Rick Santorum Criticizes Sarah Palin For Skipping CPAC

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Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania senator, criticized Sarah Palin for skipping this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, suggesting she had other "business opportunities to attend to."

"I have a feeling that she has some demands on her time, and a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them," Santorum said, suggesting that Palin skipped CPAC because she wouldn’t be paid for her speech.

But Santorum is now downplaying his previous remarks, saying that Politico twisted his words.

"This article is garbage," Santorum tweeted, linking to Politico's report. "All I said was-she was VERY busy, period."

However, this would not be the first time Santorum has verbally attacked potential 2012 presidential rivals. Last month, Santorum seemed to slight Palin in an interview with National Journal. When asked if she was qualified to be president, Santorum replied, "She is born in this country, and she's the right age." He also trashed Mitt Romney, the candidate he endorsed in '08, for the health care plan he signed into law in Massachusetts. And last week, he suggested Mike Huckabee lacks the foreign policy credentials necessary to win the White House.

Tammy Bruce, a conservative radio host close to the Palin camp, accused Santorum of smearing the former Alaska governor. "It's patronizing crap," she tweeted. "Nothing less."

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Rick Santorum Battles Sexual “Santorum” Definition

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Richard John “Rick” Santorum was a former United States Senator from Pennsylvania.He is a member of the republican party and was the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.Currently, Santorum is considering running for the presidential office in 2012. He attended Pennsylvania State University,University Of Pittsburgh, and
The Dickinson School of Law.

Recently, Santorum became a new sexual neologism word which means the “frothy mixture of lube,fecal matter and occasionally blood that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”This word was first
used by American humorist and sex-advice columnist Dan Savage in 2003.

This sparked a Google bomb that made the definition website above the US Republican Senator’s website.

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Security Guard Dies After Accident on Set of 'NCIS'

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SANTA CLARITA (KTLA) -- The popular television show 'NCIS' has suspended production after a freak accident killed a security guard, officials said.

Julio Garcia, 52, was tenting a staging area around 10 a.m. Wednesday for the CBS crime drama when he was hit by a production vehicle outside a vacant building at 24800 Avenue Rockefeller.

According to L.A. County Sheriffs officials, Ralph Blunt, 60, was driving a passenger van when he suffered some kind of medical condition, losing control of the vehicle and striking Garcia before hitting two parked cars.

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Julio Garcia dies after tragic accident on 'NCIS' set, production halted

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CBS' hit drama "NCIS" has halted production after security guard Julio Garcia died in a tragic accident that occurred on the show's Los Angeles set. Garcia was struck by a vehicle after the driver apparently blacked out while driving.

According to L.A. County Sheriffs officials, Ralph Blunt had just dropped off passengers when he suffered an unspecified medical condition, lost control of the vehicle and struck Garcia, 52, and two parked cars.

Garcia was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead due to injuries sustained in the crash. Blunt was also taken to the hospital, but was released after observation.

CBS Productions released a statement on Wednesday, Feb. 16, saying, "Everyone at the network, the studio and 'NCIS' is devastated by the news. Our hearts grieve for his family and friends for this tragic loss."

The statement continued, "We are, of course, cooperating with the local authorities in Santa Clarita to help determine what caused this terrible accident. Production on the show has been suspended."

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Indomitable Russell Values One Accolade Above the Rest

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He has never visited the Basketball Hall of Fame, where he was the first black N.B.A. player enshrined, in 1975. He has his reasons; he always does.

Given his blast-from-the-past ’60s positions on race and just about anything, Russell is often asked about his reaction to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he will receive from President Obama on Tuesday, as will former President George H. W. Bush, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Stan Musial and 11 others.

Is this the greatest personal honor in his life?

“A close second,” Russell replied.

Umm, what’s first? The tentativeness of the question elicited the familiar whooping roar of laughter occasionally emitted by this publicly serious man.

“When he was about 77, my father and I were talking,” Russell answered. “And he said: ‘You know, you’re all grown up now, and I want to tell you something. You know, I am very proud of the way you turned out as my son, and I’m proud of you as a father.’

“My father is my hero, O.K., and I cannot perceive of anything topping that,” Russell continued, his voice becoming husky. This being the mature Bill Russell, born on Lincoln’s birthday in 1934, he saw fit to add, “While I am very, very flattered by this honor.”

Russell will take along much of his family, along with Jim Brown and Joe Morgan, whom he regards as allies, great African-American athletes who spoke their minds.

“I said, ‘You were part of this team, like John Lewis and Maya Angelou, some of the medal winners,’ ” said his daughter, Karen Kenyatta Russell, a lawyer, almost as if she needed to talk her father into accepting the honor.

“Weren’t they the predicate in a way for Obama?” she said. “Before Oprah. He was the first black coach in major sports; people saw someone like him.”

When he was flicking away opponents’ shots, Russell intimidated the world not only with his long arms, but also with his silent stares and strong opinions. For many decades, Russell refused to visit Fenway Park, until new management convinced him it had exorcised vestiges of racism.

He has stayed away from the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., he said, because he represented team play, not individual accomplishment — and besides, he recalled, he was denied an individual honor while in college.

In a telephone conversation recently, Russell just happened to recall the spring of 1966, when he was named the first black coach in a major professional sport in the United States.

“I remember at the press conference,” he said, “probably the second or third question one of the Boston reporters asked me, ‘Can you coach the white guys without being prejudiced?’ Now, I didn’t recall anybody asking a white coach if he could coach the black guys without being prejudiced. All I said was, ‘Yeah.’ ”

New generations have no idea what it was like back then. Russell was born in West Monroe, La.; his parents knew people who had been born slaves. Once his mother made a handsome suit for herself, and police officers told her not to wear “white women’s clothes,” Karen Russell said.

“Black people had to wait in line at a drugstore or gas station, and white people went first,” she continued. “One day, my grandfather tried to pull away from a gas line, and the owner pulled a shotgun and said, ‘Boy, you’re going to buy your gas from me.’ ”

In a telephone interview, she described Russell as the personification of Isabel Wilkerson’s new book, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” about the black journey to northern cities.

“My father says it was not a migration but an immigration,” she said, meaning to another country. Russell told her that if his father had stayed in Louisiana, “He said he either would have killed or been killed.”

Charlie and Katie Russell moved with their two sons to Oakland, Calif., where she died at 32, but not before telling him to make sure the boys got an education. The older son, Charlie L. Russell, became a playwright. A scout spotted the gangly William Russell in a high school game and directed him to Coach Phil Woolpert at the University of San Francisco.

“I was an innovator,” Russell said. “I started blocking shots although I had never seen a shots blocked before that. The first time I did that in a game, my coach called timeout and said, ‘No good defensive player ever leaves his feet.’ ”

Russell did it anyway, and the Dons won 55 straight games and national titles in 1955 and 1956. Then Russell led the United States to a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, and joined the Celtics, who had never won a championship.

He has always given credit to the team’s white owner, Walter Brown, and its white coach, the irascible, pragmatic Red Auerbach. The Celtics began to win, and they kept adding great players, most of them black. When Tom Heinsohn was hurt, Auerbach started Willie Naulls in his place, and days later, Russell said, they were told they were the first N.B.A. team to start five blacks.

Russell dominated everybody — economically blocking shots toward his teammates, changing the flow of his sport. Tom Meschery, an opponent, wrote a poem about him, calling him an “eagle with a beard.”

When Auerbach retired as coach after the 1965-66 title, the team agreed Russell should become the playing coach.

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Serene Branson, reporter who slurred words at Grammys, posts on Twitter (video)

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On Tuesday, Serene Branson, the Los Angeles on-air reporter who began to speak incoherently while reporting on the Grammy Awards Sunday night, posted messages to her Twitter account.

Branson tweeted Tuesday “I am not in the hospital. Please stop these rumors. Thank you.”

She also wrote “…the thing that matters to me the most… my family :-) have an amazing day everyone!”

The day after Branson was seen on live television beginning her report from Sunday night Grammy Awards with, “Well, a very heavy burtation tonight…” followed by a number of incoherent utterances, KCBS said in a statement that she was immediately examined by paramedics at the scene.

