December 15, 2008

Mort Zuckerman Charity Lost $30 Million With Madoff

Boston Properties Inc. Chairman Mortimer Zuckerman said his charitable trust lost $30 million investing with Bernard Madoff.

The money was invested by a fund manager hired by Zuckerman’s trust, Zuckerman said in an interview on CNBC today. The manager invested about 10 percent of a $300 million fund with Madoff, an arrangement Zuckerman said he didn’t know about.

“These are astonishing numbers to be placed with one fund manager,” Zuckerman told CNBC. “I never heard of Madoff. I never met him. I’ve never done business with him.”

Madoff, 70, was arrested Dec. 11 and charged with operating what he told his sons was a long-running Ponzi scheme in the New York-based firm’s business advising rich people, hedge funds and institutions. Federal investigators worked through the weekend to unravel Madoff’s alleged $50 billion in losses.

Zuckerman was notified about his charity’s losses in a letter from the trust’s management on Dec. 12, he told CNBC.

“It was a big chunk of money that was intended to go to, shall we say, worthier causes than Mr. Madoff,” Zuckerman said. The losses will not keep Zuckerman from making charitable contributions he already promised, he said.

Zuckerman is a billionaire real estate investor who owns the Daily News newspaper in New York and U.S. News & World Report magazine. Boston Properties owns about 142 properties with 46.8 million square feet and has a market value of $6.2 billion.

In June, the company acquired a stake in New York’s General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue. Boston Properties fell 39 percent this year through Dec. 12.

Source: Bloomberg US

Pink Dragon Millipede a Highlight of New Species Finds

The "shocking pink" dragon millipede is one of the new Southeast asian species discovered in the Greater Mekong region during the past 10 years, according to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund.

The millipede, which has the formal name Desmoxytes purpurosea, was described in 2007 from Lansak distric, Uthaithani Province, Thailand, WWF reported. Several millipedes were found among limestone rocks on the leaves of palms in the area.

The species was first discovered in 2007 university researchers in Thailand led by Dr. Somsak Panha.

The millipede's bright color alerts would-be predators of the toxic animal, scientists say, according to WWF. The millipede has glands which produce cyanide as a defensive mechanism. There are already twenty-three other dragon millipedes of the genus Desmoxytes in the Southeast Asia area from southeaster China, south through Myanmar, Thailand and Vietname, the report states.

Source: IB Times

Huntsman spider

Huntsman spider is a common name given to the family Sparassidae (formerly Heteropodidae). The larger specimens of these spiders are sometimes referred to as Wood Spiders, due to their common preference for inhabiting woody places (forest, mine shafts, woodpiles).

These eight-eyed spiders are found in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, Florida, and Hawaii, and possibly in many other tropical and semi-tropical regions. They can be found as far north as England, Sweden and Wales .


While frequently very large – in Laos, Heteropoda maxima males can attain a legspan of 250–300 mm (9.8–11.8 in) – Huntsman spiders are not deadly to humans. They do bite if provoked, but the victim will suffer only minor swelling and localized pain, and will recover in a day or two. Some larger types resemble tarantulas, and may be mistaken for them, as the Huntsman is related (which is why the term "Australian tarantula" has sometimes been used to describe them by the Natural History Museum in Sydney). Huntsmen can generally be identified by their legs, which, rather than being jointed vertically relative to the body, are twisted such that the legs extend forward in a crab-like fashion.

Many Huntsman spiders are dull shades of brown or grey. Their legs are covered with fairly prominent spines, but the rest of their bodies appear smooth. They are frequently found in sheds, garages and other infrequently-disturbed places. The Banded Huntsman (Holconia) is larger and grey to brown with striped bands on its legs. The Badge Huntsman (Neosparassus) is larger still, and brown and hairy. Its bite will inflict the worst injury, and local swelling and pain may cause nausea, headache, vomiting and heart palpitations. The tropical or Brown Huntsman (Heteropoda) is also large and hairy, with mottled brown, white and black markings. The eyesight of these spiders is not nearly as good as that of the Salticidae (jumping spiders). Nevertheless, their vision is quite sufficient to detect approaching humans or other large animals from some distance.

