Latest Gifts for the techies - 2011

Don't scale down this holiday season. The Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale not only measures your weight, fat mass, lean mass and body-mass index, but will then transmit that data to your an app on your smartphone and chart it out for you. Just what you need after a big meal. $159.00,

Latest Gifts for the techies - 2011

It's not the size of the speakers that matters. The Jawbone Jambox portable wireless speaker delivers crystal clear sound with an output of up to 85 decibels, enough to fill the largest of New York apartments. 199.99,

Latest Gifts for the techies - 2011

It's time to stop plugging your camera into your computer. The new Eye-Fi memory card has built in wi-fi capabilities that will tranfer photos and videos wirelessly straight from your digital camera straight to your smartphone, iPad or computer. $47.99 - $79.99,

Latest Gifts for the techies - 2011

See without being seen, that's the goal of the Spy Net Video Glasses, which can record up to 20 minutes of video with sound. Perfect for the budding young spy in all of us. $29.99,

Latest Gifts for the techies - 2011

Make your Skype/GChat experience a pleasurable one with the comfortable Logitech Wireless Headset H800, which connects to all devices via bluetooth and features a built-in equalizer. $99.99,

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bank of America to charge customers monthly fee for using debit cards, could spark trend among banks

Bank of America will charge customers with lower-tiered accounts a $5 monthly debit card fee.

Bank of America will charge customers with lower-tiered accounts a $5 monthly debit card fee

Count Bank of America as the latest lender to slap customers with a fee for using their debit cards.

Starting early next year, the nation's largest bank will charge many of its account holders $5 a month for making purchases with a debit card.

The move will only affect those with lower-tiered accounts, said the bank. BofA customers with Premium and Platinum Privileges accounts - which require balances of $20,000 and $50,000, respectively - will be exempt from fees, as will college students with CampusEdge accounts.

Customers making cash withdrawals at the bank's ATM machines will also be spared the fee. The charge would only apply in months a customer buys something using a debit card.

Bank of America - the beneficiary of $45 billion in taxpayer-funded bailouts since the financial crisis in 2008 - is introducing the fee to offset anticipated lost revenue from recent legislation that limits how much banks can charge for overdrafts, debit-card swipes and other fees.

"The economics of offering a debit card have changed with recent regulations," BofA spokeswoman Anne Pace said Thursday.

Several U.S. banks, including Wells Fargo, Chase and SunTrust, have already implemented fees from $3 to $5 or are testing it in certain markets. BofA's joining the pack could be an ominous sign that more banks will follow suit, said Bill Hardekopf, CEO of

"Like any industry, the top companies look at each other to see what they're doing to generate revenue, so this could be a harbinger of things to come as others may follow," Hadekopf said.

"This could be the beginning of a trend among top ten banks with large debit card portfolios," Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research for, told the Daily News.

"Hopefully competitive factors will prevent other banks from following suit."

First Lady Michelle Obama goes incognito during shopping trip to Target

Michelle Obama carried two bags full of purchases as she left the Target store on Thursday.

The First Lady, 47, tried to go incognito Thursday when she went shopping at a Target store in Alexandria, Va., just outside Washington.

Though usually outfitted in designer duds, Obama dressed down for the trip, wearing a gray baseball cap, sunglasses and a floral-print button-down shirt. She seemed to go unnoticed as she was photographed pushing a shopping cart and carrying two bags full of purchases.

"It is not uncommon for the First Lady to slip out to run an errand, eat at a local restaurant or otherwise enjoy the city outside the White House gates," Kristina Schake, communications director for the First Lady, said.

 According to The Associated Press, casually dressed Secret Service agents arrived about a half-hour before the First Lady, who walked in through the main entrance with an assistant. She reportedly spent 30 to 40 minutes shopping and pushed her own cart.

Obama waited in line with an assistant before checking out. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

"People did not approach her, she was very incognito," Maria Panagopulof, manager of the Target store, told CNN. "We didn't realize truly what was happening until she had almost left. The cashier recognized her, but she was very unassuming."

"We did not have advance notice; it was as big a surprise to us as it was to everyone else," Panagopulof added. "In hindsight, there was a sweep, but it was not obvious to us beforehand. When she left we thought 'Oh, that's what that was!'"

In May, the First Lady told Oprah Winfey that casual shopping trips were one of the things she has missed since coming to the White House.

"I think one of the greatest sacrifices for people like us -- who like being with people --- is that it's the bubble," Obama said. "We talked about it. I can't go to Target and walk around. I guess I could but it would mess up everyone else's shopping experience." 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Two-faced cat, 'Frank and Louie,' enters Guinness World Record book

A cat named Frank and Louie was entered into the Guinness World Record for becoming the longest-living two-faced cat in the world.

A cat named Frank and Louie was entered into the Guinness World Record for becoming the longest-living two-faced cat in the world.

A freaky feline slinked its way into the record books by becoming the longest-living two-headed cat in the world.

"Frank and Louie," a member of an exotic breed of two-faced cats known as Janus cats, was officially crowned the longest-surviving member of its breed by Guinness World Records after turning 12 on Sept. 8.

The creepy kitty has two mouths, two noses and three eyes, but only one brain, caused by a rare birth defect known as diprosopia. The condition occurs in many animals, including humans.

He eats and purrs out of the right side of his face, or the "Frank side," owner Marty Stevens said.

Stevens, who lives in Worchester, Mass., said Frank and Louie nearly lost all nine lives as a newborn when his original owner visited the Tufts University vet clinic where she worked a dozen years ago.

"He was brought in at a day old to be euthanized and I said, 'I'll take him,' and they let me," Marty told the Worchester Telegram.

Frank and Louie's owner says he behaves like a normal cat and likes to take walks outside. (Steven Senne/AP)

Janus cats – named for the two-faced god Janus from Roman mythology – typically don't live very long, experts say.

"I have seen many two-headed animals die within a week," Todd Ray, of the Venice Beach Freakshow in California, told The Huffington Post. "To see one alive for weeks is incredible, but to have one alive for years is truly amazing."