“Her vital signs were normal. She was not hospitalized. As a precautionary measure, a colleague gave her a ride home and she says she is feeling fine this morning,” said the statement.

Branson also followed-up with a doctor Monday, undergoing some medical examinations, according to KCBS. The station also noted that “Serene thanks everyone for their concern and good wishes and hopes to be back on the air very soon.”

Several physicians have appeared publicly to speculate on what caused Branson’s inability to form comprehensible words, saying she may have experienced any number of things including a stroke, a transient ischemic attack or mini stroke, a seizure, or even a migraine attack.

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John Brothers Piano Company play S.F. streets

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Market Street is their concert hall. The clanging streetcars their backup singers.

Several times a week, self-taught musicians John "Thatcher" Boomer and John Morgan hoist their upright Craigslist freebie piano into the back of their 20-year-old Jeep, and drive from the West Oakland brick warehouse where they split the rent on an unheated room to play for tips on Market Street and Union Square.

Taking turns, the 23-year-old Cal grads bend and sweat over the keys, hair flying and mouths agape, banging out original ragtime, jazz and burlesque tunes until their hands blur and the veins pop from their temples. Having painted the exposed hammers of their Wurlitzer spinet piano with lacquer to make their sound even louder, they fill the air with a throwback sound that evokes the honky-tonk ghosts of Barbary Coast.

To their parents' chagrin, they have ditched their day jobs and are going for broke in their quest to become full-time piano virtuosos.

"We've given up everything for the piano," Boomer said.

It only takes a song or two to draw a crowd, incredulous that street musicians are playing a piano on the sidewalk. The upturned top hat on their piano quickly fills with bills - each month they earn enough to cover their $550 rent with a little left over. They are saving to take their gig on the road, either cross-country or Europe, depending on their take. So far, the beat cops have given them the go-ahead to play as long as no one complains.

So far, all they've drawn is applause.

"I mostly listen to heavy metal, but there's something about this, it's so fast, and his hands are so big, it reminds me of Rachmaninoff," said Micah Johnson, who stopped to buy a John Brothers Piano Company CD for $10.

"We're the John Brothers Piano Company!" Morgan says between songs by way of introduction.

"We're only going to play a couple more songs, so stick around because this next one is sure to make the dollars fly out of your pockets!"

Self-taught players and composers, the John Brothers don't talk much during their performances, preferring to get lost in the drama of their musical passion.

Boomer is a former math major who finds an outlet for his counting mind in mad-dash jazz fingering a la Fats Waller. Morgan, a former football player and drummer in a metal band, likes to play by extending his enormous right paw in a stride technique that conjures more of a burlesque, saloon sound.

They met in college, where they discovered a mutual love for the dorm piano. Jam sessions ensued, and then to their great delight, they learned how to play the Yans Tiersen movie soundtrack to "Amelie." This was good because it guaranteed attention from lovelorn females at fraternity parties.

Now, they have five hand-me-down pianos scattered throughout the former creamery-turned art collective where they live in West Oakland called Ghosttown Gallery. Their small room is dominated by an upright grand piano, and the walls are covered with pictures of their heroes Dostoyevsky and Thomas Pynchon. They have a collection of jazz and blues records, and a DVD collection that leans toward art films - movies about Edith Piaf and Truman Capote. They rely on candles, wool coats and whiskey to stay warm.

And cigarettes.

"I love the piano," Morgan said, exhaling and surveying the wanderers on San Pablo Avenue below his cracked window. "It can never say no to me. It stands there, always looking at me, challenging me."

They don't have day jobs. When they discovered 11 months ago that they could make more by playing piano in the MacArthur BART Station than they could making deli sandwiches or waiting tables, they became fulltime performers.

As often as good weather allows, they drive to San Francisco, being careful to leave before the evening rush hour so they can save a dollar on the bridge toll.

At first, they were so excited they were making a little money as artists that they spent it all on Champagne and cigars. Now they are being more frugal with an eye toward their future tour. Already their outdoor shows have led to a handful of gigs and private and company parties.

"My parents still consider me unemployed," Boomer said.

"Mine kept asking me when I was going to get a real job, but they stopped once I showed them our CD," said Morgan, who majored in English.

Produced and designed with help from fellow artists in Ghosttown Gallery, their CD packaging features their secret handshake: a thumb and forefinger grabbing another's pinky. The song list includes their original compositions: "Computer Duster," "Terra Damnata," "Rocketship" and "Mint Julep." They sell the CDs from a box whenever they play.

One frigid evening in January, they performed for an hour at Fourth and Market streets. They were joined by a hula hooper, a strolling violinist, a 2-year-old who saddled onto the bench to plunk, an Internet video crew and dozens of iPhone photographers. One man who has ties to The Warfield two blocks down the street offered to let them store their piano in the concert hall.

Andi Plantenberg was on her way home from her Market Street creative agency, Singlebound, when she was inspired to drop a few dollars in the John Brothers' hat.

"It's a freakin' piano on Market Street!" she said. "But then when you get over that and listen, the music is good. Really good."

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Westminster dog show 2011: Top-ranked smooth fox terrier is a no-show, but another top winner steps in

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The Westminster dog show, for the fifth consecutive year, has been handicapped by Vegas odds-maker Johnny Avello (see his odds in PDF format) -- but America's top-ranked show dog in 2010 may have just thrown a wrench into the works.

Avello -- who lists odds on the breed, group, gender and age of the winning dog, but doesn't call out individual dogs by name -- gave the smooth fox terrier 6-to-1 odds to win Best in Show this year. It's a safe bet that he was banking on smooth fox terrier GCH J'Cobe Kemosabe Vigilante Justice, nicknamed Dodger, to represent his breed in the competition. Dodger's show career has included more than 100 Best in Show wins at dog shows around the country -- and he isn't even 4 yet.

He's a formidable competitor, for sure -- but he didn't show up. Dodger, whose co-owner Phillip Booth gave every indication the dog would compete at Westminster in an interview last week with Bloomberg News, was entered and even came to New York City, where the show takes place. But "[t]here was no reason to show him," Booth told Bloomberg on Tuesday, adding, "People don't realize how subjective [Westminster] is."

But don't throw Avello's smooth fox terrier prediction out the window just yet -- the eventual Best of Breed winner is another top-winning dog, GCH Slyfox Sneaks A Peek, who goes by Adam for short. Adam was the country's 10th-ranked show dog of all breeds in 2010 and won the terrier group at the prestigious AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show last year.

A smooth fox terrier named Ch Warren Remedy was Westminster's very first Best in Show winner and captured the title for three consecutive years, a record still unbeaten -- but no smooth fox terrier has won since. (Wire fox terriers have won a number of times in the intervening years, however.)

Malachy Also high on Avello's odds list are the Pekingese, with 7-to-1 odds (a Peke named GCH Palacegarden Malachy won the Toy group Monday night and was ranked the No. 2 show dog in the country in 2010); and the boxer with 8-to-1 odds (a boxer named GCH Winfall Brookwood Styled Dream was the No.4 dog last year and already won her breed competition Tuesday).

The Vegas expert also gave the Irish setter impressive 10-to-1 odds, but the Irish setter that ranked third among all show dogs last year failed to win her breed competition. The bearded collie has 15-to-1 odds; a beardie named GCH Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins, who ranked ninth among all show dogs in 2010, won the herding group Monday night.

Avello correctly predicted that a Scottish terrier would win Best in Show last year. And in 2007, his first year making Westminster odds, he also picked the eventual winner, the English springer spaniel. But his odds haven't always been spot-on. In 2008, he picked the standard poodle as the likely winner; a 15-inch beagle named Uno wound up winning Best in Show. In 2009, the gaming expert mistakenly gave the best odds to the Brussels griffon; in a victory that shocked many dog show aficionados, a rare Sussex spaniel named Stump emerged from retirement to win top honors. The Sussex had been given 275-to-1 odds by Avello.

Explaining his method for picking winning dogs to the Wall Street Journal, Avello said: "I spend a lot of time on it. I rank all the dogs that I think are in the top 100 and then I go back and put odds on those dogs from top to bottom." We'll just have to wait until Tuesday night to find out how effective his process is.

