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Jess Smith

Jess Smith is a journalist who’s passion for writing spans all the way to when she was only 7-years-old and was making up news stories for her neighbors. Fast forward to age 22 and she has written for many publications including the EDM based, Elektro Magazine.

Legendary Irish actor Peter O'Toole dies at 81

Famous for his role in Lawrence of Arabia, the actor died from natural causes

Legendary Hollywood actor and icon Peter O’ Toole has passed away from natural casues at the age of 81 on Sunday. The Irish actor, most famous for his role in classic 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, instantly captured the hearts of audiences with his dapper attire, full blonde hair, and enchanting blue eyes. This film was the role that catapulted the actor into super-stardom with it leading to his first Academy Award nomination. This would be first of eight Academy Award nominations that the talented actor would receive in his lifetime.

Michael Higgins, the President of Ireland recognized just how much talent the world lost on Sunday. “Ireland, and the world has lost one of the giants of film and theater.”

He continued “In a long list of leading roles on stage and in film, Peter brought an extraordinary standard to bear as an actor. He had a deep interest in literature and Shakespearean sonnets in particular. While he was nominated as best actor for an Oscar eight times, and received a special Oscar from his peers for his contribution to film, he was deeply committed to the stage. Those who saw him play leading roles on the screen from Lawrence in 1962, or through the role of Henry II in Becket, and The Lion in Winter, or through the dozens of films, will recognize a lifetime devoted to the artform of the camera.”

O’Toole’s heart wasn’t always into being an actor. According to his IMDB, During his teen years his aspirations were to be a journalist, which he ultimately became, until he discovered theater at the age of 17 and attended the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, where he was accompanied by fellow future actors Albert Finney, Alan Bates and Richard Harris. After his big break in Lawrence of Arabia, he went on to star in a myriad of films including the famous features The Stunt Man and My Favorite Year.

Peter O’Toole married actress Sian Phillips in 1959 and had two daughters, Kate O’Toole and Patricia O’Toole. They divorced in 1979 and in 1983, he had a son named Lorcan Patrick O’Toole.

In a statement released by Kate O’Toole, she said “His family are very appreciative and completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time. Thank you all from the bottom of my hearts.”

She added in the statement “In due course there will be a memorial filled with song and good cheer as he would have wished. We will be happy to speak to you all then but in the meantime if you could give Peter O’Toole the respect he deserves and allow us to grieve properly, we would appreciate it.”

Google Drive makes updates to its new 2.2 version

Google’s cloud storage app can now sort files

Google Drive has gotten some much needed updates to its system. The cloud storage app, which is perfect for editing and creating documents on the go, has added two new features to its iOS version, which is now being called version 2.2. Finally, users can now sort their files by tapping the “sort” button and arranging them either by title or last added.

In addition to this nice little update is that you will able to find and replace parts of your word documents in the “Documents” section. This will allow you to search for a particular series of words or sentences in the document and this feature will find it for you, so you can make changes.

Google also said that they improved the ability and speed of Google Drive by doing some “under the hood and usability improvements.

Google Drive is an app that is available for all Apple mobile devices and is offered to free with up to 15 GB of free storage space. For additional storage space, you would have to pay 5$ for every 100 GB, and the app offers up to 16 TB of extra storage.

The look of Google Drive has also received a makeover with a more polished look, complete with moving the “Create” button, where you can make new documents, as well as moving the “Scan” button, which can allow you to turn Google Drive documents into .pdf files.

The last update to Google Drive happened in early November and was given iOS7 support, which allowed it to transition smoothly onto the new system.

Tila Tequila surpasses Amanda Bynes in the crazy department

Tila Tequila said Paul Walker’s death was a ritual murder and praises Hitler

Tila Tequila has apparently appeared out of whatever poor rock she has been hiding under, to come out and say that late actor Paul Walker’s death wasn’t an accident, it was a ritualistic murder. The 32-year-old reality star proceeded to say on her offical Facebook page that Elisa Lam, the 21-year-old Canadian woman who was found dead in a closed water tank in the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, was also the victim of one of these ritual murders.

“I know who killed Elisa Lam,” she wrote. “The Mysterious Video of the Girl in Elevator who ended up “mysteriously dead” at the bottom of a closed off water tank. I believe I am the only person in the entire planet that knows what happened.”

She continued on in another post to say “I knew it the first time news of a strange video started circulating the internet weeks ago. I have just kept my mouth shut because there is a lot more to it and of course…cases like this…I just did not want to draw attention to myself but I know exactly why they did it and yes it was indeed a ritualistic murder. Just like Paul Walker’s.”

Although it may seem like nothing she could say could be more offensive than this, it got much worse. During her Facebook excursion, she posted a photo-shopped picture of herself in a provocative version of nazi attire, complete with a swastika arm band and a traditional SS nazi hat. She was also holding a gun while standing in front of Auschwitz.

