Thursday, April 30, 2009

Drink wine live longer!

April 30 (Bloomberg) -- Half a glass of wine a day may add five years to your life, a new study suggests. Drink beer, and you’ll live only 2 1/2 years longer.

Dutch researchers followed 1,373 men for more than four decades, noting their eating and drinking habits. Men who had about 20 grams of alcohol daily -- equivalent to a half a glass of wine -- had 2 1/2 years added to their life expectancy at age 50, compared with men who didn’t drink at all, according to the research published today in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Men who consumed only wine had twice as much added longevity.

Light alcohol intake was linked to lower cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and overall mortality in the study. Researchers had known that moderate drinking is tied to a lower risk of heart disease, possibly because of an increase in high density lipoprotein or so-called good cholesterol as well as a reduction in platelet clumping, making it more unlikely for clots to form. It is the first study to show that one kind of alcohol is superior to others in prolonging life, the researchers said.

“In this study, 70 percent of all wine consumed was red wine,” the researchers, led by Marinette Streppel of the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, said in the paper. “This suggests that the cardioprotective effect of wine could be due to a protective effect of polyphenol compounds in red wine, but other explanations cannot be ruled out.”

Polyphenols are chemical substances found in plants such as tannins and flavonoids.

The research, dubbed Zutphen Study after the Dutch town from which the participants were recruited, followed men born between 1900 and 1920 and examined them several times between 1960 and 2000.

Huh. Now I'm really glad I stopped drinking beer. Wine taste better anyway. via Neatorama

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Roger Federer: How to be burglar free

And the really scary thing?, he could probably do that for real! *lol*.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

3-D Art on pavement

Pavement art has grown in popularity over the years and there are few major cities left untouched by the paintbrush of these eccentric artists. Like buskers, many may be fortunate to earn a few pennies by passing pedestrian traffic and yet remain anonymous and receive few accolades for their incredible talent. However some street artists are more fortunate and gain international respect and commissions from towns across the globe.

Aside from the traditionalist type pavement paintings where the artist replicates famous works of art, there are also those who very cleverly create optical illusions with their paintbrush. Take a look at some of these mind boggling three dimensional pavement paintings scattered across the globe.

1. Feeding The Fish

Feeding the fish

Julian Beever is an established pavement painting artist. He has been creating 3D masterpieces for over 10 years and his work is going from strength to strength. In this amazing drawing, Julian has managed to fool the passerby’s eye into believing that the pond is truly three dimensional. It looks like the child is really sitting in the middle of a sunken pond, ready to feed the fish that are near the surface.

Even though the drawing is only two dimensional, looking at it from this angle, there is no way you can convince your mind that it isn’t real.

2. Surfing In London

Surfing in London

A dynamic duo, Joe Hill and Max Lowry have made the impossible possible, with their pavement painting of a surfer riding the waves in what looks to be a building site.

It is difficult to distinguish what is real and what isn’t when it comes to looking at edges of the painting but be assured that this is a true optical illusion. The painting is on a flat surface and even though your mind interprets the painting as real, you will not get splashed from the leaping wave, nor will you fall into the depths of the ocean as the water pool suggests.

3. Flash Flood In Canada

Flash Flood In Canada

Said to be the largest three dimensional street painting ever created, this amazing optical illusion was the brainchild of Edgar Mueller. Over 280 square meter of pavement was painted by Edgar and a few local artists, and the result is truly spectacular.

Standing at the edge of the enormous waterfall at the end of the painting is sure to make vertigo sufferers feel queasy, whilst those people daring to sit on painted makeshift raft look like they are going to be swept downstream any minute.

4. Jaguars


Imagine you are strolling along to the shopping centre and you nearly fall into a deep, dark pit filled with fierce looking jaguars. Frightening, right? Fortunately this pit is just another brilliant 3D pavement painting by the esteemed international street artist Rod Tryon.

Created as part of his series of pavement paintings at the Walk of Jumeirah Beach Residences in Dubai, this incredible work of art really fools the mind into believing that the jaguars are ready to jump out and attack innocent pedestrians.

5. Stunt City

This collaboration between four extraordinarily talented artists stopped pedestrians in their tracks with this outstanding view of the imagined city. Edgar Muller, Marion Ruthardt, Gregor Wosik and Manfred Stader created this masterpiece at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin in just 4 days.

It deceives the observer into believing that they are standing at the top of a skyscraper looking down onto the street below - you can actually feel dizzy as you look down far below into this painted city. Hero wannabes may even feel compelled to leap over the edge and save the men hanging from the helicopter.

