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Billy Gardner

Knitted Down there, Sewn to the boundless black stitches In our white spotted blanket. Creatures, Atop brown threads Puncturing the blue. The knots inside their tops Can't unravel what's true.

Huggies ad backlash: uproar from fathers

Huggies pulled the ad

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that many dads are, “hot under the collar.” They are upset about Huggies recent ad depicts inexperienced fathers as less than efficient caregivers. The makers of the ad thought they were being cheeky by showing fathers helplessness when it comes to caring for their children, but the Huggie ad backlash was significant.

It is reported that there are more than 5 million stay-at-home dads nowadays and millions more that play pivotal roles in their infants life. The Huggie ad backlash came most prominently via comments on the company’s facebook page.

One comment reads, “Your ad campaign disgusts me. My wife and I share the responsibilities of the house. I cook, grocery shop, clean, and we take care of our daughter equally. At times I have been at home with my daughter more than my wife has been, after she had to return to work and I had a lot of time off. It is insulting to all fathers to portray us as a bunch of bumbling idiots,” James Garcia wrote.

The message was supposed to be funny claiming Huggies diapers and wipes can handle anything, even inexperienced fathers. The facebook page reads, “have dad put Huggies to the test.” The message was not received. Huggies pulled the ads and released a comment, “We have heard the feedback from dads … We recognize our intended message did not come through and that we need to do a better job communicating the campaign’s overall message….”

Ides of March proves ominous so far

See where it comes from

Today is the day, the 15th of March, the Ides of March. The term refers to the day Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed (23 times) to death in the Roman Senate by a group of conspirators (allegedly 60), Y tu Brute. William Shakespeare dramatized the conspiracy with the play Julius Caesar and coined the phrase when Caesar is warned by a soothsayer “beware of the Ides of March.”

An article on NationalGeographic.com notes that, “For ancient Romans living before that event … an ides was merely one of several common calendar terms used to mark monthly lunar events. The ides simply marked the appearance of the full moon.”
But after the assassination of Caesar, “The phrase came to represent a specific day of abrupt change that set off a ripple of repercussions throughout Roman society and beyond.”

The term has taken on a superstitious meaning and curses the day of the 15th. The front page of the Post reads Bad Things Happen Today:  the HBO series Luck has been cancelled, the Taliban have suspended peace talks with the U.S., the Syria situation is only becoming more of a problem, Goldman Sachs lost out and worst of all, Jermaine Jones got the boot from American Idol, coincidence? You decide? And it’s not even noon yet.

Here are 5 other events that feed into the superstitious Ides of March,

1. A French raid ransacks a southern English town in raping, pillaging and murdering many,1369.
2. Czar Nicholas II abdicated his throne, 1917.
3. Samoan Cyclone wrecks 3 US ships and 3 German, killing 200 hundred, 1889.
4. Germany occupies Czechoslovakia, 1939.
5. Disappearing ozone layer reported by NASA,1988.

Jermaine Jones booted from American Idol for lying about criminal history

See video below

Jermaine Jones was kicked off American Idol yesterday for having lied about his past criminal history. This was not the ideal idol dream for the 25-year-old vocal coach from Pine Hill, N.J.

TMZ broke the news yesterday and reported that, “Jones has 4 warrants out for his arrest and a history of allegedly using multiple fake names with cops.”

Below is the video of American Idol producers Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe confronting Jermaine Jones on his criminal history, “You were incumbent to tell us the truth about all of this, and it appears that you just haven’t on any level,” Warick told Jones.

Ryan Seacrest dubbed the nickname “Gentle Giant” for the criminal vocalist who was advanced to the top 12 singers in the shows 11th season with his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Knock Me Off My Feet. Jermaine Jones even fooled co-contestant Jessica Sanchez, “It was all a shock to us that he’s gone right now. We’re going to miss him so much,” she told Fox’s All Access. “He was so funny, so kindhearted. I wish he was still here.”

“I didn’t want to get judged,” said Jones. “I didn’t want to get penalized for anything that happened in the past.”

Jermaine Jones is not the first Idol contestant to get the boot from the show, Season two’s Corey Clark got canned for alleged affair with former judge Paula Abdul,and Donnie Williams was released a season later after a drunk driving arrest.

See the video of Executive Producers Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe confronting Jermaine Jones:

Greg Smith lands a shot on Goldman Sachs

See how much he cost them

Greg Smith, the now former executive director and head of Goldman Sachs U.S. equity derivatives in Europe, Middle East and Africa published a notorious op-ed article Wednesday, Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.

