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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).

Six-foot lizard on loose raises concerns

Still, owner says he’s harmless

Watch out: If you’re in Colorado, you may see a six-foot lizard on the loose.

According to authorities, the six-foot lizard on the loose escaped its enclosure in Teller County. Officials are now warning those with small children and outdoor pets to take extra caution, as the animal is known to be less than friendly from time-to-time.

 “It’s a large reptile, at least 25 pounds, and it can be aggressive. We want the people in those areas to know so they could keep on eye on their pets and small children,” Teller County Sheriff Mike Ensinger said about the six-foot lizard on the loose.

Still, the owner of the six-foot lizard on the loose – named Dino – said although the lizard may look terrifying, he is relatively harmless.

Dino has been on the loose since Tuesday, so his owner is saying it’s anyone’s bet as to where he is now.

Those who think they may have a tip as to where the six-foot lizard on the loose may be are advised to contact the Sheriff’s Department immediately. 

Provigil may bring success along with side effects

Provigil is being called the drug of successful elite

Those looking for a secret weapon to success have been turning to seeming power drug Provigil.

The drug originally meant to treat narcolepsy or sleep apnea helps users complete otherwise impossible tasks, everything from double full-length workouts to working endless hours on the computer.

John Withers, a computer programmer, said in an interview with ABC news that Provigil enables him to successfully write code for 12 hours at a time.

“It helps you focus up for exceptionally long periods of time,” he said.

In the same interview with ABC News, Dave Asprey, executive of a billion-dollar Internet security firm, said he starts every day at 4:45 a.m. by taking a Provigil pill.

“[It] can be the difference between I’m just making it through the day to I had the best day of my life,” Asprey told ABC News.

Provigil is already garnering comparisons to Adderall, another “power” drug that also gets frequently abused. Still, Provigil is even being touted as more powerful than Adderall, taking on the nickname “Viagra for the brain.”

Because Provigil is being increasingly abused, prescriptions for the drug are becoming increasingly harder to come across. Websites are popping up across the Internet promoting ways to coerce doctors to write a prescription for the drug or how to get it other ways.

Still, doctors are warning Provigil users to be cautious, as the drug could potentially be deathly. They are reporting no long-term studies have been done on Provigil and its effects on the brain. Doctors are warning the possible side effects of the drug include sleep deprivation and lethal rashes.

Prescription sales for Provigil have increased 73 percent in the past four years, nearly doubling sales, according to IMS Health.

Lobster prices take dive, lobstermen less than pleased

Lobster surplus results in all-time low prices

Lobster prices in Maine have taken a dive after the state has been experiencing a lobster surplus, leaving consumers with something to celebrate while lobstermen sob to the seas. Small soft-shell lobsters in Portland have hit an unusual low, with prices ranging from $3.79 to $4.99. These prices are almost less than per-pound prices of bologna at many supermarket delis.

Local seafood salesmen are saying consumers are eating up these low lobster prices. Docks Seafood owner Bob Coppersmith said he has even struck up a deal of five small live lobsters for $25, something that is much lower than the average sale price.

 “One gentleman came in and said, So I get five lobsters for $25. What’s the catch?’ ” Coppersmith said in an interview with The Inquister. “I said there’s no catch. He said, ‘You’re going to put five lobsters in a bag and not weigh them and give me them to me for 25 bucks?’ He just couldn’t believe it.”

Fourth of July usually marks the beginning of Maine’s lobster season, as lobsters begin shedding the hard shells and replacing them with soft shells. Soft-shell lobsters sell more easily, as cracking them open is less of a hassle and can be done by hand. The lobster prices for these are much lower than expected.

As lobstermen have been catching more lobsters than they need, this causes consumers to get the good end of the lobster prices supply-and-demand stick while lobstermen are left less than pleased.

Since these all-time low lobster prices have begun, Facebook pages of local fisherman groups, such as Maine’s Lobstermen’s Association, have begun expressing frustration and anger over the overabundance of lobsters and, consequently, lower lobster prices. This caused Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher to release a statement on Monday stating that they are working to end the lower lobster prices problem.

“We have heard that fishermen are seeking to impose a de facto shutdown of the fishery and coercing others into complying by threatening to cut off their gear. Any such actions will be met with targeted and swift enforcement,” he said. 

Ray Romano hints at divorce in recent interviews

Romano said his wife is getting annoyed with him

Ray Romano has been relatively out of Hollywood’s spotlight since his hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond went off the air in 2005, but he is back on the press circuit to promote his upcoming movie, Ice Age: Continental Drift.

Perhaps his time off from the media has made him become more open and less reserved because he’s confessing more than usual tight-lipped celebrities normally do.

In a recent interview with David Letterman, Ray Romano revealed he and his wife recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, but that things are getting rockier by the day. He even went as far to hint that if things continue at this rate, his marriage may not last much longer.

