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Brittney Elkins

Michaela "Mickey" Shunick still missing

The search continues for the missing Louisiana college student

Michaela “Mickey” Shunick, a University of Louisiana student, has been missing since Saturday.

Police in Louisiana are now searching for 22-year-old Mickey Shunick. She was last seen riding a bicycle around 2:00 a.m. in Lafayette, Louisiana, after leaving a friend’s house. The FBI and the Louisiana State Poliec have joined the search, and volunteers are scouring the area where Mickey Shunick was last seen.

Friends of Mickey Shunick and other searchers set out today to follow the route they believe the missing girl took in the early hours of Saturday morning.

“I asked her to be safe… I saw her to the driveway and that was the last time I saw her,” Brettly Wilson said. Wilson was the last known person to see Mickey Shunick prior to her disappearance.

Friends say Mickey Shunick was not drinking, and her family can’t think of any reason anybody would want to harm her.

Mickey Shunick’s family said they knew something was wrong when she didn’t attend her brother’s graduation ceremony Saturday morning.

Mickey Shunick is a 5’1” white female, with blonde hair and weighs 115 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pastel, multi-colored striped shirt, light wash skinny jeans and great shoes. Shunick departed the residence on a black Schwinn bicycle with gold handle bar grips and wearing a brown leather backpack.

The Shunick family said Mickey Shunick is an avid cyclist, and it was not unusual for her to be riding a bicycle at that late hour. They also said their daughter would never disappear like this.

Mickey Shunick reportedly carries a can of mace with her when she rides.

Friends and family have been posting fliers all week and have been looking for clues along the route they believe she traveled. Had Mickey Shunick not disappeared, they would have been celebrating her 22nd birthday Monday instead. Her family hopes to be able to have something to celebrate soon.

“I think she’s ok, I think she’s alive. I think she’s out there,” Mickey’s sister Charlene told ABC affiliate KATC-TV. “She’s my mini-me. She’s one of my best friends and I just miss her and I want to know what’s going on.”

Friends and family held a candle light vigil Tuesday night, and announced a $20,000 reward for tips leading to her whereabouts.

So far, no hints have turned up despite efforts by law enforcement—including K-9 units—and the thousands of volunteers. Law enforcement continues to recover security video footage from dozens of businesses that could have caught anything on tape, and the Shunick family remains hopeful that Mickey will return home soon.

Anderson Cooper cuts short interview with "dreadful" Human Barbie

Botox for her 15 year old, plastic surgery vouchers and pole dancing lessons for her 6 year old. Has Mattel heard what Barbie is up to these days?

Anderson Cooper kicked the “Human Barbie” off his show this week after calling her “dreadful.”

The mild-mannered news anchor and host of the daytime talk show Anderson on CNN had Sarah Burge on his show this week, a British woman whom holds the Guinness World Record for having the most plastic surgeries in order to become a “Human Barbie.”

The surgeries reportedly amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and Burge recently made headlines for giving her seven-year-old daughter vouchers for breast implants and liposuction… to be redeemed upon turning 18-yeas-old of course—anything younger would be inappropriate.

The “Human Barbie” also encouraged her 15-year-old daughter to get Botox to prevent her from sweating on stage during dance performances, because, “You wouldn’t see Beyonce sweating on stage.”

Anderson Cooper pointed out that we actually do see Beyonce sweat on stage.

“I would prefer to actually oversee my daughter’s Botox than actually have her go underground, finding a voodoo witch doctor or in fact getting it off the internet and administerating [sic] it herself,” Burge said.

Meanwhile, Anderson Cooper had a difficult time hiding the disgusted look on his face, and eventually gave up the effort entirely.

“Um,” Anderson Cooper said after a pause, “I honestly have nothing more to talk to you about. I got to be honest… I got to just stop. Sorry. I try to be really polite to all my guests, I just think you’re dreadful, and I honestly don’t want to talk to you anymore.”

“That’s fine, that’s fine,” Burge kept repeating as she walked off stage to the sound of mass applause by the audience.

