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Danielle Olipra

Danielle Olipra is a DePaul University graduate with a degree in Creative Writing. In her free time she enjoys listening to music and comedy. Once she takes the world by storm with her pen, she plans to save the endangered species of the ocelot and record a soul album.

Octavia Spencer’s Speech at Golden Globes

Actress earns support of domestic workers

On Sunday night, Octavia Spencer won a Golden Globe in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, which she earned for her role as Minny Jackson in “The Help.”  But her acceptance speech won her respect in addition to her award, says Rueters.com.

Spencer took the opportunity of getting recognition for her role as the outspoken maid to give recognition to today’s domestic workers all over the country.

On Monday, the National Domestic Workers Alliance praised her statement in which she quoted Martin Luther King Jr., saying, “with regard to domestics in this country, Dr. Martin Luther King said it best–all labor that uplifts dignity in this country is worthwhile.”

Ai-jen Poo, the alliance’s co-founder and director, said “we are so grateful to Octavia for helping bring recognition and light to this workforce.”

Read more about Octavia Spencer here.

Teen Calls for Boycott of Girl Scout Cookies

Teen complains about admission of transgender child

A 14-year-old girl identified as “Taylor” has called for a boycott of the Girl Scouts’ famous annual cookie sale.  Her complaint stems from the fact that the Girl Scouts admitted a 7-year-old transgender child into a Colorado troop in November, says the Washington Post.

Three Girl Scout troops at a Christian school in Louisiana disbanded in December, also in protest of the transgender girls’ admittance.   “Taylor” has attained more media attention through her YouTube video, during which she accuses the organization of “spending money from cookie sales in promoting the desires of a small handful of people.”

She goes on to say that Girl Scouts is being dishonest with its members as well as the public, proclaiming, “girl Scouts describes itself as an all-girl experience. With that label, families trust that the girls will be in an environment that is not only nurturing and sensitive to girls’ needs, but also safe for girls.”

In response to the proposed boycott, Michelle Tompkins, a national Girl Scouts spokeswoman, sent an e-mail to The Washington Post on Wednesday in which she said the organization “prided itself on being an inclusive organization serving girls from all walks of life.”

Read more and see the YouTube video here.

Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional Dies

Arfa Karim was 16 years old

16-year-old computer prodigy, and Microsoft’s youngest certified professional, passed away this weekend.  Arfa Karim had been in a coma since late December, when she endured an epileptic seizure and cardiac arrest.  She died when a tracheotomy complication caused bleeding in her throat, says The Huffington Post.

Karim’s Uncle said “We are grieving her loss but she was a strong child.  She was God’s gift to us and now she has returned to Him.”

Native to Pakistan, Karim became interested in technology when her father bought her a computer to e-mail with.  She then became the youngest Microsoft certified professional in 2005 when she was just nine years old. 

After receiving the MCP title, Karim was invited to visit Microsoft’s campus located in Redmond, Washington when she was 10 years old. During the visit she toured Microsoft’s labs and met with executives, including a meeting with Bill Gates.

Read more about Arfa Karim here.

Websites Commit to Blackout to Protest SOPA

Popular websites plan to go dark in protest of proposed anti-piracy legislation

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales announced via Twitter that the English-language Wikipedia site will go dark from midnight EST on January 18th to midnight EST on January 19th, says The Huffington Post.

This blackout protest was originally suggested by Reddit, which also plans to black out for 12 hours on January 18th.  The Cheezburger Network and the news blog Boing Boing have also joined the ranks of the protest.

The bills this protest aims to influence are H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).  These bills are vying for the right to “punish primarily foreign-based websites found to violate U.S. copyrights.”

Popular sites including Google, eBay, Mozilla, Twitter, Facebook and Aol, have publicly opposed the bills.  Craigslist has recently come out opposing the bills, but it is not known if they will participate in the protest.


Kate Beckinsale Admits Fears Over Donning Catsuit

Upcoming “Underworld;Awakening” features actress in unforgiving getup

In a recent interview, Kate Beckinsale revealed she had reservations about squeezing back into her “Underworld” catsuit, says Inquisitr.

The glamorous British actress said she was “overwhelmed” by the variety of food choices available in New Orleans, where she filmed the recently released “Contraband”, also starring Mark Whalberg.  After indulging in the local flavor, she realized she would need to shape up again to slide back into the skin tight suit her vampire warrior character Selene dons in the “Underworld” films.

“New Orleans is a wonderful city, but it’s not the most fantastic place to get in shape because we want to go try those beignets and all those wonderful things,” she said.  She goes on to say that she got back into training for the film, but that overall “it was a miracle” she was able to wear the suit again.

“Underworld: Awakening” is set to release January 20th.

Read more of Kate’s interview here.

New Fly Species With Large Butt Named After Beyonce

Reasearcher says fly is “bootylicious”

A horse fly recently discovered in Australia has such a distinct backside that 24-year-old researcher Bryan Lessard deemed it “bootylicious”.  He decided the insect should be named Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae, according to The Associated Press.

