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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.

Sam Bacile's "Innocence of Muslims" is source of Libyan outrage

Insulting depictions of Muhammad force Israeli filmmaker into hiding

Sam Bacile, writer and director of the film “Innocence of Muslims” has gone into hiding following the violent reactions the film spurred by fundamentalist Muslims in Libya. A two-hour movie, Bacile’s film cost $5 million to make and starred 59 actors with 45 people behind the scenes.

Bacile, a California real estate developer who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew, made the film with the hopes of exposing Islam’s flaws to the world.

At the center of the controversy is the claim that in “Innocence of Muslims” the Islamic prophet Muhammad is a fraud. Bacile depicts Muhammad as a philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse.

Since Muslims find it offensive to portray Muhammad in any way, shape or form, to say there is unrest in Islamic countries would be an understatement.

Bacile’s film have inadvertently caused the death of four diplomatic officials in Benghazi, Libya, including American Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. Ambassador Stevens’ death comes as the first American ambassador to be killed anywhere in the world since 1979.

Similar outrage has occurred in many Muslim countries following depictions of Mohammad in a Danish newspaper’s 2005 publication of 12 caricatures of the prophet.

Bacile, though apologetic about the officials who lost their lives because of his film, claims that, “Islam is a cancer, period.”

Bacile is also credited as saying via a telephone interview at an undisclosed location that the security situation regarding the American embassy in Libya should have been prepared for such a violent reaction.

“I feel the security system is no good,” said Bacile. He then urged that America should have done something to change it.

According to Bacile, “Innocence of Muslims” has been shown once, to a mostly empty theater in Hollywood.

iPhone 5 is here

Apple announces its new iPhone 5 today

The iPhone 5 release date event is scheduled to take place Wednesday, September 12 at 1 p.m. EST. The event is expected to reveal the brand new version of Apple’s iPhone and its new iOS 6 operating system.

The iPhone 5 event will be held in California, Apple’s company headquarters, and along with news of the highly anticipated iPhone 5 comes many sites coverage of the big event.

Given the increasing hype surrounding Apple’s newest product release, the company does not expect to take pre-orders just yet, however, company executives expect to see the iPhone5’s pre-orders exceed those the iPhone 4S experienced in October 2011.

Among the new features of the iPhone 5 are a new dock connector, redesigned earphones, a new Nano-SIM slot as well as 4G LTE connectivity. The new version is also the lightest and thinnest iPhone ever, complete with a new 4-inch Retina display, and Apple-designed A6 chip for speedy performance, blazing quick wireless technology and even enhanced battery life. Oh yes, Siri is getting a slight makeover with more features and language compatibility.

Apple is expected to reveal the iPhone 5’s release date during their event today, just in time for upcoming holiday season.

U.S. Ambassador killed in Libya

Muslim protesters storm American embassy, killing three officials

U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens was killed along with three other American diplomats late Tuesday when religious extremists stormed the U.S. Consulate building in Benghazi. Reasons for the attack can be attributed to Muslim protest of a film made in the U.S., which insults the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

When Libyan soldiers outside the Consulate building were overwhelmed by an armed mob of protesters, Ambassador Stevens and several other officials were moved to another building to escape the unruly crowd.

There was speculation that guards revealed the position of the officials to members of the Ansar al-Shariah jihadist brigade, as the armed protesters proceeded to burn several of the embassy’s buildings.

However, there are claims that Ambassador Stevens may not have been killed in Tuesday night’s attacks, but rather early Wednesday morning when his motorcade was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

News of Ambassador Stevens’ death comes with nothing short of remorse from Washington in statements from both President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, expressing their sorrow for the innocent lives lost devoted to preserving American ideals of liberty.

Libya, whose new government has struggled to impose authority on gangs and armed rebel brigades, has been on a manhunt for those suspected in the murders of the officials.

So far, Libyan government has come up empty handed in their search for the culprits who are believed to be a part of Ansar al-Shariah, the militant group of fundamentalist Muslims believed to be held responsible for the attack.