Smith envisioned a different future for the company when he started 12 years ago. He is blaming Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, 57, for his management and dealings with clients and President Gary D. Cohn, 51, for a “decline in the firm’s moral fiber.” The two responded in a memo saying that Smith’s assertions don’t reflect the firm’s values, culture or “how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients.”

Oh, Goldman Sachs isn’t a humanitarian charity group like we all thought?

Greg Smith started at Goldman Sachs as a college intern and was selected as 1 out of 10 people in a firm with over 30,000 to appear on the college recruitment video, played at campuses worldwide every year. Looks like Goldman Sachs will be filming a new video for recruiting.

It took him over a decade to come out with it but Greg Smith says Goldman has changed. “Culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients.” And he gives a warning: “Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist.”

Shares plummeted 3.4 percent yesterday in New York trading and these comments by Greg Smith caused the group to lose $2.15 billion in market value.

HBO Luck runs out of luck

3 horses died in production

The HBO Luck series, which is set at a racetrack and stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte was cancelled Wednesday after the injury and euthanasia of a horse. This is the third horse that has perished since the shows filming, with the first two occurring last season. Pressure from critics and animal rights groups has caused the show to crumble.

Executive producers David Munn and Matt Milch of the HBO Luck series have released a statement about the cancellation, “Safety is always of paramount concern. We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or than befall horses normally in barns at night or pastures. While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen, and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future. Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision.” The statement added, “We are immensely proud of this series, the writing, the acting, the filmmaking, the celebration of the culture of horses and everyone involved in its creation.”

Despite a substantial amount of hype and critical praise, the show has not been receiving the response it hoped for, with only about 625,000 viewers per episode.  The show cancelled its production amid filming for its second season.

PETA and its president, Kathy Guillermo, filed complaints prior to the death of the third horse of the HBO Luck series, stating, “During the filming of the first season, there were reportedly four humane officers monitoring the use of horses. We are told that the production company, to its shame, did not always follow their advice, and this accounts, at least in part, for the two deaths during filming. These officers had rejected as unfit a number of horses who, we are now told, have been returned to the Luck set for the filming of the second season.”

PETA issued a response praising the HBO Luck series on their decision, “Knowing that old, unfit and drugged horses were forced to race for this series, PETA is glad that HBO has finally decided to cancel the show. We thank the whistleblowers who refused to let these horses’ deaths go unnoticed. Should Milch, Mann and HBO decide to start the series up again, PETA will be calling on them, as we have done from the start, to use stock racing footage instead of endangering horses for entertainment purposes. PETA has called on law enforcement to investigate the deaths of the horses used on the set and to bring charges as appropriate,”

Red Meat, processed or unprocessed, increases risk of premature death

Supplement it with a nice piece of fish, or how bout a nut

New studies now indicate that eating unprocessed red meat- hamburger, pork lamb and roast beef increase a person’s chance of premature death and raise the risks of death due to cancer and heart disease.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health determined studies from over 110,000 people, who ate as little as two pieces of bacon or one hot dog, per day, increased their mortality rate by 20 percent over a 20 year period.
Lead researcher on the study, An Pan, told LA Times that before the study, his researchers assumed only processed meat will cause health concerns and was surprised when “any red meat you eat contributes to the risk.”
The study also suggests that replacing red meat in one’s diet with fish or poultry for instance will in fact lower the risk for premature death. When replacing red meat with nuts, studies showed a lowered risk of mortality by 19 percent.
“This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death,” said senior researcher Frank Hu, “On the other hand, choosing more healthful sources of protein in place of red meat can confer significant health benefits by reducing chronic disease morbidity and mortality.”
Pan suggest to those who just can’t kick the red meat habit, “The message we want to communicate is it would be great if you could reduce your intake of red meat consumption to half a serving a day or two to three servings a week and severely limit processed red meat intake.”

Rush Limbaugh calls National Organization for Women "nags"

He’s at it again

The most recent news surrounding the outspoken conservative radio talk show host came when he now criticized the National Organization for Women and its founder Terry O’Neill for comments she made at a recent convention.

“All of this outrage that they have been spewing for a week—how horrible it’s been, how uncouth,” Limbaugh said. “Just listen to her describe it.”

Rush Limbaugh, who has lost a slew of his advertisers, listeners and, its safe to say, woman fans,  recently called a young Georgetown law student ‘a slut,’ decided to play a clip of Terry O’Neill on his latest radio talk show.

“Right now it really seems like we’ve got this godsend named Rush Limbaugh who has dropped this thing in our lap,” O’Neill said. “Which is just wonderful. But the road ahead is really not gonna be completely rosy.  We’ve got to be very clear on what the challenges are, and very clear about how we can move our own agenda forward in the current political climate.”