 “She’s reading a book, I’m e-mailing a friend. She puts the book down, looks at me and goes, ‘I can’t stand the way you type.’ If we’re at the point where my typing is annoying her, how long is it until, ‘You blink like an (expletive!),’” he told Letterman during the interview.

Only time will tell how the fate of Ray Romano’s marriage will turn out.

Ray Romano’s acting career has not been completely dead since the end of Everybody Loves Raymond. Ray Romano starred in the 2008 TNT show Men of a Certain Age. He will also having an upcoming multi-episode character arc on the ABC show Parenthood.

Ray Romano provides the voice for the character Manny in Ice Age: Continental Drift, which opens nationwide on Friday.

Oz: The Great and Powerful trailer stirs interest

New Oz movie to be much different than original

Oz: The Great and Powerful doesn’t hit screens until March 8, 2013, but with the recent release of the trailer for the Wizard of Oz prequel, it is already generating buzz. The film stars James Franco as the title character, Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch, Mila Kunis as The Wicked Witch of the West and Rachel Weisz as The Wicked Witch of the East.

From the trailer alone, Oz: The Great and Powerful does not look to be like the original Wizard of Oz movie by Victor Fleming. Instead, it is set to haunting music, featuring dangerous creatures and a more ominous tone.

The trailer also shows a menacing Mila Kunis looking less than pleased, most likely because of Oz’s interest in Glinda the Good Witch.

The trailer for Oz: The Great and Powerful also raises another question: If Emerald City existed before Oz’s time, who was in charge before him?

Still, these questions won’t be answered until Oz: The Great and Powerful is finally released.

The Oz: The Great and Powerful trailer premiered at San Diego Comic-Con.

The original Wizard of Oz premiered in August 1939.

Check out the trailer here.

Jason Kidd charged with DWI after crashing SUV

Kidd has entered a no-contest plea

Jason Kidd, NBA star and one of the Knicks’ most high-profile off-season acquirements, is facing drunk driving charges after crashing his vehicle in the Hamptons early Sunday morning.

Southampton police reported Jason Kidd, 39, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated when his Cadillac Escalade hit a utility pole and was then found at 2 a.m. in the woods near Cobb and Little Cobb roads in Water Mill.

Jason Kidd was found alone in his SUV when it crashed. Kidd refused to take a breathalyzer test, Bob Clifford, Suffolk District Attorney spokesman said on Sunday, and he was then given DWI charges.

Jason Kidd, a 2011 NBA champion with the Dallas Mavericks, was treated at Southampton Hospital for minor injuries before going to police headquarters.

Jason Kidd has responded to the incident through his attorney, Edward Burke Jr., who sent a text message to Newsday saying, “I entered a not-guilty plea and await further court proceedings. That’s all I am indicating to press at this time.”

Southampton Police Chief William Wilson declined to comment on the case until he could thoroughly review the incident report.

The Knicks said they had no statement regarding Jason Kidd, and the NBA said the league will “monitor the situation.”

Hours before Jason Kidd crashed his SUV, he had been attending a benefit hosted at an East Hampton estate by singer Ne-Yo’s Compound Foundation to honor movie director George Lucas.

Mermaid body found: Fact or myth?

New Animal Planet show is creating speculation

Mermaid body found – could it be true? This was the question behind the show airing on the Animal Planet, Mermaids: The Body Found that caused people to believe the long time myth could be a reality. The show examines a fictional story in which a mermaid body is discovered and filmed documentary style.

Despite Animal Planet being upfront that the mermaid body found story was fictional, many people still believed it to be true. The show did claim to “be based on some real events,” which is where many people took away that the mermaid body found story was true.

This prompted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to release in an official statement that mermaids, in fact, do not exist.

“No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found,” the administration said in their statement.

The NOAA said all the hype around the mermaid body found is entirely false and can be credited to the Animal Planet show.

“Blame the Animal Planet special Mermaids: The Body Found,” the NOAA added in an effort to explain why they decided to take a stance against the fabled half human, half fish creature.

Fishnewseu.com reported that the NOAA has previously released statements regarding other unexplained phenomena, such as the Lost City of Atlantis and the Bermuda Triangle.

Mermaids: The Body Found aired in May 2012 as part of Animal Planet’s Monster Week series and was deemed fictional due to the small number of facts on which it was based.

The show created and written by Charlie Foley follows two scientists who have been tipped off with knowledge that a story about a mermaid body found was to be true. They were given a photo of a mermaid body found on the shore, taken by two boys on a camera phone in Washington State, as well as remains found inside a shark in South Africa that they used to reconstruct a mermaid.

Frank Ocean's Channel Orange debuts to instant success, positive reviews

Ocean’s album already reaches No. 1 spot on iTunes

Frank Ocean gave fans an unexpected yet well-received surprise by releasing his debut record, Channel Orange, a week earlier than scheduled on his Tumblr. The album has already reached the No. 1 spot on iTunes.

