Monday, November 03, 2008

News and Pop Culture Round-Up

The killer of gay bartender, Carlos Rivera, is sentenced to life in prison
[Windsor, Ontario] Triple murderer Jesse Imeson (pictured right) pled guilty to three counts of second degree murder in a Goderich court on Oct 27. Imeson entered the pleas in the 2007 killings of Carlos Rivera (pictured left) — a bartender at the Windsor gay bar The Tap — and Bill and Helene Regier, an elderly couple who lived northwest of London. Imeson was sentenced to life without a chance for parole for 15 years in the Rivera murder and life without a chance for parole for 25 years in the Regier murders, according to the London Free Press. Imeson had been charged with first degree murder in all three cases.

Ryan Reynolds calls running N.Y.C. Marathon 'incredible'
Mission accomplished! Ryan Reynolds completed the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday – and lived to tell about it. "I'm still standing. I'm very excited about that," he told reporters after crossing the finish line in 3 hours and 50 minutes, faster than he anticipated. "It was an incredible experience." Reynolds says in the last leg of the race, he was motivated to keep going by one special spectator. "When I saw Michael J. Fox on Fifth Avenue, I gained about 15 pounds in goose bumps," said Reynolds. "It kind of pushed me through the last six miles or so." Reynolds ran for Team Fox in honor of his father, Jim Reynolds, who has suffered from Parkinson's Disease for the past 15 years. "[During the race] I thought a lot about my father and Michael and the 500,000 other people afflicted with this awful disease in the United States alone. I ran for those who can't," Reynolds told PEOPLE.

Former 49er Steve Young breaks with Mormon Church and votes No on Prop 8 Steve Young, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and his wife Barbara are urging people to vote No on Prop 8 in California. And their support isn't just a token one, they've donated $37,000 as well. One of the most well-known Mormons in the country, Young is breaking from the church's stance on this proposition. The fact that Young, who just happens to be the great-great-great-grandson of Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon church, is going against his church, shows that not all Mormons can be lumped together on this issue.

Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of 'real Robinson Crusoe'
The findings, carried in the journal Post-Medieval Archaeology, follow digs on a Pacific island west of Chile. Daniel Defoe is believed to have based Crusoe on Alexander Selkirk, a Scotsman rescued from the island in 1709. Evidence suggests the sailor built two shelters near a stream, with a look-out point to watch for approaching ships. The island used to be known as Aguas Buenas, but has been renamed Robinson Crusoe Island after the character created by Defoe in his 18th Century classic. The team also unearthed a pair of navigational dividers from the period, which they believe belonged to Selkirk. The captain of the ship which found Selkirk referred to a number of mathematical instruments in his possession.

Latest Bond film breaks British box office record
The new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, has smashed a British box office record for one-day sales, raking in $9.6 million on its opening day. Columbia Pictures said Saturday that the film, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as the dashing secret agent, broke the record previously held by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ($7.9 million). Reviews for Quantum of Solace have been mixed. The Independent's Anthony Quinn commented: "There's nothing so fatiguing as a movie that won't stop trying to excite you the whole time. We all know what it is to be bored to death, but have you ever been entertained to death?" While James Christopher in the Times billed it as "an intriguing watch. Really, nobody does it better than the new 007." Princes William and Harry attended the film's world premiere in London on Wednesday before the opening launch on Friday. In Quantum of Solace — using a script co-written by Canadian Paul Haggis — Bond journeys to South America to stop an eco-terrorist from controlling precious natural resources. At the same time, the MI6 superspy is on a personal mission to uncover why the woman he fell in love with in Casino Royale, Vesper Lynd, betrayed him.

The Pet Shops Boys to receive the top prize at next year’s Brit AwardsThe Pet Shops Boys are to be honoured with the top prize at next year’s Brit Awards. The dance duo - comprising Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe - are to receive the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award at the February ceremony. Chairman of the Brits committee Ged Doherty says, "Since their first Brit Award over 20 years ago, Neil and Chris have produced a fantastic body of work with song that truly were the soundtrack to a whole generation’s lives. The Pet Shop Boys have since become one of the most influential groups of the modern era and are deserving recipients of the award." Previous winners include Sir Paul McCartney, Oasis, U2, Paul Weller, Tom Jones, Sting, David Bowie, The Beatles and The Who. The event will take place on February 18th, 2009 in London.

  • Bill Clinton gets on the phone to California voters
  • Nobel laureate calls for HPV vaccine for boys
  • Feds investigate cyber attacks on pro-gay marriage sites
  • Actor Samuel L. Jackson lends voice to fight Proposition 8
  • Teens charged in football team sodomy hazing
  • Does your doctor discriminate?
  • University rallies to support gay students following attacks
  • Scientists claim to find transsexuality gene
  • Streetcar dedicated to slain gay politician Harvey Milk
  • Actor Gale Harold (Queer As Folk) out of intensive care
  • Christian counsellor fired for refusing to help gay couples
  • Macho men produce macho sons: Researchers
  • David Tennant moves from the Tardis to the closet in "Einstein and Eddington"

  • Gerard Butler 'turned to God to beat smoking' Gerard Butler has revealed that he almost stopped smoking after a religious experience. After patches and hypnotism failed to work, the 300 actor turned to prayer in an attempt to kick the habit after visiting the Church Of The Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. "I'm thinking: 'If this guy [Jesus] can die for mankind, the least I can do is quit smoking,' he said. "I really felt an epiphany was happening. I even thought I saw a light around me. Four hours later, I bought a packet of Marlboro Reds. Who am I kidding? I need a cigarette."

