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Elif Geris

I’m a Creative Writing major at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which does not have a journalism program. My (and your) response to that: WHUCK?! But it’s okay. Almost as much as I love to report world events to you, I love to write fiction stories that normally entail someone getting lost somewhere. And a lot of the time, I get my writing inspiration from music; Royksopp, Radiohead, Air, Regina Spektor. To me, music completes everything. On the side of writing, I play piano, sing and write music. And do impressions. My mockery inspirations range from Kristen Wiig’s "Penelope," to high school classmates, to Bill Hader’s eyebrows, to 1940s film actor voices. One of my favorite impressions is a kid in my high school senior year trigonometry class who didn’t seem to understand much of the concept. But he, nevertheless, would constantly utter the word, “Troo,” while the teacher was explaining an equation. A lot of the time, I just like to ridicule my own existence. I like to add a Southern twang while speaking Turkish or French; every Turk I’ve met has told me I have a very noticeable accent, and that my sister’s is...well...less blemished. And I enjoy acting like a Sim with her and fellow “ The Sims” players. Sool sool if you’re reading this! Speaking of Sims, my traumatic experiences with The Grim Reaper taught me how to really take care of myself. I recently do not like people who are too mysterious. The movie, Drive –which I give a 70% - taught me to stay away from attractive people, who stare at you for extensive periods of time with doughy eyes. I admire quirky people like Kristen Wiig – one of my greatest idols – who are unafraid to make themselves appear ugly or “Target Lady” to make other people laugh. I like to think that my insignificantly pathetic moments serve just that purpose. There’s a “pAAHsitive” spin!

The future of Facebook stock

What will Facebook do to wash out its previous IPO disaster?

Facebook stock becomes a concern again with the continued increase in the number of Facebook mobile users.

The social network company has tried to find a solution to the advertising problem, to alleviate the previous Facebook stock disaster. What Facebook hoped to do was to find a way to draw mobile users’ attention to the advertisements that relate to their interests.

So now Facebook is investigating the value of mobile users. With the growth of Facebook mobile users, Facebook stock success has relied more on advertisements on mobile.

In fact, according to NBC, Facebook stock has benefited the most from mobile ads. Mobile ads have even trumped web ads in earning revenue.

Smartphone game apps have also contributed to the gradual growth of Facebook stock. Zynga is a game provider for smartphones, and is linked to Facebook user accounts. So Zynga pays Facebook 30% of its revenue from virtual goods.   

And according to NBC, 11 percent of Facebook’s revenue came from the sales of those virtual goods. But according to CNN, the earnings from Zynga are not as high as predicted.

While there are benefits from Facebook mobile ads, the number of effective web ads is on the decline.

Despite some pitfalls earlier this summer, many are still optimistic about the Facebook value. According to CNN, Facebook’s is valued at 72 times its predicted amount for 2012.

Ads became a feature on Facebook mobile in June, so not much has changed yet in Facebook stock. But people predict a good future for the social network’s earnings, while some still feel rocky about the idea.

Sharon Osbourne not leaving "America's Got Talent"

Sharon Osbourne tweeted a confusing message to co-judge Howard Stern, who might actually leave

After five years of judging on America’s Got Talent, Sharon Osbourne has allegedly claimed to be leaving the show. But it has been found that Osbourne indeed is staying to mentor aspiring artists.

What threw off the public was a vague tweet to co-judge Howard Stern. Sharon Osbourne wrote, “My darling @HowardStern, money is not the reason I’m not returning to @nbcagt, it’s because…”

In response to the endless questions after the tweet, Sharon Osbourne claimed she will not actually be leaving America’s Got Talent. Osbourne added that she would never leave Stern.

Sharon Osbourne’s tweet even prompted NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt to express his confusion at a meeting with the Television Critics Association: “This is coming out of context and sort of spontaneously, and we don’t even know what’s going on. And it’s probably much ado about nothing.”

Whether Stern will return to the show for its eighth season is undetermined and his agent did not give a response to any inquiries. Curiosity arose when people noticed that Sharon Osbourne considered leaving America’s Got Talent.

“We do not respond to inquiries of this sort” was all Stern’s agent had to say on the matter. But according to Billboard.com, the America’s Got Talent set was moved from Los Angeles to New York purely to accommodate Stern.

