 5:00p.m.

“We can’t think of a better venue and more picturesque setting to host the Opening for the 2011 Gay Softball World Series, said Ted Cappas, President, Series 2011. “We’ve assembled an incredible program for the evening, which will welcome our athletes and feature national and local entertainers alike.”

The GSWS Opening Ceremony will feature a top-notch talent lineup, including Leslie Jordan, star of the stage and screen; Ben Cohen, Rugby World Cup Champion and founder/chairman of the Ben Cohen “Stand Up” foundation; Pandora Boxx, Drag Superstar; and hometown favorites Amy Armstrong, singer and entertainer; and Matthew Harvat, DJ and event producer.

Admission to the Opening Ceremony is FREE! Donations will be accepted to support the Ben Cohen “Stand Up” Foundation.

Sports enthusiasts and members of the LGBT and greater Chicagoland community are welcome and encouraged to attend the Opening Ceremony.

More at QueerMeUp

Thursday, August 25, 2011

GLEE - Season 3 Promo "Dodgeball"



Season premiere, Tuesday, September 20th

Top 10 Highest Paying Bachelor Degrees


The annual PayScale survey results show that for those looking for the quickest financial return on their degree, engineering can be the way to go.

Seven of the top ten degrees in terms of salary were in the engineering field. If you want your children to do well right out of the gate, make sure they study and apply themselves in the areas where need and skills pay best.

Below are the top 10 highest paying bachelor degrees ranked by mid-career averages.


1. Petroleum Engineering
Median starting salary: $97,900
Mid-career average: $155,000
The survey numbers suggest that petroleum engineering can be by far the best paying major available today. According to the Society of Petroleum Engineers, a large number of workers in the industry are expected to retire during the next ten years. Add the global demand for energy and you have a scenario in which petroleum engineering majors should continue to be in-demand and well-compensated for years to come.

2. Chemical Engineering
Median starting salary: $64,5000
Mid-career average: $109,000
According to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, professionals in this field are at the forefront of research in fields including energy, biomedicine, food production and electronics.

3. Electrical Engineering
Median starting salary: $61,300
Mid-career average: $103,000
PayScale reports that while salaries for electrical engineers remain high, competition for jobs is expected to be stiff. While job experience is important, having a degree in electrical engineering can be key to filling positions created by retiring employees.

4. Materials Science and Engineering
Median starting salary: $60,400
Mid-career average: $103,000
As one of the lesser known engineering disciplines, materials science studies, manipulates and improves on materials used in the biotechnology, energy and communications industries. Emerging fields such as nanotechnology also play a role in materials science and engineering.

5. Aerospace Engineering
Median starting salary: $60,700
Mid-career average: $102,000
From self-guided machines to helicopters to spacecraft, aerospace engineers are involved in the design and creation of any vehicle that travels above the Earth's surface. The technical skills learned by those with aerospace engineering degrees place graduates in the top five highest-earning majors, PayScale reports.

6. Computer Engineering
Median starting salary: $61,800
Mid-career average: $101,000
In a relatively new field, qualified computer engineering graduates are few and far between. "We are desperate to find skilled employees, but simply cannot do so," says Sander Daniels, co-founder of web start-up Thumbtack.com. With multiple companies vying for relatively few candidates, median starting salaries for computer engineering graduates are high. Sanders said, "I see supply slowly catching up to demand over the coming years--but at least today, there aren't enough computer engineers for all the available jobs."

7. Physics
Median starting salary: $49,800
Mid-career average: $101,000
Today, these professionals work in the fields of chemistry, oceanography, seismology and astronomy. Physics is the only major on the list with a median starting salary below $50,000, but by mid-career, the average rises to more than double that amount.

8. Applied Mathematics
Median starting salary: $52,600
Mid-career average: $98,600
According to the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, employers across a number of industries hire mathematicians and computational scientists. Jobs can be found in the energy, finance, science, health care and publishing sectors among others.

9. Computer Science
Median starting salary: $56,600
Mid-career average: $97,900
In a society that is increasingly dependent on computer technology, computer science graduates can expect to see lucrative starting salaries. Make no mistake, these professionals do more than simply provide tech support and program games. For instance, computer science researchers at Cornell University work in fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence, computer architecture and security.

