Share this article on your social media

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NEWS & POP CULTURE

F.A.G.S. to play for L.A. Dodgeball title

A group of FAGS will play for their league championship Monday in the Los Angeles Dodgeball Society. The Fun Active Gentleman’s Society is a group of 20 openly gay guys who play in the UpHigh/Down/Low league in L.A.’s Silverlake area. The F.A.G.S are as diverse as Silver Lake, with players who are “jocks, drag queens, negative and positive, hipsters, nerds and artists,” wrote one fan to Outsports. They went 9-1-1 this season and face the top-seed Bandana Rama in the final. At a recent game, the F.A.G.S had the crowd chanting “No on Prop. 8!” during the game. READ MORE

Edward Norton's new documentary about Obama's campaign

HBO has picked up the rights to a documentary on President-elect Barack Obama's run to the White House. The film, produced by actor Edward Norton (pictured) and directed by Amy Rice and Alicia Sams, has been a couple years in the making. Rice and Sams started following the Illinois senator in 2006, before Obama announced he would run for president, and received what HBO calls "unprecedented access" to Obama and those around him during the campaign. "Sen. Obama's history-making race for the White House has given our film a perfect framework to explore the pulse of the country at this vital moment in our history," Norton says. "We believe this film will capture a tipping point in American history when a new generation of leadership emerged and old prejudices were finally vaulted over." The co-directors will continue shooting through Obama's inauguration in January. The currently untitled film will premiere sometime later in 2009.

Russian "gay" marriage case rejected by European Court of Human Rights

In January 2005 human rights activist, Edward Murzin, then a deputy of the Bashkortostan parliament and Eduard Mishin, owner of the gay web site Gay.Ru, attempted to register their same-sex union in one of Moscow’s registration offices. They were denied on the grounds of Russian family legislation. Mr Murzin appealed in the Russian courts and then sent his complaint against Russia to the European Court of Human Rights. Edward Murzin, who at the time of the attempt to register a same-sex marriage denied he was gay, is in a heterosexual marriage and has two children. The head of Russian LGBT Human Rights Project GayRussia.Ru, Nicolas Alexeyev said: "I have big respect for Edward Murzin, who took part in Moscow Pride events in 2006 and 2007, but the project of same-sex marriage legalisation in Russia through this way was deemed to failure from its start. The European Court deals with human rights breaches and the rights of Mr Murzin were not breached by anyone in this case. He said from the very beginning that his marriage with Mr Mishin was a sham and is only done to fight for the rights of sexual minorities. Thus, the Europeon court was right that it did not consider Mr Murzin a victim of the human rights violations." The decision cannot be appealed. READ MORE

'MADtv' to end its 14-year run at season's end

So long, MADtv. A Fox spokesperson has confirmed a Defamer report that the network will cancel the late-night series at the end of the season. Originally inspired by MAD magazine, the variety show has managed to last 14 years on Fox's Saturday night lineup, but it never managed to eclipse NBC mainstay Saturday Night Live in the ratings or the zeitgeist. Still, the sketch show -- which has averaged 2.62 million viewers this season -- has created some memorable moments, including Keegan-Michael Key's impersonations of Barack Obama and the lovable Coach Hines, and Bobby Lee's turns as a fictitious movie reviewer named Johnny Gan and a blind Kung Fu master. Favorite guests on the show have included Susan Sarandon and Jeff Probst. Tennis champ Serena Williams will appear this weekend.

California's dirty air kills more than car crashes!

(Fresno, CA) Lowering air pollution in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley would save more lives annually than ending all motor vehicle fatalities in the two regions, according to a new study. The study, which examined the costs of air pollution in two areas with the worst levels in the country, also said meeting federal ozone and fine particulate standards could save $28 billion annually in health care costs, school absences, missed work and lost income potential from premature deaths. The price tag amounts to $1,600 annually per person in the San Joaquin Valley and $1,250 in the South Coast Air Basin. "For decades there has been a tug of war over what to do about air pollution," said Jane Hall, lead author of the study at Cal State Fullerton. "We are paying now for not having done enough." To illustrate its point, the study noted that the California Highway Patrol recorded 2,521 vehicular deaths in the San Joaquin Valley and South Coast Air Basin in 2006, compared to 3,812 deaths attributed to respiratory illness caused by particulate pollution. READ MORE

