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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.

Vincent Jackson not given a franchise tag by San Diego Chargers

Up for grabs as a free agent

The San Diego Chargers passed their deadline this Monday and chose not to name Vincent Jackson as a franchise player for the organization. The move would have added up to $13 million above the player salary cap and general manager A.J. Smith decided the team could not afford it.

21 NFL teams named franchise players before Monday’s deadline including DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dwayne Bowe of the Kansas City Chiefs, and Wes Welker of the New England Patriots.

The decision by the Chargers leaves Vincent Jackson in the free market. The free agency will open March 13 and Jackson could be pursued by any team. The Washington Redskins are in the market for a wide out and will be one of the front runners in the bid for Vincent Jackson. Other teams likely to be after the 3-time pro bowler include the Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Minnesota Vikings.

Jackson is amongst good company though and it would see that any team after a wide receiver this year is going to win out. Other big name free agent receivers coming March 13 include Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Lloyd, Marques Colston, Randy Moss and Hines Ward. Matt Flynn, the backup quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, was also not named as a franchise player, and is expected to one of the most sought after free agents in the market.

Despite the promising prospects, Vincent Jackson will create some buzz and potentially get the $10 million a year contract he is after.

Christina Hendricks cell phone hacked and racy photos were leaked

The nude one is supposedly “fake and not Christina”

Mad Men star Christina Hendricks hits the web with allegedly hacked photos from her cell phone. Hendricks’ publicist did confirm that some photos of the celebrity had been leaked on the internet and that she was in fact the victim of hacking, but, the most notable photo-showing Christina Hendricks naked breasts, according to her publicist, “is fake and not an image of Christina.”

This entire buzz has created a pretty good PR stunt for the release of Hendricks’show Mad Men. Intentional or not, the show is set to debut season five later this month. One has to wonder in this situation is any press good press?

The problem such a leak causes for Christina Hendricks, besides embarrassment amongst other things, is a future pay-day, if she so choose to do so, of naked photos of herself has now been lessened in value. Some nude celebrity photos have been sold for upwards of $1 million and for every hacked release of a celebrity that price dwindles. Some compare this to illegal leaks of songs because once it is out there, in public and on the web; the revenue stream is immediately altered.

One writer, Jo Piazza of the New York Times has coined the phrase faux-lebrity. He says these are the actors/actresses who “make their livelihood off being in the press,” from Snooki to every last Kardashian, a nude photo for them would mean a pay-day today. But for someone like Hendricks, a well known actress on a 4-time Emmy award winning show, there is no pay-day now or possibly in the future, for something like this leak.

Chevy Volt: European Car of the Year

Won by a landslide

The Chevy Volt won North American car of the year 14 months ago but since then new troubles. Last week, General Motors announced that it was suspending production of the Chevy Volt due to excess inventory due to a problem embittered by reports saying that the battery caught fire during test crashes.

It seems this recent information did not deter European journalist from naming the Chevy Volt the European Car of the Year. The 59 judges on the European Car of the Year panel named the Chevy Volt first with 330 points, way ahead of the Volkswagon Up, which came in second with only 281 points.

The president of the EUCOTY panel and an auto critic for Dagens Industri Hakan Matson said the Chevy volt “is a remarkable step into the future of electrification,” and continued by saying, “Volt won in a field of strong competitors, particularly on account of the outstanding technical progress it reflects.”

Chevrolet writes on their website about the Chevy Volt, “Volt is unique among electric vehicles because you have two sources of energy. You have an electric source–a battery–that allows you to drive gas–free for an EPA–estimated 35 miles. And there’s also an onboard gas generator that produces electricity so you can go up to a total of 375 additional miles on a full tank of gas.”

Chevy commented on the failed test crashes saying they have made minor adjustments in the design of the battery. Chevy Volt sales are up 60 percent of late but even with the positive feedback by the European panel, Chevrolet is expected to not even come close to their demand target given to them by the federal government bailout back in 2009.

900-year-old heart stolen out of church in Dublin

No leads and no sign of a break-in leaves staff distraught

The 900-year-old heart of 12 century Irish Saint Lawrence O’Toole was stolen from the Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland.

Police officials are now studying security video tape in hopes of gaining evidence on who stole the preserved heart. Cameras are allegedly in the welcome desk of the cathedral but none happen to be in the interior part of the chapel where the heart was located.

According to police the heart was kept in a wooden box, caged in iron, and bolted to the Saint Lauds chapel wall. It had to have been pried open. The crime occurred sometime between Friday evening and Saturday morning. Police told CNN that the mystery so far is that there seems to be no sign of a break in and that nothing else from the chapel was stolen. There were even gold candlesticks left behind.

Local Roman Catholic officials are pleading for the return “no questions asked” of the tem so many deem priceless. The staff at the cathedral called the crime “awful and strange” and was “shocked and saddened” upon hearing of its disappearance.

