Monthly Archives: January 2013
Fox news is reporting that at least 200 people were killed in a nightclub fire in southern Brazil early Sunday morning. There are conflicting reports as to the number of concert goers killed, with some estimates over 250.
Luiza Sousa, a civil police official in Santa Maria, told Reuters the blaze at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria started when a member of the band or its production team ignited a flare, setting fire to the ceiling. The fire spread “in seconds,” Sousa said.
As is usual with a scene of this magnitude, there is some confusion as to the source of the fire. Col. Adilomar Silva, the regional coordinator of civil defense stated that the acoustical insulation caught fire during the pyrotechnic display, but stopped short of blaming it for the blaze, saying the cause was still under investigation.
Firefighters at the scene were using sledge hammers and axes to knock down exterior walls to open up more exits from the building. In television footage from the scene families and friends could be seen sobbing and searching for information outside a nearby sporting complex, where bodies were taken for identification.
“It was really fast. There was a lot of smoke, really dark smoke,” survivor Aline Santos Silva, 29, told Globonews TV. “We were only able to get out quickly because we were in a VIP area close to the door.”
President Dilma Rousseff cut short a visit to Chile and was returning to Brazil following the blaze, her spokesperson said.
Police described it as the worst tragedy ever to affect Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state, Band News said.
Past incidents blamed on the use of pyrotechnics include a 2003 fire at a nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island killing 100 people, another fire in 2004 in a Buenos Aires nightclub killing close to 200 people, and in 2009 an explosion killing 100 people in Russia.
The Kiss nightclub is popular with young people in Santa Maria, drawing between 2,000 and 3,000 people a night on the weekends. This weekend students were celebrating the end of summer as students return to school on Monday.
award winning line of snacks, called “Katy’s Kettle Corn”
Katy’s Kettle Corn is billed as a sweet & salty popped corn chip and will be debuting at most Target stores nationwide this month and on popchips.com.
In July of last year Perry became and investor and a creative partner for the chip maker, and in Katy Perry style, insisted on creating a unique flavor that captured her passion for popcorn and craving for the classic sweet and salty flavor of kettle corn.
“Popchips had never ventured into sweet territory before, but I wanted to add my personal touch when creating a flavor,” Perry wrote in a statement, “so I rallied behind the idea of kettle corn. When I snack, I crave a little bit of sweet and a little bit of salt, but I had yet to find a healthier way to satisfy those cravings. When Popchips first approached me to be an ambassador, I thought, ‘hey, this is my chance to create my snacking desire.’ after a series of intensive taste tests, I’m proud to introduce the best of both worlds, and my dream snack realized – Katy’s Kettle Corn!”
Perry also put her own unique twist on the packaging, from the pink and purple colors and spotlight to the heart over the “i” in the Popchips logo.
In 2010 Perry released Purr in conjunction with Gigantic Parfums. The bottle is purple, shaped like a cat, decorated with jeweled eyes and features metallic details. Its design was hand sketched by Perry, and influenced by her Cat woman stage costume.
Watch a behind the scenes video during a Popchips photo shoot.
The 59-page suit alleges the defamed cyclist deceived readers in a 2001 best seller, “It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life,” specifically stating unfair business practices, fraud, false advertising and deceit.
The suit describes how Armstrong credited his Tour de France wins to his training, diet and drive, while denying that he ever used banned substances.
The suit was filed Tuesday in Sacramento’s U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, and is seeking attorney’s fees and refunds for California customers who purchased the book.
This is just the beginning of Armstrong’s woes since admitting in an interview, with Oprah Winfrey, that he used performance enhancing drugs. This after Armstrong spent more than a decade vehemently denying claims that he ‘doped’ to become a seven time winning champion of the Tour de France.
After admitting to Oprah in a 2 ½ hour inverview, the International Olympic Committee demanded in a letter to Armstrong, to return the bronze medal he won in the Individual Time Trial at the 200 Sydney Olypmics.
Shakira announced on her website today that her and boyfriend, Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique, are the proud parents to their first child, a healthy baby boy.
A statement on Shakira’s site read, “We are happy to announce the birth of Milan Piqué Mebarak, son of Shakira Mebarak and Gerard Piqué, born January 22nd at 9:36pm, in Barcelona, Spain.”
The name Milan, means dear, loving and gracious in Slavic; in Ancient Roman, eager and laborious; and in Sanskrit, unification.
Weighing in at 6 pounds, 6 ounces, the hospital has confirmed that both mother and son are in excellent health.
In a joint statement last week the couple wrote:
“Dear Friends, Having our first baby is such an incredibly happy time for us. That’s why we want to invite you to our baby shower…with a twist. Rather than asking you to give gifts to our new baby, we’re asking you to honour him by supporting UNICEF in giving underprivileged babies around the globe a healthy start in life. It would really mean a lot to us.”
