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Kristina Vragovic

Kristina Vragovic graduated from Indiana University in May 2012 with a B.A. in English. A Hoosier at heart, she cries when she thinks about the 2011-12 season and will rail on Purdue even when nobody from said school is in the immediate vicinity.

Aside from writing, Kristina enjoys correcting people’s grammar (for money, or by calling them out on Twitter) as well as collecting classic rock LPs, watching superhero movies and online shopping.

Rihanna and Chris Brown get close at VMAs

Rihanna kissed her former beau, and abuser, after accepting award

 

The saga of Rihanna and Chris Brown seems to be far from over, as the two appeared quite close at last night’s Video Music Awards. After Rihanna took the stage to accept her award — her hit “We Found Love” won for best video — she stopped to give Chris Brown a friendly hug and kiss during the commercial break.

Footage of the exchange popped up on MTV’s website today, and speculation is now swirling as to where Rihanna and Chris Brown are headed. It was the couple’s first public appearance together since 2009, when they broke up because of Chris Brown’s widely publicized physical attack on Rihanna. But Rihanna told Oprah Winfrey in a recent interview that she was still in love with Chris Brown, that he was the “love of her life,” and that the two are still friends. Last night’s display of affection certainly backs up her statements, though it’s not enough to imply that they’re getting back together.

As ever, fans are divided as to whether Rihanna and Chris Brown should ever reconcile. Rihanna’s critics think she should never have forgiven Chris Brown for his actions. Joan Rivers in particular had harsh words to say about Rihanna’s continued feelings for her ex-lover. On the other hand, the media is calling the moment “tender” and “sweet,” and both Rihanna and Chris Brown fan sites had this to tweet:

@ChrisBrownBlog
Chris and Rihanna did that to show you that THEY HAVE moved on. Why can’t the fans?

@URihannaFansite
Rihanna moved on… I moved on. Past is past. 🙂

What do you think? Is it possible for the couple to move on and have a public friendship — or more — even after the 2009 abuse scandal? Or will Rihanna and Chris Brown have to play it close to the vest, to avoid the continued public criticism?

Mount Fuji ready to explode

Japan might not be prepared for an eruption of Mount Fuji, which hasn’t happened since 1707

 

Mount Fuji has not erupted in more than 300 years. So why are researchers now wary of a potential impending eruption?

The last time Mount Fuji erupted, it was because an earthquake increased the pressure in the mountain’s magma chamber. Last year’s Great East Japan Earthquake, which was a 9.0 magnitude quake, duplicated those conditions — with a 6.4-magnitude aftershock thrown into the mix. Experts now believe that Mount Fuji is likely to erupt within the next three years.

The pressure that is now brewing in Mount Fuji has reached 1.6 megapascals. To put that number in perspective, a pressure of just 0.1 megapascals has been enough to trigger an eruption. No wonder Eisuke Fujita, a senior researcher at the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, has stressed that this is no small number. Other signs of an eruption are the steam and gas currently streaming from the crater, as well as a 21-mile-long fault line recently discovered directly below the volcano. If an earthquake were to occur directly on that fault line, Mount Fuji would collapse entirely in a mass of mud and lava.

The Japanese government, however, has done little to prepare for an eruption. Toshitsugu Fujii, the director of the Crisis & Environment Management Policy Institute, said that the smoke and ash from such an event would keep planes from taking off or landing for more than a month. So far, the only precautions include a test run of an evacuation plan for the region — scheduled for 2014.

About 40 million people visited Mount Fuji last year, and the volcano is a huge source of tourist dollars for Japan. The complication, then, is that too much of a panic will drive tourism away. But at the same time, researchers are nervous that the country isn’t doing enough.

“The government should prepare for a logistical nightmare,” Eisuke Fujita said. “They’ll have to know how many millions of people, including tourists, they’ll need to evacuate from around Fuji … but so far the country’s failed to get its act together.”

An eruption would cost Japan at least $32 billion, according to official estimates.

Morgan Freeman reads ‘Fifty Shades’ out loud

All your dreams have come true: You can now hear Morgan Freeman reading from the erotic bestseller

 

Morgan Freeman has narrated many things—but so far, the only erotica has been in your mind. Until now.

A talented Morgan Freeman impersonator, Josh Robert Thompson, has recorded himself reading from Fifty Shades of Grey in character. And before you turn up your nose, you should know that this guy is really good. Before the hoax was revealed, reports circulated that Morgan Freeman himself released the recording (much like the recent reports that he was dead, along with a slew of other celebrities whose fake deaths spread like wildfire before being put down).

It is uncertain whether this event can even be compared to when Ellen DeGeneres read from the bondage romance novel, or even when Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth read snippets from the book to promote Snow White and the Huntsman. The Morgan Freeman reading goes beyond every one to come out thus far.

It might be on par with Gilbert Gottfried’s, though for very different reasons.

