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Showing posts from February, 2012

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Scott Buker as featured on Homotograhy.

The Oscar-winning animated short
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

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Books and the curative powers of storytelling are celebrated in the moving animated short from Moonbot Studios which won the Oscar this year.

Open Culture adds: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore offers a modern tribute to an old world. Made with an animation style that blends stop motion with computer animation and traditional hand-drawing, the silent film pays homage to a bygone era when elegantly printed books inhabited our world.

(Via Towleroad)

Lady Gaga and her mom launch foundation at Harvard

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Queerty reports: Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta will be launching their much-talked-about nonprofit group, the Born This Way Foundation, this afternoon at Harvard University.

Also in attendance will be Oprah, Deepak Chopra, and students protesting the University‘s decision not to confer posthumous degrees to nine gay students who were expelled in 1920!

If the storied Ivy League university seems an odd choice, it makes more sense when you learn that the Foundation is pairing up with a Harvard academic center.

In a profile of Cynthia on the Daily Beast, Abigail Pesta writes:Germanotta is quick to note that the focus of her new foundation is on “kindness, not meanness,” saying that “bullying is almost overused in the media.” The group plans to partner with three other groups—Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the MacArthur Foundation, and the California Endowment to Empower Youth—to help educate kids, Germanotta says, by connecting Gaga’s fan base with the progr…

Ryan Murphy plans musical with Beyoncé, Cameron, Gwyneth, and Reese

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The Advocate reports: Beyoncé, Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Reese Witherspoon will team for a Ryan Murphy–directed musical comedy titled One Hit Wonders, reports Deadline's Mike Fleming.

Diaz, Paltrow, and Witherspoon will portray singers who each scored a hit song in the 1990s before their careers unraveled and who decide to join together to form a supergroup. According to Fleming, the idea was developed during a dinner that Murphy hosted at a restaurant in Los Angeles.

"They wanted to do something fun together, and kicked around ideas until they settled on One Hit Wonders," he writes.

There's no information on the role Beyoncé will play, but Andy Samberg and his musical side project Lonely Island will help provide music for the film. Murphy will write the screenplay with Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan; all collaborate on Glee.

Kathie Lee & Hoda visit Suzanne Somers

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Kathie Lee and Hoda stop by for a visit with Suzanne Somers to talk about everything from their sex lives and stem cells to tequila and her Three's Company reunion.

--> I want a Tom of my own.

Ohio school shooter 'not well' prosecutor says

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Photo caption: T. J. Lane from his personal Facebook page

The AP reports: The 17-year-old suspect in a deadly rampage at an Ohio high school has appeared in juvenile court as the community grieves with relatives of the three students killed.

A prosecutor says suspect T.J. Lane admitted taking a .22-caliber pistol to Chardon High and firing 10 shots at a group of students sitting at a cafeteria table Monday.

A judge ordered Lane held for at least 15 days. The court hearing Tuesday offered few answers about what prompted the shootings.

A prosecutor described Lane as "someone who's not well" and said the teen didn't know the victims but chose them randomly.

A fourth student who was hurt remained hospitalized in serious condition late Tuesday. Police said an injured Chardon student was released from the hospital and was home with her family.

Apple to unveil iPad 3 March 7

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Apple, the world’s most valuable company, will hold a product event on March 7 in San Francisco, where it’s said to be releasing the third generation of its best-selling iPad tablet computer.

“We have something you really have to see. And touch,” Apple said today in an invitation, which features a picture of an iPad screen. The new device will sport a high-definition display, run a faster processor and work with speedier wireless networks, people familiar with the product said last month.

After pioneering the tablet market two years ago, Apple is counting on the new model to beat back competition from newer devices running Google’s Android software. The company has sold more than 55 million iPads, generating at least $34.5 billion in revenue. Amazon.com’s Kindle Fire, which uses Android, emerged as the iPad’s biggest rival over the holiday shopping season last year.

Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment beyond the information in the event …

25 alleged 'Anonymous' hackers held

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CNN reports: Police in Europe and South America have arrested 25 alleged members of the "Anonymous" hacking group, Interpol said, amid a suspected attack on its own website by the group's supporters.

The arrests include four people in Spain, 10 in Argentina, six in Chile and five in Colombia as part of a worldwide sweep carried out as part of Interpol operation "Exposure."

Interpol did not immediately announce charges against the 25.

After Interpol announced the attacks, its website failed to load, a fact acknowledged by Anonymous on Twitter with the message "interpol.int DOWN."

The Spanish police website also failed to load after it announced police had arrested four people in the country as part of the international action.

Spanish police said the four suspects were accused of carrying out denial of service attacks, defacing the websites of political parties, institutions and companies, as well as publishing personal information relating to high-profile…

Brian Williams & Jimmy Fallon get super freaky about Super PACs

Romney regains stride with victories in 2 states

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The New York Times reports: Mitt Romney fought back a vigorous challenge from Rick Santorum in Michigan yesterday, narrowly carrying his native state, and won the Arizona primary in a pair of contests that reasserted his control over the Republican presidential race as it advances to critical Super Tuesday contests next week.

His victory over Mr. Santorum in Michigan was far from commanding, but it was most likely sufficient to dampen the rising clamor from across the Republican Party about his ability to win over conservatives and connect with voters. The tussle with Mr. Santorum highlighted ample concerns about Mr. Romney, but his win spared his campaign from deep turmoil.

“I stand ready to lead our party to victory and our nation back to prosperity,” Mr. Romney told a jubilant crowd of supporters. “It’s a critical time in America.”

The victory by Mr. Romney in Arizona, which awarded him the state’s entire allotment of 29 delegates, was overshadowed by the battle in Michigan. He prevai…

Gay couple in Marine homecoming photo speaks out

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In lighter news: Brandon Morgan and Dalan Wells, the couple in the Marine homecoming photo that went viral over the weekend speak to Honolulu news station KHON.

Says Brandon: "This is a homecoming picture. Gay, straight, it doesn't matter who you are. Love is love. We haven't fought for more rights or better rights than others. We fought for equal rights. And now we have them."

One Million Moms threatens Toys R Us with boycott over gay

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Towleroad reports: One Million Moms, who last month went after JC Penney for hiring "open homosexual" Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson, has turned its attention to 'Toys R Us', threatening the toy chain with a boycott if it refuses to remove an Archie comics issue featuring the wedding of its gay character Kevin Keller from store shelves, Right Wing Watch reports.

One Million Moms is a project of the American Family Association, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Writes the group:
Toys 'R' Us employees do not actually set up the displays; they leave this up to the vendor, but they should be aware of the merchandise being sold in their stores nonetheless. These comic books are sold at the front checkout counters so they are highly visible to employees, managers, customers and children. Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in a toy store. This is the last place a parent would expect to be co…

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Zac Taylor as featured on Homotography.

Outed Arizona Sheriff says he's still running for Congress

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Last week the Phoenix New Times broke the story and outed the libertarian Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu who is running for Arizona’s 4th congressional district in Congress. If you're still catching up, Babeu allegedly threatened his Mexican immigrant ex-boyfriend Jose Orozco with deportation after he wouldn't promise to not disclose their relationship history.

Now, in an exclusive interview with the Washington Blade, Babeu said that he's "110 percent in the race for Congress" and that his election would be “very impactful and helpful” in changing “the views, perceptions, beliefs about who we are.”

“If they know me first as a sheriff, as a police officer who has responded to, literally, thousands and thousands of emergencies, has fought criminals, has actually saved lives and served our country in the military for 20-plus years … and when regular people see those accomplishments and those results first, then understand at a later point that I am gay, it changes people…

Nun at Oscars is former Elvis co-star

Darren Criss & Kermit duet before the Oscars

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The duo gave a rousing performance of "Rainbow Connection" at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Sunday.

Watch the video at E! Online.