After the show, Anderson Cooper explained on camera his decision to kick the “Human Barbie” off his show.

“I got the feeling this was about publicity for her. I regret having her on in the first place and I regret how things ended,” he said. “It didn’t seem like it was an honest discussion.”

Not only had Burge gone through the numerous surgeries to make herself look like a Barbie doll, bought plastic surgery vouchers and pole dancing lessons for her youngest daughter and allowed her older daughter to get Botox at age 15, Burge was also the one who called the British tabloids with the sensationalist stories.

Burge works with plastic surgeons all over the world, and part of her job is allegedly to generate press about plastic surgery. But the Human Barbie has taken her work home with her in this case.

The Human Barbie couldn’t let Anderson Cooper have the last word. Later on Burge tweeted, “Thank you America for your emails yes Anderson did make himself look an ass he has a big mouth for a LITTLE man.”[sic]

Lego barcode scam lands Silicon Valley exec in jail

Scammer hits Target stores to get high-end sets at steeply reduced prices

Thomas Langenbach, vice president for software company SAP’s Palo Alto, California lab, was busted this month for a Lego barcode scam at Target stores.

The software, charged with burglary for his Lego barcode scam, lives in a gated multi-million dollar home in San Carlos, C.A. While he is not the first scammer to take to the Lego black market, it is baffling to prosecutors why such a wealthy and high-ranking executive would head down a road of barcode scamming.

Lagenbach was arrested May 8 outside a Mountain View Target store. Police say he had been repeatedly captured on store surveillance with expensive Lego sets in his cart at different Target stores.

Lagenbach completed his Lego barcode scams by printing out sophisticated reproductions of barcodes used by Target stores for lower-end Lego sets. He took the barcodes to stores, slapped them on expensive Lego sets in place of the original barcodes, and purchased the high-end sets for greatly reduced prices. One notable purchase was a $250 Lego Millennium Falcon set for a mere $50.

Lagenbach then turned around and sold the Lego sets through his eBay store TomsBrickyard. The store has since been removed from eBay, but while it was up and running, users rated the stores as “excellent.”

Prosecutors have said that Lagenbach sold 2,100 Lego items for roughly $30,000 over the past year in his Lego barcode scam. Authorities say that on the day of Lagenbach’s arrest, he had placed three counterfeit barcodes on Lego sets, bought one and placed the other two back on the shelves. Perhaps in a Robin Hood moment?

He allegedly had 32 more phony barcodes in his car.

Lagenbach told police that he had seen how to perform the scam on YouTube and was curious to see if it would work. Cops didn’t believe that story, and a search of his home produced photos of dozens of neatly organized barcodes and stacks of brand new Lego sets.

“It certainly looks like an ongoing enterprise … to think we caught him the only five times he did this is very hard to believe,” supervising deputy District Attorney Cindy Hendrickson, of Santa Clara County, said.

Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie told NBC, “This probably happens more often than you’d think, but this is the first time we’ve ever had a case like this.”

Lagenbach was arrested on four felony counts of burglary with bond set at $10,000. He is free after posting bail—he’s wealthy enough to dish out 10 grand, remember— and is awaiting trial for his burglary charges.

GI Joe: Retaliation release date moved back nine months

We hope you weren’t expecting to see it any time this summer

G.I. Joe: Retaliation was planned to release June 29, but just short of that date, Paramount Pictures pushed back the film to March 2013.

In G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Channing Tatum teams up with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Bruce Willis. The reason for pushing back the second installment in the G.I. Joe film series is that the studio wants to add 3D technology.

Director Jon Chu had said at one point that he chose not to shoot the film in 3D because the studio didn’t give him enough time to do it properly.  Now, G.I. Joe: Retaliation will have the 3D technology added in post-production.

A source told Deadline, “We’re going to do a conscientious 3D job because we’ve seen how it can better box office internationally. Jim Cameron did all of Titanic’s 3D in post-[production] and look how well that movie turned out.”