Ted Haggard claims he had sexual experience with a man when he was 7 years-old

Ted Haggard, the disgraced former evangelical leader, recently broke his silence on the second anniversary of the scandal that brought him down. He gave a pair of sermons at a small church in Illinois where the pastor is an old friend of his. "The first thing I want you to know is I sinned," Haggard began. Haggard's comments were quite revealing. They were recorded on audiotape and put on the Internet at www.tedhaggard.com. Haggard told the congregation that a sexual incident with a man when he was 7 years old may be related to the scandal involving a male prostitute and crystal meth use that cost him his job two years ago. "My dad was pretty successful," Haggard said. "He had a lot of workers. One of those workers had a sexual experience with me. I was 7 years old." Haggard said that incident stayed with him throughout his life.

Race, Religion, and Proposition 8 (by Rev. Irene Monroe)

"Freedom of religion is a good thing. So is freedom from the religion others may wish to impose on those who differ," wrote Charles Kimball, author of When Religion Becomes Evil. American democracy suffers when people have to be closeted about their faith because it fosters a climate of religious intolerance. And while our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and not freedom from religion, it prohibits the establishment of a state religion, and in this case a Christian church-state. Because religious bigots used Proposition 8 to deny us our civil right to marry, our government should not. READ MORE

  • Beavis and Butthead (Dennis Miller & Bill O’Reilly) get homophobic
  • Watching Television, Channeling Unhappiness?
  • More countries make spreading HIV a crime
  • Austrian incest father charged with rape, murder
  • Google Earth rebuilds ancient Rome online!
  • Indian court mulls overturning sodomy law
  • Ne-Yo and Alanis Morissette to appear on Rosie Live
  • Results of landmark study of HIV vaccine to be published
  • Canceled: Lipstick Jungle and My Own Worst Enemy
  • Spam 'mother ship' shut down in U.S
  • Two men jailed for assault in Dutch HIV blood case
  • Hasselbeck, Shepherd still advance skewed View on Prop 8
  • Human Rights Campaign calls for a thorough investigation into the murder of transgender woman, Duanna Johnson
    • Disgraced Congressman Mark Foley breaks his silence on scandal

      (New York) Even today, two years after Mark Foley's very public fall from grace, the former congressman can't explain why he sent lurid, sexually explicit computer messages to male teens who had worked as Capitol Hill pages. Sitting in his room at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York this week, the Florida Republican, wearing a yellow tie with blue elephants, finally broke his silence. "I'm trying to find my way back," Foley said in an interview with The Associated Press, his first public comments on the scandal since resigning from Congress on Sept. 29, 2006. Foley insists he did nothing illegal and never had sexual contact with teens, just inappropriate Internet conversations. Investigations by the FBI and Florida authorities ended without criminal charges. And while he concedes his behavior was "extraordinarily stupid," he remains somewhat unwilling to accept full public scorn. These were 17-year-olds, just months from being men, he insists. "There was never anywhere in those conversations where someone said, 'Stop,' or 'I'm not enjoying this,' or 'This is inappropriate' ... but again, I'm the adult here, I'm the congressman," Foley said. "The fact is I allowed it to happen. That's where my responsibility lies." READ MORE

      Lindsay Lohan refers to Obama as 'first colored president'

      Lindsay Lohan referred to President-elect Barack Obama as the country's "first colored president" in an interview on "Access Hollywood." Describing her experience on Election Day, Lohan said: "It was really exciting. It's an amazing feeling. It's our first colored president." A spokeswoman for Lohan didn't immediately return messages left Wednesday. Interviewer Maria Menounos didn't question the 22-year-old actress on her use of the term. "Access Hollywood" also didn't cite her remark in its online story, but did post an "extended interview" video on its Web site that included the remark. A spokesman for the syndicated entertainment news program said in a statement Wednesday: "We believe the word in question that Ms. Lohan used was unintelligible." Lohan blogged about her support of Obama during the presidential campaign.

