Week In Review With Videos. June 22 2011 In Pop Culture, News, Tech, Entertainment, Music And Television

Week Of June 22, 2011.

Compiled By Gary West @ mrpopculture.com

In The News

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it would again maintain its key interest rate near zero as the pace of the US economic recovery was more sluggish than expected. “The economic recovery is continuing at a moderate pace, though somewhat more slowly than the committee expected,” the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said after a two-day meeting.

President Barack Obama, in a widely anticipated speech tonight, announced a brisk drawdown of 33,000 U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the end of next summer, and called more broadly for the U.S. to assume a more pragmatic approach to international interventions in order to focus on economic recovery and nation-building at home.”We are a nation whose strength abroad has been anchored in opportunity for our citizens at home,” Obama said in the brief twelve minute speech from the White House East Room. “Over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. Now, we must invest in America’s greatest resource — our people.”

A magnitude-6.7 earthquake rattled northeast Japan on Thursday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. It was the same area of the Pacific where a massive magnitude 9 quake hit on March 11, triggering a deadly tsunami. At least 23,000 people were killed or left missing in those disasters, which destroyed hundreds of homes, offices and factories in northeastern Japan. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for Iwate Prefecture after the quake, but canceled it about an hour later.

Sirens wailed across Minot Wednesday as the swollen Souris River overtopped levees five hours ahead of a looming evacuation deadline, setting in motion what is expected to be the worst flooding to hit the North Dakota city in four decades.  The warning was followed by an announcement saying, “All residents must evacuate, Zones 1 through 9,” prompting the last of nearly 11,000 Minot residents to leave their homes for a second time in a month.

The International Energy Agency will release 60 million barrels of oil from strategic government stockpiles held by industrialized consumer nations in a bid to push down oil prices, the 28-member group announced on Thursday. The announcement comes after OPEC failed to raise production at a meeting on June 8 and despite assurances from OPEC’s biggest producer Saudi Arabia that it would lift supplies unilaterally. “Greater tightness in the oil market threatens to undermine the fragile global economic recovery,” the IEA said.

The House refused to vote President Barack Obama the authority for U.S. military operations against Libya on Friday but stopped short of cutting off funds for the mission, a mixed message reminiscent of congressional unease on Vietnam and more recent wars.

In a repudiation of the commander in chief, the House voted overwhelmingly against a resolution that would have favored letting the mission continue for one year while barring U.S. ground forces, a resolution the president said he would welcome.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made same-sex marriages legal ( in New York on Friday(June24), a key victory for gay rights ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections. New York will become the sixth and most populous U.S. state to allow gay marriage. State senators voted 33-29 on Friday evening to approve marriage equality legislation and Cuomo, a Democrat who had introduced the measure, signed it into law. “This vote today will send a message across the country. This is the way to go, the time to do it is now, and it is achievable; it’s no longer a dream or an aspiration. I think you’re going to see a rapid evolution,” Cuomo, who is in his first year of office, told a news conference. “We reached a new level of social justice,” he said.

An asteroid the size of a tour bus flies past Earth today (June 27) so closely it was beneath some of the planet’s satellites. The rock, named asteroid 2011 MD  zoomed by just 7,500 miles (12,000 km) above the planet, making a sharp turn forced by Earth’s gravity before winging off into space again. The flyby will occur at about 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT). There was no risk of an impact, NASA scientists said. The space rock, estimated to be between 29 to 98 feet (9 to 30 meters) wide, was too small to survive a plunge through our atmosphere anyway. An asteroid this size, if it were mostly stony, would break apart and burn up before hitting the surface. Iron-heavy space rocks are better at surviving the fiery entry, however.

Riot police fired tear gas at youths hurling rocks and petrol bombs near the Greek finance ministry Tuesday, trying to quell the anger unleashed during mass protests and a general strike as parliament debated new cost-cutting measures. The latest austerity measures must pass in two parliamentary votes Wednesday and Thursday if Greece is to receive another batch of bailout funds to see it beyond the middle of next month. If the votes don’t pass, Greece could become the first eurozone nation to default on its debts, sending shock waves through the global economy.

Greece’s parliament approved deeply unpopular austerity measures despite worsening street violence on Wednesday(June29), in a vote vital to secure international aid and prevent the euro zone’s first sovereign debt default. Lawmakers passed a five-year package of spending cuts, tax rises and state asset sales by a comfortable margin of 155 votes to 138 in a roll-call vote, handing a victory to embattled Prime Minister George Papandreou. “We must avoid the country’s collapse at all costs. Now is not the time to step back,” the Socialist premier told lawmakers just before the vote.

An appeals court on Wednesday upheld President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law that requires Americans to buy insurance as constitutional, a victory for the White House. The Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, based in Cincinnati, said the “minimum coverage provision is a valid exercise of legislative power by Congress under the Commerce Clause” of the U.S. Constitution.

In a blunt challenge to Republicans in Congress, President Barack Obama insisted Wednesday that elimination of selected tax breaks for oil companies and the super-wealthy must be included in any deficit reduction plan.”You stay here. Let’s get it done,” he all-but-lectured lawmakers, holding open the possibility of keeping Congress in Washington unless there is significant progress by week’s end on a deal to cut deficits, raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit and avert a threatened financial crisis.

