December 31, 2008

Eartha Kitt dies at 81

Eartha Kitt, a singer best known for her timeless rendition of holiday favorite Santa Baby and her role as Catwoman on the original Batman television series, died Christmas Day of colon cancer. Kitt was 81.

The seductive singer and actress, once called “the most exciting woman in the world” by Orson Welles, was born on a cotton plantation in South Carolina to a Cherokee/black mother and a German/Dutch father. Kitt never knew her father and claimed to be a child of rape.

Kitt’s musical hits include Let’s Do It, Champagne Taste, Just an Old Fashioned Girl, Monotonous, Love For Sale, I’d Rather Be Burned as a Witch, Mink, Scmink, Under the Bridges of Paris, and her most famous, Santa Baby, which has been covered by countless artists including Madonna.

In 1958, Kitt made her feature film debut alongside Sidney Poitier in The Mark of the Hawk. She later took over the role of Catwoman in the Batman TV series when Julie Newmar left due to scheduling conflicts.

The singer/actress also had an illustrious stage career, given her first starring role as Helen of Troy by Welles in the 1950 production of Dr Faustus. Kitt continued her electrifying stage performances until months before her death.

"She loved cabaret performances," says long-time friend and publicist Andrew Freedman. "If there was ever an opportunity to do a small intimate venue with about 150 people, that was always her preference."

Although diagnosed with cancer two years ago, Kitt was in remission until her recent relapse.

"She came back strongly. She had been performing until two months ago," Freedman says. "We had dates booked through 2009."

Despite many romances, Kitt married only once, a short-lived union with real estate associate which resulted in a daughter, Kitt.

Source: She Knows

New Year Wishes Messages

It is the time to party away and usher in the New Year in style. And what is the first thing that comes to mind while thinking about New Year? No, apart from the party and drinking! It is New Year wishes. We have compiled some popular wishes for New Year, which can be used in a personalized greeting card, letter or a message. So check out these wishes for New Year and do not forget to wish your family first thing as the clock strikes 12 and the new year slides in slowly.

  • This New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want. - Irish Toast
  • May this New Year bring newly found prosperity, love, happiness and delight in your life. - Anonymous
  • "When you're lonely, I wish you Love! When you're down,I wish you Joy! When you're troubled, I wish you Peace! When things seem empty, I wish you Hope! Have a Happy New Year!" - Anonymous
  • This bright New Year is given to me to live each day with zest, to daily grow and try to be my highest and my best! - William Arthur Ward
  • May the dawning of this New Year, fill your heart with new hopes, open up new horizons and bring for you promises of brighter tomorrows. May you have a great New Year. - Anonymous
  • As the new year blossoms, may the journey of your life be fragrant with new opportunities, your days be bright with new hopes and your heart be happy with love! Happy New Year! - Anonymous

Source: Indobase

Is Dane Cook Married?

A lot of people have been raising this question of whether Dane cook is married or has been married to someone. If married who is the lucky woman? We made a research online about Dane Cook's marriage and we found out that all of these things about marriage are just speculations. There are no major newspapers or online magazine or websites talking about or confirming Dane Cook getting married as of this writing.

We will give you more updates on this Dane Cook marriage if there are more information we find online.

