Sarah Burke’s family faces $550,000 in medical bills, but fans can donate to help
Last week, we reported that Sarah Burke was in a coma following injuries she sustained after crashing on a halfpipe course. Today, we are sad to report that Burke has died.
CTV reports that Burke, 29, died on Thursday. Burke underwent extensive surgery following her accident, but imaging later showed she had suffered extensive brain damage due to a torn artery that cut off the flow of oxygen to her brain. Burke’s family is now facing $550,000 in medical bills, but a website has been established so that fans can help relieve the family of this burden.
The site reads, “Sarah leaves behind her beloved husband Rory, loving parents Jan and Gordon and her supportive sister Anna. Please consider helping them cover the enormous cost of Sarah’s recent medical care and to provide for other arrangements by donating. Your support in their greatest time of need will be gratefully appreciated and forever remembered. We encourage you to share this link with others who have been touched by Sarah.”
As of this writing, $27,652.04 of the $550,000 goal has been reached. If you’d like to donate to help Sarah Burke’s family, you can find more information about it here.
Swizz Beatz won’t be investigated despite being CEO
Yesterday, we reported that the massive file-sharing website Megaupload.com was shut down as federal prosecutors indicted employees on charges of violating copyright laws. Now, we’ve learned that even though he’s the CEO, Swizz Beatz is not being investigated.
The Next Web reports that Swizz Beatz, also known as Kasseem Dean, is listed as the CEO of Megaupload but has not been indicted. As the site details, Beatz does not hold equity within the company. Reportedly, founder Kim Dotcom owns 68 percent of Megaupload’s stock, while the remainder is held by six other investors.
Although he’s not being indicted, Swizz Beatz may still face legal woes. Beatz created a video with other music stars to support Megaupload, and now Universal Music Group has brought a lawsuit against him. Universal is protesting that a number of its under-contract stars were used without permission. YouTube, meanwhile, has not taken the video off of its site.
Apple announcement: iBooks 2 for digital textbooks
Apple’s announcement on Thursday may have signalled a major change in the academic world.
ABC News reports that Apple announced two new apps that will allow students and instructors to take advantage of digital textbooks. iBooks 2 is a free app that will allow students to purchase and download digital textbooks, while iBooks Author will allow authors and publishers — as well as students and others with an interest in education — to create interactive iPad lessons using their computer.
“There’s a lot that’s talked about that may be wrong with education. One thing we hear louder than all else and where we can help is in student engagement,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing chief, during the Apple announcement. “That’s why we get excited when students get their hands on an iPad.”
The new digital books would cost $14.99 and would allow students to mark them up just like a normal textbook. Reportedly, Apple is forming partnerships with Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which are responsible for 90 percent of the textbooks used in the U.S. today.
Marianne Gingrich dishes about her marriage to Newt
Marianne Gingrich is opening up about her marriage to presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich in a new interview.
The Washington Post reports that Marianne’s interview will air Thursday night on ABC. In the interview, Marianne divulges about Newt’s affair and their subsequent divorce, “I said to him, ‘Newt, we’ve been married a long time.’ And he said, ‘Yes, but you want me all to yourself. Callista doesn’t care what I do.’ … He was asking to have an open marriage, and I refused.”
All this happened, she said, during the same time Gingrich condemned President Bill Clinton for his lack of moral leadership.
Marianne also says that Newt asked her for a divorce just prior to giving a speech about morals and ethics.
“How could he ask me for a divorce on Monday and within 48 hours give a speech on family values and talk about how people treat people?” Marianne said.
Eli Manning missed part of Wednesday’s practice as he attempted to recover from a stomach illness.
The Vancouver Sun reports that Manning was struck with the illness, causing him to be placed on the Giants’ injury report for the first time this season as a limited participant in practice. New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin called Manning’s condition “a stomach bug, hopefully a 24-hour deal.”
“If there is one guy who can miss a practice Wednesday mentally, it’s No. 10,” guard Chris Snee said of Manning. “He was probably in here on Monday and Tuesday looking at film.”