President Barack Obama on Thursday(June30) honored outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ four decades of service (, including the past 4 1/2 years in charge of the Pentagon, by surprising him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It’s the highest honor a president can give a civilian. “I can think of no better way to express the gratitude of the nation to Bob Gates than with a very special recognition,” Obama said as he asked Gates to step forward to receive the award.

The Senate abandoned plans for a July 4 break as time dwindled for lawmakers to strike a compromise on avoiding a government default and reducing mammoth federal deficits. In a challenge to President Barack Obama, the chamber’s top Republican invited him to the Capitol to discuss the impasse with GOP lawmakers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced the scheduling change Thursday, a day after President Barack Obama prodded lawmakers to act swiftly to extend the government’s ability to borrow money. The Senate had been scheduled to take a week’s break but instead will meet beginning Tuesday.

Sports –

The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in the latest skirmish of a running feud between Dodger owner Frank McCourt and Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. McCourt said he had lined up $150 million in debtor-in-possession financing so he could keep control of the team during bankruptcy proceedings. The decision to file bankruptcy was taken ”to protect the franchise financially and provide a path that will enable the club to consummate a media transaction and capitalize the team,” McCourt said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.

Tech News –

The hacker group LulzSec has alarmed police in Arizona this week after releasing sensitive information about officers. The group said they posted the information in response to Arizona’s controversial immigration law. “We are releasing hundreds of private intelligence bulletins, training manuals, personal email correspondence, names, phone numbers, addresses and passwords belonging to Arizona law enforcement,” the group said in a statement. “We are targeting AZDPS (Arizona Department of Public Safety) specifically because we are against SB 1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona.”

Nine months after the launch of New Twitter, the social media company is letting users know that the old version of Twitter will be completely eliminated “very, very soon.” The old version of Twitter always asked users to switch to the new version of Twitter, but today the message was changed, and it’s more urgent. “You will automatically be upgraded to New Twitter very, very soon,” the top of old Twitter now reads. The color of the top bar has also been changed to yellow as an alert to users. We’re not sure what Twitter means by “very,very soon” — it could be days or even weeks until Twitter flips the switch (we’ve emailed the Twitter for comment). However, it’s clear that Twitter is finally ready to eliminate the old version of Twitter altogether and bring everybody into the new design.

The Supreme Court on Monday(June 27) refused to let California clamp down on the sale or rental of violent video games to children, saying governments lack authority to “restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed” despite complaints that the popular and fast-changing technology allows the young to simulate acts of brutality. On a 7-2 vote, the high court upheld a federal appeals court decision to throw out California’s ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento had ruled that the law violated minors’ rights under the First Amendment, and the high court agreed.

Three of Twitter’s key developers– Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Jason Goldman — are launching a new venture. “Our plan is to develop new projects and work on solving big problems aligned along a simple mission statement: The Obvious Corporation develops systems that help people work together to improve the world,” Stone wrote Tuesday in a blog post announcing their plans. The move is the latest musical-chairs shuffle at Twitter, which is undergoing as the five-year-old venture matures from a startup to a tech industry power player.

Google on Tuesday unveiled Google+, yet another attempt by the search giant to overcome its past miscues in the social networking space. More people visit Google’s network of websites than Facebook each month, but Facebook is killing the search company in categories that advertisers care most about: Time spent and pages viewed. Users spent 62% more time on Facebook than on Google last month, and viewed more than twice the number of pages on Facebook as they did on Google, according to comScore.

In the latest of a recent slew of antitrust complaints filed against Google, French search company 1plusV said Tuesday it would seek $423 million in damages from the American search giant. 1plusV, which makes a host of niche search engines for French speakers, said the sum it is seeking equals the amount of business it lost because of Google’s alleged anticompetitive business practices. This would be the largest such claim against Google in Europe. The French company claims Google blacklisted 30 of its search engines from its search results from 2007 to 2010. Though 1plusV said some have recently been “white-listed,” the company believes it suffered irreparable damage.

Google has launched a new, mysterious service called What Do You Love. It’s a simple search box box, similar to the one on Google’s homepage, but it returns results from over 20 different Google services, including Google Translate, Trends, YouTube, Maps, Groups etc. The results are presented in little boxes which can, in some cases, be expanded by clicking on the icon in the lower right corner; if you need even more results, you can always click the button in the upper right corner of the box and go directly to the chosen service.

Media –

MSNBC has suspended political analyst and Time magazine writer Mark Halperin indefinitely over a remark he made about President Obama Thursday morning. “Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable,” said MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines in a statement. “We apologize to the President, the White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air.” Appearing on “Morning Joe” this morning, Halperin, senior political analyst at Time and MSNBC and co-author of the 2008 election opus “Game Change,” sought to characterize the president’s demeanor at a press briefing the previous day. Are we on the seven-second delay?” Halperin asked. “We have it. We can use it. Go for it. Let’s see what happens,” co-anchor Joe Scarborough replied. “I thought he was a dick yesterday,” Halperin replied, sending the hosts into a brief moment of panic. Halperin apologized later on in the show and issued his own mea culpa hours later via MSNBC.

Entertainment news –

U.S. Marshals arrested ( in Tempe, Arizona, after he failed to appear in court on fraud charges linked to his vitamin business. Earlier this month, Lapre, of Phoenix, was indicted by a federal grand jury, which charged that his business, Greatest Vitamin in the World, signed up 226,794 people and promised them money for selling vitamins and recruiting others to the business. In the end, prosecutors say, investors and customers spent nearly $51.8 million, but received just $6.4 million in commissions. Between 2004 and 2007, they say, Lapre himself took in at least $2.2 million from the business. The self-proclaimed infomercial king was charged with 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, promotional money laundering and transactional money laundering. He has acknowledged that he “did not have the perfect company,” but denied breaking the law.

