Bello wrote an op-ed piece, Coming Out as a Modern Family about her extended family, the nature of partnerships and her relationship with her best friend which turned romantic after much soul searching. In his video, Daley explains that he was misquoted in an interview and wanted to be honest, even though discussing relationships makes him uncomfortable, but now he feels ready to do so since he is in a relationship with someone who makes him feel
so wonderful, so safe…and that person is a guy…something clicked…Of course I still fancy girls, but right now I’m dating a guy and I couldn’t be happier. I just feel safe, and it really does feel right…Is it a big deal? I don’t think so….It’s going to be big but I wanted to say something.
Daley wanted to come out on video so his words wouldn’t be twisted, and he he says to his fans that he’s still Tom and still wants to win a gold medal for Britain at the Rio 2016 Olympics; he hopes his fans will be along for that journey.
GoldieBlox withdrew their preemptive Fair Use lawsuit against the Beastie Boys. That was a smart move, since the odds were not looking good for the Silicon Valley toy company: They had used the band’s name as well as their music without permission, and had in an earlier video, used Queen’s “We are the Champions” and the Toys “R” Us name without permission. The “Girls” ad went megaviral, but GoldieBlox had never asked for permission to use the song, even in parody form, figuring they could just call it a “parody” and get away with it Because GoldieBlox is all cool and new hip and copyright is for old people and The Man who is keeping us down. Neener.
What they didn’t realize, but a simple Google search would have shown, is that they had gone against the dying wishes of Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch who had hand-written a clause in his will that none of his music, likeness, or art be used in ads. GoldieBlox looked like self-entitled, selfish brats, so they pulled the music and wrote an apology, in which GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling said
We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.
quite a different tune from their preemptive lawsuit which called the song
They company claims it didn’t realize that Yauch had made a pre-death legal standing regarding his music, and that the surviving Beastie Boys supported and endorsed Yauch’s wishes. Of course that doesn’t absolve GoldieBlox from their conscious and willful appropriation of the band’s music; and that then when approached by the band’s attorneys with a query letter, they went on the offensive, smacking back with the lawsuit claiming Fair Use.
The video now has a new music, and the Beastie Boys name has been taken off the video. But the bad taste over how this company behaved still lingers.
The Portland, Oregon gamer community PDXLAN donated 37,500 lbs of food to a local charity to feed the homeless. The gamers hold parties three times a year where people from all over the country gather to game in real life. The meet-ups involve a charitable aspect, raising funds for groups American Red Cross, Smile Train and Child’s Play. For the most recent meet-up held the weekend before Thanksgiving, PDXLAN and their friends, who have done food drives over the past seven years, scored over 17 tons of food collected in 48 hours.
Battlefield 4 was one of the more popular games played, and the game’s manufacturer, Electronic Arts, aka EA, sponsored B4 gamers who donated 50 lbs of food. Metro Last Light and NVIDIA promised each attendee a copy of Metro Last Light if donations surpassed 20,000 lbs.
As a community we really want to give back. We want to show that gamers are good people who do good things.
And that they are not just a bunch of kids who live in mom’s basement. As PDXLAN’s website points out:
Doctors, Lawyers, micro-chip designers, school teachers, professors, farmers, students, IT-specialists, pharmacists, web-programers, and stay at home moms – gaming is something that transcends age groups, social groups, education levels, economic classes, and gender. Video gaming is a larger industry than all the Hollywood blockbuster films combined each year.
The food went to the Union Gospel Mission in Portland.
I truly disliked Thanksgiving as a kid–all the agony of Christmas but without the presents. Now that I’m grown up it’s a bit different, though I still am baffled by the power this holiday has over people. My perfect Thanksgiving would be watching two of the greatest movies ever about importance of family, The Godfather I and II. Back to back.