Bradley Manning among those nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

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In WTF news: Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier accused of leaking classified material to WikiLeaks, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

A spokesman for the Nobel Peace Prize jury says 231 nominations have been submitted for this year's award, with publicly disclosed candidates including Manning and a former Ukrainian prime minister.

The secretive committee doesn't reveal who has been nominated, but those with nomination rights sometimes announce their picks. They include Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private charged with the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history, Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Norwegian Nobel Committee secretary Geir Lundestad told the AP yesterday that "The list of nominees is a mixture of repeated nominations and some new names."

--> I can't, I don't even...

Alan Ball to step down from True Blood

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ArtsBeat reports: Alan Ball, the television producer and screenwriter who has helped imbue the supernatural drama True Blood with its sex-saturated bite, is preparing to say fangs for the memories to that hit HBO series. Get it, fangs for the memories?

Anyway, the cable network announced last night that Mr. Ball, who won an Academy Award for writing American Beauty and an Emmy for directing the pilot episode of his HBO series Six Feet Under, would not remain the show runner of True Blood for a possible sixth season.

HBO said in a statement that according to the terms of Mr. Ball’s overall deal with the network, the plan for a potential Season 6 of True Blood was always that “Alan would take a supervisory role on the series and not be the day-to-day show runner.” The network added: “If we proceed to season six, the show will remain in the very capable hands of the talented team of writers and producers who have been with the show for a number of years.”

There’s just one hitch: True Blood,…

Madonna releases second MDNA single

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This is the lyric video for "Girl Gone Wild" by Madonna. I'm happy it's infinitely better than "Give Me All Your Luvin'".

MDNA will be released March 20th.

Dancing With the Stars names new cast

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Another year, another crop of sorta-celebrities willing to do the cha-cha on national television. ABC's Dancing With the Stars has revealed their list of stars for the 14th season of the show and it's a doozy.

Among the most notible and notorious are Gladys Knight, the lovely Maria Menounos, hunk-o-rama William Levy (pictured), and Steve Urkel.

This upcoming season DWTS could be the most difficult yet for the popular series. Dancing once ruled the Monday night ratings roost, but with NBC starting to show muscle with The Voice, the Tom Bergeron-hosted affair is facing pressure to step it up for its 14th season.

The show has faced some criticism lately with the series' lack of star power in recent seasons.

The whole list of yawn-inducing celebs can be found after the jump.

RIP Jan Berenstain

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CNNreports: The Berenstain Bears' co-creator Jan Berenstain has died at the age of 88, according to a Facebook page dedicated to the furry characters Berenstain and her husband created.

"It is with very sad hearts we inform you that our dear Jan died on Friday, February 24. We are grateful for all of your very kind thoughts. Please remember her family at this very difficult time," said a statement on the Berenstain Bears Facebook page.

Berenstain and her husband, Stan, were already successful cartoonists when they decided to transition to writing children's books.

According to publisher Harper Collins, The Big Honey Hunt, published in 1962, was the first book starring the bear family.

Since that time, more than 330 Berenstain Bears books have been published over the past 50 years, the publisher said. More than 260 million copies have been sold, making it one of the best-selling children's book series in history.

The Berenstain Bears stories were so popular that the st…

Second victim dies in Ohio high school shooting

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

High stakes in Arizona and Michigan GOP primaries

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CNN reports: In an election cycle that's seen more than its fair share of ups and downs, crucial primaries today in Arizona and especially Michigan could add a lot more drama to the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Fifty-nine delegates are up for grabs when both states vote. But much more than that, momentum that could alter the state of the race is at stake.

"Mitt Romney's ferocious campaign against Santorum in Michigan is pivot point of the campaign," GOP strategist and CNN contributor Alex Castellanos said.

Romney was born in Michigan and his father served as governor of the state in the 1960s. Many political pundits say losing the state could seriously sting Romney's bid for the nomination.

The most recent polls indicate it's all tied up in Michigan between the former Massachusetts governor and his top rival, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

The latest survey to suggest a dead heat: An American Research Group survey released Monday, w…

Oprah shows her dark side to Jimmy Kimmel

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Alexander Kjellevik as featured on Major Models.