6. The Crevasse

The Crevasse

One of the most outstanding achievements in pavement painting must be this enormous crevasse painted by Edgar Mueller in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland for the Festival of World Culture in 2008.

At approximately 250 square meters in size, you can only begin to imagine how much printer ink would take to replicate this on paper! This incredible painting is one of the best examples of optical illusion to date. You really do feel like you will fall into the abyss if you stand too close to edge. Perhaps he should have painted danger signs along the perimeter to warn people of the impending danger.

7. Superman


Anyone who loved reading comic books as a child will instantly love this beautifully drawn picture of Superman. It is another superb anamorphic pavement painting by British pair Joe Hill and Max Lowry.

Bursting out of the pavement, Superman looks positively omnipotent and set to put right the injustices of not only his painted world below, but ours too.

8. Street Scene

Street Scene

This rather pretty picture of a street is another of Ulla Taylor’s accomplishments. Like visiting one of those miniature model city attractions, this perfectly proportioned illustration of a street scene is anamorphic, distorting the viewer’s perception into believing that they are standing, or sitting, high in the tree tops looking down on the little street.

It makes you feel like a voyeur, spying on the inhabitants but unlike real people, I am sure they don’t mind.

Source: via Neatorama

Monday, April 27, 2009

DWTS: Week 8 Lindy-Hop, Cha-Cha, Samba

We're down to the wire, with only 6 couples left in the competition.

Cheryl & Gilles started things off with the Lindy Hop. I knew that Gilles is the master of sexy latin dances (even though he's French).

But until tonight I didn't know he had a fun side. He's always all business when it comes to his routine, so it was nice to see him acting a little goofy for once.

Despite his continued shoulder problem (with the help of some cortisone injections) he was able to soldier on, and earn a score of 27/30.

Also points to the hair department for the Danny Zuko inspired hairdo.

Kim & Derek followed with the best Paso Doble of the season. It was full of passion and aggration. Kim has wonderful control of her shoulders and arms, which made the dance all the more powerful.

After hearing the judges comments I fully expected them to get a perfect score, but they came in short with 28/30.

Julianne & Chuck were next with a sultry Cha-Cha. Thanks for all the lovely hip action Chuck! ;).

And although this performance wasn't as impressive as last week, I thought they deserved a much higher score then a 26/30. Bruno was being a bit of a buzzkill tonight and only give them an 8 when it should have been a 9.

Mark & Shawn danced the Samba. Len and Bruno were not impressed, but Carrie-Ann loved it. They received 27/30.

I thought Shawn did a great job with it, but the judges are being more tough on everyone now that we're in the home stretch.

Tony & Melissa Poor Melissa suffered a hairline rib fracture and could not perform live tonight. The judges were forced to score the taped rehersal. And give her the lowest score of the evening 21/30.

I really hope people vote for her so she can come back next week (please!). She deserves a spot in the finals. And I would really like to see Tony stick around to the finals for once.

Chelsie & Ty The cowboy can Salsa!. Even though 24/30 may not be enough, I have to give him a lot of credit again for always giving 100%.

Even when completly out of his comfort zone. I don't know too many cowboys who would even attempt a Salsa on national t.v. So good on you Ty!.

You never know we might be in for a surprise tomorrow night and Chuck could go instead. Stranger things have happened on this show.

Next came the team portion of the competition. Team Mambo vs. team Tango.

Team Mambo consisted of Chuck & Julianne, Melissa (who was replaced by Lacey and ignored in the final score due to her being a professional ) & Tony, and Mark & Shawn.

All of them danced to the tune of Beyonce's "Single Ladies". Seeing all the guys in tights made my night *LOL*.

Carrie-Ann may not have liked it, but the tights added a fun element to the whole thing. I also don't think the music overshadowed the performances far from it in fact.

Great routine!. The team score coupled with the individul score give them a total of 46/60. Putting them in second place.

Gilles & Cheryl, Derek & Kim, and Ty & Chelsie formed team Tango.

They all danced to Britney Spear's "Womanizer". Their routine may have been more technically sound (according to the judges) but team Mambo was much more entertaining overall.

I did like the beginning bit with a shortless Ty and Gilles (who knew Ty was so buff!). Team Tango were the winners with a total of 56/60.

But I honestly think if Melissa was there Team Mambo would have kicked their butt.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Night owls more productive then early birds?

Researchers found that in tests those who consider themselves more alert in the morning can concentrate for less time than those who work best at night.

The study by the University of Liege, in Belgium, pitted the early risers against people who stay up late in a test to see who could perform complicated tasks for longest.

The groups were allowed to sleep for the same amount of time and kept awake and asked to perform a number of tasks.

