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Scott Hixson

My heroes are predominately literary figures. Some are authors. All are dead. I like to collect antiquated things. My prized possessions in this world are two typewriters and neither one of them has ink. You could say I like useless things, and you’d be right. Between my typewriters, vinyl, library of yellowing pages and English major I am, in essence, utterly useless. In a past life, I was a drop of ink on page 57 of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.” I then became a sandy rock and I have not moved since. I often like chain-smoking because I find I would rather worry about killing time than killing myself slowly. I pretend my freckles are constellations. I’ve yet to find any discernible shapes. My teeth are too big for my head. I’m just like everybody else, but stretched out. This has led many to feel like they can criticize, as if skinny people are less conscious about their weight than obese people. I’ve had nicknames ranging from the relatively tame “Tree” to the more absurd, and frankly offensive, “Ethiopian dynamite." I got a brain tattooed on my chest to remind me to think more. It didn’t work. I’ve noticed since I reached manhood that elderly men hit on me more than any other demographic. I can’t quite figure out why. I like ghost stories though I don’t believe in the existence of ghosts. I stole yard gnomes from a neighbor’s garden when I was much younger. I thought I was part of something coined the National Gnome Liberation Front. I’m pretty sure the statute is up for that so I have no qualms. Also, they were mean neighbors. I consider the smell of old books an aphrodisiac, I think it’s the sign of a serious mental condition. I think MDMA is a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and an Oreo on top on a rainy day. Whisox!

Heidi Montag blames cellulite on liposuction

The 25-year-old TV personality disputes claims she is addicted to plastic surgery

Heidi Montag has come clean about her regrets in the past. Now the TV personality has confessed her “biggest” regret – liposuction.                    

Heidi Montag, 25, is blaming the appearance of cellulite on her thighs on the weight-loss procedure.

“I can’t believe I did this to myself,” Heidi Montag commented, adding, “I’m so insecure about my legs . . . I rarely wear shorts.”

According to physicians, most women over the age of 25 battle with the appearance of cellulite on their thighs, and one plastic surgeon isn’t surprised to hear Heidi Montag complain about cellulite.

From In Touch, “Though she had perfectly smooth legs prior to the surgeries, Heidi was horrified when photos surfaced depicting what appeared to be cellulite on her thighs just a few months after the body-contouring procedure.”

Heidi Montag added a bit of advice for those looking to maintain their figure without resorting to surgery. “Try to lose weight and eat healthily,” she added.

Heidi Montag appeared on the cover of People magazine in January 2010 and denied she had an addiction to plastic surgery after undergoing a marathon ten procedures in a day during November 2009. At that point in time, Heidi Montag had already undergone a nose job and breast augmentation surgery.

Physicians caution liposuction is not the right procedure for everybody looking to shape their body in a certain way. Dr. John Di Saia of San Clemente and Orange voiced his reaction to the criticism of the procedure offered by Heidi Montag:

“Heidi has lost her luster to the entertainment community. I’d wager she would say anything to make the powers that be happy, and bagging on your plastic surgery is popular now.

“With that being said, lipo is not a solution for all. As we have seen in other entertainers (e.g. Tara Reid) lipo can leave patients with irregularities seen in the treated skin. This is not a common occurrence but happens much more prominently in cases, in which it is performed inappropriately.

“There has to be enough fat to treat, and the skin over it has to have the appropriate tone or elasticity. These are issues judged properly by trained personnel. Philosophy also has a good deal to do with which patients are offered surgery in a particular practice.

“Heidi was quite thin before surgery and is likely to have had surgery in areas that were not good targets . . . too little fat to treat. I’d bet that is the source of her troubles if they exist to any significant extent, anyway.”

San Diego fireworks disaster blamed on computer glitch

The Big Bay Boom event in San Diego’s Glorietta Bay was cancelled only minutes after it was scheduled to begin

The San Diego fireworks malfunction that caused hundreds of fireworks to go off at the same time was reportedly caused by a computer glitch, according to organizers.

