Friday, July 30, 2010

News and Pop Culture Round-Up

Princes of Hollywood: Looking casual and sexy, actors Ewan McGregor and Chace Crawford showed up to the same event in NYC on Wednesday. (TMZ)

Only Ten Percent of DADT Surveys Completed And Turned In

What if you threw a homophobic survey and no one replied? Approximately 40,000 of the surveys that the Pentagon sent out to servicemembers have been completed since they were emailed out on 7 July to a mixture of active duty and reserve personnel. That is roughly ten percent of the 400,000 that they sent out, and Department of Defense officials need to hear from the rest regarding the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. DoD spokeswoman Cynthia Smith stated “It’s important for them to return the survey so we understand possible impacts associated by repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law.” She did discuss, apparently, the need to understand how the repeal would effect unit cohesion, military readiness, recruiting, retention and family readiness. Of course, none of the questions from the leaked survey really seemed to actually address those points in depth. READ MORE

First Openly Gay Man Named 'Mister Wales'
Andrew Western, a 22-year-old a health and safety advisor, competed against twenty other men from across South Wales. Judges included Mister Wales 2008 Jonny Rees, Big Brother’s gay winner Brian Dowling, Gladiator Amy Guy and Over the Rainbow finalist Sophie Evans. Western will now go on to represent Wales at Mister World at a date and location yet to be announced. Mister Wales organiser, Paula Abbandonato of Vibe, said: “Once again, we have a fantastic winner. I hope Andrew enjoys his year ahead, makes the most of every opportunity offered to him.” (UK Pink Paper)

Target’s Newest Designer: Justin Timberlake!
Justin Timberlake will likely bring more than just a little sexy back when he and co-founder Trace Ayala launch a limited edition William Rast collection for Target this December. Designed as an affordable alternative to the star-favorite denim line, the new assortment is set to hit the mass retailer December 19 and stay on store floors as well as through January 22, 2010. Price points for the William Rast for Target collection have yet to be released, expect them to be significantly less than the label’s designer jeans, which range from $165 to $229, and leather jackets, which cost up to $595. (Stylenews)

Recently, Target Corporation gave $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, which is using the money to run TV ads for Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for Minnesota governor. Emmer has connections to anti-gay groups. Timberlake is known to be gay-friendly. Do you think Gay Inc. will "reach out" to Timberlake and ask him to reconsider working with Target? - QTC

TECH NEWS: Vibration Packs Aim to Replace Batteries for Gadgets

A Japanese electronics firm has shown off a vibration-harvesting generator that could replace standard batteries. The Vibration Energy Cell batteries deliver power after a vigorous shake. Brother Industries, better known for its line of printers, claims the devices could be used in place of AA or AAA batteries for some applications. At an event in Tokyo, the firm showed the device powering a TV remote control, a remote switch for a lamp and an LED torch. The mechanism works similarly to that of a bicycle light dynamo, only in this instance movement from a few shakes provides the energy to power. READ MORE

UPDATE: Real World’s Ryan Leslie Offers Apology for Anti-Gay Tweets

After GLAAD reached out to MTV and over 1,000 responses were sent via Twitter regarding Real World: New Orleans cast member Ryan Leslie’s anti-gay tweet on Friday, he issued an apology last night, tweeting “Want to apologize to the gay community–tweet not meant to offend. I take responsibility for what I said on Friday and I am sorry.” (GLAAD)

Poll: Nearly 6 in 10 Pakistanis View America as an Enemy
Despite billions in aid from Washington and a shared threat from extremists, Pakistanis have an overwhelmingly negative view of the United States, according to results of a Pew Research Center poll released Thursday. The survey also found that Pakistanis have grown less fearful of extremists seizing control of their country, perhaps reflecting gains that government troops have made against militants since early 2009. Most Pakistanis want improved relations with the United States, according to the poll. But most view the U.S. with suspicion, support for American involvement in the fight against extremists has declined, and nearly two-thirds want U.S. troops out of neighboring Afghanistan. Nearly six in 10 Pakistanis polled described the U.S. as an enemy and only one in 10 called it a partner. Public attitudes in Pakistan figure importantly in the Obama administration's strategy for strengthening the U.S. partnership with Pakistan to help defeat al-Qaida and stabilize Afghanistan. Another U.S. worry is the prospect of Pakistan's nuclear weapons falling into the hands of militants. READ MORE

Lady Gaga Gives Back to LGBT Youth
Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball tour has sold out stadiums across the world, and diehard fans will seemingly do just about anything for a ticket. Which is likely how Lady Gaga tour sponsor Virgin Mobile came up with an idea to benefit a cause close to her heart. Gaga and Virgin have partnered with homeless youth shelters and programs with strong LGBT outreach to attract volunteers willing to give eight hours of their time in exchange for concert tickets. READ MORE

Founder of Harvey Milk High School Dies
Nathan Quinones, who as the chancellor of the New York City school system in the mid-1980s pushed to reduce dropout rates and institute tougher achievement standards but who resigned six months before the end of his term in the face of public pressure, died Sunday in Manhasset, N.Y. He was 79. He started a program to teach students about racism and established, in Lower Manhattan, the Harvey Milk High School, which was intended to be sensitive to the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. READ MORE

