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Showing posts from May, 2011

Miami Beach's Urban Beach Week marred by deadly shoot-out

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The Miami Herald reports: A police chase and firefight on the streets of South Beach Monday morning ended with officers shooting into a car on Collins Avenue and killing the driver, bringing a bloody conclusion to Miami Beach’s annual Memorial Day weekend parties.

By 5:30 a.m., police were investigating two officer-involved shootings. One alleged gunman was dead, four bystanders were wounded — possibly by police gunfire — and three officers were being treated at Mount Sinai Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening. None has been named by police.

Club and bar hoppers in town for the massively popular Urban Beach Week scattered and screamed as gunshots followed after the weaving car. Some on the relatively empty stretch of Collins Avenue jumped behind cars or into bushes as shots grew closer and louder.

Hundreds of officers shut down the heart of South Beach.

“This incident really mars us,” said Mayor Matti Herrera Bower.

Police Chief Carlos Noriega said the weekend’s rela…

Nepal census recognizes 'third gender'

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Photo caption: Members of the third gender community march in a gay parade in Kathmandu last year.

CNN reports: When census gatherers went door-to-door visiting 5.6 million households across Nepal this month, they collected information not only on the country's men and women, but also on a so-called third gender.

In what is believed to be a world first, Nepal's Central Bureau of Statistics is giving official recognition to gay and transgender people -- a move seen as major victory for equality in a country that only decriminalized homosexual relationships three years ago.

A spokesman for the statistics bureau, Bikash Bista, said the new categorization was an attempt to open up the traditionally conservative country up to different points of view.

But the state's recognition of the rights of gender minorities, gays and lesbians has not come without a fight.

"We had to put in a lot of pressure to have the third gender counted in the census," said gender minority rights …

WHO: Cell phone use can increase possible cancer risk

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CNN reports: Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.

Before its announcement today, WHO had assured consumers that no adverse health effects had been established.

A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, made the decision after reviewing peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety. The team found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."

What that means is that right now there haven't been enough long-term studies conducted to make a clear conclusion if radiation from cell phones are safe, but there is enough data showing a possible connection that consumers should be alerted.

"The biggest problem we have is that we know most environmental factors take several decades of exposure before we really see the consequ…

Two seasons of Star Wars show done

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George Lucas says he has 50 hours worth of scripts for the long-anticipated Star Wars live-action TV series already shot -- but is awaiting a technological breakthrough before the show can make it to TV.

Lucas told G4TV, the techie cable channel, that -- in TV terms -- he has scripts for two seasons of the new Star Wars series already written.

But the series is awaiting the development of "a different type of technology we can use so it's economically feasible to shoot the shows."

He did not say what the breakthrough would do, only that it was "just a very, very difficult process."

TV has to be produced for one-10th the cost of movies, he said, and the ability to make a credible TV show at such lower costs doesn't exist yet.

Lucas announced last year that the live-action TV series -- set between the Star Wars films Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope -- was being put on hold.

(Via NYP)

--> While I am excited about this, I can't help but repeat the words &quo…

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Gavin as featured on VGL.

New blog alert: My First Gay Crush

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From the wonderful people who brought us the Born this Way blog, comes this gem:

My First Gay Crush: You were a young, impressionable gay kid... You most likely loved watching TV, listening to music, or seeing movies... You had a secret, and your heart fluttered like crazy over your first gay crush!

The Advocate editors relate their big crushes here.

[Editor's note] As far as I'm concerned, there was no bigger heart-throb during my childhood that Jason, the Red Power Ranger. I remember liking him so much that I wanted to be related to him. That way he could sleep over... My parents got me a ring once and when they asked what color stone I'd like, I picked a red one so I could pretend we were together. No judgements, kids. Him and those cut-off shirts he wore stirred feelings in me I didn't even know I had or could name.