Passing – Peter Falk, the stage and movie actor who became identified as the squinty, rumpled detective in “Columbo,” which spanned 30 years in prime-time television and established one of the most iconic characters in movie police work, has died. He was 83. Falk died Thursday in his Beverly Hills home, according to a statement released Friday by family friend Larry Larson.

Veteran US comedian Jerry Lewis has had to cancel a sell-out Sydney tour after collapsing from exhaustion as he prepared to take the stage, promoters said Saturday. The 85-year-old was due to perform before a packed house in western Sydney Friday night to raise money for muscular dystrophy but the event was called off at the last minute after he fell ill. Lewis has cancelled the remainder of his Sydney tour to rest and will return to the stage on Thursday for a Melbourne performance if his health permits.

Neal Patrick Harris The 38-year-old How I Met Your Mother star tweeted Saturday that he and partner David Birtka are planning to say “I do” now that gay marriage is legal in New York! “David and I did propose to each other, but over five years ago!” he explained. “We’ve been wearing engagement rings for ages, waiting for an available. date.”

BET Awards – Steve Harvey was recognized for his humanitarian work at the BET Awards. Patti Labelle also accepted a special honor at Sunday’s ceremony; Gladys Knight presented her with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The night’s leading nominee, , Chris Brown collected four awards in all. The 21-year-old singer won a pair of prizes early in the show and two fan-voted awards at the end of the ceremony. Brown was named best male R&B artist and won best collaboration for his song “Look At Me Now” with Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes.

Michael Jackson’s iconic red and black leather jacket from his “Thriller” video sold for $1.8 million in an online auction. Julien’s Auctions, which oversaw the bidding, announced that Milton Verret of Austin, Texas, bought the jacket and plans to display it in the city’s Dell Children’s Hospital.

Mexican pop singer Paulina Rubio ()  is charged in Miami with refusing to comply with police officers after a traffic accident. According to an arrest report, Rubio’s BMW collided with another car Saturday near Miami’s Little Havana. When asked to get out of her car, Rubio allegedly refused, cursed at an officer and said she was nervous and that “all of you Miami cops are abusive.” The officer placed Rubio in handcuffs. The report states that Rubio screamed for help and threat ened to call her attorney. Police say Rubio eventually calmed down and apologized. She is charged with refusing to obey a lawful command, obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct.

The military-backed government of Myanmar has deported Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh, who stars as pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in an upcoming movie, officials said Tuesday. The Malaysian actress arrived in the country’s main city, Yangon, on June 22 and was deported the same day because she was on a blacklist, a government official said. The official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the press, did not say why Yeoh was on the list. But Myanmar’s repressive government has routinely rejected visa requests of journalists and perceived critics for years.

Marries – America Ferrera  and longtime boyfriend Ryan Piers Williams are married, her rep confirms.

Lindsay Lohan gets released from home detention on Wednesday(June29) after spending 35 days at her Los Angeles apartment for stealing a gold necklace, authorities said.A private company that handles monitoring equipment for home detention inmates removed the electronic ankle bracelet from the “Mean Girls” star on Wednesday morning, said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department.Lohan was sentenced in May to 120 days in jail, but the 24 year-old actress qualified for a shorter period of house arrest under programs for nonviolent offenders and to reduce overcrowding in Los Angeles jails.

A man convicted of attempting to burglarize Paris Hilton’s home has been sentenced to two years in state prison. City News Service reported that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Kellogg also recommended during Wednesday’s hearing that Nathan Lee Parada undergo mental health counseling. A jury took less than an hour in April to convict the 32-year-old of felony attempted residential burglary for trying to break into Hilton’s house in August. The socialite testified during Parada’s trial about being awoken early Aug. 24 to the sound of Parada banging on Hilton’s window with a knife. Parada told a detective he planned to steal as much as he could carry and move to a deserted island.

Goodbye Glenn Beck – as he bid adieu to Fox News on Thursday, as the controversial host prepares to launch his own network. However, there were no tears from Beck, who instead promised his fans he would help fix the country and even poked fun at his own persona.”I’m the only host who is supposedly the most dangerous person in America because of my influence and the least influential person in America because my ratings are supposedly declining,” the 47-year-old said on his show. Nevertheless, Beck thanked Fox News chief Roger Ailes, the man who canceled him, during his farewell show Thursday(June30).

Music news –

Rhinestone Cowboy” singer Glen Campbell ( says he is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and has recorded one last album as a farewell to his fans. Campbell, 75, had been suffering from short-term memory loss for years, but the terminal Alzheimer’s diagnosis only came six months ago, according to an interview published in People magazine on Wednesday. “I still love making music,” he was quoted as saying. “And I still love performing for my fans. I’d like to thank them for sticking with me through thick and thin.”