The San Diego fireworks malfunction occurred Wednesday approximately five minutes before the show was scheduled to start, at 9 p.m. The Big Bay Boom in San Diego’s Glorietta Bay is advertised as one of the largest fireworks displays in the nation and boasts of attracting half a million spectators.

This year’s 4th of July spectacle was advertised as being “bigger and more intense than in past years,” and intense it was. With hundreds of fireworks exploding within 15 seconds of one another, event coordinators were forced to cancel the show at approximately 9:20 p.m.

Port of San Diego authorities said that a “technical difficulty” resulted in the premature explosion.

A tweet from the Port of San Diego read, “We sincerely apologize for the technical glitch that affected the #BigBayBoom. Event producers are currently investigating the cause.”

August Santore, co-owner of Garden State Fireworks, spoke with San Diego morning television stations and was quoted, “We apologize to all the residents and all the people who missed their fireworks.”

Santore continued, “No one feels worse than us. We don’t look for anyone’s sympathy, we accept 100% responsibility.”

“We were hired to perform and do a contract and there is no excuse,” Santore added. “We will get to the bottom of it. It’s not something we take lightly.”

Santore has offered to do another fireworks display at no cost to the Big Bay Boom Committee, the organization, which produces the event.

Santore told NBCSanDiego.com that his company may even coordinate the Independence Day celebration fireworks show next year for free.

Eva Longoria and Mark Sanchez reportedly dating

In Touch magazine reports the couple have been seen numerous times in and around New York

Eva Longoria is reportedly dating New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, but the two celebrities are going out of their way to keep the relationship out of the public eye, according to In Touch magazine.

Eva Longoria, 37, recently split with fellow actress Penelope Cruz’s brother, Eduardo. The actress split with San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker in November 2011 after she found Parker sexting with the wife of a teammate.

Mark Sanchez, 25, recently split with Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton.

The two have been spotted at a variety of locations, including a supermarket in Bedminster, New Jersey, where Sanchez is reported to have a home. The two also attended a dinner date with friends last month at New York’s Hotel Griffou; though, Eva Longoria donned a blonde wig in an attempt to stay one step ahead of photographers. According to Starcasm, the pair also embarked on a trip to the Caribbean.

Mermaids don't exist is the latest word from NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said that no evidence has ever existed supporting the existence of mermaids

Mermaids don’t exist is the latest word from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. What may have gone as common knowledge to most has been the subject of a recent heated debate, partially in response to the May Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet two-hour mockumentary Mermaids: The Body Found.

Mermaids don’t exist may come as a surprise to some but, according to NOAA, there has never been any physical evidence to support their existence at any point in time.

The announcement can be seen as a direct rebuttal to the speculation that has arose in recent weeks, following the Animal Planet special. According to a press release from the Discovery Channel, the mockumentary “paints a wildly convincing picture of the existence of mermaids, what they may look like and why they’ve stayed hidden . . . until now.”

The special was described by DbTechno.com as “science fiction based on some real events and scientific theory.” It depicted “real-life events and phenomena with the story of two scientists whom testify they found the remains of a never-before-identified sea creature.”

An online statement from the National Ocean Service failed to either confirm or deny the existence of the mythical sea-creatures, notes the Daily Telegraph. The statement reads, “Mermaids – those half-human, half-fish sirens of the sea – are legendary sea creatures.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration took the debate a step farther. NOAA’s official statement reads:

“The belief in mermaids may have arisen at the very dawn of our species. Magical female figures first appear in cave paintings in the late Paleolithic (Stone Age) period some 30,000 years ago, when modern humans gained dominion over the land and, presumably, began to sail the seas. Half-human creatures, called chimeras, also abound in mythology – in addition to mermaids, there were centaurs, wild satyrs, and frightful minotaurs, to name but a few.

“But are mermaids real? No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers and anthropologists.”

Minnesota Wild celebrate Independence Day with giant announcement

Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to the Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild landed the top two free agents this summer as they announced the additions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter Wednesday.

