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Jill Treacy

Man in horse mask takes on Hurricane Sandy

The jokester lightens the mood by taking a quick jog during Hurricane Sandy


The man in the horse mask was caught on video Monday as a local news station was filming a weather segment on Hurricane Sandy in Washington. The man, decked out in only swim trunks and a horse head mask, can be seen in the background of the weather segment video jogging through the harsh winds and rain. The man behind the mask, Jimmy Kruyne, and his prank were an instant internet sensation as the video immediately went viral.

The odd hilarity of a man in a horse mask lightened the mood of the recent Hurricane Sandy events, if just for a little. Kruyne, an Arlington, Va. native, can be seen running slowly and without purpose back and forth on the sidewalk behind the reporter being filmed. Once in awhile he stops and looks at the camera and after a few minutes runs off down another street. The camera repeatedly zooms in over the reporter’s shoulder to catch the man in the horse mask running to and fro. A quick look at Kruyne’s Twitter account before the event revealed his plan: “The news crew is down the block, I’m thinking horse mask and swimming trunks?”

Well played, sir. When asked why he had the horse head mask handy, Kruyne said, “I actually bought it a couple years ago, just for fun. I thought it would be nice to have a horse mask around in case something comes up.”

Yes, such does come in handy often. The real question is, where will the man in the horse mask show up next?

Paul McCartney on Yoko Ono

The famous Beatle clears the name of the woman accused of breaking up the most beloved rock group of all time


Paul McCartney spoke out on Yoko Ono and her involvement with the Beatles, saying it was not her fault the band broke up. The former Beatle said Ono “certainly didn’t break the group up, the group was breaking up” already and if she hadn’t been around, Lennon wouldn’t have pursued what turned into popular solo projects. McCartney did allude to difficulties she posed to the band, especially during recording sessions, but overall reinforced that “it was time for John to leave, he was definitely going to leave” anyway.

Paul McCartney also spoke on behalf of the other Beatles and said Yoko Ono prompted each of them to find success on their own. In terms of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Lennon would not have been able to write Imagine if it wasn’t for her influence.

“I don’t think he could have done that without Yoko, so I don’t think you can blame her for anything. When Yoko came along, part of her attraction was her avant garde side, her view of things, so she showed him another way to be, which was very attractive to him,” Paul McCartney said on the Yoko Ono influence.

The interview is said to be David Frosts’ return to “Nixon-style” interviews, referencing his famous interview segments from 1977 where he got Richard Nixon to admit to the Watergate scandal. In addition to Paul McCartney speaking on Yoko Ono, 70-year-old rock start will also be discussing the Beatles days, his rock career since, his four children and his previous marriages, excluding the nasty split from Heather Mills.

The segment of Paul McCartney taking the blame off Yoko Ono, opening up for longer than his normal 15 minutes for interviews, will air on the British channel Al-Jazeera English starting in November. 

College Board announces tuition increase

Data shows that college prices continue to rise


College Board released figures showing that the average price for college has gone up about $400. That’s $400 more for in-state tuition at a four-year public university, almost a 5 percent increase up to a total of $8,655 solely for tuition. With room and board, the average full cost for students is $17,860.

According to College Board data, there are also 151 colleges in the United States that charge more than $50,000 for full annual tuition. This number is up 18 schools since last year. CNN Money states that just three years ago, only 58 colleges charged over $50,000 for tuition.

The data released by College Board shows that the increase is not as significant as it has been in recent years, but still an issue for families struggling to come out of the recession. This is sending mixed signals, according to co-author of the College Board report Sandy Baum. Baum says that college tuition continues to put a severe dent families’ incomes, but that the management trends of student finances is proving unsustainable and change may be coming.

More statistics revealed that, even though the average tuition is $17, 860 a year, only about one-third of full-time students pay full price. After grants and tax credits, students are paying around $2,910 at public four-year universities, $12,110 including room and board.

More info can be found on the College Board website. 

Rare ladybug appears headless

A new species of ladybug was discovered in Montana


A rare ladybug has made its way onto the scene turtle-style. The recently discovered species is able to tuck its head into its throat, making it appear headless, similar to the way a turtle can tuck its head into its shell. The interesting insect, named “Winton’s Ladybird Beetle” after discoverer Ross Winton, is a completely new genus of ladybugs.

