Nancy Kerrigan

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Nancy Kerrigan's Brother Sentenced 2.5 Years for Assault on Father

Two and a half years in jail lies ahead for the brother of former Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, after being convicted Wednesday for assault in the death of their 70-year-old father.

Acquitted for involuntary manslaughter by the jury, which could have equaled 20 years in prison, Mark Kerrigan was accused of causing his father Daniel Kerrigan’s death during a violent physical struggle reported earlier last year. ( Read more... )

Kerrigan Gets The Max
The brother of Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was sentenced to serve 2 1/2 years (with 4 months served) in jail for murdering his father. Mark Kerrigan got off easy, seeing as he strangled his 70+ year old father, causing a fatal heart attack. The action went down on January 10th, 2010. ( Read more... )

Nancy Kerrigan's brother convicted of assault and battery in death of father

WOBURN -- Mark Kerrigan, the brother of Olympian Nancy Kerrigan, was acquitted today of an involuntary manslaughter charge but convicted of the lesser charge of assault and battery in the confrontation that preceded his father's death at the family’s Stoneham home in January 2010.

As the verdict was read in Middlesex Superior Court, Mark Kerrigan showed little emotion, but family members in the courtroom, who had supported him in spite of the charges brought in the wake of the death of 70-year-old Daniel Kerrigan, hugged and broke into tears. ( Read more... )

Courtesy: Christian Post, Capecod Today & Boston Articles
READ MORE - Nancy Kerrigan

David Letterman 'upset, crushed, disappointed' by Oprah snub

Sunday, 22 May 2011

David LettermanDavid Letterman was not invited to Oprah’s “big gala” in Chicago on Tuesday night, and the late-night host, whose relationship with the queen of daytime television has never been hunky-dory, is so upset he feels like his head is going to explode. Or so he says.

On last night’s show, Letterman first honored Winfrey during his monologue, laying it on so thick in his typical flip style that you couldn’t tell if he meant a word of it. Take a look below.

Once he got behind the desk, he shifted gears, ranting about his snub in mock anger. “I spent the last 12 to 15 years kissing up to Oprah,” he fumed. “Honest to God. Every day, I get out of bed and I think, What can I do to suck up to Oprah?”

Paul Shaffer consoled Letterman by saying, “I don’t blame you for being upset,” but the host wasn’t finished. “More than upset. Crushed. Disappointed and crushed. I want to bask in the glory that is Oprah, who doesn’t? I say, who doesn’t? So I’m laboring with a broken heart here tonight.”

It’s interesting: Oprah is the one person who seems to flummox Letterman. I actually believe him when he once told Jon Stewart, “In the beginning, Oprah frightened me … because she could squash me like a bug. She could put me out of the business. And she hated me, that’s what it was.”

As a result, he constantly struggles with the right comic tone whenever her name is mentioned. He seems to be torn between wanting her to like him and resenting the fact that he has to make the effort in the first place, so that even the kindest words come out with traces of bitterness.

Did his “rant” seem playful to you, or was his insincerity indicative of their complicated relationship?

Source: POP Watch
READ MORE - David Letterman 'upset, crushed, disappointed' by Oprah snub

Katie Couric Receiving Award From WNBA

Katie CouricNow that her run at the “CBS Evening News” has come to an end, Katie Couric has some time to kill until work gets underway on her expected syndicated show. Accepting some awards might help fill some time.

To that end, the WNBA announced that it will present Couric with the 2011 WNBA Inspiration Award on May 24.

The award recognizes “an individual who inspires others through her personal and professional leadership.”

Katie Couric’s incredible leadership in the news industry along with her selfless efforts to increase cancer awareness and screenings has made her a true inspiration not only in her field but for the millions of women and young people who aspire to do great things just like her,” said WNBA president Laurel Richie in a statement. “The WNBA is thrilled to recognize Katie and her outstanding accomplishments with the 2011 WNBA Inspiration Award.”

The WNBA will also give the CieAura Pioneer Award to Lisa Leslie, who help put the league on the map.

Source: Media Bistro
READ MORE - Katie Couric Receiving Award From WNBA

Rogue Planets: Billions of Jupiters on the Loose in the Milky Way

Rogue PlanetsThe bitterly fought Pluto wars of a few years back showed that even the experts disagree on what is and what isn't a planet. One thing there's no quarrel about, of course: a planet is, by definition, something that orbits a star.