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg laughs in face of adversity

Zuckerberg says Facebook will return stronger despite falling stock

Facebook has seen its stock plummeting on Wall Street in recent months. Stock has fallen from $38 a share to $19.43 on Tuesday’s closing price.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s holdings have fallen more than $9 billion and he has remained out of public spotlight since the social media giant’s public offering in May.

But now, in a laid-back chat at a tech conference in San Francisco, Zuckerberg insists that recent falling trends in Facebook’s stock will not hinder the social networking site’s mission to make the world a “more open and connected place.”

Surrounded by an audience of fellow tech geeks, Zuckerberg emanated an air of informality, showing up wearing a gray t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. The Facebook CEO chuckled and smiled frequently throughout the discussion of his company’s falling stock value, but reassured that the company would figure out a variety of ways to profit from the growing number of its 955 million users who visit Facebook via mobile rather than desktop Web browsers.

A foremost problem in the growing number of Facebook mobile users is that since the app is projected on a smaller platform than it would on a desktop computer, ads are cut out due to the limited amount of screen space.

Zuckerberg even deflected speculation of Facebook producing its own smart phone, as Apple and Google have accomplished in recent years. But although a Facebook smart phone is not in the near future for now, Zuckerberg said that he wanted to intensify Facebook’s rivalry with Google by developing more expansive search methods on its website.

Zuckerberg’s discussion at the San Francisco TechCrunch Disrupt, primarily meant to talk possible Facebook defectors down from the roof of leaving the social networking site, must have influenced some. Facebook shares gained 66 cents, a 3.4 percent increase in Tuesday’s trading after the CEO took the stage.

Chris Brown's new ink, ode to Rihanna?

Brown’s sugar skull tattoo believed to be inspired by Rihanna

Chris Brown has himself some new ink. For the star around which much controversy has arisen in the last three years, there is no doubt that even this simple form of personal expression has come under public scrutiny.

In February 2009, Chris Brown was arrested on charges of domestic violence for allegedly beating his then girlfriend, Barbadian pop star and record-setting recording artist Rihanna. Since then the two have reconciled, dating on-again and off-again, and in an interview with Oprah Winfrey last month Rihanna said, “I do miss him sometimes” in regards to Chris Brown.

Though the heat from the domestic violence altercation has yet to fully fade away, Chris Brown’s new tattoo has been opening some old wounds for the two pop stars’ volatile relationship.

The tattoo located on Brown’s neck, which reveals a bruised and battered skull, is under speculation of resembling Brown’s former girlfriend. The skull, which contains similar injuries suffered by Rihanna in their Feb. 2009 dispute—a black eye and bruised lip—has raised questions in the media on whether or not Brown feels remorse for his actions.

According Chris Brown’s representatives, the similarities between the singer’s tattoo and the events that transpired three years ago are “purely incidental.” Brown claims that his new ink is a random, nameless woman done in the tradition of the Mexican Day of the Dead sugar skulls, a holiday commemorating the remembrance of friends and family members that have died.

Surely, Rihanna is as alive as ever. The Barbados native recently opened up with 2012 MTV Video Music Awards with a seductively enthralling performance and even picked up the coveted Moonman for Video of the Year for her collaboration with UK DJ Calvin Harris on the summer hit “We Found Love.”

It has been three years since the domestic violence incident, an incident still fresh in the minds of many, and it may still take a few more years for the debacle to fade away entirely. Chris Brown’s and Rihanna’s relationship might not have lasted long, but at least tattoos are forever.

"2016: Obama's America" foretells America's future if Obama re-elected

Political documentary delivers a harrowing biography of President Obama

“2016: Obama’s America” is a recently released documentary depicting the future of America given Barack Obama wins re-election come November.