St. Laurence O’Toole was unanimously voted in as archbishop of Dublin in the 12th century. He would die in 1180 and be canonized in 1225 by Pope Honorius III.

It is not unusual for the Catholic Church to preserve body parts of saints and other church officials. Pope John Paul II was recently declared “blessed,” placing him a level below sainthood, and the church took a vial of his blood to be preserved. Catholic Officials believe that the faithful are given a reference point for prayers through these relics. 

Mortgage Refinance Plan by President Obama soon to be announced

Will this help the housing market?

President Barack Obama has not held a full news conference since November but has “happened” to schedule one today, the same day as the Republican 10-state super Tuesday. White house aides insist the timing of the conference is coincidental, but this author writes, “come on, seriously?”

Obama is set to lay out his mortgage refinance package. A senior administrator commented to the Associated Press on the president’s plans but asked to remain anonymous. The president will announce plans to let borrowers with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration to refinance at lower rates. This would save the average homeowner upwards of $1,000.

The mortgage refinance plan will also highlight agreements with major lenders to compensate veterans and current service members who were denied lower interest rates or who were wrongfully foreclosed on. There will also be relief for those who were forced to sell their homes at a loss due to a change in station and a refund for those who received overcharges when denied an opportunity to refinance.

According to Jaret Seiberg, an analyst at the Washington Research Group stated the mortgage refinance plan should, “should be broadly positive for housing and the economy by reducing foreclosures and freeing up income for consumers to spend on other goods and services.”

Lenders in the past have not wanted to refinance FHA borrowers because the loans have mostly been made in years of high default rates. With Obama’s new mortgage refinance plan, the downside for lenders is now eliminated.

Paula Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, to be sued for racism and sexual harassment

Filed by former employee Lisa Jackson

The L.A. times reported that a lawsuit against Paula Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers has been filed by Lisa Jackson, a former employee of Deen Enterprises. Reports stated that Jackson is filing suits for both sexual harassment and racism against the Food Network star Deen and her brother.

The slew of allegations against the two even include the President, “In the presence of Ms. Jackson and Uncle Bubba’s restaurant manager and a vendor, Bubba Hiers stated they should send President Obama to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico so he could n***er-rig it.” The 33 page civil suit includes behaviors from Hiers including, forcibly kissing Jackson’s cheek, physical intimidation and displays of pornographic material.

Jackson states in the lawsuit that during the nuptials for Bubba Hiers in 2007, the former employee asked Paula Deen what servers should wear and the sweet talking southern belle responded, “Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n***ers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around. Now, that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn’t it? But we can’t do that because the media would be on me about that.”

Other quotes included by Jackson in the suit include sexual harassment by Deen. After the Savannah establishments previous manager was fired for sexual relations with servers, Deen allegedly told Jackson, “If you think I have worked this hard to lose everything because of a piece of p***y, you better think again. And now I’m going to do something I have never done. I am going to put a woman in a man’s job.”

The outspoken Paula Deen has sold over 8 million copies of her cookbooks and is set to debut in NBC’s Who do you think you are? this season.

Patricia Heaton joins Rush Limbaugh in bashing Sandra Fluke, then apologizes

Via her twitter account

Patricia Heaton, a long time conservative and former star on the show Everybody Loves Raymond joined Rush Limbaugh in bashing the Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke.

One would have to be living under a rock to not have heard that Rush Limbaugh called Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she released her statements concerning the public birth control policy last month. The controversial conservative has now lost many of his sponsors over the comment but not Patricia Heaton, who jumped on his side via twitter, with a slew of comments, 

“Hey G-Town Gal: Plz let us also pay for your Starbucks, movie theater tickets and your favorite hot wings combo deal at KFC! Anything else?”

“Hey G-Town Gal: If your parents have to pay for your birth control, maybe they should get a say in who you sleep with! Instant birth control!”

“If every Tweaton sent Georgetown Gal one condom, her parents wouldn’t have to cancel basic cable, & she would never reproduce — sound good?

“Hey G-Gal! Change major to Health Sciences, then look at pix of people w/syphilis, gonorrhrea [sic], herpes, and chlamydia! Instant birth control!”

“Hey G-Town: stop buying toothpaste, soap, and shampoo! You’ll save money, and no one will want to sleep with you!”

“G-Gal: you’ve given yer folks great gift for Mother’s/Father’s Day! Got up in front of whole world & said I’m having tons of sex – pay 4 it!”

After receiving poor feedback from her 68,000 plus followers, Patricia Heaton deleted the harsh comments and issued an apology to Sandra Fluke, again via twitter,

“Mea culpa Sandra Fluke! Wasn’t being respectful 2 u re my tweets as I hope people wd b w/me. Don’t like you being dissed -so sorry.”

Buckyballs: Oregon toddler survives swallowing 37 magnets

Read the official Buckyball Company statement below

A 3-year-old Portland girl recovered yesterday after she swallowed and had 37 Buckyballs magnets removed from her intestines.

