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Jason Oliva

“What has your college education taught you?”
To appreciate a greater dependence on caffeine than my own body will allow. That’s the truest thing I’ve learned in my life as an undergrad writing major. If I were ever given an award and had to express thanks under a blinding heat lamp in front of millions, I wouldn’t think of God. At least not at first. No, my saving grace would have to be caffeine (Mom, you come in at a close second).

I’ve noticed that in my own meandering existence I’ve come to enjoy the things that probably won’t get me paid.

I like to read everything from Faulkner to Graphic Novels.

I’ve been playing guitar for the last eight years (the last five of which good). One of these days you might see me on the red line, or in the rafters at a Potbelly’s.

My guilty pleasures are B-rate horror movies, kung fu (preferably dubbed), baseball and all things music.

If I were to be any animal in a future life, I would be an owl. (A: because I already have a similar sleep schedule, and B: because owls aren’t easily domesticated.)

My favorite color is red.

Facebook lands Kentucky woman in jail

A court-ordered account deletion questions First Amendment

Facebook has landed a Kentucky woman in jail after her status update made its way to court. Paula Asher, 18, was issued a DUI after causing a car accident involving four teenagers. Asher, who was under the influence of alcohol at the time, fled the scene before police arrived and posted a status update on her Facebook that said: “My dumbass got a DUI and I hit a car LOL.”

Louisville authorities reported that the teens involved in the accident suffered non life-threatening injuries and even though Asher has apologized to the families affected by her Facebook post, she failed to cooperate with the families’ request and District Judge Mary Jane Phelps’ order that she delete her Facebook account.

This disobedience is what ultimately landed Asher a second trip to the slammer.

Debate arises, however, concerning the authority Judge Phelps has to order a Facebook account deactivation. Other than underage consumption and driving under the influence, no specific law was broken regarding Asher’s post, and if inclined, Asher could cite her first Amendment rights pertaining to freedom of speech.

When she did not comply with Judge Phelps’ order, Asher was charged with “contempt of court.” And when asked about it the ordeal Asher said, “I didn’t mean to hurt anybody. I didn’t think ‘lol’ would put me in jail.”

Revis out for the season

The Jets cornerback will miss the remainder of the 2012 season with a torn ACL

Darrelle Revis, cornerback for the New York Jets, is out for the season with a torn ACL. The news comes from Jets head coach Rex Ryan that his star defensive player will miss the remaining 2012 season after suffering a non-contact injury while trying to tackle Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas.

The Jets ended up winning their match-up against Miami 23-20 in overtime, but the victory came with a great loss.

Revis, half of the Jets’ pass defense alongside fellow cornerback Antonio Cromartie, has been hailed as one of the best corners in the NFL, that is, when he is healthy.

Revis missed the 27-10 beating the Jets suffered at the hands of the Steelers in Week 2 as he was out with a concussion. The cornerback has been on the decline since having a stellar 2009 season, where Revis deflected 31 passes, picked off 6 passes, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Since then, Revis has struggled with injuries and now the Jets will have to rely on Cromartie to step it up on defense.

According to Coach Ryan, third-year cornerback Kyle Wilson will replace Revis and work opposite Cromartie.

“Is it a major blow when you lose a great player like Darrelle Revis? Of course, absolutely it is,” Ryan said in a press conference. “But this is a football team. I think we showed it yesterday. There were plenty of times to get down in that game, but we kept fighting, believing in each other. That’s what it’s going to take, from everybody we have.”

After Week 3, the Jets rank 10th overall in yards allowed, and now with Revis out, the Jets will need to focus more on quarterback pressure.

Schaub loses part of ear in Texans victory

Heavy hit from Joe Mays increases sport’s risk level

Matt Schaub suffered a devastating hit at the hands of Broncos linebacker Joe Mays yesterday during the Texans-Broncos game. Schaub, who was laid out by the trucking Mays, lost his helmet because of the hit and a little something else: a chunk of his ear lobe.