Except, it turns out, when it isn't. Writing in the latest issue of Nature, a team of astronomers is reporting the discovery of ten objects roughly the size of Jupiter that seem to be on the loose, roaming the galaxy untethered to any star. And while ten seems like an insignificant number in a galaxy packed with 200 billion or more stars, the search was an extremely limited one. Unless the observers happened to be absurdly lucky, there could actually be a lot more of these rogue Jupiters — perhaps twice as many stars as there are in the Milky Way.
See the top 50 space moments since Sputnik.

"The implications of this discovery," writes Joachim Wambsganss, of the Center for Astronomy at the University of Heidelberg in an accompanying Nature commentary, "are profound."

They aren't, however, completely unexpected. As the known number of more conventional exoplanets — that is, those that actually do orbit stars — has grown to more than 500 in recent years, astronomers have begun to realize that our own well-behaved Solar System isn't necessarily typical. The eight planets orbit the Sun in nearly circular orbits, all moving in the same direction as the Sun rotates. But plenty of alien worlds orbit their stars in eccentric, somewhat egg-shaped orbits and surprising numbers move around their stars in highly tilted orbits as well. (Non-planet Pluto inscribes just such an inclined and elliptical path.) Some planets even orbit backwards.
See pictures of Saturn.

That suggests that sometime in the past, close gravitational encounters with other planets flung them out of their previously conventional orbits. Theorists have predicted for years that such close encounters might also fling planets out into interstellar space.

"There's nothing physically mysterious about this," says David Stevenson, a Caltech astronomer who has been working on rogue-planet scenarios for more than a decade. "It's a perfectly natural outcome."
See pictures of five nations' space programs.

Still, he says, it's exciting to see something that had been purely theoretical backed up by hard evidence. It's also notable that these planets were discovered with a technique that sounds like something out of Star Trek. As Einstein explained nearly a century ago, the gravity of a massive object such as a star or a planet warps the spacetime that surrounds it. If a ray of light passes close by, the light will be diverted, just as though it were passing through a giant lens. In the 1930's, Einstein realized that if one star passed in front of another, the closer star could act as a "gravitational lens," focusing the light of the more distant star and making it look brighter. We'd never actually see such an effect, conceded Einstein. All stars orbit the center of the galaxy at slightly different speeds, meaning that they are in constant motion relative to one another; still, the exact lineup needed to make true lensing occur would happen only very rarely, Einstein believed.

For once, though, the great man was wrong. The first gravitational lens was spotted in 1979 and they've become a mainstay of astronomical research ever since. This has aided in the search for exoplanets, as astronomers scan the skies for double flashes — one caused by a foreground star moving in front of a background star, and one following soon after, caused by the orbiting planet.

(See TIME's space shuttle covers.)

It's not the most efficient way to discover planets, since you never know when just the right line-up will occur, but about dozen star-planet pairs have been found with this technique. The ten free-floating planets revealed themselves the same way, but what distinguished them, says Takahiro Sumi, of Osaka University, the study's lead author, is that when they pass in front of a background star, "we don't see any evidence of the host star." Not, at least, within a billion miles or so of the planets, and based on more conventional studies of exoplanets, that suggests that many if not all of the planets indeed have no host stars at all.

The one caveat offered by both Stevenson and Wambsganss is that while these objects are certainly similar in mass to Jupiter, they could, in fact, be more like small stars, having condensed as the central object out of a swirl of cosmic dust and gas, albeit without sufficient mass to light their nuclear fires. Conventional planets condense out of similar clouds, but they are made up of the leftover dust a parent star didn't use. Some planetary theorists argued that the term "planet" should only apply to the latter, even if two objects have exactly the same mass.
See pictures of Earth from space.

But offsetting that caveat is an even more exciting possibility. If close encounters can throw Jupiter-sized planets out of a solar system, they can throw smaller, Earth-sized worlds out even more easily — meaning they may outnumber even the hundreds of billions of drifting Jupiters. The brief magnifying flashes they produce would be very hard to detect from the ground, but a proposed space telescope known as the Microlensing Planet Finder could do it, and even find planets as small as Mars.

In theory, the mission could fly by 2020. In these days of reduced budgets, however, there's no guarantee that will actually happen. But if it does, we may soon know what the theorists already suspect: that the Milky Way is teeming with free-range planets of all sizes, floating silently and forlornly in the spaces between the stars.

See TIME's Complete Coverage: Space & Astronomy.

Source: TIME
READ MORE - Rogue Planets: Billions of Jupiters on the Loose in the Milky Way

Austin Box remembered by former OU teammates as ‘a lot of fun,’ ‘someone you could trust’

Austin BoxAustin Box often played hurt.

Always tried to motivate his teammates.