Source: A Lady's Confessions

Barbra Streisand: Perfection Is Imperfection

Barbara_Streisand At this point in Barbra Streisand's legendary career, no one can rain on her parade -- not even President Bush.
To add to her stellar list of accolades, Streisand has been given the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.
"It's a recognition of your country in a sense towards you, the artist, and the recognition of the importance of the arts in general," Streisand told Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen.
Streisand has been a vocal critic of President Bush and many wondered if she would accept the award and attend the traditional White House gala.
"This is a weekend that celebrates the arts and artists, so I shall say that -- art transcends politics this weekend," she said.
On her official bio from the Kennedy Center, they list her job title as director, actress, singer, writer, composer and producer.
"You could add to that activist and environmentalist," Chen said.
Streisand grew up poor in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her father, a teacher, died when she was just 15 months old. The family continued to struggle. Streisand will never forget those early memories.
"My early childhood, we never had a couch. We never had a living room. We only had a dining room. And then my grandmother and grandfather lived in one bedroom and my mother, my brother and I slept in another bedroom, so we never had fancy things," she said. "We moved to another -- a project in Brooklyn and I remember the luxuriousness of this couch! Now I love couches. I never had a doll. I had a hot water bottle."
But those humble beginnings somehow helped Streisand find confidence in herself, even when her mother did not.
"My mother wanted me to join the school system. She kept saying, she was a school secretary, she kept saying 'You have free vacations, summers off and this is going to be good for you.' I kept saying, 'But, mom, I want to be an actress. No, you'll never make it. You're not pretty enough, you're not this enough, you're too skinny.' I was always very skinny. But I owe her a lot because, in a sense, I was proving to my mother that this skinny little girl, unconventional looking, I suppose, could be a movie star," she said.
Besides being a movie star, Streisand became a world class recording artist outselling the Beatles.
Despite the recognition, Streisand admits that her voice is far from perfect.
"I was gifted with a good set of vocal chords, I suppose. I believe in if you tell the truth or -- it comes from your heart, what comes from the heart goes to the heart. So it reaches people," she said.
She also can credit her deviated septum for her success as well.
"I think it helps," Streisand admitted.
Film Career
Streisand made her film debut 40 years ago and became one of Hollywood's leading ladies.
She won her first an Academy Award in 1968's "Funny Girl" and said she knew it wouldn't be her last.
"How do I say this? Belief inspires reality. Perception and belief creates reality. It's a vision. I don't know. I remember it was an awful choice I made wearing the dress I made for the first Academy Award, but I thought to myself, I'm going to win this again. Isn't that terrible to say? But that's the truth," she said.
Streisand was nominated for four more Oscars, and won again for writing "Evergreen," the love theme to "A Star Is Born." She was the first female composer ever to win an Academy Award.
In 1983, Streisand released her 15-year labor of love "Yentl." She was the first woman in Hollywood to star, co-write and produce a film. The film paid tribute to her father, who died when she was an infant.
"I had to become my own father in a sense. And I also had to be everyone else's parent. You know, when you direct, you -- they are your children in a way. So it brings out all those instincts that are dormant sometimes, you know?" she said.
Another big personal triumph for Streisand was "The Prince of Tides," which garnered her seven Oscar nominations.
"What drew you to the book?" Chen asked.
"How human beings can transform and heal through a search for the truth. That's the basis of this story, and understanding your childhood, understanding your parents, forgiveness," Streisand said.
But the film many called the most romantic of all time is "The Way We Were," her 1973 pairing with Robert Redford.
"He was wonderful to work with. I loved working with him. Always interesting. Always in the moment, you know? So we never knew what each other was going to do -- take to take," she said.
In the '70s and '80s, Streisand was visible on the silver screen, but absent from concert stages.
It was stage fright that kept her away from the stage. During her performance in Central Park in 1967, Streisand forgot the words before 135,000 people -- prior to that she never experienced stage fright.
"No stage fright. You know, it was scary. It was wonderful. But I remember it being a horrifying experience. Really embarrassing to forget the words, forget the words. That's why I didn't sing for a very long time until they invented Teleprompters. It still scares me to this day," Streisand admitted.
"What is the biggest misconception about you," Chen asked.
"One? Gosh, I don't know. What do they say? What do they say about me? I'm difficult. Oh, difficult. That's one. Right? I don't know. Maybe in the search for the -- striving for excellence, I think may be perceived as difficult. It's not perfection because there is no such thing as perfection. I remember writing in my journal when I was 15, observing an acting class, that perfection was imperfection. Because, otherwise, it's inhuman, you know? It's almost too perfect," she said.
Well, in the eyes of millions dedicated and adoring fans, she's pretty close to being perfect.
The 31st annual Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast tonight at 9 p.m. ET, on CBS.

Source: CBS News

How to fix a frozen Zune and other interesting tips


Like almost all Thursday nights, I was out with the guys writing code for the WiX toolset. Also, like almost all Thursday nights, Jenny called me before she headed off to bed. Sadly, tonight she informed me that her Zune had frozen on her walk to work this morning.

Well, I just got home after getting the last set of build system changes in and posted. I decided to take a peek and see if I could fix the ailing music player. It was definitely frozen with its screen dimmed showing one of the menus but not responding to input.

After pressing and holding a few buttons, I decided it was time to hit the Internet. In the first page, I came across this blog entry that did just the trick. Press and hold the Back button and the up on the pad for a few seconds and the Zune will reset. This fixed Jenny's Zune and it seems quite happy, connected and charging.

Reading through the comments here are a few other key combinations that you can use on your Zune:

On - press and hold the Play button.

Sleep - press and hold the Play button.

Off - press and hold the Back button plus down on the pad.

