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Rob Gilmore

Steubenville Rape Case Ends with Jail Time for Accused

Two Teens Headed to Jail in Rape Case

In what has been a long and grueling trial, for the Ohio town of Steubenville and for the victim’s family, two high school football players were convicted Sunday in an Ohio rape case that gained national media attention, according to CNN.

The two men who committed the crime, Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, were found guilty of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl.  The case has attracted the attention of bloggers—and even the hacking group, Anonymous.

Not only was one of the accused, Mays, convicted of rape under Ohio law, but he also was found guilty of disseminating a nude photo of a minor.  A flurry of text messages, videos and photos were spread across social networks following the rape.

According to CNN, Judge Thomas Lipps announced his decision after reviewing evidence that was presented over four days of testimony in the case against Mays and Richmond.  The two teens were tried as juveniles. 

The victim did not appear in the courtroom, but her mother delivered a statement after the judge’s ruling.
“Human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent. It is a God-given gift instilled in all of us,” the victim’s mother said after court was adjourned. “You displayed not only a lack of this compassion, but a lack of any moral code.”
Mays was sentenced to a minimum of two years in a juvenile correction facility.  Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year, but he could serve until he is 21.  The Department of Youth Services will determine whether the boys will serve longer, according to CNN, dependent on their behavior and rehabilitation. 
The two teens will register as sex offenders and are ordered to undergo treatment.  Lipps said he will postpone a hearing into which sexual offender registration category they will be classified until the end of their incarceration.
The case may well not be over.  Though it is unlikely others present at the party could be held legally responsible for the crime committed that night, investigators have identified a number of party attendees and have interviewed owners of a home where one of several parties took place that night. 
Advocacy groups have called for additional charges in the case and for more people to be held legally responsible, according to ABC News.

Beyonce Just Called You a Bitch

Controversial Lyrics in Beyonce’s New Song

In a track called “Bow Down/ I Been On,” recently released on her website, and apparently a sign of her style to come, Beyonce gratuitously uses the B-word, stirring up some controversy about the otherwise tame Grammy winner.

Beyonce also posted a childhood photo of herself dressed up as a queen and posing in front of a mantle adorned by her various trophies and achievements.  In the first minute or so of the song, and generating the most controversy, she repeats the B-word, or in some instances, Bishes, as she reminds her audience of her total awesomeness.

“I know when you were little girls / You dreamt of being in my world / Don’t forget it / Don’t forget it Respect that Bow Down, B-tch,” the lyrics read.

The song goes on to distort into a different track with what seams to be a chopped and screwed version of her voice. 

The controversial lyrics continue.  “I’m bigger than life / The name in the lights / I’m the the No. 1 chick; I don’t need no hype / The capital B means I’m about that life / The capital B means I’m about that life  / I’ve been on I’ve been on I’ve been on / Tell me who’s going to take me off.”

With performances earlier this year at President Obama’s inauguration and a Super-Bowl half-time show, Beyonce, who is known for breaking demographic boundaries, is showing no signs of slowing down.  The track is produced by Hit Boy, who also worked on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Niggas in Paris.” 

The track even caused a Twitter frenzy.  Usage of the term “Bow Down” rose by 500,000+ tweets in the last 24 hours, according to Twitter.  There have been more than half a million mentions of the song.

If anything’s for sure, Beyonce is not going away anytime soon.
 

Biggest Loser Winner, Danni Allen, Goes from Not to Hot

Danni Allen is Season 14’s Biggest Loser

If you’re looking for some motivation to drop that extra ten pounds from the holiday season, look no further than the latest winner of The Biggest Loser.  The hit NBC television show announced their season fourteen winner Monday night. 

Danni Allen, an advertising account coordinator from Wheeling, Ill., took home the $250,000 prize, beating out two other finalists. 

And let’s face it, fellas.  At a whopping 258 lbs, this pale Midwestern lass wasn’t exactly Prom material, but after shedding 46.9 percent of her body fat and a quick trip to the tanning booth, you might have some competition.

Danni Allen lost 121 lbs. total, going from 258 lbs. to 137 lbs. Her percentage lost just beat out Jeff Nichols, the next closest competitor, who lost 46.65 percent, going from 388 to 207 lbs.

As reported by People Magazine, Allen embraced her trainer, Jillian Michaels- who returned to the program after a two year break.  “At the end of the day, look at me,” Allen said right before her final weigh-in.

