For Best TV Series (Comedy/Musical): The Big Bang Theory
For Best TV Series (Comedy/Musical): The Big Bang Theory
(Artistic rendering of water geysers on Jupiter’s Jovian moon Europa)
Have you ever wondered if your water came from another planet? Probably not? But there is water coming from Jupiter’s Jovian moon Europa. Water geysers have been sprouting from the Europa surface 20 times higher than Mount Everest.
It was all thanks to the Hubble Space telescope discovery of water vapor coming from the Europa surface. The planet is immersed in ice. These water plumes or geysers, as some NASA scientists call them, are erupting from the surface of the planet. With these plumes in existence scientists can conduct some research without having to go to the planet to collect ice core samples.
Where there is life, there is water, right?
It has been a long held belief that with water it can support life. We are a long way from this discovery on Europa, according to some NASA scientists, and scientific experts, but it does offer a view point that some planets might be more inhabitable than others.
High school sophomore Jack Andraka, 15, from Crownsville, Maryland, has joined the fight against pancreatic cancer. Well Andraka is pretty close.
Andraka won the award for youth achievement Smithsonian American Ingenuity, for inventing a new method in detecting pancreatic cancer. Andraka won a $75,000 grand prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his achievement.
Andraka stated in an interview on CBS 2 Morning with Charlie Rose and Gayle King, that all of the research, technology and information is there, you just have to learn how to use it. The research and the steps that Andraka took was a lot more challenging than simply having access to information. Andraka sent over 200 emails to researchers about his experimental protocol; only one person responded.
Andraka’s test simply put, is using a small dipstick probe that uses a sixth of a drop of blood, it takes five minutes to complete. Andraka’s test is only in the preliminary stage. But drug companies and Facebook users are interested and asking questions.
The one researcher who responded was curious because they had never had one of their graduate fellows send such an email, much less a High school student. The person was Anirban Maitra, a Johns Hopkins pathologist and pancreatic cancer researcher who is now Andraka’s mentor. Andraka spent seven months, after school and on weekends learning the scientific process.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the lethal cancers. It has a five-year survival rate of six percent. It affects 40, 000 people a year.
Andraka is called the “Edison of our times.” At least he will be old enough to continue the research.
(Sources: NASA; Smithsonian.com; CBS 2 This Morning)
The Google Glass: During the summer, technology consumers were introduced to the Google Glass; a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). It is basically a hands free smartphone for your eyes.
Besides looking like one of the most awkward wearable devices, it touts that you could check the weather, take pictures, record audio and video, update your status, search locations, and basically do everything a smartphone could do. But in order for it to work you have to have a smartphone.
There is also a Glass Explorer Program, designed for exploring the use of the glasses; the glasses cost however $1,500.00. Google Glass is expected to be in stores by 2014, but some are hoping with a price point of $300 and not $1,500.
The Phone Watch: No, this is not a new Star Trek film, this is the real McCoy. A phone watch and not a phony watch. Much like the Google Glass, you need a smartphone for the watch to work. It is also known as the “Smart Watch.” It has been rumored that even Apple plans to introduce their version of a “smart watch.”
However, some technology magazine reviewers and experts have stated that the smart watch is either not ready for prime time, or that Samsung simply cannot compete with Apple, Android or Google. The Samsung smart watch still has to work out it’s technical difficulties such as, Bluetooth compatibility, and that it needs to work with other smartphone brands besides Samsung only devices.
Is the Samsung smart watch worth it? Only time will tell.
The invisible helmet: The bicycle helmet did arrive in 2012, but people this year just discovered what it was. The helmet got national attention as a feature story on the Today Show on NBC.
The invisible helmet was in development since 2005.
The invisible helmet was designed by two female Swedish Master’s degree students, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin. The invisible helmet, also known as the “Hovding Airbag for Cyclists,” looks like a cross between a cowl scarf and the neck of a rain jacket, very simple, sleek, and user friendly. The results, shocked Haupt’s and Alstin’s Master’s professor as it did those watching the YouTube videos of its power and protection.
Worn like a cowl scarf, while riding your bicycle, if a side impact occurs from a crash, the airbag deploys covering the entire head just like a helmet. The materials protects the head and neck.
The invisible helmet is not currently available in the U.S., only via order from Sweden, Turkey, Germany and Denmark. The current retail price is almost $600 USD. A bicycle helmet that will save your life sounds like a no brainer.
(Sources: businessinsider.com; The New York Times; Bloombergnews.com; http://www.hovding.com; Google.com; Wikipedia.com)
Towards the end of the fall semester at colleges across America, it is supposed to be about preparing for final exams and Christmas vacation. Baruch College freshman student Chun Hsien “Michael” Deng, 19, died one week before finals.
According to medical and police reports, Deng died due to major brain trauma that he sustained from a hazing ritual called “The Glass Ceiling.” This was reportedly part of the initiation into the Pi Delta Psi fraternity.
What is “The Glass Ceiling?”
