BartCop Entertainment Archives - Tuesday, 11 December, 2012


11 December, 2012

(Updated Daily)

[440 days in a row]



The (Occasional) Veterans Report

Google Launches VetNet Website

Google recently launched what may be the largest online hub to help American men and women exiting the military. Called VetNet, the site offers veterans three distinct "tracks" to plot and organize their next life moves...

(This is out-frickin'-standing... The military will downsize soon, mark my words, and there's gonna be a whole bunch of new vets out there and havin' a hand with returning to 'The World' surely helps the transition)

Index of Military Forms

Accessing military and veteran benefits requires filling out the correct military forms. See an index of official military forms from the DoD, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Department of Veterans Affairs will help you access your earned benefits...

(No whining... Ya outta be use to them by now, Vets. Ya hate 'em, but ya gotta have 'em... Remember, it's all about 'Documentation'. They will NOT take yer word fer it... Trust me on that one... Here they are if'n ya need 'em...)

But, then again there's this...

The Challenges of Paperless Vet Records

The Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs recently held an oversight hearing entitled, "Wading through Warehouses of Paper: The Challenges of Transitioning Veterans Records to Paperless Technology." ...

(I can attest to how great the VA's electronic medical records system is for us active patients. Any facility can access any of my records from my primary to specialty clinics. Plus, test results, labs, radiological exams. In addition, it's a snap to get paper copies of your own records... Now, the challenge is to incorporate older paper records from before the new system came on line... Vast)

American Indian, Alaska Native Agreement

American Indian and Alaska native veterans will soon have increased access to health care services closer to home following a recent Department of Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Service (IHS) joint national agreement. As a result of this agreement, VA is now able to reimburse the IHS for direct care services provided to eligible American Indian and Alaska native veterans...

(This is as it should be and should have been done long before now. I have an extra added measure of respect for the indigenous peoples that have been willing serve in the armed forces of the US...)

Life Member ~ DAV
Coxswain - USCG 44' Motor Lifeboat (among other types)

BadtotheboneBob's Veteran's Reports Archive


GOP Backs Off Medicare Attacks, Proposes Raising KINDERGARTEN Age to 67






(observing the main event championship boxing match in Las Vegas last Saturday night between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao (this is the 4th time they've met)....sitting at ringside were many celebrities....including Mitt Romney and his wife....Mitt put a hex on Manny...he went in his dressing room before the fight and said "I'm Mitt Romney and I ran for president of the USA and I lost"....well, talk about bad luck rubing off...Manny who was heavily favored to knocked flat on his face...he was out for almost 10 minutes....thanks Mitt for ruining the night for Manny with your loser vibe....everyone should avoit Mitt from now on)

zEN mAN archives



Recommended Reading

from Bruce

This Guy Is Absolutely Incredible (YouTube)
This cool guy doing some crazy things with a soccer ball.

Paul Krugman: Robots and Robber Barons (New York Times)
The American economy is still, by most measures, deeply depressed. But corporate profits are at a record high. How is that possible? It's simple: profits have surged as a share of national income, while wages and other labor compensation are down. The pie isn't growing the way it should - but capital is doing fine by grabbing an ever-larger slice, at labor's expense.

Katy Waldman: Grapefruit Is Disgusting (Slate)
Why you shouldn't give it to your loved ones as a holiday gift. Or to anyone, ever.

Dave Stopera: The 27 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Of The Year (BuzzFeed)
1. The perfectly timed figure skating photo…

Charlie Jane Anders: Essential Star Trek Novels That Even Non-Trekkers Should Read (io9)
Now that we've all seen the teaser trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness, we've got a bad case of Star Trek fever. Luckily, there are tons of Star Trek novels that have been published since the Original Series went off the air - and many of them are shockingly good. Thanks to editors like David G. Hartwell and John Ordover, the Star Trek novels have regularly attracted some of the best authors out there.

Paul Krugman: Asimov's Foundation novels grounded my economics (Guardian)
The fantastical tale offers a still-inspiring dream of a social science that could save civilization.