Jackson Carter, the first openly-gay contestant, finished third, going from 328 lbs. to 190 lbs., according to People, for a total loss of 42.07 percent body-weight.  Early in the Monday finale, Jackson was revealed to have won the public vote over sales executive Joe Ostaszewski to join the final three.

Allen didn’t take home the only prize Monday.  An attorney from Alabama, Gina McDonald, took home $100,000 by losing more weight than any of the other contestants.  She went from 245 lbs. to 132 lbs. for a loss of 113 lbs- or 46.12 percent of her body weight.

The Monday finale was also the first time the show featured appearances by all three teen contestants- the first time the show addressed childhood obesity, according to People.  Lindsay Bravo, an 8th grader from Fillmore, Calif., lost 47 lbs. and performed a routine with the cheerleaders from her high school.  Noah “Bingo” Gray of New Windsor, Md., also an 8th grader, lost 43 lbs. and Sanjana “Sunny” Chandrasekar, an 11th grader from Rochester, N.Y., lost 51 lbs.

Lindsay Lohan Avoids Jail- For Now

Lindsay Lohan isn’t going back to jail this time, unfortunately

In a plea deal struck at the 11th hour, Lindsay Lohan will avoid jail time, in exchange for 90 days in a “locked-in” drug rehab facility to settle criminal charges levied against her Monday. 

Lohan entered pleas of no contest on two misdemeanor charges relating to a traffic accident last summer, and she chose not to challenge the finding that that she violated her shoplifting probation with those convictions, according to CNN.

Although Lohan was sentenced to five days in jail and 90 days on two charges, the judge is allowing her to serve that time in a drug rehab facility. 

The sentence will also extend her probation by two years, require 18 months of psychotherapy and 30 days of community service.

The judge also had some choice words for the young starlet.  “Don’t drive,” noting the advice was not part of her formal plea deal.  “You’re in New York.  You don’t need to drive.”  He added, “You really need to understand… This is it… Please take this seriously.”

Her attorney, Mark Heller, had a different take, as he expressed his thoughts on Lohan to the media after the hearing.  She is “now on a wonderful path and a journey that I think is going to be very rewarding,” he said. “Today marks the first day of the rest of her life and her comeback is right before us.”

Earlier in the day, there was no sign that Lohan was taking her first few steps to a comeback.  She arrived 45 minutes late to her scheduled hearing.  As reported by Fox News, Lohan reportedly missed her flight from New York to Los Angeles Sunday night and would have missed the hearing all-together, had it not been for a California-based energy drink company for whom she has made promotional appearances.

“Thanks Mr. Pink for the private jet,” she tweeted Monday.  We’ll just have to wait and see when Lohan’s luck runs out.
 

Lindsey Vonn, New Squeeze for Tiger Woods

What is Lindsey Vonn thinking?

Let’s be real. The age difference between Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods is more than their relationship is likely to last, nine years.  Lindsey Vonn, 28, and Tiger Woods, 37, announced Monday afternoon that their relationship is getting serious.  Good luck to them.  They’ll need it.

Three years ago, Lindsey Vonn was quick to mock Woods’s staged, televised apology about sex addiction.  She wasn’t alone.  But by yesterday afternoon, in an abrupt contradiction of her attitude toward the sex addict three years ago, it looks like Vonn is next in line to get it on with Tiger. 

Lindsey Vonn, the winner of four world cup ski championships, announced on her Facebook page Monday that she had become “close” with Tiger Woods. 

“I guess it wasn’t a well-kept secret,” Vonn wrote on her Facebook page Monday, as reported by the New York Times. “But yes, I am dating Tiger Woods. Our relationship evolved from a friendship into something more over these past few months and it has made me very happy. I don’t plan on addressing this further as I would like to keep that part of my life between us, my family and close friends. Thank you for understanding and your continued support!”

Tiger Woods, the famed winner of 76 PGA Tour victories, posted four professionally-taken pictures of Vonn and him, asking the media and fans for privacy.  The photos look very normal, according to the New York Times, except, of course, that Vonn and Woods are two of the most successful athletes in the world. 

“This season has been great so far and I’m happy with my wins at Torrey and Doral,” Woods wrote on his Facebook page, in reference to two of his recent PGA Tour victories.  “Something nice that’s happened off the course was meeting Lindsey Vonn. Lindsey and I have been friends for some time, but over the last few months we have become very close and are now dating. We thank you for your support and for respecting our privacy. We want to continue our relationship, privately, as an ordinary couple and continue to compete as athletes.”

