Showing posts from June, 2011

Gimenez elected Miami-Dade mayor

The Miami Herald reports: Carlos Gimenez, a former Miami city manager and county commissioner who touted himself as the candidate with the experience to solve the most nettlesome problems, will be Miami-Dade County’s next mayor after defeating former Hialeah mayor Julio Robaina by a slim margin.

With all precincts reporting, Gimenez won 51 percent to Robaina’s 49 percent.

The difference for Gimenez proved to be early votes, where he fared better than Robaina. The two essentially fought to a draw for absentee and Election Day votes.

“I am happy,” said Gimenez, after learning he won. “But I also know that come tomorrow I have a lot of work to do.”

The vote ends a two-and-a-half-month campaign to pick a replacement for former county mayor Carlos Alvarez, who was ousted in March in the largest recall of a local politician in U.S. history.

Gimenez — an often lone, critical voice of the government he’s now charged with leading — confronts a host of challenges that must be addressed quickly and h…

Pick Me Up of the Day

Jerry Curl favorite Evandro Soldati as featured on VGL.

Rowdy Queers: We “Glamdalized” D.C. HRC Store

The Advocate reports: A group calling itself “The Right Honorable Wicked Stepmothers’ Traveling, Drinking, and Debating Society and Men’s Auxiliary” has claimed responsibility for vandalizing the Human Rights Campaign store in Washington, D.C. Tuesday night.

In a bizarre homage to the Stonewall Riots, the group said — via its press release:

The modern LGBT movement owes its success to three days of smashing, burning, punching, and kicking--all of it happily indiscriminate--and the confrontational tactics of groups like ACT-UP that followed in the decades since. Yet, somehow we've forgotten our riotous roots.The group also explained why it was targeting its own community:

Why, you're asking, did we specifically target the HRC, a massive national gay rights non-profit as opposed to vomiting urine on Rick Santorum or something equally fun?

Put simply, they suck. What do they suck? Cash. Lots of it.

The HRC rakes in something approaching 50 million dollars a year in revenue--their exec…

Small but significant Cuban Pride March

It wasn't like New York or San Francisco, but a Cuban Gay Pride celebration — the first ever — was just as meaningful.

The Tuesday event in Havana consisted of a 1,600 foot march from Prado Avenue to a seaside boulevard. The peaceful pride celebration coincides with a sea change in Cuba, where the rights of gays have been championed by Mariela Castro, the influential first daughter of Cuba. The communist nation was previously hostile to gays, forcing many into hiding.

"We're trying to do the real work of a revolution, to 'change what must be changed,'" local gay rights leader Leannes Imbert, quoting an expression by Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro, told Agence France Press.

(Via the Advocate)

Obama speaks at LGBT Pride Reception at the White House

As reported earlier in the day yesterday, President Obama held an LGBT Pride reception at the White House.

Below is the video of his remarks:

In related news: Dan Savage wore a microscopic pin no bigger than a nickel to the White House’s Pride celebration, to protest the president’s slowly “evolving” attitudes on marriage equality.

Savage said, “[The President] says he’s evolving, I believe him. I want to hurry him along. We can scream and yell and be dicks and wear buttons (and still eat Obama’s cupcakes and drink his champagne). We need to keep the pressure on and take ‘yes’ for an answer. I’m not one of the gay activists furious at the president because he’s not out on the furthest limb.”

PS. AmericaBlog is selling “Evolve Already” t-shirts.

(Via Queerty)

Obama awards Defense chief Gates presidential Medal of Freedom

President Obama awarded retiring Secretary of Defense Robert Gates the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a farewell ceremony this morning.

"A humble American patriot; a man of common sense and decency; quite simply, one of our nation's finest public servants," Obama said of Gates.

Obama spoke at a departure ceremony outside the Pentagon. Leon Panetta has been named Gates' successor as Defense Secretary.

Gates was originally appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006 and retained by Obama, making him the only defense secretary in history to be asked to remain in office by a newly elected president, according to the Department of Defense.

Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke first at the ceremony, marked by a fife and drum corps passing in review and military service members standing in formation.

"He tells it straight. No bull," said Mullen.

Obama teased Gates -- who has served in various positions under four presidents -- saying he "lo…

Obama to do Twitter session on economy on July 6

Reuters reports: President Barack Obama will hold a "town hall" meeting on the U.S. economy and jobs on July 6, the White House said today. But, it will be in the virtual world of Twitter.