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Buffalo Springfield to play Bonnaroo 2011

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It appears that the big reunion tour that has been rumoured to be on the roster for the Bonnaroo 2011 lineup is going to be Buffalo Springfield, who are expected to be announced as headliners today for the annual summer music festival. Buffalo Springfield hasn't toured properly in almost forty-three years and includes legendary rockers Neil Young and Stephen Stills.

Earlier today they announced that they will embark on a fall tour and an appearance at Bonnaroo 2011. The lineup and announcement that Buffalo Springfield will play Bonnaroo 2011 is scheduled to be revealed February 15th at 12:00pm Eastern, however David Crosby did tell Rolling Stone a few weeks ago that Buffalo Springfield was planning a tour.

Buffalo Springfield is best known for their classic rock staples and anti-war rock songs, 'For What It's Worth' and 'Mr. Soul'. The band reunited last October for Neil Young's 24th Bridge School Benefit Concert. The official Bonaroo 2011 lineup will be announced officially at 12:00 Eastern today.

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music Bonnaroo 2011 to Get Sucker-Punched by Climate Change?

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For the uninitiated, Bonnaroo takes place in Manchester Tennessee, in the middle of June. If you’ve never been to Manchester, TN, which you likely haven’t been unless it was for Bonnaroo, here’s the rundown: it’s hot and wet, and muddy as hell. After 3 days of tens of thousands of people doing their business in porta-potties and clomping through the mud, the place smells to holy hell—it’s like some medieval European town where the black plague has hit, and hit hard.

Unless you’re 17 or some bumpkin from Tennessee, or 17 and some bumpkin from Tennessee, it’s a disgusting mess. And here’s the thing: this winter exhibited all the hallmark signs of climate change, as the world gets hotter and wetter. Yes, this winter was cold, but the overall annual warming unlocks arctic air, making storms, yada yada. Anyway the point is, the hot disgusting mess that is Bonnaroo is probably going to be even hotter and wetter this year.

The only thing that makes it worth it is a lineup good enough to subject yourself to the torture. Everyone has their price—in 2009 that price, for me, was Beastie Boys, Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors and Bruce Springsteen, all in one fest. It’s like the Costco of music festivals. Was it worth it? Just about.

So who is on the Bonnaroo lineup this year? Arcade Fire, check. Lil Wayne, half-check. Eminem… you’re losing me. From there the lineup looks a little more disappointing—to drag my ass out to the middle of muddy Tennessee, you’re going to need more than Buffalo Springfield. For 2011, you need Radiohead.

But by all means—decide for yourself. Full Bonaroo 2011 lineup below. Tickets go on sale Feb 19th, fest is June 9-11 in Manchester, TN.

Arcade Fire
Widespread Panic
The Black Keys
Buffalo Springfield feat Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Rick Rosas, Joe Vitale
My Morning Jacket
Lil Wayne
String Cheese Incident
Robert Plant & Band of Joy
Mumford & Sons
The Strokes
The Decemberists
Ray Lamontagne
Iron & Wine
Girl Talk
Dr. John and The Original Meters performing Desitively Bonnaroo
Alison Krauss & Union Station
Pretty Lights
Florence + the Machine
SuperJam with Dan Auerbach and Dr. John
Explosions In The Sky
Gogol Bordello
Big Boi
Scissor Sisters
Gregg Allman
Global Gypsy Punk Revue curated by Eugene Hütz
Warren Haynes Band
Old Crow Medicine Show
Bootsy Collins & the Funk University
Wiz Khalifa
Matt & Kim
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
The Del McCoury Band & the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Mavis Staples
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones
Chiddy Bang
Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers
Loretta Lynn
Cold War Kids
The Walkmen
Wanda Jackson
Neon Trees
Portugal. The Man
Sleigh Bells
Amos Lee
Best Coast
Dãm-Funk & Master Blazter
The Sword
The Drums
The Black Angels
School of Seven Bells
J. Cole
Nicole Atkins & the Black Sea
Freelance Whales
Justin Townes Earle
Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses
Deer Tick
Band of Skulls
Sharon Van Etten
Abigail Washburn
Omar Souleyman
Twin Shadow
Man Man
The Low Anthem
Alberta Cross
Railroad Earth
Jessica Lea Mayfield
Smith Westerns
The Head and the Heart
Karen Elson
Beats Antique
Clare Maguire
Hayes Carll

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CBS News' Lara Logan recuperating after Cairo attack

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Reporting from New York — —
CBS News correspondent Lara Logan is recovering in an American hospital this week after being sexually assaulted and beaten by a mob in Egypt's Tahrir Square late on Friday.

The same day that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, Logan was surveying the mood of anti-Mubarak protesters for a "60 Minutes" story when she and her team "were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration," CBS said in a statement Tuesday. The network said that a group of 200 people were then "whipped into a frenzy," pulling Logan away from her crew and attacking her until a group of women and Egyptian soldiers intervened.

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Best of the Beat Awards to honor Dave Bartholomew, Alex Chilton

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The 17th annual Best of the Beat Awards takes over Generations Hall on Friday, Jan. 28 with what will, at times, feel like the entire New Orleans music community.

The massive awards show/party features music from a wide range of musicians. This year’s show includes two themed performances of note. Deacon John and his band will pay tribute to Dave Bartholomew, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame producer, songwriter and bandleader best known for his work with Fats Domino. Bartholomew will receive a lifetime achievement award on Friday.

Also, an all-star cast of musicians will showcase the music of the late Alex Chilton, the celebrated Box Tops and Big Star singer who lived in New Orleans from the early 1980s until his death from a heart attack in March 2010. Musicians scheduled to participate in the tribute include Theresa Andersson, Susan Cowsill, Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, Alex McMurray, Davis Rogan, and the Iguanas’ Doug Garrison and Rene Coman, who served as Chilton’s rhythm section for many years.

Other performers at the Best of the Beat include Chubby Carrier, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns, the Creole String Beans, the Stooges Brass Band, Lyrikill & the Soundclash Allstars and Washboard Rodeo.

The show is from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m. Friday.

The Best of the Beat Awards, sponsored by OffBeat magazine, honor local musicians across a wide range of categories, as voted on by the general public via the magazine’s web site. Nominees for Artist of the Year include Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Anders Osborne, Feufollet, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and Curren$y.

Additional honorees include Rebirth Brass Band snare drummer Derrick Tabb, whose Roots of Music after-school program will receive the Best of the Beat Award for Music Education; Johnny Palazzotto, founder of the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, will get the Best of the Beat Award for Music Business. HBO’s “Treme” will be honored with the magazine’s “Heartbeat Award for the show’s efforts to accurately depict New Orleans music.

Tickets are $29 in advance, $39 at the door; the price includes food catered by several local restaurants, while supplies last. Proceeds from sales of $100 VIP balcony passes benefit the New Orleans Musicians’ Assistance Fund, a foundation of the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic. Tickets are available at OffBeat’s web site, along with a schedule of events.

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Best of the Beat Awards celebrated Trombone Shorty, Alex Chilton

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Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews had a huge 2010. In yet another affirmation, he dominated the Best of the Beat Awards last weekend. He took home five trophies, including the prestigious album and artist of the year awards.

The Best of the Beats took over the sprawling Generations Hall complex in the Warehouse District on Friday, Jan. 28. Hundreds of people crowded into the main room as winners in a range of local music categories were revealed. The general public voted on the awards via OffBeat magazine’s Web site.

Andrews’ national debut, “Backatown,” was also named best R&B/funk album. That hyphenated genre is a better fit for “Backatown” than “contemporary jazz,” which is how the Grammy Awards categorized it (but hey, a Grammy is a Grammy; if he wins, he likely won’t mind the categorization).

Others who took home Best of the Beat trophies included Rotary Downs, the Happy Talk Band, the Honey Island Swamp Band, Anders Osborne, Dr. John, Big Freedia, Kermit Ruffins, Cindy Scott, Irvin Mayfield, Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue, the Pine Leaf Boys and Beausoleil.

Steve Earle showed up to collect the “Heartbeat Award” for HBO’s “Treme” series, which was recognized for its efforts to accurately depict the music culture of New Orleans. The contemporary country singer has a recurring role on the series; a song he wrote for the show, “This City,” is up for a Grammy.

