Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ready for Thursday's Idol Results show? Did you remember to vote?

Well... the pressure was on tonight for the Top 12 male ''Idol'' contestants after a less than spectacular Tuesday from the ladies. My overall favorites from this week... Casey James and Crystal Bowersox. Will be interesting to see who the four are going home tomorrow. If you need the numbers to call for your favorite guys, they are posted on the American Idol spoilers page. As a special treat: Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen will also be special guests for the live results show tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ron Cummings, Misty Croslin caught on video in undercover drug sting

Putnam County Florida investigators released video recordings of Ron Cummings and Misty Croslin taken during the course of the drug sting operation in which Cummings, Croslin and three others were arrested for allegedly selling prescription pain meds to an undercoverpolice officer.

According to investigators, Croslin is clearly the ringleader throughout the videos, discussing how the drug exchanges will go down. Cummings also discusses his concerns that people will link any knowledge of his drug involvement with his daughter's disappearance.

Cummings and Croslin have both pled not guilty to all related charges.

Friday, February 19, 2010

God of War 3's Topless Maidens

If you were worried that ''God of War III'' could not be counted on for its series usual blend of sex and violence, never fear! The game has been rated Mature by the ESRB and in its typical warnings has detailed a thoroughly amazing game as well as its traditional "sex minigame." Here is a description of the "topless maiden" scene courtesy of the folks at the ESRB.

"The game contains a sex mini-game. Players will encounter a goddess and her two hand maidens, all topless, all holding and caressing each other. If players wish to, they may join the goddess (and only the
goddess) in bed. Actual sex is never depicted as the camera drifts, then fixes on the two maidens, who watch from a distance. As players respond to the on-screen prompts with button presses, the topless maidens will continue to watch, and sometimes caress. Moaning sounds from the bed can be heard throughout the sequence."

Los Angeles Says No to Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Legalization of marijuana in California began in 1976 with the passage of the Moscone Act, introducing the change of possession charges of less than one ounce to a misdemeanor, no jail time and a $100 fine. The Compassionate Use Act was later passed to allow for medical marijuana use and regulatory ID cards to verify one's qualifications. This legislation paved the way for collectives, non-profit dispensaries that cultivate and sell marijuana for medicinal purposes.

After more than 2 years of debate, the Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance that limits the total number of medical marijuana dispensaries within its city limits to 70. Formerly one of the most relaxed environments for medical marijuana use, the new ordinance implements restrictive zoning measures that will govern where the establishments can be located.

Zoning requirements will require that dispensaries operate at least 1,000 feet from schools, parks, libraries and other dispensaries. They will also be prohibited from turning a profit and be required to
maintain detailed records while submitting to independent audits on an annual basis.

Hundreds of dispensaries within Los Angeles will be forced to close due to their locations not meeting the new zoning requirements, leaving approximately 150 legal operations in business. Still well
over the 70 unit cap.

The new rules also limit hours of operation to between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Those running dispensaries can operate no more than one location. Patients and caregivers, meanwhile, can retain membership in only one marijuana collective.

To take effect, the measures must be signed into law by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Although a spokesperson for the Mayor declined to say if he plans to sign the 17-page ordinance, Villaraigosa has voiced his support for laws limiting the number of dispensaries as well the enforcement of “buffer zones.” Once the Mayor signs the ordinance, the Council will need to approve a fee for the dispensaries to cover expenses related to monitoring their activities and enforcing the new ordinance.

Medical marijuana advocates, including a number of those who operate dispensaries, have vowed to fight the new measures in court.

However, just to make the scenario a bit more interesting, the California Assembly for Public Safety Committee passed "Assembly Bill 390," which proposes that the legalization and regulation of marijuana be structured similar to governmental regulation of alcohol. If the bill passes the full state assembly, California will become the first state to fully legalize marijuana use.

In the News: Sarah Palin ... AGAIN?

Or perhaps we should say "still." Well, at least this time it is not more Sarah Palin hot photos ;) Sarah Palin is upset about a joke from this week's "Family Guy," in which a character with Down Syndrome claims to be "the daughter of the former governor of Alaska." Andrea Fay Friedman, the actress who did the voice, and who does indeed have Down Syndrome, has now said that Palin just doesn't have a sense of humor.

In the News: Mitt Romney and the Rapper

Rap Star Sky Blu was removed from Air Canada Flight AC552 from Vancouver to Los Angeles after allegedly trying to hit Mitt Romney. Romney claims the rapper attempted to strike him after he was asked to move his seatback. Sky Blu, however, claims that Romney became violent first. And just WHY are people flocking to see this video?