The White House used Twitter to announce the event today and invite potential participants to submit questions.

The White House Twitter account, which has 2.2 million followers, invited questions to a new account "@townhall" marked with the hashtag "AskObama."

Americans' pessimism about the sluggish U.S. economy, especially the 9.1 percent jobless rate, may be the biggest obstacle to Obama's hopes of winning re-election next year.

Shortly after the announcement, questions were coming in on topics including green jobs, innovation and corporations for the event, set for 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on July 6.

Obama's White House makes regular use of social media, which it sees as a way to get its message to a wide range of Americans. Obama's Twitter feed, on which he …

Stephen Colbert's super PAC gets approval

USA Today reports: Stephen Colbert's bid to launch a super PAC is no laughing matter, especially now that the comedian has won approval to raise unlimited campaign cash to influence the 2012 elections.

The Federal Election Commission today voted 5-1 to approve Colbert's political action committee, giving him a shot at doing what political types such as Bush strategist Karl Rove and former Obama aide Bill Burton are already doing to finance TV ads ahead of next year's elections.

The ruling, however, narrowly interprets what the comedian and Viacom Inc., the parent company of Comedy Central, can do with the Colbert's super PAC.

Colbert sought a so-called media exemption that would allow him to use airtime, staff and other resources from The Colbert Report on campaign activities such as TV ads without having to disclose any of those expenses as in-kind contributions.

In an advisory opinion adopted by the commission today, the FEC said "some of Viacom's activities wou…

Gwyneth Paltrow joins Glee on stage in London

The Marquee Blog reports: As promised, Gwyneth Paltrow popped up at the "Glee Live!" show at the summer tour's London stop yesterday. Lea Michele, who plays Rachel Berry on the show, tweeted earlier that the night's event was "going to be a special one" before she revealed that Paltrow was the surprise.

The 38-year-old had a breakout role on the Fox series as the substitute teacher Holly Holiday, and she joined the Glee crew at the O2 arena for another rendition of Cee Lo's "Forget You," as she previously did in New Jersey. According to the Daily Mail, Santana, as played by Naya Rivera, was in the middle of telling the Glee crew that she'd been named the sexiest glee club member when Paltrow strolled on stage and challenged her to a sing-off.

Paltrow, who recently joined Twitter, also had a few young ones in tow. "Just took four 7 year olds to glee live london. somebody pass me something vaguely hallucinogenic," she tweeted.

Video …

Javier Colon is The Voice

The Wrap reports: Javier Colon received more votes than three other finalists last night to be named the first winner of NBC's The Voice.

According to host Carson Daly, he received less than two percent more votes than first runner-up Dia Frampton.

Beverly McClellan and Vicci Martinez also fell short in their quest for a $100,000 and a recording contract.

During the finale show, Colon performed a duet of Fleetwood Mac's hit ballad "Landslide" with Stevie Nicks (see video below). He will now join the seven runners-up on a summer concert tour. A full list of dates can be found here.

The four judges — Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine — will not be joining their pupils.

Casting for season two of The Voice, which will launch in Spring 2012, is starting now, Daly said.

--> In my humble opinion, Frenchie Davis and Beverly were robbed.

13 Democratic U.S. Senators record It Gets Better video


Daniel Radcliffe honored at Trevor Project gala

Daniel Radcliffe was honored with the Hero Award at the Trevor Live: An Evening Benefiting the Trevor Project gala event on Monday in New York City.

The 21-year-old British actor said:“The fact that I’m able to help with something like this makes me very, very proud. It’s a huge honor, and it’s lovely of them to give it to me. I’ll say it again later, but the real heroes are the people who are staffing those call centers and picking up the phones saving lives every single day.”

Last week Radcliffe's play, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, celebrated its 100th performance on Broadway.

--> Mr. Radcliffe has quietly become a very cool grown-up. Smart, clever, talented, and a good-hearted celeb. I like what I've been noticing. Keep up the exemplary work, kid.

(Via JustJared)

News Corp sells MySpace to Specific Media for $35 million

After a sales process that lasted several months and featured a last-minute swerve, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. agreed today to sell social networking site MySpace to online advertising network Specific Media for $35 million, including a minority stake in Specific and a small amount of cash.