It got even worse from there as she posted a series of pro-Hitler posts that would make even Amanda Bynes say “Ok, now that is just too crazy.”

“Once upon a time in a land far away there was a special sweet kid who had a dream to become a painter. He was a brilliant artist and was ahead of his time. He had hopes and dreams just like we all do. Unfortunately, the art schools did not feel the same way and rejected him. Fast forward a few years later and he was roughed up and bullied on top of that by the same people he once loved. His name was Hitler.”

She even began to refer to Hitler as “her”, in an effort to compare herself to Hitler. “[The Jews] mocked her, rejected her, and laughed at her through and through when all she ever did was show them love.”

Please, someone disconnect her internet and get this woman some help.

Another day, another boring awards show: American Music Awards 2013 Recap

This year’s American Music Awards were as lackluster as ever

American Music Awards were last night, let’s all do a collective yawn for the repetitive dribble that has been dominating the music industry lately. The AMA’s has been the same recycled people winning awards over an over again for the past few years and has turned into a commercialized joke of epic proportions. Alas, the joke has gotten slightly funnier this year, with performances that were too hilarious to be true.

The awards kicked off with Katy Perry doing an impression of a geisha for no reason at all and sang another boring power ballad that started the awards off on an Ambien induced note. Her stage set up was visually stunning, but they should have started off the show with someone who packed a bigger punch.

Pitbull hosted the awards and I don’t know about you, but that guy reminds me of a cheesy sleazeball who owns a seedy club in the middle of Reno, Nevada. That visual kind of went with his performance that night. Pitbull and Kesha proceeded to mix drunken bar music with country for a cluster-fuck of bad coupled with worse.

Imagine Dragons performed “Demons” and “Radioactive” because the American Music Awards always has to throw in an indie band, that isn’t too mainstream, but indie enough for people to think something innovative is happening.

Rihanna won the icon award for reasons that are still trying to be determined, and performed a classy version of “Diamonds”, which was a nice change from seeing her gyrating across the stage for five full minutes. She still doesn’t have the best vocals, but they have obviously improved.

Probably the most entertaining performance of the night was Lady Gaga and R. Kelly’s performance of their uncomfortably hyper-sexual song “Do What U Want.” Both of them doing their own rendition of R. Kelly’s hip-hopera “Trapped in the Closet”, they pulled off a theatrical performance of the song. When R. Kelly yelled “Who put these pictures on Instagram!?”, I face-palmed. I must say, Lady Gaga’s vocals are top-notch, but her eye-roll worth antics (such as showing up to the awards on a horse made of two people) usually overshadow that.

TLC returned to the stage with Lil Mama in place of the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez and it was a heartwarming moment for the awards. Although, when Lil Mama rapped Left Eye’s verses, it seemed like the track did an awkward mashing of the original song and Drake’s “Started From the Bottom”. Regardless, it was definitely a nice moment for the award show.

The awards closed with Miley Cyrus. This performance looked like Miley Cyrus went on Tumblr for the first time and tried to do her best impression of a hipster. The botched 90’s graphic of a tweaking cat singing her lyrics paired with her leotard set with cats emblazoned all over it, was the most try-hard thing I’ve seen since her pulling a joint out of her purse and smoking it on stage.

The fact that it was an emotional song made it extra weird and made America take her a little less serious, which is the last thing she needs right now. Her vocals were surprisingly solid, which means that all she had to do was be serious for once. She could have put on a nice gown and sang, but no. These awards were lackluster as usual, I always say “Hope it’s better next year”, but the cynicism only continues to grow as the award scene continues to get more and more monotonous.

John F Kennedy day of remembrance is officially declared by President Obama

50 years after the assassination of JFK Obama issues a proclamation making it an official day

John F Kennedy was fatally assassinated 50 years ago on this day. President Obama has declared this day as a day of remembrance for the slain president by asking that flags be hung at half-staff. Thousands are also set to gather at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas which is where JFK lost his life on that fateful day. A moment of silence will be held at the ceremony at 12:30 p.m., the time the President was shot.

A lot of events were held around Dallas this year because of this special anniversary including events featuring people who were there on the day of the assassination and museum exhibits.

During a proclamation, President Obama reflected on the amazing legacy that John F Kennedy leaves behind. “With broad vision and soaring but sober idealism, President John F. Kennedy had called a generation to service and summoned a nation to greatness. Today, we honor his memory and celebrate his enduring imprint on American history.”

He continued to highlight all of the massive achievements John F Kennedy made during the three years he served during his term. “During his final year in office, he proposed a civil rights bill that called for an end to segregation in America. And recognizing women’s basic right to earn a living equal to their efforts, he signed the Equal Pay Act into law.”