The dispensing of awards only accounted for part of Friday night’s event. Following Deacon John’s salute to legendary producer and songwriter Dave Bartholomew – Irma Thomas was a special guest, and Bartholomew was on hand as well – an eclectic posse paid tribute to the late Alex Chilton. The Box Tops and Big Star frontman lived in Treme for more than 20 years; he passed away last March.

Iguanas drummer Doug Garrison and bassist Rene Coman, who toured with Chilton for several years, anchored a house band that included guitarist Alex McMurray and Memphis saxophonist Jim Spake. They banged out a raucous “Bangkok” and “Lies,” a song written by the late Keith Keller, owner of Chez Flames studio and a Chilton confidant. Other tribute highlights included Soul Asylum frontman Dave Pirner’s charge through Big Star’s “September Gurls” and Susan Cowsill and Theresa Andersson harmonizing on the Box Tops’ “Soul Deep.”

Later that night, an ailing Ivan Neville – he felt too sick to drive to New Orleans from his home in Austin, so caught a last-minute flight instead – fronted DumpstaPhunk for a tight set of funk/R&B. Tony Hall, one of two bassists in the band, temporarily switched to electric guitar, peeling off stinging lead lines. Newer songs in the DumpstaPhunk catalog are worthy of the band’s formidable chops.

Is there really any information about that is nonessential? We all see things from different angles, so something relatively insignificant to one may be crucial to another.

Skylar Grey Writes More Hip Hop Hits For T.I. And Lupe Fiasco!

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If you don't have accurate details regarding , then you might make a bad choice on the subject. Don't let that happen: keep reading.

It seems that everything producer Alex Da Kid and and singer/song writer touch in Hip Hop goes Gold or Platinum. They already had worked on chart toppers from B.O.B., Eminem, Diddy-Dirty Money and Dr. Dre. Now the hits will continue to come. Skylar and Alex worked on the second single from Lupe Fiasco’s forthcoming Lasers album, called “Words I Never Said.” It will follow the album’s first single, “The Show Goes On.” Lasers is due in stores on March 8th. Lupe began recording the album in 2008 and the album’s release date had continued to be pushed due to a change in direction in the album’s production. The album was originally intended to be a triple disc final album from him. But his contract with Atlantic Records didn’t allow him to retire and the project was shelved.

The delay was put to a stop however when Lupe fan, Richard Barker started an online petition with the help of Lupe fan site, the LupEND Blog, demanding that Atlantic Records release the album that would become Lasers.

Another new hit song Skylar and Alex had helped put together was the song “Castle Walls” by T.I. featuring Christina Aguilera, found on his No Mercy album. By now many people agree that it is one of the stand out tracks from the album, but what some may not know is that the song originally belonged to Sean “Diddy” Combs, for his album Last Train To Paris with Dirty Money.

T.I. revealed the history behind the song in a December interview with MTV.com

“A funny thing about this record: It belonged to my big homey Puff first, Puff, he acknowledged it, ‘Yeah, this is my record, but you know what, I think this is a better fit for you. I think you should rock out on this one. I think this speaks volumes to where you are, what you going through, what you living and how you feel.’ ”

No matter who is rapping the lyrics on these songs for Lupe and T.I., the work of Skylar Grey and Alex Da Kid shines through! Congratulations to them once again!

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Sloan resigning after clash with Williams

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The increasingly contentious relationship between Sloan and Williams boiled over when they clashed at halftime of a loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. The showdown between Sloan and Williams became so heated on Wednesday, at least two Jazz players feared that the coach and star could come to blows – even though the confrontation ended before reaching that point.

Sloan, 68, had agreed to a one-year contract extension in the past week but his growing frustration became public after a long meeting with Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor following the team’s loss to the Bulls in Salt Lake City.

Sloan, the NBA’s longest-tenured coach, and his longtime assistant, Phil Johnson, resigned together on Thursday.

Sloan’s relationship with Williams had grown progressively worse over the course of the season, league sources said, and the coach had tired of dealing with the team’s best player. The frustration escalated on Wednesday night when Sloan and Williams clashed in the locker room at halftime.

“He decided right there in halftime that he was done,” a league source told Yahoo! Sports. “He felt like ownership was listening more to Williams than they were to him anymore. He was done.”

One source said Sloan had become tired of Williams “blaming everything on everyone else.” Still, Williams, who can become a free agent in the summer of 2012, has remained the Jazz’s best and most consistent player after the departure of several key teammates. Williams has always had a reputation for wanting to win badly and being a strong leader.

After feeling undermined, one source said Sloan told Jazz owner Greg Miller that if this is how he wanted to run a franchise, he could do it without him as coach.

Assistant coach Ty Corbin has been named acting head coach, and league sources expect the team will move to secure him as Sloan’s long-term replacement in the near future.

The day will come when you can use something you read about here to have a beneficial impact. Then you'll be glad you took the time to learn more about .

New drilling method opens vast oil fields in US

A new drilling technique is opening up vast fields of previously out-of-reach oil in the western United States, helping reverse a two-decade decline in domestic production of crude.

Companies are investing billions of dollars to get at oil deposits scattered across North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and California. By 2015, oil executives and analysts say, the new fields could yield as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day — more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now.

Oil engineers are applying what critics say is an environmentally questionable method developed in recent years to tap natural gas trapped in underground shale. Because oil molecules are sticky and larger than gas molecules, engineers thought the process wouldn't work to squeeze oil out fast enough to make it economical. Production there rose 50 percent in just the past year, to 458,000 barrels a day, according to Bentek Energy, an energy analysis firm.

Then drillers tapped oil in a shale formation under South Texas called the Eagle Ford. The Environmental Protection Agency is now studying its safety in shale drilling. In the Bakken formation, production is rising so fast there is no space in pipelines to bring the oil to market. Drilling companies have had to erect camps to house workers.

The Bakken and the Eagle Ford are each expected to ultimately produce 4 billion barrels of oil. Last month China's state-owned oil company CNOOC agreed to pay Chesapeake $570 million for a one-third stake in a drilling project in the Niobrara. With oil prices high and natural-gas prices low, profit margins from producing oil from shale are much higher than for gas. Also, drilling for shale oil is not dependent on high oil prices. Papa says this oil is cheaper to tap than the oil in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico or in Canada's oil sands.

The country's shale oil resources aren't nearly as big as the country's shale gas resources. This during a year when drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the nation's biggest oil-producing region, was halted after the BP oil spill.

Within five years, analysts and executives predict, the newly unlocked fields are expected to produce 1 million to 2 million barrels of oil per day, enough to boost U.S. production 20 percent to 40 percent. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates production will grow a more modest 500,000 barrels per day.

By 2020, oil imports could be slashed by as much as 60 percent, according to Credit Suisse's Morse, who is counting on Gulf oil production to rise and on U.S. gasoline demand to fall.

Strokes are rising fast among young, middle-aged

Strokes are rising dramatically among young and middle-aged Americans while dropping in older people, a sign that the obesity epidemic may be starting to shift the age burden of the disease.

The numbers, reported Wednesday at an American Stroke Association conference, come from the first large nationwide study of stroke hospitalizations by age. Government researchers compared hospitalizations in 1994 and 1995 with ones in 2006 and 2007.

The sharpest increase — 51 percent — was among men 15 through 34. Strokes rose among women in this age group, too, but not as fast — 17 percent.

Stroke still takes its highest toll on older people. For those over 65, there were nearly 300 stroke cases among 10,000 hospitalizations in the more recent period studied. For males 15 to 34, there were about 15 stroke cases per 10,000, and for girls and women in that age group there were about 4 per 10,000.

Several small studies had recently suggested an ominous rise among the young and among middle-aged women.

For every 10,000 hospitalizations in 1994-95 compared with 2006-07, strokes rose:

_51 percent, from 9.8 to 14.8, among males 15 to 34 years old

Better awareness of stroke symptoms and better imaging methods for detecting strokes in young people could account for some of that change, but there is no way to know, she said.

Strokes dropped 25 percent among men 65 and older (from 404 to 303 per 10,000 hospitalizations), and 28 percent among women in this age group (from 379 to 274). At the University of California at Los Angeles, doctors are seeing more strokes related to high blood pressure and clogged arteries in younger people, said Dr. Jeffrey Saver, director of the stroke center at UCLA.

