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Showing posts from January, 2012

Reflections on last night's Drag Race

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[Editor's note] Let me preface this by saying I know exactly 3 things about drag queens: 1) Priscilla Queen of the Desert 2) Miss Coco Peru and 3) the steps set fourth by Miss Vida Boheme. A fine trinity of Queer Bibledom to be sure.

Well last night, at the behest of some gay pals, I was invited to watch the first episode (of the 4th season) of RuPaul's Drag Race. Bad gay that I am, I haven't really seen much of the previous seasons. Strict TV schedules, like boyfriends, are hard for me to stick to. But I digress...

So last night's episode inappropriately touched my inner gay geek. The opening challenge was to design a drag zombie for what was dubbed the "Rupocalypse".

Of course they were all cool, and fabulous, and brassy. Not least of which Miami's own Latrice Royale. But truth be told, one queen stood out above the rest. Her name? Sharon Needles, AKA:

<-- This bitch.

The scary-lookin' mother fella here before you had me in her corner at first glan…

Nearly 500 boys dress as Mahatma Gandhi, break record

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The Daily Mail reports: Dressed in matching skin-coloured caps, round spectacles and grey moustaches, these young children are taking part in a lookalike record attempt like no other.

The 485 children donned matching outfits in honour of Mahatma Gandhi, the iconic Indian spiritual leader who was assassinated 64 years ago to the day.

As well as the peace leader's trademark round glasses and moustache, the boys also sported white robes to mimic his traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, as well as holding walking sticks.

Their march was an attempt to bring alive memories of Gandhi's historic Dandi march in March 1930 which sparked India's independence movement.

More pictures here.

Authenticity of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man questioned

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Life's Little Mysteries reports: Leonardo da Vinci's drawing of a male figure perfectly inscribed in a circle and square, known as the "Vitruvian Man," illustrates what he believed to be a divine connection between the human form and the universe. Beloved for its beauty and symbolic power, it is one of the most famous images in the world. However, new research suggests that the work, which dates to 1490, may be a copy of an earlier drawing by Leonardo's friend.

Another illustration of a divinely proportioned man — the subject is Christ-like, but the setting is strikingly similar to Leonardo's — has been discovered in a forgotten manuscript in Ferrara, Italy.

Both drawings are depictions of a passage written 1,500 years earlier by Vitruvius, an ancient Roman architect, in which he describes a man's body fitting perfectly inside a circle (the divine symbol) and inside a square (the earthly symbol). It was a geometric interpretation of the ancient belief that…

Adele announces Grammy performance

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This will be the British pop singer's first live televised performance since undergoing vocal chord surgery in November. Adele broke the news to fans over Twitter today.

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Tommy Dion as featured on Queerty.

Happy birthday Carol Channing!

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--> To commemortate the legendary Carol Channing's 91st birthday, I give you my favorite number from Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Disney’s releases lost song from Lady and the Tramp

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The Wall Street Journal reports: Over the decades, the Disney empire has cranked out a long list of memorable tunes.

But, it turns out, Disney still has some classic songs in the vaults. The coming special edition Blu-ray of the 1955 animated film Lady and the Tramp will feature a song called “I’m Free” that has never been officially released.

If the song “I’m Free” is so good, why did it get cut? According to Disney, Lady and the Tramp went through a long development process that started in the 1930s. At the very beginning, the character that would end up becoming the Tramp had different names (including Boris) and was conceived of as more of a rogue. After his character evolved, ”Lady and Boris” didn't have the same ring to it, so the song “I’m Free” was dropped.

The composition was recently recorded by Marco Marinangeli for the Blu-ray edition. The lyrics are by Ray Gilbert (“Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”), the music by Eliot Daniel (composer of the theme song for “I Love Lucy”).

Lady and the…

Madonna releases cover art for MDNA

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[Editor's note] On every possible level, this gets a YES! It's a beautifully designed cover. After the tragedy of Hard Candy, I'm glad to see Madonna is back to polished perfection. Love, love, love where this is going.