However, many of my friends share a different sentiment. They hold a weird sentimentality towards a holiday whose menu gets repeated about a month later for Christmas dinner. Since I love my friends and I love a party, we do potluck for 30 at my house. There’s a chance with potluck Thanksgiving you’ll end up with a table groaning under pies and wine, not that I’d really mind, but Thanksgiving purists who are invited ensure the presence of green bean casserole (this year a gourmet version made by a sci-fi writer), yams and mashed potatoes. The vegetarians bring something they can eat; it’s called celebration loaf. Two smoked turkeys arrived courtesy of a close friend and her husband; the birds can be served at room temp, thus freeing up my oven for other things. There’s wild boar ham from yet another guest who is anything but a wild bore. I’ve made two batches of braised Brussels sprouts, one vegan, one loaded with bacon (see recipe below), and I’m making a vegetarian dressing, two pans. Oh and cranberry sauce. I did that from scratch.
Since Thanksgiving coincides with Hanukkah this year, I also have a 12lb brisket in the oven, and latkes will be made. Hanukkah is a festival for giving thanks, it’s kinda cool they fall together this year. The ham-bringer is also bringing the menorah (he’s very progressive), plus we have bags of gelt. Appetizers will arrive. Something with kale is coming, along with herbed greens beans, roasted root veggies, grains, homemade gravies (vegan and not), corn casserole, salads and pie. Lots of pie. Homemade pie. Store-bought pie. Pumpkin, berry, pecan, apple.
Whether you celebrate Thanksgivukkah with family, friends or alone with the Corleone family, have lovely one.
Vegan Braised Brussels Sprouts:
Wash B sprouts and cut in half.
Chop and onion and garlic (I used 6 cloves, you may decide differently) and sauté them in olive oil with some fresh thyme (optional). If you want to add salt and pepper, now is the time.
When the aromatics begin to release their scent and are starting to sizzle, throw in B sprouts and let them sit for a couple minutes until they start to brown and then turn bright green. Flip them, then cook a little more. Add sliced mushrooms and toss contents of pan again, and pour in some vegetable broth. When it starts to boil, cover the pan and turn down the heat and wait a couple minutes.
Uncover pan, see if mushrooms are steamed through. If so, remove from heat; if not, re-cover and return to low heat.
For the baconed version, cook bacon, crumble it, and use about 2 or 3 Tbls of the bacon fat for cooking B sprouts. Add liquid of choice once the veggies are sorta browned, then cover and cook until bright green. Take off heat then add the crumbled bacon.
Having spent nearly 8 cumulative years living in New York City, I know a thing or two about spotting unfortunate DIY revisions on the movie posters and advertising campaigns that litter the walls of the city. You’d be hard pressed to find a subway platform free of hand drawn penises and mustaches and other superfluous commentary.
Often times racist, sexist, and otherwise offensive graffiti goes unnoticed which is why Gap’srecently defaced ad, and the company’s respectful response, is filling the internet with all sorts of holiday cheer.
The controversy features model/ designer Waris Ahluwalia.
Ahluwalia is originally from Punjab India and has found success through his company House of Waris which serves as both a platform to showcase his jewelry designs as well as a means of collaborating with a wide range of designers and companies.
He was recently featured in a Gap ad campaign and had one particular billboard off the Bronx 6 train vandalized by someone who thought it wise to write “stop driving taxis” near his face while also changing the tagline of “make love not war” to “make bombs not war”.
Gap’s subsequent response was subtle but powerful.
Without much fanfare the company gave the pre-vandalized version of the ad prime real estate on their various social media platforms– making it the cover photo on their Facebook page as well as the background of their Twitter page.
To be clear, the Gap has more than its fair share of not awesome things to be held accountable for, but in this instance they did good.
There are no tweets/ shares highlighting the act– they’re just publicly doubling down on behalf of the person behind the ad in a way that admonishes the hatred sent his way on a sole billboard in the Bronx.