Shakira, a longtime advocate of children, and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, launched the site yesterday, inviting fans into the couple’s virtual living room. Using social media tools, fans are able to learn about child survival issues and finding out how to purchase one of the five suggested ‘Inspired Gifts’ to give children a healthy start into life.
The couple also taped a brief message encouraging fans to lend their support.
Items you can purchase for donation include a $5 mosquito net, which helps protect babies from malaria, $10 polio vaccines, which will help 17 children, and more.
Shakira has been working on her eighth studio album and will also be appearing in The Voice next season, as she fills in for Christina Aquilera.
Daniel Emanuel Gokey weighed in at 8 pounds, 11 ounces.
Gokey released the following statement:
“Leyicet and I are overjoyed to welcome the new member of our family. I’m ecstatic to be a first time dad and to have a new little buddy to hang out with. Thankfully, because of what I do, it will also allow me the flexibility to spend a lot of quality time with him. I have so many exciting projects ahead this year but a brand new baby is an amazing way to get the new year started. We feel really blessed!”
The 32-year-old Gokey, whose first wife died in 2008 following an operation for congenital heart disease, married Leyicet, a 26-year-old model, in January 2012. Their engagement and marriage were announced on his charity website, Sophia’s Heart.
The site was created in honor of Gokey’s late wife Sophia. As some of you may recall, in Idol season eight, Gokey shared the tragic story of losing his wife to routine heart surgery. Since then he has dedicated himself to raising money for Sophia’s Heart, reaching out to children and helping them through difficult times, at various stages of their lives.
In a statement released by The National Basketball Association this morning, they said:
“The NBA received an executed Purchase and Sale Agreement for the transfer of a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family to an investor group led by Christopher Hansen and Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer. The proposed transaction is subject to the approval of the NBA Board of Governors and has been referred to the Board’s committee process for review.”
Sunday night there were reports that the Maloof family had sold the team.
If the deal is approved by the NBA’s board of governors, the team would move to Seattle next season and would be renamed to the Super Sonics, after that franchise left Seattle for Oklahoma City in 2008.A sale price wasn’t release, but the entire franchise is believed to be worth around $525 million.
Sacramento officials are vowing to continue moving forward with plans to bring in a rival investor group and make the case for keeping the team in Sacramento.
“When it comes to keeping the team in our community, Sacramento is playing to win,” the mayor said Sunday night in a prepared statement.
There have been a number of suitors eying the Kings over the past year, but nothing has solidified
Arena operator AEG recently committed $59 million to a downtown project to help build an arena. The deal may prove to be a strong argument to keep the team in Sacramento.
Sleep Train Arena is woefully unsuited for an NBA team and has proved lackluster in drawing larger acts to the arena due to their low capacity compared to larger concert venues in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Let the games begin.
Browne is a self-proclaimed psychic and bills herself as a spiritual teacher, author, lecturer and researcher in the field of parapsychology. According to her website she is, “well known for her dynamic, genuine, down-to-earth style and personality. She lectures, teaches, and counsels people from all over the world including Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.”
As I entered Pano Hall I was dodging wheel chairs and walkers as the mostly older crowd slowly filled the room to capacity.
Center stage was a comfortable looking chair for the 76 year-old Sylvia with a couple of microphones setup onstage and off, for audience members. Her husband of five years, Michael, assisted Browne onstage transferring her from a wheelchair to the chair. She required the wheelchair because a few months ago she broke her hip and her arm.
As the show started, Browne said she was there to talk about how people can protect themselves. She went on to explain how people are concerned about how they look, but never think about their soul, going on to say, “We really in this day and age, need to be spiritual warriors.”
For about an hour Browne continued telling various stories about her life and how she guides people through storms. Many of her stories were extremely humorous and anyone coming into the room may have thought there was a comedy show going on.
As people first entered Pano Hall they were given a ticket for a chance to ask Browne a question. Almost an hour into the show Browne started pulling tickets from a jar and reading off the number, as she did people were to head to the nearest microphone.
After pulling about 30 tickets, Browne made it clear what was allowed when asking a questions saying, “Please just one question, and when you get up, don’t just say ‘tell me’. At least give me a category otherwise we’ll be here for a 45 minute reading.”
Questions ran the gambit from, “I wanted to ask about my health,” to, “I lost my son a couple of years ago.”
For the most part Browne provided answers that one would expect, being direct, but vague with her answers. There were times she mentioned names, but due to the format of the questions and answers, it was difficult to determine if she was accurate in her responses since there were no follow-up questions.
Browne was aggressive and harsh with some of her answers, especially when you compare her bedside manner with the likes of John Edward, who is friendlier and more astute when it comes to readings. In his live performances he takes a “shotgun” approach with a portion of the audience, narrowing down to a particular individual by asking questions until he gets a hit.