Allison Hooker, a nurse who coordinates stroke care at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., said her hospital also is seeing more strokes in younger people with risk factors such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, alcohol overuse and diabetes. Also at the conference: _A preliminary study raised concern about diet soda and stroke risk. Researchers found that people who said they drank diet soda every day had a 48 percent higher risk of stroke or heart attack than people who drank no soda of any kind. Researchers adjusted for differences in other risk factors, such as smoking and high blood pressure. _The same study also found higher risks for people consuming more than 1,500 milligrams of salt a day — the limit the American Heart Association recommends. Researchers found that stroke risk rose 16 percent for every 500 milligrams of salt consumed each day.

The Super Bowl flyover may have cost $450,000. Was it worth it?

The fans inside Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV had as good a view of the flyover by four F-18 fighter jets as those watching at home. With the roof closed on Jerry Jones' $1.2 billion stadium, people in attendance were forced to watch the flyover on the massive high-def screens inside.

A Dallas TV reporter estimated that the flyover cost the Navy a total of $450,000. His total includes gas, operational costs and air time for the four F-18s, which traveled from Virginia to Texas for the event. The Navy told CNBC that its official records only tallies the amount spent on gas, which came out to $109,000 for the Super Bowl flights.

Even if we call it somewhere in between, the Navy still spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money for a few seconds of camera time. It's like an old riddle: If four planes fly over a stadium and nobody insides sees, is it worth the cost?

Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post doesn't think so. In a column lambasting the excess of the Super Bowl, she wrote:

For absurdity, how about those four Navy F-18s flying over the stadium -- with its retractable roof closed? Everybody inside could only see the planes on the stadium's video screens. All the Super Bowl extravagance is geared toward those watching on television, not in attendance. The anthem singers, the halftime shows and the blimp shots are for the viewer at home.

Christina Aguilera isn't making a trip to Dallas to sing a two-minute song in front of 100,000 people. Game organizers don't get the Black Eyed Peas and the Rolling Stones and Janet Jackson and Prince to stage elaborate halftime shows because fans in section 538 crave them, they do them to entice the casual viewer watching FOX or CBS or NBC to stick around through the first half.

The justification for the flyover is similar. The Navy used the one on Sunday as a recruiting tool. Instead of spending $3 million on a 30-second commercial during the game, it spent $400,000 on a five-second advertisement that everybody watched. Call it wasteful if you want, but there are far worse ways to spend taxpayer money than promotion of our nation's armed forces.

John Daly's new golf bag has a television screen By Shane Bacon

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You ever spend four hours out on the golf course, wondering what the heck else is going on around the world? Well, spend more time with John Daly, because he could just flip on his TV screen on his golf bag and BOOM, you're informed.

Yep, Daly's new Big Red golf bag has a television screen and it fits snug atop the belly of the staff bag.

First thoughts -- man, I'd hate to be Daly's caddie. I've lifted those big bags for 72 holes, and the last thing those staff bags need is more weight. My second thought -- is there another golfer IN THE WORLD that would A.) put a television on his golf bag and B.) somehow pull it off? No, there isn't. He's the alpha and omega of this situation.

I have absolutely no idea what is going to scroll across this thing when he's playing, but the guy has more sponsors than Roy McAvoy, so I'd assume this thing is going to be busy (and hot).

Also, I'm clearly avoiding the "Caddyshack" reference, but Daly didn't in his tweet of the picture: "my new bag-built w/flat screen! Ads, videos & music! Rodney Dangerfield inspired me! Now working on his dance!"

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Real-life tales of the worst Valentine's Day gifts

So, you thought that half-wilted grocery-store-bought bouquet of flowers and generic card you got last year for Valentine’s Day was bad, huh? How about a diet cookbook, frozen microwaveable pizzas, a shower curtain, or an encyclopedia (remember those)? We asked Yahoo! Shine readers to tell us about their worst Valentine’s Day presents ever, and sad, funny tales of Valentine’s Day woe poured in.

Rather than reservations at a nice local restaurant, many told us about getting thoughtless break-up messages, while others realized as the day unfolded it was time to break up with their thoughtless guys. Amid the usual mix of last-minute bad-gift procurement, there was the unusual: Shine user RayRay’s box of frozen (microwaveable!) pizzas.
From the mixed-message guy. Shine user Jacquie got two gifts from her husband: a set of mixing bowls and a bathroom scale. Nice to be remembered, I think…”
Charlene remembered the Valentine’s Day she made her boyfriend a memory box and put all of his favorite candy in there among trinkets from their time together. “He gave me a fabric heart-shaped box of chocolates, but ate the chocolates and replaced them with rocks. The key to good gift-gifting is observation – noticing over time what’s important to your significant other, what catches his or her eye, can lead to the best gift ideas. Shine user autumn’s husband could use a little help from The Mentalist to hone his observation skills. “My husband gave me a white gold and diamond cross necklace. Something-for-him gifts. The many stories of silly lingerie fit nicely into this category. The year Shine user e.a.b. lost her job, she still bought her then-boyfriend of one year a digital camera to replace the one he had broken. Basically, he bought a gift for himself!”

From the heartless guy. “My worst Valentine’s Day gift? My ex-boyfriend of about a year and a half told me that he still had feelings for his ex-girlfriend,” recalls Shine user Jill.

Jessica’s ex-fiance thought it a smooth move to steal a pink-and-black stuffed dog from his younger sister. What should have been a romantic, snowy Valentine’s Day in 2007 sounded a wake-up call for StephanieM. No card. A new twist on eternal love. A diamond is forever? Pshaw. “Nothing says forever like adjoining cemetery plots,” writes Melanie. “A Valentine’s Day gift from my husband during our third year together.” Right for Valentine's Day

Seahawks assistant loses college job after online protest

Seattle Seahawks assistant coach Rocky Seto wanted to get the word out that he had accepted the defensive coordinator position at UCLA. He texted reporters the news, told his friends and family, and watched congratulations pour in on his Facebook page all before the official announcement was made.

The early dissemination of the news had an unintended consequence. A massive fan backlash to Seto's hiring, ignited by the coach's preemptive self-congratulations, caused UCLA to rescind the offer.

A college newspaper reported last week that Seto sent a text message to a reporter saying that he had accepted the coordinator position at UCLA. It was a return to college for Seto, who played at USC and later served as defensive coordinator under Pete Carroll before following the coach to Seattle when he took the head coaching job with the Seahawks.

UCLA fan sites exploded with the news and immediately began a "Veto Seto" campaign aimed toward the school's athletic director. The website, Sports By Brooks, explains the root of the anger:

It had everything to do with the common knowledge that Seto, who previously served as defensive coordinator under Pete Carroll at USC, held that position in name only. It was Carroll who ran the defense when Seto was credited with being USC's DC.

After Carroll left USC, Seto not only wasn't retained in any capacity by new coach Lane Kiffin, his lack of job prospects landed him as Carroll's lowly "quality control" coach with the Seahawks.

The campaign worked, UCLA took back the offer and Seto is left without a job. Even if Seto hadn't leaked the news himself, the fan backlash may have still occurred.

Lindsay's Court Date Dress

La Lohan never fails to attract attention when she makes an entrance!

Amidst throngs of reporters, fans, and curious onlookers, Lindsay Lohan showed up for her arraignment on felony grand theft charges with every intention of owning the spotlight Wednesday in Los Angeles. Sporting a figure-hugging white knit Kimberly Ovitz mini dress paired with black pumps, Chanel 5182 sunglasses, newly-colored tresses, and a spray tan, there was no way you could miss her.
The mid-thigh length dress was universally criticized by fashion and news sites across the web. TMZ.com likened it to Sharon Stone's infamous "Basic Instinct" outfit, while E! OnlineIn an interview with the "Today" show Wednesday, defense attorney Mark Geragos advised, "I tell my clients to dress like you're going to church or temple." As opposed to the somber suits and neutral colors Lohan has donned to previous court dates, this time the embattled actress's outfit looked more appropriate for a celebrity product launch party or a night out on the town.