10. Nuclear Engineering
Median starting salary:$65,100
Mid-career average:$97,800
Rounding out the top ten on the PayScale list is nuclear engineering. James Madison, President of CoolHandNuke.com, a job site for nuclear professionals, says several factors help boost the incomes of nuclear engineers. These include the high caliber of nuclear engineering graduates, the sensitive nature of their work and a decreasing number of individuals entering the field.
In addition, Madison predicts an upswing in the need for nuclear engineers that could mean better salaries in the future. "Over the course of the next 10 plus years, these engineers with start being paid very, very well," he said. "And the benefits packages are already the best of any industry."

Hudson Taylor Continuing Effort To Battle Bullying



MSNBC's Thomas Roberts talks with Hudson Taylor, Founder & Executive Director of Athlete Ally.

ATHLETE ALLY™ was created by Hudson Taylor as a resource to encourage athletes, coaches, parents, fans and other members of the sports community to respect all individuals involved in sports, regardless of perceived or actual sexual-orientation or gender identity or expression.

An Athlete Ally is any person – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity – who takes a stand against homophobia and transphobia in sports and brings the message of respect, inclusion and equality to their athletic community. Athlete Allies include competitive and recreational athletes as well as coaches, parents, teachers, league officials, sports fans, other sports participants and advocates.


"I'm on a mission to unite people; to bring people together for respect for everyone."
- Hudson Taylor

Perry leaps to the top of GOP 2012 pack of contenders

According to a new Gallup poll, shortly after announcing his official candidacy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has emerged as rank-and-file Republicans' current favorite for their party's 2012 presidential nomination.

Twenty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide say they are most likely to support Perry, with Mitt Romney next, at 17%.

See the chart for results.


TMZ: Kourtney Kardashian wedding "moment" scripted by producers


While Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries were busy getting married, TV producers worked behind the scenes SCRIPTING a "special moment" between Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick - all caught on tape.

I know - I'm "shocked" too.

Walkie-talkie chatter between producers shows the producers choreographing the moment Scott and Kourtney decide to bring up the possibility of getting married themselves.

And I guess we'll be seeing a Kourtney/Scott wedding sometime in the future - at the end of the tape, when production was wrapping on Kim's big day, one of the lead producers tells the crew, "See you at Kourtney's wedding."

Listen to the recording at TMZ.com

Cyndi Lauper To Open Housing for LGBT Youth



Next month, Cyndi Lauper's 1986 hit "True Colors" takes on new meaning when the True Colors Residence for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (L.G.B.T.) youth opens in Harlem on September 1.

The idea behind the 30-bed facility was conceived by Lauper, her manager and the West End Intergenerational Residence, a non-profit that provides housing and support for homeless families and seniors.

The True Colors Residence will be the first permanent housing facility in New York for homeless L.G.B.T. youth.

"In New York City, a very disproportionate number (up to 40 percent) of homeless youth identify as L.G.B.T.," the Queens singer, actress and writer said in a letter urging donors to support the project. "Even more disturbing are reports that these young people often face discrimination and at times physical assault in some of the very places they have to for help. This is shocking and inexcusable!"

Lauper has long been an advocate for LGBT rights. In 2007, she created the True Colors Tour, in which she performed and talked about LGBT issues. She founded the True Colors Fund in 2008, a non-profit for the advancement of LGBT equality.

Read more at WNYC.org

Barbra talks about the gift of her voice



Barbra Streisand spoke with Bill Whitaker on her natural gift for singing.

Read more at CBS News

Andrew Walker - "Mark" of the Year - Australian Football



Besides the fact that Australian rules football players are tough, they COMMIT to their game.

Check out this catch (technically called a "mark" I think) in a recent match - Essendon v Carlton Round 18 2011

The player who made the catch is Andrew Walker.

Joe Manganiello - 25 things we don't know


In the September 5 issue of US, Joe Manganiello shares "25 Things You Don't Know About Me"

Number 26 is clearly I didn't know he owned so many clothes...

Click on the pic to see a larger version.
(via boyculture)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

William Levy turns down Soderbergh film "Magic Mike"


The "Cuban Brad Pitt" has officially said 'no thank you' to a role in Steven Soderbergh's soon-to-be male exotic dancer movie "Magic Mike."

William Levy was supposed to star in his big breakout role next to Matt Bomer, Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer, but People En Espanol says it's not going to happen anymore.

William is famous for telenovela TV appearances and for rolling around on the sand with JLo. So I'm not sure what he's thinking. What huge Hollywood offers are falling on William's lap?

Who knows - but when Steven Soderbergh is directing and a huge list of A-listers are lining up, I'd certainly be there. Believe that.

White House to honor The Trevor Project


On August 25, 2011, the White House will honor The Trevor Project as a leading innovator in the realm of suicide prevention as part of the "Champions of Change" initiative.