A writhing Schaub stayed on the ground, hunched over and cupping a hand to his bloodied head before heading to the sidelines. There was a flag on the play for an illegal hit against the Texans quarterback and it was the second penalty in a row for the Broncos who went on to lose the match-up 31-25. Eventually, Schaub returned to the field, where he failed to complete a pass in the Texans’ next two offensive possessions.

This reminded me of a scene that has forever been burned into my brain from the 1999 movie “Any Given Sunday,” the one where Al Pacino coaches a Cameron Diaz-owned football team struggling to make the playoffs, and where Jamie Foxx is the fictional team Miami Shark’s reluctant third-to-first string quarterback. (Spoiler Alert coming!)

In the scene an opposing player in a gold jersey gets injured during a play, and when the dog-pile of burly men clears we find out that this man has indeed lost his eye, optic nerve and all as it lays out on the Astroturf.

Whether or not it is possible to scoop out an eye through a facemask, I have no idea. It may just be Hollywood’s special effects at its most realistically gruesome, but Schaub’s accident Sunday is not a far cry from Hollywood gore. No, Schaub’s suffering is real, which is perhaps the scariest thing about the escalating brutality of football.

The NFL only seems to punish individual players if they happen to throw a punch. The most bone-rattling hits these days are only given a small yellow flag and a 15-yard penalty. 

The NFL, who has come under scrutiny in the past couple of years for the brutality of tackles, has implemented strict discipline guidelines regarding helmet-to-helmet contact. There is no doubt that Mays will be fined for the illegal hit on Schaub, but even the rigid fines for rough hits raise questions for the future of the sport.

Oktoberfest 2012 begins its 179th year

Ceremonial keg-tapping opened the festival

Oktoberfest headed into its 179th year as Munich’s celebrated beer fest Saturday, Sept. 22 with a ceremonial keg-tapping by Munich’s Mayor Christian Ude. Two blows with a hammer, Ude proclaimed “O’zapft is,” or in English, “It’s tapped,” and was met with a rally of applause from the thousands anxious for the festival’s first beer.

What began as a wedding reception nearly 200 years ago for Bavarian Prince Ludwig has evolved into a world-inviting festival expected to reach an accumulated attendance of more than 6 million guests. The festival still holds true to its Bavarian roots with endless mugs of beer, traditional music, clothing and dance.

Last year’s Oktoberfest saw nearly 8 million liters of beer consumed, 500,000 chickens eaten and 120 oxen cooked. Oktoberfest 2012 brings about a few changes from last year’s festival. From safety awareness in banning glass mugs to the addition of seven frightening attractions including haunted bedrooms and an exorcism experience, Oktoberfest 2012 still looks to entertain myriads of travelers from across the globe.

Oktoberfest 2012 is held in the Wiesn fairgrounds, an area spread out over 75 acres to accommodate the masses of attendees looking to whet their whistles with a variety of German brews, eat some traditional German dishes and enjoy the atmosphere of a nearly two centuries-old festival.

Mayor Ude hopes for this year’s Oktoberfest to be peaceful and one that is clear of bad weather. With enough tents for a military regiment encampment, the festivities of Oktoberfest 2012 shall gush on, rain or shine.

iPhone 5 sells over 5 million

In its first weekend many Apple stores have exhausted their supply of iPhone 5s

Apple’s iPhone 5 hit stores Friday, Sept. 21 and has already sold more than 5 million of the highly anticipated smartphone’s latest version. Many Apple stores nationwide have already sold out of their supply of iPhone 5s, backlogged to fulfill increasing consumer demands.

The iPhone 5 is the latest generation of Apple’s smartphone family. With a half-inch larger display (up from 3.5 to 4 in.), the iPhone 5 looks to be thinner than its predecessor. The iPhone 5 also offers 4G LTE connectivity to give users faster data speeds. Along with improved battery life and a faster processor. Also featured within the iPhone 5 is the newest version of Apple’s operating system, iOS 6, which features a made-over Siri and Passbook, a new app to store boarding passes, store cards, coupons and event tickets.