Seriously, what was she thinking? Perhaps Lindsay's lily white outfit -- which at $575 has sold out at every online boutique that carries Ovitz's designs -- was her way of proclaiming her innocence? The actress was formally charged earlier in the day for stealing a necklace worth $2,500 from a jewelry store in Venice Beach, California, on January 22, 2011. As she's still on probation for a 2007 drunken driving case, Lohan, 24, could potentially faces several years in state prison if convicted of the crime. Lindsay pled not guilty to the charges leveled against her, and her attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, also denied Lohan lifted the merchandise, though the actress has been previously accused of stealing multiple times over the past two years.

Philly ex-con makes homemade jail to deter others

PHILADELPHIA – Ex-convict Michael Ta'Bon is back in a prison of his own making. Literally.

Ta'Bon, who served nearly a decade behind bars for armed robbery, says divine inspiration has led him to preach a gospel of nonviolence from a homemade, outdoor jail cell in Philadelphia.

"Instead of the young bucks going to jail to find out for themselves, I'm bringing the jail to the young bucks," Ta'Bon said.

The cell has some furnishings and uses a generator for heat and electricity.

On a bitterly cold morning this week, Ta'Bon could be heard telling four high school students about the 19-cent hourly wage earned by prisoners, which might help them buy a 24-cent cup of instant noodles in the commissary.

Ta'Bon breaks into rhyme at one point, warning the boys to learn from his mistakes. The teens, who attend an alternative school for at-risk youth, were brought to the site by a city police officer. Ta'Bon's message seemed to hit the mark.

"He was speaking life," said sophomore Brandon Jiles, 16. Ta'Bon, 36, wears an orange jumpsuit and unshackled handcuffs. He said the time not spent talking to visitors is used to write a book inspired by the letter that Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from jail in Birmingham, Ala. The fickle heat in his cell makes February's often subzero temperatures seem even colder. He said he chose the month to represent life's struggles and in part to coincide with Black History Month. Most of Philadelphia's homicide victims are black, though Ta'Bon noted that "bullets and jails don't care what color you are."

Ta'Bon said he has permission from the owner of the vacant lot and hopes that the few questions he's received about city permits will fall by the wayside. Because he needs no reminder of what's at stake: Ta'Bon built the cell underneath a huge mural bearing the names of the city's murder victims in 2006 — all 406 of them.

Mubarak stays on: Key questions and answers

Egypt's Hosni Mubarak stunned protesters in Cairo and proved numerous reports wrong Thursday when he announced in a televised speech that he would not step down from the presidency or leave the country. (Latest developments)

Mubarak's surprising and confusing announcement raises numerous questions about what is happening in Egypt. Who is really in charge now—the military, Vice President Omar Suleiman or Mubarak?

Mubarak clearly has major political and institutional influence in the current political order — despite the upheaval — that continues to help him survive. Mubarak matters. Suleiman's influence is growing dramatically. Why did Mubarak not step down, as rumored?

What are the chances that Mubarak will remain in office until September?

The protesters and Mubarak are now on a very clear, potentially violent collision course. Mubarak's chances of remaining in power are mixed — and could be high depending on the willingness of the army to engage in serious confrontations against protesters. If Mubarak proceeds to violate these principles, the White House could be expected to ratchet up the stridency of its demands and help generate international disdain and concern for Mubarak. If there is a serious crackdown, Obama could then assert that Mubarak has violated the terms of his social contract with the nation and depart. But the White House must be humble and continue to articulate, as it has, that the results in Egypt are determined by the Egyptian people, not by the White House.

What role is the Egyptian military likely to play now?

The military still remains a key player in the future of Egypt's political system. If the military cracks down on the protesters, the institution's relationship with the public may be seriously undermined — leading to a potential civil war and serious violence. Right now, the military remains a key institution to watch, but its course and the decisions it is making about its place in a future Egyptian political order were put into doubt with Mubarak's decision not to leave the scene.

Egypt's Mubarak refuses to quit, hands VP powers

CAIRO – President Hosni Mubarak refused to step down or leave Egypt and instead handed most of his powers to his vice president Thursday, enraging protesters who warned the country could explode in violence and pleaded for the military to take action to push him out.

The rapidly moving events raised the question of whether a rift had opened between Mubarak and the military command over the uprising demanding the president's resignation. Hours earlier, a council of the military's top generals announced it had stepped in to secure the country, and a senior commander announced to protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square that all their demands would soon be met, raising cries of victory that Mubarak was on his way out.

Several hundred thousand had packed into Tahrir Square, ecstatic with expectation that Mubarak would announce his resignation in his nighttime address. Organizers called for even larger protests on Friday. After Mubarak's speech, around 2,000 marched on the state television headquarters several blocks away from Tahrir, guarded by the military with barbed wire and tanks. Hundreds more massed outside Mubarak's main administrative palace, Oruba, miles away from Tahrir in the Cairo district of Heliopolis, the first time protesters have marched on it, according to witnesses and TV reports. "The army must save the country now," he said. President Barack Obama appeared dismayed by Mubarak's announcement. Hours before Mubarak's speech, the military made moves that had all the markings of a coup.

That suggested Tantawi and his generals were now in charge of the country.

Mubarak and Suleiman, a former army general and intelligence chief named to his post after the protests erupted Jan. 25, were not present, the strongest indication during the day of a rift.

But there was no immediate reaction from the military following Mubarak's speech, and their position remained ambiguous.

Even after delegating authority to his vice president, Mubarak retains his powers to request constitutional amendments and dissolve parliament or the Cabinet. Under that system, a panel of judges and lawyers put together by Suleiman recommends constitutional changes, while a separate panel monitors to ensure that state promises are carried out.

Suleiman has also offered dialogue with the protesters and opposition over the nature of reforms. He has not explained how the negotiations fit in if the judges panel, which is led by Mubarak supporters, is recommending amendments. In any case, the protesters and opposition have resolutely refused talks until Mubarak goes.

The emergency law, imposed when Mubarak came to power in 1981, gives police virtually unlimited powers of arrest.

Before the night's dramatic developments, protests had gained a spiraling momentum, fueled by labor strikes that erupted around the country. After the speech, some protesters drifted out of Tahrir, tears of disappointment and anger in their eyes.

"We are waiting for a strong reaction from the army to Mubarak's speech," said Mohammed Mustapha, a protest spokesman. "We will lay waste to our country if we march on the palace. Muhammed Abdul Rahman, a 26-year-old lawyer who had joined the protesters for the first time Thursday called Mubarak's speech a "provocation."

The shock of Mubarak's speech came after a roller-coaster day for the protest movement. A strike by bus drivers and public transport workers Thursday snarled Cairo's traffic.

Gen. Hassan al-Roueini, military commander for the Cairo area, went to Tahrir and told protesters, "All your demands will be met today,"

The protesters lifted al-Roueini onto their shoulders and carried him around the square, shouting, "the army, the people one hand." "People took it very objectively.

Taraji P. Henson PETA: Newest Celeb Bares All for Animal Ad Campaign

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Taraji P. Henson PETA- the actress/singer and Academy Award nominee is now the newest member among a list of celebs like Pamela Anderson, Alicia Silverstone, and Eva Mendes to grace ads for PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” anti-fur campaign.

In the ad, the 41 year-old star appears in the buff in a strategic side shot that also reveals the star’s unique torso-tattoo and firm shape.

PETA, short for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was founded in 1980 and is the largest animal rights group in the world, according to online sources. The non-profit organization employs nearly 300 people and has approximately two million supporters.

Henson chose to participate in the ad campaign after viewing a disturbing film which documented the indecent treatment of animals on fur farms. In a comment about the film, the star says, “what goes into making that little piece of fur ripped my heart out.”

Henson has appeared in numerous movies including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in 2008 and in Tyler Perry's 2009 film, I Can Do Bad All By Myself.

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Charley Rosen: Has Derrick Rose Passed Deron Williams?

This was only one game out of 82, but during Chicago's 91-86 win in Utah, Derrick Rose demonstrated in convincing fashion that he's a much better player than Deron Williams.

Rose had 29 points (25 in direct confrontations with Williams) on 11 of 26 shooting, while also registering seven assists and only a single turnover. Rose's combination of speed and strength, coupled with his extraordinary athleticism, was astounding. When Williams tried to take Rose into the pivot, the latter easily scooted around the former's seal and poked the entry pass away. Then on a 2-on-1 fast break, Rose's quickness afoot drew a charge on the surprised Williams.