The Trevor Project is the leading organization selected for this honor representing youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, specifically.

Accepting the honor and speaking with Administration officials about priorities for improving suicide prevention nationally will be David McFarland, Interim Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project. The event occurs ten days prior to National Suicide Prevention Week, (Sept. 4-10, 2011).

ABOUT CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE
The White House initiative, "Champions of Change, Winning the Future across America" profiles individuals and organizations that are helping the country rise to the challenges of the 21st century. Champions of Change are doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world. Each week, the White House invites new Champions to share ideas and best practices to win America's future. Beginning the week of August 29, 2011, The Trevor Project will be featured on the Champions of Change website.

ABOUT THE TREVOR PROJECT
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, ages 13-24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. For more information, visit TheTrevorProject.org.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My college roommate, Mark Kaplan - may I brag for a minute?


How happy am I to write this?

I spent lunch yesterday with my college roommate Mark Kaplan, who I just adore.

In 1981, at Syracuse University, as a freshman I met Mark as a fellow freshman in the new class of music theatre students.  Sometimes in life you are drawn to kindred spirits; sometimes you are drawn to pure talent; sometimes, you are drawn at the same time to both.  I don't give myself credit for being as gifted as Mark, but I had the smarts to at least hang around him hoping something would rub off.  Mark, and my dear friend Matthew Whitaker, formed what would be the nucleus of my 'freshman year friends.'

We quickly became good friends and lived together for two of our four years in college.  It was clear from day one that Mark not only had a fantastic voice and passion for the theatre, but a sense of humor that would transcend time.  Mark made me laugh, Mark made me think, and more than anything Mark made me proud to know him as a person and as an artist.

One of the wonderful lessons that you can't grasp until you are "older" is the value and quality of true friends.  When I write that, I mean people that you may go 10, 15 years without seeing - but can count on the connection and bond that you share.  That is what I was reminded of spending three hours at lunch with Mark and his husband Michael (yes, we both married 'Michaels' - life is funny that way).

Mark is currently back on tour playing the role of "Zazu" with the national company of "The Lion King" for which he has worked off and on over several years.  He's also been honored with 2 Jefferson Awards for his work as an actor in "Forbidden Broadway" and "Ragtime" in Chicago.  Plus a ton of other credits I won't go into listing - just trust, they are there.  The point of my listing those is to point up what an accomplished actor and artist he is.  Much is made of being a 'star' in the world today, but my respect always goes out first to the actors who make a living doing what they love and are clearly good at what they do.  Even just skipping over thoughts and ideas at lunch, Mark was clear and 'on point' about what a lot of people who work in the theater would barely comprehend.

Some days I like to think I'm pretty astute about theater and entertainment in general.  Yesterday I listened to Mark  in casual conversation and I was reminded how smart and clear his instincts are - about theater, about working in the theater and his appreciation for the theater.  It's not often I stop talking about theater.  But when someone is speaking with more clarity and comprehension than I - and it's waaaaay obvious - I at least have the good sense to stop and listen.

Mark Kaplan is such an artist.  And a friend.  My life is best when I get to enjoy hours like I spent in Mark and Michael's company talking about these things that mean so much to us.  The restaurant literally closed around us as we continued to talk and catch up.

We all need days like I just had.  We all need friends who may be somewhere out there, but always 'present' in our lives that we can talk to this freely.

Good times.

:)

almightygod tweets about his recent earthquake


What can you say?  These things happen...

NY Jets' Mark Sanchez on the cover of Sept GQ


New York Jets' QB Mark Sanchez on the cover and featured in the September GQ Magazine.

Read an excerpt here with additional pics.

Whoo-hoo!

Man's best friend stands guard one last time


Petty Officer Jon Tumilson, who was killed in Afghanistan, is guarded one last time by his faithful dog, Hawkeye, at his funeral. While this is difficult to even post, I'm always so moved by the loyalty our furry family members give us.

The heartbreaking photo taken by his cousin, Lisa Pembleton, shows Tumilson’s dog Hawkeye lying by the casket. At the funeral in Iowa, Hawkeye paid his last respects, walking up to the casket, lying down in front of it, and heaving a sigh.

The 35-year-old Tumilson died Aug. 6, when a rocket-propelled grenade disabled a helicopter. It crashed, killing 30 Americans and eight Afghans.
(via boyculture)


Amy Winehouse - no drugs in her system at time of death


Toxicology tests showed there were no illegal substances in British singer Amy Winehouse's system when she died last month aged 27, her spokesman said on Tuesday.

