Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Apple: iTunes: New features offered for TuneUp and Tuniverse

I don't know what the cost will be, because it's hidden until you do some more click-ups, but here's the ad for your futher puzzlement about what's coming out of your wallet.  Or not.

— Musikos, refWrite Backpage music news-spotter and columnist

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Music: Rock 'n roll: Bruce Springsteen performs 'Rocky Ground"

Architecture: Home: Location unknown

During cold nites, the heat from the fireplace rises from the floor below to the chimney above, spilling some warmth over toward the head of the suspended bed.

Archibald, refWrite Backpage architecture columnist

Hat Tips:  Jennifer Frazier, Aphid Beck on Pinterest

Meuning House

Arts: Music: Political rock, "guerilla punk band Pussy Riot" on trial in Russia

The ultra-politicized tendency within the arts in Russia has found its own icon in Pussy Riot, a 'guerilla punk band' which has become the focus of anti-Putin politics for a moment.  The protest was staged in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral where the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church presides.

Politicarp, refWrite Frontpage politics columnist

Speigel Online (Aug8,2k12)   Hat Tip: Jet Weigand-Timmer, Netherlands

In February 2012, Pussy Riot staged an impromptu concert protest in Moscow's main cathedral (shown above).  Their "punk prayer" from the pulpit against Putin launched the scandal that led to their arrest.

Russia's Merciless ChurchPussy Riot trial sheds light on Kremlin's religious ties

Critics in Russia want to see them "burn on a pyre," while supporters abroad are calling for their release. As the world awaits next week's verdict against the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, officials within the Russian Orthodox Church seem to be realizing that the case against the trio was perhaps a mistake.

The trial against Moscow guerrilla punk band Pussy Riot is drawing to a close. Following calls from within the Russian Orthodox Church for tough punishment of the punk musicians' impromptu performance inside Moscow's main cathedral, prosecutors on Tuesday called for three-year prison sentences for each of the three accused women. Rushed trial proceedings have lasted late into the evenings.

Read more ... click the time-stamp below ...

Sports: London Olympics 2012: Lithuanians vs Russians basketball

I'm of Lithuanian descent.  There was little chance that Lithuanian basketballers woud win against Russia, but it warmed my heart to see them in the athletic fray on this day.

Sportikos, refWrite Backpage sports newspotter and columnist

Official London website (Day 12 / Aug11,2k12))

Darius Songaila of Lithuania and Andrei Kirilenko of Russia go after a rebound
Darius Songaila #9 of Lithuania and Andrei Kirilenko #15 of Russia go after a rebound in the second half during the men's Basketball quarter-final game on Day 12.

Fashion: Women: Two hairstyles au courant

Of the two hairstyles show here, I woud imagine the lower image's styling of hair to be more comfortable — because the tower of the upper image seems to require a balancing act.

I4fashion, refWrite Backpage fashion spotter and columnist

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Music: Humour: Passover, to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen (Freddie Mercury)

A good-humoured retelling of the Passover story, with the perhaps incongruous help of Freddy Mercury's Queen band performing "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Musikos, refWrite Backpage music columnist (March28,2k12)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Music: Jazz mellow: Wes Montgomery and ensemble play 'Round Midnite'

Hat Tip: Stefan Lindholm, Sweden

Sports: London Olympics 2012: Women's volley ball: Brasil beats Russia

Brasil's women's volley ball team after winning against the Russians

Pedro Diniz Mol Arreguy wrote up, on Facebook, what he witnessed (a machine translation):

Read more ... clicke on the time-stamp below

Sports: Soccer/Football: David Luiz prays for an end of no-goals slump of his team-mate Fernando Torres, then Torres kicks a goal — cause and effect?

"Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them," said Jesus.  These two futbolistas on the playing field last year came to public attention for praying together to end the goal-less slump that striker Fernando Torres had recently experienced.  Torres also plays for the Spanish national team.

Sportikos, refWrite Backpage sports news-spotter and columnist

Protestante Digital. (Spanish and Portuguese sections)


The victory in the Champions League by Chelsea 5-0 at Genk, not only is a major step in qualifying for the Villas Boas but also, it seems one that may involve the revival of a player that everyone was waiting for, Fernando Torres.

Read more ... click the time-stamp below

Humour: Dark: Alleging that a man has 'no balls' is legal offense of severe insult

Telling an Italian man he has "no balls" 

now a crime

The Italian court just ruled that insulting a man by telling him he has "no balls" is now a crime.

Apparently Italians do not live by the idea that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," as the Italian court just ruled that insulting a man by telling him he has "no balls" is now a crime. 
The court ruled that such a slur is a crime as it hurts male pride.