Outspoken Conservative Athlete Tim Tebow: The New American Face of Jockey Underwear
Remember all the hand-wringing about whether Tim Tebow could succeed as a professional quarterback and whether his views on abortion [Tebow filmed an anti abortion television ad sponsored by the anti-gay conservative Christian group, Focus on the Family], chastity and other hot-button issues were just too outrĂ© for serious brand marketers to touch? Well, you can stop crying for the former University of Florida quarterback. He was selected in the first round of the NFL draft in April by the Denver Broncos, who seem to really want the young man on their team despite gridiron experts’ misgivings about his throwing motion. And now Jockey has signed the “unmarketable” quarterback of two national-championship teams. As the new American face of Jockey, Tebow joins an athletics bench that includes rugby star Dan Carter, the face of the brand in the U.K. For Tebow, the endorsement marks a quick redemption and a stick in the ear of the many doubters who said his outspoken conservatism would be the kiss of death in the world of brand marketing. READ MORE

Actress Ally Sheedy Celebrates Her Daughter Coming Out as Lesbian
Ally Sheedy, the 1980s actress best known for her role in The Breakfast Club, took her teenage daughter Rebecca to a charity event in Los Angeles for The Trevor Project, a non-profit group which helps LGBT teenagers. She told reporters she attended the event because Rebecca recently said she was a lesbian. Sheedy said: "My daughter has just come out. So [I'm here because] it's personal." (UK Pink News)

‘Barefoot Bandit’ Began Troubled Life on the Run Early
The “Barefoot Bandit” is not all Colton Harris-Moore has been called in his short splash of life. Neighbors say his mother screamed things at him so vicious that they cringed when her words echoed through the giant evergreens that cover much of this island in Puget Sound. Classmates say he could be a bully — when he attended school. Yet perhaps his most benign nickname is the most telling. Long before stealing boats and planes made him a marvel of elusiveness, an Internet antihero, Mr. Harris-Moore, 19, was suspected of stealing cookies and frozen pizza from the Kostelyk family, a few gravel roads from the squalor that was his home, a trailer on a dead end here, barely an hour from Seattle. The Kostelyks had waterfront property and a freezer full of food. He lived inland and had nothing. “We called him ‘Island Boy,’ ” recalled Linda Johnson, whose mother, Maxine Kostelyk, was among Mr. Harris-Moore’s first suspected victims. “He came back over and over again — frozen pizza, cookies, ice cream. He was a tall boy, and he was growing.” READ MORE

'Roseanne' Star Sara Gilbert Comes Out as Lesbian Prior To Launch of New Talk Show
Sara Gilbert [officially] quietly came out of the closet during a Wednesday press conference at the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles, according to Entertainment Weekly. Now 35, the former Roseanne actress and executive producer/co-host of upcoming talk show The Talk has two children with TV producer Allison Adler, but has declined to discuss her private life in the past. During the panel, EW reports that Gilbert was asked if she was comfortable being "out" on The Talk. "This is a whole new world for me," she said. "I'm not an expert on this, or I don't analyze these things," she explained later. "I'm just sort of living my life." She added: "I don't think [being out] will be a problem...I don't ever really think of things as being out or in...I just think I am who I am, and when topics come up that are appropriate, I'll talk about them and share when it seems right." A couple since 2002, Gilbert and Adler have son Levi, 5, and daughter Sawyer, who turns 3 in August. (Adler gave birth to Levi, while Gilbert gave birth to Sawyer.) Gilbert told reporters why she's decided to become more open now. "I've been acting my whole life, and I've never really discussed my personal life. This is a talk show...So obviously I'm going to be discussing my life more." A View-like series focusing on motherhood and parenting, CBS' The Talk will be co-hosted by Gilbert, Julie Chen, Leah Remini, Holly Robinson Peete, Sharon Osbourne and Marissa Jaret Winokour. (US magazine)

COMMENTARY: Homophobia Taught at an Early Age
Sunday night, Caleb and I were enjoying a couple of sinfully-delicious chocolate and raspberry crepes at the Bellagio’s “Jean-Philippe Patisserie.” They were incredible! While we were sitting down, two young teenagers came and sat down next to us. I was far too involved with my crepe (it had whipped cream!) to pay attention, but all of a sudden one of the teenagers starts yelling, “Paging Doctor Faggot!” Repeatedly. To be honest, I didn’t think they were referring to us, although they easily could have been. We were feeding each other bites of our crepes. All of a sudden, a same-sex couple walked up to them. One of the guys said, “Watch your mouth. You never know where the faggots around you are.” The kids were dumb-founded. It was priceless. A few minutes later, their mother came up to them, oblivious to her offsprings’ misdeeds. Caleb kept me from having a conversation (read: shouting match) with her. So, instead, I went up to the couple and thanked them, and gave them my card. READ MORE

Regrowing Body Parts Closer to Reality
Scientists in Toronto are trying to crack the secrets of regeneration to trigger the human body to grow tissues and organs damaged by disease. In his lab at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Ian Rogers is working on a replacement pancreas that would be grown in a lab and then placed in those with Type 1 diabetes to restore their insulin production. Down the hall at the hospital's Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Dr. Rita Kandel is working on re-growing hip and knee joints using white pieces of cartilage grown on a bone substitute that acts like a scaffold for the cells. "The goal is to develop a biological joint replacement so that people can be fully mobile and pain free," Kandel said. READ MORE

Anti-gay Michigan University Social-work Student Loses Appeal
Lawyers for a national religious liberty group said they plan to appeal a federal judge’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a former Eastern Michigan University graduate student who said she was kicked out of a master’s program because she refused on religious grounds to counsel a homosexual client. “There are aspects of the decision that present appealable issues and we disagree with the court on his conclusions,” David French, a lawyer for Alliance Defense Fund said today. EMU said it was pleased. “Eastern has a responsibility to the public to exercise careful and deliberate judgment about who should be permitted to graduate from our professional schools and practice in the education and health professions,” said Walter Kraft, EMU vice president of communications. He said the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld such decisions by public universities because courts “should show great respect for the faculty’s professional judgment.” READ MORE