As a nation of spenders it’s hard to turn normality on its head and become a nation of savers, but with an aging population, diminishing pension pots and unsecure and unknown futures, it will be down to the individual to provide for themselves anything more than just a basic quality of living.
As a nation of spenders it’s hard to turn normality on its head and become a nation of savers, but with an aging population, diminishing pension pots and unsecure and unknown futures, it will … (continue reading…)
NEW YORK — New York City has selected the Nissan NV200 — a Mexican-built commercial vehicle from a Japanese manufacturer — to be its exclusive next-generation “taxi of tomorrow” for 10 years, beginning in 2013. Nissan beat out Ford’s Turkish-built Transit Connect.
A third finalist, Turkey’s Karsan Otomotiv, had offered to build its wheelchair-accessible model in Brooklyn.
Investigators scouring the undersea wreckage of the 2009 Air France plane crash recovered the memory unit from the craft’s black-box data recorder that they say offers the best chance of explaining the disaster.
The unit from the downed Airbus SAS A330’s flight data recorder was found by a robotic submarine around 10:00 a.m. GMT and raised from the bottom of the Atlantic nearly seven hours later, France’s BEA air-accident investigation bureau said in an e-mailed statement.
Mother’s Day is coming up and instead of the same old pretty pink flowers she is used to receiving – why not try a healthy-delicious twist this year with an Edible Arrangements fruit bouquet. I received an Edible Arrangements fruit bouquet this year for my birthday, and while I had been a bit skeptical of the brand before – I was incredibly pleased with the gift – the flavor and freshness of the fruit was quite impressive – not to mention gorgeous to look at. Here are my tips on extending the life of your yummy Edible Arrangements bouquet..
In case you were wondering whether the Memphis Grizzlies ending the San Antonio Spurs’ season was going to be the height of their postseason, a dominant Game 1 performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder should be evidence that there’s more to come. The Grizzlies beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City in today’s Game 1, 114-101, becoming the first eighth seed in NBA history to win a best-of-seven series and then win Game 1 of the next series.
syrian protest in sydney australia 2 against tyrant bashar asad who killed dara people and all syrian cities, uprising, doma dara homs banyas, horan syrian p… (continue reading…)
After getting pelted on stage, it seemed Justin Bieber was in no mood for an Egg McMuffin meal.
Instead, the teen singer settled for a Burger King as he was spotted jetting out of Sydney, Australia, today.
The 17-year-old star had the embarrassing misfortune of being egged on Friday night during a performance in front of thousands of screaming fans at the the city’s Acer Arena.
Footage of the incident showed two eggs landing within a metre of the Canadian superstar.
Then four more eggs appeared to fall from directly above the singer, prompting some internet users to question if the incident was all a set-up.
According Australia’s Herald Sun, Justin didn’t miss a beat during the egg incident.
He continued performing as a helper quickly cleaned up the mess.
WATCH VIDEO !!!
President Barack Obama is shifting from consoler to comic for his appearance before the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington, DC. And some of his … (continue reading…)
Cheyenne Woods, niece of Tiger Woods, is walking a similar path to her Uncle. The junior from Wake Forest has clenched the golf title at the Atlantic Coast Conference. Woods topped the leader board at five under par, scoring 208. Woods surpassed her nearest competitor, junior Allie White from North Carolina, by seven shots.
Cheyenne just captured the ACC title, following the same path as uncle Tiger. With a similar build and focus, the future is bright for The young Cheyenne who one day will hopefully help the LPGA return to prominence (sorry Michelle Wie, you failed, though I’m not sure how). (continue reading…)
A blogger at Maine Refounders has taken it upon himself to offer repost a DC visitors guide to anyone coming to the Rally For Glenn Beck’s Material Wealth, scheduled for August 28th. So, if you want some not-half bad restaurant recommendations or are interested in learning how you can avoid Nancy Pelosi’s house, get thee hence. That said, I find this take on the DC Metro system to be sort of comical:
If you are on the subway stay on the Red line between Union Station and Shady Grove, Maryland. If you are on the Blue or Orange line do not go past Eastern Market (Capitol Hill) toward the Potomac Avenue stop and beyond; stay in NW DC and points in Virginia. Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line. These rules are even more important at night. There is of course nothing wrong with many other areas; but you don’t know where you are, so you should not explore them.
As someone who rides the Green and Yellow Lines all the time, I can assure you that there are no “rules” that state these subway lines must be avoided at all times, especially at night. But then, I guess I’m not using “A Cliche-Ridden Guide To Avoiding The Black People On The Subway In Washington” as a rulebook. Ironically, one needs to ride the Green/Yellow line in order to visit the National Archives, where the Constitution of the United States is housed. (Not that these rally attendees have any particular reverence for that document.)