The ruling comes from a case that was brought to the supreme court by a lawyer named only as Vittorio against his cousin Alberto, who is a justice of the peace, AFP reported. Alberto reportedly uttered the phrase during a heated courtroom exchange in the southern Italian city of Potenza.
A male judge of Italy's highest court, Maurizio Fumo, said in his ruling, “Apart from the vulgarity of the term used, the expression definitely also has an injurious quality. It refers not only to the target’s lack of virility but also to his weakness of character, lack of determination, competence and coherence — virtues that, rightly or wrongly, are still identified as pertaining to the male gender.”
Beyond insulting his manhood, the court found that because the insult was uttered at the workplace with third parties present it could be seen as damaging Vittorio's reputation, the Herald Sun reported. 
The Herald Sun noted that Vittorio's lawyer argued that the expression implied that Vittorio was "worth less than other men because he did not have the attributes".
According to, the court did not rule if there was an expression that would be equally offensive to women. 

Arts: Cartoons: Jerm's take on the Curiosity rover now exploring Mars

Within a day of successfully landing on Mars, Curiosity has discovered something.

Another brilliant cartoon interacting with the news of the day, by Jerm, one of South Africa's leading popular artist-journos and trenchant satirist.  Often very political.  He deserves a wider international audience / readership.
Saturikos, refWrite Backpage humour-spotter, satire aficionado, and columnist  

Sports: London Olympics 2012: Deniss Karpak won a first for Estonia, but didn't place in the final event of the Finn Dinghy races

Caption:  Estonia's Deniss Karpak competes during the finn dinghy class race 2 at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012, in Weymouth and Portland, England. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Pix & caption: (Aug2k12)

You can see the sailing bio here and here  of 26-years-old, 6'7'', 220 lbs (100kg) Deniss Karpak (Estonia) in the single-man Finn Dinghy class of sail vessels.  Karpak won the second race of the third day of the 1-man Sailing Competition.  Jonas Høgh-Christensen of Denmark, called 'the Great Dane', was ahead of Ben Ainslie (Great Britain) after six races.

Sportikos, refWrite Backpage sports news-spotter and columnist

Compelling week ends with thrilling medal race

After what he has described as the hardest week of his life, Ben Ainslie (GBR) took the overall lead in the Finn class for the first time today to take the gold medal in the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. The leader all week, Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) trailed Ainslie at every mark to lose his stranglehold on the gold. The bronze finally went to Jonathan Lobert (FRA) after winning the medal race.

Read more ... click the time-stamp below

Sports: London Olympics 2012: South African vs Australian swimmers in big ruckus on cheating for the gold

A fracas, a big ruckus, a raging burn has broken out between Cameron van der Burgh and his nearest competitor Brenton Rickard, world-record swim champ.  Van der Burgh is the London Olympics gold medalist who won with a triple dolphin kick underwater, a cheat move, in his bid to overcome especially the Australian swimmers who wanted badly to beat him.  Will we see in swimming competitions in the future a veritable feud between Aussies and SouthAfs?

Sportikos, refWrite Backpage sports news spoter and columnist

GlobalPost (Aug7,2k12)

Olympics: Swimmer Cameron van der Burgh 

of South Africa admits to cheating to win gold

Breaststroker Cameron van der Burgh says he couldn't afford not to cheat as almost everyone did it.