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor the brain activity of early birds and night owls who spent two consecutive nights in a sleep laboratory and periodically performed a task that required sustained attention.

The results, reported in the journal Science, suggest that night owls generally outlast early birds in the length of time they can be awake before becoming mentally fatigued.

After 10 hours of being awake, the early birds showed reduced activity in brain areas linked to attention, compared to the night owls. They also felt sleepier and tended to perform more slowly on the task.

The scientists said that alertness depended on a combination of a person's natural circadian rhythm - internal clock that tells us when to sleep - and actual fatigue due to being kept awake, known as "sleep pressure".

Source: via Neatorama

I guess that's why I received such great marks during all those all-nighters in College, who knew?.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Save 'Dollhouse'

Nothing gets your attention better then a well done PSA :). I wonder if there's one for Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Don't let your fave 2008/2009 shows die in vain! is letting fans weigh in on which shows should stick around and which should get the axe. Terminator, Dollhouse, and Better Off Ted (one of my new favourite shows) are among the few I believe are worth saving.

So be sure to head over to the site and vote for your faves!.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Evan Rachel Wood to make a return to t.v.!

Ready for some fangstastic casting news?

Sources confirm to me exclusively that True Blood creator Alan Ball has tapped Evan Rachel Wood to play the pivotal role of Sophie-Anne, the vampire Queen of Louisiana!

Who dat, you ask? She's a 500-year-old vampire from France who is charming, wily, ruthless and wise. She's a consummate diplomat who has (or had) many of history's most famous people on speed dial.

Short story shorter: It's a major frakkin' part, and landing Wood (whose last significant TV gig was Once and Again) is a major frakkin' coup.

A True Blood insider tells me that Wood is booked for two episodes, both of which will air towards the end of the show's upcoming second season. But rest assured, if the show is renewed for a third season (and, please, it will be), Wood will be back. Again: Major frakkin' part.

Can't say I've ever seen this show since the only vampires I ever liked came from the world of Joss Whedon. But I may tune in for the Evan-centric eps.

Also rumor is that she's back with Marilyn Manson again. Something tells me there'll be a lot more off and on with these two in the future.


Monday, April 20, 2009

DWTS: Week 7 Waltz, Samba, Rumba, Cha Cha and Tango

We are finally at the halfway point in the competition. This weeks dances were a real mixed bag, and a real test forcing some of the stars out of their comfort zones.

Being more of a fan of the fast paced dances, there were a few too many ballroom ones for my taste, but it was still an enjoyable night.

Tony & Melissa started things off with an Argentine Tango, that had all the judges jumping for joy, and making them the new score board leaders with 29/30. Would have been a perfect score had Len not noticed some tiny inconsistency with the steps. Stickler.

Speaking of steps I must compliment Melissa on her amazing job pulling off all those intricate moves with no mistakes. Bravo. Tony finally has a partner with whom he can really show off his choreography talents for once. He certainly took full advantage of it tonight by upping the diffuculty of her routine, and unlike many of Tony's previous celebrities Melissa didn't disappoint in the delivery.

Edyta & Lawrence were next with the Waltz. And although I thought it didn't compare to last weeks performance it was still surprisingly well done. I expected him to look clumsy and slow, but he manged to look quite the oppisate. Earning 21/30 (one point lower then last week)

This week was also a first in terms of the costume design. Each star designed an outfit for their partners. Some faired better then others. I had to chuckle at Lawrence's choice of dress for Edyta. It looked good, but the fur coat was a little much. It was clearly a big change for Edyta who usually wears next to nothing. Perhaps that's why she got tangled up in the material during one of the twirls.

Derek & Lil Kim who were last weeks score board leaders fell to fourth place with 26/30 for their Rumba. Which was a bit understated according to the judges, and I have to agree. It lacked a lot of the free movement, and looked like Lil Kim was holding back.

She's usually at her best when she lets things loose. Some of her apprehension might have been partly due to Derek's indecisiveness with his choreography (which is rare), and partly his desire to please all the judges a little too much.

Julianne & Chuck Well, well, ever since last week he seems to have found his groove, and is finally showing he has some dancing chops. About time!. Guess being at the bottom of the score board has been a real motivator. With 27/30 for the Samba he's definitely moving up.

Ty and Chelsie Ballroom seems to agree with him. After a mediocre job last week, he bounced back with a great Waltz. And a score of 24/30. Although I'm not sure whether it'll be enough to keep him around. He could be the one to head home.

Mark & Shawn Despite having a crazy schedule she managed to pull off an excellent (MJ inspired) Cha-Cha. I'm starting to think this girl could do no wrong when it comes to dance. With the second highest score of the night (28/30). I'm convinced she deserves to be one of the final 3 if not the final 2.