      Bone marrow transplant 'cures HIV patient'

      Doctors in Germany say a patient appears to have been cured of HIV by a bone marrow transplant from a donor who had a genetic resistance to the virus. The researchers in Berlin said the man, who suffered from leukaemia and HIV, had shown no sign of either disease since the transplant two years ago. But they stressed it was an unusual case which needed further investigation. Experts said the result may boost interest in gene therapy for HIV. Berlin's Charite clinic said the 42-year-old patient was an American living in Berlin, but the man has not been identified. He had been infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, that causes AIDS, for more than a decade and also had leukaemia. The clinic said since the transplant was carried out 20 months ago, tests on the patient's bone marrow, blood and other organ tissues have all been clear. In a statement, Professor Rodolf Tauber from the Charite clinic said: "This is an interesting case for research. "But to promise to millions of people infected with HIV that there is hope of a cure would not be right." Roughly one in 1,000 Europeans and Americans have an inherited genetic mutation, which prevents HIV from attaching itself to cells.

      Mitch Mitchell, the British drummer in the seminal 1960s band the Jimi Hendrix Experience, dead at 61

      Mitch Mitchell, the British drummer in the seminal 1960s band the Jimi Hendrix Experience, has been found dead in his US hotel room, authorities say. The 61-year-old was discovered in the Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon, in the early hours of Wednesday. A medical examiner told the Associated Press news agency that his death appeared to be from natural causes, but said there would be an autopsy. Hendrix died in 1970 and the band's bassist Noel Redding died in 2003. Mitchell, from Ealing in west London, had been touring with the Experience Hendrix Tour. Janie Hendrix, chief executive of the tour and step-sister of Jimi Hendrix, paid tribute to Mitchell. "He was a wonderful man, a brilliant musician and a true friend," she said. "His role in shaping the sound of the Jimi Hendrix Experience cannot be underestimated." Terry Stewart, chief executive of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, also paid tribute to Mitchell. He said the musician had added a "strictly percussive element to a lead instrument". He added: "His interplay with Jimi Hendrix's guitar on songs like Fire is truly amazing. "Mitch Mitchell had a massive influence on rock 'n' roll drumming and took it to new heights." Mitchell performed on Hendrix classics such as Are You Experienced? Electric Ladyland and Axis: Bold As Love.

      Police chief acquitted in raping a male officer

      (Alton, Texas) The police chief in this South Texas town has been acquitted of sexually assaulting one of his male officers and a charge of assaulting a second male officer has been dismissed. The names of the alleged victims have not been made public. Forty-four-year-old Jose Luis Vela was fired shortly after the charges were pressed. The rapes were alleged to have occurred during drunken parties at Vela’s home in Mission. Investigators accused Vela of performing oral sex on a male employee after the man passed out drunk at one of the parties in August 2006. He also was charged with violating another male employee “with an object while that man was passed out” at a party in July. A jury this week found Vela not guilty in connection with the August incident. District Judge Letty Lopez dropped the second charge after Vela agreed to surrender his law enforcement license. Vela has not disputed that sex with the two officers occurred but maintained it was consensual.

      Notorious ex-hacker 'Mafiaboy' tells all in memoir

      A former hacker, who temporarily shut down several major websites and led the RCMP and the FBI on a manhunt when he was 15, has written a tell-all memoir about his criminal past. Michael Calce co-wrote with journalist Craig Silverman Mafiaboy: How I Cracked the Internet and Why It's Still Broken, which tells his story and examines the current state of online security. In an exclusive interview with the CBC's The Hour on Wednesday, Calce spoke publicly for the first time about his criminal acts. "I realize what I did was wrong, and I feel bad about it and I think I can help people with it by sharing my experiences," said Calce, 24, who now helps companies protect themselves online. "Hopefully, there's not going to be a Mafiaboy 2.0." In February 2000, Calce, who went by the internet alias Mafiaboy, launched denial-of-service attacks that temporarily brought down five websites, including Yahoo!, eBay and CNN. The attacks caused millions of dollars in damages and shook the confidence of the U.S. government. Former U.S. president Bill Clinton even convened a special Cybersecurity Summit in the days after the attacks."Many people … may have an old version of McAfee or Symantec [antivirus software] running on their PC [personal computer]," said Hamnett Hill, chief executive of internet security services firm Radialpoint of Montreal. "They may think they're protected but they're really not."

      Share this article on your social media