UPDATE: Yours truely was featured on My First Gay Crush! Thanks Paul V

Dan Choi beaten, arrested in Russia

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The Advocate reports: Army veteran/gay activist Dan Choi and Chicago activist Andy Thayer were among at least 18 people who were mobbed at a gay pride parade in Moscow by police and a group of neo-Nazis Saturday.

Video of the attack was posted on AmericaBlog, in which Choi and Thayer are walking quietly when a mob of uniformed and undercover police attack them. According to British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, the arrests took place between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Moscow time.

Choi and seven others were carted off to Presnensky police station in Moscow after the attack. He and the other foreign protesters were released without a charge or fine, but the Russians will have to remain overnight. Tatchell said that neither of the lead organizers, Nikolai Alekseev nor Nikolai Baev, were arrested, and it is unclear if Alekseev actually participated in the protest since he was badly injured Thursday from a fall.

"Anna Komarova, who is under arrest, reports being pressured by the police to …

The first 3 minutes of the new season of True Blood

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NASA releases cosmic picture from shuttle mission

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NASA writes:

Earth's atmosphere and a starry sky just off the port wing of the docked space shuttle Endeavour are the subject of this image photographed by the Expedition 28 crew, while the shuttle was docked with space station on the STS-134 mission.

Endeavour and the STS-134 crew undocked from the station on Monday, May 30, and landing is slated for 2:35 a.m. EDT Wednesday, June 1 at the Kennedy Space Center.
This is Endeavour's final flight and the penultimate flight of the Shuttle missions.

(Via Towleroad)

Judy Garland concert headed for theaters

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The Marquee Blog reports: Judy Garland's historic 1961 Carnegie Hall concert will be turned into a documentary courtesy of filmmakers Steven Lippman, Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein. Though Garland's comeback performance earned critical raves, countless standing ovations, and spawned a chart-topping double album, no footage exists of the actual event.

"The concert is a cultural touchstone, something I remember vividly as a kid," Friedman tells the L.A. Times. "It's a magical moment in theatrical history. And yet there's almost no record of it."

Until now.

The filmmakers hope to re-create the Carnegie Hall experience with Stay All Night, a documentary that will combine music snippets and recently uncovered backstage footage of Garland with new interviews of people who witnessed the show. The movie will focus on the connection between Garland and her audience that evening, and the team hopes to evoke that same feeling for those seated in theaters.

"…

New Muppet movie trailer gets the Hangover treatment

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The Hobbit sequels get official titles

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Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema put much speculation to rest today by officially naming and dating each installment of Peter Jackson's upcoming big screen adaptation of The Hobbit.

The first installment has been christened The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and will hit theaters on Dec. 14, 2012. The second film shall be known as The Hobbit: There and Back Again and will debut on Dec. 13, 2013.


(Via IMdB)

On a related note: Peter Jackson, risking the wrath of the literary-adaptation gods, has announced that he has added his Lord of the Rings star Orlando Bloom to the cast of his Hobbit movies. Mr. Bloom’s character, the elf Legolas, doesn’t appear in J. R. R. Tolkien’s original Hobbit novel.

Weekend box office

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Weekend Top Five:

#1 The Hangover Part II ($86M)
#2 Kung Fu Panda 2 ($47.8M)
#3 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($39.6M)
#4 Bridesmaids ($16.6M)
#5 Thor ($9.4M)

Happy Memorial Day

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Take a moment to acknowledge their sacrifice.

The fabulous Obamas

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Photo caption: President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama watch for the arrival of Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the Winfield House, May 25, 2011.
(Via the Big Picture)

At 84, one man is still the 'guardian angel' of Route 66

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Great story about Angel Delgadillo from theAP.