Stevens says Frank and Louie is just like any other pet. He's playful and loves going for walks on a leash, though neighbors who come in for a scratch usually do a double-take.

"He's just so affectionate and sweet he usually wins people over," Stevens said

The intelligent T-shirt that can monitor your heart, your temperature and even track your movements around the hospital

The intelligent t-shirt: Scientists said the idea was to make health monitoring non-intrusive and comfortable

The days of hooking heart patients up to monitors that effectively tie them to their hospital beds could be numbered.

Scientists in Spain say they have developed intelligent T-shirts that monitor both a person's heart rate and temperature, which could be on sale within six months.

The smart clothing is made from conductive 'e-textiles' which have electrodes integrated into the fabric. This is used to measure a person's heart rate and can even take an ECG.

The raw data is collected by an 'acquisition device' (AD) worn around the neck under the T-shirt, which sends it on wirelessly to a management system, which interprets the results.

The AD also contains a thermometer that presses against the skin and an accelerometer, which reveals if a patient is lying down or sitting up and how active they are.

'The idea of it is to be non-intrusive,' said developer Jose Ignacio Moreno, from Carlos III University in Madrid.

'The patient can be monitored in real-time without any cables due to the wireless platform, so they can stay in bed or walk around as they wish.'

The system also has an alarm that doctors can tailor to each patient so that it emits a warning if their temperature or heart rate increases to a dangerous level for them.

Under the surface: The thermometer and accelerometer are carried on a device worn around the neck

Under the surface: The thermometer and accelerometer are carried on a device worn around the neck

Trial: Five patients were tracked using the Lobin healthcare system. Both their temperature and heart rate were monitored

Trial: Five patients were tracked using the Lobin healthcare system. Both their temperature and heart rate were monitored

The close-fitting T-shirt made from 'e-textile' material developed by the company Textronics, can even be put in the wash, which is a useful quality for eliminating any hospital bugs.

The user-friendly unit, called the Lobin healthcare-monitoring system, was created over 18months by four Spanish companies in partnership with Jose Moreno, Gregorio Lopez, and Victor Custodio at Carlos III University in Madrid.

It was tested in 2010 by five patients at the Cardiology Unit of La Paz Hospital in Madrid. 

The researchers said the three-month trial yielded promising results that were comparable to traditional monitors as long as the patient didn't make sudden movements such as jumping.



Doctors can track where several patients are in a hospital at once thanks to a specially-designed locating system.

Beacons are set up around the hospital that send signals periodically using fixed transmission power.

The acquisition device turns itself on every nine seconds and receives the signal from the various beacons.

It sends this information on to a subsystem that then calculates where the patient is using an algorithm.

Readings of the heart's electrical activity are taken by pairs of electrodes in the material every 4miliseconds.

The acquisition device collects 65 ECG samples before sending them on to the management system, which then interprets the information.

A resulting ECG graph reveals if there are any problems with the heart's rhythm.

'In the short-term the T-shirt does not aim to replace conventional ECG devices. However, the T-shirt can be used to monitor patients' status over longer periods of time,' the scientists said.

They said in the future the device would allow doctors to monitor patients at home and so reduce the amount of time they would need to stay in hospital.

It could also lead to early diagnosis of heart abnormalities in sportsmen.

The Carlos III University scientists, said: 'Some additional tests need still to be performed in order to fine tune the platform.

'But we expect the prototype to become a commercial product within six to 12 months.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit cancer-stricken children at Royal Marsden hospital

It was the hospital Princess Diana chose for her first solo charity trip.

So it is rather fitting that the Duchess of Cambridge should follow suit for her second official engagement since the Royal Wedding with husband Prince William today.

Kate was all smiles in an elegant cream Amanda Wakeley dress at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in South London, where she spent the afternoon meeting medical staff, young patients and their parents.


William is president of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trus

William, president of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, poses with patient Ellis Andrews at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in South London


The Royal couple meet Digby Davidson, was treated for cancer last year but suffered a relapse and spends much of his time in hospital

The Royal couple also met Digby Davidson as part of their tour of the Oak Centre, a new £18m cancer unit

A sleep-deprived William, who flew a mercy mission just hours before opening the new £18 million children's cancer unit, looked slightly less sprightly but just as enthusiastic as he chatted with patients.

William and Kate, both 29, are touring the Oak Centre for Children and Young People which has been built to treat day and inpatients.

Before the couple's arrival, patients and hospital staff crowded on to the building's balconies, some waving Union flags, and  a huge cheer erupted as Kate and William's car pulled up.

After waving to the crowds, the Duke and Duchess met Royal Marsden's chief executive, Cally Palmer, and chairman, Ian Molson.

Kate and Beth Ansell

Kate chats animatedly to 18-year-old patient Beth Ansell

Referring to his overnight search and rescue call-out, William joked: 'It was a bit of an early morning.

'It's great to be here finally - we've been talking about this for a while.'

The couple met two young leukaemia sufferers as they toured the new unit which has greatly improved the facilities for patients.

They joined Digby Davidson, 14, and his parents, Hermione, 41, and Fergus, 38, in a four-bed ward.

As the Duke walked in, he had his jacket off, sleeves rolled up and was rubbing antiseptic gel into hishands.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Royal Marsden to open a new £18 million children's cancer unit in Sutton, Surrey today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted by  a huge cheer and fans carrying Union Jacks

Duchess of Cambridge
Duchess of Cambridge
Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess, wearing a Amanda Wakeley dress, is spending her time trying to get to know various charities and good causes so she can decide what her future role will be

Digby was treated for cancer last year but suffered a relapse which meant he had spent much of the previous three months in the new hospital unit which began treating patients in 2010.

William asked the teenager if they could join him on the bed and they laughed as the head of the bed was lowered and the royal couple sat either side of the young patient.

In a nearby bright lime green alcove containing a series of shelves, Digby had a few personal possessions and William quickly spotted a picture of the 14-year-old in military uniform.

'Is that you?' the Duke asked, and Digby, dressed in flip flops, bright Bermuda shorts and a dark T-shirt, explained he was in the Army Cadet Force.