Top albums this week in 2011 –

Hell: The Sequel – Bad Meets Evil

21 – Adele

Dream With me – Jackie Evancho

Born this Way – Lady Gaga

My Kinda Party – Jason Alean

All Things Bright and Beautiful – Owl City

15 Minutes: Fame… Can You… Barry Maniloww

Pieces of Me – Ledisi

This Is Country Music – Brad Paisley

NOW 38

The Book of Mormon – Original Broadway Cast

Wasting Light – Foo Fighters

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Set The World On Fire – Black Veil Brides

NOW That’s What I Call Country

Journey’s Greatest Hits

Ronnie Dunn

Speak Now – Taylor Swift

Codes and Keys – Death Cab For Cutie

Ukulele Songs – Eddie Vedder

Nothing But The Best – Frank Sinatra

Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars

All 6’s & 7’s – Tech N9ne

At the movies –

Cars 2 (1st week $68 million)

Bad Teacher (1st week $31 million)

Green Lantern

Super 8

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

X-Men: First Class

The Hangover Part II

Bridesmaids

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Midnight in Paris

Kung Fu Panda 2

Top TV –

1. America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday) NBC
2. America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday) NBC
3. The Voice NBC
4. America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday) NBC NBC
5. The Voice Results Show NBC
6. NCIS CBS
7. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS
8. The Mentalist CBS
9. Copa Oro 2011 Soccer: U.S. vs. Mexico
10. The Bachelorette ABC
11. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
12. Wipeout” (Thursday) ABC
13. The Big Bang Theory CBS
14. 60 Minutes CBS
15. Expedition Impossible ABC
16. Copa Oro 2011 Soccer: Honduras vs. Mexico
17. So You Think You Can Dance” (Thursday) FOX
18. Criminal Minds CBS
19. So You Think You Can Dance” (Wednesday) FOX
20. America’s Got Talent” (Monday) NBC

William Frawley, Fred On “I Love Lucy” Did Sing On A Record! Pop Culture (I Love Lucy) History

Mr. Pop History – It’s interesting that even Fred Mertz cut a record. At one time, it seemed the “in thing” – to get every popular actor in the recording studio. I mean, so many did it.

Back in 1958, after “I Love Lucy” morphed into “The Luci-Desi Hour” on CBS-TV, you could go to record stores and purchase, “William Frawley Sings the Old Ones” on Dot Records. This is the same label that later released albums by actors Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and Greg Morris (Barney) on “Mission: Impossible.”

Week In Review June 1, 2011 In Pop Culture, News, Entertainment, Tech, TV Guide (with videos)

A Complete Look At The Week Of June 1, 2011.

Compiled By Gary West @ mrpopculture.com

In The News -

Wall Street ended a four-day rally with its worst session since August on Wednesday and could suffer more losses in coming days as investors faced more signs the economic recovery is fading. All 10 Standard & Poor’s sectors ended more than 1 percent lower and all 30 stocks in the Dow industrials fell. Banks were the biggest decliners as the economic reports painted a glum picture for jobs and manufacturing.

Syrian forces killed 41 civilians in the central town of Rastan on Tuesday during a military operation to crush pro-democracy protests, Razan Zaitouna, a human rights lawyer, said on Wednesday. The death toll included a 4-year-old girl, Zaitouna told Reuters by telephone from Damascus. Government forces surrounded the town on Sunday and shelled it during the operation, she said, adding that activists on the ground had a list consisting of 41 dead civilians.

NATO and its partners in the military campaign to protect Libyan civilians have decided to extend their mission another 90 days, the alliance’s top official said Wednesday. “This decision sends a clear message to the Gadhafi regime: We are determined to continue our operation to protect the people of Libya,” said NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Gadhafi is trying to withstand the NATO air barrage and put down a rebellion among his own people.

Search and rescue efforts continued and thousands in Massachusetts were still without power on Thursday after tornadoes that ripped through the state the previous day, killing at least four people. The twisters injured at least 200. The casualty count “hasn’t changed yet, although we have a lot of folks doing search and rescue, dealing with debris piles and things today, so that number could change,” Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Passing – Jack Kevorkian, the audacious doctor who spurred on the national right-to-die debate with a homemade suicide machine that helped end the lives of dozens of ailing people, died Friday at a Detroit-area hospital after a brief illness. He was 83.

U.S. newspaper advertising revenue fell 7 percent during the first three months of the year. That left the industry’s quarterly ad revenue at its lowest level in 27 years. Combined print and online advertising revenue totaled $5.6 billion in the first quarter. That compared with $6 billion a year earlier. Revenue was $5.2 billion in the first quarter of 1984. It had peaked in the fourth quarter of 2005 at $14.3 billion. Newspapers have struggled with the weak economy and a shift by advertisers to free and cheaper outlets on the Internet.

A federal grand jury charged two-time presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday with soliciting and covering up the secret spending of more than $925,000 to hide his mistress and their baby during the peak of his 2008 campaign for the White House.

A Philadelphia woman is suing Dunkin’ Donuts, saying a worker mistakenly put sugar in her coffee that ultimately caused her to go into diabetic shock.

Danielle Jordan’s lawsuit claims she asked for artificial sweetener to be added to her coffee during a June 2009 visit. Jordan claims she downed the drink and experienced dizziness, light-headedness and ended up making an emergency trip to the hospital.

The Chinese military accused the U.S. on Friday of launching a global “Internet war” to bring down Arab and other governments, redirecting the spotlight away from allegations of major online attacks on Western targets originating in China. The accusations Friday by Chinese military academy scholars, and their urging of tougher policing of the Internet, followed allegations this week that computer hackers in China had compromised the personal Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including government officials, military personnel and political activists.