Gay U.S. Marine homecoming photo goes viral

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In happier news: A homecoming photo of a U.S. Marine caught in a passionate lip-lock with his boyfriend has gone viral in the blogosphere after it was posted on Facebook.

The dramatic snapshot has drawn over 14,000 likes, and has received over 3,000 comments, since being uploaded to Facebook's Gay Marines group.

Blogger Joe. My. God. quotes Brandon Morgan, the Marine in the photo, as saying:To everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you. Dalan, the giant in the photo, can't believe how many shares and likes we have gotten on this. We didn't do this to get famous,or something like that we did this cause after 3 deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt. As for the haters, let em hate...to quote Kat Williams, everyone needs haters, so let them hate. We are the happiest we have ever been and as for the whole PDA and kissing slash hugging in uniform...it was a homecoming, if the Sergeants Major,…

Wilton Manors gayborhood sees spike in suicides

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Wilton Manors is a gayborhood of some 12,000 people in Broward County, FL, just to the north of Fort Lauderdale. It's arguably the gayest gayborhood in America. And yet, according to the Sun Sentinel, Wilton Manors' citizens are committing suicide at a greater rate than citizens of any of the other 31 municipalities in Broward, and at three times the rate of American citizens in general. 0.47 of Wilton Manors residents are killing themselves per year.

From the Sentinel:

Over the past four years, this city of under 12,000 people has had five more suicides than [the nearby city of] Weston, which has about 65,000 people, and only one fewer suicide than [nearby] Miramar, which has 122,000 people, according to figures from the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office.

Among last year's suicides, O'Connell said a 40-year-old gay man hanged himself in October after breaking up with his partner; a 44-year-old man with a history of mental illness shot himself in August; and a …

Shepard Fairey pleads guilty over Obama Hope image

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The street artist Shepard Fairey, whose Hope campaign poster of Barack Obama became an enduring symbol of his last presidential campaign, pleaded guilty Friday to a charge stemming from his misconduct in trying to bolster claims in a lawsuit over which photograph had been used as a basis for the poster.

Mr. Fairey, 42, sued The Associated Press in 2009 after it contended he had infringed on the copyright of one of its photographs in creating the poster. Mr. Fairey had claimed in his suit that he had used a different photograph of Mr. Obama, but later admitted that he had been mistaken and had tried to conceal his mistake, by destroying documents and fabricating others.

“I was ashamed that I had done these things, and I knew I should have corrected my actions,” he said on Friday in Federal District Court in Manhattan. The legal dispute between Mr. Fairey and The AP has been settled.

Mr. Fairey, of Los Angeles, pleaded to one count of criminal contempt and could face up to six months in pr…

Happy Birthday Dame Elizabeth Taylor!

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Gone but certainly not forgotten.

The Funnies
Election 2012 & Oscars Edition

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Angelina Jolie's Oscar leg pose gets mocked and memed

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Towleroad reports: Another takeaway from last night's Oscar's was Angelina Jolie's bizarre presenter pose on stage, when she thrust a bare leg out of her dress, placed an arm on her hip, and laughed uncomfortably.

The pose was so ridiculous and instantly iconic that it was mocked shortly thereafter by Jim Rash (and got a huge laugh) as he was accepting his Best Adapted Screenplay award for The Descendants.

Said Rash later: "I had just seen her pose and thought it was bold and fun. And you know what? We have exactly the same legs! Really, it was a loving tribute and nothing but."

Jolie's leg now has its own Twitter and folks are now trying to make legbombing a meme.

The ever-poignant Michael K writes:Bitch stuck her right leg out like her pussy was on fire. Bitch stuck her right leg out like she was getting into the birthin' stance just in case a newborn needed to fall out. Or just in case an orphan stowed away in her UNICEF crotch during one of her trips to t…

The Dictator spills Kim Jong Il's ashes on Ryan Seacrest

Get More: Movie Trailers, Movies Blog

--> It's about time someone threw SOMETHING on Ryan Seacrest! I can watch this all day. MTV News has the story and celeb reaction.