Mrs Davidson made everyone laugh when she said her son had missed Army camp because of his relapse.

Welcome wagon: The Duchess greets some fans
Welcome wagon: The Duchess greets some fans

Welcome wagon: Kate greets some if her younger fans


Children and staff wait for the couples' arrival

Children and hospital staff wait for the couple to arrive carrying a welcome banner

The teenager and his parents spent around 10 minutes chatting privately to the royal couple and Mrs Davidson said afterwards: 'William was joking about Digby's flip flops and shorts - he said he had a tropical theme that fitted in with decor.'

Digby, the 14-year-old leukaemia patient, said later: 'William and Kate were asking when I last came in and if my friends came to see me.'

Mrs Davidson, a special needs teacher from Haywards Heath in West Sussex, said the royals came across as a normal couple.

She said: 'They were just very laid back and easy to talk to, it didn't feel strange.'

Later Harry Poil, 12, and his father Tony, 55, a Gatwick Airport security officer from Crawley, West Sussex met the Duke and Duchess.

Duchess of Cambridge

Prince William, greeting hospital staff, was also invited to unveil a plaque to officially open the centre 

Prince William & The Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a visit to The Royal Marsden Hospital Sutton
Prince William and his wife Catherine

The sleep-deprived Duke flew a mercy mission to take a sailor to see a seriously-ill relative just hours before today's even, left, while Kate looked as glossy as usual


The schoolboy said sport was the topic of conversation he shared with William.

The 12-year-old said: 'I'm a Chelsea supporter and we were chatting about last night's (Champions League) match. We had a penalty against us and William thought it was a bit dubious.

'He asked me if I was a cricket fan, and I said I was, and if I had been following the Ashes series. Kate said she was more into rugby than football.

During the visit, William was reunited with Alice Marples, a cancer patient who interviewed him two years ago for the CBBC Newsround programme.

The 12-year-old, who is due to fly to America to receive radiotherapy for a brain tumour, presented Kate with a bouquet of flowers when she arrived at the hospital.

Britain's Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge
 Duke of Cambridge

Kate received a bouquet of flowers from Alice Marples, a cancer patient who interviewed Prince William two years ago

First solo trip: Diana visited the Royal Marsden in 1982

First solo trip: Diana visited the Royal Marsden in 1982

A St James's Palace spokesman told the London Evening Standard: 'The Duke is looking forward to seeing Alice again and finding out how she has been.

'Through his close connection with the hospital he has met many inspirational young people, like Alice, who have shown such bravery in battling their illness.

'Tomorrow, he is keen to show the Duchess the incredible work the Royal Marsden does to help Alice and others like her.'

William is president of the Royal Marsden - the first hospital in the world dedicated to cancer treatment and research into the causes of the disease.

He took over from his mother, who took on the role in 1989 until her death in 1997.

William went without sleep last night as he ferried the serviceman from a warship off the Isle of Man to Sandhurst in Surrey.

The royal flew back to his base at RAF Valley on Anglesey just after 9am before making the trip to open the Royal Marsden's new £18 million children's cancer unit in Sutton, south London, a few miles from Sandhurst.

The duke, an RAF search and rescue force helicopter co-pilot, carried out the 'compassionate call-out' during a normal 24-hour shift which also saw him help pick up a casualty with serious head injuries in Snowdonia.

 The Royal Marsden NHS

The Royal Marsden is a cancer centre specialising in diagnosis, treatment, research and education


A St James's Palace spokesman said the duke would have got little, if any, sleep and was expected to arrive at Oak Centre for Children and Young People on a royal flight helicopter this afternoon.

His wife, who was in London, was arriving by car.

The royal couple have been enjoying married life together in North Wales since their glittering nuptials in April.

They have deliberately kept a low profile over recent months as the Duke, a flight lieutenant with the RAF Search and Rescue Force, is focusing on earning a promotion to captain. 

Cheryl Cole looks hotter than ever in sexy unseen calendar pictures

For most people, an outtake is something that wasn't good enough to include in a movie or photoshoot.

But that doesn't seem to be the case for Cheryl Cole, who shared two never-before-seen pictures from her calendar on Twitter.

The 28-year-old singer looks hotter than ever in the photographs, which didn't make the cut to be included on the 2012 edition of her calendar.

Hotter than ever: Cheryl Cole shared two outtakes from her 2012 calendar shoot with her fans on Twitter

Hotter than ever: Cheryl Cole shared two outtakes from her 2012 calendar shoot with her fans on Twitter

In one shot, Cheryl is seen showing off her toned figure in a pair of tiny denim shorts and low-cut white blouse.

Sultry: In this sexy black and white shot, Cheryl glances sexily over her shoulder

Sultry: In this sexy black and white shot, Cheryl glances sexily over her shoulder

Her hair is left in soft waves around her face, while a floral garland sits atop her head, giving the picture a hippy feel about it.

In another artful black and white shot, a topless Cheryl glances sexily across her shoulder while holding her hair away from her face, using just a white sheet to conceal her modesty.

Cheryl only signed up for a Twitter account earlier this year, but has since been keeping fans updated on what has been going on in her life.

Yesterday, the Girls Aloud star teased followers about her upcoming music projects, admitting she is desperate to make her new songs public.

She tweeted: 'I'm gonna have to get some patience.. This is hard.. I'm too frustrated with excitement for you to hear my new music.. I could pop!!'

However, one thing Cheryl didn't share with her fans was the news that she has apparently found herself a new love interest.

The stunning brunette, who has been in New York for the past few weeks, was spotted going into Manhattan hotel followed by music producer Alex Da Kid, with whom she has been working on her new material.

A source told the Sun: 'Cheryl and Alex have struck up a great friendship and have been living in each other's pockets for the past week.

'Some of the recording sessions have run into the very early hours with just the two of them and a laptop in their hotel rooms.

'Cheryl has been suffering from jet lag and couldn't sleep , so they have just worked through the night. It hasn't been all work though - they've enjoyed some play too.