Name the 12 Top Grossing Movies of 2012 (Mental Floss)
According to Box Office Mojo's leaderboard, 'The Avengers' was the #1 movie of 2012. Consider that your free space. How many of the year's 12 top movies (domestic gross) can you name in 5 minutes?

David Bruce: Wise Up! Mishaps (Athens News)
Not all good deeds work out. For a performance by ballerina Maria Tallchief and the New York City Ballet, Japanese stagehands waxed the stage floor. Of course, this resulted in dancers slipping, sliding and falling. After that one ruinous performance, the stage floor was restored to its usual scuffed lack of splendor.

David Bruce's Amazon Author Page

David Bruce's Lulu Storefront

David Bruce's Smashwords Page

David Bruce's Blog

David Bruce has approximately 50 Kindle books on


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Trivia Question of the Day

A euphemistic expression formed by misspelling, mispronouncing, or replacing a part of a profane, blasphemous, or taboo term to reduce the original term's objectionable characteristics, like "gosh" for God, "darn" for damn, and "heck" for Hell is called a _____?_____


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

Grawlixes are typographical symbols standing for _____?_____

   Profanities                                                      Source

The Lexicon of Comicana is a book that was written in 1980 by American cartoonist Mort Walker. It was intended as a tongue-in-cheek look at the devices cartoonists utilize in their craft. In it, Walker invented an international set of symbols called Symbolia after researching cartoons around the world. In 1964, Walker had written an article called "Let's Get Down to Grawlixes," a satirical piece for the National Cartoonists Society. Walker used terms such as grawlixes for his own amusement, but they soon began to catch on and acquired an unexpected validity. The Lexicon was written in response to this fact. Grawlixes = Typographical symbols standing for profanities, appearing in dialogue balloons in place of actual dialogue.        Source

Alan J was first, and correct, with:

Charlie wrote:
   Profanity (cursing).

Sally said:
   Grawlixes - typographical symbols standing for profanities, which appear in dialogue balloons in the place of actual dialogue.

  Fill in your own @$#%*@ (Grawlixes) here...

  Another way of demonstrating the miracle of Hanukkah...

Jim from CA, retired to ID, responded:
   Grawlixes Typographical symbols standing for profanities, appearing in dialogue balloons in place of actual dialogue

Adam answered:
   A sequence of typographical symbols used to represent a nonspecific profane word or phrase.

Marian replied:
   spiral shaped doodad used to indicate swearing

Dale of Diamond Springs said:
   The word Grawlix was the creation of the cartoonist Mort Walker, by which he meant a comic-strip balloon containing symbols to indicate profanity. Ah, Beetle #$*&^% Bailey!!!

BttbBob     replied:
   Profanity... I just say, "Dagnabbit!", mostly... sometimes, "frickin'...", too...
  I've taught 'Maddie Muffin' to say "Oh, Frazzle-dazz!" during moments of extreme frustration or aggravation and the need to verbally express herself is at hand... I hope that many years from now when she's much older and I'm gone, she'll use that phrase then stop and smile, remembering, where she learned to say it and who from... Me... Legacy can come in many forms.
  High School Daze Moment - I do remember well an old maid English teacher I had my Junior year. A very intense, demanding, thin as a stick and sharp as a tack, Miss Schultz. She was very adamant about the constant, regular use of profanity in casual conversation. She maintained that it was the last resort of the ignorant. That stuck with me. Amusing, though, she did allow that it could properly be used to quote someone or make a distinct point such as if you hit your thumb with a hammer or stub your toe. She said that with a wry grin on her hawk-like face... I liked her...
  I have a 'Squiggle Monster' spending the night. We will dance, of course...

MAM   wrote:
   Profanities, appearing in dialogue balloons in place of actual dialogue.

And, Joe S     answered:
   §%*#@^ Marty, where the ?%#@ do you come up with this ¶#@&. The answer is profanities. I'll tell ya, I don't need no gosh darn Grawlixes to express myself. What the gosh durn son of a gosh darn dirty guy do you think I am. Heck a-Moses. Sorry, got a little blue at the end there.