The fly is called the “gold bum fly” by locals, due to the golden hair that grows on the insect’s posterior.  The species was first captured three decades ago in northeast Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands, and the sample has been sitting in a fly collection since 1981.  Lessard says he was unable to find any live specimens in 2010 when he went looking in the same territory.

Lessard said he wanted to “pay respect to the insect’s beauty,” and that Beyonce will now be in nature history books forever.  The eccentric researcher also wanted to “draw attention to the importance of his field and the need for more researchers.”

“Horse flies are vital pollinators of native plants, not just in Australia, but all over the world,” Lessard said. “It’s extremely important to name all the undescribed species so we can measure our human impact on the environment and hopefully protect it for future generations to enjoy.”

Lessard has not heard from Beyonce.

Read more  here.

Cruise Line Blames Captain’s Error for Italian Cruise Ship Disaster

Captain was arrested on Saturday for abandoning ship

At a conference in Genoa, Italy on Monday, the head of Costa Cruises claimed that Captain Francesco Schettino’s “actions caused the disaster,” reports the Chicago Tribune.

Chief executive Pier Luigi Fosch went on to reject the idea that the ship’s size was what made it difficult to evacuate the 4,000 passengers safely.  “These ships are ultra-safe. It is an exceptional event, which was unforeseeable,” Foschi said while fighting back tears.

Fosch continued to defend his vessel but not his Captain, saying, “we need to acknowledge the facts and we cannot deny human error.”

Schettino was arrested on Saturday, accused of manslaughter and abandoning the ship before all of the people were evacuated. When rescue operations were suspended on Monday morning, 16 people were still unaccounted for.

Schettino has claimed the ship hit rocks that were not marked on maps or detected by navigation systems, while Foschi says the ship deviated from the predetermined route due to a poor decision by Schettino.

The 114,500-tonne ship, called Costa Concordia, capsized on Friday night and now lies on its side near the port of Giglio off the Tuscan coast.  At least six people have died.

Read more about the incident here.

Stephen Colbert’s Presidential Aspirations

Comedian’s mock campaign continues to attract attention

Comedian Stephen Colbert has claimed that even though his name will not be on the ballot in South Carolina’s republican primary,  it doesn’t mean the won‘t become president someday.  But he isn’t really running for president, reports the NY Daily News.

On Sunday, Colbert’s interview with ABC’s “This Week” informed us that he chose a presidential exploratory committee last week that consists of “someone who is good with explosives, a mountain climber and a brain in a jar.”

Colbert’s mock campaign aims “to highlight how super political action committees are changing the election landscape by pumping millions of dollars into the 2012 presidential election.”  While the funnyman has drawn attention to the issue, his plan may have backfired some.

Colbert’s lofty satire caught up with him during the same ABC interview when he was shown a clip released by fans, which in an over the top spoof of an attack ad, calls Mitt Romney a “serial killer.”

“I had nothing to do with that ad… I am not calling anyone a serial killer,” Colbert responded.

Colbert launched his faux presidential campaign last week on his Comedy Central show in which he parodies a right-wing talk show host.

Read more about Stephen Colbert here.


Christopher Plummer, Morgan Freeman Among Golden Globe Winners

Idris Elba and Kelsey Grammer also earned globes

The 69th annual Golden Globe Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on Sunday night, presented accolades to some expected recipients (Christopher Plummer, “Modern Family”) and delivered some surprises (Kelsey Grammer, Idris Elba), notes the Washington Post.

Christopher Plummer took home a globe for his supporting role in “Beginners”, as a father who comes out as gay to his son Oliver following the death of his wife.

Veteran film face Morgan Freeman earned the Cecil B. Demill lifetime achievement award.  (Freeman has also recently received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award and the People’s Choice Awards’ first-ever movie icon award).

Brit Idris Elba won for best actor in a mini-series or TV movie for his role in BBC crime drama “Luther”, and the British period drama “Downtown Abbey” won for best mini-series.

Kelsey Grammer took home the globe for best actor in a TV series drama for his role in “Boss.”, and later announced that he and his new wife Kayte Walsh Grammer are expecting twins.

A full list of winners can be seen at gossipcop.com.

Vanessa Bryant Files For Divorce

Kobe Bryant’s wife to divorce Lakers star

Vanessa Bryant has filed for divorce from Kobe Bryant, says Fox News.  Wives of Kobe’s teammates reportedly informed Vanessa of her husband’s “increasingly frequent infidelities.”

Vanessa claims that she has caught her husband with “multiple women over the years”, but “she felt the latest alleged incident was the final straw.”  She filed for divorce on Friday in Orange County Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences.  Kobe Bryant has already moved out of the couple’s mansion in Newport Coast, Calif.

The former couple, who have two children together, gathered a lot of media attention in 2003 when Vanessa stood by her husband through accusations that he had sexually assaulted an employee at a Colorado hotel. 

Kobe admitted that he had had sex with 19-year-old Katelyn Faber, but denied assault. A civil suit filed by the woman was later settled out of court, and Kobe famously gave Vanessa a $4 million dollar diamond ring as an apology.

Read more about the impending split here.