Ross Winton first captured the rare ladybug in 2009 in a sand dune, not realizing that it even was a ladybug because it appeared headless. Winton, at the time a graduate student in entomology at Montana State University, sent the rare ladybug specimen to a lab in Australia that was studying this specific group of insects back in 2009. Yahoo reported that only two specimens of the insect have been found, a male in Montana and a female in Idaho.

The rare ladybug, or ladybird beetle as it is also known as, is the rarest species in the United States. The ladybug is said to have the size and color of a large grain of sand, making it rather difficult to find. Upon initial examination, Winton thought he had parts of an ant or similar bug, though soon realized that it was an uncommon species.

Michael Ivie, a Montana State University entomologist and former professor of Ross Winton, says the bug preys on aphids, but it is not quite clear why the insect hides its head.

Either way, Ivie says the rare ladybug that appears headless is important.

“It’s a whole new kind of ladybug. Whatever this does, it is very specialized. It’s quite the exciting little beast.”

Colin Powell gives Obama endorsement

Republican Colin Powell says he is voting for Obama a second time around


Colin Powell has announced his endorsement for President Obama, saying he plans to vote for him again in the upcoming election. A Republican, Powell claims Mitt Romney has been wavering on his foreign policy and the country needs to stick with the plan Obama set for it.

“I think we ought to keep on the track that we are on,” Colin Powell said in his endorsement on CBS This Morning. “I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012, and I will be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month.”

The endorsement was well-received by Obama as the President called Colin Powell on Thursday to thank him and the Obama campaign televised the endorsement within 30 minutes of Powell’s CBS appearance.

Powell, a moderate Republican, served on the Bush administration, but he says some of Romney’s advisers are a little too conservative for his taste. Colin Powell also claims Obama has been gaining momentum for the economy since first taking office, a transformation that elicits an endorsement. 

“So we were in real trouble,” Powell said. “The auto industry was collapsing, the housing was start[ing] to collapse and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next years, stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it’s starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising.”

Powell added that there are other issues that the next presidential term will be facing, but he thinks Obama might just be the man to tackle them. 

Ellen DeGeneres receives top humor honor

The comedian was hailed a trailblazer and awarded the highest humor prize in Washington D.C.


Ellen DeGeneres was the 15th recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in D.C. Monday night, an honor long overdue. The 54-year-old comedian received her award Monday night at the Kennedy Center in a ceremony that will broadcast on PBS on Oct.30. DeGeneres says of her award and PBS, “Thanks to everyone at PBS. I am so happy to be a part of your farewell season.”

The honor awarded to Ellen DeGeneres has previously been given to the likes of Tina Fey, Whoopi Golberg, Billy Crystal and Bill Cosby. Will Ferrell received the award last year.

Many agree that DeGeneres stands out amongst other comedians for her unique take on comedy. In addition to garnering attention for being “one of those universal, observational, non-mean-spirited comedy voices,” according to Sean Hayes, Ellen DeGeneres is recognized with this honor, and by fellow comedians, as a trailblazer for the comedic world. Jane Lynch said that DeGeneres cleared the way for other gay actors and comedians by coming out about her homosexuality.

“She went out there with a machete, metaphorically, and blazed a trail for everybody else when she came out of the closet. She was the one who stood up and was counted…the path today that I walk has been cleared by her.”

When asked about the Mark Twain Prize honor, Ellen DeGeneres said, “I’m in really good company. There are a lot of people I respect that have won this award.”

Lindsay Lohan shows tweet support for Obama

Lindsay Lohan tweets endearing message for Obama after last night’s debate


Lindsay Lohan turned the tables for a brief period last night after the debate with a supportive tweet for Obama. The Lohan Obama tweet is surprising since she has vocally supported Governor Romney during this campaign season.

Fox News reported that Lohan showed her support for Obama with the following tweet after last night’s debate: “RT if you’re #ProudOfObama as our commander in chief.” The star has since deleted the tweet, but she may have been swayed even if for a brief moment.

Lohan’s Obama tweet was short lived, though, and she went on to criticize the president’s comment on Romney’s outdated policies, tweeting, “1920s, 1950s….ITS ALL THE SAME, History repeats itself….Only if you let it.”

Early on at a launch party, Lohan said she would be giving Romney her vote, saying, “I think unemployment is very important for now, so as of now I think (my vote) is Mitt Romney.”

But, as it turns out, the Celebrity Cafe reported that Lohan is not even registered to vote. At least she cares.