Middle Class Political Economist


Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

Google Avoids $2 Billion In Taxes By Offshoring Profits In Bermuda

New Evidence Suggests Biblical Great Flood of Noah's Time Happened, Archaeologist Says - ABC News

Crowe vs. Jackman: The great rivalry of Les Mis - 60 Minutes Overtime - CBS News

Forget Extinct: The Brontosaurus Never Even Existed : NPR

Mobile Apps For Kids Collect, Share Phone Numbers, Location Without Parents' Consent, FTC Finds

Atheists, Humanists Suffer Persecution World Wide, Report

Senior female Afghan official shot dead - World News

Kirk Douglas turns 96: Last of the screen idols -

Is China good or bad for Africa? - Global Public Square - Blogs

Daily Kos: Obama Administration to Cruel GOP Governors: HELL NO.

Guest speaker: Tester visits students to talk about overcoming challenges

Mitt in the Afterlife | TPM Editors Blog

Gavin Newsom: Honoring the True Principles of the Boy Scouts

UC Berkeley Salvation Army Controversy: Students Call For Campus Ban On Organization Citing Alleged Homophobic Practices

The World In 2030: Asia Rises, The West Declines : NPR

Thanks, Michelle!


BadtotheboneBob's Occasional Poll


If you could take a phone picture of yourself and somebody else like Meryl did with the Madame Secretary, who would it be?

Adam in NoHo wishing upon a star (pun intended) said...
Daniel Craig. Mmmmm, Daniel Craig. Or any number of film composers.

(Craig is growing on me as 007. I still have to get over Sean, though, Adam...)

Cory!!Strode (the self-declared "Best Dressed Man In Comics") averred...
Simple. Stan "The Man" Lee. Not only did he co-create Thousands of characters and comics through his career, but he 's 89, still active, still positive and still great ot his fans. He's like Walt Disney, only not an anti-Semite scumbag!

(Interesting choice, interesting man...)

Mistler suggested...
I don't know if it's subliminal but the first person that came to mind was Bill Clinton.

(Yeah, 'The Big Dog' is on my short-list...)

Mark (the Boilermaker) said...
I would take a photo of myself with Alexander Graham Bell. Or Don Ameche.

(Wait... A bell (pun, again, intended) went off in my head. Didn't Don Ameche portray Ol' Alex? Yes... I think so. To some notoriety, too, if'n I'm not mistaken...)

SallyP anecdotally replied...
I didn't have to give much thought to this question, I would so dearly love to have a picture of myself holding my first born son, Mathew (correct spelling). He was born on October 17, 1971, and died the same day, never coming home with us... I did get to see him, after practically begging to do so (as you did back then), but later found out the nurses sent the photographer away. Back then, the hospital had photographers' who took those ghastly 'newborn' pictures that were so common pre-ultrasound photos. How I would love to have even that - but an actually photo would be awesome... He is gone, but never forgotten in my heart.

(Thank you for sharing that with us, Sally. Stories like that bring all of us E! pals closer together. At least I think so...)

As for me - well, I do have go with Meryl's choice - the Madame Secretary...

Plus, I'd love to be able to sit and talk with her for an hour...

Thanks to the responders!



From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'

"The Problem With Young People Today"

(Crabby Old Fart)


Reader Suggestion

The Landfill Harmonic

The Landfill Harmonic

Sharon in Tejas

Thanks, Sharon!


BadtotheboneBob will match any donations to the E! page in the month of December up to $100...

C'mon, E! fans, time to pony up...



Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD























Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


Ark Of Darkness


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Sunny and cool.

Tonight, Tuesday:

CBS begins the night with a FRESH 'NCIS', followed by a FRESH 'NCIS: The 2nd One', then a FRESH 'Vegas'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Dave are Amanda Seyfried, Natalia Makarova, a Top Ten List presented by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, and Awolnation.
Scheduled on a FRESH Craig are Betty White, Morena Baccarin, and Dylan Moran.