Madge also appeared on The Tonight Show last night to talk about The Super Bowl, performing live, MDNA, and W.E.

Watch the full interview after the break:

The View ladies discuss outing gay (and dead) celebrities

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The related story can be read here.

Even with a Jonas, How to Succeed has box-office drop

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ArtsBeat reports: After 11 months of strong ticket sales, the box-office receipts for the Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without ReallyTrying fell sharply last week as the actor and musician Nick Jonas took over the starring role of the corporate schemer J. Pierrepont Finch.

According to data released yesterday by the Broadway League, the gross of $682,879 for the standard eight performances was the lowest amount for How to Succeed since early preview performances last March.

How to Succeed took in around $1 million a week for much of 2011, when Daniel Radcliffe played Finch, peaking at $1.9 million recently in his final week between Christmas and New Year’s. The grosses then exceeded $1.3 million during each of the three weeks this month when Darren Criss (Glee) briefly filled the role. Mr. Criss’s solid sales were due in part to the laws of supply and demand, given his limited stint; Mr. Jonas is due to play Finch through July 1.

Late January is also one of the slowest …

How To Succeed’s Michael Urie and Nick Jonas discuss their bromance

OK Go make educational video for Sesame Street

Rockers OK Go are using their viral video expertise to help teach kids about the wonders of color.

The group has created the catchy and educational tune "3 Primary Colors" for the beloved children's program Sesame Street, and will debut a funky new video for the song during the show's February 2nd episode.

Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger & Steve Jones out of X Factor

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--> I didn't watch X Factor, but I'm sorry to read about Paula. She's my kinda cray-cray. Also, that Steve Jones is hella dreamy.

Anyway, the Huffington Post has the story. Updated image via Dlisted.

Occupy DC camps remain as deadline passes

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CNN reports: Defiant but festive, Occupy DC protesters hunkered down early today as a deadline passed for U.S. Park Police to begin enforcing a ban on camping in two Washington parks.

"We're just having a great party," said Occupy DC representative Sara Shaw. "We've camped since October so it's a lot like any other night. We're all staying awake and looking out for each other."

Until now, Occupy protesters have been allowed to remain under a Park Service interpretation that considered the activity a "24-hour vigil."

But on Friday, the National Park Service set a noon Monday deadline for protesters who have occupied the parks for months to remove their camping gear.

Park officials said protesters would be allowed to remain around the clock and keep up tents, so long as one side of each tent remains open at all times so they can see inside.

Early this morning, the scene at McPherson Park was largely quiet. Some milled around, with little hint of …

Romney to meet with NBC about Brokaw clip in ad

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Mitt Romney's team plans to meet with NBC to address the network's request his campaign pull an ad attacking Newt Gingrich that uses NBC Nightly News footage from 1997.

"We will sit down with the lawyers and talk to the folks at NBC and make a decision on that front," Romney told Matt Lauer on Today from Jacksonville, Fla., where he is campaigning in advance of today's primary.

"We'll certainly consider that very carefully; obviously, this was not something taken from hidden files, this was on the evening news, so it should hardly come as a revealing piece for people who watch it."

In the Romney ad, then-NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw delivers the news that Gingrich had been sanctioned by members of the Republican Party and had been asked to step down as Speaker of the House. It is one of a series of ads the Romney campaign has employed against Gingrich to slow down his momentum following his victory in the South Carolina GOP primary.

While the ads…

Romney riding high ahead Florida primary today.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

--> In related news: Voting opened with the latest polls showing former Massachusetts Governor Romney with a double-digit lead over former House Speaker Gingrich among likely Republican voters, after a week of nasty back and forth between the two frontrunners. (Via NBC Miami)

The Funnies
Election 2012 Edition

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Romney carved a lechón in Hialeah

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The Miami Herald reports: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney received a warm, Cuban-American welcome -- complete with the requisite lechón -- Sunday afternoon in Hialeah, Miami-Dade County's most heavily Hispanic, Republican stronghold.