“2016: Obama’s America” took $3.2 million at the box office this weekend, earning a total of $26 million, making the documentary the second highest all-time political documentary. The film has passed controversial political director Michael Moore’s 2007 documentary on the American healthcare system “Sicko” as well as Al Gore’s 2006 documentary about global warming entitled “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Written and directed by Dinesh D’Souza, an Indian American conservative political commentator and author, “2016: Obama’s America” the documentary in a prophetic vision foretells where America will be as a nation through depiction of Obama’s early life, to gain an understanding of the future through an understanding of the President’s past.

The main focus of “2016: Obama’s America” is to examine Barack Obama’s past to gain a clearer picture of what drove Obama to make unconventional decisions during his early presidency, decisions that cannot be explained through conventional differences between Democrats and Republicans.

For example, why did President Obama return the Oval Office’s bust of Winston Churchill back to the British? Why did Obama shut down the Keystone pipeline project and send American funds to pay for drilling in Brazil? Why did Obama side with Argentina rather than America’s British allies in the Falklands War of the 1980s?

Questions such as these are further explored through interviews conducted by D’Souza with people from Obama’s early life like his half-brother George Obama in Kenya and Philip Ochieng, an associate of Obama’s father.

Through these interviews, President Obama’s idealism can be argued as anti-colonialist, an idealism that is anti-capitalist and anti-Western. Granted “2016: Obama’s America” can be viewed as one person’s own personal viewpoints, the film coming from a conservative political commentator in D’Souza, but the documentary depicts in a harrowing vision of what will come of Obama’s re-election, that is if Barack does stick around for four more years.

Like many things political, there are two sides to the coin. To develop your own stance, you will just have to see the film.

Obama reacts to Minaj's Romney endorsement

President Obama not concerned about Minaj’s comments on song “Mercy”

Barack Obama via a radio interview with Orlando’s POWER 95.3, admitted that he does not know what to make of Nicki Minaj’s comments regarding her endorsement of Mitt Romney.

In Lil Wayne’s latest mixtape, “Dedication 4,” which dropped this past Labor Day, Nicki Minaj vents her frustrations on the economy and President Obama in the track “Mercy.”

On the track, Minaj states, “I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney / You lazy b****** is f****** up the economy.”

On POWER 95.3’s radio show “Obie and Lil Shawn,” the hosts of the same name interviewed President Obama, asking his thoughts regarding Minaj’s lyrics. Obama’s reaction was as polite as the president could be when reacting to a rapper’s trivial opinion.

“But she likes to play different characters, so I don’t know what’s going on there,” President Obama said, referring to the various personalities Minaj undertakes in her songs (see Roman Zolanski).

Obama, being the leader of the free world, has bigger problems to worry about than a freakishly styled rapper “dissing” him on a song, claiming that when it comes to the arts such as movies, television and music, he and Michelle tend to pay little attention to celebrity comments regarding the presidency.

Obama did list one exception, though. “The truth is when it comes to music and movies, etc. Michelle and I just focus on who’s good,” Obama said. “Look, I love Clint Eastwood movies, man.

Peyton is a roughneck in Broncos debut

Peyton Manning shows that not even a neck injury can slow him down

Peyton Manning shows that ain’t nothing going to break his stride, not even a broken neck. In his debut in a Broncos’ jersey, Peyton came out on top with a 31-19 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, a game in which the 11-time Pro Bowl quarterback threw for his 400th career touchdown.

Peyton’s performance last night in Denver is enough to balk at the idea that the former Indianapolis Colts quarterback did not play last season. Peyton underwent four neck surgeries in the course of 19 months, and could be seen wearing a headset on the Colts’ sidelines, doling out experience to young replacement QB Curtis Painter.

Without Peyton, the Colts suffered. They finished the 2011 NFL tied for dead last with a record shared by the St. Louis Rams of 2-14. This was the worst record the Colts have had in 20 years, where they went 1-15 in 1991. Since Peyton debuted for the team in 1998, the Colts have only experienced two losing seasons in which Manning played. There is obviously a trend here.