The 84th Academy Award winners

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Photo caption: Thomas Langmann, producer of The Artist, accepts the Oscar for best motion picture.

[Editor's note] The Academy Awards ceremony is perhaps my least favorite of all the award shows and this year's show did nothing to change my mind. In an almost 4 hour mind-numbingly boring broadcast, the Academy gave away their top honors to the most deserving of their peers. Unfortunately, it was a snooze fest.

Billy Crystal tried to be funny, Cirque duSoleil tried to excite the crowd, and Hugo tried to win the night's top award. Alas, tried is the operative word in all of the above. Still, it could've been worse-- James Franco could've been there.

Anyway, the full winners list can be seen here.

A very special congrats to Bret McKenzie for his Best Original (Muppet) Song win!

Weekend box office

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Weekend Top Five:

#1 Act of Valor ($24.7M)
#2 Good Deeds ($16M)
#3 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island ($13.5M)
#4 Safe House ($11.4M)
#5 The Vow ($10M)

Fun. & Janelle Monáe
"We Are Young"

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--> Just got Fun.'s album, Some Nights, last night and can already tell it's not leaving my iPod anytime soon.

You can hear an amazing acoustic version of "We Are Young" here.

Bully doc given R-rating, can't be shown in schools

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The Advocate reports: The Weinstein Company has lost an appeal to have the rating of its documentary Bully, a harrowing examination of the bullying epidemic in America, changed to PG-13 from R, which will prevent it from reaching its targeted adolescent audience.

The documentary, which will be released March 9 and follows five bullied kids during the school year, received the R rating due to language used by children in the film. The decision to uphold the initial R rating follows a plea made yesterday by Alex Libby (pictured), one of the children in the documentary, before the MPAA’s Classification and Rating Appeals Board. Libby stated that an R rating would prevent the film from reaching the adolescent audience that would most benefit from watching it.

Harvey Weinstein, cochairman of the company, released a statement that read:"I have been through many of these appeals, but this one vote loss is a huge blow to me personally. Alex Libby gave an impassioned plea and eloquently de…

Opening arguments begin in Tyler Clementi trial

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The NY Post reports: Jury selection was completed yesterday and opening arguments are expected today in Dharun Ravi’s hate crime trial, which could answer at least some of the questions about the circumstances of a death that sparked a national conversation about bullying on young gays and the emerging issue of cyberbullying.

The case gained widespread attention in September 2010 when Ravi’s roommate, Tyler Clementi, killed himself days after the intimate encounter. Experts following the case say that like many criminal cases, it seems more complicated than it did at first.

“One of the reasons the politicians jumped in so quickly is that there is a growing national concern over cyberbullying and harassment,” said Joel Reidenberg, a law professor at New York’s Fordham University who studies online law. “This appeared on first blush to be a very crystalizing example. It became an opportunity for statements about the problem.”

But, he said, New Jersey’s invasion of privacy laws don’t closel…

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Garrison Van Curen as featured on Homotography.

Days of Our Lives gets its first big gay kiss

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Queerty reports: Long-running soap Days of Our Lives made television history yesterday when it became the absolutely last show to show two men kissing.

Storylines on daytime dramas are notoriously long and slow: Will (Chandler Massey) was actually introduced as a baby in 1995 and only got some lip action with a random dude named Neil yesterday. At this rate, he’ll get some bed scenes by 2016.

By then, of course, all soaps will be replaced by hardcore porn.

BTW, if Niel looks familiar, it’s because that’s Jesse Kristofferson, son of actor Kris Kristofferson.

--> I've been watching Days for about 15 years now. I love it but it's a real shame that it took this long for it to happen.

Maine gay-marriage advocates get enough signatures for ballot

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Maine voters will vote on marriage equality again in November after LGBT advocates, who believe they have a better chance this time around, received word that the signatures they turned in to get the question on the ballot have been certified, Bloomberg reports:

Secretary of State Charles E. Summers Jr. verified more than 85,000 of the 105,000 signatures submitted last month, said Barbara Redmond, his deputy secretary. About 57,000 names were required, according to EqualityMaine, the Portland-based gay- rights group leading the coalition that collected them.