Tiger Woods Press Conference

Anyone get a chance to watch Tiger Woods' press conference? I caught it online at Mahalo and am now reading through the reactions. Sad to watch someone we all thought was the epitome of integrity in sports say that they will now begin to live with integrity. And having had to admit my shortcomings and failures to loved ones as we all do, I can't help but be grateful that those shortcomings were not done on a world stage.

World of Warcraft Cataclysm News

The Activision Blizzard 2009 Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call on February 10, 2009 revealed exciting information regarding the new ''Cataclysm'' expansion for the highly popular ''World of
Warcraft''... Still no firm release date, but Mike Morhaime did mention progressing towards a planned release during the latter half of 2010.

In addition to introducing new races, dungeons, and playable areas, expect a complete overhaul of the existing game content and improved design with ''Cataclysm'', primarily in the early gaming experience both for new players and replayability for the current player community.

Another new feature planned with this expansion is the ability for players to access the in-game Auction House remotely from the web or mobile devices like the iPhone.

The World of Warcraft Pet Store will be also be selling virtual pets. Two of the new pets recently announced are the Wind Rider Cub and the Gryphon Hatchling. Purchases of the virtual pets will also include a plush stuffed version of the virtual pet.

According to the information on the call, there are also upcoming pricing adjustments to World of Warcraft. Some components of the game will remain a premium service, while other aspects will be free.
Pricing has not yet been finalized. Watch for more about that at a later date.

Baby Einstein Recall Deadline Approaching

The The Baby Einstein recall expiration date is fast approaching. As a result of an alleged settlement between the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and The Walt Disney Company, Disney is
offering $15.99 refunds for up to four Baby Einstein DVDs per household for any DVDs purchased between June 5, 2004 and September 4, 2009.

If you are not satisfied with a Baby Einstein DVD you purchased during the above-mentioned time-period, it may be exchanged for one of the following:

* Baby Einstein Book of your choice
* Baby Einstein music CD of your choice
* 25% off the purchase coupon of one Little Einsteins™ product from
* Refund of the current retail value of the DVD ($15.99)

DVDs must be returned to The Walt Disney Company. These submissions must be postmarked by March 4, 2010 to receive compensation. Return forms and full details are available here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SPOILER ALERT! American Idol Top 24!

SPOILER ALERT! American Idol viewers learned tonight that Season 9's Top 24 includes Michael Lynche, Didi Benami, Katelyn Epperley, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Lee Dewyze and Todrick Hall. The seven were the first announced during tonight's 2-hour broadcast. The remaining 17 semi-finalists will be announced during the Wednesday, February 17th broadcast at 9 PM EST.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Do the Olympics Still Matter?

Athletes representing 97 nations will participate in the Opening Ceremony of the XXI Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver tonight.

Turn on your TV.



And remember that the games represent so much more than the sports.

Remember that the Olympic rings, representing colors from every nation's flag, are interlocked and interdependent.

In today's world, the Olympics remind us that no one country can stand alone.

So just for tonight, cheer for the United States and the other 96 countries, congregating peacefully with common goals under common rules, to show us that just maybe we all can get along and work towards a common good for all.

And then tomorrow? Let the games begin!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SPOILER ALERT: 'American Idol' Top 24 leaked

But you probably already knew that ;) Here's my take on Season 9's rumored top 24!