This is the first public relationship for Woods since his highly publicized divorce from Elin Nordegren in 2010.  In light of his less-than-savory past, fans and onlookers are skeptical about the relationship’s prospects- to say the least.

After Eight Years, John Paul II Leaves Big Shoes to Fill

Pope Francis leads in wake of John Paul II’s Awesomeness. How will he match up?

Even eight long years after his death, Pope John Paul II, taking on the image more of a rock star than Catholic pope with the nickname JP2, is leaving big shoes to fill for the new pope, Francis. 

Pope Benedict XVI never inspired the same admiration as John Paul II for a number of reasons.  Chiefly among them, he was elected to the papacy when he was older.  At age 78 and a man who spent the majority of his life doing scholarly work, he lacked the charismatic qualities that endeared million of Catholics to his predecessor. 

And on the heels of Pope Francis’s election, a community in Texas is celebrating the legacy of Pope John Paul II, who the church may beatify as early as the end of this year, by creating a new exhibit at the Catholic Renewal Center in Lubbock.  The exhibit will feature more than 110 personal effects of John Paul II, including pictures, personal effects and documents. 

The exhibit is called “I Have Come to You Again.”  The exhibit opens 9 a.m. Friday, March 15 and ends May 31.  The exhibit will cover four parts: his childhood and adolescence, his rise in the church, his years as pope, and his legacy, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.  Ticket costs are $15 for adults and five dollars for children.

John Paul II connected with the Catholic masses in a way that Benedict did not.
“I think Benedict always saw himself as a transitional pope,” said the Rev. Michael Collins to Foxnews.  “He knew he couldn’t bring the same energy or the same characteristics or qualities to the office.”

Pope Francis is viewed as more progressive, as a result of his Jesuit background, choice of name and Latino background.  Only time will tell whether he can live up to the legacy of John Paul II.
 

Google Kills Google Reader, Focuses on Fewer Products

Google Reader is out, loyal users frustrated

Google Reader will no longer be available to its dwindling, though dedicated, users beginning July 1, according to ABC News. Google is killing the service because its number of users is declining, and they would prefer to focus on fewer applications.

“We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience,” Google’s Alan Green wrote on Google’s blog late Wednesday night.

The service, whose few users are highly dedicated to the service, allows you to view all your RSS Feeds, usually headlines and articles from news organizations, in one central location.  Beginning July 1, the application will be completely shut down.

As reported by ABC News, Google Reader’s devotes users took to social media to express their frustrations.
“Two weeks of no pope: baby cured of HIV, breath test for cancer, salt water found on moon of Jupiter. Day one with pope: Google Reader dies,” @sup3rmark tweeted. 
David Carr of the New York Times expressed his frustration. “Always read about pulled plugs on product and say, no biggie. But #GoogleReader? They are shutting down my jam.”

While Google Reader does have its impassioned followers, many users have never relied on RSS services.  Many people use social media like Twitter and Facebook to aggregate and collect their news these days.

“RSS never caught on as mainstream consumer experience but Google reader provided a powerful resource as a back-end aggregator that could sync content across applications and platforms,” Michael Gartenberg, Gartner research director, told ABC News.

Thankfully, there are some alternatives, like Netvibes, Reeder and Newsblur.  Netvibes, for instance, is a free service that even has directions on how to import Reader information using Google Takeout.

Kobe Bryant Sprains Ankle, LA Lakers Lose Star Player

Lakers fans mourn loss of greatest player to ankle injury

Kobe Bryant’s ankle injury will make the already difficult playoffs that much more strenuous for the LA Lakers.  As reported by USA Today, Bryant severely sprained his ankle Wednesday night in a 96-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Rising up for a jumper from the right baseline that would have tied the game with three seconds left, Bryant came down on the foot of Dahntay Jones.  X-rays revealed no break, but Bryant told reporters the sprain was one of the worst since the 2000 season and a Lakers official confirmed to USA Today Sports that he will be out indefinitely.

Losing Bryant would be difficult for any team, but the loss will be an especially painful pill for the Lakers to swallow.  Bryant accounted for more than a quarter of the Laker’s offense this season and is responsible for leading the emotional charge that guaranteed a playoff position on Feb. 21, when the Laker’s record was 26-29.  He champions an average of 27.4-points-per-game, which is third in the entire league.

