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Jason Oliva

"What has your college education taught you?" To appreciate a greater dependence on caffeine than my own body will allow. That's the truest thing I've learned in my life as an undergrad writing major. If I were ever given an award and had to express thanks under a blinding heat lamp in front of millions, I wouldn't think of God. At least not at first. No, my saving grace would have to be caffeine (Mom, you come in at a close second). I've noticed that in my own meandering existence I've come to enjoy the things that probably won't get me paid. I like to read everything from Faulkner to Graphic Novels. I've been playing guitar for the last eight years (the last five of which good). One of these days you might see me on the red line, or in the rafters at a Potbelly's. My guilty pleasures are B-rate horror movies, kung fu (preferably dubbed), baseball and all things music. If I were to be any animal in a future life, I would be an owl. (A: because I already have a similar sleep schedule, and B: because owls aren't easily domesticated.) My favorite color is red.

Underoath to disband

The Tampa metalcore band will break up following a 2013 tour

Underoath has announced that they disband following a 2013 farewell tour. After 15 years and 1.3 million record sales later, the Tampa metalcore outfit has decided to call it quits. News of Underoath’s disbanding comes via the group’s web page.

“It’s sad to say that we feel like it’s time to close this chapter, but we have never seen things more clearly,” says Underoath vocalist Spencer Chamberlain. “These have been the best years of my entire life, and I owe that to every single person who ever supported this band along the way. This wasn’t a quick decision by any means. It’s just time for us to move on.”

As a last hurrah, Underoath will embark on a 2013 farewell tour and will release a compilation album spanning the years of their success. Underoath’s Anthology 1999-2013 will drop on Nov. 6 via the band’s Solid State Records and will include songs from all of the band’s albums. Expect to see tracks from the Underoath’s 1999 album Act of Depression through their 2010 record Ø (Disambiguation). Anthology 1999-2013 will also feature two newly recorded songs entitled “Sunburnt” and “Unsound.”

“Over the past decade or so of our lives, we have been able to live a dream traveling the world, playing music that excites us, and meeting more amazing people than we could have ever fathomed,” says Underoath keyboardist Chris Dudley. “This couldn’t be a more bittersweet moment for us. We have accomplished more, met more friends, seen more places and have just done more than we could have ever imagined, and we really wanted to just go out on the highest note possible.”

“That’s why we put together a group of great friends and musicians for what will be our final tour ever,” Dudley continues. “We are taking every moment of this tour as an opportunity to say goodbye to you all, as well as celebrate what has taken place over all these years. The love we have and the debt of gratitude that we owe to all of your is not to be measured in any way.”

Underoath’s Anthology 1999-2013 track list:
1. Sunburnt
2. Unsound
3. In Division
4. Catch Myself Catching Myself
5. Paper Lung
6. Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
7. Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear
8. In Regards To Myself
9. You’re Ever So Inviting
10. Writing On The Walls
11. A Boy Brushed Red Living In Black And White
12. Reinventing Your Exit
13. It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door
14. I’ve Got Ten Friends And A Crowbar That Says You Ain’t Gonna Do Jack
15. When The Sun Sleeps
16. Cries Of The Past
17. Heart Of Stone

D.C. sniper: "I was a monster"

Lee Boyd Malvo remembers his killings 10 years later

D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo sits rotting away in a prison cell for crimes he committed ten years ago. One half of the D.C. sniper pair that terrorized the Washington area, Malvo was only 17-years-old when he and accomplice John Allen Muhammad plotted 13 attacks on unsuspecting civilians. Now, ten years later, Malvo, 27, feels remorse for his actions, calling himself a “monster.”

The D.C. snipers’ plan in 2002 was simple: raise hell. Malvo and Mohammad admitted their “real plan” to prosecutors after they were apprehended at a truck stop in Myersville, Md. What the snipers revealed can only be described as utterly horrifying.