'If the music is going to work, then they need to find their own chemistry.'

Glamour: The Official Cheryl Cole Calendar is on sale in stationery stores, or online at



Holly Madison insures her 36D breasts for $1million

Money makers: Holly Madison has revealed her breasts are insured for $1million

Former Girls Next Door star Holly Madison has insured her breasts for $1m.

The ex-girlfriend of Playboy chief Hugh Hefner has taken out the insurance policy for her most famous assets with Lloyds of London.

She said she decided to protect her 36D boobs while appearing in a Las Vegas burlesque show called Peepshow.

Madison, 31, said: 'I've heard about people getting body parts insured and I thought, why not?, because if anything happened to my boobs, I'd be out for a few months and I'd probably be out a million dollars,' she said. 'I thought I'd cover my assets.'

Madison appears topless during parts of the show and accepted her breasts were by far her biggest selling point to fans.

'I think it's kind of funny. I think they're getting the credit they deserve,' she told People magazine.

'They're my primary money makers right now.'

Madison was one of three Playboy centerfolds who appeared in the reality series 'Girls Next Door' along with Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson.

All three lived with 84-year-old Hefner at the Playboy mansion and the series followed their day to day activities.

After moving into the Playboy mansion in 2001 she was considered Hefner's favourite girlfriend, but the relationship ended in 2008 over his refusal to get married.

Vegas showgirl: Holly, with singer Aubrey O'Day, on stage during a performance of Peepshow

Vegas showgirl: Holly, with singer Aubrey O'Day, on stage during a performance of Peepshow

Despite splitting with Hefner in 2008 she filmed the sixth series of the show which also featured his latest girlfriend Crystal Harris who ended up jilting the Playboy founder at the altar earlier this year.

The model is the latest celebrity to take out an insurance policy of their most valuable body parts.

Model Heidi Klum is said to have insured her legs for $1m and Jennifer Lopez was reported to have insured her bottom for $27m.

Ex: Holly with her former boyfried, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner


Shayne Lamas reveals the name of her unborn baby girl

Reality star Shayne Lamas is having a baby girl and is planning to name her Press.

The pregnant star is expecting a baby with husband Nik Ritchie and revealed the gender and name in a new interview with E! News.

She said: 'Her name came to us at the beginning of my pregnancy, because she was getting so much press.

Baby joy: Pregnant Shayne Lamas, pictured here with husband Nik Richie in Cabo earlier this month, has revealed she is calling her unborn daughter Press

Baby joy: Pregnant Shayne Lamas, pictured here with husband Nik Richie in Cabo earlier this month, has revealed she is calling her unborn daughter Press

'It started as a joke, her nickname was 'Press Baby,' but when we found out it was a girl, suddenly that was her name - her name was going to be Press!

'I think Press is a beautiful name, we're elated, little princess Press!' 

Shayne, who is the daughter of US TV star Lorenzo Lamas, wed her businessman husband  last year. 

They married at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas in April last year within just hours of meeting one another.

Whirlwind romance: The pair married in April last year within just hours of meeting one another

Whirlwind romance: The pair married in April last year within just hours of meeting one another

Richie, who founded the celebrity website, told Radar Online: 'I'm really excited. I didn't want it to get out until I was 100 per cent ready for it but at the same time, she looks beautiful and I think she should embrace her body right now.'

Her father Lorenzo, who starred in The Bold and The Beautiful and now has his own reality show Leave It to the Lamas, said: 'I'm speechless. I'm happy for them I want to be called Papa Lolo by the baby. It's easy for a kid to wrap their tongue around.'

Shayne, who played Carly Corinthos on General Hospital in 2005, won season 12 of the Bachelor and was briefly engaged to financier Matt Grant in 2008.

They called off their relationship in July of that same year.

She is said to be due on 11-11-11.

Shocking video shows attempted murder of teen outside Brooklyn McDonald's.

The scene in Brooklyn where shooting took place.

The scene in Brooklyn where shooting took place.

See the Live Vedio:

Three toughs pulled off a choreographed plan to pass a gun between them like a hot potato before one of them opened fire at a teen outside a Brooklyn McDonald's - and all of it was caught on camera.

The chilling surveillance video, released by police Wednesday night, shows the artful rubout bid that nearly ended the life of Tyquan Sewall, 18, in Flatlands about 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Sewall was ambushed, shot at point-blank range and then hit three more times, leaving him critically wounded, police said.

The dramatic video shows the gunman unloading on Sewall with a .32-caliber Smith & Wesson outside of the fast food joint, sending him rolling out into the street, passing through at least two lanes of traffic.

Near the end of the clip, two men can be seen running over and snatching two white bags that Sewall had dropped onto the street - and high-tailing it out of there on foot just as a police van pulls up.

Before the violence, Sewall, who lives just blocks from the burger shop, had gotten into an argument on nearby Flatbush Ave., a block away from CUNY-Brooklyn College.

During that spat, a man told Sewall to come with him to the McDonald's, police said.

A throwdown, and not greasy burgers and fries, seems to have been their desire.

Sewall followed, but couldn't see that an intricate gun handoff was unfolding on the sidewalk outside the McDonald's - an elaborate scheme caught on an NYPD camera before Sewall walked into the frame, and his terrible fate.

"What you see here is a pretty elaborate choreography of handing off the gun from the first player, to the second player and to the gunman - all along luring the victim to the ambush," said Paul Browne, top spokesman for the NYPD.

The video shows a man in a white T-shirt approach another man wearing a black shirt and carrying a black bag. The man in the white T-shirt is handed the bag and pulls out the revolver as his pal walks inside the restaurant.

The armed man waited at the door until a man clad in a red jacket - the one who was arguing with Sewall earlier - walked up and took the loaded piece.

As the pair walked into the restaurant, a furious Sewall marched toward the entrance.

Suddenly, the gunman stepped out of the door, aimed the pistol at Sewall's head and fired - but his aim was not as good as their gun-handoff plot.

The bullet grazed the left side of Sewall's head, sending him staggering back toward the curb as frightened onlookers scurried out of the way.