Top 12 Guys
Aaron Kelly: 16 years old from Sonestown, Pennsylvania. Up and comer in the country world. Winner of Disney World's American Idol Experience attraction. Season 9's answer to David Archuleta ;)
Alex Lambert: 19 year old from North Richland Hills, Texas. Not bad vocals, but he forgets the words to his original tune in his demo video. Can you say Jason Castro?
Andrew Garcia: 23 year old from Moreno Valley, California. Really impressive audition with Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning". A definite favorite to go far in the competition! Even if his glasses remind me of Danny Gokey.
Casey James: This guy is adorable if you are into the blonde and scruffy (OK - I am!), and rounds out the look with a pretty cool alt/rock sound. Great with a blues guitar too! Unfortunately Casey has generated some controversy with some criminal charges related to DUI and driving with an invalid license back in 2001-2002. I'll be surprised if he's not still in it towards the end though.
Chris Golightly: Chris has a "nice" voice and quite a back story... growing up in a number of foster homes. Call me crazy... but something about the look in his eyes reminds me of Kevin Covais.
Jermaine Sellers: A former BET "Sunday's Best" talent show contestant, 26 year old Jermaine has been caring for his mom since her spina bifida diagnosis. His rendition of "What If God Was One Of Us" for his AI audition was awesome.
John Park: The frat boy from Northwestern University is this season's Anoop Desai. He sailed through the call back auditions with guest judge Shania Twain's endorsement of his "bottom end."
Joe Munoz: 19 year old Jose (Joe) is a two-time auditioner from Los Angeles. He sings in English AND Spanish, and plays guitar. Not much else available on him and he has not been featured in any of the episodes that have aired to date.
Lee DeWyze: The Chicago singer/songwriter headlines a band with a Dave Matthews sound. Lee's enjoyed some local success and can be seen on Chicago's local ABC affiliate every Sunday at 10:30 CST. This contract ends once the live show begins if  Lee indeed has made it into the top 24.
Michael Lynche: Rumors of "Big Mike" being disqualified before his top 24 announcement is even official have run rampant all over the Internet. Supposedly, he was disqualified after his dad confirmed his top 24 position to their local St Petersburg, Florida newspaper. The suspense is KILLING ME! Especially after we practically watched his baby's birth during Hollywood week!
Tyler Grady: AKA the guy with the broken wrists. Tyler did a great job with Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" during his audition. The judges also loved his retro 60s look with pointy shoes and bell-bottom jeans, comparing him to the late Jim Morrison.
Todrick Hall: Auditioning in Dallas with a self-composed tune describing the reasons he should be sent to Hollywood, Todrick was a hit with the judges. His performing background includes a role in ''The Color Purple'' with ''Idol'' winner Fantasia Barrino and appearances in the stage versions of ''High School Musical 2'' and ''Beauty and the Beast'' at Disney World. According to, Hall allegedly participated in the scamming of parents who claimed they paid for their children to have a role in his original production of ''Oz, The Musical''.

Top 12 Girls
Ashley Rodriguez: Breathtakingly beautiful with a gorgeous voice, Boston's Ashley Rodriguez was a favorite of Simon's in the callback auditions.
Crystal Bowersox: Just one word -- INCREDIBLE in a very Melissa Etheridge kinda way. Single mom to a 7-month old son, singer-songwriter Crystal hails from Chicago. Definitely one of my favorites to go a long way in the competition.
Haeley Vaughn: 16 year old Haeley is an aspiring black mainstream pop country singer from Denver. Born prematurely and weighing two pounds, Haeley considers it a miracle to be alive and is absolutely adorable.
Janell Wheeler: 24 year old Tampa native Janell reminds me a bit of former ''Idol'' contestant Kristy Lee Cook -- very country with a great big twang. To me, all of her videos sound rather similar... so the voting audience (if she gets that far) might find her dull.
Katelyn Epperly: Currently the lead vocalist and pianist of the band Katelyn & the Bruises, an indie, folk and experimental group, 19 year old Epperly hails from Iowa and is auditioning to make her mom happy during her parents' divorce. She sang "Syrup and Honey" by Duffy in her Chicago audition and really put her heart into it. She's not been featured at all during Hollywood week.
Katie Stevens: 16 year old Middlebury Connecticut native Katie auditioned with "At Last." Her backstory featurette included shots with her grandmother, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and may not remember her for very much longer.
Lacey Brown: Returning season 8 contestant Lacey Brown has an edgy sound that is popular today. She was featured on the February 3, 2010 show singing a unique rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and received a "yes" vote from each of the four judges.
Lilly Scott: Indie acoustic rocker Lilly Scott is even edgier than Lacey Brown. Prior to auditioning for ''Idol'', she fronted the local band Varlet in her hometown of Denver, Colorado.
Michelle Delamor: 20 year old Miami native Michelle is a music major at Miami Dade College. She auditioned in Orlando with "Chain of Fools" and was a unanimous vote to continue on to Hollywood. She has appeared as a backup singer on JoJo's "If I Wrote a Note to God," and has performed in a variety of shows in south Florida.
Paige Miles: 23 year old Houston native Paige Miles was first featured in Neapolitan's group number during Hollywood week. Of course there was the usual drama as they duked it out with Destiny's Wild, both choosing to perform Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance."
Siobhan Magnus: Massachusetts native Siobhan Magnus shaved her head bald for her Boston audition. She was also not featured until the Hollywood group round where she was part of Destiny's Wild opposite Neapolitan with Paige Miles. Should make for a cozy and friendly top 24...
dontchya think? :)
Vered Didi Benami: Former cage fighting hostess and waitress Didi Benami was featured in a 2009 swimsuit calender with Survivor winner Paverti Swallows. Unless something substantial happens and she falls apart, she's my pick to win. You heard it here first ;) Yep - I know it's early in the game... but I picked Carrie Underwood after her callback audition, too!

In any case, Season 9 of ''Idol'' remains all about the girls!