Gottfried created quite a stir this May for his reading of Fifty Shades, which appeared on Jest.com and inevitably made the YouTube viral video circuit. His signature crazed voice, which has given animated life to both to a parrot and, er, another parrot, instantly transformed the bestselling novel into a total farce.

The Morgan Freeman reading, on the other hand, is one you should probably only listen to in the comfort of your own home. NSFW.

Josh Robert Thompson has also voiced characters on Family Guy and American Dad, but his Morgan Freeman impression is currently his biggest Internet hit.

Prince Harry deployed, will spend 4 months in Afghanistan

After his weekend in Vegas, Prince Harry sobers up and soldiers on

 

Prince Harry was deployed to Afghanistan yesterday for a four-month stint flying an Apache helicopter. The prince, who turns 28 in a week, trained for this duty for 18 months and was qualified in February.

The royal family denies all suspicions that the deployment is some kind of punishment for the naked adventures Prince Harry enjoyed in Las Vegas just a few weeks ago. On the contrary, a British military representative said the deployment was a “long-planned and scheduled” event, with the Las Vegas trip as somewhat of a last hurrah for Prince Harry before heading to Afghanistan.

This is the second deployment for Prince Harry, who served for 10 weeks in 2007 and 2008. That tour was cut short when the UK’s Ministry of Defence decided it was too dangerous; the deployment was supposed to be a secret, but word got out despite a media blackout.

This time, Prince Harry’s risk as a pilot is considered “low.” The British military has never lost an Apache helicopter, despite Taliban claims otherwise, and there was no media blackout of the deployment.

Prince Harry will be stationed at Camp Bastion, in the heart of Taliban territory. It’s expected that he will be treated like any other solder, though he is the first royal family member to be on active military duty since his uncle, Andrew.

Amy Poehler, Will Arnett un-tie the knot

After 9 years, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett have ended their seemingly perfect marriage

 

Amy Poehler and Will Arnett were the perfect comedic dream team, and not just for their brother-sister roles in Blades of Glory. In real life, the two made a funny and inspiring pair, as evidenced by their hijinks at last year’s Emmy awards, among other appearances.

The couple insisted that their relationship was normal and down-to-earth, albeit full of fun — but now, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett are breaking up as amicably as they got together. Poehler’s rep confirmed the news, leaving fans wondering: Is love, like, even a thing anymore?

@Gawker (Gawker)
Will Arnett and Amy Poehler are separating because love doesn’t exist. God made it up. Neat joke, God. 🙁

@michaelianblack (Michael Ian Black)
If President Obama is so great, why did Amy Poehler and Will Arnett break up today? #thinkaboutit #reggaeislove #dnc

@alywaly_mk (random fan)
if amy poehler and will arnett are genuinely breaking up, i don’t know how i will go on. LOVE IS DEAD. THERE IS NO POINT IN LIVING.

Poehler and Arnett have two children: 3-year-old Archie and 2-year-old Abel. The couple began dating in 2000 and went long-distance for a good three years when Poehler got her spot on Saturday Night Live and Arnett began starring in Arrested Development. Arnett said of Poehler that he had a “talent crush” on her from the moment they met; they married in August 2003.

Will Arnett was formerly married to Penelope Ann Miller, who starred in 2011’s The Artist. The couple divorced after a year of marriage in 1995.

What are your thoughts? Purge your grief in the comments below.

Judy Blume battling breast cancer

After surviving cervical cancer 17 years ago, Judy Blume received new diagnosis earlier this summer

 

Judy Blume, beloved young adult author, revealed today on her blog that she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this summer and underwent surgery a month ago.

In the blog post, Judy Blume wrote about the shock and fear of receiving her diagnosis. Blume said she doesn’t eat red meat, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink alcohol, exercises every day — and yet developed invasive ductal carcinoma. The blog post was titled “!@#$% Happens,” and the message was that cancer can happen to anybody, even those without a family history of the disease. Blume encouraged women with dense breast tissue to get a sonogram along with an annual mammogram.

Opting for surgery and reconstruction to treat the cancer, Judy Blume had a mastectomy on July 30, six weeks after the diagnosis. “This surgery went well,” she wrote, “one night in the hospital, very little pain,” and no need for chemotherapy. She says she is feeling better a month after the surgery and is back at home in New York City, crediting an “amazing network” of friends as her inspiration and motivation.

This isn’t the first time Judy Blume, age 74, has battled cancer. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer 17 years ago and underwent a hysterectomy at that time.

Judy Blume has a loyal fan following of teens and tweens who read her much-loved books, including Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Blume says she plans to begin writing again soon, as she has “just been given permission to type an hour at a time with arm exercises in between.”

Amanda Bynes faces jail for 2 counts of hit-and-run

Following a DUI charge earlier this year, Amanda Bynes will appear in court again Sept. 27

 

Amanda Bynes could go to jail for up to a year in connection with two hit-and-run misdemeanor charges. The former child star, who made a name for herself on Nickelodeon’s “All That” and recently starred in the movie-musical “Hairspray,” will appear in court on Sept. 27 for charges filed yesterday.