Speaking to a crowd of a couple hundred outside Casa Marin, a traditional Hialeah political spot, Romney spoke about his love for his family, the military, freedom and the United States, repeating important themes for older, Cuban-American voters that form the base of Miami-Dade's Hispanic Republican electorate.

"Gifts to people who are fundamentally evil are always accepted and never returned," Romney said, criticizing President Barack Obama's policy toward Cuba, which allowed for more remittances and travel to the island.

The president is full of "excuses" for the stalled economy, Romney said -- and accused his chief GOP primary rival, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, of relying on "excuses" to justify his…

Cher reveals her favorite things, circa 1970

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Edina and Pats for British Vogue

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The Absolutely Fabulous Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone are the chicest, most stylish campaign stars of the season - and they're not afraid to strike a pose for the cameras in Alexis Bittar's new campaign.

"I am a massive fan! From the first episode I inherited the word 'sweetie' for five years," Bittar told British Vogue. "It got to the point where it was nauseating and I was forced to stop. I have a tremendous respect for their talent. I was beyond excited to meet and get to work with them. On set, it was one of those rare instances in my life where I was totally star struck."

Jennifer Saunders, as her alter ego Edina Monsoon, turned on Stella McCartney's Christmas lights this year - before the British designer popped up in the Ab Fab Christmas special - but Stella opted for the more traditional form of Natalia Vodianova for her spring/summer 2012 campaign.

"How cool was that," Joanna Lumley enthused as soon as the cameras were turned off…

Bullied gay teen's suicide note reveals torment

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The Huffington Post reports: A published excerpt from a suicide note and comments made by friends at a memorial service are shedding new light on a gay teen filmmaker who took his own life earlier this month.

San Diego Gay & Lesbian News contributor Melanie Nathan, who attended one of several memorials dedicated to Eric James Borges (known as 'EricJames' to his friends), quotes from the note:

"To my friends you gave me life and love, never think this was your fault," one segment reads. "To Lady Gaga, you have been a fearless relentless proud LGBT advocate..."

The 19-year-old Borges, who worked as an intern for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth advocacy group The Trevor Project, also expresses his gratitude to the organization: “I do not want my passing to reflect poorly on the Trevor Project,” he wrote. “That organization was the best decision I ever made in my life.”

The note concludes: “My pain is not caused because I am gay. My …

David Beckham's H&M underwear commercial

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It will officially debut on TV during Sunday's Super Bowl, but H&M put the vid up on Youtube this weekend.

(Via HuffPo)

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Russell as featured on Homotography.

Stephen Colbert gets wild with Maurice Sendak

New tell-all book reveals sexual exploits of Old Hollywood

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Brooks Barnes writes for The New York Times:

Straight actors who wanted to pay for sex in the 1990s had Heidi Fleiss. Gay ones during the late 1940s and beyond apparently had Scotty Bowers.

His story has floated through moviedom’s clubby senior ranks for years: Back in a more golden age of Hollywood, a guy named Scotty, a former Marine, was said to have run a type of prostitution ring for gay and bisexual men in the film industry, including A-listers like Cary Grant, George Cukor and Rock Hudson, and even arranged sexual liaisons for actresses like Vivien Leigh and Katharine Hepburn.

Now, he’s talking.

Mr. Bowers, 88, recalls his highly unorthodox life in a ribald memoir scheduled to be published by Grove Press on Feb. 14, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars. Written with Lionel Friedberg, an award-winning producer of documentaries, it is a lurid, no-detail-too-excruciating account of a sexual Zelig who (if you believe him) trawled an X-rated und…

Kermit and Miss Piggy fire back at FOX

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You may remember how Eric Bolling of FOX Business' Follow the Money took The Muppets to task last December as an example of how "liberal media" tries to "brainwash our kids" against big business -- specifically big oil. If you don't recall, click here.

