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Cynthia Martin

Tim Tebow picked up by the Patriots

New England breaths life back into Tebow’s career

Tim Tebow’s career isn’t over yet. The New England Patriots think he still has some potential in an NFL career.

Tebow signed with the Patriots on Monday. He signed onto the roster as a quarterback, but with Tom Brady as starter and Ryan Mallett as backup, Tebow may not end up playing as a quarterback.

Coach Bill Belichick is known for bringing in controversial players. Randy Moss and Wes Welker owe their success to the chance Belichick gave them. But Belichick is maintaining silence over what could happen with Tim Tebow.

“We’ve already talked enough about him,” he said in an interview with ESPN. “We’ll see how it goes, take it from there.”

Belichick is also quiet about what position Tebow will be playing. He has a love of versatility which he’s shown on multiple occasions, like using wide receivers as defensive backs. That’s likely what drew Belichick to Tebow.

At one time, Tebow was expected to be a star quarterback. Between his strong faith and signature move (“Tebowing”), Tim Tebow had the personality to build a franchise on. Had things worked out a little differently, he might still be the face of the Denver Broncos.

Tebow did well in the 2011 season, leading the Broncos to win the AFC West. But then Peyton Manning went on the market, and the Broncos no longer needed him. Manning came with a huge fan base, where Tebow was just starting to build his.

So the New York Jets took him. But after not doing much as backup to Mark Sanchez, the Jets decided to let him go in April. It looked like no one in the NFL wanted him. Even the Canadian Football Leagues were reluctant to consider him.

This two-year contract with the Patriots is likely Tim Tebow’s last chance to make it in the NFL. Like Belichick said, we’ll see how it goes.

iOS 7 leaves something to be desired

Apple’s redesign is just playing catch-up

IOS 7 is set to completely change the iPhone and iPad this fall. At least that’s what Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

“The biggest change to iOS since the iPhone,” said Cook.

But is it really?

As an iPhone owner, I’m not super-excited about the iOS 7. There are a few features I’ll like having. The new easy-access control center is one. But beyond that, what are they really changing?

The major changes that Apple is making to the iOS 7 are all trying to keep up with other smart phones on the market. They’re changing the design to look more like the Google and Samsung phones. Everything is flatter and “cleaner.”

The most obvious catch-up change is the new ability to multitask. The iOS 7 makes it easy to switch between apps with a card of the main screen showing the apps that are open. Oh, you can also swipe between apps.

The camera app is being turned into Instagram, minus the easy sharing. Now every photo you take of your dinner can be filtered to look like an old timey photo! And you can still share them with the new AirDrop (but only with other iOS 7 users)! Why bother with Instagram when this built-in app works not as well but has the “made by Apple” seal?

Of course, an iOS 7 redesign wouldn’t be complete without an upgrade to the completely unhelpful Siri. Tired of that stilted woman’s voice? Try the new man’s voice. Think it’s too slow? Now it’s going to be “faster.” These new features mean I’ll probably still not be using Siri.

Now before all you Apple fan boys form an angry mob to burn down my house, let me say that I’m not hating on Apple. I have an iPhone. I love my iPhone. But you have to admit that these are changes we should have seen with the iOS 6 or earlier.

Apple has relied for too long on the prestige of being Apple. The iOS 7 is a perfect example of that. They’re putting out features that Android and Windows phones have had for a while and claiming they’re changing the world of smart phones. I would like to see some true innovation, like the kind that created the iPhone in the first place.

Apple also announced their creation of iTunes Radio, an attempt to catch-up in the music streaming sector. Like the iOS 7, this is something they should have done years ago. Most people already have Pandora or Spotify accounts, and I doubt people will be clamoring to switch.

Hopefully, the next iPhone and iPad will have something to get excited about.

Bikinis banned from Miss World pageant

Pageant tries to respect the culture of the Muslim host country

A bikini ban? For a beauty pageant? (Gentlemen, you might need to sit down while reading this article.)

The Miss World beauty pageant has banned bikinis from this year’s competition. The event will be on Sept. 28 on the tropical island of Bali, a location that most would believe ideal for a bikini competition.

Now before any of you men out there get too upset, the ban isn’t permanent. It’s because of the Indonesian location. Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country. The bikini ban is being made to respect the host country’s culture.

“I don’t think Indonesia is the only country that has that culture,” said Julia Morley, chairwoman of the Miss World Organization. “But we like to work in the manner respectful to every country, and I cannot see why when you go to somebody’s country you should not behave respectfully.”

Instead of bikinis, contestants will be wearing traditional sarongs being designed specifically for the competition.

But the bikini ban doesn’t seem to be enough for some conservative Muslims. Clerics from the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) plan to send a letter to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, calling for the pageant to be cancelled.