NBC starts the night with a FRESH 'The Voice', followed by a FRESH 'Take It All', the a FRESH 'Parenthood'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Leno are Ewan McGregor, Bailee Madison, and Allen Stone.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are Anne Hathaway, Robert Smigel, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Beres Hammond.
Scheduled on a FRESH Carson 'The Scab' Daly are Steven Rinella, "The Central Park Five", and Fidlar.

ABC opens the night with the chestnut 'Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town', followed by a FRESH 'Happy Endings', then a FRESH 'Don't Trust The Palin In Apartment 23', followed by a FRESH 'Private Practice'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel are Leslie Mann, Ted, and Sarah Jaffe.

The CW offers a FRESH 'Hart Of Dixie', followed by 'A Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa'.

Faux has a FRESH 'Raising Hope', followed by a RERUN 'Ben & Kate', then a FRESH 'New Girl', followed by a FRESH 'The Mindy Project'.

MY recycles an old 'House', followed by another old 'House'.

A&E has 'Storage Wars', another 'Storage Wars', still another 'Storage Wars', yet another 'Storage Wars', followed by a FRESH 'Storage Wars', then another FRESH 'Storage Wars', followed by a FRESH 'Storage Wars New York', then another FRESH 'Storage Wars New York'.

AMC offers the movie 'Jumanji', followed by the movie 'Miracle On 34th Street', then the movie 'Miracle On 34th Street', again.

BBC  -   
 [8:00AM]   THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW - Season 8 - Ep 19 - Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Stephen Merchant, Jo Brand, Blue
 [9:00AM]   TORCHWOOD - Season 2 - Ep 9 - Something Borrowed
 [10:00AM]   DOCTOR WHO - Season 1 - Ep 12 - Bad Wolf
 [11:00AM]   BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - Season 3 - Ep 10 - The Passage
 [12:00PM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - Season 1 - Ep 6 - Seascape
 [1:00PM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES UK - Season 3 - Ep 3 - Rococo
 [2:00PM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES UK - Season 4 - Ep 1 - Ruby Tates
 [3:00PM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - Season 3 - Ep 4 - Flamangos
 [4:00PM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - Season 4 - Ep 6 - Cafe Tavolini
 [5:00PM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - Season 4 - Ep 8 - La Frite
 [6:00PM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - Season 4 - Ep 9 - Capri
 [7:00PM]   THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW - Season 12 - Ep 2 - Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Of Monsters and Men
 [8:00PM]   CASINO ROYALE (2006)
 [11:00PM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - Season 1 - Ep 6 - Seascape
 [12:00AM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES UK - Season 3 - Ep 3 - Rococo
 [1:00AM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES UK - Season 4 - Ep 1 - Ruby Tates
 [2:00AM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - Season 3 - Ep 4 - Flamangos
 [3:00AM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - Season 4 - Ep 6 - Cafe Tavolini
 [4:00AM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - Season 4 - Ep 8 - La Frite
 [5:00AM]   RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - Season 4 - Ep 9 - Capri     (ALL TIMES EST)

Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills', 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', followed by a FRESH 'Start Ups: Silicon Valley', then a FRESH 'Million Dollar Decorators'.

Comedy Central has last night's 'Colbert Report', last night's 'Jon Stewart', 'Workaholics', 'Key & Peele', 'Tosh.0', another 'Tosh.0', still another 'Tosh.0', and yet another 'Tosh.0'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jon Stewart is Laura Linney.
Scheduled on a FRESH Colbert Report are Malcolm Gladwell and Audra McDonald.

FX has '2½ Men', another '2½ Men', followed by the movie 'Rush Hour', then the movie 'Rush Hour 2'.

History has 'Mankind The Story Of All Of Us', followed by a FRESH 'Mankind The Story Of All Of Us'.

