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Sara Hall

Likes: Good (read: bad) puns, puppies, embarrassing pop music, burritos, idolizing Beyoncé and Tina Fey Dislikes: Squirrels, typos, socks with sandals (and other unforgivable fashion mistakes) Sara hasn't always been a journalist -- unless you count that time she put out a newspaper in the third grade about her dog. Still, she's been making up for lost time ever since she began attending Eastern Illinois University and started writing for The Daily Eastern News. When people ask her why she wants to be a writer, she tells them it's because she genuinely enjoys journalism and everything that goes with it (which is true, but let's be real, she not-so-secretly wouldn't mind just being Carrie Bradshaw for the rest of her life). In the fall, you'll find her where she really belongs: as online editor, blogging and tweeting like it's her job -- because hey, it actually is (thank God).

Bonnaroo brings out both old, new performers

R&B performer D’Angelo makes surprise appearance

This year’s Bonnaroo brought a mix of both old and new – and everything in between.

Classic artists like Kenny Rogers, The Beach Boys and Alice Cooper brought a blast from a past, while today’s popular performers, including electronic artist Skrillex and indie pop band fun., kept 2012’s Bonnaroo feeling current.

Other not-old-but-not-new artists, such as Phish and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (who are all over the music scene this summer), also performed at the music festival.

Although three days of non-stop jamming may seem like a tiring experience, fans at this year’s Bonnaroo continued to rage on with a never-ending enthusiasm, even when performances went well into the night.

Radiohead was one of these performances, playing a rather long set that topped in at two hours and 15 minutes. Still, fans didn’t mind and stayed past midnight to hear the British rock band play on.

That was nothing compared to Skrillex’s 1:30 a.m. Sunday performance, which kept fans buzzing well into the night, only to end on the dubstep artist’s hit “Bangarang” right as rain hit.

Artists like Mac Miller, The Black Lips and The Joy Formidable kept the energy high on the last day of Bonnaroo.

Other artists like The Beach Boys, Bon Iver and Phish kept the mood relaxing.

Of course, the music festival wasn’t without surprises.

R&B singer D’Angelo brought an unexpected performance to Bonnaroo this year. D’Angelo had avoided performing in the U.S. for the past 12 years until this weekend’s Bonnaroo.

The crowd capacity for Bonnaroo this year was 80,000 people.

Tony Awards confirm expectations, bring surprises

Clybourne Park and Once take most awards

The Tony Awards on Sunday brought both expected wins as well as surprises.

The wins for this year’s Tony Awards were more evenly split than last year’s near-sweep with The Book of Mormon; this year, the plays Clybourne Park and Once shared the title for most awards won.

Clybourne Park, a drama revolving around race and the real estate market, took the title of best play, and indie-film-turned-Broadway-musical Once, a musical about an Irish street musician and a Czech immigrant, won the best musical category at the 66th annual Tony Awards.

Once was a deemed as a surprise hit and won eight out of the 11 Tony Awards for, which it was nominated, including John Tiffany’s award for musical directing, Clive Goodwin’s for sound design, Bob Crowley’s for scenic design and Natasha Katz’s for lighting design.
 Another film adapted musical, Disney’s 1992 Newsies, an uplifting musical about a New York newsboys’ strike, called this year’s Tony Awards a success, taking home best choreography and best score.

Old favorites were also represented at this year’s Tony Awards. Arthur Miller’s play of American tragedy, Death of a Salesman, won for best revival of a play, while famous song-writing duo – and brothers – George and Ira Gershwin also received many honors.

Tony voters picked the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess for best music revival, beating out other fan favorites like Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and Follies.  
 The Tony Awards were hosted for the third time by Neil Patrick Harris, whom, as per usual, helped keep the night’s level of excitement high as he switched between high-energy and dramatic acts.

Kris Humphries has a type: Kim Kardashian

Humphries reportedly dating a Kim doppelganger

Kris Humphries seems to have a type: Kim Kardashian.

TMZ has reported Kris Humphries has been dating alleged girlfriend, Fatmire Sinanaj, 25, since January; Sinanaj is said to look very similar to Humphries’ estranged wife, Kim Kardashian.

Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian were married for 72 days until Kardashian filed for divorce on Oct. 31.

Reports emerged of Kris Humphries dating Sinanaj after they were photographed on a Miami beach over the weekend. Many Internet commenters were quick to note the similarities in appearance of Sinanaj and Kardashian.

Kris Humphries has denied the report, saying Sinanaj had just pulled up a beach chair next to him, and nothing more.

However, sources told TMZ Humphries story is false and that he actually flew in from New York to Florida to be with Sinanaj. They also claim the alleged couple met at the five-star hotel she works at in New York.

Kardashian and Kris Humphries have set their deposition dates to continue with their ongoing divorce for later this month.

Taco Bell menu items about to get fancier

Company trying to keep up with upscale chains, adds Cantina Menu

The Taco Bell menu is about to get revamped – and fancy.