“Same-sex couples want to marry for the same reasons other couples want to marry: because they love each other and want to spend their lives together,” Betsy Smith, EqualityMaine’s executive director, said in a statement. “There’s no question that momentum is growing for same-sex marriage in Maine.”

Voters rejected a similar measure in 2009. This one has specific religious exemptions carved out. If Maine voters approve the measure, i…

Maryland legislators pass gay marriage bill

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Photo caption: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, center, greets supporters and members of the House of Delegates after the House passed a gay marriage bill in Annapolis, Md.

Gay marriage is all but legal in Maryland after the Legislature gave its final OK yesterday to the law that's being sent to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who said he expects to sign it this week.

The state Senate voted 25-22 for the law. The vote comes less than a week after the House of Delegates barely passed the measure.

Maryland will become the eighth state to allow gay marriage when O'Malley - who sponsored the bill - signs the legislation. The Democrat made the measure a priority this session after it stalled last year.

"This issue has taken a lot of energy, as well it should, and I'm very proud of the House of Delegates and also the Senate for resolving this issue on the side of human dignity, and I look forward to signing the bill," O'Malley said in a brief interview after the Senate vot…

Mr. Potato Head turns 60

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The Marquee Blog reports: This month marks 60 years of spud-tastic memories for an iconic toy industry staple that remains a household name.

Mr. Potato Head hit the market in 1952 and has been inspiring imaginative play ever since. For many preschool aged children, ownership of a Mr. Potato Head represents a rite of passage as well as the passing down of a tradition from generation to generation.

Mr. Potato Head was the first-ever toy to be advertised on television and remains one of Hasbro's most beloved characters.

By the numbers, over 100 million Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head toys have been sold to date; more than 30 licensed Mr. Potato Head characters have been created; and there are over 350 Mr. Potato Head parts and pieces available. That's no small potatoes!

Not only is Mr. Potato celebrating his 60th birthday, but he and Mrs. Potato Head renewed their vows this year. Thankfully, neither got cold (removable, interchangeable) feet.

Not one to shy away from the limelight (unless it…

J.K. Rowling to publish first adult novel

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Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling reached all ages with her books about "the boy who lived," but her next work will be specifically for adults, publisher Little, Brown said yesterday.

This will be Rowling's first adult novel, but other than that, little is known about her new effort. The publisher says more information about the title, story and release date are to come later this year.

Rowling, who started an international phenomenon with her seven-book Harry Potter series, said in a statement that her new work of fiction will definitely be a departure from Harry and his Hogwarts crew.

"Although I've enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the 'Harry Potter' series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world," Rowling said in a statement. "The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry's success has brought me, and with that new territory it see…

Picasso's Guernica undergoes robot health check

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The AP reports: Pablo Picasso's Guernica, one of the world's most iconic paintings, is getting a full health check as it marks its 75th anniversary.

A giant robotic machine is taking tens of thousands of microscopic shots of the black-and-white anti-war masterpiece to allow experts to penetrate the work like never before and see its real condition after a hectic life traveling the globe.

Madrid's Reina Sofia museum — where Guernica is housed — has teamed up with Spanish telecommunication company Telefonica to develop the technology, which uses advanced infrared and ultraviolet photography.

The machine was built so that the painting does not have to make the risky move to a conservation laboratory, where normally such investigative work would be done.

"The painting is in delicate condition given that it has suffered a lot of movement and many alterations," said Jorge Garcia Gomez-Tejedor, the museum's head of conservation. "You could compare it to a major me…

Mounting student loans a 'debt bomb' waiting to explode

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Herb Weisbaum of The ConsumerMan writes:It’s a vicious cycle. Many families in this country cannot afford the skyrocketing cost of higher education without student loans. But many graduates cannot find a job and cannot pay off the loans. As a result, they wind up in a much deeper hole (as the interest and collection fees accrue) with no way out.