“I thought they were outraged,” Limbaugh replied. “I thought they were offended. I thought it was the worst thing they ever heard anybody say.  Now it’s ‘wonderful.’  What a political opportunity.” Rush Limbaugh, who refers to the members of the organization as “Nags,” continued: “A godsend! The Nags called me a godsend. So not only am I God’s gift to Obama, I’m God’s gift to women.”
The issue that broke the mold seems to have gotten lost in translation, or in Rush Limbaugh insinuations, birth control. CNN tried to bring to light the actual issue that many seem to have forgotten about, by bringing Sandra Fluke on the show, she commented, “It’s unfortunate that some folks have made it so much about me and my access, because that was not what my testimony was about,” she said. “I would encourage people to take a look at that testimony.”

Jennie Garth, 90210 star, and Peter Fancinelli, twilight star, call it quits after 11 years

They have 3 daughters

After tying the knot 11 years ago, Jennie Garth and Peter Fancinelli say they are divorcing. The two released a statement on Tuesday saying, “While we have decided to end our marriage, we both share the same deep love and devotion to our children.” The former couple who have 3 young daughters (14, 9, and 5) continued, “We remain dedicated to raising our beautiful daughters together. We ask for privacy and respect during this time.”

Reports say the two have not filed for divorce, but it seems to only be a matter of time. The 39-year-old Jennie Garth became famous for her role as Kelly Taylor, in Beverly Hills, 90210 and appeared in the shows 2008 sequel. She was a contestant on the popular show Dancing with the Stars where the 38-year-old Fancinelli, a co-star in the blockbuster franchise Twilight, was cheering her on from the sidelines.

This was Fancinelli’s first marriage but it was the second for Jennie Garth, who was married to Daniel Clark in the mid 90’s. The couple recently moved outside the hustle and bustle of Hollywood, California and to a more rural lifestyle in California’s countryside. The motive for the recent move appears to be rather different than it did a few days ago.

Randy Moss signs one-year contract with San Francisco 49ers

He’s back

Randy Moss will get another chance in the NFL after reaching a deal with the San Francisco 49ers for a one-year contract. Moss was seen Monday practicing with team and coach Jim Harbaugh participated.

Randy Moss, who had other prospects opportunities with the New Orleans Saints, spent a full season outside the game after ‘retiring’ from the New England Patriots.

This recent acquisition by the 49ers will definitely help a squad which had a one lousy catch for three yards in their 20-17 NFC championship loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

Jim Harbaugh has stated that he is impressed with Randy Moss and his football IQ. “Moss is so aware and innovative in the film room that he could have a career as a coach after he’s done playing, several former teammates have told me,” said Steve Wyche at NFL.com. Not to mention Randy Moss holds the record for most touchdowns in a season (23 in 2007). The same guy who has had over 1,000 receiving yards over 10 seasons.

Randy Moss is a low-risk move with a potential for high-reward. Moss might not have been the hopeful savior for the New England Patriots with arguably the worst season of his career, but the deal with the 49ers is one deal that allows them wiggle room. San Francisco, even if Moss doesn’t put up the numbers he used to, will still diversify their offence, and by just being there, Randy Moss is a threat.


Black and Tan release leads to Nike apology

What is wrong with Black and Tan?

Sneaker super store Nike offended the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force with the release of its latest shoe Black and Tan.  The shoe is set to release with the St. Patrick’s Day theme and hoped for a jovial and festive response. Not so much.

Black and Tan refers to the mixing of a stout and a lager. One Nike ad reads, “Tis the season for Irish beer and why not celebrate with Nike. The Black and Tan sneaker takes inspiration for the fine balancing act of a Stout (Guinness) on top a Pale Ale (Harp) in a pint glass.”

The drink will be especially popular come this weekend, but many don’t know how the drink actually got its name, besides that fact it does appear black and tan. The Royal Irish Constabulary was nicknamed Black and Tan in the 1920s. Black and Tan at the time was a pejorative word referring to the British and which received its nickname because many Irish despised them. 

The original Black and Tans burned and sacked Irish cities, murdered many and even kidnapped and executed a priest.

Nike release on SBs official twitter page that they will release a Guinness featured shoe with a “British Tan” colorway. Nike issued a statement to Fox news “unofficially named by some using a phrase that can be viewed as inappropriate and insensitive.” It continued,
“We apologize. No offense was intended.”

Ben and Jerry’s Ice-cream is no stranger to this mistake. They named a flavor of their ice-cream Black and Tan and, like Nike, apologized for it.