Archive for the ‘Hollywood’ Category

Stimulus: Some Loony Spending Requests in Obama Plan

February 3, 2009

Here are some of the unusual spending items, many that don’t really create jobs,  in the Obama stimulus package, as passed by the House of Representatives:

• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.

• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).

• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.

• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD’s.

• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.
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• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.

• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.

• $75 million for “smoking cessation activities.”

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.

• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.

• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.

• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings.

• $500 million for state and local fire stations.

• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.

• $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs.

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.

• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.

• $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

• $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.

• $850 million for Amtrak.

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.

• $75 million to construct a “security training” facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.

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Rich, Famous Lead World’s Scientific Illiteracy

December 27, 2008

Barack Obama, Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all take hits….

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When it comes to science, Barack Obama is no better than many of us. Today he joins the list of shame of those in public life who made scientifically unsupportable statements in 2008.

Closer to home, Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith faltered on the science of food, while Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all get roastings for scientific illiteracy.

By Steve Connor, Science editor
The Independent, London


Oprah

The Celebrities and Science Review 2008, prepared by the group Sense About Science, identifies some of the worst examples of scientific illiteracy among those who profess to know better – including top politicians.

Mr Obama and John McCain blundered into the MMR vaccine row during their presidential campaigns. “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate,” said President-elect Obama. “Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it,” he said.

His words were echoed by Mr McCain. “It’s indisputable that [autism] is on the rise among children, the question is what’s causing it,” he said. “There’s strong evidence that indicates it’s got to do with a preservative in the vaccines.”

Exhaustive research has failed to substantiate any link to vaccines or any preservatives. The rise in autism is thought to be due to an increased awareness of the condition.

Sarah Palin, Mr McCain’s running mate, waded into the mire with her dismissal of some government research projects. “Sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not,” Ms Palin said. But the geneticist Ellen Solomon takes Ms Palin to task for not understanding the importance of studies into fruit flies, which share roughly half their genes with humans. “They have been used for more than a century to understand how genes work, which has implications in, for example, understanding the ageing process,” she said.

Hollywood did not escape the critical analysis of the scientific reviewers, who lambasted Tom Cruise, for his comments on psychiatry being a crime against humanity, and Julianne Moore, who warned against using products full of unnatural chemicals.

“The real crime against humanity continues to be the enduring misery caused by the major mental illnesses across the globe, and the continuing lack of resources devoted to supporting those afflicted,” said the psychiatrist Professor Simon Wessely.

In answer to Moore, the science author and chemist John Emsley said that natural chemicals are not automatically safer than man-made chemicals, which undergo rigorous testing.

“Something which is naturally sourced may well include a mixture of things that are capable of causing an adverse reaction,” Dr Emsley said.

Other mentions went to the chefs Nigella Lawson, who said “mind meals” can make you feel different about life, and Delia Smith, who claimed it is possible to eliminate sugar from the diet. The dietician Catherine Collins said that Lawson’s support for expensive allergy foods is a wasted opportunity and too costly for those on limited incomes, while Lisa Miles of the British Nutrition Foundation said that sugars are part of a balanced diet.


Candidate for Science Advisor?

Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all espoused the idea that you can detoxify your body with either diet (scientifically unsupportable) or, in the case of Moore, products such as “highly trained medical leeches” which make you bleed. Scientists point out that diet alone cannot remove toxins and that blood itself is not a toxin, and even if it did contain toxins, removing a little bit of it is not going to help.

Read the rest:
Celebrity Health Advice: Not What’s Good For You

Read the rest:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientific
-illiteracy-all-the-rage-among-the-glitterati-1212406.html

Plaxico Burress: Armed, Dangerous and Stupid (Apparently)

December 24, 2008

Plaxico’s house was searched and guns, ammo and other objects were seized, police said on Christmas eve….

In our opinion, Pro Players should leave their ego and their guns at home an enjoy their cushy, highly paid life and perform as expected.

Plaxico may have ruided his NFL career by playing with guns….He wouldn’t be the first “star” too risk everything…

From Michael Vick to Jim Brown there is a parade of “Bad Boys” from the NFL, other sports and Hollywood.  We are not saints; just people.  Now Plaxico Burress gets 15 minutes of fame not for a Super bowl touchdown but for shooting hemself in the foot, er, leg….

Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick(R) leaves ... 
Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick(R) leaves Surry County Circuit Court after entering a guilty plea on two felony counts connected to dog fighting in Sussex, Virginia. Under a plea agreement, Vick, who is currently serving a term in prison for federal dog fighting charges, will serve one-year of probation for the state charges.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Geoff Burke)

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The weekend self-injury of New York Giants star badboy Plaxico Burress, who sustained a personal injury gunshot in the leg when an illegally concealed weapon accidentally went off may have a few others in hot water.

In New York state, it is a misdemeanor for a hospital not to report a gunshot wound to the police, and according to reports, that is exactly what happened.  It appears that several employees of New York-Cornell Hospital, who treated Burress, did not contact the police. The New York State Department of Health is investigating to see if information was deliberately hidden to protect Burress. Additionally the hospital itself has admitted it has suspended an employee for not following procedure.  The hospital says it is their policy to contact the police in regards to all gunshot patients.