Reality TV Magazine contributor Lisa Princ assumed the tweet to be a joke between Stern and Sharon Osbourne. Princ added that the two are friendly co-judges.

Chick-fil-A recalls kid's toy after support of gay marriage

Chick-fil-A counter-protest to be held Wednesday

Chick-fil-A will hold an event celebrating straight marriage on Aug. 1st. Rick Santorum is one of the event’s main supporters. And the Chick-fil-A kid’s meal toy has been recalled.

Santorum said, “No signs and no protests are needed to make your voice heard.  Just simply have a meal at Chick-fil-A on Aug. 1st for ‘Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day’ and our support for traditional values will be heard loud and clear.”

Aug. 1st will play the role of Santorum’s counter-protest, to be assisted by Mike Huckabee.

And according to Los Angeles Times, Chick-fil-A has been closed on Sundays in the past, for church.

One of the organizations against Chick-fil-A’s stance on gay marriage, the Jim Henson Creature Shop, is the main kid’s meal toy provider for the restaurant. But the down-home Southern sandwich joint momentarily recalled the kid’s toy only a day after learning of Jim Henson’s opposition toward Chick-fil-A’s stance.

According to Epicurious.com, a teenaged girl named Abby Farle supported the Chick-fil-A toy recall on her eight-hour-old Facebook “public figure” account.

Epicurious.com contributor Michael Y. Park expressed suspicion about the page’s newness, and about the stock profile photo. Chick-fil-A allegedly had nothing to do with the Facebook profile.

According to The Huffington Post, the Jim Henson toy recall is nationwide and is allegedly unrelated from opposing remarks to Chick-fil-A.

President Dan Kathy of Chick-fil-A said in an interview, “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

Omar Suleiman dies after helping torture thousands

Egyptian spy and Vice President Omar Suleiman will be remembered notoriously

Banished Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was rumored to have died last month, while the death of his spy chief, Omar Suleiman, has actually been confirmed. Omar Suleiman died at 76 while staying at a U.S. hospital.

Omar Suleiman held all of Mubarak’s secrets close to him, which is why he is dubbed “The black box,” according to WOWKTV.com. Suleiman and his people kept tabs on opposition groups, and suppressed them. But what Suleiman is most known for is his ability to keep things quiet.

But in 2002, the U.S. asked Omar Suleiman for the DNA of the head of al-Qaeda, Ayman el-Zawahri, who was a deputy officer at the time. Oman Suleiman offered to cut the man’s arm off and mail it over. But U.S. officials said a blood sample was sufficient, according to WOWKTV.com.

The idea of a funeral on Omar Suleiman’s behalf is being debated, and rejected by many. Egyptian civilians are against the idea of celebrating the life of someone who strived to bring Egypt back on its feet last year, as Vice President to Mubarak. Omar Suleiman’s goal was to save Mubarak’s position and reputation, and his appointment scared Egyptians.

Mubarak assigned the duty of keeping protests manageable through negotiations with Egyptian protestors, and also with Muslim Brotherhood groups. The Muslim Brotherhood was significantly held down by the Mubarak regime.

According to The Christian Science Monitor, Suleiman was primarily focused on national, rather than international affairs.

Rights laywer Malik Adly said, “All the time he was the pampered man of the regime, the old and the new. Even the Brotherhood is holding a funeral for him. Why? All the time he was never questioned despite so many lawsuits against him.”

Another job Suleiman oversaw was the torturing of Egyptian detainees. Many are relieved at the death of Suleiman.

Samsung Galaxy Tab: An Apple copycat?

British judge rules that Apple must admit to Samsung’s originality

Britain’s High Court of Justice ordered Apple to admit that Samsung Galaxy Tab did not rip off Apple’s iPad.

The stipulations of the ruling are that Apple must make an update on its website that the Samsung Galaxy Tab has nothing to do with the Apple iPad. The order also demanded postings in British newspapers of Apple’s fallacy.

According to The Chicago Tribune, the British Judge, Judge Birss, used the rationale that the Samsung Galaxy Tab is “not as cool” as the Apple iPad, to reach a decision.

