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December 4, 2007

Rapper Pimp C found dead

Chad Butler, better known as rapper Pimp C, or half of rap group UGK, was found dead in a California hotel room Tuesday, according to Hip Hop Game. Butler was 33 years old. According to the same site, L.A. County Fire responded to a 911 call at the Mandarin Hotel, located on trendy Sunset Strip in Hollywood and when they arrived at his hotel room, they found him dead in his bed. No cause of death was specified on the site. the is a big hit for the southern hip hop community, as Butler and partner Bernard Freeman aka "Bun B" made up the rap duo, UGK (Underground Kings) that very much was a reason for the explosion in popularity of southern rap music. Their biggest hit to date was a collaboration with Jay-Z, titled "Big Pimpin," released in 1999. Butler is known almost as well for his music as his "Free Pimp C" t-shirt campaign for when he was incarcerated for failing to complete a community service requirement stemming from an aggravated assault charge. I remember many people wearing the shirts that didn't even know his music, but wore the shirt because it was "hip." Butler' full background can be read at his wikipedia page, which has not updated it since the news about his death broke.

December 2, 2007

What a BCS mess..

Just when things seemed like they couldn't get any more chaotic.. chaos occurs. In the only proper way to cap an extremely unpredictable college football season that has had more upsets and surprise victories than any season in recent memory, #1 Missouri fell to Oklahoma 38-17 and #2 West Virginia lost at home to struggling rival Pitt 13-9 Saturday, according to Sports Illustrated's website. Now what? Well, a playoff system would've been nice for this tumultuous implosion of a season, but then again, who would even be in the playoff, with so many qualified, or maybe un-qualified teams for that matter and so much ambiguity? Expert analyst Kirk Herbstreit didn't even have any insightful conclusion. "The BCS is going to implode," he said. As many as ten teams can probably make their justified case for being in the Championship game, but it is going to boil down to those damned computers, bless their reasonable hearts. Ivan Meisel, of ESPN said it likely looks like LSU and Ohio St. will get bids, on their website, but then again, maybe all of college football should just boycott the BCS bowl games this season in hopes of being rewarded with a playoff system that could be maybe offer some stability. But with this frenetic season, even being stabilized would've still left the scene open for a confusing, unprecedented debate forum.

November 25, 2007

Celtics surge to 11-1, and I secretly weep tears of nostalgia

Ray Allen hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer for Boston Saturday to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats 96-95, according to Sports Illustrated's website. The Celtics have now won 11 of 12 to open the season and seems poised to make a strong run with their dynamic trio of Allen, Paul Pierce and Minnesota' most missed athlete, Kevin Garnett. Bill Simmons writes on his blog that Garnett "is a man on a mission. He's possessed. He's a borderline lunatic," and it really is ambivalent for Twolves fans to witness. There can be no hostility towards Garnett as he gave his all for our franchise and it wasn't his fault our front office ran the team as well as 4th graders could, like "hmmmm.. bananas and peanut butter taste especially good on tortillas, we should order mom to make that every day for four years," like GM Kevin McHale seemed to act like with free agents to surround KG. Garnett really does seem like a man possessed and plays exhibition games like game seven of the NBA Finals. We can only root for him to succeed, but deep down be hurt that the Timberwolves organization couldn't have been run by at least 5th graders.

November 18, 2007

Bonds indicted on perjury charges

Barry Bonds, who passed legend Hank Aaron on the all-time home-run tally this year and has undergone some of the harshest treatments from fans in the history of sports, due to the suspicion that he was linked to steroids, was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday. The grand jury in San Francisco returned a five count indictment against Bonds, which includes four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice and accuses him of lying when he said he didn't knowingly take steroids, according to CNN. These charges come after roughly four years of speculation and refusals by Bonds to admit that he had taken steroids. The perjury convictions carry possible prison terms of up to five years, while obstruction of justice can bring a 10-year sentence. This certainly will end the major league star's career, as the limited number of teams that were willing to sign him and all his baggage have surely vanished amidst these convictions. It truly is a sad story, as before the whole issue of steroids in baseball began, Bonds was a legitimate talent, but he was a different player. The sleek, base-stealing centerfielder transformed over the years, notably since 2001, as his weight and muscle mass mysteriously got larger and larger. People can ridicule him all they want, but it is hard to deny the reasoning in him taking steroids. He saw Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa revitalize the game in 1997, a season in which it is highly assumed that they were both using performance-enhancing drugs, and Bonds wasn't getting any love. Think about it? You are better than everyone in your profession until all your peers are cheating; which helps them give better performances; wouldn't you be a little ticked off? Well, certainly everyone would be, and Bonds decided to prove that he was still better, as he took steroids and escalated his status past all his peers that he was outperforming prior to the usage, not to mention receiving double his salary because of it. A lot of people would have gone this route, as much as people will deny it, and a good perspective on the matter is written about at this blog, called Media Appetite, authored by a familiar writer.