The ritual has the individual blindfolded, carry 20 pounds of sand on his back, then other members are supposed to tackle the individual. This is what reportedly happened to Deng.
The alleged hazing ritual took place at a rented house in Poconos, Pennsylvania. Neighbors reported that the Pi Delta Psi fraternity frequently had parties and family gatherings at the rented house.
The story has gotten national attention from the media such as, The New York Times, the New York Daily News, and New York 1.
This incident has raised the ugly issue of hazing at colleges. This is a unique case for Baruch College because it is a commuter school, and there have been no reported cases of hazing on or off campus. Baruch College also has off-campus housing in which Deng lived.
The results of the investigation into Deng’s death carried out by police have revealed alleged negligence by Deng’s fraternity members; Baruch College strongly admonishing and criticizing the actions of students caught hazing, and the fraternity; and a full police cooperation from both parties involved.
It has been alleged that fraternity members, after Deng was injured, took him inside the rented home and attempted to warm him up by the fireplace. In addition, it has also been alleged that fraternity members then goggled his symptoms earlier before taking him to the hospital a few hours later.
Since Deng’s death, the police have confiscated 20 to 30 cellphones from the fraternity home, and other paraphernalia; and three people have been questioned since the incident.
And, the Pi Delta Psi fraternity has severed it’s ties with the chapter at Baruch College. The national president, Andy Meng, has ended its affiliation with the Baruch chapter, and revoked the memberships of it’s brothers for violating Pi Delta Psi’s values and anti-hazing policy.
You have been accepted, NOT!
Getting accepted into the college of your choosing is any senior High school student’s dream. But getting accepted, then revoked within the same day from their dream college must be a nightmare. This is what happened to students applying to Fordham University.
The “error” as some Fordham officials called it, came in the form of a financial aid notice. This was two days before anxious students awaited the expected decision. 2,500 students got accepted. Then a another email followed correcting the mistake.
As of now, Fordham University has rejected 500 students, and approximately 2,000 students have been deferred. Fordham officials have blamed subcontractors for the dreaded mistake.
Angry students took to twitter to voice their complaints about Fordham’s mistake.
At least the students are in the Fordham system.
(Sources: The New York Times; New York Daily News; NY1; CBS2 New York; DNA.info.com; Baruch College; Fordham University)
In honor of Barbra Walters 10 most fascinating people, in which Walters included people such as, KimYe to Edward Snowden, just to name a few, I became inspired to write my own and share it with you all. Here is my list of the most fascinating people, places, and things (news, politics, entertainment and commentary, science, technology, and education) that fascinated me in 2013
You can find the following “Things” blog posts separated by topic: News, Politics, Entertainment and Commentary, Science, Technology, and Education.
The Pope, Pope Francis, since elected Supreme Pontiff on March 13, has revolutionized, changed the image of the Catholic church, and has perhaps inspired more Catholic followers with more of his actions than his words.
Pope Francis is fighting and serving the poor, as he as stated, “My people are poor and I am one of them;” he is no longer living in the Vatican but in his previous apartment; he has openly supported gay people; taken selfies with teenage fans visiting the Vatican; touched a man who was severely disfigured; decreed that all priests and archbishops within the Catholic community to give away all of their luxurious items such as, luxury cars, mansions, etc.
Pope Francis, born before the start of WWII, on December 17, 1936, is the first Pope of the Americas from Argentina.
Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio to Italian immigrant parents, his father Mario an accountant employed by the railways; and his mother Regina Sivori, a committed wife and dedicated mother to her five children. Jorge graduated a Chemical Technician, and then chose the priesthood when he entered the Diocesan Seminary of Villa Devoto. On March 11, 1958, Jorge, 22, entered the novitiate (beginner) of the Society of Jesus or Jesuits. In more than 50 years later, Jorge, 76, became Pope Francis.
Pope Francis is the most approachable, liberal, open-minded and highly sympathetic Supreme Pontiff in modern history.
This is for the people who died this year, and who will remembered for their contribution to the world in leadership and entertainment.
Nelson Mandela, Madiba (7/18/1918-12/5/2013), for his beneficence to South Africa against apartheid, unifying races within South Africa, and fighting HIV and AIDS affecting South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the world.
Peter O’Toole (8/2/1932-12/14/2013), the man who embodied “Lawrence of Arabia” in the film, and in every other role since. O’Toole stated in a 2007 interview on The View, that he wanted to be remembered in this way; O’Toole referenced a time when he sent his shirt to the cleaners covered in blood, sweat and alcohol. The cleaners note stated, “It distresses us to return work that is not perfect.” That was O’Toole, always original, always hardworking.
Paul Walker, 40, (9/12/1973-11/30/2013) who revved up the love for cars and car racing in the successful film franchise “Fast and Furious.” Walker was not only the films’ franchise heart and soul, but he also had a heart for his own charity work, Reach Out Worldwide. It is with his charity that he raised funds for monsoon victims in the Philippines, and for the protection of wildlife in the U.S.