Look, Glenn Beck rally attendees, if there’s one essential piece of information you need to know, it is this: DO NOT STAND TO THE LEFT ON THE ESCALATORS UNLESS YOU ENJOY BEING MOCKED AND ABUSED. Just remember to stand to the right on the escalators, and your visit will be more than pleasant.
(Also, attendees should read this as an Essential Guide To Terms People In DC Do Not Actually Use. Not afraid to be servicey!)
UPDATE: DCist provides the essential Google Map, revealing the tiny sliver of Washington, DC deemed fit to visit. I’d point out that where I live — Arlington County — is generally very safe and hospitable to visitors. The problem for rally attendees is that it’s also packed stem to stern with progressives! (Cower in the shadows of the Mercatus Center, I guess?)
A crowded diner at lunchtime is not the best place to watch soft-core porn. But Beach Heat: Miami is cinema, not smut. So director Bill Fisher whips out a laptop and cues up “Make-up Sex,” the seventh episode of the Showtime series that debuted three weeks ago, while waitresses deliver matzo ball soup and jowly patrons down fat burgers.
Just like Baywatch, the show begins with an opening credits montage that includes guitar riffs and female lifeguards running on the beach.
Except these lifeguards are topless.
Though this publication has been sworn to secrecy concerning the unaired episode’s plot points, we can tell you this much: “Make-up Sex” deals with the aftermath of a lifeguard’s hot mom’s arrest for going too far in a tantric massage session. There’s a photographer-turned-madam named Amber, a groupie-banging rapper named C-Train, and a male lifeguard’s utterance of what might be the show’s philosophical credo: “I’m going to go save some lives and get a tan.”
Fisher, a wiry 42-year-old Italian dude from New Jersey whose day job is directing hard-core skin flicks under the nom de porn Cezar Capone, adds narration while his BLT gets cold. He’s sitting in a corner nook at Lester’s Diner in Fort Lauderdale. “That kid’s in Step Up 3D; he’s pretty good,” he muses about a bland-looking actor. Fisher wears sunglasses atop gelled black hair and a T-shirt painted with angel wings. He’s accompanied by his balloon-breasted, perfumed-doused assistant, Emily Rigby, a budding porn director.
“It’s a fucking great show,” Fisher continues, “especially later in the season, when we start to develop the characters.”
Suddenly, lesbian sex breaks out on his laptop. An impressionable lifeguard named Brooke has come to ask her vivacious boss, Melanie, if she can borrow some money, and now they’re naked and their faces are in each other’s crotches. The scene is strategically obscured by lifted thighs but seems to stretch painfully longer than a few minutes. Maybe that’s because a waitress keeps coming by to offer drink refills.
Fisher says there are about three sex scenes per episode, but they are “in no way gratuitous.” He adds that the actors are always secretly wearing underwear or a “big Band-Aid” over their privates. “Is it sexy? Yeah, it’s really sexy. But soft-core by definition means that there’s a hard-core version of the same sex scene floating around, and that’s not the case.”
Fisher’s starlets must not have access to the same glossary of porn terms. A coalition of Beach Heat: Miami’s female talent — including its best-known star, reality show Z-lister Megan Hauserman — is revolting against the director, claiming Fisher tricked them into acting in smut.
They’re considering filing suit to halt the show, says Christina Galioto, the dark-haired beauty who plays Brooke. Her character has four sex scenes in the first season, including the tryst with her boss, and now the 24-year-old actress fears she’ll be pigeonholed into erotica. She’s “mortified” that her family might see an episode.
“You watch movies about this sort of thing: The young girl goes to Hollywood and is tricked into making a porn,” says Galioto, who lives in Buffalo but came to South Beach for filming. “You never think it will happen to you.”
“If I had known the show would be so disgusting, I would have never done it,” says another actress, who asked that her name not be used. She’s a tutor, she explains, and can’t afford to be associated with porn. “I can lose my job. I can be forbidden from working with children ever again.”
Fisher is confused. “What did these girls think they were doing?” he demands, pointing at the laptop screen as Galioto’s sex scene plays and nearby patrons give him dirty looks. ” ‘I didn’t know I was in a fucking erotic show?’ She does three different positions in this scene alone! Here’s my question: Did they think I was going to show them playing golf?”
Rigby isn’t surprised that Galioto is staging a protest. “That’s her personality,” the assistant declares solemnly. “She’s all women’s-rights-fucking-activist-hippie-chick.”
Beach Heat: Miami was supposed to be Bill Fisher’s segue into mainstream production. The son of a photographer and protégé of Helmut Newton — the German master of the black-and-white nude — Fisher got his start doing fashion spreads for companies such as Dolce & Gabbana and Prada, he says.
He moved to Miami and helped establish local porn giant Bangbros.com. About five years ago, he lifted the shutters on his own enterprise: CezarCapone.com. It was initially based in Hialeah but has since moved to a Fort Lauderdale studio.