Reset - press and hold Back button plus up on the pad.

Erase - press and hold the Back button plus up on the pad then press then hold Back button plus right on the pad plus Play button. From KB926917.

Format - press and hold the Back button plus up on the pad then press then hold Back button plus left on the pad plus Play button. Formatting will require you to connect your Zune back to a computer for the Zune to be useable again.

Tags: rob, mensching, zune, fix, frozen, reset, on, sleep, off, play, erase, format

Source: Rob Mensching

December 30, 2008

Bobby Rush biography


Bobby Lee Rush (born November 23, 1946) is an American politician from Illinois. A Democrat, he has served in the United States House of Representatives as the member from Illinois' 1st congressional district since 1993. Rush's district is located principally on the South Side of Chicago. It is a minority-majority district and has a higher percentage of African American (65 percent) than any other congressional district in the nation. He is the only person ever to defeat President-elect Barack Obama in an election for any office.

Rush is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, as well as a former Black Panther.


Rush was born in Albany, Georgia. He was educated at Roosevelt University (bachelor's degree), the University of Illinois at Chicago (master's degree) and McCormick Theological Seminary (theology degree), all of which are in Chicago. He served in the United States Army from 1963 to 1968, was a co-founder of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and was an insurance agent and member of the Chicago City Council before entering the House.

Rush was involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and was a member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1966 to 1968. Rush was a co-founder of the Illinois Black Panther Party in 1968. While a Black Panther, he operated Free Breakfast for Children program. He also coordinated the pioneering Free Medical Clinic, which developed the nation's first mass sickle cell disease testing program. Rush is also a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. the 5th largest historically black fraternity in the world.

Rush ran for mayor of Chicago in 1999 but was defeated by the incumbent Richard M. Daley.[1]

In the 2000 Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives (IL-01), Rush defeated challenger and then state senator Barack Obama [2], who was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, and later to the Presidency of the United States in 2008. During the primary, Rush said "Barack Obama went to Harvard and became an educated fool. Barack is a person who read about the civil-rights protests and thinks he knows all about it."[3]

On July 15, 2004, Rush became the second sitting member of Congress (following Charles Rangel and preceding Joe Hoeffel) to be arrested for trespassing while protesting the genocide in Darfur and other violations of human rights in Sudan in front of the Sudanese Embassy.[4][5]

Following Barack Obama's election as President and resignation as Senator, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (or his successor if a resignation or an impeachment is to be expected) will appoint an individual to fill the remaining two years of Obama's term in the Senate. Congressman Rush says that Obama's Senate replacement should also be African American.[6] During a press conference, Rush said, "With the resignation of President-elect Obama, we now have no African American in the United States Senate, and we believe it will be a national disgrace to not have this seat filled by one of the many capable African American Illinois politicians."[7] Rush said he does not support any one individual in particular for Senate, and is not interested in being appointed himself.[7][6] On December 30, 2008, Blagojevich announced his appointment of Roland Burris, an African American former Attorney General of Illinois. Rush was present at the press conference and spoke in support of Burris.[8]

Source: Wikipedia

Mia Farrow's adopted daughter Lark dies


Actress Mia Farrow has lost the first of her brood.

Lark Previn, the Vietnamese-born adopted daughter of Farrow and musician Andre Previn, died on Christmas Day, the medical examiner said Monday.

Lark Previn, 35, a mother of two girls, had been ailing for a decade. A cause of death was not released.

Her two daughters, Sara, 13, and Christine, 12, sat in the front row at her wake last night at a Brooklyn funeral home.

Robert Garcia, Previn's live-in boyfriend, declined comment.

Neighbors in the couple's Clinton Hill apartment building said she was somewhat reclusive and gave no hint that her mother was a celebrity.

"We never knew. She never let on," said Lillian Rivera, 42, a neighbor. "She was a mystery."

The young mom was obviously ailing and had grown skinny and lost most of her hair in recent months.

"It's very sad," the neighbor said.

Lark Previn and her sister, Daisy, 34, were the first of Farrow's multiethnic gaggle of adopted kids.

The two sisters first made headlines in 1991 when they were arrested for shoplifting underwear from a mall in Connecticut, near Farrow's country home.

Mia Farrow and Andre Previn also adopted the Korean-born Soon-Yi Previn, who wound up marrying Woody Allen - the actress' one-time companion - after a scandalous affair became public in 1992.

Farrow's children mostly sided with her against Allen in their epic feud, which included child molestation accusations against the famed director.