The Minnesota Wild agreed to 13-year contracts with both Parise and Suter and hope their addition will solidify an already talented young team.

“We’ve been trying to put the best team on the ice for the last few years,” said Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher. “We’ve obviously been trying to build aggressively through the draft in the last three years and build up a foundation of talent that we could get to a point where players could look at us and say, ‘They have a bright future ahead of them.’ From a drafting and developing standpoint, we have been working hard at this for a while, and yet we have been trying to win. There was an opportunity this summer with our cap space and a commitment from [owner Craig Leipold] to try to go out and be aggressive in free agency, and we did that.”

With the addition of Parise and Suter, the Minnesota Wild will look to make the playoffs for the first time in five seasons in 2012-2013. The Wild jumped out to an early 20-7-3 record this past season but again failed to make the playoffs.

The Wild added Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi in trades with San Jose last summer, giving up Martin Havlat and Brent Burns in the process. Behind captain Mikko Koivu and this summer’s recent additions, the Minnesota Wild should be contenders to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

“Clearly, we are a team that we feel we have a lot of good players,” GM Chuck Fletcher said. “Last year didn’t end the way we wanted it to end, but for a certain part of last year we were one of the best teams in the League. We felt that if we could add either a top defenseman or a top forward, it would really help our team. I don’t think we ever assumed we were going to land both of them. But, we shot for the moon, tried our best and, again, fortune smiled upon us and they elected to come to Minnesota.”

Despite the speculation, Parise is remaining cautious. “I have been on teams that look great on paper that didn’t make the playoffs. I’ve been on teams that just squeak into the playoffs – this year, for example, we’re a [No.6] seed going into the playoffs and we make it to the Final,” Parise stated. “It’s so hard, the League is so even right now, you can’t predict anything. You can speculate all you want.”

Suter and Parise will both receive $98 million over 13 years. Both players will receive signing bonuses of $10 million in the first and second years and $5 million in the third year.

Carlos Lee traded to the Marlins for two minor leaguers

Marlins look to upgrade their offense at first base

Carlos Lee was traded Wednesday from the Houston Astros to the Miami Marlins for a pair of minor leaguers, according to ESPN the Magazine’s Buster Olney.

Carlos Lee will again join manager Ozzie Guillen. The pair spent time together with the Chicago White Sox during the 2004 season and will look to duplicate their success with the Marlins.

“It’s a huge move, I think, the front office, showing people how much we want to win,” said Lee’s new manager. “They show how much we care about winning this year, they showed the players that they’re willing to do anything to help this ballclub.”

In return for Carlos Lee, the Astros will receive two minor leaguers in return, third baseman Matt Dominguez and left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen.

Houston will soak up all the $9 million owed to Carlos Lee for the rest of the year other than a prorated minimum salary around $250,000, according to Olney.

Carlos Lee, 36, known as “El Caballo,” spent five-plus seasons with Houston and is hitting .287 with five home runs and 29 RBIs this season.

“We felt like it was a good time to infuse a veteran, professional, experienced bat into the lineup,” said Marlins general manager Michael Hill.

Carlos Lee was removed from Wednesday’s 6-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh inning. His locker was empty by the time the clubhouse opened after the game.

Carlos Lee’s right-handed bat will likely give the Marlins a boost at first base, a position they have struggled with this season as they look to catch the first place Washington Nationals in the NL East.

The Marlins optioned first baseman Gaby Sanchez to Triple-A New Orleans. Sanchez came into Wednesday’s game batting .194 and hit his third home run in the Marlins 7-6 10-inning victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

“Unfortunately, first base has not been a productive position for us, and we’re looking to upgrade our offensive production at that position,” Hill said.

Ozzie Guillen did not speak so positively of his former first baseman.