Manning and the Giants are preparing to play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday for the NFC championship.
Travis Barker serves cease and desist letter over leaked nude photos
Travis Barker is doing everything he can to ensure that nude photos of him are not leaked elsewhere on the Web.
CBS News reports that gossip site MediaTakeOut posted nude photos of Barker, prompting Barker’s lawyer to issue a cease and desist letter. Reportedly, Barker’s name wasn’t mentioned on the site, but fans familiar with Barker and his band Blink-182 were able to identify him easily (thanks, largely, to his tattoos).
The nude photos of Barker are at least five years old and were “private and never intended for public viewing or to be seen by anyone else.”
Barker’s attorney is arguing over the “unauthorized use of private photos.” It’s not known how the site obtained the photos.
Mark Wahlberg has apologized for his comments regarding 9/11.
ABC News reports that Wahlberg told Men’s Journal that he was scheduled to be on the American Airlines flight from Boston to Los Angeles that crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11. Wahlberg asserted, “If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn’t have went down like it did. There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, ‘OK, we’re going to land somewhere safely, don’t worry.’”
Unsurprisingly, the families of 9/11 victims were quick to respond to Wahlberg’s comments, spurring Wahlberg to apologize late Wednesday.
“To speculate about such a situation is ridiculous to begin with, and to suggest I would have done anything differently than the passengers on that plane was irresponsible. I deeply apologize to the families of the victims that my answer came off as insensitive; it was certainly not my intention.”
In an odd series of events yesterday, the Twittersphere was all shook up with the announcement that Peyton Manning was retiring. To make the story even stranger, the announcement came from actor Rob Lowe in the form of a tweet.
Using his official Twitter account, Rob Lowe tweeted, “Hearing my fave, #18 Peyton Manning will not return to #NFL. Wow. #Colts” on Wednesday. The tweet gathered steam very quickly and was retweeted hundreds of times. ESPN’s Rich Eisen was flabbergasted by the tweet, simply replying to Lowe with “get out.”
Lowe tweeted at Eisen, saying, “My people are saying Manning will retire today. What do you hear? #NFL” and then tweeted, “#Colts fans, let’s hope my info is wrong. Don’t like being wrong, but this time… I’m hoping #NFL #Manning.”
Lowe’s son, Matthew, tweeted at his father, saying, “It’s okay dad, Johnny and I still love you even if you did stir up the twittersphere… even on the blackout. #SOPA #Faceplam.”
Lowe has connections to the Colts, but there has been no official word as to the fate of Peyton Manning…yet.
Jessica Capshaw has announced that she is pregnant with her third child.
Capshaw, 35, announced the pregnancy via her official Twitter account. Capshaw tweeted, “It is with profound happiness and sheer delight that @Christopher_Gav and I can say that another sweet Gavigan baby is on the way!” Capshaw also responded to the outpour of well wishes from fans, saying, “Thank you all for your beautiful words and wishes for all of us. It’s overwhelming to me how wonderful you all are!”
Capshaw has a one-year-old and a four-year-old with husband Christopher Gavigan.
Jessica Capshaw is the daughter of Kate Capshaw and the stepdaughter of Steven Spielberg. Capshaw stars on “Grey’s Anatomy” as Dr. Arizona Robbins.
Tuesday marked the deadline for the Scott Walker recall movement. Although liberals are cheering the effort to recall Governer Walker, conservative blogs have cried foul and accused the petition signatures as fraudulent.
Politico reports that the conservative Big Government blog said, “The petition process was riddled with fraud and tainted with questionable ethics at several points. Early in the process the Soros-funded One Wisconsin Now encouraged those opposed to Walker to sign recall petitions multiple times.”
“Even the Government Accountability Board’s announcement that it will use software to help catch duplicates, though a step in the right direction, doesn’t promise to catch every or even most of those kinds of errors,” the blog continued.
The group heading the Walker recall movement submitted approximately 1 million signatures on Tuesday, nearly double the required number. A date for the likely Walker recall election hasn’t been set but is expected to take place later this year.