With G.I. Joe: Retaliation being pushed to a March 2013 release date, Paramount Pictures has no big releases this summer. The Amazing Spider-Man was to be competition for the film’s June release weekend, but now it seems Seth McFarland has found an opportunity for this weekend. He has pushed up the release of his movie Ted to a June 29th release date.

For those anxiously awaiting the release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the conversion to 3D will either be worth the wait or an unnecessary prolonging of their most looked-forward to summer blockbuster.

Indy 500: Race weekend is here, who will win?

Dan Wheldon will be remembered, Danica moves to NASCAR, and Helio Castroneves could take his fourth

The Indianapolis 500 will be raced this weekend, and it’s being called the most wide-open race in years.

With no clear favorites, and a lot of new faces, this year’s Indy 500 race could be an opportunity for new racing stars to be born.

Helio Castroneves, from the Penske Racing team, is setting his sights on a fourth Indy 500 win. He has a good chance of achieving that, as the first two rows are stacked with drivers from Penske Racing and Andretti Autosport.

Ryan Briscoe is on the pole, with Will Power and Helio Castroneves in the second row. Andretti drivers James Hinchcliffe (Danica Patrick’s replacement) and Ryan Hunter-Reay are in the front row, with Marco Andretti, a third generation Indy 500 driver, in the second.

A Penske driver has a good shot at winning, as their team is undefeated this season, so Helio Castroneves could break into the four-time winners club.

While everyone is guessing who will drive into the winer’s circle, this year’s race is a bittersweet return to tradition. Last year’s Indy 500 champion won’t be in the race. Dan Wheldon will be remembered throughout the weekend as a great racer, a loving husband, and an adoring father.

Dan Wheldon crashed during a race in Las Vegas on October 16, 2011. He was 33 when he died.

This weekend’s typical Indy 500 traditions will be added to with Dan Wheldon’s picture and name everywhere. His likeness hangs at the track’s 16th Street entrance, his face is on the race ticket, and fans will be wearing white sunglasses in his memory.

Danica Patrick will be racing Sunday, but don’t expect to see her at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She will race in NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night.

Danica Patrick caught the attention of race fans, and even non-race fans, when she became the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the 2005 Indy 500—her first 500.

But this year Danica Patrick will have a later start time and a new setting at the Charlotte (North Carolina) Motor Speedway.

So what can we expect to be the same at this year’s Indy 500, the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing?”

Well, there will be milk for the winner (would another racer dare Fittipaldi’s great orange juice escapade of ’93?). Thirty-three racers will vie for that milk, but not until after we hear Back Home Again in Indiana leading up to the release of the balloons.

As another Memorial Day weekend begins, the Indy 500 festivities are gearing up as well. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

The Great Gatsby trailer features Jazz Age parties set to Jay-Z and Jack White

This trailer will leave you begging for more

The Great Gatsby will hit theaters this Christmas, but we are already getting a peek into the Roaring ’20s thanks to the first movie trailer being released this week.

The trailer for The Great Gatsby, directed by Australian director Baz Luhrman (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge), takes viewers directly into the Jazz Age with flappers, champagne, wild parties, a zebra in the poolf and scenes from a young yet booming New York.

The trailer for The Great Gatsby opens with a voiceover by Toby Maguire describing the changing tempo of New York in 1922: “The buildings were higher, the parties were bigger, the morals were looser and the liquor was cheaper. The restlessness approached… hysteria.”

A sharp contrast to the scenes from the 1920s is the soundtrack of the trailer. Jay-Z and Kanye’s No Church in the Wild introduces us to The Great Gatsby, and Luhrman, in his infinite wisdom, beautifully juxtaposes modern hip-hop with the frenetic scenes of the Jazz Age.

MTV broke down the choice of using the Jay-Z and Kanye track, paralleling the excesses of the Roaring ‘20s to the track’s lyrics about today’s declining American dream.

The second half of The Great Gatsby trailer gives us Jack White’s Love is Blindness (U2 cover). The tone of both songs compliments that of the trailer, and while the scenes and music would seem to be worlds apart, they create a buildup of frenzy and excitement that leave viewers wanting to see more.