Browne is no stranger to controversy. One of her more infamous blunders came when she informed a couple that their kidnapped son was dead, only to have him surface alive three days later.
If you are a fan of Browne, then it’s well worth your money to take in a performance and listen to her insights and humorous stories. However, I took little from her “readings” since audience members were only allowed one question, with very little interaction.
Yesterday the Skin Cancer Foundation filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, asking that the F.T.C. to use its authority under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act to investigate MTV’s Jersey Shore television series, along with other related initiatives related to the promotion of cancer causing behavior.
The highly rated MTV television show is no stranger to controversy, from cast members onscreen violent outbursts, to their off screen antics.
According to the complaint the Foundation alleges that, “MTV utilized a complex web of programming, advertising, promotion and merchandising to glamorize and endorse excessive tanning as socially enhancing and beneficial, through use of the cast’s ‘Gym, Tan, Laundry’ ritual, without disclosing the related health risks.”
The show just wrapped up its sixth and final season, and to commemorate the event MTV, aired a series of farewell programs, including a one hour retrospective called “Gym, Tan, Look Back.”
The series, according to the complaint, reached nearly nine million viewers at the show’s peak.
While the show has shuttered its doors, the complaint goes on to describe the continuation of such behavior through spin-offs and repeats, which will expose this disturbing behavior to an impressionable audience for years to come.
In a press release issued today, the President and Founder of The Skin Cancer Foundation explained, “While experts have long suspected a link between skin cancer and tanning beds, it was not until a few years ago that we had research studies definitively showing a connection. The fact is, tanning beds cause skin cancer,” he went on to say, “As the series progressed over the years, displays of tanning behaviors grew in frequency along with the cast’s influence over viewers, to the point where the expression ‘Gym, Tan, Laundry’ became a national catchphrase. The repeated and ongoing references to tanning as a harmless activity are dangerous and hazardous to the public’s health.”
In September 2012 the Foundation met with MTV executives, requesting that MTV include a warning with each episode and in conjunction with the sale of items and activities that promote tanning. MTV refused, prompting the Foundation to file the complaint with the F.T.C., in the hope that the Commission would require the use of such a warning.
On a disturbing note, in episode 13 of season two, cast member Paul DelVecchio (Pauly D) enthusiastically nominated himself “Most Likely to Get Skin Cancer.”
At approximately 5 a.m. Sharon woke up to a noise, thinking the house keepers were in the house. As she started to smell something funny, she went to investigate and discovered a candle she had lit the night before had shattered, spreading oil and wax, which caught fire.
Husband and rocker Ozzy, who had surgery on his hand yesterday tried putting the flames out and suffered some minor burns, mainly singeing facial hair and his long locks of hair.
According to Sharon a bunch of good looking firemen from the Beverly Hills Fire Department responded to the blaze, and then proceeded to lecture her on candle safety.
“Please please check your candles before you go to bed,” Osbourne pleaded, “It can happen to you.”
Just a coincidence?
Next seasons AGT should be interesting.
Yesterday Michael Jackson’s dermatologist, Arnold W. Klein, posted a photo of himself overlaid on top of a photo of Michael Joseph Jackson on Facebook, with the comment “hmmmmm,” leading many to believe that he’s the father of Michael’s eldest son, better known as Prince Jackson.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Klein was Jackson’s dermatologist and speculation over the years had people questioning his relationship to Prince and Paris, with some wondering if they were his children.
Prince was born Feb. 13, 1997 to Jackson and the singer’s ex-wife, Debbie Rowe. Sister Paris Jackson was born a year later, with the couple divorcing in 1999. A custody fight ensued resulting in the pop singer reportedly paying $6 million to settle a custody battle with Rowe, giving him full custody.
Michael always claimed they were his children and Klein had previously denied being the father of the two children.
Michael’s third child Prince Michael II, or “Blanket,” was through an anonymous surrogate mother.
At the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, who was being tried for the death of Michael Jackson, Klein had been portrayed as an enabler who fueling Jackson’s addiction to Demerol.
It was around that time that Klein filed for bankruptcy, blaming his financial troubles on his former office manager, Jason Pfeiffer, and former accountant, Muhammad Khilji, who he said embezzled more than $8 million.
In a not very flattering Vanity Fair article, Klein comes across as unstable, claiming on Facebook that his former accountant Khilji used hawala, the ancient informal money-transfer system employed by al-Qaeda to move funds around the world, to clean out his employer’s assets and transfer them into far-flung bank accounts.
In the article Klein is quoted as saying, “They opened 41 illegal bank accounts in my name,” said Klein. “I have records of all this stuff. Also, they tried to overdose me … so I would bleed to death They tried to overdose me on Coumadin [blood thinner], because I was in atrial flutter [abnormal heart rhythm], and they changed my will in the middle of the night without notarizing it.”
It should also be noted that Debbie Rowe was Klein’s medical assistant.