“Today and the decades to come, let us carry his legacy forward. Let us face today’s tests by beckoning the spirit he embodied—that fearless, resilient, uniquely American character that has always driven our nation to defy the odds, write our own destiny and make the world anew.”

After that, President officially made today a day of remembrance for John F. Kennedy.

On Wednesday, the President also paid tribute to JFK by visiting his grave site and laying a wreath down on his resting place. He also presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award created by John F Kennedy to both Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton, as well as sixteen other Americans who were both alive and deceased.

“These are men and women who in their extraordinary lives remind us all of the beauty of the human spirit, the values that define us as Americans, the potential that lives inside all of us,” he said.

Amanda Bynes is deemed mentally fit enough to stand trial for DUI case

Bynes is said to be released from psychiatric hold by Christmas time

Amanda Bynes seems to have been improving while undergoing mental evaluation inside of a treatment facility. The 27-year-old actress has now been deemed competent enough to understand the DUI charges that are being held against her and she is now able to stand trial.

On Wednesday a judge reviewed her medical records and determined that Amanda had improved enough to go to court. Bynes was originally scheduled to go to court on September 24 for a DUI case back in 2012 where she hit a parked police car, but her attorney requested that they postpone her trial due to her dire mental state.

This isn’t the only legal trouble that Bynes has had this year. Earlier this year the troubled actress was charged with marijuana possession, reckless endangerment and tampering with evidence. She allegedly threw a bong out of a 36-story window in her New York apartment when police came to investigate excessive pot smoking.

Amanda Bynes ended up in the psychiatric treatment facility involuntarily on July 22 when she displayed extremely erratic behavior and then set a fire in her neighbors driveway. She also had doused her dog in gasoline. According to TMZ, the child star was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Bynes’ mother, Lynn Bynes was granted conservatorship over daughter, but ultimately retracted this request in order for Amanda Bynes to be placed on an LPS hold, which would allow doctors to figure out the plan of action in order to ensure Amanda’s well-being.

TMZ reports that Amanda should be done with her treatment by the end of November and be out of there by Christmas time.

College Board approves 5 public schools for a tuition increase

Tuition will increase at 5 of Mississippi’s 8 public schools

As if college wasn’t expensive enough as students continue to drown in student debt, the College Board has just approved a tuition increase for 5 public universities in Mississippi. This comes after the College Board gave preliminary approval back in October for the price hike.

This means that for Alcorn State University and Jackson State University, in-state tuition would rise 2.8 percent in Fall 2014 and then would rise again in Fall 2015 to a 3% increase. The University of Mississippi and Mississippi State will raise their tuition tuition a whopping 5% each year, making their in-state tuition rise above $7,000 in 2015. It looks like the College Board doesn’t have the student’s best interest in mind.

However, University officials claim that they have faculty members in mind who desperately need a pay increase. “We need to recognize that we are in a perilous place right now in terms of faculty compensation,” Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds said.

Hank Bounds also says that they realize that students attending these schools rely heavily on aid and cannot afford most of the tuition. “We recognize that the population we serve is a poor population and we are trying to make sure we think of that.”

The Student Government Association Presidents at both USM and MSU told The Clarion Ledger that they supported the increase. “You have to have a solid recruited faculty in order to have to have a solid student body,” said Michael Hogan, student government president at MSU.

USM student leader Ann Marie Chilcutt said that although tuition is often expensive, shelling out the money is worth it in the end. “We all have to borrow money and it makes it hard,” she said. “I think the return on our investment at the end of the day will be just as good or better.”

What do you think? Is this tuition increase that the College Board positive or negative in the long run?

Macy's is drowning in controversy with the debut of their SeaWorld float

PETA activists request that the float be removed due to whale abuse at SeaWorld

Macy’s is in hot water over recent controversy involving their SeaWorld float that is set to hit the streets for next week’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Fresh off of the release of a documentary called Blackfish that highlights the cruelty of whales at SeaWorld, PETA has demanded that Macy’s remove the float from the parade completely.

“[The float] shows orcas swimming in a majestic sea alongside their families, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. SeaWorld deprives them of all these things. They confine them to concrete tanks and take them away from their families. This picture that this float presents is absurdly false.”

Actor Alec Baldwin has also stepped up in protest of the float stating last week that SeaWorld was “a cruel prison for whales” and that SeaWorld “should not be celebrated with a giant Shamu float parading down 34th street.”

PETA has announced that they will line the route of the parade and stage a protest against the float if it is not removed. It is reported that over 70,000 animal activists has sent Macy’s emails regarding the removal of the float, but Macy’s will not budge due to their policy to stay out of political and social issues.

“The parade has never taken on, promoted or otherwise engaged in social commentary, political debate or other forms of advocacy,” Macy’s inc. said in a statement release.

