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Meredith Dobes

'After Earth' to educate, entertain

“After Earth” is an upcoming science fiction film that will focus on the possible future of Earth 1,000 years from now.

The stars of “After Earth” are Will and Jaden Smith, who will play a father and son, Cypher and Kitai Raige, who crash-land on Earth. The film is produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

In “After Earth,” the Earth’s entire population is forced to leave the planet because of catastrophic events, intended to provide a fictional cautionary tale to people now to save the planet. The population moves to a planet called Nova Prime and rebuilds society there.

Over the 1,000 years the Earth has remained without humans, literally after Earth, other species have been able to learn how to protect their territory, putting Will and Jaden Smiths’ characters in harm’s way.

Will Smith described the film as being able to portray interesting questions while entertaining.

Yesterday, during a Google+ Hangout, the “After Earth” stars joined SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, a group of students and others to talk about what Earth may turn into within the next million years. The day was recognized as “After Earth Day,” sponsored by Columbia Pictures.

“With this film it was such a perfect collision of art entertainment, education and a posing of fantastic questions,” Smith said.

“I think we want to be a space-faring civilization,” Musk said. “Either we’re a space-faring civilization of we’re going to be bound to the Earth until some kind of extinction event.”

“After Earth” comes to U.S. theaters June 7.

A.J. Clemente fired for using profanity on air, despite Twitter movement to keep him

A.J. Clemente had his first broadcast ever last Sunday with KFYR-TV in Bismarck. However, in all of his excitement, he uttered profanity on air that ended up costing him his job.

KFYR-TV is an affiliate of NBC, and Clemente had been hired on as a weekend news anchor. As the program opened up, Clemente whispered, “F—ing sh-t,” into his microphone, the very first words he said on air.

Directly following the broadcast, Clemente was fired for using profanity, and on the 10 p.m. broadcast, coanchor Van Tieu apologized for the incident.

“We were caught off guard, and [Clemente] didn’t realize his microphone was on. And while that was no excuse, we do train our reporters to always assume that any microphone is live at any time,” Tieu said and followed with an apology.

Clemente also apologized for the incident with a Twitter update.

“Tough day,” he wrote. “Thanks for the support. We all make mistakes. I’m truly sorry for mine. I’ll try my hardest to come back better and learn from this.”

However, Clemente did not get the chance to make a better second impression, as the station decided to let him go Monday, despite the rise of the Twitter hash tag “Keep AJ.”

He again tweeted about the incident, writing, “Rookie mistake. I’m a free agent. Can’t help but laugh at myself and stay positive. Wish I didn’t trip over my “freaking shoes” out of the gate.”

Kerry Rhodes outed as gay by former assistant

Rhodes still says he is straight

Kerry Rhodes, former Arizona Cardinal, has been outed as gay from his former assistant and lover, Russell Simpson.

According to Simpson, the Cardinals knew about his relationship with Rhodes, and they were accepting of him. The other players’ wives treated him like he was a member of their group. He said he did everything for Rhodes and was his top assistant.

“I was like his wife,” Simpson said.

If Simpson is telling the truth about his relationship with Rhodes and Rhodes’ sexuality, DeadSpin reports that the implications for the NFL, inside the locker room, at least, are great for the LGBT community. If Rhodes really is gay and his teammates really did accept his sexuality, the perceived homophobia in male sports may be unwarranted.

However, Rhodes denied that he was gay, in an interview with TMZ. He said the photos circulating the Internet of him and Simpson were taken in a casual environment. He went on to wish well to members of the professional sports community who are closeted that they may feel comfortable enough to come out.

Rhodes is currently a free agent. No NFL player has ever come out while playing, but some have come out after retiring.

“Kerry is kinda a dumb athlete, like a dumb jock,” Simpson said. “So, I took care of things that he didn’t understand. And yes, his teammates did know about me. It was kinda unspoken, but I was at all his training camps and events. The other wives knew and loved me too. I was always there. It was no secret.”

Brittney Griner comes out, highlights differences of sexuality acceptance in men's and women's sport

Brittney Griner, former Baylor star and now number one draft pick to the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA draft, announced she was gay in an interview with Sports Illustrated earlier this week.

Griner, 22, told the publication, in answer to a question the difference between men’s and women’s sports and sexual orientation, “I really couldn’t give an answer on why that’s so different. Being one that’s out, it’s just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are.”