Cheryl & Gilles was one of the people out of his comfort zone with the Viennese Waltz, but received decent scores nonetheless 27/30.

The drawback with being a high scorer on a constant basis (as Gilles was for 5 straight weeks) is that the judges start to expect perfection. And get really nit picky towards the end (as they did with Christie Yamaguchi). Which is funny considering none of these guys are professionals.

The night concluded with the ever popular group number. Inspired by the 60's, which I have to say was 100 times better then last year's rap number.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Facebook manners and you

Admit it, we're all guilty of breaking at least one of those rules at one time or another.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

'Sarah Connor Chronicles' rumor control

April 16, 2009 - The next few weeks look to be tense ones for fans of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. On the heels of's Michael Ausiello reporting the show is cancelled, those associated with the series say this is still not the case. FOX announces their 2009-2010 schedule on May 18th at the Upfronts, and it continues to look like we won't know the official announcement until that week.

Like so much else they days, the rebuttals to the cancellation stories are coming via Twitter. points out a recent Twitter update by Terminator writer Ashley Edward Miller, who says, "Time for Ausiello's semi-annual SCC termination report. False again. (Remember "sets were destroyed" report? Now you know context, people)." Miller is referring both to times in the past when Ausiello believed the show was not continuing (including mid-way through Season 2) and also reports unrelated to him saying the proof that the show was cancelled was that the sets have been torn down.

Fans of the show know this was a dubious statement, given the only permanent sets the show had recently were for Catherine Weaver's office, and based on the events of the Season 2 finale, those probably wouldn't be needed again.

Terminator showrunner Josh Friedman meanwhile Twittered, "Waiting for Michael Ausiello to tell me what I'm supposed to do now with my career."

As for where Season 3 could go, a new interview with Brian Austin Green sheds some light on that. [Spoiler Warning for those who haven't seen the last two episodes of Terminator - though if so, what are you doing reading this article? Some fan you are!]

Green tells Comic Book Resources, "The third season is going to be incredible, if it happens. There were no intentions of this being a series finale. It was absolutely a season finale. There's a plan where this can go and it's so good."

Season 2's stunning conclusion had John Connor travel to the future, where he encountered Green's character, Derek Reese, who had been killed in the present - along with John's father, Kyle Reese himself. Green elaborates, "You have this episode where John Connor travels to a future where John Connor never existed. I don't know if people completely get it because we work on a string theory, which we've dealt with during the season.

We dealt with that with
Jessie, in the future that she came from there was Charles Fisher, who tortured everyone. In the future I came from, he never existed. I don't remember him. We were still together within these parallel futures but they were still different and they still had their own paths. This is the same concept. For John Connor to travel to a future where he never existed, where Kyle Reese never left, where Derek and Kyle are still fighting side by side, where Allison (the human Cameron was based on) is still very much present, what becomes of John? What better situation for somebody to grow up in and become the future leader than that? Than to be fighting in what he's been trying to prevent? Not just being the top dog, being listened to for everything, but having to actually listen and follow." Green also explains that he's in second position on the pilot he's filmed, The CW's Body Politic, meaning if that series is picked up while Terminator is also renewed, he stays with Terminator and the other series recasts his role. Green reveals Josh Friedman came to him and explained how Derek would be killed in episode 21 of Season 2, and also how he'd be back in episode 22, thanks to John's time travel adventure – the fact that he was also filming a pilot helped add to the illusion that he was definitely off the show, but that was never the case.

The actor had a lot of praise for the shocking manner in which Derek was killed, telling CBR, "I love the way he went out. I love that Josh made the choice that he did. He wanted him to go out like a warrior, like a fighter. There wasn't this big, long, drawn-out thing where everyone's crying saying, 'Derek no, stay with us, don't go.' I'm not pounding on my chest, bleeding and coughing. That's the reality of war. When people die in war it's not glamorous, it's not very heartfelt. For the most part it's immediate, it's loss and you move on. I love the fact that Sarah, being a warrior, did just that. She took his wallet, took his gun and moved on because it's what you have to do. I think it was really brave and really exciting."

Alright my fellow Sarah Connor fans, let's try to keep hope alive here and cross our fingers... because we all need that third season, right? This show is too awesome to die.


Oh the confusion!. 0_o

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kids say the funniest things

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America .
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS: Maria.
____________ _________ _________ ______
TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.
____________ _________ _________ _________ ___
TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'
K-R-O-K-O-D- I-A-L'
TEACHER: No, that's wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.