IFC  -   
 [6:00AM]    Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut)-The Much Funnier Second Episode
 [7:15AM]    Whitest Kids U'Know
 [7:30AM]    Storage
 [9:30AM]    Godsend
 [11:45AM]    Phantoms
 [1:45PM]    Storage
 [3:45PM]    Godsend
 [6:00PM]    Malcolm in the Middle-Reese Cooks
 [6:30PM]    Malcolm in the Middle-Tutoring Reese
 [7:00PM]    Malcolm in the Middle-Bowling
 [7:30PM]    Malcolm in the Middle-Malcolm vs. Reese
 [8:00PM]    Fight Club
 [11:00PM]    Punisher: War Zone
 [1:15AM]    Fight Club
 [4:15AM]    Whitest Kids U'Know
 [4:45AM]    Whitest Kids U'Know
 [5:00AM]    The Ben Stiller Show
 [5:35AM]    Bunk    (ALL TIMES EST)

Sundance  -   
 [6:00A]    FREAKS AND GEEKS - Looks and Books (Episode 11, Season 1)
 [7:00A]    Summer Hours
 [9:00A]    Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee
 [10:30A]    Looking for Richard
 [12:30P]    The Squid And The Whale
 [2:00P]    French Roast
 [2:15P]    Summer Hours
 [4:15P]    The Sea Inside
 [6:30P]    The Squid And The Whale
 [8:00P]    ICONOCLASTS - Christy Turlington Burns + Tory Burch (Episode 4, Season 6)
 [8:30P]    THE MORTIFIED SESSIONS - Comedian Tig Notaro & Parenthood's Jason Ritter (Episode 4, Season 2)
 [9:00P]    W.
 [11:10P]    Henry & June
 [1:45A]    Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic
 [3:00A]    W.
 [5:10A]    Runaway (animated)
 [5:30A]    MAN SHOPS GLOBE - Mexico (Episode 7, Season 2)    (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home', followed by the movie 'Quantum of Solace'.

Scheduled on a FRESH Conan are Chris O'Dowd and Graham Parker & the Rumour.

 [6:45 AM]      Wichita (1955)
 [8:15 AM]      Coroner Creek (1948)
 [10:00 AM]      Alias Boston Blackie (1942)
 [11:15 AM]      Boston Blackie's Rendezvous (1945)
 [12:30 PM]      A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
 [2:45 PM]      Teresa (1951)
 [4:30 PM]      The Guilt of Janet Ames (1947)
 [6:00 PM]      Borderline (1950)
 [7:30 PM]      MGM Parade Show #15 (1955)
 [8:00 PM]      The Magnificent Seven (1960)
 [10:15 PM]      The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (1966)
 [1:30 AM]      The Searchers (1956)
 [3:45 AM]      How the West Was Won (1962)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Wednesday   -  12/12/11

TCM spends the night with Barbara Stanwyck
 [6:30 AM]      If I Were Free (1934)
 [8:00 AM]      And So They Were Married (1936)
 [9:30 AM]      One Sunday Afternoon (1948)
 [11:15 AM]      The Man I Love (1947)
 [1:00 PM]      Flight From Destiny (1941)
 [2:30 PM]      Backfire (1950)
 [4:15 PM]      None but the Brave (1965)
 [6:15 PM]      Dirty Dingus Magee (1970)
 [8:00 PM]      Banjo On My Knee (1936)
 [9:45 PM]      Remember the Night (1940)
 [11:30 PM]      The Lady Eve (1941)
 [1:15 AM]      Ball Of Fire (1941)
 [3:15 AM]      You Belong to Me (1941)
 [5:00 AM]      Lady Of Burlesque (1943)

TNT has a FRESH 'Rizzoli & Isles', followed by a FRESH 'Leverage'.

Antenna TV


RTV - The Retro Television Network

This TV

Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty

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Actor Will Ferrell helps get the crowd to sing "Roll Out The Barrel" during the second half of an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Photo by Morry Gash


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


North Carolina Bars License Plates

"Choose Life"

A federal judge has permanently blocked North Carolina from issuing an anti-abortion specialty license plate, ruling that offering plates with a "Choose Life" slogan without an alternative supporting abortion rights is unconstitutional.