“That contest is just an excuse to show women’s body parts that should remain covered,” said Mukri Aji, a prominent cleric from West Java province’s MUI branch. “It’s against Islamic teachings.”

Indonesia is traditionally known as a very tolerant country that prides itself on its freedom of expression. An extremist minority, which has surfaced in recent years, is the source of the pageant controversy.

But Morley sees no problem with the bikini ban for this year’s pageant.

“I don’t want to upset or get anyone in a situation where we are being disrespectful,” Morley said. “We treasure respect for all the countries that take part in the pageant.”

The NSA knows who you call

Leaked order requires Verizon to turn over all metadata on customers

The National Security Agency (NSA) wants to know who you’re calling, when, where and for how long. They don’t care if it’s just a 30-second call from the grocery store to check that you’re getting the right type of bread for your mom. They want to know it all.

And now it’s clear that they do.

An order granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was leaked to The Guardian on Wednesday. The alarming order from the NSA required Verizon to turn over all “metadata” records on their customers on an “ongoing, daily basis.” The order was granted on April 25 and ends on July 19, unless it’s renewed.

It’s disconcerting to realize that all my phone calls for the past couple months are being put into some government database. I’m probably not the only one who has a problem with this.

It’s not because I have something to hide. I’m not secretly a terrorist. That’s what the government is looking for with this dragnet search. Verizon probably isn’t the only provider that has received an order like this. The NSA is supposed to search for terrorists and gathering calling data is one way to do it.

But that does not make their acquiring of my call data okay. That is a clear violation of my Fourth Amendment rights. The police need to have probable cause to get a warrant for my phone records. The NSA should not be allowed to ignore the Constitution.

You can argue “national security” bullshit all day. I guarantee that you’d have a problem if you found out your local police department was checking your phone records without your knowledge. Why should the NSA be any different?

What’s worse is that the NSA is trying to cover up their blatantly illegal activity with the Patriot Act. Everything the FISC does is protected under national security laws. The Department of Justice has even refused to release decisions made by the court that are requested through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). If that doesn’t raise a red flag, than what will?

Legal activities should not be conducted in secret. If there’s nothing wrong with what the NSA is doing with Verizon, why did the documents have to be leaked to a British paper? Why keep the American public in the dark about being constantly under surveillance?

It’s not like I’m naïve or anything. I know that the government watches what we do. I just assumed that it was at an acceptable level of observation. Like background checks, and international travel. I didn’t expect them to be interested in my calls to my mom from school. There is no reason for them to know how long I talked to my mom for.

Sure, they aren’t being given details of what my conversations are. You can try to use that for justification for the NSA’s actions. But that’s where they’re headed. Even five years ago, there would be outrage if the government was watching the public’s phone calls. Now we almost see it as a way of life.

This has to stop now. The NSA needs to be held accountable. They are not above the law. “National security” is not an excuse to carry on secret illegal activities. FISC should be upholding the Constitution as a judicial body. And it all needs to be public record. This is our government. We need to know what it is doing.

Paris Jackson sends out a cry for help

Michael Jackson’s daughter attempts to end her life

Paris Jackson attempted to follow in her father’s footsteps on Wednesday. The 15-year-old tried to kill herself by taking as many as 20 ibuprofens and cutting her wrists with a kitchen knife.

Paris has seen more of the limelight since her father, Michael Jackson, passed away in 2009. While he was living, Jackson made sure that his three kids stayed out of the spotlight and the drama that goes with fame. But without the singer to keep his family and the media at bay, it’s no wonder that the pressure made Paris Jackson snap.

Since Michael Jackson’s death, Paris Jackson has often expressed interest in following her father’s example. She wants to start a singing career, plans to star in a movie and has been featured in many magazines.

Add on the lawsuit that Paris Jackson’s grandmother filed against AEG Live LLC (the company that was to produce Michael Jackson’s comeback tour), the problems of just being a teenager and the sudden death of her father. Anyone would have issues.

“Being a sensitive 15 year old is difficult no matter who you are,” wrote the Jackson lawyer, Perry Sanders Jr. “It is especially difficult when you lose the person closest to you.”

While it’s understandable why Paris Jackson may have wanted kill herself, it’s also pretty clear that she didn’t actually want to die.

Paris Jackson called a suicide hotline during her attempt. A source from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said that it is officially classified as a “suicide attempt” but was probably just a stunt to get attention.

“It makes no sense if you really want to die to call a hotline, where the person on the other end will get an ambulance over to your house,” the source said.

But her reason for her attempt in no way diminishes the seriousness of the situation. Sources say the Paris Jackson is “physically fine.” It’s her mental health that should be the main concern now.

“The Jackson kids never really got the professional help they needed after Michael died, and they need it,” an insider said. “This incident is going to go one of two ways – it will either be a wake up call to Katherine [their grandmother and legal guardian] or it is only going to get worse.”