Well, at a recent press conference in the United Kingdom to promote the film, the frog and pig fought back.

--> In related news: Kermit delivers a very poignant piece of advice.

Occupy DC faces noon deadline to end camping

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Occupy protesters in the nation's capital were preparing for a noon deadline set by federal park authorities to end camping at some of the movement's last remaining large encampments, with some "surprises" in store, one of the activists said.

The National Park Service said in a flier released Friday that it would begin enforcing regulations prohibiting camping and the use of temporary structures for camping at McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza. Individual violators may be subject to arrest and their property subject to seizure as evidence, the flier said.

Justin Jacoby Smith, a 25-year-old activist with OccupyKSt, said the protesters at McPherson Square had plans for the deadline -- a "tent of dreams" was mentioned on their twitter feed, but he noted: “We’re still sort of keeping the specifics under wraps … we like to have surprises when we can.”

“Today what we’re trying to do is make sure that everyone knows that when you enforce a regulation against sleepin…

Christina Aguilera sings & drips at Etta James' funeral

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--> Unfortunately, this also happened. XTina just can't catch a break.

Madonna to release new single, video this week

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Towleroad reports: The Madonna Super Bowl/MDNA assault begins this week with her new single “Give Me All Your Luvin’” featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A. set for release two days before her Super Bowl halftime performance.

The song was written by Madonna, Martin Solveig, Nicki Minaj and M.I.A, composed by Martin Solveig and Michael Tordjman and produced by Madonna and Martin Solveig.

The image above is the official cover art for the single.

The video for “Give Me All Your Luvin,” directed by Megaforce, is football and cheerleader themed - inspired by her upcoming Super Bowl appearance. Madonna will world preview the video for her new single during American Idol on Thursday. The full video for “Give Me All Your Luvin’” will premiere on Madonna’s YouTube channel on February 3rd at 9am EST/6am PST.

In addition to her reunion with Ray of Light producer William Orbit, other co-producers on MDNA include Martin Solveig, The Demolition Crew, Marco “Benny” Benassi and Alessandro “Alle” Benassi, Ha…

Sh*t Madonna says

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--> I love Charlie Hides and all that he does.

Naked Boys Singing closes after 13 years

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Photo caption: Michael Chapman in Naked Boys Singing in 2007.
ArtsBeat reports: The Naked City got a little more modest this weekend when “Naked Boys Singing!,” the all-male, all-nude musical revue, closed on Saturday night after an almost 13-year run in New York.

Conceived and directed by Robert Schrock, Naked Boys Singing! originated at the Celebration Theater in Hollywood in 1998. The show opened in New York at the Actors Playhouse in the West Village in 1999, with Mr. Schrock also directing. The premise is like any other revue, but naked: actors come out unclothed and spend some 70 minutes singing and dancing to mostly gay-themed numbers about the male form and people who love it.

Still the most unusual performance came when gay nudists bought the entire house one Saturday night. After Actors’ Equity and the city’s board of health signed off, the nudist event was given the green light.

“They all came in and they were all dressed,” said Carl White, a producer and the general manager of…

Obama boosts Al Green song sales

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In silly news: President Barack Obama probably hopes his plans to reform financial aid programs are executed as well as his unintentional initiative to boost the music industry.

After Obama sang the first line of Al Green's “Let's Stay Together” at a January 19 fund-raising event at New York's Apollo Theater, the song got a 490% sales boost, according to Nielsen SoundScan via Billboard.

The video of Obama singing went viral, prompting 16,000 downloads to be sold that week, Billboard reported.

“Don’t worry, Rev. I cannot sing like you, but I just wanted to show my appreciation,” Obama said to Green (who was also in attendance) after his short serenade.