Thou shalt not lie. That’s a pretty important commandment. Except it isn’t actually a commandment. The wording is
thou shalt not bear false witness
so is Pat Robertson breaking his God’s law (or heart) by claiming
A few years ago I did some pretty heavy stuffy, I used to, my leg presses, warm up with 500 lbs. and I went up from there, I did 30 reps of 1,000 lbs
In 2006, when he was 76 Pat Robertson claimed he did 2,000 lbs leg presses; the world record at the time was 1,335 lbs. and it was held by a former Florida State linebacker.
Though maybe it’s Pat’s staffers who are behind this silliness. Slate commented at the time of the 2K boast that Robertson had two staffers loading the weight machine, and:
In all cases, some of the weight gets borne by the machine. You may be loading 400 pounds, but your muscles are feeling only 200. In other words, eight plates on the machine are only four plates worth of effective weight…If you’re leg-pressing 400, that means you’re only squatting around 225.
RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights is holding an auction and one of the donated items was a visit from Orson Scott Card (author of Ender’s Game as well as numerous homophobic editorials) to a kid’s high school for a story creation workshop, valued at $25,000. Orson Scott Card may be a best selling author but he’s also a homophobic bigot, so Will Kohl fromBack2Stonewall contacted the RKF Center, letting them know about Orson Scott Card and his views on LGBT, and got this response:
The RFK Center works around the world to defend sexual minorities’ rights, and is a longstanding leader in the fight against LGBTI discrimination. In Uganda alone, we have partnered for years with on-the-ground activists to lead a global coalition against the infamous anti-homosexuality bill, galvanized global faith leaders and Nobel Peace laureates on behalf of LGBTI Ugandans, secured the release of trans activists imprisoned for their advocacy efforts, brought life-saving medical resources to health care clinics serving LGBTI patients who have been turned away from city hospitals, and fostered a historic dialogue on sexual minority rights within the nation’s police forces. Auction coordinators occasionally offer items to the RFK Center auction. The RFK Center did not solicit this item and it is no longer part of our auction.
The RFK Center did not solicit the donation. And it is no longer part of the auction. Thanks, Will for reminding us all that a letter or phone call can make a difference.
I thought from the GoldieBlox online commercial that the Beastie Boys were involved with the company which creates these toys for future inventors, or at least endorsed it somehow, since their name was attached to the video and their song “Girls” was used. I guess a lot of people thought that, and the Beastie Boys’ name and the song helped boost the video into viral status. It’s now a finalist in a contest sponsored by Intuit to air a commercial during the 2014 Super Bowl.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes.
Rolling Stone reports that the phrase
any music or any artistic property
was written in Yauch’s own hand. He died of cancer in May, 2012. The Beastie Boys wrote the music together, so “Girls” falls under his will. So basically, GoldieBlox has defied and disrespected a dying man’s wishes for their own purposes.
a copyright infringement, is not a fair use, and that GoldieBlox’s unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a “big problem” that has a “very significant impact.”
So GoldieBlox filed a preemptive suit. (And I hope they don’t shift strategies, calling the whaaa-mublance and starting to bawl about how they are being picked on by the big mean rock stars and their big mean record companies; that would be conduct unbecoming. But they should fire whoever told them it was a totally cool, no problem thing to just blithely parody a major hit and use the band’s name to promote their product.)
You read that right: GoldieBlox is suing the Beastie Boys. And their record labels and publishing companies. GoldieBlox is hoping for
declaratory judgment and injunctive relief
with the hope that their unauthorized use of the song will be declared Fair Use parody. They want to protect their version of the song, it’s integral to the GoldieBlox promo video that’s received almost 9 million views on YouTube. (Using the Beastie Boys’ name to promote the video isn’t gonna help the case at all, that was a very foolish move). Here are the standards for considering Fair Use:
1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
Well, the song was clearly parodied for commercial purposes. One could argue that Weird Al Yankovic also parodies for commercial purposes, but he secures permission and royalties are paid. And he is not selling a separate product, simply the song itself. The tune and phrasing of the original is used, along the with distinctive chorus. Weird Al changes the words completely, along with the overall meaning. Again, he pays royalties. But is this just about money? The Beasties say no, it’s about their principles: They don’t allow their music to be used in commercials, period. And they don’t allow the band’s name to be used in commercials. And the GoldieBlox video is an ad. It may be on YouTube, but it’s an ad. And it could be shown on the Super Bowl.
Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial ‘GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys,’ we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad.
We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.
As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song Girls had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.
In their court papers, GoldieBlox makes the point:
Set to the tune of ‘Girls’ but with a new recording of the music and new lyrics, girls are heard singing an anthem celebrating their broad set of capabilities — exactly the opposite of the message of the original. They are also shown engaging in activities far beyond what the Beastie Boys song would permit. GoldieBlox created its parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes.
Actually the band’s original song was pretty much a parody of macho attitudes.
I wonder though, maybe GoldieBlox anticipated the Beasties’ reaction and figured that (along with making the world better for girls with their cool toys), they would get additional PR, and also pry open the door for greater Fair Use. This could end up being very expensive battle, and the odds of it being resolved before the Super Bowl are slim.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially since Felix Salmon at Reuters points out this isn’t the first time GoldieBlox has used a song without permission for their online videos. The Silicon Valley startup’s first video “GoldieBlox Breaks into Toys R Us” used Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and there was no parody of lyrics at all. I am starting to like this company less and less.
This is the story of a secret agent, of nuclear proliferation, billion-dollar high-tech defense transactions, ideology, patriotism, love, heartbreak, and the awe inspiring Hollywood career of a mysterious mogul. In a true story that puts James Bond to shame, Confidential details with nail-biting suspense how producer Arnon Milchan evolved from his youth into one of the most important covert agents that Israeli intelligence has ever fielded…Confidential is packed with stunning new revelations and opens a window into the world of a key covert operative, who evolved into a genuine member of Hollywood’s royal elite.
Here are some the quotes bolstering the authors’ claims and those of Milchan:
Arnon is a special man. His activities gave us a huge advantage, strategically, diplomatically, and technologically. In my present position as president, I am restrained from recommending any single individual for our highest defense-related honor, but undoubtedly, Arnon Milchan is worthy of such an acknowledgment, and that’s as close to a recommendation that I, as president, can give.
–Shimon Peres, President of Israel.
Never, never tell jokes about a man with easy access to weapons of mass destruction.
–Peter Chernin, former CEO of Fox Entertainment Group.
Arnon Milchan…is a loyal and generous friend who also happens to be a great longterm and trustworthy partner.
– Rupert Murdoch, CEO, News Corporation.
Creepy much? Milchan spoke to Israeli investigative documentary program Uvda (Fact) in an interview that will air this week on Israel’s Channel 2 (interesting timing with Iran nuke deal now agreed to). The program includes interviews with Russel Crowe, Robert DiNiro and Ben Affleck. Milchan was recruited by Israeli president Shimon Peres in the 1960s and became a liaison for the secretive Bureau of Scientific Relations and worked to further Israel’s nuclear program, handling clandestine deals involving Israeli military acquisitions in the 1970s He admits that the late producer Sydney Pollock was
a real partner
who helped him obtain arms and other military equipment for Israel and was fully aware of what he was doing. Milchan also used an unwitting Richard Dreyfuss in an attempt to recruit senior U.S. scientist and expert on nuclear weapons Arthur Biehl for Israel, inviting Biehl to Dreyfuss’ house on the premise that the two men would discuss music.