The lack of a plate promoting reproductive freedom in the state constitutes "viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment," Senior U.S. District Judge James C. Fox said on Friday.

The judge previously granted a preliminary injunction sought by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, which had argued the state should not be allowed to distribute specialty plates offering only one point of view on the abortion debate.

A portion of the money collected from the "Choose Life" plates was due to go to a private organization that funds crisis pregnancy centers in North Carolina. Legislators prohibited the money from being given to agencies that provide abortions or counsel women about them.

More than two dozen states allow the production of "Choose Life" license plates, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health policies. Court challenges over the plates have delayed their distribution in some states.

"Choose Life"


Painted heads of smoker Christmas figures are placed for drying on a tray at the "Erzgebirgische Volkskunst Richard Glaesser" manufactory in Seiffen, November 28, 2012. Since several decades the eastern German region of Erzgebirge produces its typical wooden folk art of smokers, nutcrackers and pyramids especially used as decoration during the Christmas season.
Photo by Tobias Schwarz


Extinct Lizard

Obamadon gracilis

The scientific community has come up with an unusual way of honoring President Barack Obama after his re-election -- by naming an extinct lizard after him.

"I was seriously thinking, if the election had gone the other way, I would have yanked it," Yale paleontologist Nicholas Longrich told the Boston Globe. "It might have seemed like we were mocking it, naming a lizard that goes extinct after that, seemed kind of cruel."

The newly named Obamadon gracilis was a small lizard that fed off of insects and was about a foot long before going extinct about 65 million years ago.

But Longrich and his peers say no one should read any political commentary into the choice. "We're just having fun with taxonomy," he said.

And as NBC's Cosmic Blog points out, this is actually the third organism named after Obama, including a fish (Etheostoma obama) and lichen (Caloplaca obamae).

Obamadon gracilis


Newhead News


$5,000 Bonuses

'Fifty Shades'

Thanks to "Fifty Shades of Grey," employees at Random House Inc. are seeing green.

Every worker, from sales to editorial to distribution, will receive a $5,000 bonus, prorated for those who joined Random House during the year. In a companywide letter sent Monday, CEO Markus Dohle noted the publisher's "unprecedented success" in 2012. EL James' erotic trilogy has sold more than 35 million copies and Random Houser also released such best-sellers as Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" and Robert Caro's "The Passage of Power."

Random House spokesman Stuart Applebaum said Monday that while some employees have existing bonus plans, the across-the-board payment was "unique" for the company.

'Fifty Shades'


A "Naga Sadhu", or holy man, holds a sacred lamp as he performs evening prayer on the river bank of Yamuna ahead of the "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, Dec. 10, 2012.
Photo by Jitendra Prakash


Mardi Gras

Krewe of Orpheus

Actor Gary Sinise and New Orleans musicians Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and Harry Connick Jr. will lead the parade of the Krewe of Orpheus on the evening of Lundi Gras, the day before Fat Tuesday, and perform at the glitzy ball that follows.

The celebrity riders were announced at Mardi Gras World, the New Orleans studio where many Carnival floats are built.

Orpheus marks its 20th anniversary when it parades Feb. 11 with more than 30 ornately-decorated floats, some designed to reflect parade themes of the past.

The Krewe of Orpheus was co-founded in 1993 by Connick and Borey. It has about 1,200 members and is known for attracting celebrities. Those with musical backgrounds often perform at the ball held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center after the parade.

Krewe of Orpheus


Wake-up Call


Offensive Ad Pulled

Virgin Mobile USA

An advertisement for Virgin Mobile that hints at sexual assault was recently pulled after Twitter users (including Richard Branson) raged.

The print ad features a middle-aged man standing behind a woman. He's covering her eyes with one hand and holds a wrapped gift in the other. The caption reads: "The gift of Christmas surprise. Necklace? Or chloroform?"