November 11, 2007

Numbers Entry: Rapper T.I. facing 10 years behind bars

Popular rap artist, T.I. was arrested on October 13, 2007 in Atlanta on felony weapons charges and was released on $3 million bail on October 26, 2007. The 27-year old, whose real name is Clifford Harris, is a convicted felon, who was convicted on felony drug charges in 1998. He was arrested a few hours before he was set to perform at the BET's Hip-Hop awards, after police were informed by a cooperative that the rapper was attempting to purchase three machine guns, two silencers and one pistol according to the website Hip-Hop game. He is facing up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count, if convicted. The rapper certainly has, as his hit single claims, "Big things poppin."

Legends Pacino and De Niro set to pair up again

Film legends Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, two of, if not the two most influential actors of a generation are set to appear by each other's sides in "Righteous Kill," according to The website Empire. The duo, who first appeared in The Godfather Part II together (although they never actually appeared in a scene together, as we well know) and then later in "Heat." will play retired police officers in the film, the site reports. Oh yeah, sorry I have to mention this, The enigma 50 cent will also star in the film. I don't know if this is a positive direction for the film, but maybe 50 will claim he will retire if Pacino and De Niro give better performances than him, an inevitably false claim similar to his proclamation that he would retire if Kanye West outsold his record, which he did. Besides that fact, this film should capture the best of the stars as they are soon to be entering the twilights of their illustrious careers. "Say hello to my little friend," and "You talkin' to me" in the same frame, that's all that needs to be said. There are many sites dedicated to the actors, but here is one for De Niro at this informational/fan site.

November 5, 2007

"American Gangster" has huge opening weekend

The much anticipated Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe collaboration "American Gangster" opened on Friday and had tallied up $46.3 Million at the box office in its first two days of release, according to the website Box Office Mojo. The film out grossed the kiddy flick "Bee Movie," which grossed about $39 Million. "Gangster," whose trailer has consistently been shown in theaters for months to spread buzz to all those crime saga film fanatics who love "Scarface," "Goodfellas," "The Godfather" and "Serpico" amongst others, received mixed reviews despite the huge turnout. Dave White at the website movies.com summed it up by saying "You've seen it all before," and I tend to agree with him. I was amped up to see this film just as much as the next Scorsese buff, but Marty-quality it was not. I felt going in that I pretty much knew exactly how it would unfold and that I shouldn't expect anything unforeseen, but I was hoping Director Ridley Scott could put a unique twist to the plot; I was wrong. While I was entertained throughout, I walked out nodding my head at the Hollywood film that so desperately wants to be commercially viable and the next "The Departed" you can taste it. I give it a grade of B-.

October 29, 2007

Popularity of name Isabella apparently skyrocketing

Talk about gaining popularity... The website YeahBaby reports that Isabella was the fourth most common name chosen for baby girls in the year of 2006. For a name that was the 849th most popular just 17 years ago, according to the same site, you could say that Izzy, Bella, Ella, Isa or whatever you want to nickname her, is on quite a roll. No other name has taken off like her. It's funny, because I personally thought that the name was traditional and uncommon and due to the access hollywood type of culture we live in there would be names like Suri or Olive or whatever the hell Nicole Richie is going to name her baby scattered across the leader boards. It got me to thinking. I had to evaluate the validity of this Yeahbaby site, for maybe there is a massive conspiracy by a mom that has a vendetta out against another mom with a baby named Isabella because she is cuter and wants all babies to take her name and make her lose her sense of individuality. So I searched the only site I knew would give me results...

The Social Security Administration reports that Isabella is the fourth most common name in the U.S. Oh well, I guess it's gonna rise even more, for a certain Isabella Fiddler was born on 10/26/07 in Minneapolis and is reportedly the cutest out of the some 2 million in the country. Now just for that middle name..

October 15, 2007

HBO's Entourage's "Medellin" catches attention

Maybe Oliver Stone has never even heard of "Entourage," and it is a complete coincidence, but the mega director/producer has announced that he is set to produce a new Pablo Escobar film this year. "Medellin" was the title of the fictional film portrayed on the show, and the program just concluded its 4th season not even two months ago. Variety newspaper also wrote that Stone had selected Shooter's Antoine Fuqua to direct the film, which is slated to be released in 2008; no star has been attached yet, but Christian Bale is already set to appear in "Killing Pablo," also set to release next year. Two Pablo Escobar films in one year? Maybe the producers remember how "Volcano" and "Dante's Peak" were both successful at the same time, or how "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact" coincided and thought that good things can roll in pairs. I know I will be enticed by both films, but Bale will have to gain a lot of weight for his role, but I think maybe Benicio Del Toro, as suggested in "Entourage" might be a better pick.