The WNBA has many players who are openly homosexual, but American male sports have yet to see the first openly gay player, according to CBS Sports.

Griner said the decision to come out was not a difficult choice for her. She said she has always been open about her sexuality and self-accepting and that she hopes younger players will use her as an example and follow suit.

A New York Times article about Griner’s statement attempts to highlight why her announcement wasn’t paid very much attention by the public and the media.

Jim Buzinski, founder of Outsports.com, told the New York Times, “Because [Griner] was a woman. Can you imagine if it was a man who did the exact same thing? Everyone’s head would have exploded.”

Those interviewed in the article said that it is a stereotype in the sports world that female athletes are homosexual, and male athletes are straight.

Anna Aagenes, executive director of GO! Athletes, told the New York Times, “We talk a lot in the LGBT community about how sexism is a big part of what contributes to homophobia. It’s disheartening when there are so many great role model female athletes out that we’re so focused on waiting for a male pro athlete to come out in one of the four major sports.”

Griner will begin her professional basketball career at the end of May.

Daft Punk releases 'Get Lucky' to the luck of anticipating fans

Daft Punk’s new single “Get Lucky” premiered late last night to the joy of ravenous fans anticipating its release.

“Get Lucky” was first exposed to the world on an episode of Saturday Night Live where just snippets of the song were shown. Of course, the Internet followed the release with fake, full-length versions of the track.

Fans also constructed 10-hour extended mixes of the song and recreations, dubbed “leaks.”

Daft Punk collaborated with Pharrell Williams on vocals on Nile Rodgers on guitar on “Get Lucky”.

Leading up to the real release of the track, Dutch DJ Michiel Veenstra played a copy of what he called the real song and posted a video of himself playing the track on YouTube, too. He said people emailed him the song, and he thought it sounded real enough to play. He said he received texts and calls about the song from Columbia Records while he was playing it on air.

The single is the first off of Daft Punk’s upcoming album “Random Access Memories,” which has become the most anticipated album of the year. It is set to release May 21. It will be their first album since 2005’s “Human After All” and their first released work since 2010’s “TRON: Legacy” soundtrack.

The track list for “Random Access Memories” was released this week, and the album will feature Giorgio Moroder, Julian Casablancas, Paul Williams, Todd Edwards and Panda Bear from Animal Collective.

Paul Kevin Curtis charged with sending ricin-laced letters to government officials

Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, has been identified as the suspect who sent ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and various other officials earlier this week.

Curtis was described by his family as mentally ill. He worked as a janitor at a hospital a decade ago and happened to discover body parts wrapped in plastic in a refrigerator. He attempted to report this discovery to officials and believed the hospital was part of a conspiracy to sell body parts on the black market.

Curtis reportedly sent letters to Obama, a U.S. senator and a judge in Mississippi.

“Maybe I have your attention now, even if that means someone must die,” he wrote in the letters, according to the FBI.

Curtis has been diagnosed as bipolar, according to his family. He has been prescribed medication, but his family said they believe he was not taking the medication at the time. Curtis’ brother, Jack Curtis, said in a statement Thursday that there is no legal way to force Curtis to take his medication, as he does not believe he has a mental problem.

Curtis reportedly has a history of erratic behavior with a past lawyer and an ex-wife. Those who know him say that he believes everyone is out to get him.

The original situation at the hospital that started Curtis on his conspiracy theory was explained by the hospital, which said the body parts were going to be sent to an agency that specializes in harvesting organs and tissue from donors to given to those in need of transplants.

Today, Curtis was formally charged with sending mail that contained a threat to kill or harm the president. He is pleading not guilty.

Curtis’ writing style was matched to the ricin-laced letters, along with his signature, “I am KC and I approve this message.”

CISPA said to get vetoed by President Obama, spawn Internet blackout by Anonymous

CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, is intended to give private companies the agency needed to provide the government with cyberthreat information.

CISPA is controversial because opponents say the bill would override privacy policies in place at most websites and would allow the government to access personal information from Internet users.

The White House threatened to veto a version of this bill last year, and continues with the same threat, saying that CISPA does not provide enough privacy protections to citizens.

Tuesday, the Obama administration confirmed that President Barack Obama would veto the bill, should it pass the Senate.