Farrow, 63, is also a UN humanitarian ambassador and she and her son with Allen - Ronan Farrow, 21 - have led demonstrations against the genocide in Darfur.

Last year, she even offered to trade places with an imprisoned rebel in the troubled region of the Sudan.

Source: NY Daily News

Roland Burris biography

Roland W. Burris is a politician and statewide officer in the U.S. state of Illinois. Burris served as Comptroller of Illinois from 1979 to 1991 and as Attorney General of Illinois from 1991 to 1995. He now maintains a political consulting firm called Burris & Lebed Consulting, LLC.

As of December 30, 2008, Governor Rod Blagojevich is expected to name Burris as interim Senator for President-elect Barack Obama's former seat.[1]

Early life

Burris was born and raised in a small community of Centralia in southern Illinois. He attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He was an exchange student on scholarship to study International Law at the University of Hamburg in Germany. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law in 1963. Burris is married to Berlean M. Burris, Ph.D., and is the father of two adult children, Dr. Rolanda S. Burris, and Roland W. Burris II, Esq. He also has a grandson, Roland T. Burris.

Early career

After graduating from law school, Burris became the first African-American National Bank Examiner for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for the U.S. Treasury Department. In that capacity, he traveled throughout the midwest examining banks in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. From 1964 to 1973, he worked at Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company (now Bank of America), serving as tax accountant, tax consultant, commercial banking officer, and vice-president. He headed a commercial group that covered government guaranteed loans and minority business banking.

From 1973 to 1977, he was appointed by Illinois Governor Dan Walker as Director of the Department of Central Management Services.

He was National Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for Operation PUSH from January to October 1977. He was in private law practice from October 1977 to January 1979, and again from June 1995 to present.

Political career

From 1979 to 1991, Burris was elected to the office of Comptroller of Illinois. He was the first African American to be elected to a statewide office in the state of Illinois. Burris was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 1984, losing to Paul Simon who went on to defeat incumbent Senator Charles Percy.

From 1991 to 1995, he was Attorney General for the State of Illinois, where he headed over 500 lawyers. There, he was the second African American elected to the office of Attorney General in the United States.

In 1994, he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Illinois. While Burris had been favored for much of the primary campaign, he and Cook County Board President Richard Phelan were both defeated by State Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch, who had a strong late showing in the final weeks of the campaign despite being seen as the underdog. Netsch would go on to defeat the following November against incumbent Republican Governor Jim Edgar in an election where Democrats lost every single race for statewide office.

In 1995, he ran for mayor of Chicago, losing to incumbent Richard M. Daley. In 1998 and 2002, he again unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party nomination for Governor of Illinois.

Current career

Burris is serving as Manager/CEO of Burris & Lebed Consulting, LLC. It is a strategic consulting service concentrating in the areas of public relations, governmental representation, political strategies, and corporate strategies. He also serves as of counsel to the law firm of Gonzalez, Saggio and Harlan, L.L.C. His areas of legal concentration are business transactions, estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, and consumer affairs.

On December 30, 2008, it was announced that he is Governor Rod Blagojevich's choice for replacing President-elect Barack Obama in the United States Senate.

Civic activities

Burris is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Inland Real Estate Corporation as an Independent Director and is Chairman of Governance and Nominating Committee. Inland is a $2 billion Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), listed on the NYSE, which owns medium-sized shopping centers. As an Independent Director, he serves on the Audit Committee.

He serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Master of Public Administration Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

  • Member, Board of the Better Business Bureau (2008)
  • Member, Board of the Auditorium Theater of Chicago (2001-2006)
  • Member, Board of The National Center for Responsible Gaming (1996-2005)
  • Trustee, Financial Accounting Foundation (1991-1994)
  • Chairman, National Association of Attorneys General, Civil Rights Commission (1993-1995)
  • Trustee, Government Finance Officers Association of U.S. and Canada (1987-1991)
  • Member, Howard University Law School Alumni Association
  • Member, Southern Illinois University Foundation
  • Member, Mental Health Association of Greater Chicago
  • Member, U.S. Jaycees
  • Vice-Chairman, Committee on Illinois Government
  • Trustee, Goodwill Industries
  • Member, Chicago Area Council, Boy Souts of America
  • Member, Board of Directors, Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University (1996)
  • Chairman, Illinois State Justice Commission (1994-1996)
  • Chairman and Founder, Illinois Commission of the African-American Males (1992-1994)
  • Vice-Chairman, Democratic National Committee (1985-1989)
  • Life member, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • Life member, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
  • Life member, Southern Illinois Alumni Association
  • Order of the United Supreme Council of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Free Masons, Prince Hall Chapter (32nd Degree)
  • Chairman, Civil Rights Committee, National Association of Attorneys General (1993-1994)
  • President, National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (1981-1982)
  • Member, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Beta Boule
  • Honorary Doctors of Laws Degree, National Louis University, Evanston, Illinois
  • Honorary Doctors of Laws Degree, Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi
  • White House summer intern for Office of Emergency Planning (1962)