South African breaststroke gold medalist Cameron van der Burgh has admitted to cheating at the London Olympics, saying he couldn't afford not to because almost everyone does it.
Van der Burgh came under scrutiny after underwater footage shows him performing three "dolphin kicks" at the race start — illegal under FINA rules, which permit only one on starts and turns.
He went on to win the 100 meter breaststroke final in of 48.46sec, breaking Australian Brenton Rickard's world record, according to The Australian.
The Australian swimming team has complained publicly about van der Burgh's use of the multiple dolphin kick.
Aussie Christian Sprenger took out the silver medal in the 100m breaststroke final.
However, FINA does not use underwater or video technology to make its rulings, so there is no avenue for anyone to protest the result, Australia's Fairfax media reported.
But van der Burgh said a lack of underwater technology to police the rules meant swimmers knew they could get away with it, and he accused the veteran Rickard of doing the exact same thing in the final.
"I think it's pretty funny of the Australians to complain because in the underwater footage if you actually look at Brenton Rickard in the lane next to me, he's doing the exact same thing as me yet they're turning a blind eye," van der Burgh said.
"I think every single swimmer does that," he continued. 
"At the point of time before the fly kick was legal, [Kosuke] Kitajima was doing it and the Americans were complaining."
He continued: "It's got to the point where if you're not doing it you are falling behind or giving yourself a disadvantage.
"Everyone is pushing the rules and pushing the boundaries, and if you're not doing it you are not trying hard enough."
Van der Burgh said a World Cup event in Sweden used the underwater technology and "it was really awesome, because nobody attempted it [the dolphin kick]" and "everybody came up clean and we all had peace of mind that nobody was going to try."
"I’m really for it. If they can bring it, it will better the sport. But I’m not willing to lose to someone that is doing it," he added, according to Fairfax.
Rickard told Fairfax he had seen the footage and agreed with van der Burgh's suggestion that technology be used to police the rules.
"I'm not going to comment on whether it is cheating or whatever, but the rules are there to be enforced and the reason out of competition drug testing occurred was to deter cheaters as much as to catch them and if you increase the chance of catching cheaters then you are going to deter people from doing it," Rickard said
"So, I mean, to me it would make sense that referees have the chance to look at underwater footage and say there is something wrong there. If that rule was put in place, everyone would be much more straight down the line and that’s ultimately what we want for the sport is to have a sport with integrity where it is very hard to cheat and people I guess need to avoid cheating because sooner or later they will get caught and cost themselves dearly."

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sports: London Olympics 2012: France's 'slalom caoeïst Tony Estanguet

French triple Olympic champion Tony Estanguet

The French slalom canoeist Tony Estanguet won his third gold medal in the C1 event on Tuesday, adding success in London to wins in Sydney and Athens.
Estanguet says he would like to give back by sharing his experience.
David Eades reports.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Film: Venice Film Festival: 2 USA entries, what are your county's entries??

Style Lifestyle Wapo (Aug1.2k12) in Arts Post

The Drought is a finalist in Youtube's 
Your Film Festival!
          Published on Mar 29, 2012 by svafilmer
The Drought - YouTube starring Kevin Slack (12 minute teaser)

Posted at 08:50 AM ET, 08/01/2012

Two Americans to compete for YouTube festival prize at 

Venice Film Festival

The athletes at the Olympics aren’t the only international competitors in a high-profile race this summer. Over on YouTube, 15,000 filmmakers from around the globe submitted short films in the Your Film Festival in an effort to be included in a select group who will vie for a top prize at the Venice Film Festival in August. Three million YouTube viewers voted, culling the entries to 50 semi-finalists and 10 finalists.
The lucky 10 filmmakers were announced Wednesday, with two American films making the cut: “88:88,” Joey Ciccoline and Sean Wilson’s atmospheric thriller about a young woman with an interesting way of getting ready for bed; and “The Drought,” Kevin Slack’s affecting character study of an elderly gentleman enduring a long, hot New York summer with the help of his memories.

Other competing films were made in Lebanon, Egypt, Australia, Bolivia, Spain, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
All ten finalists will be screened at a special sidebar in Venice. A jury including director Ridley Scott and actor Michael Fassbender will select the big winner, who will receive $500,000 in assistance from Scott’s production company to create original online content, with Scott and Fassbender executive producing. “Your Film Festival” continues YouTube’s recent push to broaden the scope of the online video channel, with such programs as the “Life In a Day” documentary and the “YouTube Symphony Orchestra.”
Watch the ten finalists here and start rooting for your favorites!
By   |  08:50 AM ET, 08/01/2012

Categories:  Arts Post | Tags:  film

Sports: Olympics 2012: John Orozco, USA

Shay Riley's Booker Rising (July31,2k12)

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 02:33 PM PDT
The U.S. champion in men's gymnastics is a brotha?! Where have I been? Gymnastics is one of my favorite Olympic sports too, but I haven't been keeping up with it lately. VH1 has named the 19-year-old gymnast as today's Olympian to watch. Here are some things about him:

1. He is ranked fourth in the world in the all-around men's gymnastics competition.

2. He is 5'6".

3. Mr. Orozco hails from the Bronx, New York City.

4. He started gymnastics at age eight, when his father found a flyer for free gymnastics lessons at a Manhattan gym, which had a program for underprivileged children.

5. He is featured in Gym Class Heroes' music video for "The Fighter".

6. Mr. Orozco appeared in three episodes of "Law & Order" as a background actor.

7. He was bullied in school for being a gymnast. Bet those kids ain't laughing now though!

Watch this video [sorry, USA only] about his road to the top, including an interview with his (adopted?) parents.

Music: Rock 'n Roll: Senorita Ballerina - Will Black

Hat Tip: Chuck, Greenpeace Philippines