The deal's price tag is $545 million below what the media giant had spent on acquiring MySpace several years ago.

The conglomerate, which managed to finalize the deal to offload the company just before its fiscal year ends Thursday, was hoping for a $100 million price tag when it decided for a sale earlier this year amid a continuing slump of MySpace. In comparison, earlier this year, Facebook, which is expected to go for an IPO next year, was valued at $65 billion-plus in private investment deals.

MySpace's value has dropped as Facebook became the dominant social network, and MySpace has continued to lose money and subscribers.

In the U.S., MySpace had 75.9 million unique visitors in Dec.…

Pick Me Up of the Day

Francisco Lachowski as featured on Homotography.

Pet Shop Boys & Liza Minnelli
"So Sorry I Said"


Lady Gaga sued over Japan relief wristbands

A lawsuit alleging that Lady Gaga misrepresented how funds received from sales of her Japanese earthquake relief wristbands would be allocated raised a few eyebrows on Monday, and now Gaga is speaking out against it.

In a statement, the superstar singer – who's visited Tokyo in an effort to boost tourism – called the suit “misguided” and “without merit.”

Attorneys from the Michigan based 1-800-Law-Firm filed a complaint in Michigan last Friday, alleging that Gaga and affiliated companies haven’t been transparent about where donated funds were going. Proceeds from the Gaga-designed wristbands sold were advertised as going solely to relief efforts, which the suit claims is misleading.

The complaint, available for perusal here, alleges that “a portion of the first five dollars of each donation" was kept by Gaga and those affiliated with the project, in addition to keeping a portion of shipping costs and taxes.

In her statement, Gaga denies keeping a cut of funds raised from wristban…

Newsweek covers Princess Diana at 50

People reports: She was 36 when she died, but the spirit and grace of Princess Diana has lived on through the years.

In commemoration of her 50th birthday Friday, Newsweek, too, has done its part to keep her memory alive – just in an unconventional manner.

On its latest cover, a computer-generated image of the late princess is superimposed into a photograph of an upbeat and on-the-town Duchess Catherine. The cover and corresponding story, penned by editor-in-chief and Diana biographer Tina Brown, imagines what her life would be like today if tragedy had not struck on Aug. 31, 1997.

"Diana would have been 50 this month," Brown writes. "What would she have been like? Still great-looking: that's a given."

In the story, Brown predicts Diana would have moved to New York, kept her youth through Botox shots and told her story to 10 million followers on Twitter.

And Brown isn't the only one asking, "What If?" The plot of Untold Story: A Novel, which arrived in…

Elizabeth Taylor collection to go around the world

The AP reports: Elizabeth Taylor's collection of jewelry, art, designer clothing and other memorabilia will go on an international three-month tour before it is sold in New York in December, Christie's auction house announced today.

The tour will begin in September and include stops in Moscow, London, Dubai, Geneva, Paris, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. It will end in New York, where Christie's plans a "museum-quality exhibition" of the late actress' collection that will fill its entire gallery space from Dec. 3 to Dec. 10.

The auction will be held over four days on Dec. 13-16.

Taylor, who was infamously married eight times to seven husbands, was also known for her passion for opulent diamonds. She died in March at age 79.

She published a book in 2003 titled Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry, and her collection has included some of the world's most expensive stones.

A portion of the proceeds from the exhibition admissions and publications related to th…

Obama’s position on gay marriage faces new test

Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times illuminates on the climate on the White House:

President Obama will be hosting a Gay Pride reception later today at the White House. But the host, who does not endorse same-sex marriage, this could prove be somewhat awkward.

“I think they are trying to share the joy, which is genuine on their part, without changing his position,” Hilary Rosen, a prominent Democratic strategist, said of the White House. “I don’t think he can have it both ways here.”

For months, Mr. Obama, who has in the past opposed same-sex marriage, has said his views are “evolving.” But last week’s vote in Albany has intensified pressure on the president to say where he stands, particularly after remarks he made at a Manhattan fund-raiser disappointed and confused many gay rights advocates, including some of his most ardent supporters.

Some have taken issue with Mr. Obama’s word choice at the Manhattan fund-raiser, where he noted that “traditionally marriage has been decided by …

Gay couples to sue N.J. over same-sex marriage

Seven gay and lesbian New Jersey couples, along with many of their children, are going to court to try to force the state to recognize gay marriage.