“It’s not easy, but that’s our job,” Guillen said. “I don’t think he should be blaming anybody. He should blame himself. We gave Gaby a lot of opportunities. The reason they made this move (is) obvious. We’ve not had much production from him, and in Carlos, we hope we’ve got more production. People don’t make moves just to make moves.”

Both Hill and Guillen are looking forward to Carlos Lee’s bat.

According to Guillen, “He will bring those guys in. He knows how to hit in an RBI situation.”

Marlins general manager Michael Hill shares Guillen’s sentiment and has said Carlos Lee is “still a dangerous hitter.” Hill added, “He’ll fit nicely in the middle of our lineup. He’s a proven run producer, and we’re expecting him to come in and do what he’s done his entire career.”

Joe Paterno is the subject of a smear campaign, alleges family

The former Penn State coach’s family is objecting to the selective release of emails

Joe Paterno is having his name dragged through the mud with the selective release of emails relating to the sexual abuse investigation plaguing Penn State, alleges his family, who are calling on investigators to release all emails in the matter.

“The public should not have to try and piece together a story from a few records that have been selected in a calculated way to manipulate public opinion,” read the family’s statement.

Joe Paterno, the former Penn State head football coach who won more games than any other major college coach in history, was fired last November after university officials alleged he should have acted more forcefully when he became aware of the sexual abuse of children by his then-assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky.

Joe Paterno, who was never charged with a crime, died earlier this year at the age of 85.

Last month, Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of the 48 sex abuse charges. Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former finance official Gary Schultz have been charged with perjury and failing to alert authorities to one act of abuse in relation to the sex abuse scandal.

Former Penn State assistant coach and star witness in the Sandusky trial, Mike McQueary, testified that he had seen Sandusky abusing a boy in a locker room in 2001. According to McQueary, the incident was reported to both Joe Paterno and campus authorities but neither police nor child protective services were notified.

In an email written by athletic director Curley and provided to CNN, Curley seems to suggest that Joe Paterno urged him and his colleagues not to report the incident to the state Department of Welfare or the charity Sandusky founded, the Second Mile. 

“After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps,” read Curley’s email, according to CNN.

Joe Paterno’s family has said in a statement that the coach “abhorred the rush to judgment.”

“Releasing these emails in this way is not intended to inform the discussion but to smear former Penn State officials, including Joe Paterno,” read the family’s statement. “The truth is Joe Paterno reported the 2001 incident promptly and fully.”

Amelia Earhart mystery about to be solved?

A team of historians, researchers and marine salvagers is planning a $22 million expedition in search of the missing pilot

Amelia Earhart and her Lockheed Electra plane disappeared over the South Pacific 75 years ago. Now a team of scientists, historians and marine salvagers are conducting a $2.2 million expedition in the hopes of finally solving one of America’s most riveting mysteries.

Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan went missing July 2, 1937 as Earhart attempted to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe in an aircraft.

The team is working under the theory that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan landed on a reef near the atoll of Nikumaroro, a small, remote island in the Pacific nation of Kiribati, before surviving for a short time.

“Everything has pointed to the airplane having gone over the edge of that reef in a particular spot and the wreckage ought to be right down there,” said Ric Gillespie, the founder and executive director of the group leading the search, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery.

“We’re going to search where it – in quotes – should be,” Gillespie added. “And maybe it’s there, maybe it’s not. And there’s no way to know unless you go and look.”

Visits to the island have recovered artifacts that could possibly have belonged to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. According to experts, a photo of the shoreline of the island, taken in October 1937, could show a blurry image of the strut and wheel of the plane’s landing gear.

“That was the icing on the cake,” Gillespie said of the photo.

The expedition is planned to last approximately 26 days, including 10 days of searching and 16 days allotted for travel between Honolulu and the Nikumaroro atoll.  The team will use an oceanographic research vessel named Kaimikai-O-Kanaloa. The ship is owned by the University of Hawaii and translated into English its name means, “The Searcher of the Seas of the God Kanaloa.”