(Via The Marquee Blog)

Screen Actors Guild Award winners

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Photo caption: Cast of The Help

The Hollywood Reporter reports: The biggest and brightest stars of film and television came together on Sunday, Jan. 29 to honor their peers at the 18th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer took home the evening's first awards for supporting actor and actress, while Alec Baldwin, Kate Winslet, Betty White and the casts of Modern Family and Boardwalk Empire were among the others earning nods during the ceremony. Receiving the night's top honors were Jean Dujardin for best actor in a leading role, Viola Davis for best female actor in a leading role and The Help for best ensemble in a motion picture.

Mary Tyler Moore accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from Dick Van Dyke midway through the show, taking the opportunity to explain why she chose to use her middle name to separate herself from the six other Mary Moore's already on SAG's roster in the early stages of her Hollywood career.

So much more you do…

Weekend box office

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Weekend Top Five:

#1 The Grey ($20M)
#2 Underworld: Awakening ($12.5M)
#3 One for the Money ($11.8M)
#4 Red Tails ($10.4M)
#5 Man on a Ledge ($8.25M)

Catching up with Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert discusses his shady side, “straight-jackets,” nastiness, naked love, party buses, hot Messes, turning 30, finding love & finding his voice.

More at Yahoo! Music here and here.

Matt Bomer to play Darren Criss' brother on Glee

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In perfect casting news comes word that Matt Bomer is in talks to make a guest appearance on Glee as the brother of Darren Criss's character Blaine Anderson, reports TV Line's Michael Ausiello.

Ausiello reveals that the episode that will finally reveal members of the Anderson family will air in April. White Collar star Bomer, who revealed a rich baritone singing voice during the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors, will also appear in Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy's upcoming film The Normal Heart.

(Via The Advocate)

Madison's LGBT community says It Gets Better

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Pick Me Up of the Day

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Diego as featured on DNA.

Twitter to censor Tweets in some countries

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Twitter, according to its official description, promises to offer up the "latest information about what you find interesting." There's now a caveat to that, however: The social media service will offer up the latest information about what you find interesting -- and what your government deems acceptable.

Twitter announced yesterday that the company now has the ability to censor tweets on a country-by-country basis, allowing the popular microblogging site to comply with local governments' request to remove or block certain content.

"Until now, the only way we could take account of those countries' limits was to remove content globally. Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country -- while keeping it available in the rest of the world," Twitter wrote in a blog post. "We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why."

The company noted…

Bette Midler (on Johnny Carson)
"Fat As I Am"

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RIP Epstein

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The Clicker reports: Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Luis Pedro Philippo DeHuevos Epstein on 1970s hit Welcome Back, Kotter, has died at 60.

A spokesman at JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J., told the Star-Ledger newspaper that Hegyes, of Metuchen, arrived at the hospital in the morning in full cardiac arrest and died.

Hegyes' Epstein was one of the Sweathogs, remedial wisecracking students taught by Gabe Kotter (Gabe Kaplan). His character, a Puerto Rican Jew, was known for constantly attempting to pass off notes he would write to try and get out of tests or class, always signing the notes "Epstein's Mother."

Hegyes, already 24 when he started in Kotter in 1975, was just six years younger than Kaplan. Hegyes also worked as a director on the popular show, which ran from 1975-1979 and helped launch co-star John Travolta as a major star.

Hegyes also appeared on numerous TV shows, including The Love Boat, Chico and the Man and NewsRadio, and movies including Bob Roberts and…

MDNA teaser: Madonna in the studio with M.I.A. and Martin Solveig

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Towleroad reports: Madonna released a 30-second clip yesterday featuring a studio session with producer/DJ Martin Solveig and MIA, presumably featuring a taste of her upcoming single, "Give Me All Your Luvin", which is out officially next week.

U.S. and France honor Miles Davis and Édith Piaf with stamps

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ArtsBeat reports: Both Miles Davis and Édith Piaf were both maverick, contrarian performers, esteemed even more after their deaths. So it makes sense that they should now be recognized simultaneously with stamps issued in their honor.