A case briefing on the Apple website read, “Samsung has chosen to slavishly copy Apple’s innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design, in violation of Apple’s valuable intellectual property rights.  As alleged below in detail, Samsung has made its Galaxy phones and computer tablet work and look like Apple’s products through widespread patent and trade dress infringement.”

The Samsung Galaxy Tab was the last straw for Apple. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is predicted to trump Apple iPhone sales in the coming year.

Last month, Apple won a ruling that banned sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, under the claim that another company’s sales of a replicated product was unfair.

According to PCMag.com, though Samsung did not initially respond to the accusation, when it came to the July 9th ruling, Samsung said, “Samsung believes Apple’s excessive legal claims based on such a generic design right can harm not only the industry’s innovation as a whole, but also unduly limit consumer choice.”

Samsung requested that Apple be ordered to remove the statement, but the High Court said Apple is entitled to its opinion.

Apple plans to appeal the judge’s order.


Snooki and Gingrich talk strippers

Snooki and Gingrich have a friendly conversation about writing and bachelor parties

“Ron-Ron” juice is the refreshment the accomplished Snooki will be offering former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich when he swings by the famous Jersey Shore residence to “hang out.”

According to Fox News Cleveland, Snooki and Gingrich sat down together and had a compelling conversation concerning strippers on Wednesday’s airing of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Following a friendly opening exchange between Snooki and Gingrich, Snooki informed Gingrich that she is allowing her fiancé to have strippers at his bachelor party. She then proceeded to ask the former presidential candidate if he had strippers at his own bachelor party.

The conversation between Gingrich and Snooki actually unfolded without Gingrich seeming at all insulted. Gingrich told Snooki, “No, she was already saying she was crazy for saying she’d marry me. She figured that was enough for one round,” referring to his wife, Callista.

As well as admitting to never having watched Jersey Shore, Gingrich congratulated Snooki on her two New York Times best selling books. Snooki and Gingrich have the enjoyment with writing in common.

Snooki told the former Republican party candidate that she aspired to be like him.

Before Snooki and Gingrich took to the stage together, Gingrich spoke with Leno about this year’s presidential elections. Gingrich provided some insight on the topic.

“Obama cannot survive if this campaign is about the economy, so every morning they try to figure out, what’s the newest argument that isn’t about the economy? They don’t actually care what it is. It’s anything except the economy.”

Gingrich recently released his second e-book, “No Taxation by Misrepresentation: Rejecting the Dishonest Obamacare Tax.”

Nazis planned to kill Churchill with chocolate

The letter that warned of the lethal chocolate

Familiar with the sweet tooth of Winston Churchill, Nazis plotted to kill him with explosive chocolate during World War II.

According to WebProNews, the Nazis planned to kill Churchill by placing a small bomb in a thin layer of dark chocolate. The Nazis planned to kill Churchill by wrapping these delectable “candies” in gold, luxurious looking paper. The paper would read, “Peter’s Chocolate.”

The package of Nazi chocolates planned to kill Churchill would have fit in well with an assortment of extravagancies in the dining room. Nazis planned to kill Churchill, as well as his entire war cabinet.

But the Nazis’ plan to kill Churchill went under when British spies outwitted the plan, and warned officials.

While Nazis planned to kill Churchill, MI5’s senior intelligence chief, Lord Victor Rothschild, aimed to help the effort in warning. Rothschild’s wife uncovered a letter in 2009, which read his warning and a request to Lawrence Fish.

Rothschild wrote, “Dear Fish, I wonder if you could do a drawing for me of an explosive slab of chocolate.”

Following this address to the illustrator, Rothschild proceeded to describe the chocolate’s appearance.

Rothschild continued, “When you break off a piece of chocolate at one end in the normal way, instead of it falling away, a piece of canvas is revealed stuck into the middle of the piece which has been broken off and a ticking into the middle of the remainder of the slab.”    

Rothschild wrote the letter on May 4th, 1943 enlightening that the Nazis planned to kill Churchill.

These poster-sized drawings would warn that the Nazis planned to kill Churchill, and would cover the walls of England to caution people of the bars.

John Cena divorce war settles

John Cena and Elizabeth Huberdeau reach a peaceful agreement

After a drawn out war between John Cena and his wife of three years, the couple’s divorce has come to a finalization. According to Contactmusic.com, John Cena and Elizabeth Huberdeau have settled their differences despite initial accusations between them, and the three-year marriage has come to a peaceful end.