The families say in their legal complaint that the state's civil union law designed to give gay couples the same legal protections as married couples has not fulfilled that promise.

One man says he was denied being able to make urgent medical decisions for his partner. Another saw his partner and children's health insurance canceled by a skeptical auditor. One woman had to jump through legal hoops to adopt the baby of her civil union.

Along with the gay advocacy groups Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal, the couples plan to announce details of the lawsuit today. The advocacy groups provided a copy to The Associated Press on the condition that no details be published before this morning.

The lawsuit, to be filed in state court, comes less than a week after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law allowing gay marriage in that neighb…

Google critisized for hiding Gay Pride feature

CNN reports: Google creates "doodles" for all kinds of random occasions. The search engine changed -- or doodled -- the logo on its home page in celebration of the painter Paul Cezanne's 172nd birthday; Robert Louis Stevenson's 160th birthday; the first day of school in Poland; and Pac-Man's 30th anniversary. All of these, with the exception of Poland, which appeared only in that country, were automatically visible to everyone who visited

But for Gay Pride Month -- which, in case you didn't notice the parade in the city center, is happening now -- the company took a much less visible approach. It's one that's stirred up criticism from the gay community.

There's never been an actual Google Doodle in honor of Gay Pride. Instead, during June, a little rainbow pops up next to Google's search bar only when users search for certain "pride-related" terms including: gay, lesbian, homosexuality, LGBT, marriage equality, bisexual and…

Michele Bachmann has "the kind of spirit" John Wayne Gacy had


The Huffington Post has the story.

Pick Me Up of the Day

Lars Slind as featured on Queerty.

First look at Brooke Shields as Morticia Addams

Stage and screen star Brooke Shields returns to Broadway this month in the musical comedy The Addams Family at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. She will succeed Bebe Neuwirth in the role of Morticia beginning June 28. Read the story here.

--> I think it's pretty safe to file this under: Epic Fail.

(Via Playbill)

Rev. Al Sharpton & Thomas Roberts eviscerate NOM's Brian Brown


Pentagon confirms 3 more discharges under DADT

The Pentagon confirmed yesterday that more service members have been discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell” pending certification of the policy’s repeal, with one individual’s discharge approved as recently as Thursday.

A total of four airmen have been discharged under the policy in the last several weeks, Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez confirmed Monday.

One of those individuals is Airman First Class Albert Pisani, who spoke to The Advocate earlier this month of his voluntary separation under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which defense officials approved on April 29.

Air Force spokesman Maj. Joel Harper told The Advocate that the discharges of three additional service members — two female staff sergeants and one male second lieutenant— have been approved since an April 29 discharge. Harper declined to say whether Pisani was the April 29 discharge, citing confidentiality reasons.

When The Advocate story ran, Defense officials had said that the separation approved April 29 was the only suc…

Pixar unveils Brave with teaser trailer

Brave is an animated tale that follows a Scottish princess who goes against the wishes of her parents and inadvertently puts the kingdom in jeopardy as a result.

The minute-long clip shows the princess riding through a picturesque landscape as a narrator explains, "When we are put to the test, it is the one thing we must always be," before the title card flashes on the screen.

Kelly MacDonald (of Boardwalk Empire) provides the voice of the red-haired princess, with Emma Thompson and Kevin McKidd (of Grey's Anatomy) also cast.

The animated fantasy will hit theaters June 22, 2012.

Barbra Streisand to make the most of Bergman’s material

ArtsBeat reports: Barbra Streisand has had a long association with Marilyn and Alan Bergman, the songwriters and lyricists who wrote or co-wrote some of her biggest hits, like “The Way We Were,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” and the songs from her 1983 movie Yentl.

For her next album, What Matters Most, Ms. Streisand will be singing 10 songs by the Bergmans that she has not already recorded, like “Nice ‘n’ Easy” (sung by Frank Sinatra in 1960) and “The Windmills of Your Mind,” from the film The Thomas Crown Affair, which Ms. Streisand sang at a charity dinner before the Grammy Awards in February.

The new album, which Ms. Streisand produced, will be released by Columbia Records on Aug. 23, Ms. Streisand announced yesterday. A deluxe edition of the album includes 10 additional Bergman songs from previous Streisand releases, like “The Way We Were,” “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” and “Pieces of Dreams.”