The United States and France announced yesterday that both countries would issue separate stamps this year to commemorate the artists and their music.

The stamps show both performers in characteristic poses: Davis, the jazz trumpet player who died in 1991, arched back with his instrument to his lips, and Piaf, the singer who died in 1963, with her hands dramatically extended.

In the United States the stamps will be part of the Forever series, which are equal in value to the prevailing first-class letter rate; as part of the same program the writer O. Henry, the actor José Ferrer, the entertainer Danny Thomas and the magazine publisher John H. Johnson will also be honored this year.

Reaction from admirers of the often-prickly Davis, who is following in the…

ABBA to release first new song in 18 years

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Rolling Stone reports: ABBA has announced plans to reissue their final album, The Visitors, with a previously unreleased song on April 23rd.

"From a Twinkling Star to a Passing Angel," a demo recorded around the time The Visitors was released in 1981, will be the first new ABBA recording released since the box set Thank You for the Music was issued in 1994.

The new version of The Visitors will also include six previously released bonus tracks and a DVD featuring rare and unreleased footage from the Swedish pop band's archives, including their last-ever live performance on the BBC's Late Late Breakfast Show in December of 1982.

ABBA disbanded in 1982 and have since refused to reunite. The band even declined to get back together for their induction in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Millions in SOPA lobbying bucks gone to waste

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CNN Money reports: The controversial anti-piracy bills that attracted tens of millions of dollars of lobbying for and against the proposed laws ironically were killed by free publicity.

"Old" media companies spent huge sums of money in support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). Those opposed -- Internet and "new media" companies -- lobbied hard and spent gobs too, though far less than their more organized rivals.

But Silicon Valley had a trick up its sleeve that trumped the millions of dollars more in lobbying muscle and the more established Washington presence of the old media guard: They reached out directly to their users for free.

Google, Wikipedia and others altered their homepages and websites in opposition of the bills last week, making the issue a topic of popular discussion across the country.

"The Internet really flexed their muscles during this fight, and their infrastructure helped them advocate thei…

Majority of Americans would vote out every member of Congress

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NBC reports: In a country sharply divided on almost every issue, most Americans agree on one thing: they don’t like Congress.

Fifty-six percent of registered voters say they would vote out every member of Congress if there were a place on the ballot to do so. That’s the highest response in favor of the question since it was first asked in March 2010.

And they say so across the ideological spectrum – with 55% of liberals, 55% of moderates, and 58% of conservatives all feeling the same way.

“We found the one area in which all people in the country agree,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart.

Combine that with Congress continuing to be at near-record lows in approval at 13% and all members of Congress are at risk, McInturff said.

But there are also warning signs specifically for Republicans.

More people say the GOP has brought the wrong kind of change (31%) in Congress than the right kind (12$). That represents a drop for the…

Fireworks from Romney and Gingrich in Florida debate

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Costa offers $14,460 per person for cruise

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Costa Crociere SpA is offering uninjured passengers ($14,460) (11,000 Euros) apiece to compensate them for lost baggage and psychological trauma after its cruise ship ran aground and capsized off Tuscany when the captain deviated from his route.

Costa, a unit of the world's biggest cruise operator, the Miami-based Carnival Corp., also said it would reimburse passengers the full costs of their cruise, their travel expenses and any medical expenses sustained after the grounding.

The agreement was announced today after negotiations between Costa representatives and Italian consumer groups who say they represent 3,206 cruise ship passengers from 61 countries who suffered no physical harm when the Costa Concordia hit a reef on Jan. 13.

The deal does not apply to the hundreds of crew on the ship, the roughly 100 cases of people injured or the families who lost loved ones.