Despite his domination of his opposite number, however, Rose's game is far from being flawless. He converted only two of his eight jumpers (enabling Williams to go under most of the high screens offered for Rose's use), and except for one high-flying put-back and one floater, all of Rose's buckets were successful layups -- indicating that his springer still needs some work.

Of Rose's seven assists, six resulted from drive-and-kicks that generated open jumpers for his teammates. Rose was fortunate that he was only charged with a single turnover.

As for Williams, he managed to blow past Rose on four occasions and wound up with a like number of layups. Early in the contest Williams concentrated on facilitating Utah's offense and really didn't look to score. (Twelve of his passes opened uncontested shots that his teammates botched.) That's why Williams failed to notch his initial basket until 21 minutes had elapsed. But, in the second half, when he tried to score, Williams simply couldn't escape from Rose's super-charged defense.

Three crucial plays in the waning moments of the game illustrated Rose's superiority:

• Williams was riding the crest of a 3-on-1 fast break and a score seemed inevitable. But Rose didn't give up on the play, running Williams down from behind and making a critical steal.

• With the game still up for grabs in the last minute, Williams went after Rose in an isolation situation. • At the other end, Rose took on Williams one-on-one seeking to clinch the victory. A mercurial left-to-right crossover forced Williams to foul him, whereupon Rose calmly bagged the two free throws that put the game out of reach.

Deron Williams denies rumors, lashes out at media

On Thursday, Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan tendered his resignation, and rumors immediately began swirling that a rift had developed between Sloan and Utah's All-Star point guard Deron Williams.

In a Thursday afternoon interview with David Locke on KFAN 1320 in Salt Lake City, Williams downplayed those reports and lashed out at the media's treatment of the situation.

Williams began with his initial reaction to today's news: "It sucks. I didn't think he would ever retire in the middle of the season," Williams said. "I watched the press conference and he said it was his time."

Williams then took a swipe at reporters claming that he had a role in Sloan's departure. "All those guys, Ric Bucher, Chris Broussard, they're all in our locker room everyday," Williams deadpanned. "I'll let them report what they want to report, that's what they are paid to do. That's why I'm always short and rude with the media, because they're your friend. Williams did admit that he and Sloan had had differences of opinions during his time in Utah. "Me and Coach Sloan, I don't want to say [we had] a rocky relationship, but we've have our disagreements over the years. Probably no more than any other coach and player have arguments. We're both competitive, we're both very stubborn. Williams denied a report that he had approached Jazz management saying that he wouldn't re-sign with the team when he's a free agent if Sloan was still the head coach. I would never force coach Sloan out of Utah. It's not my place."

As for a report that he and Sloan almost came to blows during halftime of last night's game, Williams confirmed that a "disagreement" took place, but downplayed the severity of it. We've had them before, we've had worse ones. I've seen him have worse ones with other players. Jerry is very fiery, I guess that's the word to use. Sometimes we clash on things."

Williams said taht his relationship with Sloan this year has been similar to his previous years in Utah. "It's been pretty much the same, we get along a lot, we disagree sometimes, but we both want to win.

"I've been lucky. Not many people get to come into the league and play for a Hall of Fame coach for the first six years. Chance to learn from one of the best. I've won a lot of basketball games because of Coach Sloan."

Asked one final time if he asked or wanted Sloan removed as head coach of the Utah Jazz, Williams replied, "No, sir."


The incredible shrinking American office cubicle

Feeling a little cramped at work? According to the International Facility Management Association, the average American office worker had 90 square feet of work space in 1994, but by 2010, that same worker was down to just 75 square feet of personal space in which to stretch out on the job.

Nor are office drones the only casualty of this spacial downsizing trend. Senior company officials have seen their offices shrink as well, from an average of 115 square feet in 1994 to 96 square feet in 2010. The shrinking workplace is yet another cost-cutting measure that employers have pursued for years under the theory that smaller workstations are cheaper to maintain to especially as commercial rents spiral upward.

The same quest for space-based cost-reduction is what gave us the cubicle in the first place. But some business thinkers point out that there's a bright side to the inhospitable cubicle; with technological breakthroughs enhancing worker mobility, employees can spend more time working outside of the cramped confines of their workspaces.

Last month, for example, the New York Times profiled tech giant Intel's revamped work spaces, as a strategically planned effort to "inject a little more fun into [Intel's] offices" and "make them places where employees can be more collaborative."
"To promote innovation, Intel wanted to create plenty of space where people could work in groups, rather than be isolated at their desks," the Times' Kristina Shevory wrote. "One newly redesigned floor of Intel's campus can now accommodate 1,000 people, up from 600. Of course, some office habitues aren't contending with a space scarcity on the job. The IFMA says that during that same 1994-2010 span, office space for senior company executives has actually increased, though at a rate well shy of the explosion of executive pay.

With Retirement Savings, It's a Sprint to the Finish

What would you do if your financial planner prescribed the following advice? Save and invest diligently for 30 years, then cross your fingers and pray your investments will double over the last decade before you retire.

The problem is that even if you do everything right and save at a respectable rate, you're still relying on the market to push you to the finish line in the last decade before retirement. Why? Consider the numbers for a 26-year-old who earns $40,000 annually, with a long-term savings target of $1 million. To get there, she's told to save 8 percent of her salary each year over her 40-year career. (We assumed an annual investment return of 7 percent, and 3 percent annual salary growth, to keep pace with inflation). Yet after 31 years of diligent savings, her portfolio is worth just slightly more than $483,000.

Should the markets misbehave, however, delivering a mere 2 percent return over the 10 years before retirement (not all that hard to imagine, considering the return of a portfolio split between stock and bonds over the last decade), she falls short by about a third. The chart accompanying this column illustrates this.

So if your target is to save $500,000 or $2 million, and if you assume a 6 percent return or a higher 10 percent, you're still relying on your investments to roughly double in the final years before retirement.

Of course, an extended period of dismal returns during any point in your career can inflict damage. So what's an investor to do about all of this, especially as one of the other pillars of retirement savings — pensions — disappears? And who's to say how Social Security may change by the time that 26-year-old retires?

If you can't handle the uncertainty of missing your financial targets, you can try to save more and create a less volatile portfolio, Mr. Kitces says, which may also provide a firmer retirement date.

Then you can end up in the same predicament, where you are heavily leaning on market returns in the years before retirement.

When you've won the game, you stop playing the game."

"It's the cruel irony of retirement planning that those people who most need the markets' help have the least financial capacity to take the risk," said Milo Benningfield, a financial planner in San Francisco. Try using different assumptions for the years leading up to retirement, suggests Scott Hanson, a financial planner at Hanson McClain in Sacramento. If you want to retire in 25 years, for instance, you might use a return assumption of 8 percent for the first 15 years of savings, then reduce that rate to 6 percent or less in the final decade, he says.

"Here's the catch: most folks aren't saving enough using standard growth assumptions," he said.

Preseason Ranks: Top 100

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You can see that there's practical value in learning more about . Can you think of ways to apply what's been covered so far?

Colorado breakout star Carlos Gonzalez finished the 2010 campaign as the No. 1 player in the Yahoo! fantasy baseball game. But as the door opens on a new season in 2011, CarGo doesn’t even warrant the first pick on his own team according to the subjective scrutiny of the Yahoo! fantasy brain trust (pictured below). As the saying goes, past performance does not guarantee future returns … although we’re still representing plenty of love for the Rockies outfielder.

The real object of our affection, though, is once again Albert Pujols, who rarely fails to deliver a top 10 roto return. He, despite one dissenting opinion, tops our debut list of the top 100 fantasy players for ’11. The list is ordered by the overall top 100 composite ranking of our four experts, with the remaining players that received votes rounding out the bottom of the list.

We’ll make sure to update this list periodically throughout the coming weeks as spring developments further shape the fantasy landscape. In the mean time, digest these rankings and then let us know what you think in the comments section below. Let the debate begin!