The support from her family should help Paris Jackson. Her brother, Prince Jackson, cancelled an appearance to be with her. The family thanks the public for all their support but also asks for privacy as they sort out the situation.

Mara Wilson explains the crazy

The former child star talks about why so many child actors go insane

Mara Wilson beat all the odds. She made it out alive…and sane. She did what so many others failed to do.

Mara Wilson was a child star who didn’t go crazy. (She starred in films like “Mrs.Doubtfire” and “Matilda.”)

It seems that every other day has a new story about some crazy shit a former child star has done. Amanda Bynes was arrested for endangerment and marijuana possession. Lindsey Lohan has been in and out of jail and rehab. Mary-Kate Olson had a very public battle with anorexia. Miley Cyrus had risqué photos pop up on the internet. Even Justin Bieber has started to crack, with instances of reckless driving and customs disputes.

So why did Mara Wilson make it out when so many others didn’t?

Wilson laid out her reasons for why child actors go insane in an article posted on Cracked.com. After reading that, it’s obvious that Wilson just got very, very lucky.

Wilson starts off by blaming the parents. She says that child star parents won’t or can’t help their children. Studios tend to take control of their stars’ lives, even the adults. Parents can’t really fight them when they’re paying the kids millions. Even worse are the parents who force their kids into show business and exploit them. Wilson was one of the few who had to force her parents into letting her act.

But most of Wilson’s reasons lay the blame squarely on the industry that the children grew up in. Hollywood is not conducive to growing up. It teaches kids to expect fame and attention. It’s extremely hard to get a decent education with hectic filming schedules. And without a complete face transplant, it’s something they’re never going to escape.

“It’s a constant damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation: If former child actors bring up their past, they’re washed-up opportunists shilling for attention,” Wilson writes. “If they never do, they’re clearly in denial. If they say it was fantastic, they’re full of shit. If they acknowledge that it wasn’t always fantastic, they’re bitter.”

Mara Wilson’s advice to former child stars going down a bad path is to get out. And then she stresses the thing that every non-celebrity child has drilled into their brain from the moment they get into preschool.

“Child stars who are best off as adults usually do one or two projects, then get the hell out of Hollywood, at least for the next few years. They go to Harvard or Yale (or my alma mater, NYU, which has been called “Where Child Stars Come to Die”) and learn to do something besides act,” Wilson said. “That’s my suggestion for kids who want to act, by the way: Make sure it’s really your choice, get out of it when it stops being fun, and get an education.”

Sounds simple, right? So why don’t Lohan and Bynes go to college like Mara Wilson? My guess would be that legal fees are cheaper than Ivy League tuition. (And if they call right now, they’ll get their mug shot in the paper at no extra charge.)

“We do not sell junk food”

McDonald’s CEO asserts that they sell “healthy” food

“We don’t sell junk food.”

This statement might be understandable if it were said by an owner of a health food store or a farmer’s market. We’d be more surprised if they did sell junk food. So you’ll never guess who said it.

That person would be Don Thompson, CEO of McDonald’s.

I don’t eat a lot of fast food, but the last time I checked, McDonald’s food isn’t all that healthy. In fact, according to McDonald’s own nutrition chart, a Big Mac, small fries and a small drink is around 1020 calories. That one meal uses up half your daily recommended calories.

And Thompson says they don’t sell junk food.

True, McDonald’s is offering healthier choices than they did even five years ago. Their menu is now filled with salads and wraps. But are they really that much healthier?

Premium Crispy Chicken & Bacon McWrap – 620 calories
Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Crispy Chicken – 390 calories
Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken – 450 calories
Sausage McMuffin with Egg Whites – 400 calories

Then you have to tack on sides and drinks. But the official McDonald’s mantra is “We don’t sell junk food.”

If that isn’t bad enough, Thompson said that in response to a little girl who wanted him to change his marketing strategy.

“Something I don’t think is fair is when big companies try to trick kids into eating food that isn’t good for them by using toys and cartoon characters,” 9-year-old Hannah Robertson told Thompson. “If parents haven’t taught their kids about healthy eating then the kids probably believe that junk food is good for them because it might taste good. It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time.”

Hannah brought up a great point. McDonald’s may have “healthy” options on their menu, but none of them are Happy Meals. (They can get apple slices instead of fries, but what kid is gonna pick apples over fries?) And the toys in Happy Meals are essentially rewards for eating “not junk food.”

I don’t know who Thompson is trying to kid. McDonald’s is junk food, plain and simple. So the only truly healthy option McDonald’s has is to drive right by.