Passengers are free to pursue legal action on their own if they aren't satisfied with the deal. Some consumer gr…

More sh*t gay people say

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Sh*t gay guys say to straight guys:



Sh*t Grindr tricks say:

Cee Lo Green and LMFAO rumored to join Madonna at Super Bowl

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Cee Lo Green is rumored to be performing with Madonna at the Super Bowl, MTV reports:
According to sources, the singer has asked The Voice judge to perform with her at the February 5 show. The Insider reports that he's been flying to New York to rehearse with the pop icon. The sources add that he will contribute his signature flair to some of her classic tunes.MIA and Nicki Minaj have already been floated as possible guest performers.

Meanwhile, will.i.am is reportedly saying that LMFAO is performing with Madonna: "I’m going to the Super Bowl this year to see my group LMFAO perform with Madonna. Check that out, Will.i.am Music Group is pretty freaking two for two. One year the Super Bowl the next year another group part of the Super Bowl in collaboration with Madonna. That’s still happening."

In related news: Madonna joins Anderson Cooper today on his daytime show. A preview of that here.

Aphrodite's Men: Kylie's dancers

The teasers can be seen here.

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Joshua as featured on DNA.

Fukushima's animals abandoned and left to die

--> Warning: Some images here are graphic.

NASA releases high definition image of Earth

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NASA "Blue Marble 2012" yesterday, a view of the home planet that the agency calls the "most amazing high definition image of Earth."

Unlike the original Blue Marble -- the iconic 1972 photograph taken by the Apollo 17 crew while they were on their way to the moon -- this composite image is made from data collected by the Suomi NPP satellite.

The Suomi NPP collected the data for the image from multiple passes of the Earth on January 4, 2012. The satellite orbits the planet 14 times per day at an altitude of 512 miles.

NASA says the satellite, which was launched on October 28, will collect data for forecasting weather and help scientists better understand climate change.

(Via HuffPo)

Kim Kardashian raises $50K for Trevor Project

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[Editor's note] I've tried to keep the Curl a Kardashian-free zone. However, this news item can't be overlooked:

Whether out of true selflessness or as a public mea culpa following her disastrous divorce, Kim Kardashian has given $50,000 to the Trevor Project, a suicide hotline for LGBT and questioning youth.

Kardashian chose the Trevor Project as her charity of choice for a fundraising event with Cantor Fitzgerald, the New York investment firm that donates money in the name of employees killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Kardashian is reportedly so taken with the Trevor Project, she plans to visit one of the call centers. The reality star, who fell out of favor after her short marriage with [hunky] basketball star Kris Humphries was widely perceived as a publicity stunt, has also contributed to the NOH8 campaign, which raises money for marriage equality in California.

(Via the Advocate)

Elizabeth Warren says It Gets Better

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Consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren, who is running against Republican Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, also sat down with Jon Stewart to talk about government's role in the private sector and reinvesting in the middle class.

Says Warren: "The people who are sucking up the real resources in this country are the people who can hire the lobbyists, and unfortunately America's middle class doesn't have lobbyists fighting for them."

Watch the Daily Show segments here.

Marriage equality advocates ready for Maine referendum

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The AP reports: Marriage equality advocates in Maine have collected the signatures necessary to bring the issue back to the ballot in 2012 and may announce their decision to do so today.

State lawmakers had passed a marriage bill signed into law by Gov. John Baldacci in June of 2009, but voters narrowly overturned the law a few months later.

EqualityMaine, Maine Civil Liberties Union and the Maine Women's Lobby will announce today whether they plan to deliver the petitions and carry through with a referendum. National gay-rights leaders, for their part, anticipate that a gay marriage campaign will be launched.

Maine is currently the only state in New England that doesn't allow either gay marriage or civil unions.

Starbucks & Google endorse marriage equality in Washington State

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Google and Starbucks have joined a list of companies supporting marriage equality legislation in Washington state, the Belingham Herald reports.

Starbucks said in a statement:This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners. It is core to who we are and what we value as a company. We are proud of our Pride Alliance Partner Network group, which is one of the largest Employer Resource Groups for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees in the U.S., helping to raise awareness about issues in the communities where we live and work.According to Washington United for Marriage, which backs the legislation, Microsoft, Nike and Group Health Plan have already endorsed the legislation.