Payton Bushnell was complaining of flu-like symptoms on Feb. 21, so her mother took her to the doctor. X-rays showed -and to everyone’s disbelief- that the toddler had a cluster of metal balls lodged in her stomach. She is said to have finally recovered yesterday after being in the hospital she she was initially admitted in February.

Buckyballs Magnets have a hazardous warning on product labels and on their website, “Hazard: The high powered magnets sets were labeled “Ages 13+” and do not meet the mandatory toy standard F963-08, (effective August 17, 2009) which requires that such powerful magnets are not sold for children under 14-years-old. Magnets found by young children can be swallowed or aspirated. If more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract each other and cause intestinal perforations or blockages, which can be fatal.”

The website even reported of two children swallowing one or two magnets but did not incur injury. Looks like that will have to be revised now that Payton Bushnell got her hands on the toys.

In the past, one child has died and 19 others have been injured from similar toys with magnets in them. This led to the recall of 4 million toys by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Buckyballs are, “intended to build unlimited shapes and patterns,” and avoided the recall.

The Buckyballs Company issued a formal statement about Payton Bushnell’s recent incident, “Buckyballs was saddened to learn that a 3-year old girl in Oregon had swallowed high-powered magnets, but we are relieved that she is expected to make a full recovery. This unfortunate incident underscores the fact that Buckyballs and Buckycubes are for adults. They are not toys and are not intended for children. We urge all consumers to read and comply with the warnings we place on all our products, on our website and in stores. Please keep these products out of the hands and reach of all children.”

Cell Phone Jammer: from Philadelphia bus to national controversy

vigilante act that could face severe punishment

Controversy has struck the web on the use of illegal cell phone jammers. The news came when a Philadelphia man got tired of people talking on his bus ride, and a reporter happened to be riding that same bus.

The story hit the web, and the devices have been searched for days ever since. The cell phone jammer ranges in price from just $40 all the way up to $1,000.

“The general public doesn’t realize what they’re jamming if they were to start using these things,” said Richard Mislan, assistant professor of computer and information technology at Rutgers University, “What’s not obvious is all the wireless connectivity systems that are in the background and maintaining data communications in our daily lives.”

The Philadelphia man, only identified as “Eric” reported to NBC, “I guess I’m taking the law into my own hands, and quite frankly, I’m proud of it.”

A typical jammers job is to block wireless communication including Wi-Fi, cell phone reception, GPS and even police radar.

The federal government and other companies involved with the federal government are the only ones permitted to use jammers, usually for the purpose of homeland security. Section 302(b) of the Communication Act of 1934 prohibits the “marketing, sale or use” of jammers. Eric, like many others said he thought the use of cell phone jammers was legal.

Michelle Ellison, Chief of the Federal Communication Commission Enforcement Bureau said, “We are troubled by the reported incident and are looking into it.” The issue here becomes the range, in which the cell phone jammer can have an influence. Yes, Eric and others may successfully jam the call of the loud person holding a menial conversation on their bus ride, but the range of some jammers extends as far as a couple hundred feet and that becomes dangerous because now emergency calls might be affected.

“Our actions should send a strong message to retailers of signal jamming devices that we will not tolerate continued violations of federal law,” Ellison later said in a press release.

Anyone now thinking of purchasing cell phone jammers should beware because under federal law, illegal use can result in a $16,000 fine and even jail time.

San Fransisco Earthquake Shakes the West

reminds citizens of whats to come

The Midwest was recently rocked with tornadoes, and now the west has been shaken with earthquakes. Back-to-back earthquakes hit the San Francisco bay area on Monday morning. It appears at this point that no damage or injury has occurred.

The United States Geological Survey reported the first temblor with a magnitude of 2.9 and the second one at 4.0. The San Francisco earthquake was felt within a 60-mile radius but police received no reports of injury.

Seismologists reported that the quake occurred on the Hayward Fault that runs along the San Francisco Bay. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the Hayward Fault has the highest chance-1 in 3- if producing an earthquake of a magnitude 6.7 or higher in the Bay Area within the next 30 years. There is a 62 percent chance that the Bay Area will see a larger quake than the two on Monday by 2032.

The Hayward fault runs along the densely populated Bay Area and is part of a greater San Andreas Fault System. Major cities along this system include Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont, Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkeley, and San Jose.

The Hayward Fault was rocked with an earthquake in 1868 that registered at 7 on the richer scale. Scientists say that the large earthquakes seem to have a 160-year interval on the Hayward Fault. This evidence would back the above projections that the “big quake” is on its way in the near future.

Seismologist David Schwartz reported on KGO-TV, “These earthquakes, these 4’s, are just an indication of ongoing activity, ongoing stress on the fault. They do nothing to relieve the likelihood of something larger happening.”