The D.C. snipers broke up their plan into three phases. Phase one was to kill six white people a day for 30 days, but due to variables like traffic, lack of clear shot and getaway route, Malvo and Mohammad’s operation did not go as planned.

Phase two was to occur in Baltimore, where the snipers would initiate their plan by killing a pregnant woman by shooting her in the stomach. The next step would include the killing of a Baltimore police officer, and the subsequent detonation of explosives at the officer’s funeral service, to maximize city law enforcement casualties.

The third and final phase would include extorting several million dollars from the United States government, which the D.C. snipers would use to finance a recruitment operation to send out others to do their killing across the country.

Thankfully, Malvo’s and Mohammad’s plans never came to fruition as they had dreamed, though the pair still managed to terrorize the metropolitan area over the course of 21 days in October.

The D.C. snipers targeted 13 people, killing ten of them. They carefully planned each of their slayings, often attacking as snipers do from a distance. A quick pull of a trigger, a faint sound, a bleeding civilian and massive horror and confusion left in their wakes. Victims ranged from adults to even a 13-year-old the snipers wounded in front of a middle school.

Malvo displayed teenage arrogance when he was taken into custody, laughing about the death of a woman and placing his fingers to his head to show where the bullet had killed her. But now after ten years in a Virginia prison, incarcerated life has matured the 27-year-old killer.

“I was a monster,” Malvo said. “If you look up the definition, that’s what a monster is…I stole people’s lives.”

Malvo continues to remain in prison, serving a life sentence without parole. Mohammad, who was 42-years-old when the killings took place, was executed in 2009 by lethal injection at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia.

Jason Aldean caught flirting with NBA cheerleader

The country singer blames infidelity on booze

Jason Aldean, the country singer known for his songs “Dirt Road Anthem” and “Big Green Tractor,” got himself into a bit of trouble in the City of Angels last week when he was caught snogging with a woman who is not his wife. The alleged female in question is rumored to be Charlotte Bobcats cheerleader Brittany Kerr.

Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr were seen flirtatiously displaying their affection for each other at a nightclub on the Sunset Strip. In a move to save himself from public shaming, Aldean apologized to his fans Sunday via his Facebook page, citing alcohol as the agent of his infidelity. In his apology Aldean says, “The truth is that I screwed up. I had too much to drink, let the party get out of hand and acted inappropriately at a bar…I ended up embarrassing my family and myself.”

Aldean is currently married to his high school sweetheart, Jessica Ussery, with whom Aldean has two daughters. The two were married back in 2001 and it remains to be seen what implications Aldean’s L.A. escapades will have for the couple’s marriage.

The platinum recording artist, whose number one hits include “Why,” “She’s Country” and “The Truth,” even recorded a duet with first season American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Brittany Kerr, aside from cheerleading for the miserable Charlotte Bobcats, auditioned for Season 11 of American Idol but failed to reach the semi-finals.

Aldean’s new album hits stores and online retailers Oct. 16, followed by a tour supporting the record Oct. 25.

Psy plans for new album, topless show

If “Gangnam Style” reaches #1, Psy will perform the hit topless

Psy, the South Korean rapper who has taken America by storm with his dance hit “Gangnam Style,” plans on making a new album in the United States come November. The Korean rapper, who was shocked to see his popularity rise in the States seemingly out of thin air, lives to continue his shock-fest after proclaiming he will perform “Gangnam Style” if the song reaches a #1 spot on U.S. music charts.

Psy, the pudgy, Korean phenomenon to drop the latest dance craze of the 2010s, never took himself too seriously. Instead, Psy prefers to have “fun by music.” The 34-year-old rapper was raised in Gangnam, Seoul’s version of Beverly Hills, before traveling stateside to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. When asked about his appearance and his goofy dance moves—one of which includes galloping atop an imaginary steed—Psy admitted that he never really fit in with the well-dressed, groomed appearance of South Korean bands.

“Honestly, I like being ‘second class,’” Psy stated, referring to his sore thumb image.