The gunman stepped toward Sewall to finish him off. He squeezed off another round that caused Sewall to drop and convulse on the street. The shooter fired three more times as the wounded teen tried to roll out of the way and into the middle of the busy road.

Sewall - who has eight prior arrests, including five for robbery - was hit in the torso, groin and leg in addition to the graze wound. Police said he was in critical but stable condition at Kings County Hospital Wednesday.

The gunman and the gun-passers fled out of a back entrance of the restaurant and dumped the six-shooter - which still had one live round left in it - in a trash can a block away, police said.

Investigators were still searching Wednesday for the gunman and his accomplices, who are believed to be known to Sewall, police sources said.

Sewall's friends who witnessed the wild shooting told police they didn't recognize any of the suspects - a story detectives aren't buying, the sources said.

Police hope someone who sees the video will recognize one of the conspirators. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers tipline at            800-577-TIPS      .

America's Next Top Model

Angelea and Allison show off their "booty tooch," an illusion to create both height and curves.

Angelea and Allison show off their "booty tooch," an illusion to create both height and curves.

Being a model is so much more than just being a pretty face, as explained in Wednesday night's "America's Next Top Model: All-Stars."

They have to be role models, spokespeople and mini-moguls. Solely modeling and trying to scrape by posing in front of a camera is so passe. In "ANTM" terms, "so eleven cycles ago."

So thank the fashion gods above that these wannabes have a good-hearted fairy godmother like Tyra Banks to show them how to really stretch out 15 minutes of fame. This time around, she wants them to get through an interview and impress newly-shorn judge Nigel Barker, who thankfully got rid of his ridiculous coiffure last week.

The contestants arrive at The Grove outdoor shopping mall and are split into two groups chosen by last week's winner and runner up: the rabblerousing and "Celebrity Rehab" alumni Lisa and the histrionic Bianca. The task: to impress the judges through mini soundbyte answers.

Lisa chooses Alexandria, Lisa, Laura, Dominique, Isis and Angelea on her team, while Bianca selects Allison, Shannon, Bre, Kayla and Camille.

Nothing new or out of the ordinary here - a task which requires models to talk to a reporter (Mario Lopez for "Extra") -- except that the winning team is safe from elimination. The news puts added pressure on the girls, like Lisa, who becomes overly excited. She proceeds to hog the attention, cutting in whenever she likes, and 
obnoxiously high-fiving her teammates after every answer.

Bianca's team fares just a little better. Kayla, Bre and Camille are expectedly boring and dry, but the true shining star and redeeming member surprisingly is Allison, who answers her question with confidence, quirkiness, and overall cuteness. Bravo.

The gang gathers with guest judge Kristin Cavallari. (Jaimie Trueblood/The CW)

When Nigel provides feedback he tells each girl what they need to improve. Angelea, he says, needs to show more of her personality.

Later, in the bus when the girls are being transported to their photoshoot, she has none of it and spews anger of his disapproval to poor Alexandria. Apparently, she's not just, in her words, a "hood bitch." 

At the photo shoot, they're told they will be placed on stilts with a partner: one person from the winning team and one from the losing team.

Bianca - who has a phobia of heights - remembers her shoot from her past cycle (which she opted out of) and begins having a mini crisis in the bathroom.

Meanwhile, the shoot goes on. While some girls like Allison shine others fade to the background like Isis and Camille who fall flat in their photos.

"How am I going to have someone who's transgendered do a better job than a real woman?" deadpans Camille to the camera.

At panel, Tyra goes through her same spiel and introduces the two other judges, Nigel Barker and Andre Leon Talley. Then she introduces guest judge Kristin Cavallari, the former "Hills" vixen now competing on "Dancing with the Stars."

First up is Alexandria and Shannon. The judges rave over Alexandria's pose with one foot bent in the air.

"So Lady Gaga, so exciting," Talley quips.

Next is Angelea and Allison. But before their judging, Angelea has that bone to pick with Barker.

"I just have to address you, Nigel. I tried to be more professional. You should've been more silly, I don't know what you want," she tells him.

Barker then tells her that she needs to come out of her shell more and show off her "wonderful" personality.

She's satisfied with the answer - for now - and judging goes on.

The four judges aren't too impressed with her photo this week, but are pleased with Allison and the position of her bum.

Apparently, Allison is doing what Tyra labels the "booty tooch," where her backside is shoved up into the air making an illusion that she's taller -and curvier - than she is.

"Say tooch the booty," she instructs her class of models while giving another example of it.

"Do you know how to tooch the booty?" she asks Cavallari.

"Like that?" the confused blonde demonstrates not quite knowing what she's doing, her bottom kissing the air.

"Yes, that was a great tooch," Banks replies.

And like that, as quickly as "smize" became a new Tyra-ism, so was born the "booty tooch."

While Dominique and Kayla both received okay reviews, Tyra and the gang also pointed out how the latter model should've done a little more with the booty. A tooch perhaps.

Laura and Bre receive rave reviews as well for being a contrast between masculine and feminine. But Cavallari is not a fan of Bre's robotic, expressionless face.

Isis and Camille are, expectedly, the worst in the bunch.

"It's clubby," Talley points out. "There are girl on stilts, there's one with silver leggings." Nothing special.

Finally judging begins. Tyra first calls out the girls who won the challenge and proceeds to tell Allison that she had the week's best photo.

"Say tooch," she instructs.

And like a good little Top Model, Allison squeals ever-so-cutely: "Tooch!"

Next is Bianca, Shannon, Bre, Kayla, then Camille.

Out of the losing team Alexandria, Lisa, Laura and Dominique are deemed safe, leaving Isis and Angelea as the bottom two.

In the end, it's Isis who is sent home.

This cycle really does prove that the second time around isn't any easier.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Woman Sues Over ‘Miniskirt Mondays’

woman sues over miniskirt mondays

A woman is suing her former boss over office dress code, including "miniskirt Mondays"

In most professions (read: not fashion), wearing a mini to the office is considered a faux pas. One Utah boss tried to make it a requirement—and now he’s getting sued.