There is also controversy surrounding the South Dakota tourism float, which was suppose to have rock legend Joan-Jett singing on top of it, until ranchers criticized the float for featuring an avid vegetarian and animal rights activist a top of state’s float who are meat enthusiasts.

To solve this problem Macy’s has moved Joan Jett and her band, The Blackhearts to another float to perform. The parade will also feature Jimmy Fallon, Carrie Underwood and the cast of Duck Dynasty.

GoldieBlox is just the inspiration girls need for the holiday season

GoldieBlox ad goes viral and inspires girls to be engineers, not princesses

GoldieBlox has literally became the hero to every girl who has received a doll for their birthday and looked at it with a sense of disappointment. From an early age, the media programs girls to like all things glittery, pink and frilly. If you were to look at the playthings aimed at girls, you would think that you just took a time travel trip back to the 1950’s! Fisher-Price kitchen sets, Easy Bake Oven’s and dolls for you to pretend to burp, change and feed are aimed towards girls, pushing them into a box that society makes for them.

Stanford engineer, Debbie Sterling, is working towards a progressive society where more women can become engineers and she is doing this by teaching girls at an early age that they don’t have to be stuck in a box with the release of a new toy company called GoldieBlox. GoldieBlox consists of an interactive book series that comes with a construction set. The story revolves around a fictional young girl with a passion for building named Goldie.

Debra Sterling says that in the US  only 11 percent of engineers are women. “We don’t have a national shortage of princesses, but we do have a national shortage of engineers,” she explained.

The inspiring ad for the GoldieBlox set is truly amazing and has went viral, gaining over 3 million views YouTube. The video depicts three girls watching TV when they spot a commercial that features another one of those frilly toys that are aimed towards them. This prompts them to create an amazing Rube Goldberg machine that has so many bells and whistles that it turns off the TV set after a series of mechanisms.

“It’s sort of a commercial for a toy, but not really,” Sterling told the LA Times. “It’s more like an anthem–a power anthem for girls.”

In the video, she uses a reworked version of the Beastie Boys’ hit “Girls”, where the lyrics are changed to highlight the gender empowerment that is needed on the toy market. Some of the lyrics are:

Girls.

You think you know what we want, girls.

Pink and pretty it’s girls.

Just like the 50’s it’s girls.

You like to buy us pink toys

and everything else is for boys

and you can always get us dolls

and we’ll grow up like them… false.

It’s time to change.

We deserve to see a range.

‘Cause all our toys look just the same

and we would like to use our brains.

This is really what the world needs right now, and just in time for the holiday season.

Brittany Murphy may have been poisoned according to new toxicology results

Brittany Murphy’s toxicology results were composed of high levels of heavy metals often found in rat poisoning

Brittany Murphy may been poisoned, according to new to a new toxicology report. Brittany Murphy was found dead when her mother went to visit her at her home on December 20, 2009. Her original cause of death according to the LA Coroner’s report was pneumonia and anemia, but after her husband died from the same causes 5 months later, her father Angelo Bertolotti began to suspect that the couple had been poisoned.

Bertolotti then ordered an independent report for his daughter from The Carlson Company and after years of trying to obtain blood and hair samples he finally got results and it confirmed the suspicions that he had.

According to the report that The Examiner obtained, “Ten (10) of the heavy metals evaluated were detected at levels higher that the WHO [World Health Organization] high levels. Testing the hair strand sample identified as “back of head” we have detected ten heavy metals at levels above the WHO high levels recommendation. If we were to eliminate the possibility of a simultaneous accidental heavy metals exposure to the sample donor then the only logical explanation would be an exposure to these metals (toxins) administered by a third party perpetrator.”

This makes sense considering Brittany Murphy complained of all of the related heavy metal poisoning symptoms right before she died. She complained of headaches, dizziness, cramps, sweating, disorientation, wheezing, congestion and pneumonia. These are all things associated with poisoning.

Angelo Bertolotti proceeded to sue the LA Coroner’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department under the allegations of “failure to conduct toxicology tests on specimens.” Bertolotti told The Examiner he was frustrated with the slander that his daughter was receiving at the time of her death because of the false LA Coroner report.

“Vicious rumors spread by tabloids, unfairly smeared Brittany’s reputation,” he told The Examiner. “My daughter was neither anorexic nor a drug junkie, as they repeatedly implied. Brittany and Simon were ridiculed by The Hollywood Reporter, when they complained of being under surveillance and in fear of their lives. I will not rest until the truth of these tragic events is told. There will be justice for Brittany.”

Unfortunately, the LA County Coroner Office told The Huffington Post that they had no plans to reopen the case and examine this tragedy further. “The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner has no plans to reopen our inquiry into the deaths. We stand by our original reports,” said the Chief Coroner Investigator, Craig R. Harvey. “We have not been presented any [third] party lab results for analysis, so we are unable to comment on publicized reports of private tests.”