Miami-Dade voters to elect new Mayor today

NBC Miami's Steve Litz reports: Miami-Dade’s voters head to the polls today to elect the next mayor, putting an end to the three-month process of seating the county’s new top politico.

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The three elections _ recall, special and runoff _ cost county taxpayers about $4 million dollars each. The only poll, done by The Miami Herald, showed former County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez leading former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina by 11 percentage points.

Both gave up their respective political posts to run for county mayor.

“I have a 36-year record of unquestioned honesty, integrity and experience,” said Gimenez, while eating and greeting at a La Carreta Restaurant in west Miami-Dade Monday. He used to be Miami’s city manager and fire chief too.

Robaina also pressed hard in the final hours, courting seniors at Rebecca Towers on South Beach.

“We always want to reach out. There's only so many hours in the day,” he said while delivering hugs and kisses to …

Jon Stewart on NY marriage equality and hits the gay pride parade

Money was key ingredient in New York's gay marriage bill

The Huffington Post reports:

The passage of historic legislation legalizing same sex marriage in the state of New York last Friday was owed in large part to a compelling political motivator: money.

Although New York's legislators were already disposed to approving gay marriage because of the more progressive disposition of the state and a major grassroots campaign in support of the bill, LGBT activists from both parties turned to a simple, poignant argument: Lawmakers not only stood to gain the support of well-funded gay-rights supporters if they backed the bill, they would suffer if they opposed it or shied away from the spotlight.

"I didn't come in there saying, 'Do this for me,'" recalled Ken Mehlman, the openly gay former RNC chairman who persuaded Republican lawmakers in Albany that there was not only political support but ideological consistency in backing the bill. "I said, 'Do this for you.' We didn't walk in there saying, 'Do this n…

Harry Potter series to be sold as e-books

The seven Harry Potter novels are to be sold as e-books for the first time in October.

Author JK Rowling announced the series will also be available as audiobooks through a new website, Pottermore. The interactive website will also feature new material which Rowling says she has been "hoarding for years".

Pottermore will go live on 31 July - Harry Potter's birthday.

"This is such a great way to give something back to the fans who made Harry Potter such a huge success," the author said.

The Harry Potter novels have sold more than 450 million copies through Bloomsbury in Britain, and Scholastic in the United States.

However the e-books - which will be available in several languages - will be published through Rowling's Pottermore Publishing, rather than her print publishers which do not own the digital rights.

An interview with Rowling can be seen at the BBC.

Today is National HIV Testing Day

Today marks the seventeenth National HIV Testing Day.

The National Association of People With AIDS founded National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) in 1995 in response to the HIV epidemic's steady growth - especially in marginalized communities like people of color and men who have but also in middle-income neighborhoods where people thought, "it doesn't happen here."

All Americans need to know they should Take the Test, Take Control, at least once a year. And we should also know that people with HIV who are in treatment with HAART drugs are significantly less at risk for passing their virus on the others than people with HIV who are not in treatment.

Test-and-treat is not the whole answer to ending the epidemic, but it's an indispensable first step.


Apple iCloud kills MobileMe, storage, and galleries

PC Mag reports: When Apple made a big splash about its upcoming iCloud online service at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference early this month, quite a few questions remained about the fate MobileMe, the service iCloud replaces. The company has finally clarified these mysteries in a MobileMe to iCloud FAQ.

Among the foremost questions: Would iCloud continue to let users upload any file type they wish to iDisk? Would the service still offer Web hosting? Would it still offer the beautiful online photo galleries of MobileMe?

No, no, and no.

iDisk is gone, as is Web hosting and photo galleries. It remains to be seen, however, if third-party companies will develop apps that can replace these services, since Apple has said that iCloud storage would be accessible by approved apps in the iTunes and Mac App stores.

On June 30, 2012, iWeb sites, MobileMe photo galleries, and iDisk data will all cease to exist. On the same date or earlier if you move to iCloud sooner, synced Mac …

Pick Me Up of the Day

Kaylan Morgan Falgoust as featured on DNA.

Professional boys are "Rolling in the Deep"

The "cast" is made up of a lawyer, a novelist, two writers, a PR guy, an actor, a pharmaceuticals rep, and an architect...

Beyond New York, gay marriage faces hurdles

Nicholas Confessore of The New York Times looks at the movement beyond New York state:After a string of defeats in recent years from California to Maine, the movement to legalize same-sex marriage is hoping its unexpected victory in New York will revive efforts to legalize gay weddings around the nation.