Princess Sofia is not Latina

Disney says its latest princess is a “fairy-tale girl” from a “fairy-tale world”


Princess Sofia, Disney’s most recent addition, is raising questions about her heritage. She debuted as Disney’s first Latina Princess earlier this week on Disney Junior’s Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess.

Some praised Disney for staying away from stereotypical traits for their next princess, while many were confused and critical of why Disney would label the blue eyed, brown haired, an otherwise universal complexion, Princess Sofia as Latina. Fox News Latino featured a tweet that said, “Wait.Just saw images of #PrincessSofia, she really does look ONLY white. Don’t need a stereotypical Latina, but that’s def an Anglo princess.” Though, the news site also featured pictures comparing Princess Sofia with the Queen Sofia of Spain. The two share a remarkable resemblance and can bring light to a Latina heritage for the new Disney princess.

Craig Gerber, a co-executive producer and writer for Sofia the First, said Princess Sofia has a “mixed-heritage.”

“Her mother is originally from an enchanted kingdom inspired by Spain (Galdiz) and her birth father hailed from an enchanted kingdom inspired by Scandinavia,” Gerber said.

After bloggers began commenting on how Princess Sofia lacks Latina traits, Disney officials came out saying that she does not actually represent any ethnicity.

“What’s important to know is that Sofia is a fairy-tale girl who lives in a fairy-tale world,” Nancy Kanter, senior vice president of original programming and general manager of Disney Junior Worldwide said in a statement. “All our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities but none are meant to specifically represent those real world cultures.”

Vice President of Disney Junior Joe D’Ambrosia said he hopes all little girls can identify with Princess Sofia. After visiting schools to talk about the new show, he noted, “what I find fascinating is that every little girl thinks they’re Sofia.”

Clark Kent quits Daily Planet

A job hunt is in order for Superman’s alter ego


Clark Kent quits the position he has had at The Daily Planet since the series first began in 1938 in the latest installment of the Superman comics. In Superman #13, Superman’s quiet and bashful alter ego is apparently suffering at the newspaper, not turning in enough articles for his Editor-in-Chief Perry White, because he is busy saving the world. Clark Kent decides it is a good time to leave and quits in the middle of the Metropolis newspaper’s newsroom with a speech on the quality of the media.

But the story line thankfully continues after Clark Kent quits, leading him to come into his own, face more modern issues and, of course, fight new villains..

“This is the beginning of a multi-faceted storyline that will challenge Clark on all levels—personally and professionally, as both himself and as Superman. … Over the next several issues, readers will enjoy the many surprises in store for Clark, as the ‘H’el on Earth’ storyline unfolds,” a spokesperson for DC Entertainment said.

DC Comics revamped their entire line last year, according to Daily News, in order to free writers and artists from comics’ histories and allow them to move in different directions. Thus, the news that Clark Kent quits his job at The Daily Planet. The superhero will also be facing a new bad guy, who also lived through the destruction of Superman’s home planet of Krypton, and taking on a new love interest with none other than Wonder Woman.

In terms of Superman’s alter ego, the issue’s writer Scott Lobdell is excited for the transformation Clark Kent will take on after he quits, saying, “Rather than Clark be this clownish suit that Superman puts on, we’re going to see Clark come into his own in the next few years as far as being a guy who takes to the Internet and to the airwaves and starts speaking an unvarnished truth.”

Tony Scott autopsy reveals blunt force injuries and anti-depressants

The director’s cause of death is confirmed as a suicide two months later


The Tony Scott autopsy final confirmed his death a suicide after he killed himself by jumping off a bridge into the Los Angeles harbor. The director, most known for directing Top Gun, reportedly had anti-depressants and sleeping pills in his system when he jumped to his death from the Vincent Thomas Bridge on August 19.

The autopsy on Tony Scott not only revealed that he had the anti-depressant Remeron and sleeping drug Lunesta in his system at his time of death, but that the actual cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. Los Angeles County’s coroner autopsy report said that Tony Scott also drowned.

The 68-year-old had left what appeared to be suicide notes in his car for family and friends, though there is no real hint in the letters as to the reason for his suicide. Investigators have not offered any theories for the suicide. Tony Scott, prior to the autopsy, was rumored to be suffering from terminal brain cancer, but it has since been confirmed that there is no evidence of cancer.

At the time of his death, the director had multiple projects in the works. According to Yahoo, Tony Scott was planning to collaborate with Tom Cruise again on a sequel to 1986’s Top Gun when he jumped from the Los Angeles bridge.