Fisher, who calls himself “the king of all MILF films,” made headlines during the 2008 presidential election season when he offered Sarah Palin $2 million to appear in one of his productions. His company has been nominated for 56 AVN (Adult Video News) Awards — the Oscars of the adult-film industry — including this year winning recognition for Orson Welles-esque productions such as Oral Assault, 18 With Proof 4, Miami’s Juiciest, and My Personal Panties.
He’s also had legal trouble. In 2001, he was sued in Miami-Dade court by Hooters waitress and aspiring model Ashleay Boyd. Her accusation: Fisher used her photo on promotional material without her consent. Though the court record has been mostly destroyed, Fisher claims the judge told Boyd to “get this bullshit out of [his] court.” Boyd’s attorney, Malcolm Purow, claims they gave up on the suit because Fisher had no assets.
And last year, rookie porn star Iris Menke sued the company. According to a contract filed in court, she had been paid $50,000 a year plus benefits and a free cell phone to perform. Menke claimed that when she tried to leave for a larger company after a year, Fisher doctored and falsely notarized a contract to include a noncompete clause, barring her from working in porn anywhere else for two years.
The suit was settled confidentially. For his part, Fisher claims it was Menke who forged contracts. “Once you start your own studio,” he laments, shaking his head, “it’s like a big bull’s-eye on your back for these chicks to take shots at.”
Which is one of the reasons Fisher was fired up when Showtime contacted him earlier this year looking for a “hybrid” show for an 11:30 p.m. time slot: “They wanted something that isn’t porn but really pushes the envelope.”
He was ready with the idea for Beach Heat and won a five-year production contract. (Showtime representative Perry Seaman refused to comment about the show or controversy. “With adult-like content, we just acquire it; we don’t develop it,” he says.)
Fisher claims he was up-front with auditioning actors, showing them a pilot that included sex scenes and describing his show as “like Californication, but racier,” referring to the Showtime program often starring David Duchovny’s bare backside.
“He compared it to Nip/Tuck or Sex and the City,” says the unnamed tutor/actress, who was offered $800 and was not in any sex scenes. “He didn’t say anything about gratuitous sex, and I didn’t see any scenes like that being filmed.”
Galioto won a major role and earned $5,600 for the first season, even though she had done little more than a Home Depot commercial and bit spots on E!’s Sexiest Jobs. She says she knew nudity was required: “We’re lifeguards in South Beach; it’s a topless beach, so we expected to be topless. But not, like, having sex topless.”
She decided it might be porn after the second time she was directed to gyrate nude upon another actor. But by then, it was too late: “It was the type of thing where we were already in so deep. We had already signed a contract.”
Tempers flared during four months of production on South Beach last spring. Galioto “got in a very heated fight” with Fisher, she says, calling him a “snake” on set.
The director was unfazed. He began referring to her as “T-Rex” for the way she tried to conceal her breasts with her hands during sex scenes.
Fisher says the disgruntled starlets partied too hard — “staying out at the club until 3 a.m. when we had to shoot at 8 the next morning” — and “were unhappy with their performances.” VH1 reality-show star Hauserman, he points out, was busted for DUI during Beach Heat’s filming in April. But Fisher allows, “I knew what I was getting into. I knew I wasn’t getting Marisa Tomei.”
Hauserman, who could not be reached for comment, didn’t show up for the show’s premiere at Pangaea Lounge in Hollywood. She’s refused to sign on for the second season, which is in preproduction.
Fisher is undeterred. “These chicks think the show is about them,” he scoffs. “They are so easily replaced. The show is about the concept.”
Next up for the director: a comedy called Last Resort, in which a Michigan man loses everything and heads to Key West to start a fleabag resort. “It’s going to be squeaky-clean, with A-rate actors,” says Fisher.
It seems that there is a grueling Republican primary race going on in Alaska. Incumbent senator Lisa Murkowski currently trails Tea Party-backed challenger Joe Miller by less than 3,000 votes after Tuesday’s primary
election. According to the Anchorage Daily News, with 84 percent of Alaska’s precincts reporting, the relatively unknown Joe Miller has a 51-to-49 percent lead. And although many are commenting on the ability of a relatively unknown candidate to challenge and perhaps defeat Murkowski, who has the added advantage of her family’s political name and clout, much of the press has zeroed in on the fact that Miller had the endorsement of Sarah Palin. In fact, Sarah Palin’s support has become THE story for many.