President Barack Obama says recent economic “headwinds” at home resulted from high gasoline prices, the Japanese earthquake and Europe’s financial crisis. As inspiration for a broader recovery, he’s citing the American auto industry’s resurgence.”We’re a people who don’t give up, who do big things, who shape our own destiny,” the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday(June4.)The message, taped Friday during Obama’s visit to a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, was hardly different than the remarks he offered to about 350 Chrysler workers.

British Apache and French attack helicopters struck targets for the first time in NATO’s campaign in Libya, hitting Moammar Gadhafi’s troops early Saturday near a key coastal oil town, the alliance said. Hours later, at least eight airstrikes were heard in Tripoli.The action was a significant step-up in NATO’s operations and a major boost to Libyan rebels, just a day after rebel fighters forced government troops from three western towns and broke the siege of a fourth in yet another erosion of Gadhafi’s power since the eruption in mid-February of the uprising to end his 42-year rule

Israeli troops opened fire Sunday at a crowd of pro-Palestinian protesters who tried to break into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights from neighboring Syria, killing as many as 20 people and wounding scores in a burst of violence marking the Arab defeat in the 1967 Mideast war. The casualty figures came from Syrian state television and were confirmed by the head of a hospital treating the casualties. The Israeli military said it was not tracking casualties on either side. The latest television report said a woman and child were among the dead.

So far, House Democratic leaders haven’t publicly demanded resign after admitting he sent suggestive photos of himself in his underwear via Twitter and then lied about it to everyone within earshot. But they’ve made it clear they’d appreciate it if he’d go away. And soon. In statements within an hour of Weiner’s stunning admission on Monday, not a single Democrat volunteered support for the man long mentioned as a possible future mayor of New York. And notably, none chose to comment on his defiant vow: “I am not resigning.”

More then 120 Syrian security officers were killed in battles with gunmen, state television said, in the first report of large-scale clashes in a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The report said on Monday armed groups set government buildings ablaze in the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour, stole five tonnes of dynamite and were firing at civilians and security forces with machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Fighting flared on Tuesday(June7) in a southern Yemen city seized by Islamist militants, killing at least 25 people, a local official said, after Washington urged President Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over power peacefully.

With few options at hand and his poll numbers sagging, President Barack Obama expressed concern Tuesday about the sudden slowdown in the economy but said he is not worried about a second recession and the nation should “not panic.”

Tech News –

A waterfront area in the New York borough of Brooklyn has become the first city neighborhood to feature free wireless service on streets and in parks and plazas. DUMBO, short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, already has a reputation for innovative projects. Several formerly abandoned and neglected structures there have been transformed into eco-friendly offices and apartment buildings.”We are encouraging people to step out of their offices and homes and engage with one another and the neighborhood in new and different ways,” said Alexandria Sica, the executive director of the DUMBO Business Improvement District (BIB).

More Hacker Problems for Sony – A group calling itself “Lulz Security” announced a fresh attack on Thursday, posting online snippets of data it says came from a breach earlier this week of more than 1 million user accounts on Sony’s website. Lulz began posting messages to Twitter on Thursday about its “Sownage” campaign, and around 4:30 p.m. ET it posted links to download what it claimed was a giant cache of Sony user data. The World Health Organization re-stoked the debate over mobile phones and cancer this week, when they added the gadgets to a list of items that “possibly” contribute to the disease. The documents posted include names, passwords, e-mail addresses, home addresses and dates of birth for thousands of people. Lulz said it grabbed the material by exploiting vulnerability on a Sony page advertising the company’s Ghostbusters franchise. Lulz posted the website’s address in its data dump, and encouraged fellow hackers to “tear the living shit out of it while you can; take from them everything!”

iCloud Is Here Apple’s Steve Jobs on Monday(June6) announced a new service called “iCloud,” which lets Apple product owners store documents and music on the Internet instead of on their own computer hard drives or mobile phones. iCloud expands on the trend of cloud computing, which refers to the idea that computer users are storing more of their information “in the cloud” of the Internet rather than on their own storage drives. All of a person’s Apple devices — iPhone, iPads and Mac computers — sync wirelessly with Apple’s iCloud, giving users access to their documents, photos, apps, calendars and e-mails from any location, not just on a specific gadget. “We think this is going to be pretty big,” said Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, who has been on medical leave since January.

Verizon follows AT&T in reportedly moving toward tiered plans that charge users based on how much data they use. New Nielsen research indicates that Android users might eventually encounter some bill shock. Nielsen analyzed nearly 65,000 U.S. cell phone bills from the first quarter of 2011 and found that “Android smartphone owners consumed an average of 582 MB of data each month, compared to 492 MB for iPhone owners.” Right now, since 4G networks and handsets are not widely deployed in the United States, these figures mainly represent data usage on 3G networks. As 4G becomes the norm for mobile broadband, average data usage will likely rise sharply.

Live TV on the Xbox and a more mature second generation of games for the Kinect were among the promises at a Microsoft briefing Monday in advance of the E3 video-game expo. At the event, Microsoft said it hopes to make Xbox Live a hub for almost all types of entertainment. As such, they rolled out new partners, such as YouTube and Bing, that they hope will help the gaming system position itself in that way.

Sports –

Shaq O’Neal announces his retirement from pro-basketball after playing 19 seasons.