Trudy Nycole Anderson has accused her former employer Derek Wright of sexual harassment, including attempting to enforce a dress code that included “miniskirt Mondays,” “tube top Tuesdays,” “wet T-shirt Wednesdays,” “no bra Thursdays,” and “bikini top Fridays.” (Apparently, his alliterative skills tapered off as the week went on.)

In addition, Anderson alleges that Wright, the owner of Lone Peak Controls and D&L Electric Control Company in Pleasant Grove, Utah, watched pornography in his office, touched her inappropriately, and fired her after she reported the sexual harassment.

"As a result of the stress and emotional trauma of this experience, Ms. Anderson has been losing sleep, seeking professional help and has ulcers," the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court, reads, according to the New York Daily News.

Women dominate social networking

Women are more likely to use social media then men, according to a survey.

Women are more likely to use social media then men, according to a survey.
Women are leading the way when it comes to social networking. 

They're significantly more likely to use Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media then men, according to a survey by the Internet telecommunications company Rebtel.

Men are more likely to use phones and voicemail to stay in the loop.

According to Rebtel's research, 68% of women use social media to stay in touch with their friends compared to only 54% of men; 60% of women use it to keep in touch with family, compared to only 42% of men. 

Women are also more likely to use social networks to correspond with their colleagues -- 34% compared to just 22% of men.

"Our findings show that men tend to lag behind women when it comes to communicating with others through social media, which debunks other recent studies that suggest that men are more savvy networkers between the sexes," said Rebtel CEO Andreas Bernstrom. 

Apple to launch iPhone 5

Apple is reportedly set to announce the new iPhone 5 on Oct. 4 in Cupertino, Calif.

Apple has begun sending out invitations to the media for its Oct. 4 event in Cupertinio, Calif., where the tech dynamo is expected to announce the new iPhone 5.

The event will be the first iPhone reveal since last summer and also the first with new CEO Tim Cook, who took over after Steve Jobs resigned from that position last month. Jobs still remains with the company as Chairman of the Board.

According to Mashable, the new iPhone will have a bigger screen, 1GB of RAM and an aluminum back. The tech blog also reports that Facebook is rumored to be launching its long-awaited and long-delayed iPad application at the event.

And Apple looks to also be expanding the iPhone in other ways. After opening the popular phone up to Verizon customers this year, Sprint is expected to receive the iPhone next.

'The Lion King 3D' roars to the top of the box office with $29.3M opening

The original 'Lion King' made more than $40 million when it opened nationwide 17 years ago.

The original 'Lion King' made more than $40 million when it opened nationwide 17 years ago.

LOS ANGELES -- It's 1994 all over again, with a re-release of "The Lion King" opening at the top of the box office.

A 3-D version of the wildly popular Disney animated musical earned a surprising $29.3 million in its first weekend in theaters, according to Sunday estimates. The original film made more than $40 million when it opened nationwide 17 years ago.

This huge number stunned many people, including the folks at Disney, who figured "The Lion King" would make somewhere between $10 million and $12 million, said Dave Hollis, the studio's executive vice president of distribution.

He said the movie remains relevant and as entertaining as it was when it first came out.

"But taking a page from the movie, there is a `circle of life' thing happening," he said, referring to one of the film's themes. "You have children of the `90s who are now parents of the 2010s and they themselves are taking their kids to share what was, for them, a great experience two decades ago."

It also helps that there aren't many options for families at the multiplex right now, said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for

"The post-summer period brings a preponderance of R-rated films and more challenging, esoteric, Oscar-caliber fare," he said. "For kids this is like a dream come true and for parents to be able to revisit `The Lion King' - especially in 3-D, even though 3-D has taken a bad rap over the past year - just tells you the power that this movie has, how strong it resonates with people."

Hollis said that while the film was also available in 2-D, 92 percent of the opening weekend's business came from 3-D showings.

The story of a wrongly exiled lion prince (voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas as a cub and Matthew Broderick as an adult) who must return home to claim his throne, "The Lion King" was the second-highest-grossing film of 1994, behind "Forrest Gump."

It ranks fourth on the all-time animated list with over $784 million. It earned Academy Awards for Hans Zimmer's original score and for original song for Elton John and Tim Rice's "Can You Feel the Love Tonight."

Last week's No. 1 movie, Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion," dropped a spot in its second weekend. The Warner Bros. viral thriller made about $14.5 million for a total of $44.2 million.

Among the other new releases, the critical darling "Drive" came in at No. 3 with just over $11 million. Ryan Gosling stars as a stoic wheelman in the retro action picture from FilmDistrict.

"Straw Dogs," a remake of the 1971 Sam Peckinpah thriller from Sony Screen Gems, opened in fifth place with only $5 million. It stars James Marsden and Kate Bosworth as a married couple under siege in the rural South.

"I Don't Know How She Does It," based on the best-seller of the same name, came in at No. 6 with just $4.5 million. The Weinstein Co. comedy stars Sarah Jessica Parker as a wife and mother of two struggling to balance her home life with her demanding job.

Dergarabedian said such disappointing showings aren't all that surprising this time of year. Last weekend was the slowest so far this year at the box office.

"It's been tough marketplace for wide releases. The newcomers are being met with some indifference," he said. "The audience was obviously a family audience that took over the multiplex this weekend."

Young people having more unprotected sex: study

A new study showed sharp increases among sexually active teenagers in the US and European countries such as France who were failing to use contraception with a new partner.

A new study showed sharp increases among sexually active teenagers in the US and European countries such as France who were failing to use contraception with a new partner.
Safe sex? Fewer young people are worried about it. 

The number of young people having unprotected sex in the West has risen sharply over the past two years, a survey said Monday.

Health professionals are concerned the safe sex message has begun to fall on deaf ears.

The study by the Parenthood Foundation showed particularly sharp increases among sexually active teenagers in the United States and in European countries such as France who were failing to use contraception with a new partner.

In the United States, the percentage rose from 38% in 2009 to 53% now, while France saw an increase from 19% to 40%.