____________ _________ _________ _________ _____
TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.
____________ _________ _________ ____
TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we
didn't have ten years ago.
____________ _________ _________ _________ ___
TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.
____________ _________ _________ _________
TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with 'I.'
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'
MILLIE: All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the
____________ _________ _________ __
TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's
cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his
father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.
____________ _________ _________ ________
TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.
____________ _________ _________
TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same
as your brother's. Did you copy his?
CLYDE: No, sir. It's the same dog.
____________ _________ _________ _____
TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when
people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher
____________ _________ _________ ____

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Got Tetris on the brain?

Seems a lot of people still love this game (myself included).

They love it so much in fact that someone decided it'd fun to have Tetris-like furniture.

Source: via

Looks pretty awesome to me!.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Joss Whedon on Humanism

More food for thought from Mr. Joss Whedon at Harvard University's Memorial Church. Receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism.

"Faith is something we have to embrace. Faith in God means believing in something absolutely with no proof what's so ever. Faith in humanity means believing absolutely in something with a huge amount of proof to the contrary"

Now that's what I call a Joss-ism. ♥ ♥♥

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

'Sarah Connor Chronicles' won't be back

Resist the urge to nuke the messenger, but multiple sources are telling me that Fox will not be renewing Terminator: The Summer Glau Sarah Connor Chronicles for a third season.

"It's done," maintains a source close to the show. "Everyone has pretty much known for a couple of weeks." Adds a network insider: "Consider it canceled."

The one bright spot? Despite horrific ratings, Fox isn't ready to declare SCC dead and buried -- at least not officially. "No decision has been made yet," insists a network rep. "We will be announcing our fall schedule on May 18."

Rough translation: It won't be back.

Oh, I just thought of one other bright spot: At least the show went out on top creatively. Last Friday's finale was an action-packed, closure-filled triumph. The only thing left unresolved is what Summer Glau will do for an encore. I'm thinking 24 should hire her as next season's Big Bad.


I don't know about the rest of you, but I choose to live in a world of denial until FOX releases the official word at the end of May.

Monday, April 13, 2009

DWTS: Week 6 Jive and Rumba

Chelsie & Ty kicked things off tonight with a cowboy Jive. The judges were not impressed and only give him 18/30 for his efforts.

I really enjoyed it personally. Although I think he could be the one to go home this week I have to give him huge props for continually giving his all despite mediocre results.

Mark & Shawn were next with a sensually romantic Rumba. I thought Shawn did an outsanding job once again.

She's always so uncomfortable in rehersals, but as soon as they get on the stage she makes it look good no matter what the style. All credit to Mark for his great teaching method. I thought the score of 26/30 was much lower then she deserved.

Edyta & Lawrence Well what do you know?, the man can dance!. Not only that he actually knows how to loosen up. I was beginning to think he was incapable of it.

In fact when I heard he was doing the Jive I thought it was going to be awkward and disastrous (especially for a man of his size). But he somehow managed to make it look energetic and fun. I wholeheartedly agree with Len his best dance and best score (22/30) to date.

Tony & Melissa After last weeks slight stumble she made a great comeback with the Rumba, receiving the second highest score of the night 27/30. She's a definite contender and I'll be really mad if she doesn't make it to the final week.

Derek & Kim The Hough choreography strikes again. This was by far the best Jive of the evening. Full of awesome acrobatics and tricks.

That Partick Swayze-like move off the judges table was inspired! :). With 28/30 they became the new score board leaders this week. Beating out what I thought to be the flawless frenchman, Gilles. Bruno and Carrie Ann give them 10, but Len the party pooper couldn't even summen a 9.

Lacey & Steve-O Len and Bruno thought their Rumba was really bad, but I thought the opposite. I'm in agreement with Carrie Ann there was something about it that made it quite enjoyable.

He really sold it. Now I don't think he has the chops to win or anything, but he continues to show great progress. With 16/30 he's gonna need a lot of votes again, or he will be eliminated for sure.

Cheryl & Gilles electrifying Jive scored surprisingly low with the judges. They only received a 26/30.

I think Cheryl forgot that he's not actually a professional, and got a little too ambitious with her routine. Making them lose points as a result. Also kudos to Gilles for really working the sex appeal with his leather vest.

Julianne & Chuck Phew, that was one HOT Rumba!. Finally I actually believe these two are a couple. But their smoldering chemistry didn't garnder them too high a score only 23/30.

Note to Len tonight, either loosen up, or go back on your meds. I like you much better when you're not being an old fuddy daddy!.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Song of the Moment: Meatloaf-I Would Do Anything for Love

Ever since watching a bio-pic on Meatloaf a few weeks back, I can't seem to stop listening to this song.