Student loan debt in the U.S. now totals more than $1 trillion. That’s more than all the outstanding credit card debt in the country.

A recent report by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys found that both students and parents are borrowing at record rates.

College seniors who graduated with student loans in 2010 owed an average of $25,250, up five percent from the previous year. Parents had an average of $34,000 in student loans for their children. The report says the number of these parental loans has jumped 75 percent since 2005-2006.

“These are enormous numbers,” says Ike Shulman, a bankruptcy attorney in San Jose, Calif.…

Apple CEO: We have more money than we need

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There's no doubt that Apple is a cash cow. Just last year, many reports started circulating that the tech giant had a larger bank account than the U.S. government, where Apple ended June 2011 with $76.2 billion and the government had $73.8 billion. Now, Apple CEO Tim Cook is saying that the company has more money than it needs.

At the annual shareholders' meeting yesterday, which is the first since former Apple CEO Steve Jobs' death, Cook tried to determine whether Apple should stop hoarding cash the way Jobs has been for years, or if it's time to stick a hand in the $97.6 billion cookie jar and pay shareholders a dividend this year.

Apple used to pay shareholders a quarterly dividend, but stopped doing so in 1995 because of Apple's financial hardships. Apple even had to turn to Microsoft for a $150 million infusion around the time that Jobs came back as CEO in 1997.

After those dark times, Jobs held on to every cent that the company made. When the new millennium roll…

Edwards' sex tape to be destroyed

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CNN reports: A former aide and a former mistress of one-time presidential candidate John Edwards have settled a civil lawsuit between them that, among other measures, mandates the imminent destruction of sex tapes featuring Edwards and the woman.

Orange County, North Carolina, Superior Court Judge Carl Fox yesterday signed the settlement agreement between Andrew Young, his wife and Rielle Hunter, the woman who had sued the couple, according to court official Tammy Keshler.

Hunter had sued Young and his wife, Cheri, for invasion of privacy seeking to reclaim materials that she said belong to her, including personal photographs and an alleged sex tape showing her with Edwards.

While the settlement addresses the transfer and destruction of videos, photographs and other documents, no monetary damages were awarded and the Youngs admit no liability.

The court clerk will destroy the sex tape, while the Youngs must make a good-faith effort to ensure that the copy of the video that they gave to t…

US senators meet Cuban president over detained American

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Photo caption: Cuba's President Raul Castro, right, speaks with U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, left, a Democrat from Vermont, as U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama, behind right, watches.

The AP reports: Two senior U.S. senators met with Cuban President Raul Castro in the first such high-level meeting between the Cold War enemies in nearly a year, Cuban state media reported Friday.

Communist Party daily Granma said that Senators Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, and Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama, met yesterday with the Cuban leader.

The talks come during a low-point in U.S.-Cuba relations over the continued detention of American subcontractor Alan Gross. Gross is serving a 15-year jail term on the island for spiriting in communications equipment while on a USAID-funded democracy building program.

Granma did not say what was discussed, though virtually all American visitors have raised Gross's case with Cuban authorities, and many have been allowed t…

Postal Service to cut 35,000 jobs

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The U.S. Postal Service announced new plans yesterday to consolidate or close 223 mail processing plants, putting 35,000 jobs at stake starting in late May or June.

The move would save $2.1 billion and is part of the agency's broader effort to save $20 billion in the next three years.

The Postal Service is in debt due to declining first-class mail volumes and a congressional mandate to prefund retirement health care benefits.

The agency was reaching out to employees on Wednesday, officials said. Not all of the workers affected by the plant closings will lose their jobs. Many will be offered posts at other processing plants miles away or even in other states. Some will be urged to retire.

"This is an important part of the network consolidation," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe (pictured) said in an interview with CNN Money. "Some employees will retire. A mail clerk may want to become a letter carrier. We know how to move people and find landing spots."