But the movement’s success there could prove difficult to replicate. Twenty-nine states have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, while 12 others have laws against it. And many of those states where support for same-sex marriage is high have already acted on the issue.

Officials at several gay-rights organizations said they would seek to move quickly in Maryland, where legislation to legalize same-sex marriage was shelved in February by Democratic leaders concerned that it lacked the support to pass.

Advocates also said they hoped to resuscitate a marriage bill that died in the Rhode Island legislature this year.

Gay-rights groups are likely to seek ballot initiatives next year to ov…

New York marriage equality reactions

--> After Friday night's vote, New York state doubled the number of Americans living in a state with marriage equality.

--> Less than an hour after the New York legislature passed a marriage equality bill, the Empire State Building had "gone rainbow."

-->The White House responds: “The president has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples. That’s why he has called for repeal of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ and determined that his administration would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts. The states should determine for themselves how best to uphold the rights of their own citizens. The process in New York worked just as it should.”

--> Lady Gaga tweeted after the vote: "I can't stop crying. We did it kids."

--> Cyndi Lauper: I have never be prouder to be a lifelong New Yorker than I am today with the passage of marriage equality."

--> Wa…

Madonna comic book coming in August

The Marquee Blog reports: Madonna has been a fixture in nearly every genre of entertainment for almost four decades, and now fans of the material girl will be able to buy a comic book dedicated entirely to the star.

Female Force: Madonna will be released in August 2011. Written by CW Cooke and drawn by Michael Johnson, the 32-page biographical comic book will focus on the pop singer's humble beginnings and the series of life-changing events that ultimately led to her becoming one of the most iconic performers in history.

As part of the Female Force series, the quick read joins previous publications dedicated to other well-known women including Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, JK Rowling, Ellen DeGeneres and Betty White.

Female Force: Madonna will sell at comic book stores and online retailers for $3.99.

True Blood's Joe Manganiello for GQ

Werewolf Joe graces the pages of both GQ and Muscle & Fitness this month.

--> On a related note, season 4 of True Blood started last night. And if you ask me (which no one usually does) it was a rather disappointing start. Here's hoping things turn around. Or at the very least, we get more of shirtless Joe.

Britney Spears
"I Wanna Go"


Adele finds her voice and reschedules tour dates

ArtsBeat reports: Adele has announced new dates for the concerts on her North American tour that she had canceled because of laryngitis, along with some new shows.

Her next appearance will be on Aug. 9 at the Orpheum Theater in Vancouver, British Columbia, and after more shows in August she will return for several weeks in October, beginning Oct. 7 at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Here is the full schedule.

--> On the plus/plus side, she added a Miami date! Presale tickets for the Miami show will be made available at on July 20 at 10:00am EST. Tickets for this show will go on sale to the public July 22 at 10:00am EST.

Billy the Kid photograph fetches $2.3 million

A 130-year-old photo, billed as the only authenticated picture of legendary outlaw Billy the Kid, sold for $2.3 million at a Denver auction Saturday night.

The Kid reportedly paid 25 cents to have the photo taken in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

The Old West Show & Auction had estimated the tintype -- an early photographic technique that used metal plates -- to bring in between $300,000 and $400,000.

The winning bidder was billionaire William Koch who founded Oxbow Carbon, with reported sales of $4 billion annually. Koch comes from a well-known family whose last name has made headlines in the past year for their political involvement.

David Koch is William's twin. David and another brother, Charles, operate Koch Industries and are prominent conservative activists. Koch Industries is a large, privately owned conglomerate with interests ranging from petroleum to plastics to paper.

The outlaw was born Henry McCarty but was also known as William H. Bonney and Henry Antrim. Popular history h…

Thriller jacket sells for $1.8 million

MSNBC reports: A famed black-and-red calfskin jacket that Michael Jackson wore in the classic Thriller video has sold at auction for $1.8 million.

Darren Julien, president and CEO of Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, said the jacket was purchased Sunday by Milton Verret, a commodities trader from Austin, Texas.

The jacket is one of two Jackson wore during the filming of the 1983 Thriller video. The other one, in scuffed condition, is owned by the Jackson estate.

The jacket was designed by Deborah Landis, the wife of Thriller director John Landis. Jackson presented it to the vendors, Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush, his longtime costume designers.