Guess my love for love ballads hasn't diminished.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Another 'Buffy' star expecting in the fall

Looks like spring is definitely in the air. The baby fever is certainly going around.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. are expecting their first child together, a source close to the couple confirms exclusively to PEOPLE. "They're very excited," says the source, adding that the actress, 31, is due in the fall.


Perhaps Sarah should pay a visit to new mom Alyson Hannigan for some pregnancy tips.

Congrats to Sarah and Freddie :). I'm betting on Amber Benson next.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Martina Hingis gets more support for wrongful ban

Michael Phelps gets a three-month ban while Martina Hingis gets two years. Am I missing something?
-- Aaron R., Bloomington

• It's not a perfect comparison. Different drugs, different circumstances, different sports. Hingis "failed" -- if you want to call it that -- a doping test administered in competition. There was no analytical evidence implicating Phelps; just a "damning" photo.

But your larger point is well-taken. To use a highly technical term, Hingis' test result stinks -- I wish she'd hired me as her lawyer. The timing makes no sense, as she knew the test was coming. The drug in question is generally not considered performance-enhancing. It was a first offense. In what would seem to be a tacit admission of wrongdoing, in the wake of the Hingis decision administrators now have more discretion to reduce punishment when there are extenuating circumstances ...yet she was handed what amounted to a lifetime ban. Unless, of course, she wanted to commit hundreds of thousands of dollars to an appeal. Athletes in other sports would barely get their knuckles rapped for an equivalent offense.

A few of you asked whether I thought Hingis, given her unfortunate exit from tennis, was still a lock for the Hall of Fame. I can speak only for myself but I would vote for her tomorrow without qualification. Five Grand Slams, a long stretch at No. 1, success in doubles. Never mind that it would be hypocritical to deny her, given that various other players enshrined in Newport, in addition to the past three U.S. presidents, have admitted to illicit drug use. I feel -- and you may have gotten this vibe by now -- that Hingis was really railroaded.

Source: sportsillustrated

I really hope Martina is reading some of these, because the WTA needs her more then ever these days.

I also agree on the Hall of Fame induction. She absolutely earned it, and there should be no reason for the tennis officials to even think twice about denying her that right.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Fox renews 'Dollhouse' axes 'Sarah Connor Chronicles'

The Fox network is just a step away from shaking up its Friday lineup for the 2009-10 season, canning one show and considering a move to a new night for a second.

Let's hit the good news first. Airlock Alpha has learned that Fox is looking to give its struggling "Dollhouse" a second season, to see if it can grow some legs on a new night. Fox had originally intended "Dollhouse" to air Mondays with "24," but Fox instead decided to move "House" to that spot to replace "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," and to create sort of a genre theme night on Fridays.

The audience for "Dollhouse" are not exactly where Fox had hoped they would be, however, critical reaction to later episodes following its February premiere has grown more positive toward the series as it has had the chance to flesh itself out. Showrunner Joss Whedon had said ahead of its premiere that he had gone back to retool certain aspects of the show, including using a new premiere episode than what was originally planned, eventually canning what would have been the premiere.

The move seems to be an easy one for Fox. While the audience hasn't been as large as expected, it has instead remained stable. It's not a number that Fox uses, but "Dollhouse" carries a BlipNetwork Stability Index Rating of 92.0, better than every other network genre show currently on television outside of "Reaper" on The CW, which has a 94.7. A Stability Index Rating is the comparison of the show's highest overnight rating and its average overnight rating to see how much of its overall audience a show has retained.

Other factors in favor of the show continuing is that it's not as expensive as other Fox shows. Much of its upfront costs, including the construction of the elaborate set that is the dollhouse itself, were covered by funds that normally would've paid for a pilot (no pilot was made for "Dollhouse"). Also, while Whedon's Mutant Enemy Productions and star Eliza Dushku's Boston Diva Productions are tied to the series, 20th Century Fox Television is still the primary production company involved, which means its licensing fee is not as steep as it would be if the show was produced by another studio.

That, along with ratings, is one of the aspects killing "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." That show is set to end its second season April 10 after a 22-episode run, but its sophomore season has been nothing but a complete struggle.

After a so-so debut on Mondays and never finding its grip after that with audiences, Fox teetered on canceling the show until surprisingly deciding to give it a full-season pickup and moving it to Fridays as a lead-in to "Dollhouse." Rumors were that Warner Bros. Television, which produces the show, slashed its licensing fee to prompt a pickup as a way to help it promote its upcoming "Terminator: Salvation," which premieres May 21.