Known for its cheap menu items available at all hours of the night, Taco Bell is now trying to keep up with the likes of Chiptole and Qdoba by launching their new Cantina Bell menu, according to a report from the Associated Press.

To create the new Taco Bell menu, which is set to launch in early July, the company teamed up with chef Lorena Garcia, whom was featured on NBC’s America’s Next Great Restaurant and will appear on the upcoming season of Bravo’s Top Chef.

Together, they created the new Taco Bell menu items that include “gourmet Mexican food” with each item costing less than $5.

The company is so sure customers will like the new Taco Bell menu items, they’re even offering a guarantee – if customers don’t like it, Taco Bell will replace the items.

The new Taco Bell menu items are made with ingredients like black beans, 100 percent all-white meat chicken in a cilantro and herb marinade, cilantro rice, 100 percent Hass avocado guacamole, fire-roasted corn salsa, pico de gallo, creamy cilantro dressing and romaine lettuce.

With these ingredients, Taco Bell has created the Cantina Bowl and Cantina Burrito, all of which can be ordered as chicken, veggie or steak.

In addition, sides like black beans, cilantro rice and chips and pico de gallo, corn salsa or guacamole will be offered with the new Taco Bell menu items.

New side items will cost $1.49.

The company  has assured customers that Taco Bell menu item favorites like regular tacos and burritos and chalupas will continue to remain on the menu.

Taco Bell menu items are known to get added from time to time. Most recently was the introduction of the Doritos Locos tacos.

Ray Bradbury dies at age 91

Bradbury best known for American classic Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury, the science-fiction author best known for his American classic Farenheit 451, has died at the age of 91.

Ray Bradbury “died peacefully, last night, in Los Angeles, after a lengthy illness,” HarperCollins, Bradbury’s publisher said in a statement.

Ray Bradbury was also known for his other works The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Bradbury wrote more than 600 short stories during his lifetime, discussing futuristic topics at the time, such as ATM machines.

Ray Bradbury also wrote the screenplay for John Huston’s film adaptation of “Moby Dick” as well as adapting 65 of his stories for “The Ray Bradbury Theater.”

He won an Emmy for his adaptation for the teleplay of “The Halloween Tree.”

Ray Bradbury was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts and a 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.

Bradbury had lived in Los Angeles since his family moved there from Waukegan, Ill. during the Great Depression.

Ray Bradbury is survived by his four daughters and eight grandchildren. His wife of 57 years, Marguerite, died in 2003.

Election results name Scott Walker as governor

Results not exactly what labor unions wanted, but they are not giving up hope

Election results for Wisconsin are in, and the results are not exactly for what labor unions were hoping.

Republican Scott Walker took the spot again as governor, making him the first governor to win a gubertnational recall election in U.S. history. Walker was running against Democrat Tom Barrett, whom he ran against two years ago.

In a movement led by labor unions, the election results did not necessarily reflect the wishes of the Wisconsin unions. Still, they have not given up hope.

“Last night’s results were not what we had hoped for, but this was not the end of the story but rather the beginning,” Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, the country’s largest federation of unions, said in regards to the election results during a press call on Wednesday.

He continued to add that many factors went into Walker’s win, including his increased ability to fundraise and the public’s low level of approval for recall elections in general.

Even though the outcome wasn’t desired for labor unions, he said it was not an overall loss.

“The new model that Wisconsin’s working families have built won’t go away, it will only grow,” Trumka said during the press conference.

When analyzing the election results, many people are discussing President Barack Obama’s lack of involvement in the campaign.

Trumka said he respects Obama’s decision and was not upset by his lack of involvement.

Trumka instead highlighted the significance of educating voters, advising education on how to vote at the grassroots level in order to obtain the desired election results.

“Be clear about your job creation, and I think you win,” he said.

Gas can in car seat instead of child: Yes, believe it

Internet community up in arms over photo posted by Colorado Department of Transportation

A gas can in a car seat- but not a child?

This is exactly what Aurora police found during a Colorado “Click it or ticket” inspired road stop, CNN reported.

A traffic officer took the photo of the gas can in a car seat during the stop and then shared it on the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Facebook page.

The photo shows the gas can safely strapped into the car seat while the child sat in the seat next to it, simply strapped in by a lap belt.

Commenters on the Colorado Department of Transportation are up in arms over the story and photo of the gas can in the car seat.

As of 2:00 p.m. on June 6, the photo had 217 likes, 1,428 shares and 446 comments.

Sample comments range from concerned to outraged.

Summer Justice commented, “People like this need BIRTH CONTROL in their lives. And why is this not a CPS issue? Pathetic excuse for a mother.”

Rick Sarmiento was displeased with the Colorado Department of Transportation for posting the photo of the gas can in the car seat, saying posting the photo was irresponsible.

“Although the photo is disturbing with a tremendous lack of judgment on behalf of the parent, posting this pic on your site is also disturbing with a tremendous lack of judgement on behalf of the Colorado DOT. What gives your officer the right to take a picture of a private citizen, especially that of a child, and post it on facebook? If I were the parent, I would sue the crap out of the officer and your department. Shame on you guys!”  he commented.