The survey to mark World Contraception Day also discovered that Thailand is a particular cause for concern because as many of 62% of young Thais have had unprotected sex with a new partner.

But the figure was above 50% in countries as diverse as China, South Korea, Norway and Estonia.

The study highlights that across Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America and the United States, the most common reason for not using contraception is a lack of preparedness for sexual activity.

Up to a third of young people in those regions said they did not have any form of contraception available when at the time of intercourse.

Jennifer Woodside of the International Planned Parenthood Federation said: "What the results show is that too many young people either lack good knowledge about sexual health, do not feel empowered enough to ask for contraception or have not learned the skills to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies or STIs (sexually transmitted infections)."

The survey, which was funded by German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer, involved 5,426 young people in 26 countries in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and United States, as well as 600 people in Egypt, and was conducted between April and May this year.

It concerned people aged 15 to 24, although it included respondents up to the age of 30 in Egypt.

New York Times Square up for redesign

Rendering of Times Square 's redesign. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2013 and end in 2014.

Rendering of Times Square 's redesign. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2013 and end in 2014.

Times Square is getting a sleek new makeover.

The architects behind the National September 11 Memorial & Museum have unveiled their plans to spruce up the Theater District's pedestrianized area with a multimillion-dollar redesign.

Under the proposals, yet to be finalized, the shabby blue-and- beige painted asphalt will be replaced with stone or concrete, and large benches and chairs will replace the wobbly red metal seats currently scattered around the area.

"We wanted to reduce the clutter ... and create a unified identity for the heart of Times Square," said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, who has been working closely with the architects.

"It'll look dramatically different, but we like that in some ways the design is about more being less," he said.

Snohetta Design revealed its preliminary designs at a Monday night meeting of Manhattan's Community Board 5.

Construction should begin next fall and be completed by 2014.

"The general reaction was very favorable," said Wally Rubin, Community Board 5 district manager.

"It's taken years of thought and work and dialogue to make Times Square the kind of place that looks good and works for the purposes that it's designed for."

The ground will be leveled to remove traces of the old curbs and sidewalks, and it will be embedded with stainless steel "pucks" no bigger than a nickel to reflect the lights coming off Times Square's vibrant signs.

The number of light poles will be reduced.

Officials hope the zone, which runs from W. 42nd to W. 47th Sts., will provide a place for tourists to congregate while still enabling frenetic New Yorkers who live and work in the area to pass through unhindered.

"The new design looks better. It fits better with the buildings and the lights and the environment," said Nicole Stutzmann, 16, visiting New York with her parents from Switzerland.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lady Gaga releases new 'You and I' short

Lady Gaga dons fish gills and a mermaid tale in a short from her 'You and I' music video.

Lady Gaga dons fish gills and a mermaid tale in a short from her 'You and I' music video.
Lady Gaga is taking her fish out of water routine to a whole new level. 

In a new fashion short, the singer reprises the role of her mermaid alter-ego Yüyi, which appears in her "You and I" music video.

The two-and-ahalf-minute clip, directed by fashion photographers Inez and Vinoodh, is the third of six behind-the-scene videos Gaga has created in conjunction with her latest single. The previous two highlighted her Nymph and Bride characters from "You and I."

In this one, Gaga -- sporting gills on her neck and shoulders -- squirms around in a director's chair wrapped in seaweed and smoking a cigarette. 

The scene goes back and forth to another where she's being carried from her trailer to a Nebraska farm, where most of "You and I" was filmed.

"It's like she really gives so much," director Inez told MTV. "Sometimes we were shooting, it was like 3 a.m., and she's been on set forever and still you get an incredible performance — full of fire."

Gaga's fashion stylist Nicola Formichetti, who briefly appears in the film, premiered the video Tuesday night in New York City at his pop-up shop, Nicola's. 

In July, Gaga drew the ire of Bette Midler after she performed as a mermaid in a wheelchair -- the same character, Delores Delago, Midler debuted back in the '80s.

YouTube sensation Antoine Dodson arrested on outstanding warrant in pot possession case

Antoine Dodson spent the night in jail and got sprung Sunday by posting a $516 cash bond.

Antoine Dodson spent the night in jail and got sprung Sunday by posting a $516 cash bond.
The viral video star who famously warned people to "hide ya kids, hide ya wife and hide ya husband" from a sexual predator was arrested in Alabama Saturday for blowing off a judge in his pot possession case.

Police said Kevin (Antoine) Dodson was stopped for blasting music in his car and tossed in jail on a bench warrant tied to his April 23 misdemeanor marijuana arrest.

"He was pulled over and given a warning for playing excessively loud music, and the officers ran his name through the National Crime Information Center database and found the outstanding warrant for failure to appear," Huntsville Police spokesman Harry Hobbs told the Daily News. 

Hobbs said Dodson spent the night in jail and got sprung Sunday by posting a $516 cash bond.

Dodson, 25, became an overnight YouTube star when he was interviewed by a local TV news program after an alleged rapist climbed through a window and tried to assault his sister in bed.

"Well, obviously, we have a rapist in Lincoln Park. He's climbing in your windows, he's snatching your people up, trying to rape 'em," Dodson said in words later featured in the auto-tuned song "Bed Intruder."

The refrain: "So y'all need to hide ya kids, hide ya wife and hide ya husband, 'cause they raping everybody out here."

Monday, September 26, 2011

'Dolphin Tale' inspired by true story of Florida dolphin

'Dolphin Tale' stars Nathan Gamble as boy who helps give a dolphin a second chance.

'Dolphin Tale' stars Nathan Gamble as boy who helps give a dolphin a second chance.

"Dolphin Tale" has splashed into theaters -- and into hearts.

The family film, about a rescued dolphin named Winter who learns to swim again with the use of a prosthetic tail, pulled in over $20 million at the box office, just behind Brad Pitt's "Moneyball."

But the heartwarming and inspiring story was not just made up by Hollywood.

The film is based on the story of a dolphin named Winter who lives at an aquarium in Florida, and its convalescence at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium after after its near-fatal encounter with a crabbing net.