Recognitions and Awards

  • 100 Most Influential Black Americans, Ebony Magazine (1979-1995)
  • Ten Most Distinguished Alumni in the History of the University - Wall of Fame, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (1997)
  • Distinguished Accomplishments in the Field of Law, National Bar Association (1993)
  • One of the Top Three Government Financial Officers in the Nation, City and State Magazine (1989)
  • Mackey Award, National Football League Players Association (1989)
  • Hall of Fame, Centralia, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

December 29, 2008

Heath Ledger Pictures

Heath Andrew Ledger (4 April 1979 – 22 January 2008) was an Academy Award-nominated Australian television and film actor.

After performing roles in Australian television and film during the 1990s, Ledger moved to the United States in 1998 to develop his movie career. His work includes nineteen films, most notably 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Patriot (2000), Monster's Ball (2000), A Knight's Tale (2001), Brokeback Mountain (2005), and The Dark Knight (2008). In addition to his acting, he produced and directed music videos and aspired to be a film director.

For his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger won the 2005 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and the 2006 "Best Actor" award from the Australian Film Institute and was nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor as well as the 2006 Best Actor award from the BAFTA. Posthumously he shared the 2007 Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award with the rest of the ensemble cast, the director, and the casting director for the film, I'm Not There which was inspired by the life and songs of American singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan. In the film, Ledger portrayed a fictional actor named Robbie Clark, one of six characters embodying aspects of the iconic Dylan. He has also been nominated for and won awards for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight, including a Best Actor International award at the 2008 Australian Film Institute Awards, for which he became the first actor to win an award posthumously, and, also posthumously, the 2008 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He died at the age of 28, from an accidental "toxic combination of prescription drugs." A few months before his death, Ledger had finished filming his penultimate performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. At the time of his death, on 22 January 2008, he had completed about half of his work performing the role of Tony in Terry Gilliam's forthcoming film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Source: Wikipedia

December 28, 2008

UFC 92 Video: Rashad Evans vs Forrest Griffin & Frank Mir vs Antonio Nogueira

Rashad Evans stopped Forrest Griffin to win the light heavyweight championship Saturday night in UFC 92. It would only take a mere two rounds before Evans dropped Griffin to the mat in the 3rd round.

Evans would land numerous shots and Griffin became unable to defend himself. The fight was stopped at 2:46 of the third round.

In the co-main event, former champ Frank Mir destroyed Antonio Nogueira in 1:54 of the second round. Frank Mir has now earned a title shot against Brock Lesnar.

On the undercard: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson KO'd Wanderlei Silva in the first round.

In the preliminary bouts: Yushin Okami defeated Dean Lister, Antoni Hardonk stopped Mike Wessel,

Matt Hamill knocked out Reese Andy, Brad Blackbur won a decision over Ryo Chonan and Pat Berry defeated Dan Evensen by TKO in the first round.

Videos from the fights can be found here.

Source: Post Chronicle

December 26, 2008

2 from area die in crash on Indiana toll road

Two Marines from the Toledo area were among four people who died Sunday night when their car crossed the median on the Indiana Toll Road and was struck head-on by a tractor-trailer, Indiana State Police said.

Kyle Sporleder, 20, of Sylvania and Rodney Echelbarger, of Holland whose age was unavailable, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Also killed were Lauren Diefenthaler, 19, of Ypsilanti, Mich., and Aaron Esposito, 23, of Novi, Mich., troopers said.

The car driven by Mr. Esposito was eastbound on the toll road, which is I-80/90 in Indiana, about 8:15 p.m. Sunday when he lost control on snowy pavement, crossed the median, and collided with the truck, troopers said.

The truck driver, Duane Rigdon, 53, of Carlsbad, Okla., was not hurt.

New Carlisle is about 10 miles west of South Bend, Ind.

Source: Toledo Blade

New Year Myspace layouts

Happy New Year with Myspace!