Habitat and distribution

Members of the Huntsman family of spiders are very common in Australia, but also in many tropical and semi-tropical parts of the world. They have been introduced to many parts of the world, including China, Japan and southern parts of the United States, such as Florida and Puerto Rico. A species of Huntsman can be found in Hawaii, where it is commonly known as a Cane Spider. In general they are likely to be found wherever ships may bring them as unintended passengers to areas that are not too cold for them to survive in the winter. In southern Africa they are commonly known as rain spiders because of their tendency to seek shelter before rain storms, often entering human habitations when doing so.[1][2]

As adults, Huntsman spiders do not build webs, but hunt and forage for food: their diet consists primarily of insects and other invertebrates. They live in the crevices of tree bark, but will frequently wander into homes and vehicles. They are able to travel extremely fast, and walk on walls and even on ceilings. They also tend to exhibit a "cling" reflex if picked up, making them difficult to shake off and much more likely to bite. The females are fierce defenders of their egg sacs and young. They will generally make a threat display if provoked, but if the warning is ignored they may attack and bite.

Toxicity and aggression

In general, Huntsman spiders are not regarded as dangerous, and can be considered beneficial because they feed on insects (Many Australians will relocate Huntsmen to the garden rather than kill them). There have been reports of members of the genus Neosparassus (formerly called Olios) giving bites that have caused prolonged pain, inflammation, headache, vomiting and irregular pulse rate; however, a scientific study into the bite of these spiders did not note any severe or unusual symptoms resulting from confirmed Neosparassus bites.[3] It is unclear under what circumstances these spiders bite people, but it is known that female members of this family will aggressively defend against perceived threats to their egg sacs and their young.

Sound production in mating rituals

Males of Heteropoda venatoria, one of the Huntsman spiders that seems to easily find its way around the world, have recently been found to deliberately make a substrate-borne sound when they detect a chemical (pheromone) left by a nearby female of their species. The males anchor themselves firmly to the surface onto which they have crawled and then use their legs to transmit vibrations from their bodies to the surface. Most of the sound emitted is produced by strong vibrations of the abdomen. The characteristic frequency of vibration and the pattern of bursts of sound identify them to females of their species, who will approach if they are interested in mating.[4]


Genus Heteropoda

Genus Micrommata

Source: Wikipedia

RBD Photos!

RBD Wants a Mexican Goodbye

Mexican power-pop group,RBD, is supposed to be leaving the stage forever (one can only hope), after their 'goodbye' show this December 21 in Madrid, Spain.

But guess what? The sextet is not too happy about that and are trying to warrant another date to say wave chao to their Mexican fans in their lands.

Hurry up and move on RBD, we know you're gonna do a 'reunion' tour in less than a year anyway.

Feeling nostalgic? Indulge your RBDness right here.

Source: Espacio Terra

Tokio Hotel - The New Milli Vanilli!

Sources reveal exclusively to that German "band" Tokio Hotel has been lipsynching and miming all of their performances in America.

The "band" has been playing a round of radio holiday shows recently, and according to multiple sources, the lead singer is not singing live and the band isn't even playing their instruments live.

Straight-up fakery!

Our source even provided us with the band's set list from one of the recent radio holiday shows, which indicates when to turn the mic back on for lead singer Bill Kaulitz to address the audience.


Source: Pérez Hilton

And the winner of 'Survivor: Gabon' is...

After 39 days (and seemingly as many tribe shake-ups and fake hidden immunity idols), we have a winner of Survivor: Gabon. And that winner is...(SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT GO TO THE JUMP IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW!)

Bob Crowley. The 58-year-old phsyics teacher beat Susie and Sugar in the final 3 to take home the million dollars. Did the right person win? And, more importantly, who among the jury asked the most tasteless question? (My money is on Corinne—twice!) The full Survivor: Gabon TV Watch will be on the way soon. In the meantime, share your thoughts on the finale, reunion, and winner now! Update: Read Dalton's recap now!