RIP Jeff Conway

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Jeff Conaway, who starred in Taxi and played Danny Zuko's buddy Kenickie in 1978's Grease, has died after more than two weeks in a coma.Spokeswoman Kathryn Boole says the 60-year-old actor died Friday morning at the Encino Tarzana Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized in a coma since May 11. His manager, Phil Brock, has said Conaway had tried to treat himself with pain pills and cold medicine while in weakened health.The actor was found unconscious in his apartment on May 11. Doctors had said there was no hope for his recovery and his family decided to take him off life support on Thursday, according to E! News.Conaway's ex-girlfriend, Vikki Lizzi, had gone to court to try and prevent the action. E! reports that Lizzi and Conaway had filed dueling restraining orders against each other in March after their breakup. At the time, Conaway had claimed she was injecting him with prescription drugs against his will.Conaway had publicly battled addiction issues, and was t…

US goes to war against digital pirates

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Happy Birthday Kylie!

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The Funnies
Memorial Day edition

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Pick Me Up of the Day

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Bernardo Velasco as featured on YVY.

After 92 years, millionaire miser’s heirs finally split $100M

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Lisa Lampanelli discusses $50K donation to GMHC

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As reported earlier, Lisa Lampanelli vowed donate $1,000 to the Gay Men's Health Crisis for each Westboro Baptist Church member who showed up to picket her show in Topeka (44 of them did). So, Lampanelli rounded up and donated $50,000 to the GMHC.

(Via Towleroad)

Groups sue FDA for putting pigs before people

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Laurie David reports for the Huffington Post: Force-feeding prescription drugs to healthy people, just to make them grow faster, would be considered ludicrous by any doctor. Possibly even criminal.

That's why the Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, and other health and science groups filed suit on Wednesday against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for allowing factory farms to do just that -- waste our precious antibiotics on healthy livestock, just to help them grow fatter faster.

Here's the disturbing truth. Approximately 70% of all antibiotics in our country are being squandered on healthy cows, pigs and chickens for unnecessary (and unnatural!) reasons like growth promotion, creating vast amounts of drug-resistant superbugs that put our children and families at risk.

For decades, antibiotics have saved us from diseases that were once a death sentence, ranging from bacterial meningitis to tuberculosis and pneumonia. But now, multi-drug resis…

Clinton in Pakistan: More needs to be done against militants

Obama signs Patriot Act extension

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Minutes before a midnight deadline, President Barack Obama signed into law a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.

"It's an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat," Obama said this morning after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

With Obama in France, the White House said the president used an autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature. It is only used with proper authorization of the president.

The law, enacted after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, has drawn criticism from the right and the left over what's viewed abuses of privacy laws.

During the debate, two members of Obama's party expressed misgivings over some of the provisions.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he voted for the act when he was a House member in 2001 "while ground zero was still burning." But "I soon realized it gave too much power to gov…

Miami Heat beat the Bulls, advance to Finals

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The Heat won the Eastern Conference finals last night at United Center with an 83-80 victory against the Bulls. Miami now plays an old foe, the Mavericks, in the NBA Finals, which will begin Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

(Via The Miami Herald)

Adam Lambert takes boyfriend to Idol finale

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Adam Lambert and his boyfriend, Sauli Koskinen, attended the season finale of American Idol last night at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

--> Enjoy him now, Koskinen. He'll be mine soon enough.

More pictures at JustJared.

Why HRC is a pointless lobby: Reason #4280

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Queerty acerbically reports: Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese just released a badly-written statement about Tennessee’s corporate-sponsored anti-LGBT bill. In it, he says that the 13 corporations who originally sponsored the bill and now oppose because it makes them look like bigots it are “on the leading edge of positive change.” Ummmm…. no.

Here’s Joe’s acrobatic abortion of the English language(!):


“Discrimination should have no place in the Volunteer State and the Chamber’s opposition to this law sent a strong signal that corporations are on the leading edge of positive change. In contrast Governor Haslam has put discrimination ahead of the state’s values and even business interests by signing this horrible legislation.”

Being on the “leading edge of positive change” means, y’know, actually LEADING social change in a helpful direction. Supporting an anti-LGBT bill, stammering from the negative press after it passes, and then offering lukewarm statements opposing the very…

L Train Pole Dance

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Darren Criss for GQ

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Many more adorbale shots at GQ.