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Wake Forest Baseball Coach Donates Kidney To Player Suffering Rare Condition

Last Thursday night, Tom Walter got in his car and began a 300-mile drive from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to Atlanta. Wake Forest's baseball coach is well-acquainted with the rhythms of the road in general, and this stretch of highway in particular.

The road to Atlanta runs through small towns like Kings Mountain and Lavonia and Startex, towns where Walter and his coaches sift through the best local talent, looking for that one gem, that perfect fit. Kid gets a scholarship offer to play for a big-name school. Coach takes a liking to kid, treats him like family. Coach stands up for kid, gives kid a chance that no one else could or would. The kid in this story is a baseball player from Columbus, Georgia, named Kevin Jordan. Recruited by Walter and his assistants to play ball for the Demon Deacons, the rangy outfielder first visited Winston-Salem possessed of rare confidence for a prep athlete. Kevin Jordan has ANCA vasculitis, a disease in which his own white blood cells began attacking his own tissues. In August, right about the time he began attending classes at Wake, doctors determined that Jordan's kidney function was down to eight percent. A kidney donation requires a match, and no one in Jordan's family matched up. Jordan was looking at joining the national registry. The United Network for Organ Sharing indicates that in 2009, 16,829 kidney transplants were performed in the United States, but nearly 86,000 people await a kidney, with a median wait time of four years. The disease didn't wait, however, and it didn't respect Jordan's new surroundings. It was right around that time when Coach Walter decided he ought to get tested.

Coach learns he's a match and offers up his kidney for this kid he barely knows. People will hear of Tom Walter’s story, they’ll be amazed by it and him, and he’s cool with all that.

“There's not a kid on this
team, or a kid that I've ever coached, that I wouldn’t have done this for.”

As a coach, he set George Washington University’s record for wins with 275 against 124 losses. 2005. New Orleans. When Katrina hit, Walter gathered his team together and moved his base of operations 1,100 miles west, to Las Cruces, New Mexico. He struck a deal with New Mexico State University for his team to play in the fall semester there, and in the spring semester, the team lived out of hotel rooms in Mobile, Alabama.

That season, despite calling three different states home, the team won 30 games for the first time in a decade. A man stands by his team. Starting five days before Christmas, Walter underwent cross-match testing, chest x-rays, CT scans and blood pressure monitoring. He passed every test, and on January 28, doctors proclaimed him a match for kidney donation.
I would have been extremely disappointed for Kevin if I wasn't a match. Any time you’re talking organ transplant, you’re talking significant risk. Both Alonzo Mourning and Sean Elliott returned to play in the NBA after kidney transplants, so it’s possible Jordan could return to the diamond. For Walter, the prospects for recovery are more favorable. Monday morning, while everyone else in the sporting world was still debating Aaron Rodgers, tiny Vader and the Black Eyed Peas, Walter and Jordan went under the knife. Doctors took Walter into the operating room at 8:00 a.m, and Jordan followed 90 minutes later. The procedure began at 11:15, and 45 minutes later, Walter's role was done. By 4:00, Jordan was resting in his own room at Emory University Hospital.

Gulf leaders hear rumblings of dissent

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – There were only a few dozen Saudi women at a protest to demand the release of prisoners they claim are unfairly linked to militants. The failure to draw crowds at planned rallies in Syria last week also underscores that the protest fire from Tunisia and Egypt apparently can be stamped out by hard-line state security, which is also a hallmark of Gulf states.

But there's no shortage of hints that reform-seeking groups in the Gulf are trying to seize the moment.

The rare protest rally on Saturday in Saudi's capital came a week after Saudi activists launched a Facebook page demanding more jobs and political accountability in the world's biggest oil exporter. Calls on social media sites also have gone out for protests next week in Bahrain and next month in Kuwait — the two Gulf nations with the most active and organized political opposition.

"There will be pressures coming to the Gulf for reforms on things like corruption, abuses of power and a greater voice for civil society," said Mustafa Alani, a regional analyst at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai. Some of the Gulf dynasties stretch back to the region's hardscrabble past before oil was king. Others have advisory groups with limited clout such as the UAE and Qatar — whose state-founded Al-Jazeera network has been accused by some Arab leaders of fomenting protests with its blanket coverage of Tunisia and Egypt.

"This is the Achilles' heel of the Gulf," said Christopher Davidson, a Gulf expert at the University of Durham in Britain. A Kuwaiti group calling itself Fifth Fence is using Twitter messages for calls to rise up against "undemocratic practices" by the government, which has been under increasing pressure from opposition lawmakers over allegations of fiscal abuse and attempts to roll back political freedoms.
On Sunday, Kuwait's rulers accepted the resignation of the scandal-battered interior minister in an apparent attempt to undercut the protest plans. The tiny island kingdom has been the most volatile in the Gulf. Majority Shiites have long alleged discrimination and other abuses by Sunni rulers. "The Gulf states are not that far removed from what has happened in Tunisia and Egypt," said Ali Fakhro, a political analyst and commentator in Bahrain. "Why? Because all Arab youth have similar demands: jobs, freedom, a feeling they are not oppressed by their leaders. Last month, the New York-based group Human Rights Watch accused Gulf states of stepping up pressure on political activists, including blocking blogs and web forums.

States turn down federal money for jobless benefits

Despite record levels of long-term unemployment, some states are choosing to walk away from a total of almost $1 billion in federal jobless benefits, according to a new report (pdf).

In addition to helping the jobless, the federal funds offer a much-needed economic stimulus for states.

To qualify for the program, known as Extended Benefits, states must meet certain unemployment thresholds. Most must also pass new legislation empowering them to access the money—and 26 states have done so to date. But according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP) nine eligible states—Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming—have so far left a total of around $876 million in federal jobless benefits on the table, even though the costs of claiming the benefits under the program are reportedly minimal.

It's not as if the states couldn't use the extra cash right now. Thanks to budget shortfalls of varying degrees of severity, all have cut spending in other areas. But for now, they're saying thanks but no thanks to an average of almost $100 million per state in federal money.

Many of the states have said that they're reluctant to pass the necessary legislation, because the program essentially doesn't cover extended benefits for state and local government workers. The effect of that omission, state political leaders say, is to force their already cash-strapped governments to cover those costs.

Both Utah and Arkansas said as much to The Lookout.

Ally Isom, a spokeswoman for Utah governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, said the legislature in her state isn't interested in the program, because of the expected effect on state and local budgets. "We're a fiscally conservative state, and the budget is extremely challenging right now," Isom told The Lookout. "There's not an appetite to tap state coffers for extended unemployment benefits at this time."

"We feel that our current program is effective."

But the study describes the cost to the states as "minimal," noting that the nine states still abstaining from the program collectively have directed an average of just 2.7 percent of all regular state benefits to out-of-work government employees. The costs of such outlays are far outweighed by the stimulative effect that the program at large would create for hard-up state economies, NELP argues. Taking advantage of the federal money would give an estimated 236,000 jobless Americans an extra 13-20 weeks of benefits, NELP's report found.

In addition, the money from Washington would provide a nearly $1 billion state-level stimulus—again, that's almost $100 million on average per state. And research shows that unemployment benefits are among the most efficient ways to stimulate the economy, because the unemployed have little choice but to spend the extra money—thereby stimulating sluggish consumer demand.
Some economists argue that the stimulative effects alone make accessing the federal money a no-brainer. "States that don't do it are weakening their economy if they're leaving people without any income," Iris Lav of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities told The Lookout. "It's a good deal for the states."

Can you guess which A-lister was spotted without make-up?

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Behold the power of make-up! We spotted Sofia, a natural blonde (really!), on set in New York filming "New Year's Eve," looking almost unrecognizable. Without her signature voluminous locks, sunkissed skin and vampy make-up, we had to do a triple-take! Her long locks were uncharacteristically dull and flat, and her skin appeared to be WAY fairer than usual. And her on-set look (a cutesy ponytail and flirty make-up) is different for her. The verdict? Miss Vergara's beauty knows no boundaries.

"New Year's Eve" is the hotly-anticipated sequel to Garry Marshall's "Valentine's Day" and also stars Katherine Heigl, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher, and Robert De Niro, among others. With this all-star cast, it's sure to be a hit---but Sofia's the one we can't wait to catch. If her acting chops are anything like that on "Modern Family," we're all in for quite the treat!

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