College football quarterback Nate Montana, son of NFL Hall of Fame star Joe Montana, was arrested early on Friday in Missoula, Montana, on suspicion of driving under the influence. Nate Montana, 21, was stopped at about 4 a.m. local time for speeding and refused to submit to an alcohol breath test, but the arresting officer nevertheless found him to have been driving under the influence, said Jason Johnson a spokesman for the county sheriff’s department. The athlete was subsequently booked into the Missoula County Jail on a DUI first offense — a misdemeanor traffic infraction — and was released after posting a $685 bond, Johnson said.

Rafael Nadal has won his record-equaling sixth French Open title, beating Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1 in the final.It was the fourth final at Roland Garros between the two players, and Nadal has won all four.

Entertainment –

The season finale of “American Idol” had 29.3 million viewers.

Lady Gaga Hot – In its first week of release, her album Born this Way sold 1.11 million copies nationwide — the highest debut since March 2005, when 50 Cent’s The Massacre sold 1.14 million copies in its first week. Born This Way is only the 17th album to sell one-million plus copies in a week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991.Digital sales for the record totaled 662,000, the biggest week ever for a digital album in SoundScan history.

TV Season Scorecard As Season Ends – CBS finished the 2010-11 season last week as the nation’s most-watched television network for the eighth time in nine years, the Nielsen Co. said on Wednesday. Fox won its seventh season in a row among the youthful 18-to-49-year-old demographic closely watched by advertisers. The country’s favorite TV show was Fox’s “American Idol” for the eighth straight season. Viewership was down for each of the four biggest broadcast networks, Nielsen said. CBS averaged 11.6 million viewers in prime-time (down 2 percent from last season), Fox had 9.8 million viewers (down 2 percent), ABC had 8.5 million (down 1 percent) and NBC had 7 million (down 15 percent), Nielsen said. Much of NBC’s decline was because the network broadcast the Winter Olympics last season; take away sports and NBC’s prime-time decline was 3 percent. CBS had the five most popular dramas on television, each a crime-solving procedural (“NCIS,” ”NCIS: Los Angeles,” ”The Mentalist,” ”Criminal Minds” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”). The network also had the two most popular comedies in “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men,” the latter despite a Sheen-shortened season. Only the writer’s strike-affected 2007-08 season, won by Fox, stopped CBS from a nine-year winning streak. The fastest-growing prime-time show was  “Modern Family” on ABC, up 24 percent to 11.8 million viewers, Nielsen said. Fox’s since-canceled “Good Guys,” down 42 percent, was the biggest year-to-year loser.

Shania Twain receives the 2,442nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today, honoring her for overcoming poverty as a youth and the deaths of her mother and stepfather in an auto accident to become the top-selling female country artist of all time. Actress Bo Derek and Rob Light, head of Creative Artists Agency’s music division, will joined Twain in speaking in the ceremony in front of the W Hollywood hotel at 6270 Hollywood Blvd. The ceremony comes nearly a month after the release of her best-selling memoir “From This Moment On” and the premiere of a documentary series “Why Not? With Shania Twain” on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

Passing – James Arness, the 6-foot-6 actor who towered over the television landscape for two decades as righteous Dodge City lawman Matt Dillon in “Gunsmoke,” died Friday. He was 88. The actor died in his sleep at his home in Brentwood, Calif., according to his business manager, Ginny Fazer.

Passing – — Clarice Taylor, the actress and comedian best known for playing grandmothers on “The Cosby Show” and “Sesame Street,” has died at the age of 93.Taylor died of congestive heart failure in her home in Englewood, N.J., on Monday, said her son, William Taylor. During a career that spanned five decades, Taylor performed on radio and TV, in film and on stage, including in the original Broadway cast of the musical “The Wiz.”

The estranged daughter of Billy Bob Thornton has been found guilty of aggravated manslaughter.Amanda Brumsfield had faced murder charges after an incident in 2008 that lead to the death of a friend’s 1-year-old girl. Brumsfield claimed the girl, whom she was taking care of, hit her head after falling from her playpen, but prosecutors from the Orange County State Attorney’s office in Florida argued that the height from which she supposedly fell wouldn’t have caused a fracture of the child’s skull.

Paris Hilton’s’s no longer hot in the reality TV world. The premiere of her Oxygen series, The World According to Paris, drew a meager 409,000 viewers for its Wednesday premiere. By comparison, the March debut of singer Aubrey O’Day‘s Oxygen series drew 724,000, while 1.7 million viewers tuned in for the premiere of the most recent installment of The Bad Girls Club. Despite the initial ratings return, Hilton remains confident her series will strike a chord with viewers.

Winners from the 20th annual MTV Movie Awards:

Best Movie: “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”

Best Male Performance: Robert Pattinson, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”

Best Female Performance: Kristen Stewart, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”

Best Comedic Performance: Emma Stone, “Easy A.”

Best Breakout Star: Chloe Grace Moretz, “Kick-Ass.”

Biggest Badass Star: Chloe Grace Moretz, “Kick-Ass.”

Best Villain: Tom Felton, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.”

Katy Couric – the 54-year-old journalist (who left CBS’ Evening News on May 19) has inked a multi-year, multi-platform deal with Disney/ABC Television Group on Wednesday to host and produce her own nationally syndicated daytime talk show and to join the ABC news team.