Once "Salvation" premieres, it seems Warner Bros. will have little use to keep "Sarah Connor" on the air, and likely will not continue to provide a licensing fee discount for a third season. That almost assuredly will allow Fox to make the move it normally would've done before New Year's, and that's cancel the show.

Last year, "Sarah Connor" had the worst Stability Index Rating of all network genre shows, mostly from its inflated series premiere following the National Football League playoffs. This year, it's Stability Index Rating is stronger, but out of 14 network genre show tracked by Airlock Alpha this season, "Sarah Connor" is ranked 13th. Only "Life On Mars" had a worse Stability Index Rating, mostly from its freefall following its move from Thursdays against "Eleventh Hour" to Wednesdays following "Lost."

Of course, none of this has been confirmed by Fox, so it should be treated as any rumor would, meaning information can change, or could even be wrong.

"Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. "Dollhouse" airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.


I had a feeling this would happen, of course as the article says nothing is set in stone yet as these rumors have been circling around for a while. We'll have to wait for the official word from FOX at the end of May.

Personally, I'm really hoping they give Sarah Connor Chronicles another shot as well, because it is a really great show.

And it still has a lot of unrealized potential, but like Dollhouse it needs to be in a better time slot, and a better night in terms of it's schedule.

So I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the survival of both. And let's face it. It's not like FOX has something better to replace it with.

Monday, April 06, 2009

DWTS: Week 5 Viennese Waltz and Paso Doble

Since the above two aforementioned dances have always been my favourite I was really looking forward to tonight.

Chuck & Julianne kicked things off with their Viennese Waltz. Which was fairly well done. Chuck is definitely improving in his leadership role when he dances so that's nice to see.

With that said I really wish he received the Paso Doble instead. It would have given him a chance to show some confidence and some stronger emotions.

He's still got a long way to go in that respect. But not bad overall. The score wasn't too bad either 23/30.

Lawrence & Edyta were next with the Paso Doble. Which I thought was good, but not great. It lacked all the passion associated with the dance. I do think he looked much more natural out on the dance floor then he has since the beginning.

Definitely one of the better if not the best dances he's done. But I'm not sure whether it'll be enough to keep him in the competition. With a luckluster score of 20/30 he will certainly need the votes.

Mark & Shawn followed up with a very pretty Viennese Waltz. I actually had a feeling she would do well with this particular style, and I was right. She has a knack when it comes to poise and elegance (the top 2 elements needed for this dance).

The scores didn't completely reflect my feelings however, the judges only give them a 26/30. Which is nothing to cry about, but I thought they deserved something a little higher (at least that's one point higher then last week).

Tony & Melissa danced their Paso Doble. Which the judges thought contained a lot of mistakes. Since I'm neither a professional dancer nor a judge I'll just have to take their word on her supposed errors.

I didn't see anything wrong with it. In fact I thought she did quite well actually. She showed plenty of emotion and even when she messed up she kept it together. As Tony said it's much harder to continue on once you know you've made a mistake.

And we've had plenty of past examples with competitors who have made mistakes where the dances completely fell apart. So I give her huge credit for her recovery. 25/30 is nothing to sneeze at either.

David & Kym did the Viennese Waltz. He did an alright job, but it was nothing spectacular. The story they worked out for the dance was good but it didn't move me the same way that Shawn & Mark or even Gille & Cheryl did. With 22/30 he could also be in danger of heading home.

Gilles and Cheryl for the second week in a row the french actor was in a league of his own this time with the Paso Doble. I've said in the past that nothing could rival the intensity, passion and aggression of Mel and Max's 5th season Paso, but I think after tonight we may have found an equal. The man has superb lines when he moves.

With a near perfect score of 29/30 Gilles continues to be one of the top contenders who could end up taking it all in the end. Show of hands for those who wouldn't have minded if Gilles did the entire routine without his vest :D.

Steve-O & Lacey I was so glad to see him do better tonight I knew he could do it. I hope the audiance saves him again I would like to see him around for a little while longer. He gives this season some much needed entertainment.

Like Carrie Anne I'm not really a fan of shtick (the whole mime routine) when it comes to dance (especially the Viennese Waltz) but it worked really well. Earning them a score of 18/30.

Ty & Chelsie I was so disppoined with his score (21/30) tonight because I actually thought his performance wasn't as bad as the judges made it out to be.

Yes, he was stiff but that's kind of what the Paso Doble is all about anyway. I really hope the audiance doesn't decide to send him home based on this dance alone. He deserves to prove himself with a different dance.