Source: Pop Wacth

NBA Wizards' Nick Young Visits Falls Church Fans

Rising Washington Wizards star Nick Young made a special appearance in the City of Falls Church last week, signing autographs and chatting with fans at the PNC Bank in the new Read Building on West Broad.DSC_1468.jpg

Young was retained for the event by the PNC Bank promotions department to help build the visibility of its new Falls Church branch. Branch Manager Alex Mereish said he was thrilled by Young's friendly, smiling and laid back style of greeting his fans.

Young is in only his second year with the Wizards, having been drafted in 2007 after three years of stellar performance at the University of Southern California, located near to where he grew up.

His smooth moves and deadly shot became evident when he first participated for the Wizards in the NBA Summer League for rookies and first year players in Las Vegas in July 2007, where this writer first encountered and met him.

Now into his second season on the official NBA circuit, Young appears markedly more mature and reserved, due partly to the struggles he and his Wizard teammates have experienced this season, getting off to a 3-15 start.

"Last year, I was pressing too hard, too eager to make a big splash," Young said. "This year, I am just happy to be playing in this league and making a contribution. I hope to be playing into my 30s."

He said that injuries to center Brendan Haywood and all-star Gilbert Arenas have hurt the performance of the team on the court. Whereas Arenas is expected to return next month, Haywood will be out until at least March, he said, and his experience in the pivot is sorely missed.

Two young big men, Andre Blatche and Javale McGhee, are showing all kinds of promise, have tremendous athleticism, but still lack experience to contribute as strongly, defensively, as it is hoped they will, including by staying out of foul trouble, Young said.

Young sees himself mostly adding to the team's offensive punch, to "get to the basket," and has been getting added minutes on the court in recent games.

He said the sudden firing of popular coach Eddie Jordan last month came as a "complete surprise" to the team. "We all showed up for practice that morning expecting it to be business as usual," he said. "We were stunned to hear the news when we got there."

He said that there were no goodbyes. "We have had no contact with him," he said, since his firing.

Young said that he felt bad for Jordan. He had a more relaxed style with the players than his interim replacement, Ed Tabscott, who's been in the league for many years, the last few as director of player development for the Wizards.

Tabscott has been seen chewing out players and pulling them off the court quickly after bad plays.

Young told the News-Press that he's had to adjust to the vastly-different lifestyle in the NBA, compared to his college experience.

"In college, every minute of your life is scheduled. You had classes, time for tutoring, time for practice and games. All very rigid and taking all your time," he noted. "In the NBA, you show up for practice and the games, and all the rest of the time is your own. Nobody cares or pays attention to how you spend it."

It adds up to a lot of "down time," he noted, which he and his fellow young players, Blatche and McGhee, spend playing video games, mostly, and watching movies.

Young said he and the two other youngest players hang out together because the older players are mostly tied up with their married lives. Still, he said, his closest friend and confidant on the team is Arenas.

How are the Wizards going to turn the season around? To Young, it's just a matter of working hard and gelling. Having Arenas, and later Haywood, back won't hurt, either.

Source: FCNP

Ed Werder Gets Harassed by a Cowboy Fan

Ed Werder has been all over this Terrell Owens - Tony Romo - Jason Witten soap opera for ESPN. And why wouldn't he be? After all, this is the Dallas Cowboys we're talking about, and America's Team flat out brings in the viewers. Of course, as evidenced by the following NSFW (foul language) video that Sarah Schorno put on Deadspin today, not all Cowboy fans are thrilled about the job Werder is doing with the coverage.

(As Bacon noted, make sure and look for the ESPN underling's name tag on his Sean John jumpsuit -- priceless.)

There are many awesome things about this video. One, I don't really care for Werder, so I find this amusing. Two, these ESPN guys totally freak out and get upset. Three, the security guard just flat out understands that this video was going to go viral and doesn't dream of doing anything to get himself fired or sued. And finally, of course, the nametag.

Source: Fan House