    Mourners remember Jennifer Hudson's family On Sunday night, friends and family paid their respects to Jennifer Hudson's slain mother, Darnell Donerson, brother Jason Hudson and nephew Julian Hudson in a public memorial service at the Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church near their Chicago home. Flanked by three of her students, Carmen Williams, Julian's second grade teacher, spoke poignantly about the bubbly 7-year-old, and read a few comments from students' journals. "I'm sad he didn't get to be President," one child lamented, while others remembered a generous and funny boy who loved to tell knock-knock jokes and play Power Rangers. "Julian was a role model, an academic whiz and a best friend," Williams added. "You could look into his eyes and you knew he always had the right answer." Police discovered the bodies of Hudson's mother, 57, and brother, 29, on Oct. 24, and her nephew's three days later. Though no one has been charged, police have classified Jennifer's brother-in-law, William Balfour, as "a person of interest." Meanwhile, Jennifer and her sister, Julian's mother Julia Hudson, have established the Hudson King Foundation for Families of Slain Victims in honor of their loved ones. "The specific purpose of the Foundation is to care for the needs of families who have lost relatives to a violent crime," according to Jennifer's MySpace page."Thank you for your continued support."

    Actor Harry Hamlin (who played a man coming to terms with his homosexuality in the film "Making Love") voices his support of gay marriage "I'm definitely voting no on Proposition 8 for a myriad of reasons," he said. "Not the least of which is we have to look ultimately to our constitution which never has taken any rights away from anyone and this would be a step toward taking rights away if it were to pass. It's appalling to me that in this day and age, there would be forces out there who would want to limit the rights of human beings who are their neighbors and share their community with them. It's appalling."

    King Solomon's (copper) mines? Deep dig finds confluence of science and the Bible Did the Bible's King David and his son Solomon control the copper industry in present-day southern Jordan? Though that remains an open question, the possibility is raised once again by research reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Led by Thomas Levy of UC San Diego and Mohammad Najjar of Jordan's Friends of Archaeology, an international team of archaeologists has excavated an ancient copper-production center at Khirbat en-Nahas down to virgin soil, through more than 20 feet of industrial smelting debris, or slag. The 2006 dig has brought up new artifacts and with them a new suite of radiocarbon dates placing the bulk of industrial-scale production at Khirbat en-Nahas in the 10th century BCE – in line with biblical narrative on the legendary rule of David and Solomon. The new data pushes back the archaeological chronology some three centuries earlier than the current scholarly consensus. The research also documents a spike in metallurgic activity at the site during the 9th century BCE, which may also support the history of the Edomites as related by the Bible. READ MORE

    FBI reports 6 % increase in hate crimes based on sexual orientation in 2007 Hate crimes based on sexual orientation remain the third most common type of hate crimes, behind race and religion. This increase comes as the Hate Crimes Statistics, 2007, also reported that the overall incidence of bias-motivated crimes decreased in 2007.“The FBI’s 2007 hate crimes report shows once again that hate crimes protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are long overdue,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “We are hopeful that after next week’s election we will finally have a President and a Congress that will enact federal hate crimes legislation into law." READ MORE

    Hillary Clinton decries McCain campaign's use of her voice in "robo-calls" Senator Hillary Clinton on Sunday decried the use of her voice in computer-disseminated "robo-calls" by Republican presidential candidate John McCain's campaign. The phone calls, which automatically dial up voters in hard-fought battleground states, play a recording of Clinton during the Democratic primary battle. In the recording Clinton derides what she said was a lack of experience by then-rival and fellow Democrat Barack Obama, who went on to win the party's presidential nomination. According to news reports, the robo-call starts out with a voice saying: "Listen to what Hillary Clinton had to say about John McCain and Barack Obama."

    The recording of Clinton, dating back to the Democrats' primary campaign, is heard to say:

    "In the White House, there is no time for speeches and on-the-job training. Senator McCain will bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign, and Senator Obama will bring a speech he gave in 2002," Clinton says in the recording.

    "Senator Hillary Clinton does not approve this message, and as she criss-crosses the country, she has said time and again that the choice in this election could not be more clear," said the former first lady's spokeswoman Kathleen Strand. "The McCain/Palin ticket offers only more of the same failed policies, while the Obama/Biden ticket offers the vision, leadership and positive solutions we need. I wonder why the Republicans aren't using those words?" Strand said.