Colorado law requires children under the age of eight riding in a motor vehicle to be in a child safety seat. The minimum fine per violation is $82.

Aurora Police said the driver was written three restraint violations for placing the gas can in a car seat instead of the child. 

LinkedIn passwords leaked onto Internet

More than six million passwords allegedly leaked

LinkedIn passwords are now potentially circulating the Internet after hackers stole and leaked an encrypted file containing them onto a Russian web forum.

An estimated six million LinkedIn passwords have been leaked.

LinkedIn, a company commonly known as the social networking site for professionals, has not confirmed any user data has been leaked or hacked.

However, Graham Cluley, web security consultant for U.K. company Sophos, said in a blog post that the file posted in the forum does in fact contain LinkedIn passwords.

He added although email addresses are not associated with the LinkedIn passwords, hackers are most likely working together to crack them.

Cluley encouraged all LinkedIn users to change their LinkedIn passwords as soon as possible.

LinkedIn went to its Twitter page to let users know the status their LinkedIn passwords, saying the team was “looking into reports of stolen passwords.”

LinkedIn tweeted again two hours later, saying they are still unable to confirm a security breach.

Shares for the company are now down 1.2 percent to $91.89 as of midday trades.

Airtime gets off to rough start

Is the Chatroulette (but with clothes) video chat service too awkward to succeed?

Airtime, a video chat service that combines the best of what the Internet has to offer, was pitched to be a success.

With stars like Snoop Dogg, Jim Carrey, Olivia Munn, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Joel McHale all at the product’s launch party on June 5, it was positioned for nothing but a surefire hit. Having been developed by Napster co-creator Sean Parker didn’t hurt either.

Too bad its launch turned out to be almost a failure.

In the middle of these big-name celebrities and the big-name tech giant’s video chat sessions, Airtime repeatedly glitched and crashed so many times it was reportedly almost nonfunctioning.

To make the mess worse, media attendees and tech reviewers live-tweeted the problems occurring with Airtime, letting the whole world in on the fact that this product wasn’t exactly up to its originally projected standards.

CNET writer Greg Sandoval was rather blunt with his critique.

“To launch his new start-up, Sean Parker should have spent less of his billions on celebrity guests and more of it on fixing his technology,” he said.

But if its problems get fixed sooner rather than later, there’s potential that Airtime could succeed.

Airtime is basically a combination of the Internet’s most-used social services.

It brings together the best aspects of the tech world, combing video chat style of Skype, Youtube-sharing capabilities of Google+ Hangouts, the fun random approach of Chatroulette and the social reach of more than 900 million active, verified users with a connection to Facebook.

More than anything, Airtime is about connecting. But unlike Chatroulette, which is done completely at random and lost much of its credibility when it became almost pornographic, the new video chat service makes assumptions that users will have something in common with each other.

As users log onto Airtime.com, they’re presented with two video-chat windows, possible friends to chat and a list of topics they may want to discuss based on Facebook “likes.”

Users can also talk to someone based on location, starting up conversations with someone who is on Facebook and in the same geographic area.

This may seem ideal in theory, but some are wondering if users will actually want to chat with complete strangers and won’t hang up on them after a few minutes, or even seconds.

Another hang-up users have with Airtime is their Big Brother-like practices.

Technology critics are warning Airtime users that the video chat company randomly takes photos and records video of users’ conversations.

Airtime justifies this move, saying they only do so to ensure its users are fully clothed and are provided a safe chatting environment.
Still, the success of Airtime is up the air and will only be determined by improved capabilities and, more importantly, user reactions.

Airtime is now available for use and does not require any special downloaded software. However, users must have a webcam and be logged into Facebook Connect.

Prop 29 results still undetermined

Unofficial poll results show proposition was rejected

Prop 29 – a widely controversial initiative in California to increase taxes on cigarettes -in an attempt to raise money for cancer research- has the state in a voting deadlock.

The Lance Armstrong-backed proposal to add a $1 tax to each pack of cigarettes and other tobacco products has split the state’s voting population in half, according to the Associated Press.

An unofficial ballot count reports that Prop 29 was rejected by voters with final counts reporting 50.8 percent voted against Prop 29 while 49.2 percent approved the proposition.

The current tax per pack is 87 cents. This is still below the national average tobacco tax of $1.46.

The final results could take days to emerge, according to AP’s report.

In previous months, polls reporting on the public’s opinion of Prop 29 showed two-thirds approval of the proposition.

If approved, the $1 tobacco tax would generate $735 million each year. California has not raised taxes since 2000.

A possible influence to the public’s changed opinion of the tax could have stemmed from tobacco companies’ campaign against Prop 29.

Tobacco product makers like R.J. Reynolds, Phillip Morris and Altria Group, Inc. have spent nearly $46 million on ads that show the negative impact of Prop 29.

To counter the campaign against Prop 29, anti-smoking groups raised approximately $18 million to advocate support of the tax. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg notably gave $500,000 in support of Prop 29.

The current smoking rate in California is 12.1 percent.