Chloroform is sometimes used in assaults to make the victim pass out. The sketchy attempt at humor angered just about everyone who saw it. The Guardian UK reported that Twitter comments included "This advert is a disgrace. The suggesttion (sic) of violence is not funny and perpetuates misogyny" and "@virginmobileus u think normalisation of rape or violence is funny?"

Branson, who sold Virgin Mobile USA to Sprint Nextel several years ago, responded to the outrage on the Virgin Group site. "Having just seen, for the first time, the Virgin Mobile US advert which has upset many today, I agree it is ill-judged. Although I don't own the company, it carries our brand. I will speak to the team there, make my thoughts clear and see what can be done about it. Virgin Mobile US usually get these things right, although on this occasion it is clear they have gone too far."

Branson later posted an update explaining that the post was made by an "external agency that was not approved by Virgin Mobile US. They acknowledge a dreadful mistake was made. The advert, along with the whole calendar, has been removed, never to be seen again."

Virgin Mobile USA


A worker poses with Henry Moore's sculpture "Family Group" at Christie's auction house in London December 10, 2012. The piece is expected to sell for 450,000 GBP (U.S. $725,000), when auctioned.


And Another One


Another man on Monday sued the former Elmo puppeteer who resigned amid sex abuse allegations, claiming the voice actor befriended him in Miami and promised to be a father figure before flying the teen to New York to have sex with him.

The alleged victim is now the fourth to accuse Kevin Clash, who resigned from "Sesame Street" last month after 28 years. The three legal actions filed so far have been civil cases seeking financial compensation.

But the incident with the latest victim, referred to only as S.M., could involve criminal charges because the lawsuit claims Clash transported him across state lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

The lawsuit says Clash paid for a plane ticket from Florida to New York in 1996 and arranged for a car service to pick up the teen and bring him to his upscale apartment, where he gave him cash and showered him with "attention and affection" and ultimately engaged in numerous sexual acts.



Moves To Lower-Tax Belgium

Gerard Depardieu

A Belgian mayor says famed French actor Gerard Depardieu has bought a home and set up legal residence in his small town, lured by the food, the people, the lifestyle - and lower tax rates than back home.

The Socialist government under French President Francois Hollande has infuriated many ultra-rich in France by presenting a 2013 budget that would tax top earners at 75 percent over the first €1 million of annual income. Belgium's top rate is 50 percent.

Mayor Daniel Senesael of Nechin, about a kilometer inside Belgium near the French city of Lille, said that "in our conversation, his reasons were also other than those about taxes," RTL radio reported.

Gerard Depardieu


A house is illuminated ahead of Christmas in Buecken, Lower Saxony December 9, 2012. The house, decorated with more than 400,000 lights, is one of the biggest presentations in Europe.
Photo by Fabian Bimmer


Billboard Removed

San Diego

A billboard put up by a San Diego millionaire who's seeking a Latina girlfriend has been removed.

La Jolla Real estate mogul Marc Paskin, who appeared on the ABC reality show "Secret Millionaire," had the sign posted last Thursday over a freeway in the mainly Latino area of Barrio Logan. It bore the message: "All I want for Christmas is a Latina Girlfriend."

KNSD-TV reports that a day after it went up, somebody already had vandalized the billboard by peeling off Paskin's email address.

By the weekend, the message was entirely gone.

San Diego


Lawsuit Raises Questions of Hoax

Crystal Skull

An archaeologist in Belize has filed a lawsuit against the makers of the film "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," alleging that the movie profits off references to an artifact illegally stolen from the country.

But the item in question, a real-life crystal skull, may not be a Belizean artifact carved by the ancient Maya people at all, but rather a hoax perpetrated by a self-styled 20th-century adventurer.

The story starts in the 1930s, when explorer Frederick A. Mitchell-Hedges claims to have found the skull somewhere in Central America. Or maybe it starts in the 1920s: That's when Mitchell-Hedges' daughter, Anna, now deceased, recalled finding the skull in the ancient Maya city of Lubaantún in Belize, though the exact date varied with the telling of the story.