The marriage equality legislation picked up the 25th and final vote needed in the state Senate for pass the law.

View a list of companies officially supporting the legislation here.

Chuck Prophet
"White Night, Big City"

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Towleroad reports: Singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet's new music video is inspired by the riots that ensued after Supervisor Dan White's manslaughter conviction for the assassination of Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone following his infamous "Twinkie defense".

The track is the first single from Prophet's new album, Temple Beautiful.

Adele racks up two No.1’s this week

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ArtsBeat reports: If anyone still doubted the commercial appeal of an old-fashioned soul singer who can channel raw emotion into song, Adele has put those doubts to rest. Not since 1993 has an album remained at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart for as long as her album, 21.

That album finished its 17th week atop the sales chart since its release in the United States last February, selling 95,000 copies last week. That’s the best any album has done since The Bodyguard soundtrack, released in 1993, was on top for 20 weeks, Billboard reported.

A single from Adele’s album, “Set Fire to the Rain,” rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 song chart, which measures radio airplay and sales, pushing Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” featuring Calvin Harris, out of the top position that it had held for 10 weeks.

“Set Fire to the Rain” is the third single from Adele’s album to reach the top of the songs chart, along with “Rolling in the Deep” last May and “Someone Like You” in September.

The rest of the To…

Sh*t Miami people say

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--> The only one missed was "That's so cue...!"

Miami is 2nd rudest city in America

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NBC Miami reports: Believe it or not, Miami is the second-rudest city in the country – according to Travel + Leisure.

In new rankings released as part of its “America’s Favorite Cities” survey, the magazine’s readers deemed the Magic City to be quite rude – even more so than the ugly politics of Washington, D.C. (#3), L.A. (#4), and the smart-mouthing and championship-gloating of Boston (#5).

The magazine’s listing for Miami said that people here are “gorgeous, a little wild, and terrible drivers.”

“While bad weather may explain crabbiness in some cities, Miami can’t use that excuse,” Travel + Leisure said. “Voters are willing to shrug it off, though, as long as they are whooping it up in one of the city’s many loud settings, such as its bar scene or its raucous New Year’s Eve.”

The “capital of crabbiness”? New York.

More of the 35 cities listed on this survey can be seen here.

GOP hopefuls scramble for Florida Hispanic votes

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The New York Times reports: The leading Republican candidates were appealing for the votes of South Florida’s Hispanic voters yesterday, with the campaigns of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich skirmishing over an advertisement that branded Mr. Romney as anti-immigration.

The Spanish-language radio advertisement by the Gingrich campaign called Mr. Romney “the most anti-immigrant candidate” in the field. That drew a strong condemnation from Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American who is remaining neutral in the race and who said in remarks to The Miami Herald that the advertisement was “inaccurate, inflammatory and doesn’t belong in this campaign.”

And Mr. Romney, addressing the commercial, called himself “pro-immigrant” in remarks before an event sponsored by Univision, the Spanish-language network. “It’s very sad for a candidate to resort to that kind of epithet,” he said.

The Gingrich campaign said it was pulling down the radio advertisement, because, Mr. Gingrich said, “I have great respe…

News roundup

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--> Election 2012: President Barack Obama launched a three-day visit to five battleground states today by pressing State of the Union themes of core American values and having the wealthy pay more taxes.

At an Iowa manufacturing plant that he said represented the kind of job creation needed for the economy, Obama repeatedly drew applause for the apparent central message of his re-election bid -- that the country needs to keep alive equal opportunity for all.

Americans aren't looking for a handout, the president said, but want the security of knowing they can provide for their families, send their kids to college and save for retirement.

"That's all most people want. Folks don't have unrealistic ambitions," he said. "They do believe that if they work hard, they should be able to achieve that small measure of an American dream. That's what this country's about. That's what you deserve."

Later, Obama spoke at a $5 billion factory under construct…