The bill passed the House Thursday with a vote of 288 to 127 with 17 abstentions.

“Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held accountable – and not granted immunity – for failing to safeguard personal information adequately,” the administration said.

A major proponent of the bill is Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who stated that critics of the bill were mostly 14-year-old tweeters in their basements. In response, many Twitter users tweeted to Rogers, telling him their ages and above-ground locations.

Google, IBM and Intel support the bill, though Facebook is not completely in support of it.

Opponents of the bill include Mozilla, Reddit, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Anonymous called for an Internet blackout on Monday to protest CISPA.

CISPA follows similar bills that failed to be passed last year, SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA (Protect IP Act). On January 18, 2012, over 7,000 websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit and Google, participated in an Internet blackout to protest those bills.

Sunil Tripathi was wrongly identified as a Boston Marathon bombing suspect

Sunil Tripathi, 22, is an Indian-American student who has been missing since March 16. His name was defamed across social media websites after it was reported that a Boston Police Department scanner named him one of two suspected to be responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings.

Tripathi attends Brown University. His name first appeared on Reddit, and then this speculation was continued on Twitter, particularly by Kami Mattioli, one of Tripathi’s high school classmates.

Tripathi is not wanted by police in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings, but he remains missing.

Reportedly, he left his apartment without his cell phone, credit card, ID and other belongings. He was on approved leave from Brown University.

The Boston Marathon bombing suspects have been identified as two brothers from Chechnya.

Overnight on Twitter, people debated over whether Tripathi was one of the men in the pictures released of the suspects. At 4:18 a.m., NBC’s Pete Williams stated, “There’s been a lot of speculation 1 of these suspects is a student that went missing from Brown – NOT THE CASE.”

The incident has brought criticism to the nature of the 24-hour news cycle, through which many people post information without confirming its validity, first. The incident was particularly controversial because of the difference of Tripathi’s darker skin color and the lighter skin color of the suspects in the photos.

Tripathi’s family established Facebook and Twitter profiles to help bring him back home. A statement on the Facebook reveals that his family is particularly concerned because Tripathi suffered from depression, and a note suggesting suicidal intent was found in his apartment.

Gucci Mane pic is probably fake

Gucci Mane is the latest target of Photoshop, as a screenshot of a Fox News report with the text, “Rapper Gucci Mane responds with ‘Bitch I might be’ when asked if guilty.”

The picture is probably fake, considering Fox News would most likely not display the word “bitch” on its banner without blurring it out.

Gucci Mane was indicted after allegedly assaulting a soldier at an Atlanta nightclub. The soldier reportedly asked the rapper’s security for a picture with Gucci Mane and was then attacked. The soldier accused Gucci Mane of hitting him in the head with a champagne bottle, after which he had to receive 10 stitches.

Gucci Mane turned himself in March 26 and was denied bond. He was held behind bars for two weeks as the court made its decision. April 9 was when he was indicted. One day after his release, however, he was arrested again for violating his parole.

One of Gucci Mane’s songs is titled “Pillz (Bitch I Might Be),” which reaffirms the probability that the picture is fake. The photo originally appeared on Reddit and Twitter this morning.

Tracy McGrady joins the Spurs

Tracy McGrady is joining the San Antonio Spurs. The information was confirmed Tuesday.

McGrady last played in the NBA during the 2011-12 season for Atlanta, according to ESPN. He averaged 5.3 points and 16.1 minutes per game.

Since then, he played for the Chinese Basketball Association, averaging 25 points.

McGrady is eligible to play during the playoffs because he was not on an NBA roster since March 1. He will not play in the Spurs’ regular-season finale tonight against Minnesota.

The Spurs recently released Stephen Jackson, and McGrady told ESPN what he can contribute to the team is unknown.

McGrady has never won an NBA playoff series, but ESPN speculates that this might be the best opportunity for him to do so. The Spurs are set to face off against the Houston Rockets or the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.

McGrady is a seven-time All-Star and a two-time scoring champion. He has a 15-year career and is now 33 years old. However, a series of knee injuries left him without a place in the NBA last year.

San Antonio’s current high-caliber players are nursing injuries, so McGrady could be the support the team needs.

McGrady is optimistic about his new position. He told ESPN he is “just glad to be a part of this environment,” and he tweeted, “I appreciate all the love. Glad to be a part of #SpursNation.”