Perhaps the biggest shock came this off-season when the Colts announced that they would replace Peyton Manning with Nebraska and Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck. And in the rookie Luck’s NFL debut that looked eerily like Manning’s ’98 debut, there is one inalienable truth: there is only one Peyton Manning.

Last night Peyton completed 19 of 26 passes and threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Though the veteran QB was sacked twice by the Steelers’ defense, Peyton rose without difficulty.

Although Peyton has not played in a game since Jan. 8, 2011, he came to play with a competitive spirit that made his neck injury and last season seem like distant dreams.

But is anybody really surprised? After all, it is Peyton Manning we are taking about here.

Granted not many people are able to bounce back from four neck surgeries like Peyton can, but the man lives and breathes football and is no doubt a hall of famer to come.

If there is any advice worth taking, it is never bet against Peyton Manning.

Buffalo Bills

Fred Jackson injures knee

Bills’ RB Fred Jackson sprains his knee, season in jeopardy

Fred Jackson, running back for the Buffalo Bills, left Sunday’s 48-28 loss against the New York Jets with an injured knee. Jackson, who left early in the second quarter after running for 7 yards, was hit hard by Jets’ safety LaRon Landry.

Jackson, who was on injured reserve last season with a broken right leg, remained down for a few minutes while trainers checked him over before finally making his way to the sidelines on his own. Trainers worked on Jackson on the bench before accompanying the Bills’ running back to the locker room, a towel over his head and what can be sure to be frustration in getting injured during the first game of the season.

Jackson, who rushed for a career high of 1,062 yards back in 2009, has shown a slight decline since then, but has come to play nonetheless. Last season was his second best rushing year as Jackson ran for 934 yards, averaging about 5.5 yards per carry with 6 touchdowns and only two fumbles.

No doubt the Bills have lost an offensive weapon in Jackson, his injury is listed as only a sprain. The bright side for Buffalo is their second stringer in C.J. Spiller, the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft from Clemson, who ran for a career best of 169 rushing yards on 14 carries with one touchdown to show for it in Buffalo’s slaughtering.

Jackson is scheduled for an MRI Monday, and time will tell whether or not Jackson will be riding this season out on the bench to rehab his ailing legs.

Buffalo goes up against the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday, another 0-1 team.

Robert Griffin III bares his teeth against Saints

RG3’s stellar debut shows it’s ok to be #2

Robert Griffin III has proven in the first week of NFL play that he is at the top of the class among active rookies thus far. The most recent Heisman trophy recipient, Griffin III led the Washington Redskins to a 40-32 upset against the New Orleans Saints, an impressive debut for the 22-year old from Baylor University.

Griffin III, in his first match-up against a defamed Saints team (see “bounty program”), outshone New Orleans’ golden boy Drew Brees, completing 19 of 26 passes and throwing for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns, a completion percentage of 73.1% compared to Brees’ 46.2% with 3 TDs and 2 interceptions. Though Griffin III came up against a Saints team missing one of its key defensive players, the young QB took advantage of defensive holes and was unwavering in setting a steady game rhythm, helping the Redskins score 10 points per quarter and ultimately leading his team to a first week record of 1-0.

Griffin’s underdog victory places him a step above fellow rookie QB Andrew Luck, who in his debut with the Indianapolis Colts completed 23 of 45 passes (51.1%) throwing for 309 yards with 1 TD. Luck, who the Colts chose #1 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, struggled against a Bears defense that picked off the rookie quarterback not one, not two, but three times.

The Redskins chose Griffin III as the number #2 overall pick in the draft, right behind Luck, and it seems the schoolyard taunt “First is worst, second is best” fits quite well, for now at least.

But granted that Luck has some big shoes to fill, stepping in for former franchise face Peyton Manning, Griffin III’s victory against a recent Super Bowl team in the Saints puts him at #1 over Luck in the rookie rankings this week. Though Luck has lived up to all the hype, the #1 overall pick needs to prove it during the regular season.