Oprah's final show send off

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What Oprah knows for sure:



Pick me Up of the Day

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New Jersey Nets (and future Mr. Kim Kardashian) Kris Humphries as featured on GQ.

Adele holds strong at #1, with Lady Gaga in hot pursuit

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ArtsBeat reports: The old news about the latest music sales: Adele is No. 1, yet again. The new news: Thanks to an aggressive marketing campaign and some apparently unsolicited promotion by Amazon, Lady Gaga is selling even better than expected.

On this week’s Billboard album chart, which tracks music sales for the seven days that ended on Sunday, Adele’s 21 dominates with 138,000 copies sold in the United States. That puts her at No. 1 for a ninth time; in its 13 weeks of release in this country, it has sold 1.8 million copies. (The album is an even bigger hit in Adele’s native Great Britain, where it has sold more than two million copies.)

Threatening to upset this dominance is Lady Gaga’s Born This Way,which was released on Monday by Interscope Records. Demand for the record has, naturally, been high. And a broad marketing campaign has made Lady Gaga ubiquitous over the last week, with tie-ins through Best Buy, Starbucks, the online gaming company Zynga and other companies. In Manhat…

Reports of a shake-up in the X Factor cast

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Photo caption: The cast of The X Factor, from left, Steve Jones, Nicole Scherzinger, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole.

In related news: The X Factor was aswirl in tabloid-ready developments last night.

TMZ and other Web sites reported last night night that Cheryl Cole, one of the four people signed to judge contestants on The X Factor, had been let go. The Web sites also said that Nicole Scherzinger, who had been hired as one of the show’s two hosts, had stepped in as a judge in Ms. Cole’s place. That would leave the show with a single host, Steve Jones, just as Idol has one host.

The reports surprised fans of Ms. Cole, a star in Britain who is not well known in the United States. Simon Cowell, who is developing the American version of The X Factor (it began in Britain), has talked about Ms. Cole for years as a star in the making, and he succeeded in hiring her as a judge just three weeks ago.

Fox representatives declined to comment on the matter last night, …

Scotty McCreery wins American Idol

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[Editor's note] A baritone-voiced 17-year-old white boy has been crowned America's newest idol. Topping fellow teenager Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery took the big prize home last night on the season finale of Idol.

It was a less than shocking results show. The only people who watched this season were the ~3 million middle-of-the-country Bush voters who listen to country music on a loop. That's the only explanation for the top two contestants being-- you guessed it-- country artists. Nothing against the genre (Patsy, Dolly, & Reba have given me a lot over the years), but on the reals: this was not a season of variety.

That being said, let's discuss what last night was really about, namely the star-studded performances. Firstly, Tony Bennett can do no wrong. The man is eighty-five (85) and still wowing audiences with his pipes. His performance with Idol contestant Haley Reinhart was incredibly charming. I'm so excited to hear that he's releasing a part deux to…

Happy birthday Stevie Nicks!

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Bewitching me with your music since 1998.

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Zachariah Picotte as featured on MMS.

Trailer for Divine documentary film relseased

Jerry Curl bids Oprah a fond farewell

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[Editor's note] For many, many years I was an Oprah detractor. I railed against her "better life" preachings because I thought she was out to make us all like her. Not that there's anything wrong with wanting to live a better life-- but that transformation should come from within, not from daytime television. Adding to my Oprah aversion were her legions of screaming fan(atics) losing it at the mere sight of her.

But then in 2004 I went away to college and experienced some of the loneliest times of my life. A new city, a new school, no friends, and a burgeoning sexuality (if you will) was a lot to take in during the first months of this new life. Jobless, bored, and with a lot of time to kill between classes I started to watch Oprah.