What the iPhone 5 does not have is the Google Maps app that has been familiar with earlier generations of the iPhone. There is a Maps application, but it is not Google-powered. Instead, the iPhone 5 will feature an Apple-based maps app. The iPhone 5 is even said to be built sturdier than the iPhone 4 and easier to repair in the cases of shattered screens.

Apple CEO, and Steve Jobs’ successor, Tim Cook stated in a press release concerning the overwhelming demand for iPhone 5s that Apple stores “will continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date.”

Cook also showed some gratitude to the legions of Apple fans who have waited hours in wrap-around lines for iPhone 5’s arrival saying, “We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone5s for everyone.”

2012 Emmys, "Homeland" dethrones "Mad Men"

Showtime’s “Homeland” takes home Best Drama, Mad Men snubbed

The 2012 Emmys kicked off Sunday night with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel spearheading the ceremony. What played out to be a three-hour telecast evolved into a redundant, self-questioning awe fest as many of the same TV personalities and shows received the golden-winged statuette in multiple categories.

The most coveted award at the Emmys was picked up by Showtime’s CIA thriller “Homeland,” unseating AMC’s prize dog “Mad Men” which won the award the last four years. “Homeland,” starring Claire Danes who also took home an Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, along with co-star Damian Lewis who took Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series, helped Showtime upstage rival network HBO as the CIA thriller kept shows like “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones” out of the running.

But the Emmys were not entirely a showcase for premium channel programs. Network series like “Modern Family,” which won Best Comedy Series and produced winners in both Supporting Actor/Actress categories, and even a baffled Jon Cryer who won the Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series walked away with golden statue Sunday night, raising questions regarding the basis of judging winners.

Perhaps the most shocking bit the Emmys had to offer folks at home was the award show’s snubbing of reigning Best Drama Series champ AMC’s “Mad Men,” which took home zero awards on the night. If Don Draper was a real person, he would have carried on in his usual Draper-esque manner America has come to love, celebrating his non-wins with a bottle of brown liquor and enough cigarettes to choke a meth lab (also a reminder that fellow AMC series “Breaking Bad” only managed to cook up one award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Aaron Paul).

“Daily Show” host Jon Stewart might have summed up the Emmys significance when he received the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Series, the show’s tenth consecutive award in the category when he said, “Years from now, when the Earth is just a burning husk and aliens visit, they will find a box of these,” Stewart said as he held up the golden award, “and they will know just how predictable these f—— shows are.”

Other notable winners include Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ win for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series with her HBO show “Veep,” and Julianne Moore’s win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for portrayal of Sarah Palin in HBO’s “Game Change.”

Chick-fil-A no longer anti-gay

The chicken franchise says it will no longer donate to anti-gay stances

Chick-fil-A has agreed to cease funding anti-same-sex marriage groups, according to a statement released by The Civil Rights Agenda, an LGBT advocacy group.

Chick-fil-A sparked controversy this summer after Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy’s remarks regarding same-sex marriage, that the fast-food chain’s company policy was to support “the biblical definition of the family unit.” Cathy also stated in his views on same-sex marriage that “God’s judgement has the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

Cathy’s remarks triggered a nationwide boycott against Chick-fil-A, where protestors staged same-sex “kiss ins” outside of Chick-fil-A stores.

Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno even called for a blocking of the fast-food chain from opening within city limits because of the franchise’s anti-gay views. Moreno has since accepted the food franchise’s requests to open stores in Chicago after Chick-fil-A’s statement that it would no longer endorse anti-same-sex campaigns.

In an emailed statement to NCB News, Chick-fil-A wrote: “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

Lindsay arrested again

Lohan winds up in legal trouble once again after a hit-and-run

Lindsay Lohan is making the news. Again. The 26-year old starlet was arrested in New York early Wednesday morning after striking a pedestrian with her SUV and then leaving the scene.