Joan Fontaine, 96, (10/22/1917-12/15/2013), was born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland during WWI in Japan. Fontaine and her family later moved to the U.S. when they were young.
Fontaine was a 1942 Academy Award winning actress for Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Suspicion.” Fontaine also starred in Fritz Lang’s last film “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” (1956); and she appeared in the “Alfred Hitchcock Hour,” the TV Series. Fontaine, Olivia de Havilland’s older sister, proved to be as talented as her sibling.
James Gandolfini, 51, (9/18/1961-6/19/2013), the actor who played New Jersey Mafia boss from the hit TV show “The Sopranos,” was loved by all his cast members. The pictures captured in the media showed a visibly shaken cast at the funeral.
Gandolfini was reportedly lovable and approachable off-set, which was a complete contrast to his psychopathic character Tony Soprano. Besides playing patriarch Soprano, he had a successful film career in “The Mexican,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” and “Crimson Tide,” just to name a few. Gandolfini was also very active in helping military veterans.
Lou Myers, 77, (9/26/1935-2/19/2013), was the sage cook from the African-American hit TV show “A Different World.” Myers might have been discovered by “A Different World” audiences, but he was very active on Broadway, Off-Broadway, as well in feature films.
In 2005, Myers was listed as one of the 50 “Outstanding Creative Artists” in the State of West Virginia by the Appalachian Education Initiative.
All about Benedict Cumberbatch. Some fans of Cumberbatch have been affectionately called “Cumberbabes.” While Cumberbatch has already been discovered by British audiences, it is now by international and American audiences who are fascinated and intrigued by his acting talents.
Cumberbatch has been in a number of critically acclaimed films this year such as, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “August: Osage County,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “The Fifth Estate.” And Cumberbatch is also known for his titular role in “Sherlock,” the British TV series.
Acting is part of Cumberbatch’s DNA; his father, Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch, and mother, Wanda Ventham are both British film actors. When Benedict was a small child, his father Timothy used to read “The Hobbit” to him, using different voices. This was the source and inspiration for Benedict’s audition for “The Hobbit.”
Cumberbatch and his Cumberbabes will be looking forward to more of his work next year with the final installment of “The Hobbit” film; a rumored appearance in “Star Wars VII” in 2015 or later, and possibly playing the role of Dr. Strange. Sorry Cumberbabes the last two mentions are just rumors and speculation at this point.
J.K. Rowling‘s new “Harry Potter” film and related stage play. This sounds magical indeed.
In September, Rowling announced that she, along with Warner Bros. will be working on a new movie franchise in the “Harry Potter” world.
Rowling calls it an extension of Harry Potter, and it will be based off of the Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” by Newt Scamander. It will be based on adventures about Scamander, the author. However, it will take place 70 years before the Harry Potter adventures, so don’t expect Ron, Hermione or even the Weasleys to appear. The story is set to take place in New York.
Then by late December, Rowling then announced on her website the new “Harry Potter” play to be preformed at London’s illustrious West End theater. The play is about Potter’s life as an orphan, and how he was treated as an outcast, before his destiny. The play is set to debut in London first, then on to Broadway.
Potter Heads and muggles alike will have to wait a while before Rowling releases her magical adventures to them.
Dominican Republic and the Haitians that have become stateless.
In September, the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country, stripped citizenship of more than 200,000 people, mostly of Haitian ancestry, born after the year 1929.
This is at least three generations of people that will be considered “stateless.” The term “stateless” means that you are born without a country of origin. Furthermore, in becoming “stateless” Haitian descendants will no longer have access to education, the right to vote, no freedom of movement, and no access to travel or their travel documents.
It was during the 1930s that the start of Dominicans’ and Haitians’ tumultuous relationship began. It began when the Haitians came to work the sugarcane fields of Dominican Republic.
From 1930 to 1961, Dominican dictator, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, sought to drive out the Haitians by ordering the “Parsley Massacre” that killed thousands of Haitians.
A century earlier, it was Haiti with new freed slaves that brutally occupied the Dominican Republic.
This ruling law that takes away the rights of Haitians is permanent, and cannot be appealed. As a consequence, the Haitians are deemed as foreigners in the country where they were born.
Human rights groups, the United Nations, and Caribbean nations have condemned Dominican Republic’s actions.
(Sources: Wikipedia.com; The New York Times; LA Times; JKRowling.com; International Movie Data Base (IMDB); Libreria Editrice Vaticana, http://www.vatican.va; http://www.paulwalker.com; http://www.history.com)
Hey all my friends and family from Facebook and Twitter.
My name is Chaka Phillips.
My interest is Entertainment Journalism, and I would like to share with you all my blog of opinions and commentary on Pop Culture and on issues affecting America and abroad.
Please feel free to Comment, Share, Like and Discuss what I am writing about and please feel to ask me if you would like me to discuss something that you feel should be discussed on here, my blog.
I have a BA in Journalism/Creative Writing from Baruch College. With Minors in English and Spanish.