The plant …

Jon Stewart makes mincemeat of the final GOP debate

Obama tackles oil prices at UM campaign stop

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The New York Times reports: President Obama, confronted by the political perils of surging gas prices in an election year, yesterday defended his efforts to wean the United States off imported oil, even as he conceded there was little he could do in the short run to ease the pain at the pump.

Speaking to students at the University of Miami, in a swing state where gas averages $3.69 a gallon, Mr. Obama said: “Just like last year, gas prices are climbing across the country; this time, it’s happening even earlier. And when gas prices go up, it hurts everybody.”

The president offered what he called an “all-of-the-above” response, based on more domestic oil production, development of alternative energy sources and stricter fuel-efficiency standards.

Drawing a sharp contrast with Republicans and anticipating potential attacks on the campaign trail, Mr. Obama ridiculed his opponents for recycling a “three-point plan for $2 gas.”

“Step one is to drill, and step two is to drill, and then step …

Sh*t Cher Says

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--> Please send donations in lieu of flowers because I JUST DIED.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences gets ruby slippers

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The Hollywood Reporter reports: Dorothy Gale's ruby slippers have found a new home.

The famous footwear, worn by Judy Garland in 1939's The Wizard of Oz, was just acquired by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. One of four pairs used in making the film, they are believed to be the the ones used for close up shots and the most well-maintained. They will eventually land at the yet-to-be-completed Academy Museum.

In an announcement yesterday, the Academy cites Leonardo DiCaprio as the primary benefactor.

"Leo's passionate leadership has helped us bring home this legendary piece of movie history," said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. "It's a wonderful gift to the Academy museum project, and a perfect representation of the work we do year-round to preserve and share our film heritage."

Walt Disney CEO and chair of the capital campaign for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Bob Iger echoed Hudson's sentiments. "The ruby slippers occupy an …

Eating disorders among teen boys on the rise

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
As a follow up to yesterday's post about boys and anorexia, Dr. Nancy Snyderman examines the psychosis of eating disorders.

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Christopher Wendel as featured on Homotography.

Madonna's Halftime Show as done by Brazilian drag queens

Federal court rules DOMA unconstitutional

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U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White has ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional for violating the Constitution's guarantee of equality.

Politico's Josh Gerstein writes: Judge White, who sits in San Francisco and was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, issued the ruling Wednesday afternoon in a case involving federal judicial law clerk Karen Golinski's request for benefits for her female spouse. White said the stated goals of DOMA, passed in 1996 and signed by President Bill Clinton, could not pass muster under a so-called "heightened scrutiny" test or even a lower "rational basis" threshhold.

"The imposition of subjective moral beliefs of a majority upon a minority cannot provide a justification for the legislation. The obligation of the Court is 'to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code,'" White wrote. "Tradition alone, however, cannot form an adequate justification for a…

Grindr initiative aims to spur action on GLBT issues

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The Sacramento Bee reports: Grindr has announcing today the use of their location-based technology to bring together a global community through Grindr for Equality, a social movement to raise awareness for GLBT issues and spur action across the globe.

Grindr has become a global phenomenon since its launch in March 2009. Boasting more than 3 million users, it has the capacity to provide assistance within the GLBT community and harness the power of a global user base to contact people in specific geographic areas en masse.

Joel Simkhai, Founder and CEO said in a statement:

"There is strength in numbers and Grindr for Equality will enable our users to use our platform for the greater good of our community. In today's world, the power of social networks and location-based mobile technologies are playing a major role in political change and social awareness. We want to continue that momentum and get more people involved. We're asking people to sign up, send us submissions regardi…

Out names its second annual 100 most eligible bachelors

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Olivier Rousteing (Designer at Balmain)

Nick Adams (Actor of Priscilla Queen of the Desert-fame) &
Jonathan Groff (Actor of Spring Awakening and Glee-fame)

Zachary Quinto (Actor of Star Trek-fame)

Thomas Rom (Founder of Think You Projects)
--> These are MY picks, so lay off! Boys, call me.

You can see a slideshow of all the beaus here.