"The Voice" that launched a thousand tweets

“The Voice” judge, Adam Levine, comes under fire for comment made on Tuesday’s show

The Voice is probably the one reality show that hasn’t been ruined by controversy. People are actually more interested in the talent of the contestants than whatever “scandal” they have in their past. And the show’s judges aren’t celebrities known for their appearances in tabloids.

That might have changed with Tuesday’s episode.

Adam Levine, lead singer of Maroon 5, made the simple mistake of not remembering that he was on live television with a microphone attached to him. After two early The Voice front-runners were eliminated, Levine let slip, “I hate this country.”

Anyone with half a brain heard that as a comment on America’s taste in music. Two members of his team were just eliminated. The Voice judge is allowed to be upset. He didn’t really mean anything by it.

At least, that’s what sane people would have to say about the incident. The Twitter universe is a whole other matter.

America’s “true patriots” (and apparently Voice-enthusiasts) took to the Twitter-sphere to condemn the singer’s comment.

“Hey @adamlevine this country you apparently hate so much made you rich. You’re free to leave. Try Syria. I hear it’s nice this time of year,” read one tweet. Another thought he’d be a good next target for Seal Team 6. Others suggested that he move to a communist country.

Levine has been a part of The Voice since day one. And he’s not known for anti-American statements. So why is it automatically assumed that he wants al Qaeda to take over?

Wednesday afternoon saw some damage control. Levine sent out a press release that tried to explain his comment on The Voice.

“I obviously love my country very much,” Levine said. “My comments last night were made purely out of frustration. Being a part of The Voice, I am passionately invested in my team and want to see my artists succeed. Last night’s elimination of Judith and Sarah was confusing and downright emotional for me and my comments were made based on my personal dissatisfaction with the results.”

There are bigger issues in the world that people should be upset about. So stop tweeting about stupid comments made on The Voice. In the grand scheme of things, they’re about as dumb as thinking you’re not being recorded on a live television show.

Keyshawn Johnson vs. Justin Bieber

The former NFL star just wants the singer to slow down

Keyshawn Johnson and Justin Bieber win most bizarre story of the day. (True, Amanda Bynes has also been acting crazy, but that’s sort of expected of her. I dare you to not be surprised by this.)

On Sunday night, former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson left a party in his gated community in Calabasas, Cal. The 6’4”, 220 lbs mountain of a man was driving his Prius (Really? How did he fit?) with his kid in the car with him.

This is where it gets interesting. The 19-year-old Justin Bieber raced past Johnson in his Ferrari. And when I say “raced,” I mean drove by so fast that Johnson felt he needed to chase Bieber down and tell him what a horrible driver he is.

Now before you start worrying about Johnson endangering his kid in a high speed Prius-Ferrari chase, it’s worth noting that Keyshawn Johnson dropped his kid off at his house before going after the pop star (or stunt driver, as his new profession must be.)

But the story doesn’t end there. Johnson parked behind Bieber’s sports car so he couldn’t take off again and went to confront Bieber, who was still in the driveway. Bieber (being a tiny man-child) ran to his house, and refused to come out. Probably a wise choice on his part.

Only one thing could make this even better: police. And what do you know? It has them too.

Police were called by several residents of the exclusive community. All complained about Bieber’s reckless driving. When the cops arrived at Bieber’s house, in true celebrity form, Justin Bieber refused to speak to them.

Bieber has yet to make a comment about Keyshawn Johnson’s heroic actions.

Everett Golson Sidelined

Notre Dame’s star quarterback removed for academic reasons

Everett Golson will have to sit out 2013 college football season. Notre Dame announced on Saturday that the quarterback is no longer enrolled at the school.

Though Notre Dame cannot release the reason for Golson’s departure, sources confirm that it is academics related. The loss will force big changes in Notre Dame’s playing tactics.

First, head coach Brian Kelly needs to choose Golson’s replacement. The gig would have gone to Gunner Kiel, if he hadn’t transferred to Cincinnati in April.

It’s unlikely that Kelly will choose any single person to replace Golson. In order to keep the expanded playbook that has made Notre Dame so successful, he’ll need to utilize the talents of all three quarterbacks at his disposal: veterans Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix and incoming Malik Zaire.

Will Notre Dame be able to pull off another season like last year’s without Everett Golson? Probably not, but the team still maintains the skills that backed up Golson’s utility skill set.

Golson hopes to be able to return to the Fighting Irish in 2014. But he recognizes that he’ll have a lot to prove if he wants another shot.

“At this point, I understand how my integrity could be in question but I want to reassure my supporters that through this experience I will return a better student athlete as well as a better individual,” said Golson. “Lastly, I want to thank the University of Notre Dame for the opportunity already granted and also the opportunity going forth to regain my eligibility in the winter of 2014.”

Golson will be eligible for another two years if he returns to Notre Dame in 2014.