Last week, Ocean also posted a letter on his Tumblr, frankocean.com, in which he revealed he fell in love with a man at the age of 19, opening up a discussion about his sexuality. While Ocean did not use the specific word choices of “gay” or “bisexual” – or on Channel Orange itself — he is now seen as a groundbreaker in the hip hop community, an industry that is predominately heterosexual.

Much of the discussion behind Channel Orange focuses on the pronouns in his songs, which are the first tip-off to his previous and current relationship/s with a man. In particular, Ocean used “he” instead of “she” in the songs “Bad Religion” and “Forest Gump.” Still, many critics are saying the pronoun usage is irrelevant, as the songs themselves stand out far beyond their subject matter.

The album garnered instant praise from reputable music critics. Billboard’s Jason Lipshutz said: “Now that Channel Orange has arrived on iTunes, that sigh of relief has become a squeal of excitement. And rightly so: over 17 tracks, some of which spin into nothingness and others which poke longingly at the meaning of the universe, Channel Orange presents a complex view of American life from the mind of superbly talented writer and vocalist.”

The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica also had high remarks for Channel Orange, saying, “It’s signature Frank Ocean: dignified, quasi-political, cerebral without being disdainful, fleetingly hopeful.”

While Frank Ocean has already proved he doesn’t need any help from others, Channel Orange still features appearances from big-name hip-hop artists like Andre 3000 and Earl Sweatshirt. Pharrell Wiliams also lent help on the production side of the record.

Viacom shows go dark for DirecTV subscribers

Shows like “Spongebob Squarepants,” “The Daily Show” no longer available

Shows like Spongebob Squarepants and Teen Mom went dark for DirecTV subscribers after the cable provider could not agree on new programming fees with Viacom. DirecTV subscribers lost channels like MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, VH1, CMT, BET and Spike as a result of the disagreement.

The seven-year contract between Viacom and DirecTV expired last weekend, but both sides could not come to an agreement that would extend the contract. The companies have been updating customers about the disagreement via blog posts and online statement.

On Tuesday, DirecTV released a statement on its website that said: “Viacom has spent the day trying to convince the public that DIRECTV is willingly removing channels like MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land and Spike from our customers’ homes tonight at midnight.”

Viacom then instantly rebutted DirecTV’s statement, saying: “DirecTV is throwing around some big numbers that are misleading. Here’s the truth: Viacom is asking DirecTV for an increase of a couple of pennies per day per subscriber. That’s far less than DirecTV pays other programmers with fewer viewers than Viacom. Viacom has always been open to negotiating and hopes to get a deal done.”

DirecTV said Viacom is seeking a 30 percent increase – which would be equivalent to a billion dollars – in fees from DirecTV. These costs would most likely be pushed onto customers.

More than 20 million subscribers were affected by the DirecTV and Viacom dispute

ESPN Body Issue pushes boundaries

Annual issue features Olympian athletes in risque poses

The ESPN Body Issue is coming out soon, pushing the boundaries once again by featuring Olympian athletes photographed in risqué poses. The ESPN Body Issue isn’t even out and is still generating buzz.

This year’s issue is different because it features Olympian athletes that will participate in this year’s London games.Toronto Blue Jays player Jose Bautista will be posing nude, as will other athletes, all with strategically placed items to cover up some parts.

The ESPN Body Issue often helps casual fans get more in touch with the Olympian athletes, generating more interest in the games. Click here to check out some of the photos to be featured in the ESPN Body Issue.

The following athlete’s will be featured in this year’s ESPN Body Issue:

·                                 Carlos Bocanegra (soccer)

·                                 Daniela Hantuchova (WTA)

·                                 Rob Gronkowski(NFL)

·                                 Abby Wambach (soccer)

·                                 Tyson Chandler (NBA)

·                                 Candace Parker (WNBA)

·                                 Maurice Jones-Drew(NFL)

·                                 Jose Bautista (MLB)

·                                 Brad Richards (NHL)

·                                 Maya Gabiera (surfing)

·                                 Ronda Rousey (MMA)

·                                 Mike Smith (jockey)

·                                 Tim Morehouse (fencing)

·                                 Walter Dix (track)

·                                 Danell Leyva (gymnastics)

·                                 Suzann Petterson (LPGA)

·                                 Ashton Eaton (decathlon)

·                                 Carmelita Jeter (track)

·                                 Anna Tunnicliffe (sailing)

·                                 Oksana Masters (paralympic rowing)

USA Volleyball Team:

·                                 Destinee Hooker

·                                 Stacy Sykora

·                                 Alisha Glass

·                                 Cynthia Barboza

·                                 Megan Hodge

·                                 Nellie Spicer

·                                 Heather Bown