I can't really pinpoint the moment of my conversion. Maybe it was the great car giveaway that year. Maybe it was the way she talked about James Frey's book and loving books in general. Or the way she heaped praise on the teachers i…

The Funnies
Oprah's Last Show Edition

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Beyoncé
"Run The World (Girls)"

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Rufus Wainwright working with Mark Ronson on new album

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Rufus Wainwright hit a New York studio with producer Mark Ronson this week to start recording a new album – and it's shaping up to be the poppiest music he's made in years. "We've been in for three days, and I already look 20 years younger," Wainwright told Rolling Stone. "I have to start looking around for motorcycle outfits or something, I feel so damn cool!"

After spending the last few years working on an opera, Prima Donna, and last year's dark piano cycle All Days Are Nights, (which I loved!) Wainwright is looking for a new sound. "The main objective – not for the entire [album], necessarily, but for portions of it – is to be danceable," he said. "I just want to make something that you love, driving around in your car listening or losing your mind to on a dance floor. Something to serenade us through these very, very troubling times."

Ronson, who has worked with pop acts including Amy Winehouse, Adele and Lily Allen, was an ob…

Active duty LGBT group to hold Vegas summit

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Towleroad reports: Outserve, the first LGBT group for active duty service members is holding a first-of-its-kind conference in Las Vegas in mid-October, according to a press release from the group:

The OutServe Armed Forces Leadership Summit will provide an international forum on enhancing military readiness through encouraging an environment of respect with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. It will provide the LGBT military community a means of building professional networks, sharing best practices and formulating strategies that help build a stronger military community. The Summit will feature respected and well-known authorities speaking on a range of topics, intriguing and groundbreaking panels, and interactive workshops that address diversity as a strength.

Among the many topics to be featured: how allied military forces have welcomed LGBT personnel; latest research on diversity inside the military and out; and resources for LGBT military partners and families.

Said …

This is your brain on orgasm

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Kayt Sukel masturbated for a fMRI:

Over 30 areas of my brain are activated as I move from start to finish, including those involved in touch, memory, reward and even pain. As [researcher Barry] Komisaruk expected, the imagined clitoral touches and Kegel exercises activated the same brain areas as real ones, albeit with somewhat less blood flow. The [prefrontal cortex], however, showed more activation when touches and pelvic squeezes were imagined compared with those that were real. He suggests this heightened activation may reflect imagination or fantasy, or perhaps some cognitive process that helps manage so called "top-down" control - the direct regulation by the brain of physiological functions - of our own pleasure.
Image: Kayt Sukel's brain at the moment of orgasm. "You can see from the extent of activity that an orgasm is a whole-brain experience. Activation in the prefrontal cortex (A) is clearly visible, as well as activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (B)…

Huguette Clark, the reclusive copper heiress, dies at 104

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Photo caption: This is the last known photo of Huguette Clark, taken 80 years ago.

Huguette M. Clark, the mysterious copper heiress who became the subject of public fascination and police investigation after a century of life as a recluse, died Tuesday morning at age 104, registered under a fake name at a hospital in New York City. Her empty mansions, and a criminal investigation into the handling of her fortune, were the subject of a series of reports last year on msnbc.com.

The criminal investigation continues into the handling of her money by her attorney and accountant, with detectives and a forensic accountant poring over the many years of Clark's financial records. An assistant district attorney was able to visit with Clark in the hospital, more than once, and to have a conversation with her, in both French and English. A state grand jury in Manhattan issued subpoenas for documents. It could be months before the investigation's conclusion is known.

Though she inherited one …

Obamas shine in UK despite royal faux pas

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
More photos can be seen over at the Huffington Post.

John Edwards set to be indicted

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The Justice Department is set to indict former presidential candidate John Edwards on charges that he violated campaign finance laws trying to cover up an extramarital affair during the last presidential campaign, according to multiple reports.

A source close to the investigation told ABC News that Edwards is aware of the Justice Department's plans and could try to arrange a plea deal to avoid a trial.

The former North Carolina senator had an affair with Rielle Hunter that began after she was hired to produce promotional videos for his campaign. The two had a daughter together.