The movie's script closely follows the same plot line. In "Dolphin Tale" the animal, just a few months old, is rescued by a young boy named Sawyer and an altruistic doctor who saves its life.

After her tail was amputated, Winter's caregivers come up with the ingenious idea of outfitting the animal with a cutting-edge prosthetic tail that allows her to swim normally.

Sawyer gets the idea for Winter's prosthetic tale after an encounter with his wounded soldier-cousin who recently has returned home from combat and has to be fitted with an artificial limb.

Winter's real life caregivers in Florida said part of the challenge was to create a tail that was durable yet also supple and pliant, because the injured bottlenose dolphin did not tolerate rigid materials against its sensitive body.

"We applied to Winter existing technology, prostheses and medical knowledge for humans," said David Yates, director of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, who said the materials used in developing the fake tail have also been useful in the development of prosthetics for humans.

"She also gave us with her rehabilitation process a great invention for those who must live with prostheses," he said of the appendage fashioned from rubberized plastic and carbon fiber.

Another challenge was creating a tail which mimics the dolphin's own undulating swimming movements, but which would remain attached in the water.

The experts after trial and error created a sleeve from a sticky gel composite that slips down onto Winter's stump and creates suction when the prosthetic appendage is applied.

"When we saw the success of this sleeve on Winter, it began testing with people and the response has been overwhelmingly positive, they no longer have those pains," said Yates.

And as in the movie, Winter's recovery has been nothing short of astonishing.

"She is a real diva now, everybody loves her, many people come to the aquarium just for her," said Abby Stone, a mammal trainer at the Clearwater aquarium.

"Dolphin's Tale" is the latest in a long line of animal movies that invariably do well at the box office.

These include the collie in the "Lassie" movies, the porcine hero of the hit movie "Babe," "Flipper" -- another dolphin protagonist who reaped box office gold -- and the orca whale of the film "Free Willy."

"Dolphin Tale," the heir to those movies, has its release this weekend across the United States, and early reviews have been glowing.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune, for one, wrote that "the cast is delightful, the story corny without being cloyingly high-fructose, the direction first-rate," saying it was charmed by the movie's "sunny sincerity."

There a slightly darker sub-themes in the movie however, including the troubled emotional life of Sawyer, a misfit at school who finds purpose in caring for the injured bottlenose, and the financial struggles of the aquarium.

The A-list cast includes Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Connick Jr and Morgan Freeman, who said he gravitated to the part because the movie represented good old fashioned entertainment.

"I thought it was a good story -- real good family fare. No crashes, no chases, no sex. Just a cracking good story, very kid-friendly" the veteran actor said.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Woman who cut off hubby's penis pleads not guilty

Catherine Kieu Becker allegedly drugged her estranged husband, tied him to a bed, cut off his penis and threw it in a garbage disposal.

Catherine Kieu Becker allegedly drugged her estranged husband, tied him to a bed, cut off his penis and threw it in a garbage disposal.

LOS ANGELES - The California woman accused of slicing off her husband's penis with a 10-inch knife and dropping it into a garbage disposal pleaded not guilty Friday.

Catherine Kieu, 48, appeared in Orange County Superior Court on charges of felony torture and aggravated mayhem and faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted. She is being jailed in lieu of a million dollars bail.

Prosecutors said the real estate broker from Garden Grove, Calif., drugged her 60-year-old husband with laced tofu July 11 after an argument at the dinner table over him having friends stay over at the house.

When he passed out, she tied him to a bed with nylon ropes.

When he woke up, she sliced off his penis.

A source told the Daily News that she was consumed with jealous rage over her husband's recent divorce filing and his purported interest in another woman.

The victim, a textiles business owner whose name is being withheld, was rushed to UC Irvine Medical Center, but there has been no official word on the type of surgery he received or its outcome.

Police confirmed parts of his severed organ were recovered from the disposal and taken to the hospital.

"He's doing well as far as his health is concerned. Psychologically, I have no reports indicating he is doing otherwise," Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney John Christl told the Daily News, refusing to say whether the penis was reattached.

Christl, discussing motive in the case, said: "There was some discussion at dinner about having friends come over to stay at the residence. People are asking, 'Was it a woman?' There's no other information on that at this time."

Police told The News that the victim was in surprisingly good spirits shortly after the incident. Kieu was charged with aggravated mayhem rather than mayhem specifically because she placed the organ into the garbage disposal, seemingly in an effort to destroy it. 

Kieu called 911 after the horrific act. When cops showed up at the door, she said her husband "deserved it," police said.

The couple filed for divorce in May after 16 months of marriage. The victim told cops he allowed Kieu to continue living in his apartment because she had nowhere else to go.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Florida woman gives birth to a set of twins -- from two different uteruses

The Barbosa twins are healthy and doing well -- despite their mother's unusual health condition.

The Barbosa twins are healthy and doing well -- despite their mother's unusual health condition.

A Florida woman became the proud mom of two healthy babies - each born from a different one of her two uteruses.

Andreea Barbosa has a condition called didelphys, hospital officials said in a press release.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it's a rare condition that's sometimes not even diagnosed and is only treated if it causes pain or repeated miscarriages.

But for Barbosa, it resulted in a set of adorable twins. Her son, Nathan, was born first at 5 pounds 8 ounces from one uterus and his sister Natalie came out two minutes later at 5 pounds, 10 ounces.

While the condition is rare, it's even more rare for a woman with didelphys to carry two babies in two uteruses at the same time. And the chance of the babies surviving is even more rare - about one in 5 million, the hospital said.

"Because we were aware of her condition, we were able to take special precautions to ensure that both mother and babies would be healthy," Barbosa's doctor, Patricia St. John said in a statement.

The twins were born via C-section at 36 weeks on Sept. 15, doctors told the St. Petersburg Times.

And five days later, the babies and their mom seem to be doing great.

"I was shocked to learn I had a baby in each uterus," said Barbosa, who has a 2-year-old daughter. "But my husband and I are just so happy that they are here and healthy."


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