New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, center, arrives ... 
New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, center, arrives in Manhattan Supreme Court in handcuffs, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008, in New York. Lawyer Benjamin Brafman says Burress planned to plead not guilty to a weapon possession charge during a Monday afternoon court appearance. Burress accidentally shot himself at a Manhattan nightclub Friday evening.(AP Photo/David Karp)

Meanwhile Antonio Pierce, another New York Giant who was with Burress at the club Latin Quarter during the injury and aftermath, is being sought for questioning by police.  It appears, however, that he ditched the cops yesterday in favor of a paid radio appearance.  Pierce also is reported to have spoken to NFL security about the incident without a lawyer present which could get the league itself tangled up in the investigation.

Link to:

http://lawofhollywoodland.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/plaxico-burress-
weekend-shooting-puts-others-in-laws-sights/


Above: Mug shots of Ryan O’Neil and son Redmond when they were booked by police on drug charges….


Jim Brown was my hero when he played for the Cleveland Browns and he is again my hero now.  But there was a time there when he was just about nobody’s hero…..

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A 9 mm handgun, a rifle, ammunition and clothing were confiscated during a search of the home of New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, police said Wednesday.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/12/24/burre
ss.home.search/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

In this Dec. 1, 2008 filep hoto, New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, second from left, is escorted from a police station in handcuffs in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig/FILE)

In this Dec. 1, 2008 filep hoto, New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, second from left, is escorted from a police station in handcuffs in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig/FILE) (Seth Wenig – AP)

Drink and Drug Too Much? Treatment Rarely A “Cure”

December 22, 2008

Every year, state and federal governments spend more than $15 billion, and insurers $5 billion more, on substance-abuse treatment services for some four million people. That amount may soon increase sharply: last year, Congress passed the mental health parity law, which for the first time includes addiction treatment under a federal law requiring that insurers cover mental and physical ailments at equal levels.

By Benedict Carey
The New York Times

Many clinics across the county have waiting lists, and researchers estimate that some 20 million Americans who could benefit from treatment do not get it.

Yet very few rehabilitation programs have the evidence to show that they are effective. The resort-and-spa private clinics generally do not allow outside researchers to verify their published success rates. The publicly supported programs spend their scarce resources on patient care, not costly studies.

And the field has no standard guidelines. Each program has its own philosophy; so, for that matter, do individual counselors. No one knows which approach is best for which patient, because these programs rarely if ever track clients closely after they graduate. Even Alcoholics Anonymous, the best known of all the substance-abuse programs, does not publish data on its participants’ success rate.

“What we have in this country is a washing-machine model of addiction treatment,” said A. Thomas McClellan, chief executive of the nonprofit Treatment Research Institute, based in Philadelphia. “You go to Shady Acres for 30 days, or to some clinic for 60 visits or 60 doses, whatever it is. And then you’re discharged and everyone’s crying and hugging and feeling proud — and you’re supposed to be cured.”

He added: “It doesn’t really matter if you’re a movie star going to some resort by the sea or a homeless person: The system doesn’t work well for what for many people is a chronic, recurring problem.”


Hollywood veteran of “the system”:
Gary Busey

Related:
France abuzz over alcoholic ‘cure’

Heath Ledger’s Legacy: Thinking About Mixing Drugs Like a Movie Star During Holidays?

Read it all:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/23/
health/23reha.html?_r=1&hp

Thief Grabs $2 Million In Paris Hilton’s Rocks

December 20, 2008

An estimated $2 million worth of jewelry and other belongings was stolen from the home of Paris Hilton, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The incident occurred at 5 a.m. at Hilton’s Hollywood Hills home on Clarendon Street. The burglar, or burglars, got into the house through an unlocked door, according to LAPD sources, who spoke on  condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Television personality Paris Hilton attends the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel grand opening party on Friday, Nov. 14, 2008 in Miami Beach, Fla.  According to detectives, a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gloves ransacked Hilton’s bedroom, took unknown property and fled, said Officer April Harding.

LAPD sources said they do not believe at this time that the incident is connected to infamous burglaries that have beset the Westside and Hollywood Hills and cost many celebrities hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewelry and other valuables.

In those cases, the two –- and possibly three –- men, clad in black and wearing ski masks and gloves, hit more than 70 homes in areas such as Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills and the hills above Encino, usually at night and often on weekends. The victims in those burglaries included former Paramount Pictures chief Sherry Lansing and her Oscar-winning director husband, William Friedkin, Clippers basketball star Cuttino Mobley, Duran Duran guitarist John Taylor and his wife, Juicy Couture President Gela Nash-Taylor, and country music stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

Detectives from the LAPD’s Van Nuys division were at the Hilton home this morning conducting interviews. The sources told The Times that Hilton was not home at the time of the burglary and that the house is equipped with security video equipment.

Harding said a security guard reported a forced entry at 5 a.m. at the Sherman Oaks home. The guard described the burglar as a man in a hooded sweatshirt and gloves.

Hilton recently told Esquire magazine: “The best thing I’ve ever bought with money is my house. Having a nightclub in your house really helps for having a party.”

— Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein
The Los Angeles Times

Paris Hilton
Ms Hilton, 27, was not at home at the time of the break-in

Top Photo: Paris Hilton attends the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel grand opening party on Nov. 14 in Miami Beach, Fla. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press

 

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