Milchan says of dual career:
I didn’t attach enough significance to the image I had created of myself. I should have confronted the image of an arms dealer. In Hollywood they don’t like working with an arms dealer, ideologically. [They don't like working] with someone who lives off selling machine guns and killing. Instead of someone talking to me about a script, I had to spend half an hour explaining that I’m not an arms dealer. If people knew how many times I risked my life, back and forth, again and again, for my country. … And suddenly, to defend myself — ‘I’m not an arms dealer, I don’t sell guns, I don’t sell rockets’ — I should have been aware of that, of what I’ll go through, and said ‘F— you. You know what? I did it for my country, and I’m proud of it.’
Milchan’s choice of films doesn’t reflect a bias towards Israel or an attempt to brainwash the public, but still this is, well, creepy. Milchan’s latest film, starring Russell Crowe is the story of Noah, directed by Darren Aronsofsky.
Monday POTUS attended two fundraisers in Beverly Hills, one at the home of producer Haim Saban, the other where he was joined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NV) at chez Magic Johnson, who called Obama
“the greatest leader in the world,” and highlighted the benefits of Obamacare.
I don’t know how affordable this Affordable Care is really going to be. My insurance went up from $222 to $388 for the same coverage, and I don’t understand why men and women past childbearing age are paying for maternity care, since they can’t have babies…
Anyway, today Obama is busy collecting checks for the House Senate Victory Fund, a joint committee to raise money for Democratic House and Senate candidates–tickets for the Saban party where guests included former ambassador Nicole Avant and her husband, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos; Eli and Edythe Broad; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Berry Gordy; Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were $16,200 per person. And at Magic and Cookie Johnson’s $2,500 to $15,000 per person affair, where organizers expected about 160 people, including LaToya Jackson; the Los Angeles Clippers’ Antawn Jamison and Ashley Lewis; Diane Keaton; the Clippers’ J.J. Redick and wife Chelsea; as well as a number of members of California’s congressional delegation. He’ll will attend a $32,500-per-person breakfasty/60-person roundtable co-hosted by Melanie Griffith at the home of of producer Marta Kauffman and her husband Michael Skloff. That’s in Hancock Park, and major streets will be blocked off.
From there, well, we’re expecting serious traffic trouble as the presidential motorcade heads to DreamWorks Studios in Glendale, basically just northeast of the Griffith Park Observatory, no word on what route the motorcade will take but it will affect all of Hollywood and most likely my neighborhood which is between Hollywood and Glendale. There Obama may be faced with a sea of green shirts which DreamWorks employees are wearing in solidarity with
visual effects artists stung by the loss of work due to outsourcing of jobs to countries that offer subsidies. Outside of DreamWorks Animation, plans are in the works for a protest that is not aimed at DreamWorks, but the subsidies. They want the Obama administration to pursue a duty on imports of subsidized special effects work, and believe that such a duty can be imposed without Congress and that it can be applied to digital goods.
DreamWorks was chosen because they are a job creator, though one wonders if Obama is aware of how many jobs in Hollywood have been outsourced, and how run-away production has gutted Hollywood. Variety reports that White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest explained the choice to visit the studio:
that Katzenberg’s support of Obama — the DreamWorks Animation chieftan was one of the biggest fundraisers for Obama’s reelection campaign — had “no bearing on our decision to visit there.”
“Contributing to the president’s campaign or being a political supporter of the president doesn’t guarantee you a presidential visit, but it shouldn’t exclude you from one either,” Earnest said.
“DreamWorks obviously is a thriving business and is creating lots of jobs in Southern California and the fact of the matter is Mr. Katzenberg’s support for the president’s policies has no bearing on our decision to visit there,” Earnest said. “Rather, it’s an opportunity to highlight the success of one business and the success that they’re having creating jobs in Southern California.
Obama supporter, liberal giver and general rich guy (I believe he’s in the 1%) Jeffrey Katzenberg has invited other show-biz bigwigs to the closed meeting, including, according to Variety, MPAA chairman Chris Dodd, CBS’s Leslie Moonves and possibly Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara and Barry Meyer, and Fox’s Jim Gianopulos.