According to a police report, the first hit-and-run took place in April. A driver on a Los Angeles highway told police that Amanda Bynes rear-ended them and drove off, but Bynes was not arrested for the incident. The second hit-and-run reportedly took place in August, when a Los Angeles woman told police that Amanda Bynes rear-ended her in San Fernando Valley.

These charges come after Amanda Bynes supposedly got a DUI and crashed into a police car earlier this year. She pleaded not guilty.

Bynes tweeted in May that she was amused by the “fake stories” regarding the DUI and hit-and-run rumors, and that she “doesn’t drink.” The actress has not yet commented specifically on the charges filed this month.

Each hit-and-run charge is worth a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Glenn Beck announces he’s boycotting American Airlines after rude treatment

A flight attendant blatantly disrespected him for his political views, Glenn Beck says

 

Glenn Beck claims he was treated as a “subhuman” on a recent flight from New York to Texas, and on Tuesday he announced on his radio show that he planned never to fly with American Airlines again.

The American Airlines flight attendant, Glenn Beck said, treated every other passenger—including Beck’s children—with respect and friendliness. However, when it came time to serve Glenn Beck his drink, the flight attendant slammed the can of soda down in front of Beck without opening and pouring it for him. The flight attendant also avoided looking Glenn Beck in the eye or speaking to him in even a neutral tone, Beck reported. On his way off the plane, Beck said, he told the attendant he was thankful his children weren’t treated with such disrespect. The attendant told Beck that he “deserved it.”

Glenn Beck also said the flight attendant “put on quite a show” for the other passengers, telling them about his time as a soldier and his pride in the “very liberal cities in America.”

In response to the incident, Beck tweeted that he hoped no one else would be treated as such on American Airlines, and announced he was boycotting the airline for hiring someone who would do so. The airline tweeted back an apology for his treatment on the flight and assured him that they were taking the matter seriously.

Glenn Beck posted another tweet that he is still “investigating” as to whether he’ll discuss the incident further on his show.

Chuck Norris promises certain doom for America

To Chuck Norris, 4 more years of Obama would be worse than a roundhouse kick to the face

 

Chuck Norris wants you to understand that if President Obama is re-elected, America is in for a world of pain. That’s why he and his wife, Gena, chose to make a two-minute ad against the incumbent.

The video, which Chuck Norris posted to his official YouTube channel, takes place in an apparent karate studio and urges evangelical Christian Americans to vote this November. The couple warns of a “tipping point” after which America will never be the same and freedom will be in jeopardy.

“Let’s unite for God and country,” Chuck Norris urges in the video. Gena Norris chimes in with the statistic that 30 million evangelical Christians didn’t vote in the last election.

Although the ad doesn’t actually mention Mitt Romney, it doesn’t have to. Besides the obvious (if not Obama, then Romney), Gena and Chuck Norris spend much of the two minutes quoting Ronald Reagan’s speech in support of Barry Goldwater in 1964, called the “A Time for Choosing” speech. In it, Reagan warned of “1,000 years of darkness” for future generations and said that “freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction.”

Chuck Norris originally supported Newt Gingrich in the 2012 presidential race. Back in May, when Newt Gingrich dropped out and Norris voiced his support for Romney instead, Norris wrote an article warning against “four more years of increased socialistic decisions,” a warning that he re-emphasized in the video.

“We can no longer sit quietly … and watch our country go the way of socialism,” Chuck Norris says, “or something much worse.”

Chris Lighty, hip-hop manager, found dead of suicide at 44

Police say the manager of Mariah Carey and 50 Cent shot himself outside his Bronx apartment

 

Chris Lighty, hip-hop manager and mogul, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head yesterday at his home in New York City.

Police found Chris Lighty on his back patio next to a 9-mm pistol. He had reportedly been arguing with his wife, Veronica, before shooting himself outside of his home in the Bronx. Lighty’s daughter, 17, and son, 5, were in a nearby park when the suicide occurred.

Chris Lighty helped 50 Cent to stardom and managed Sean “Diddy” Combs, Missy Elliot and Mariah Carey, among others. He was also an executive at Def Jam, Jive and Loud and the Brand Asset Group. Chris Lighty was considered one of the most influential forces in hip-hop, helping to launch the genre’s commercial success during the 1990s and early 2000s. It was Chris Lighty who negotiated 50 Cent’s $100 million deal with Vitaminwater and LL Cool J’s 1997 commercial for Gap, launching hip-hop into the public pop-culture consciousness.

Veronica Lighty, who filed for divorce last year, told police that Chris Lighty suffered from debt, including $5 million owed to the IRS. The Associated Press reports that while that debt was mostly paid off, the manager still owed more than $330,000 in taxes.

The stars whose lives Chris Lighty touched posted their condolences on Twitter. Sean “Diddy” Combs summed up the general mood in two words: “In shock.”