Huberadeau accused the WWE wrestler of cheating on her in the past and initially disputed their prenuptial agreement.

The media are claiming the ex-wife of John Cena to have been “blind-sided.”

According to WebProNews, the goal of John Cena has been to move past the divorce, which he called in May, and to return to the ring without a chip on his shoulder.

Twitter is buzzing with theories on the divorce’s result. MeanButterfly wrote, “John Cena’s divorce is settled…Threw her some cash and said I’m out!!! Lol.”

And WWEKatieVick wrote, “’…John Cena & Elizabeth Huberdeau Reach Divorce Agreement’ She got the briefcase, guys!”

Many are comparing John Cena and Elizabeth Huberdeau’s divorce to that of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. But while Cruise was also shocked by Holmes’s desire for divorce, he managed to stay away from the public eye.

Huberdeau did not make such efforts to avoid the media. But according to Entertainment and Stars, Huberdeau took back accusations regarding infidelity.

According to TMZ, the lawyer of John Cena’s ex-wife, Raymond Rafool said, “All matters [in the divorce] have been settled and resolved amicably.”

Lauren Spierer: Will the mystery be solved?

Lauren Spierer’s skull might have been found

The skull that could possibly belong to Indiana University student Lauren Spierer is currently undergoing testing. Lauren Spierer’s family is waiting anxiously for the test results, though Spierer has been missing for over a year. The 21-year-old was last seen on June 3rd of last year at 4:30 a.m.

The last time Lauren Spierer’s family had to wait anxiously for test results, bones that turned out to be an unidentified male’s were found just west of Bloomington, according to Huff Post.

Lauren Spierer was last seen at White River in Bloomington, IN. and the skull was found exactly there. Spierer had been walking back to her apartment from a Kilroy’s bar just blocks away.

But the last report of Lauren Spierer’s whereabouts was at Corey Rossman’s apartment before calling it a night and walking home. Nobody knows what happened after that.

Spierer’s father is angry and having grown impatient, along with his family, said, “I think he’s a liar and a coward,” referring to Rossman.

Spierer’s father wrote online, “When will you end this nightmare for our family? We will never give up,” adding, “We are just as determined as we were on June 3, 2011. You need to know that. It’s our promise to you. For now we continue to wait.”

Huff Post wrote that there is a website (findlauren.com) dedicated to solving the Lauren Spierer missing person case, and informed of a $250,000 reward for anyone who finds her.

According to The Inquistr, Lauren Spierer’s family wrote on Facebook, “In the days ahead, a family will have answers they have been desperately seeking…will it be ours?”


Pregnant Marissa Mayer joins Yahoo as CEO: A mistake on her part?

Yahoo takes slack for its past major decisions

Marissa Mayer jumped ship from being a Google engineer member to become Yahoo’s new CEO.

Responses are mixed. Some are saying Marissa Mayer is too inexperienced, while others are praising her for her executive position during her recent pregnancy. PCMag contributor John C. Dvorak wrote, “First, she’s never been a CEO. Second, she’s never been groomed to be a CEO or she would have stayed at Google.”

Dvorak proceeded to bring up past CEOs of Yahoo whom he deems mistakes to the company. After the company fired Carol Bartz, Scott Thompson replaced her, then resigned due to a scandal regarding his academic credentials.

Dvorak dubbed Marissa Mayer’s new enterprise a “snake pit.” According to The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo did not accept a deal of $33 a share purchase by Microsoft Corp., which many also question.

Yahoo predicted no quandaries by Marissa Mayer’s pregnancy. But contributor Angela Moore begged to differ, claiming that the company is in denial.

While Marissa Mayer is pondering a maternity leave, she said, “Yahoo’s products will continue to enhance our partnerships with advertisers, technology and media companies.”

Marissa Mayer is expected to spring Yahoo back onto its feet with her appointment there.

Mayer helped create Gmail, Google Maps and iGoogle.

According to CNN the New York Times wrote in 2009 about Marissa Mayer: “An engineer at heart, she also had something that many of her peers did not during Google’s early days: a keen sense of style and design,” adding, “She adored bold blocks of color against a white background, much like the Marimekko prints that once hung in her childhood home. “