Longtime sportscaster Marv Albert — best known as the lead announcer on NBC’s coverage of the NBA and for his signature calls “Yes!” and “RE-jected!” — is joining CBS Sports to broadcast NFL games, the network announced Monday. “Marv Albert is recognized throughout sports broadcasting as one of its true legends.Very few in the broadcasting industry can claim his combined accomplishments and remarkable longevity,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said. Albert, who turns 70 on June 12, will continue with the play-by-play for TNT’s National Basketball Association coverage.

NBC has retained the rights to the Olympics through 2020 in a new deal that covers four more games. Comcast, NBC’s new parent company, agreed Tuesday to acquire the rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, and the next two Olympics, whose host cities have not yet been chosen. The deal is worth $4.38 billion. NBC Universial CEO Steve Burke said he was “extremely pleased” to continue to carry the games.

Rise Against and Linkin Park – and even the Foo Fighters hit the stage for a surprise appearance at KROQ radio’s annual Weenie Roast in S. California. They’ve been doing it since 1993.

Rap producer and artist Dr Dre Monday settled a federal lawsuit over album sales a day before trial of the royalties case was set to begin. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, sued the current owners of Death Row Records last year in Los Angeles federal court, alleging the label owed him royalties for three albums. According to the breach of contract suit, WIDEawake Entertainment Group, which oversees Death Row, never paid the artist money for sales of “The Chronic,” “The Chronic Re-Lit” and a greatest hits collection.

Michael Jackson’s Jacket – The coat, which the late star wore in the iconic 1983 music video which saw him transform into a zombie, is expected to fetch between $200,000 and $400,000 when it is sold in Beverley Hills, California, later this month. Auctioneers Julien’s said: “We know of no other jacket that is so easily recognizable or one that so altered fashion history. It is the most recognized and significant piece of pop culture.” The jacket is signed “love Michael Jackson” on its sleeve, and was originally presented to the King of Pop’s designers, Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush, who worked with him on a number of outfits during his career.

Passing – Versatile singer/songwriter Andrew Gold, who enjoyed chart success in the 1970s with the songs “Lonely Boy” and “Thank You For Being a Friend,” died in his sleep. He was 59. The Los Angeles Times said he died at his home on Friday. He had been undergoing cancer treatment but was responding well to treatment. Gold, the son of Oscar-winning composer Ernest Gold and singer Marni Nixon, got his break in 1973 when he joined Linda Ronstadt’s band. He played a key role on such tunes as “You’re No Good” and “When Will I Be Loved?” He launched a parallel solo career in 1975 with a self-titled album on which he played most of the instruments. The track “Endless Flight” was later covered by Leo Sayer.

Hot Hits –

Give Me Everything – Pitbull fea. Ne-Yo, Afro-Jack & Nayer

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

E.T. – Katy Perry fea. Kanye West

Just Can’t Get Enough – The Black Eyed Peas

On The Floor  – Jennifer Lopez fea. Pitbullever

The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars

The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga

Till The World Ends – Britney Spears

I’m The One – DJ Khaled fea. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne

Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO fea. Lauren Bennet & GoonRock

I Love You This Big – Scotty McCreery

The Show Goes On – Lupe Fiasco

Look At Me Now – Chris Brown fea. Lil Wayne & Busta Rymes

Roll Up – Wiz Khalifa

Super Bass – Nicki Minaj

Down On Me – Jeremih fea. 50 Cent

S&M – Rihanna

Blow – Ke$ha

Don’t Wanna go Home – Jason Derulo

Like My Mother Does – Lauren Alaina

F**k You (Forget You) – Cee Lo Green

Written in the Stars – Tinie Tempah fea. Eric Turner

Honey Bee  Blake Shelton

Good Life –  OneRepublic

Motivation  Kelly Rowland fea. Lil Wayne

Top Video Games

L.A. Noire (X360 PS3)

Wii Sorts Resort

NASCAR 2011: The Game

Wii Sports

Will Mario Kart

Wii Zumba Fitness

X360 Kincect Adventures!

Wii Fit Plus

PS3 Mortal Kombat

At the movies –

X-Men: First Class (1st week $55.1 million)

The Hangover Part II

King Fu Panda 2

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Bradesmaids

Thor

Fast Five

Midnight In Paris

Something Borrowed

Jumping In the Broom

Rio

Top TV Last Week –

1. American Idol” (Wednesday) ) FOX
2. Dancing With the Stars ABC
3. Dancing With the Stars Results ABC
4. American Idol” (Tuesday) FOX
5. Glee FOX
6. Dancing With the Stars” (Tuesday ABC
7. Modern Family ABC
8. NCIS CBS
9. So You Think You Can Dance” (Thursday) FOX
10. The Mentalist CBS
11. House FOX
12. The Bachelorette ABC
13. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS
14. The Voice NBC
15. The Big Bang Theory CBS
16. The Biggest Loser 11 NBC
17. Auto Racing: NASCAR Sprint Cup FOX
18. Two and a Half Men CBS
19. NCIS” (Tuesday CBS
20. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS

Collectables – Nice To Know Info About Selling Old Media Such As Records, CD’s.

Mr. Pop History – Got a nice e-mail some some friends over in England. They’re getting ready for the BRIT awards 2011. Some great information – and the Beatles are still on top:

Something for the Fans Guide to Priceless Pop Memorabilia
Compiled by David Hepworth

1. The Beatles are more collectable than any other act before or since.
Everyone else had better get used to it. It doesn’t matter how many records an artist has sold; an association with the Fabs imbues any item of memorabilia with magic powers and trumps all the competition. Over the years auctions have offered everything from the white piano at which John Lennon sat to play “Imagine” to the old lavatory seat on which he sat at his house in Ascot.