The source is an authority human source.

October 8, 2007

Scorsese and Dicaprio set to team up again

Fresh of a long overdue Oscar win with the critically acclaimed, box office hit, The Departed, Director Martin Scorsese has agreed to collaborate with star Leonardo Dicaprio again for the film, The Wolf of Wall Street, according to the LA Times. The film, which is to start filming within the next year, is based upon the recently released autobiography Wall Street, by former New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who was sent to jail in the '90's for money laundering and security fraud. Dicaprio will play Belfort, which should be quite am exciting role for the actor. Belfort was a flashy, drug-abusing, hooker-hiring, model-marrying narracist during his wall street days and the character sounds like it will give Dicaprio a lot to sink his teeth into. This will be the fourth pairing between Scorsese and Dicaprio, after Gangs of New York, The Aviator and The Departed

September 24, 2007

Ban on bottomless drinking specials approved in Green Bay, WI

Due to a very high number of drunken driving tickets and alcohol related traffic deaths, a new ban of all-you-can drink specials was made effective at bars in Green Bay, WI recently. The Green Bay City Council cite 400-some drunken driving tickets issued in Green Bay this year and five alcohol-related traffic deaths in recent months as the main reason for this ban, and they want binge drinking to stop.

Many bars in the town offer specials where a patron may pay $8-10 and drink an unlimited amount in a certain time. J.P. Rhodes, who owns the bar Maloney's, has an unlimited-refill special on Thursday nights and said that he doesn't think the ban will change the culture much at all. "Is this going to curb binge drinking? No, it'll just drive them to the dorm rooms...or they'll sit at home and drink a whole case of beer and leave for a buddy's house, where they could get into an accident just as easily,'' he said.

There were others who believe that it was a good idea, like Barry Fitzgerald who manages St. Brendan's Inn & Pub. "These all-you-can drink specials encourage people to get blind drunk, giving a bad name to the bars, to downtown and to businesses like ours that don't encourage that at all,'' he said.

The culture where this type of drinking does exist, especially in college towns and communities, and many students seem to say that their drinking is "just what college kids do," and that it "isn't as problem," but when as many tickets are issued, and as many deaths occur due to alcohol in Green Bay, the problem does need to be assessed and this move may be heading in the right direction.

Story @: 1. http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070920/GPG06/709200564/1269
2. http://www.startribune.com/484/story/1440803.html

September 17, 2007

'The Sopranos' among winners at Emmy Awards

Longtime HBO mainstay 'The Sopranos' walked home with the last award of the night, outstanding drama miniseries, at the annual Primetime Emmy Awards this evening in Los Angelas, CA. The glamorous ceremony recognizes excellence in television programming and was anticapated this year largely because of 'The Sopranos.' Many nominees even admitted they were sure they weren't going to win if they were in the same category as a 'The Sopranos' nominee, as Denis Leary, who was nominated for outstanding male lead in a drama with James Gandolfini of 'The Sopranos' said "I don’t expect to win, It’s my favorite show. I think it will win everything" before the program. The hit series concluded this season after 10 years with HBO.

The ceremony was hosted by Ryan Seacrest, and other winners consisted of Jeremy Piven, also from a HBO program, 'Entourage', who won the award for outstanding male acting in a comedic series, and NBC's '30 Rock', who won the award for outstanding comedy series.

Story @: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/arts/television/17cnd-emmy.html?ref=television

September 10, 2007

Tropical storm Gabrielle hits North Carolina

North Carolina was hit by the tropical strom Gabrielle Sunday afternoon with winds that were measured at 50 mph. The Hurricane Center in Miami, FL determined that the storm was centered nearly 8 miles west of Kill Devil Hills, N.C. at approximately 8:00 PM ET. Conditions were noted as being "not that bad," but precautionary measures are still being taken, as warning signs remain posted between Cape Lookout and Cape Charles Light, Virginia.

Within the next 24-36 hours, it is very plausible that tropical storm weather will occur, which can possibly equate to storm-surge flooding 2-3 feet across the warning areas.

The worst that the storm is capable of producing would come from the rip currents along the shore and rough seas, conditions that surfers in the state aren't apparently all that opposed to.

Story @:http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/weather/09/09/gabrielle/index.html