Some have contested the truth of the Mitchell-Hedges tale, however: Smithsonian anthropologist Jane MacLaren Walsh has examined the Mitchell-Hedges skull and finds that it was carved with high-speed, diamond-coated tools from the 20th century.

The new lawsuit, however, takes the Mitchell-Hedges' claims as truth and argues that by removing this alleged artifact from Belize, Frederick and Anna broke the country's laws. Archaeologist Jaime Awe, the director of the Institute of Archaeology of Belize, filed the lawsuit on behalf of his country.

Crystal Skull



In Memory

Jenni Rivera

Jenni Rivera launched her career hawking cassette recordings of her songs at flea markets, but a powerful voice, soulful singing style and frank discussion of personal troubles powered her to the heights of a male-dominated industry, transforming her into the one of the biggest stars of the genre known as grupero.

Her life was cut short at its peak on Sunday by an airplane crash in northern Mexico that also killed six friends and co-workers.

The 43-year-old mother of five and grandmother of two became a symbol of resilience for millions of fans on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Her fame grew as she branched out into acting, appearing in independent film, reality TV and the televised singing competition "La Voz Mexico."

Rivera sold more than 15 million copies of her 12 major-label albums and won a string of Latin music awards. Her shows filled both the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Mexico's National Auditorium, a feat few male singers in her industry achieved.

Many of her songs dealt with themes of dignity in the face of heartbreak, and her shows were known for their festive atmosphere and her intimate interactions with her fans. She would fill song requests from fans who had suffered heartbreak and setbacks, and would often pull women and girls onto stage to personally tell them to keep moving forward.

Rivera's parents migrated from Mexico to California and founded the label that also propelled two of her five brothers, Lupillo and Juan Rivera, to careers as well-known singers of grupero music.

Born on July 2, 1969 in Westwood, California, Janney Dolores Rivera Savedra studied business administration and often said with pride that she started her singing career in flea markets in the Los Angeles area, selling cassette tapes to fans.

She formally debuted on the music scene in 1995 with the release of her album "Chacalosa".

That successful album was followed with two other independent albums, one a tribute to slain Mexican-American singer Selena that helped Rivera expand her following. By the end of the 90s, she won a major-label contract, and built a loyal following that knew her as the "Diva de la Banda."

In 2002, she received her first Latin Grammy nomination, for best album in the band music category.

She was also an actress, appearing in the indie film "Filly Brown," which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival, as the incarcerated mother of character Filly Brown.

Her most recent album, "Joyas Prestadas," or "Borrowed Jewels," won widespread praise and awards and helped cement her status as one of the brightest stars of Mexican-American music.

She was also filming the third season of "I Love Jenni," which followed her as she interacted with her family and toured through Mexico and the United States. She also played a key role in the reality shows: "Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis and Raq-C" and her daughter's "Chiquis 'n Control."

Jenni Rivera


In Memory


A wolf so popular that she was referred to as a rock star by rangers was shot and killed in Wyoming just outside Yellowstone National Park late last week, wildlife officials told the New York Times.

The 6-year-old gray wolf, a tourist favorite known as 832F, was the alpha female of Yellowstone's "highly visible" Lamar Canyon pack, according to the Times. She had been fitted with a GPS collar that allowed researchers to track her movements. According to the newspaper, she was the eighth wolf fitted with the collar to be shot during this year's hunting season.

Last fall, Wyoming removed wolves from its list of endangered species, allowing them to be legally hunted on the Yellowstone Park border for the first time in decades.

"She is the most famous wolf in the world," Jimmy Jones, a wildlife photographer, told the Times.

According to Daniel Stahler, director of Yellowstone's wolf program, data from 832F showed she rarely traveled outside the park. When she did, it was "only for brief periods."




A giant ferris wheel fills the Paris skyline behind the Luxor Obelisk at the Place de la Concorde in central Paris, December 8, 2012. Picture taken using long exposure.
Photo by Christian Hartmann


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