So far, it is hard to tell if the film’s soundtrack will share the modernization of the trailer’s, but it’s something not foreign to Baz Luhrman films. He has been known for setting period films to modern music as he did in Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet.

But his 2008 film Australia, set in the title country prior to WWII, had a popular song of the era as a recurring melody and even a theme of the film (Somewhere Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz). It’s possible that The Great Gatsby will stick to popular music of the 1920s, but with Luhrman’s record it’s more likely that his newest soundtrack will use modern music to compare the great excesses of Gatsby’s era to today’s recessionary mindfulness.

Whatever Luhrman uses to entertain our ears, The Great Gatsby is sure to delight our eyes. The director has a penchant for visual flair, and the trailer alone enchants our imaginations with stunning costumes and a rich color palette.

The Great Gatsby stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as his love interest Daisy Buchanan, Tobey Maguire as the narrator Nick Carraway, newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Carraway’s love interest Jordan Baker, Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson, and Joel Edgerton as Daisy’s husband Tom Buchanan.

Check out the trailer below to see the exciting world of Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio) as Baz Luhrman has imagined it.

Robot fish go for a swim in Spain

Detecting water pollution will take a fraction of the time and money

Robot fish took to the sea today.

The very expensive robot fish were created to detect pollution, and are currently being tested in the waters of the port of Gijon, Spain.

The robot fish diminish the amount of time and manpower needed to detect pollutants and test water quality. The developers of the robot fish hope to sell their products to port authorities, water companies, and aquariums.

Each robot fish is about five feet long and costs more than $31,000, but that number is a lot lower than the annual cost of hiring divers to do the same job. The lengthy process costs more than $127,000 per year, and takes weeks to get the results.

In contrast, the robot fish, known as the SHOAL robots, would continuously monitor the water.

These robot fish swim like real fish, and communicate with the other robot fish in the water. When their battery is running low, they will return to their home base. They can send messages to a shore station up to a half mile away.

The project was partially funded by the European Union and drew on research by some of Europe’s top universities.

Versions of the robot fish worked successfully in lab tests, but this week’s swim in the port near Gijon will hopefully help developers find any bugs that need to be worked out, as well as help them figure out any changes that need to be made to how and what the fish communicate.

The developers at SHOAL hope the robot fish can eventually be platforms for other things just by changing sensors. Future robot fish could potentially aid in search and rescue, helping divers, and port security.

Made in America lineup announced

Jay-Z, Pearl Jam, Santigold and Skrillex all to perform

The Made in America festival was announced last week by headliner and curator Jay-Z, and now an official lineup has been released.

Jay-Z announced the Budweiser Made in America festival last week. It will be held in Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend, September 1 and 2.

Jay-Z will headline the Made in America festival, but he has also selected a stellar group of performers to take the stage, including Pearl Jam, Odd Future, Skrillex, Maybach Music (featuring Rick Ross, Wale and Meek Mill), Afrojack, D’Angelo, Passion Pit, Santigold, Miike Snow, Calvin Harris, Dirty Projectors, X, Janelle Monae, Prince Royce, Rita Ora, The Knocks and Savoy.

A total of 28 artists will perform at the Budweiser Made in America festival, and more acts will be revealed at a later date.

Other acts have been speculated to appear, but were not announced as of Monday’s lineup release. Jay-Z’s wife, Beyonce, was among the acts rumored to appear, as well as Drake and Philadelphia’s hometown boys the Roots. What would a Made in America festival be without a nod to the city of Questlove—uh, that is, Brotherly Love?

During the announcement, Jay-Z promised that Made in America would be wide-ranging and musically diverse. “The lines that separate us, I don’t believe in that,” Jay-Z said. “That’s for people who need to easily define what they’re hearing. Me, I’m cool with everything and anything I’m hearing that’s music.”

A presale for Budweiser Facebook fans began this morning, and two-day passes go on sale to the general public tomorrow, May 23, at 10 a.m. A limited number of passes will be priced at $99.

Anchorman 2 trailers released

Let the hilarity begin

Anchorman 2 doesn’t start filming until February, but fans have already seen not one, but two trailers featuring Channel Four’s crack news team.