"It is one of the most important pieces of rock 'n' roll memorabilia in history," Verret told Reuters. His collection also includes another Jackson jacket and guitars signed by members of U2.

Jackson wears the jacket in a scene with a troupe of zombies who rise from their graves and break into a dance routine. The 14-minut…

Weekend box office

Weekend Top Five:

#1 Cars 2 ($68M)
#2 Bad Teacher ($31M)
#3 Green Lantern ($18.4M)
#4 Super 8 ($12.1M)
#5 Mr. Popper's Penguins ($10.3M)

New York passes bill allowing same-sex marriage

Gay couples and proponents of gay rights have a reason to celebrate tonight, as the New York State Senate has passed a bill that allows same sex marriage.

New York will be the sixth, and largest, state in the union to adopt gay marriage. The bill will take effect 30 days after governor Andrew Cuomo signs it into law.

The decision, which passed 33-29, was the culmination of weeks of contentious debate and negotiations between Governor Cuomo and the GOP-controlled Senate. After the bill passed in the Assembly, it was unclear if the bill had secured enough votes to pass in the Senate. When a few notable undecideds joined the cause --including Republican Roy McDonald who famously defended his decision, saying "fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing" -- the scale in favor of gay marriage seemed to tip.

Gay rights advocates are hoping the vote will galvanize the movement around the country and help it regain momentum after an almost identical b…

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on gay marriage


Jerry Curl will be out until Monday

[Editor's note] Just had my last college exam (ever!) last night. Still decompressing. Jerry Curl will be back at full capacity on Monday. Until then, please enjoy the performance below:

Thanks Franc.

Anderson Cooper calls out Obama on gay marriage

Anderson Cooper called out President Obama on his Tuesday show for flip-flopping on gay marriage.

Obama is under increased scrutiny about his "evolving" views on gay rights in the wake of the battle for gay marriage in New York. Obama will be in the state on Thursday to attend a high-priced fundraiser with gay donors.

In his "Keeping Them Honest" segment, Cooper said, "New questions are being raised about what the president actually believes about gay marriage and whether his public opposition to it is real or just political posturing."

He then ran through the by-now familiar tale of President Obama's stance on gay marriage, from his initial written support for it in 1996 to his stated opposition to it when he began running for national office. (Obama advisers recently told The Huffington Post that his current position on the issue is that it should be left up to the states.)

Cooper played footage from the recent Netroots Nation Conference, where White Ho…

Newborn dropped off at fire station

NBC Miami reports: Authorities say firefighters found an infant with her umbilical cord still attached outside their South Florida fire station.

Coral Springs Fire Department spokesman Michael Moser says firefighters heard a noise outside about 9:20 p.m. Monday.

They initially thought it was either a cat or the sound of an infant over a cell phone. They found the baby outside, wrapped in t-shirts.

Firefighter James Gochenour says the crew used an obstetrics kit to detach the cord.

The baby was taken to Northwest Medical Center, in good condition. Florida's Safe Haven Law allows parents to drop off a newborn at a hospital or fire station without fear of prosecution. (Thank goodness!)

Moser says Safe Haven for Newborns will take care of the child's placement.

Pick Me Up of the Day

Tiago Pettersen as featured on EyeCandy.

Hobbit cast adds Evangeline Lilly, Dame Edna and Sherlock Holmes

ArtsBeat reports: Peter Jackson’s ever-expanding film adaptation of The Hobbit just got bigger.

In a Facebook post published over the weekend, Mr. Jackson announced that his two-movie version of that J. R. R. Tolkien fantasy novel would feature Evangeline Lilly, a Lost alumna; Barry Humphries, the comedian best known for his garish alter ego, Dame Edna Everage; and Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the title character on the television series Sherlock.

Mr. Jackson said that Ms. Lilly, a Canadian actress, would play a newly created elf character named Tauriel. He wrote: “Her name means ‘daughter of Mirkwood’ and, beyond that, we must leave you guessing! (No, there is no romantic connection to Legolas.)”

Mr. Humphries, who is Australian, is set to play the Goblin King “in much the way Andy Serkis created Gollum,” Mr. Jackson wrote. (Mr. Serkis’s portrayal of that “Lord of the Rings” character was presented with computer graphics generated from his live performance, though Mr. Jackson did not…

Hangover Part II biggest R-rated comedy ever

According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, The Hangover Part II reached $488.7 million in worldwide box office receipts making it the most successful R-rated comedy of all time.