Lohan was driving her 2010 Porsche SUV down an alleyway on Manhattan’s west side as she was heading to the Dream Hotel when she struck a pedestrian at a low speed. A NYPD spokesperson said that Lohan then went into the hotel located on West 16th Street and was apprehended by police when she left the hotel at approximately 2:30 am.

Lohan was taken to the police station, booked, issued a desk appearance and released without bail. She was charged with “leaving the scene of an accident and causing physical injury.” Alcohol was not involved.

The 34-year old pedestrian who Lohan hit, was taken to Bellevue Hospital with a knee injury. The victim was in stable condition as the car was not traveling at high speeds.

This appears to be the latest in the downward spiral of neglige for the young actress. Lohan was released from formal probation in March of this year after she was charged with drunk driving and cocaine possession in 2007. Lohan remains on informal probation until 2014 for jewelry theft in 2011.

Vince Young is broke

Released from the Bills, Young finds himself without a team and in a mountain of debt

Vince Young, former quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, finds himself out of work and out of money. The third player taken in the 2006 NFL Draft, Young’s career looked to be a promising one, especially after leading Texas to a Rose Bowl championship in 2006. But now, it seems that after six years in the league and money poorly managed, the once star quarterback now finds himself without a team and in a boatload of debt.

Young was cut by the Buffalo Bills, his third NFL team, this year where he played as a backup to current QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Even in 2011 when Young played for the Philadelphia Eagles, he was not in the starting role as he was in Tennessee.

Now out of work, Young is suing his former agent, Major Adams, and a North Carolina financial planner, Ronnie Peoples, because he believes that they misappropriated $5.5 million. Young claims that in some instances, Adams and Peoples forged his signature or impersonated him on the telephone or in emails.

Criticism has also fallen on Young for being too young to allow people to take advantage of him, one of whom was even his own uncle who had no financial experience.

In a heated lawsuit, attorneys for Adams and Peoples claim that Young has nobody to blame but himself, that Young is merely looking for someone to blame for his money strife.

A countersuit filed by Peoples claims that Young’s unwillingness to accept responsibility is “a common occurrence…as former Titans coach Jeff Fisher, Texas coach Mack Brown, numerous NFL execs, teammates, girlfriends and illegitimate children will attest.”

Young was one of at least ten NFL players who turned to Pro Player Funding for cash during the lockout. Documents show that Young borrowed $1.9 million at 20% interest, and that Young authorized $1 million in payments to Pro Player directly from his Eagles salary during 2011.

Young claims that he did not knowingly commit any of the loan documents. Young also contends that Pro Player’s efforts to serve him with legal papers during a Bills training camp session included a threat from the local sheriff.

It is unknown whether or not this was a prime cause in Young’s release from Buffalo.

Dennis Hopper leaves $2.85 million to nine year old daughter

The late actor’s will cuts out estranged wife

Dennis Hopper is making posthumous news yet again. Even though the actor/director of “Easy Rider” (1969) fame passed away in 2010 after losing his bout with prostate cancer, Hopper has reportedly left $2.85 million dollars to his nine-year old daughter, Galen Grier Hopper.

Along with the nearly three million dollars from daddy Dennis, Galen has also received $600,000 worth of property from the actor’s estate. Included in the inheritance are properties in California, New Mexico and North Carolina. Also included is an extensive art collection which features the works of Frank Gehry, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Julian Schnabel.

At the time of his death in 2010, Hopper was still legally married to Victoria Duffy. The two were in the midst of a divorce after 14 years of marriage. Hopper and Duffy fought constantly, and when the ailing actor filed for divorce in 2010, he also filed restraining orders against his estranged wife.

Duffy, who is currently in her mid-40s, attempted to file a court document so that she would not be cut out of Hopper’s will. She complained that their divorce did not provide her with enough money to take care of their only child, Galen.

In his will, Hopper left the large sum of money to Galen, and also stipulated that Duffy have no access to the daughter’s inheritance. It is also reported that Hopper’s three adult children, Marin and Ruthanna, and son Henry will also receive some inheritance from their late father.