The Korean rapper is doing so well for himself that his own father’s technology company, DI Corp.’s stock has doubled since “Gangnam Style” released in July on the Seoul Stock Exchange.

For Psy, the family business was simply not something that appealed to him. He dropped out of an American business school against his parents’ wishes to focus more closely on his music career, and so far it has been paying off, seeing as Psy is the Internet’s latest viral sensation that isn’t cat-related or meme-based.

If the contagiously dance-inducing “Gangnam Style” does happen to claim a number one spot on the Billboard Music Charts, be sure to expect a topless Psy galloping his invisible horse all the way to the bank.

Andy Williams dies at 84

Legendary singer passes away after year-long bout with cancer

Andy Williams, known for his crooning on the timeless tune “Moon River,” died Tuesday night following a bout with bladder cancer. Williams, 84, battled with bladder cancer for almost a year before passing away at his Branson, Missouri home.

Williams, whose death adds to the list of celebrities lost in 2012, was the host of NBC’s “The Andy Williams Show” from 1962 to 1971. His songs have even led former president Ronald Reagan to dub the singer “a national treasure.” Throughout his prolonged bout with terminal illness, Williams kept showing his spirit to persevere. Williams, who was diagnosed in November 2011, even continued to perform at his Moon River Theater in Branson.

Williams’ career spanned 75 years in the music business and his legacy of 17 gold and three platinum records will forever immortalize him and his legendary performances.

Williams was well known for his Oscar-winning song “Moon River,” which appeared in the iconic 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Williams is survived by his wife, Debbie, and three children from the singer’s previous marriage to Claudine Longet, a French dancer.

Playboy ranks University of Virginia top party school

School officials grimace at magazine’s ranking

Playboy has ranked the University of Virginia #1 on its list of the nation’s top party schools. Naturally, university officials are unhappy with the pornographic magazine’s assertion regarding the students’ extra-curricular activities.

Playboy ranked the University of Virginia—founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819—as the top party school in America over a list containing 100 colleges. Set to be featured in Playboy’s October issue, the 2012 Top Party School list regards universities in three major categories: sex, sports and nightlife, categories that have put the founding father university at the forefront of collegiate debauchery.

A close second on Playboy’s list was the University of Southern California, with the University of Florida clocking in at the third spot. The rankings were based on 900 data points spanning the categories of sex, sports and nightlife, which the University of Virginia trumped, leaving school officials with a bad taste in their mouths.

Being a raging party school is probably not something the nation’s oldest public university uses as a selling point for incoming freshman, and it probably does not help that the nation’s most prominent adult magazine backs up this claim.

“It’s far more important for the university to be known for our academic achievements in teaching and research,” said University of Virginia representative Carol Wood in a statement to NBC News.

On its website, Playboy hyped up the University of Virginia for topping the list, saying, “Raise a glass to UVA, whose students know a thing or two about raising glasses and everything important to this list.”

Sean Lowe is ABC's newest 'Bachelor'

Sorry Lochte, but it appears Lowe has won this race

Sean Lowe has been chosen by ABC for the upcoming season of “The Bachelor.” Lowe, a top three finalist in “The Bachelorette” season 8, will once again have a chance at finding his special somebody, only this time he is in charge.

ABC’s decision for Lowe casts away speculation that Olympic heartthrob Ryan Lochte would be the one courting 25 eligible women when the show returns this January. Lochte, the multi-medalist this year at the 2012 London Olympics, might have proved too expensive for the network’s budget to bear.

Instead, ABC went with someone familiar in their selection of Sean Lowe, who was eliminated in the final three by bachelorette Emily Maynard earlier this summer. Lowe was eliminated by Maynard just before “The Bachelorette” season finale, but not before confessing his love.

Now the 28-year old Dallas businessman is guaranteed a sure thing when “The Bachelor” returns for its 17th edition in January 2013. ABC says Lowe is ready to look for love again and is confident that this time around he will find the one for him.