In a statement, he added that alcohol was present, but that it could not be determined what part, if any, it played in her death.

"Toxicology results returned to the Winehouse family by authorities have confirmed that there were no illegal substances in Amy's system at the time of her death," the statement read.

"Results indicate that alcohol was present but it cannot be determined as yet if it played a role in her death."

It added that Winehouse's family were awaiting the outcome of an inquest into the "Rehab" singer's death. The inquest was opened in July and is due to resume on Oct. 26 in London.

The soul singer, famed for her beehive hairstyle and erratic behaviour on and off stage, was found dead at her home in north London on July 23.

Read more at Reuters

New Music: "Change Begins With Me" - Matt Zarley


Matt Zarley has been an openly gay singer/songwriter for over a decade now and his brand of straight up pop music has gotten rave reviews from critics all over the music spectrum.  While he may be an indie artist, this is high-quality, well-produced material.

Chuck Taylor at Billboard Magazine: "Stunning tenor range, crafty harmonic layers and spine-tingling money notes... Tweens have plenty of idols to swoon over. Hereʼs a crush for grown-ups, whose earthy machismo is quite the complement to his musical muscle!”

The Advocate: "Lead dance single “WTF" (currently on the Billboard Dance Chart) anchors a sexy collection of swoon-worthy songs about falling in love and healing from heartbreak. The standout title track benefits from backup vocals by Broadway Inspirational Voices."

Change Begins With Me by mattzarley

My personal favorite tracks on the new album are "Apology" - stripped down arrangement and vocals lets the song and voice do it's thing, and "Change Begins With Me" - great build and who doesn't love big vocals with a gospel choir?

Apology by mattzarley

Matt's campy, funny video for "WTF" has gone viral with over 100,000 views on youtube and vimeo since it was released. Gossip and music sites like DListed.com have picked up on the 'over the top' sense of humor (and the hunky men) displayed in the music video.

Matt Zarley's new album "Change Begins With Me" is available today at all digital download retailers. See links below.

"Change Begins With Me" Album download on iTunes

"Change Begins With Me" Album download on Amazon

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nick Ashford, of Ashford & Simpson, passes away at 70


Nick Ashford, one half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson that penned classics for the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and funk hits for Chaka Khan and others, died Monday at age 70, his former publicist said.

Liz Rosenberg, who also was Ashford’s longtime friend, told The Associated Press that Ashford — who along with wife Valerie Simpson wrote some of Motown’s biggest hits — died in a New York City hospital. He had been suffering from throat cancer and had undergone radiation treatment.

Though they had some of their greatest success at Motown with classics like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Reach Out And Touch Somebody’s Hand” by Ross and “You’re All I Need To Get By” by Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Ashford & Simpson also created classics for others, like the anthem “I’m Every Woman” by Khan (and later remade by Whitney Houston).

They also had success writing for themselves: Perhaps the biggest known hit sung by them was the 1980s hit “Solid As A Rock.”

Ashford is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Patrick and Scott tie the knot



With so much attention this past weekend on the Kim Kardashian wedding (where one news person referred to the couple as "our American royalty" and I gagged) I wanted to post this truly beautiful and moving video about a gay wedding that happened, like many weddings, without a lot of fanfare except for those involved.

It's beautifully shot, framed and edited; and it really captures the honest emotions of what happens on what is, for many of us, the most important day in our lives.  Not millions of dollars, not lots of hype or press.  Just the honest emotion of two people.

Patrick and Scott's wedding was beautifully shot by John Hoel, who writes:
"It was truly a day I'll never forget and I was so honored to have captured it. Elizabeth couldn't have put it more eloquently during the ceremony, 'When our law lags behind, people continue to live their truth and create their own version of a family, and this is what Patrick and Scott are deciding to do today.'

I completely relate to so much of this video. When Michael and I were first married in Toronto in October 2003, the things I remember most were getting dressed, walking to the Toronto courthouse, fixing each other's ties, holding hands while exchanging vows and the incredible weight and importance of the moment.

We married again in Palm Springs, CA, in October 2008 (we are one of the 18,000 couples who got to keep our married status) and again the same things stick with me: getting dressed, waiting for the mayor to marry us, being in the moment as we exchanged vows.

It's a very powerful day of emotion that I never thought I'd experience. And much of my passion for marriage equality is based on how I was affected by getting married and what it meant to us.

With all due respect to Ms. Kardashian, this video comes much closer to what "marriage" is about to me.

Michael and I getting married in Toronto - October 17, 2003

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