Bryant said after the game that Jones was guilty of a “dangerous” play by sliding underneath his feet as he completed the shot, according to an article on SI.com.  “First and foremost, the officials really need to protect shooters,” Bryant said.  “You just can’t go into shooters.  That’s a dangerous play.”

Jones disagrees.  He says Bryant suffered the injury by landing awkwardly as a result of his kickout leg motion, and that Bryant was actually responsible for the foul by causing the contact.

Either way, the injury could not have come at a worse time for the Lakers.  They are going to make it to the playoffs, but it’s Bryant’s star athletics that got them there.  According to SI.com, replacing Bryant’s offensive production is impossible.

If the Laker’s star player is gone for more than three games, according to SI, look out.  His absence might mean a swift elimination in the playoffs.  Sorry Lakers Fans… get ready to watch every non-Lakers fan from coast-to-coast bask in the pain of your unfortunate-and quite timely- loss.

Pi Day Celebrated with Memorization, Apple Pie

Nerds Celebrate Pi Day with Number Memorization; the Rest of Us Eat Pie

Why celebrate Pi Day today? Well, it’s March 14 (3/14), and the numerical manifestation of the mathematical pi is 3.14159.  Math geeks everywhere celebrate the day with memory competitions and a slice of pie afterward, as a reward for all their hard work.

Yes, believe it or not.  Pi Day is not just some random academic holiday that your math professor forced you to celebrate in high school. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and is represented by the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet.  The number is infinite. 

As reported by CNN, Daniel Tammet recited 22,514 digits of pi in 2004, scoring the European record, at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford.  The recitation took him five hours, nine minutes.  He is promoting France’s first Pi Day celebration at the Palace of Discovery science museum in Paris.

Another super memorizer, Chao Lu, set the current world record for pi recitation at 67,890 digits in 2005.  He was only 23.  According to a 2009 study by Florida State University, he did so by creating associated meanings in numbers by using mnemonics relating to the sounds of numbers and the shapes or meanings of certain digits and numbers.

If you’re not the kind of guy to recite thousands of digits to celebrate Pi Day, fear not.  The Detroit Free Press has thought of a few different ways you might be able to celebrate the day in fun and creative ways.

Think about baking or investing in a whole apple pie.  Have some fun calculating the circumference of the pie by measuring the diameter and then multiplying by pi.  Then, reward yourself with a slice (or many slices) of delicious apple pie! 

In another way to celebrate, the Free Press recommends calculating how much money you can save with Pi Day deals, like one at the Microsoft store, which is offering 3.14% off a Dell tablet.

In Jeff Gordon Pepsi Ad- Used Car Salesman Screams, The People Rejoice

Jeff Gordon Pranks Car Salesman for Popular Pepsi Ad

At one time or another, we’ve all wanted to see a used car salesman suffer.  He’s obnoxious, lies to us and before we realize there’s something catastrophically wrong with the car we just purchased, we’ve signed on the dotted line and it’s all too late.

Thanks to Jeff Gordon and Pepsi, our dream has come true.   After the success of Uncle Drew, Kyrie Irving’s undercover, old-time basketball star (25 million views and counting), Jeff Gordon is Pepsi’s latest viral advertisement star. 

The advertisement features Jeff Gordon in disguise, as a man who wants to take a 2009 Chevy Camaro for a test drive.  Little does the salesman know, Jeff Gordon is about to take him for the ride of his life. 

“You are liable for damages, sir, so please stop the car,” the salesman screams as Gordon takes on gut-curdling loops around the dealer’s lot.  The video has already earned 7 million views on Youtube.

A Pepsi spokesman has told ABC News that a stunt man is responsible for some of the driving but refused to reveal whether the salesman was an actor, insisting that his reactions were 100 percent genuine.

“I started to suspect on the second viewing,” said auto enthusiast Travis Okulski of Jalopnik.com to ABC News.  Noticing rubber marks on the ground, he could tell that some portions of the ad had been shot several times.  He also knew the salesman was an actor from a source on the set.

Even if the advertisement is fake, any exposure is good exposure, according to Emma Bazilian, a writer for Adweek.  “Even if people are talking about it in a negative way, they’re still going to be talking about it.”
“I don’t know how much longer you can keep this up without people realizing they’re being tricked, but for now it’s getting a lot of hits and that’s what the brands care about,” she said to ABC News.
Be sure to check out the ad on Youtube.  Just search “Jeff Gordon Test Drive” to see the car salesman scream for his life!