“If they find something, that adds a lot of credibility to her, to her navigator Fred Noonan, and to their survival skills because of the things that have been found so far on Nikumaroro,” said Patricia Webb, a retired Air Force colonel who helped to raise funds for the trip.

The team will use nearly 30,000 pounds of specialized underwater equipment, including an unmanned vehicle capable of mapping the sea floor and a remote-operated tethered vehicle used to identify and take photos of objects in the water.

Jessica Canseco turns back time in new VH1 reality show

The ex-wife of former baseball star Jose Canseco underwent laser vaginal rejuvenation treatment in the first episode

Jessica Canseco, the ex-wife of former baseball star Jose Canseco, has joined the cast of a new show on VH1 featuring women who were once married to famous men. The show is titled Hollywood Exes.

Jessica Canseco joined the likes of Mayte Garcia, whom was married to Prince; Nicole Murphy, the ex-wife of comedian Eddie Murphy; Andrea Kelly, whom was married to R. Kelly; and Sheree Fletcher, the ex-wife of Will Smith.

The show focuses on the women as they try to escape the shadows of their former marriages while living in L.A.

“I wanted people to see the real me and who I really am,” Jessica Canseco told the Daily Beast. “I lived in my husband’s shadow for so long and just wanted something to finally be about me.”

“The reason I decided to do the show was, first of all, the castmembers, the women. The idea pitched to me was it being about us,” Prince’s former wife Mayte Garcia told MTV News. “Yes, we were married to them, but we’re all individuals. I’m an artist, she’s an artist, she has a business. It’s about showing who we are, so I decided to do it. Especially after meeting [the show’s creators], I knew it was going to be good. I’m old enough now to trust my gut.”

In the first episode, which aired last week, Jessica Canseco underwent a laser vaginal rejuvenation treatment on camera, as Nicole Murphy watched.

“Why?” asked Nicole.

“Girl . . . you should see what happens. It makes everything the same color, it tightens everything on the outside. Looks like a 12-year old,” replied Jessica.

The first episode also included Garcia’s meeting with a matchmaker and Nicole Murphy’s revelation that she is pursuing legal action involving her bank following the theft of a large amount of money.

Former Astronaut Capt. Alan Poindexter dead at 50

The former commander of space shuttles Atlantis and Discovery passed away as the result of a watercraft accident

Capt. Alan Poindexter, 50, the former NASA astronaut who led space shuttle Discovery’s second-to-last mission, passed away Sunday following a water scooter crash involving his sons near Pensacola Beach, Fla.

Capt. Alan Poindexter was aboard a watercraft when a separate water scooter piloted by his 26-year-old son, Zachary, collided into the back of his craft.

“They were both moving and for some reason Capt. Poindexter stopped his watercraft, and Zachary for some reason didn’t see him stop,” said Stan Kirkland, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Zachary’s watercraft went up and struck Capt. Poindexter.”

The former astronaut’s 22-year-old son Samuel was aboard the craft with his father when it was struck. The two were both thrown into the water where a boat picked up Capt. Poindexter and took him to shore. He was conscious and complaining of rib injuries but lost consciousness and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Capt. Alan Poindexter had been vacationing in Florida’s Panhandle, an area his family has close ties to. The accident occurred in a bay between Pensacola Beach and Gulf Breeze. Capt. Poindexter’s wife, Lisa, is from Gulf Breeze, and Pensacola was the sight of his flight training after college.

No charges have been filed, according to Kirkland, and the medical examiner has yet to determine an exact cause of death.

“He was a passionate, caring and selfless individual who will be missed by all,” said former astronaut Leland Melvin in a statement released by NASA. Melvin served in the astronaut corps with Capt. Alan Poindexter. The two flew together in 2008. Melvin is now an associate administrator for NASA.

Capt. Alan Poindexter joined the astronaut corps in 1998, a decade before he flew his first mission as a pilot aboard Atlantis’ mission to install the Columbus laboratory at the International Space Station.

Capt. Poindexter also commanded the space shuttle Discovery’s second-to-last mission in April 2010.