With no actual film footage shot yet, the trailers don’t reveal very much about the plot of Anchorman 2, but it is getting fans of the first film excited riding the palomino stallion.

One thing we know we can look forward to in Anchorman 2 is that, “There’s going to be submachine guns and boobies,” according to David Koechner’s Champ Kind, “Whammy!”

It’s a welcome reunion. We’ve been a mess without them. We need them so damn much. We miss being with them. We miss being near them. We miss their laughs. We miss their scents. We miss their musks.

And now they’re back, with two teaser trailers debuting on Will Ferrell’s Funny or Die site, one running in trailers before The Dictator. The trailer most recently released is significantly different than the one that ran in theaters, although both begin with San Diego’s Channel Four news team stepping forward through fog on a stage, silhouetted by stage lighting.

“In the age when the dinosaurs’ roar greeted the dawn, and apes rode the winged horse across the valley of Eli, there was a lone stranger who offered comfort, wisdom and overly sexual neck massages. It was said he would one day return. That day has come,” the voice-over begins.

Sidekicks David Koechner, Paul Rudd and Steve Carell all return for Anchorman 2, with the trailer promising more ridiculous and completely nonsensical one-liners from Carell’s Brick Tamland.

Unless they really play witches in this movie, in which case, he’s right on target. But that’s unlikely.

As for the trailer that hit theaters this weekend, how do you feel about a hot tub full of scotch?

The teaser trailers don’t give any real clues as to potential plot lines, but not to worry.

“Look, it’s… it’s gonna be a fun movie,” Ron Burgundy promises.

You know, when this all gets sorted out, I think we should all get an apartment together.

Okay, I’m going to sit the next one out, stop talking for awhile, while you all check out the trailers below.


Gay DC character will be an existing prominent character

Who will come out in a June storyline?

Who is the gay DC comics character?

DC comics announced at the Kapow! Comic convention in London this past weekend that they will reintroduce a previously existing character, who was previously straight, as a gay character.

DC had previously stated their decision to introduce a brand new character as gay instead of reversing the sexuality of an established character.

Bob Wayne, Senior VP of Sales for DC, explained that, just like President Obama, DC’s policy “has evolved.”

Bleedingcool.com reported on the statement made at Kapow!, and later updated their story to include a brief history of gay comic book characters.

Marvel character Northstar was re-imagined as gay in the 80s, but not officially stated as gay until the 90s by writer Scott Lobdell. Lobdell recently created a new gay DC character in the relaunched comic Teen Titans.

Image Comics and Wildstorm published comics featuring gay couple Midnighter and Apollo based on Batman and Superman, but their relationship was downplayed and censored when DC bought Windstorm. Midnighter and Apollo were eventually married in the comics, with a fictitious comic-book-version of Ellen Degeneres officiating.

While the presence of LGBT characters has increased, the real story with the announcement of a gay DC character is that the character is someone who we already know.

Could Batman be the gay DC character? How would that affect the summer blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises, premiering just a month after DC’s June storyline revealing the gay character?

Could it be Superman?  Green Lantern? Maybe not even one of the actual superheroes, but a prominent cast member?

Would a heroine coming out as a lesbian be too much of a cop out for the male-dominated world of comic books? 

Female superheroes, though fictional, have become real role models for women. Would a lesbian superhero become a role model for other gay women, or would a lesbian Wonder Woman turn a beloved heroine into a sex object feeding into male lesbian fantasy?

There are so many questions revolving around the announcement that the new gay DC character is an existing, and allegedly prominent, character, that the speculation on the web is delving into decades-old storylines and whether or not current male-female relationships will be broken up.

The storyline revealing the gay DC character will release in June, so it’s only a matter of weeks before we get the answer.

Meanwhile, Marvel made the official announcement on ABC’s The View that Canadian superhero Northstar will propose to his long-term partner Kyle in Astonishing X-Men #50, in stores tomorrow, and their wedding will happen in Astonishing X-Men #51, out June 20.