The investigation focuses on two wealthy donors, Rachel "Bunny" Mellon and Fred Baron, who the government alleges donated more than $1 million in funds to aid the cover-up of the affair. The government will argue that amounted to illegal campaign contributions.

According to WRAL, questions also exist about millions of dollars' worth of donations from Mellon toward a nonprofit called The Alliance f…

Jerry Curl issues statistical apology

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[Editor's note] Apologies for no updates yesterday-- Statistics exam. We're back full-force today.

Lampanelli donates $50,000 to gay charity in Westboro's name

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The Westboro Baptist Church may have met its match in Lisa Lampanelli, longtime supporter of gay rights and Comedy's "lovable Queen of Mean."

Lampanelli recently told TMZ she would donate $1,000 to the Gay Men's Health Crisis organization for every Westboro Baptist Church member that showed up to protest her show in Topeka, Kansas. Well, now the nation's oldest HIV/AIDS prevention and service organization will be getting a hefty $50,000 check from Lampanelli -- in the church's name.

Nearly 50 people showed up to protest the show, some of whom you can see in the video below as Lampanelli greets them with a few zingers. After the show, Lampanelli tweeted that the GMHC would be getting $44,000, but after another count showed 48 protesters instead of 44, she updated again via Twitter: "I won't quibble. I'll make it an even $50,000!!!"

--> Righteous!

(Via HuffPo)

RIP Bill Hunter

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ABC Austrailia reports on some sad news from down under today: Bill Hunter, one of Australia's most beloved actors, has died at the age of 71 after a battle with cancer.

His manager Mark Morrissey said the actor was surrounded by family and friends at a hospice in the Melbourne suburb of Kew when he died just after 8pm on Saturday night. Hunter was admitted to the hospice earlier this week after refusing to go into hospital. The acting legend had inoperable cancer.

Mr. Morrissey described Hunter as a fine actor, a true storyteller and a great friend, saying he will be sorely missed.

"During the course of his long and esteemed career, Bill touched the lives of many people," Mr. Morrissey said. "He was much loved, a gentleman, an inspiration to fellow actors, a journeyman, and a rogue."

In a storied career which spanned 50 years, Hunter's list of work reads like a history of Australian film and television. He worked alongside Mel Gibson in Peter Weir's Gallip…

Beyonce wins, performs at the Billboard Awards

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Lady GaGa by Nick Knight

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More of these impressive photos can be seen at Homotography.

On a related note, Born this Way comes out today.

America's big spenders

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Pick Me Ups of the Day

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Jordan and Locelyn as featured on DNA.

States cut back efforts to provide drugs for HIV, AIDS

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Cash-strapped states are scaling back efforts to provide life-saving medicines to HIV patients.

The result: more than 8,300 people — a record number — are on waiting lists in 13 states to get antiretrovirals and other drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS or the side effects, mental health conditions or opportunistic infections. And that number probably understates the need, say advocates, who note that many states have simply eliminated waiting lists or reduced eligibility.

“States that have changed their eligibility programs or don’t have a waiting list, or some states have disenrolled their patients, that’s a kind of silent crisis, I think,” said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, an advocacy group on gay issues. His state holds the second-highest number of patients on a waiting list: 1,520.

In recent weeks:

Illinois tightened the eligibility for the state program that helps HIV patients pay for their medications. On July 1, the cutoff for the program will fall from an ann…

SNL digital short 'Three Way' starring Lady Gaga

NYT launches interactive 'Coming Out' feature

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The New York Times embarked on the project Coming Out as an effort to better understand this generation’s realities and expectations, and to give teenagers their own voice in the conversation.

The youths who participated were in different phases of coming out: some had come out only to themselves, some to people in certain realms of their lives, some to only one trusted friend or family member. Some had come out to their family or community, and then, realizing they lacked the support they needed, rescinded the declaration — and came out again a couple of years later. Others spoke of hating themselves in the process of accepting who they are.


(Via Towleroad)