With titles like “The Sarah Palin Effect? Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski Trails Tea Party Challenger Joe Miller” and “Alaska Election Results Provide A Boost To Palin” (CBS News), the coverage of the Alaska Primary election results have been decidedly focused on the half-term governor who threw her support behind Tea Party favorite Joe Miller. Although her support likely helped get his name circulated far more than he would have gotten otherwise, one has to truly wonder how much of a real impact Sarah Palin, who many in Alaska feel simply quit her job as Alaska’s elected governor last summer to pursue lucrative book contracts and speaking engagements, had on the primary election.
Miller admits that she was of some benefit to his campaign. He told the Anchorage Daily News, “I’m absolutely certain that was pivotal.”
Lisa Murkowski, who has had past run-ins with Sarah Palin (even though the two say they’re not political enemies), was less charitable to the ex-governor when she spoke to reporters at her campaign headquarters Tuesday evening: “‘I think she’s out for her own self-interest,’ Murkowski observed. ‘I don’t think she’s out for Alaska’s interest.’”
NFL owners approved Stan Kroenke as the new majority owner of the St. Louis Rams this morning in a vote conducted at a meeting in Atlanta.
“Stan has been a familiar and respected figure in the National Football League for more than 15 years,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “He is a proven businessman and has experienced success in all of his sports franchises, as well as serving as a responsible community leader. We look forward to him continuing to uphold the goals and values of the NFL as he becomes the majority owner of the St. Louis Rams.”
Kroenke was already a minority owner of the Rams and helped bring the team to St. Louis in 1995. Now he’s set to assume control from Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, the children of deceased former owner Georgia Frontiere, who control 60% of the team.
Kroenke also owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. NFL rules prohibit cross-ownership of franchises in those leagues, a policy Kroenke has challenged. His son may assume control of those clubs.
“Building organizations that win consistently is a challenge that we understand,” said Kroenke. “We are excited about the opportunity as principal owner of the St. Louis Rams.”
The Vikings acquired receiver Greg Camarillo from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for cornerback Benny Sapp on Wednesday, one day after signing veteran free agent Javon Walker. The deal is contingent upon both players passing a physical.
When asked for comment about the trade, Camarillo told ESPN 760 in West Palm Beach, Fla.: “Yeah, it’s crazy. I hate to be rude but I don’t have time for interviews. I have to move my whole life.”
Minnesota has little choice: Pro Bowler Sidney Rice will miss at least the first half of the season after having hip surgery Monday, and Percy Harvin hasn’t practiced much because of recurring migraines, leaving Brett Favre without his top two targets with just two weeks left in the exhibition season.
Camarillo rebounded from a torn ACL in 2008 to catch 105 passes for 1,165 yards and two touchdowns over the last two years. He is more of a slot receiver than a deep threat, which would make him a more realistic fit to replace Harvin than the 6-foot-4 Rice, whose leaping ability and athleticism contributed to a breakout season last year.
The sure-handed Camarillo did not drop a pass last season.
“We have to get on board together rather quickly, obviously,” Favre said after practice on Wednesday, referring to a handful of new receivers he has to get to know before the Sept. 9 season opener. “It will be tougher. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. It will be tougher than we had hoped. So we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Harvin returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since he collapsed during practice last week. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital, remained there overnight and did not travel with the team to San Francisco for the preseason game on Sunday night.
Harvin had some additional tests performed this week, but it is still impossible to predict when the headaches will surface and tests are still being done. He missed one game during the regular season last year but still racked up more than 2,000 total yards and won the AP offensive rookie of the year award.
In Miami, Camarillo became expendable with the offseason acquisition of Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall. The Dolphins also have Brian Hartline and Davone Bess at receiver.
“It happened to work out good for both teams,” Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. “I don’t think from our standpoint you give away a Greg Camarillo if you don’t feel like you’re getting value in return. And vice versa.”
Camarillo was a starter the past two years. Last season he made 50 catches for 552 yards and no touchdowns. He’ll be best remembered in Miami for his 64-yard touchdown catch in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens for the Dolphins’ lone victory in 2007.
“In the NFL, you have to be ready for trades at any time,” Camarillo’s agent, J.R. Rickert wrote in a text. “This is a great opportunity for Greg to play with one of the best quarterbacks ever.”
Sapp will provide depth for Miami at cornerback behind second-year starters Vontae Davis and Sean Smith. Veteran cornerback Will Allen is coming back from knee surgery and recently underwent a follow-up arthroscopic procedure, and he’s expected to be sidelined until at least the end of the exhibition season.
Sapp played in all 16 games for Minnesota last season and started seven when Antoine Winfield went down with a foot injury. He filled in admirably but fell behind youngsters Asher Allen and Chris Cook early in training camp in the race for the nickel job.
“You get a guy that has some position flexibility,” Sparano said of Sapp. “He’s played corner and started some games at corner in this league, handled a large number of plays last season, played in some playoff games and also plays inside in the nickel. I think he has a little bit of position flex in that way and plays special teams.”
Source: The Associated Press?