2. If it’s in a famous picture or video it’s worth twice as much.
Half a million pounds was recently paid for the drum head from the Beatles’ iconic Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album cover. Collectors like to be able to put their treasures on display next to a picture and say, “look, there it is”. The same trend goes for costumes that artists wore in certain music videos such as the Dolce and Gabbana bra that Madonna wore on “The Girlie Tour” which sold for $24,000. That was nothing compared to Michael Jackson’s single jewelled glove, which fetched $300,000 last year. And that was after his death…..

3. It helps if the artist is dead.
It’s small comfort for the deceased but the fact is that Elvis outsells Cliff Richard, Lennon beats McCartney, Jimi Hendrix outranks Eric Clapton and Kurt Cobain trounces Noel Gallagher when it comes to the value of their associated memorabilia. When an artist is dead they are clearly not going to flood the market with sub-standard product. Although their relatives might.

4. Digital has killed the collectable record.
Nobody wants an autographed CD but everybody wants an autographed LP. The former appears worth less than it is and the latter appears worth more which is what some may call “materiality”. Now that CDs are being replaced by downloads, music fans no longer have an object of any kind to fondle. This means that all the truly rare records have already been made. They’re out there right now and they’re only going to get rarer and pricier.

5. Video has killed the autograph hunter.
The autograph is going the same way as handwriting – in ten years it will be extinct. Even if a fan
wanted somebody’s autograph, these days the likelihood is they have neither pen nor piece of paper at
hand. Instead there is the mobile phone; the all-purpose recorder of experiences, ready to capture the
moment in flash, in audio, in video… Will they still have it in ten years time? Probably not.

6. Collectability is the true measure of charisma.
Some acts are simply more collectible than others. It’s not to do with how many tickets they sell or how many awards they get, it’s far more deep rooted than that. It’s to do with a special sort of charisma. Queen, Oasis and the Smiths attract more interest from collectors than Take That, The Police or U2, for instance. Where there is mystique, sibling rivalry, scandal, early death or the prospect of a good falling-out there is money to be made in the collectors market.

7. Everything is memorabilia in online auction houses.
Auction houses are renowned for their collection of collectables, whether it be one of Jimmy Page’s guitars or some handwritten David Bowie lyrics. But crucially they also offer a certificate of authentication. On the other hand, if you desire a piece of chewing gum allegedly chewed by Britney Spears (retrieved from a bin by a security man who saw her dispose of it backstage) then the world wide web and its various online marketplaces is the place to go. It was claimed recently that said chewable item was sold for $14,000… although no one has seen the receipt.

8. Memorabilia is a waiting game.
Hold onto the item of clothing that you recently bid for, even if it is from a ‘small-time’ artist right now. History shows that we won’t really know for twenty years or more until 2030 has decided whether it’s really interested in that artist or not.

9. You can’t invent memorabilia.
All attempts by merchandising companies, museums or dead rock stars’ estates to invent instant souvenirs – such as the officially licensed “All Shook Up” collection of Elvis Presley wines (glass of Blue Suede Chardonnay, anyone?) – are as tacky as those Royal Wedding plates on the back of the colour supplement – and about as appealing.

10. The best memorabilia is your memorabilia.
The best memorabilia has little value to anyone but the holder. Autographs, photographs and memories; if you’ve got something that means something to you, never let it go. To you, it’s Priceless.

When Did Michael Richards Of “Seinfeld” Get Into Trouble With A Racist Tirade? Pop Culture History.

Mr. Pop History – Back in 2006. Richards was doing all sorts of damage control – because he had to. The “Seinfeld” shows were being re-released on DVD – and Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David didn’t want to risk anything.

Here’s something from November of 2006 – With Jerry Seinfeld helping out in damage control:

Michael Richards appears on David Letterman’s show – and with him – Jerry Seinfeld – to express contrition for his racist tirade in Los Angeles at a nightclub. As Richards apologized, Seinfeld told the studio crowd, “stop laughing, it’s not funny.”

Top Video Games – Christmas of 1999. This Week In Pop History.

Mr. Pop History – Today it’s wii, PS3 and X360. But – remember when? Game and game technology from not so long ago.  Here they are by request. From December of 1999:

Hot – Sega, Nintendo and Sony are beating forecasts as the video game industry is booming! Here are the top console video games:

Donkey Kong 64 – Nintendo 64
WWF Wrestlemania 2000 – Nintendo 64
Tomorrow Never Dies 007 – PlayStation
Pokemon Snap – Nintendo 64
NBA Live 2000 PlayStation
Tony Hawks Pro Skater – PlayStation
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis – PlayStation
Toy Story 2 – PlayStation
Spyro the Dragon – PlayStation
Spyro the Dragon 2 – PlayStation

Doing A Website – HTML Has Given Way To XHTML and HTML5… Pop. Culture. History.

Mr. Pop History – Those of us who do websites are aware of what’s coming. From html to xhtml and the new standard on the horizon – html5. All use tags – you just have to know the tag lexicon and when to use them. Those of us who know xhtml will find html5 a breeze because a lot of the tags are shorter.