The sequel surpassed the $467.5 million earned worldwide by the original film.

"Through Sunday, 'Hangover II’s' international gross was $256 million, while it has earned $232.7 million so far in North America," The Hollywood Reporter said. "Internationally, the biggest territories include the U.K. ($48 million), Germany ($31.5 million) and Australia ($30.4 million)."

The film has yet to open in Japan and Spain.

Amy Winehouse cancels remainder of European tour

Amy Winehouse has canceled the remainder of her 12-city European concert tour, the singer's representative said today.

"Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen," representative Chris Goodman said in a statement.

Audience members in Belgrade, Serbia, booed Winehouse off the stage Saturday night just a few songs into the first concert of the tour.

Videos recorded by audience members showed Winehouse apparently having difficulty singing some of the lines of her songs. Audience members and her back-up singers filled in the gaps at times.

Winehouse on Sunday canceled appearances in Istanbul and Athens. The decision to cancel the remainder of the tour was announced today.

Winehouse recently left a British rehab program that a representative said was intended to prepare her for the European concerts.

"Despite feeling sure that she wanted to fulfill these commitments, she has ag…

Lance Bass launches search for ultimate boy band

The Marquee Blog reports: As New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys enjoy a career comeback with a joint concert tour, *NSYNC star Lance Bass is hoping to have a hit of his own. The singer is producing a new reality show that aims to find the ultimate boy band.

"It's going to be really fun," Bass tells Vulture. "It's a really great music show, starring all your favorite boy bands."

So what's the concept?

"I got a member from Backstreet Boys, A.J. McLean. A member from *NSYNC, Joey Fatone. A member from New Kids on the Block, Joe McIntyre. And a member from New Edition, Bobby Brown," says Bass. "They're all going to form a boy band, each, from the most talented guys in America that I've scouted, and then they'll go head-to-head in a competition to see who the best band is."

In other words, the former teen idols must choose their men wisely or it's "Bye Bye Bye."

Adds Bass, "It's bragging rights for the…

Marie Osmond joining Bold and the Beautiful

With all she has done in her career, there's still one thing Marie Osmond has not done that she can now check off of her list: appear on a soap.

Osmond told Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet at the 38th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards that she has agreed to take a role on the CBS daytime drama.

Standing with one of the soaps stars and an Osmond family friend, Adam Gregory who plays Thomas Forrester, Osmond joked about becoming a daytime actress.

"That's right, you only have 'One Life to Live,' and 'All My Children' asked me to do a soap, so I'm doing 'The Bold and the Beautiful,' 'cause I'm bold, and he's beautiful," the NutriSystem spokeswoman and former Dancing with the Stars contestant said.

Asked whether she would be playing Gregory's love interest on the show, Osmond joked that anything is possible as she is only "7 years older" than the actor.

--> And before you ask, I have no clue who the hunk …

Critics' Choice Award winners

EW reports: The Critics' Choice Television Awards -- created by the recently established Broadcast Television Critics Association -- were designed in part to be a counterpoint to the annual Emmy Awards (and the more established TCA Awards).

The winners of the first annual CCTAs, however, echoed several Emmy winners of the recent past: AMC's Mad Men took home Best Drama; ABC's Modern Family won Best Comedy; Best Actress in a Comedy went to 30 Rock's Tina Fey; and The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons earned Best Actor in a Comedy.

Check out the full list of winners here.

Teenager arrested over Sony hack

CNN reports: A teenager has been arrested near London in connection with the hacking of Sony, London's Metropolitan Police said today.

The 19-year-old is suspected of hacking into systems and mounting denial of service attacks against "a number of international businesses and intelligence agencies," police said. Naming suspects who have been arrested in Britain is illegal.

Sony's PlayStation Network went down on April 20 after what Sony said was a massive data breach. It had more than 70 million subscribers at the time. It began coming back online in mid-May. The PlayStation Store did not reopen until June 2.

The company estimated the cost of that attack will total $171 million.

Hackers later broke into Sony Pictures' website, compromising the accounts of over 1 million users, and the gaming company Sega, stealing nearly 1.3 million users' details via a British subsidiary of the Japanese company. Sega makes games for PlayStation and other gaming systems.

The suspe…