During a conference call in July with network executives, Lowe expressed his weariness of appearing on the romantic courting show, calling it “emotionally taxing,” yet remained optimistic of his chances.

“Ultimately if I were to find my wife, it would certainly be worth it.”

Twitter co-founder to make short film

User photos look to provide inspiration for upcoming film

Twitter users will have the chance to inspire a short film created by co-founder Biz Stone. Stone has asked tweeters to submit photos containing the hashtag #InspireBiz, which he will use as inspiration for the film under the guidance of Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard.

Stone’s undertaking of a Twitter film arises from an initiative by Canon called “Project Imagination.” Needless to say, the Twitter buzz surrounding the film has led to an outpouring of media sharing. To help him judge users’ photos, Stone has enlisted the help of celebrities such a Jamie Foxx, Eva Longoria, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Marchesa fashion designer/co-founder Georgina Chapman.

Stone and each of his celebrity judges expects to choose ten photos from users’ Twitter posts to inspire the project, which will head into production sometime in 2013 where the final product will be showcased at a film festival yet t o be named.

Though the Twitter entrepreneur has yet to reveal a screenplay in mind for the forthcoming film, Stone assures that he will develop something concrete after viewing users’ photos. Stone will also be involved in every aspect of the film, including casting to editing.

The Twitter co-founder admitted that he is nervous about making his directorial debut, comparing his newest venture to starting a company.

“You have to be willing to fail and you have to be emotionally invested in what you’re doing,” he said.

Cat Power hospitalized, substance abuse not suspected

The singer was released this weekend, cites undisclosed reasons

Cat Power was hospitalized over the weekend in Miami for undisclosed reasons. The 40-year old singer-songwriter has since been released. Born Chan Marshall, Cat Power has struggled in the past with substance abuse, but according to Matador, the singer’s record label, her hospitalization was unrelated to past issues.

Cat Power’s latest album “Sun” was released September 3, 2012, and a representative from Matador said that Cat Power is “doing well” and that “everything is on schedule,” in reference to the singer’s upcoming world tour set to begin in Miami.

From her hospital bed at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Cat Power tweeted images of her food, saying, “Hospital food has never been so good.” She even went on to post an image of her discharge packet upon release Sunday.

In 2006, Cat Power cancelled a tour after the release of her album “The Greatest.” Shortly after she checked herself into the Miami hospital’s psychiatric ward after suffering a nervous breakdown related to alcohol abuse. Up until then, the singer struggled to keep her head right, often deflecting thoughts of suicide.

In an interview with The New York Times she said, “I was looking at death. I wanted to die.”

Cat Power has long since recovered and has even admitted that she “enjoys life a whole lot more than I used.”

Trader Joe's recalls tainted peanut butter

Valencia-brand peanut butter believed to be source of rare salmonella strain

Trader Joe’s has issued a recall of its Valencia brand of peanut butter following the outbreak of a multi-state salmonella epidemic. The main culprit is supposedly Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter that has been linked to 29 salmonella infections in 18 states.

The Trader Joe’s recall comes after several infections were reported between June 11 and Sept. 2. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four people have been hospitalized. On average the victims’ age is 7 years old, where three of the four victims were under the age of 18.

The rare salmonella Bredeney is supposedly the cause for the infection. Difficult to detect, the rare strain of salmonella failed to show up on several test results, however, it is important that those with weak immune systems stay away from Trader Joe’s brand peanut butter at this time.

States where Bredeney infection was reported include Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and the state of Washington.

Bredeney symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramping within 12 to 72 hours of infection with illness lasting four to seven days. Though most can recover without treatment, some may develop more serious illness that requires hospitalization.

In addition, Trader Joe’s is also recalling various types of its Valencia-brand peanut butter. Other varieties of Valencia being taken off store shelves are Roasted Flaxseeds, Crunchy and Salted and Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds, Crunchy and Salted.

Trader Joe’s has invited shoppers to return products for full refunds.