Derek & 'Lil Kim danced the best Viennese Waltz of the night. And I think a lot of it can be attributed to their wonderful chemistry (as the judges themselves pointed out).

Not to mention Derek's flawless choreography once again. Frankly I was surprised they only got a 26/30.

I thought their total score would be much higher. But I'm not too worried I don't think those two are in any danger tomorrow night.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Chocolate makes you smarter

I always knew, the whole "chocolate is bad for you" bit was a crock!. And now there's proof.

Mental arithmetic became easier after volunteers had been given large amounts of compounds found in chocolate, called flavanols, in a hot cocoa drink.

They were also less likely to feel tired or mentally drained, the findings, presented at the British Psychological Society annual conference in Brighton show.

Prof David Kennedy, director of the brain, performance and nutrition research centre at Northumbria University, and a co-author of the study, said that chocolate could be beneficial for mentally challenging tasks.

The findings suggest students who binge on chocolate when revising for exams may gain a real benefit from doing so.

"For things that are difficult to do, mentally demanding things that maybe crop up in your work it could help," Prof Kennedy said.

The flavanols, part of a group of chemicals called polyphenols, work by increasing the flow of blood into the brain.

For the study 30 volunteers were asked to count backwards in groups of three from a random number between 800 and 999 generated by a computer.

The findings show that they could do the calculations more quickly and more accurately after they had been given the drink.

However, the same was not true when the group was asked to count backwards in groups of seven, which the researchers described as a more complex task, requiring a slightly different part of the brain.

The findings also show that the volunteers did not get as tired doing the calculations if they had been given the cocoa drink, despite being asked to do them over and over for an hour.

The researchers gave the volunteers a total of 500mg of flavanol.

Although the amount was too great to be found naturally in the diet, researchers said that people should ensure that they have lots of flavanols, also found in fruit and vegetables, on a regular basis.

Emma Wightman, one of the study's lead researchers, said: "You can get bars of chocolate that have 100mg of flavanol, and we are also going to look at the effect of lower doses of flavanol on the brain."

Dark chocolate contains higher quantaties of the chemical than plain or milk chocolate.

Prof Kennedy added: "The amount that you are giving is more than in the diet but there is quite a lot of evidence that general amounts are protective against declining function and that kind of thing.

"The more fruit and vegetables and things that are high in polyphenols the better that is for your brain in the long run."

I can't say I'm fully convinced. I ate (and drank) a lot of chocolate in school, and I never did any better in math.

Although I ate a lot of the milk variety, guess I should have gone with dark.

Source: via

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Song of the Moment: Fisher-Any Way

More songs from this great band can be found on their official website

Can't wait to hear the new album in May!.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Browsing boosts work productivity

Looks like surfing the net at work is not such a distraction after all.

Surfing the net at work for pleasure actually increases our concentration levels and helps make a more productive workforce, according to a new University of Melbourne study.

Dr Brent Coker, from the Department of Management and Marketing, says that workers who engage in ‘Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing’ (WILB) are more productive than those who don’t.

“People who do surf the Internet for fun at work - within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office - are more productive by about 9% than those who don’t,” he says.

“Firms spend millions on software to block their employees from watching videos on YouTube, using social networking sites like Facebook or shopping online under the pretense that it costs millions in lost productivity, however that’s not always the case.”

According to the study of 300 workers, 70% of people who use the Internet at work engage in WILB. Among the most popular WILB activities are searching for information about products, reading online news sites. Playing online games was the fifth most popular, while watching YouTube movies was seventh.

The attraction of WILB, according to Dr Coker, can be attributed to people’s imperfect concentration. “People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration. Think back to when you were in class listening to a lecture – after about 20 minutes your concentration probably went right down, yet after a break your concentration was restored.

“It’s the same in the work place. Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days work, and as a result, increased productivity.”

However Dr Coker says that it is important such browsing is done in moderation, as internet addiction can have the reverse effect. “Approximately 14% of internet users in Australia show signs of Internet Addiction – they don’t take breaks at appropriate times, they spend more than a ‘normal’ amount of time online, and can get irritable if they are interrupted while surfing.”

“WILB is not as helpful for this group of people - those who behave with internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without.”

Source: via

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fools with TSCC and Dollhouse

It seems that when it comes to April Fools not even t.v. stars can escape the pranks.

The lovely people at FOX tried to prank the main cast of Sarah Connor Chronicles.

I thought it started out well, but kind of fizzled out in the end, and just became incredibly lame. I agree with Thomas who's idea was this?.


Hmmm....FOX has a weird definition of the word "prank". Personally I think this works better:

Even Bones got it right:

Note to the folks at FOX, sometimes classic works best ;D.