And one practice had the entire defense keeled over in laughter — at the expense of defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

Box, Oklahoma’s starting middle linebacker who just received his college degree in criminology and sociology last weekend, died Thursday. He was found unconscious by friend J.T. Cobble, who told authorities he feared Box had overdosed on “pain pills.”

Cherokee Ballard, spokeswoman for the state medical examiner’s office, said Friday the office had begun an autopsy on Box, but official cause of death won’t be determined for days.

Funeral services have been set for 11 a.m. Friday at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Box’s hometown of Enid.

The burial will take place at Enid’s Memorial Park Cemetery.

‘A great guy to be around’
Gerald McCoy was driving home after working out with other former Sooners now in the NFL when the news reached him.

“I was driving when I got a text from one of my friends that said, ‘Did you hear about Austin Box?’” said McCoy, a teammate of Box’s from 2007-09, and now a defensive tackle with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “I typed his name on Google, and it said they found him unresponsive at his house and flew him to a hospital. First thing I did was immediately start praying, because unresponsive was already not good. Once I started praying, I simply said, ‘God, just let him wake up, let him respond, let his heart beat, something.’

“When they finally said what they said, it was like shock. I watched the guy when he got recruited, I played with him. We weren’t necessarily the closest of friends, but he was my brother because we were teammates.

“He was a great guy to be around, a lot of fun.”

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton, who played with Box from 2006-07, took pride in watching another native Oklahoman tear it up in practice.

“What I remember is he came in as a freshman, and he could run like the wind. He was running with the defensive backs. He was really strong, too,” Lofton said. “I remember thinking, ‘This guy can’t be a freshman.’ It made me proud. I’m from Kingfisher, and he was from Enid. We had that Oklahoma pride.

“Austin was just a hilarious, hilarious guy. Always made you laugh, a fun guy to be around.”

Box had his teammates laughing hysterically one afternoon during practice.

“One day, Coach V (Venables) was real hot, Box had messed up. Coach V was trying to push his buttons, get Box angry, looking to see if he had that mean streak,” recalled former OU linebacker Keenan Clayton, now with the Philadelphia Eagles. “While Coach V demonstrated how to shed an offensive lineman, Box shed Coach V to the ground. It surprised everybody. It went silent. Then everybody cried laughing. It was one of the most hysterical things to come out of practice. The highlight of practice for a few months. We never let Coach V live that one down.

“Box was a great kid. He kept the energy alive in the meeting rooms, on the field, off the field; he never complained to Coach V about playing time. He wanted his teammates to do good.

“It’s really hard to see him go.”

‘Someone you could go to war with’
Box’s football career was defined by injuries. But also overcoming them.

Heading into his redshirt freshman season in 2008, Box was the presumptive starter at outside linebacker. But days before the Sooners’ opener, he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, opening the way for Travis Lewis to take his job.

The same season, Box re-emerged in the starting lineup at middle linebacker after starter Ryan Reynolds was lost for the season to injury. But in the regular-season finale at Oklahoma State, Box suffered a sprained knee that knocked him out of the lineup again.

In 2009, Box dealt with elbow and knee injuries that ultimately kept him out of two games. And in 2010, a preseason disc issue in his back forced him to sit the first five games of the year.

But once again, Box fought his way back onto the field, even though the injury was first believed to be career-ending.

By Game 10, he had regained his status as a starter and proved to be crucial to OU’s five-game winning streak to close the season.

At Oklahoma State, he made a diving interception in the fourth quarter that helped seal OU’s 47-41 Bedlam victory. Then in the Fiesta Bowl, he set the tone by stuffing running back Robbie Frey behind the line on fourth-and-1 on Connecticut’s second possession.

“My memory of Box is that he gave it his all,” said the Carolina Panthers’ Nic Harris, who was Box’s Sooner teammate from 2006-08. “He put it on the line. You knew he was going to do whatever it took. You knew he was someone you could trust.

“Someone you could go to war with.”

Source: News OK!
READ MORE - Austin Box remembered by former OU teammates as ‘a lot of fun,’ ‘someone you could trust’

Problems continue to mount at China's Three Gorges Dam

Beijing - The Three Gorges Dam continues to cause China major headaches, five years after its completion.

The world's largest dam was constructed at an official cost of 22.5 billion dollars and officially opened in May 2006, but Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was forced to call a cabinet meeting this week to address ongoing geological, social and environmental problems with the hydroelectric project.

'While the Three Gorges project has brought great and comprehensive benefits, there are problems that must be urgently resolved, such as the smooth relocation of residents, protecting the environment and preventing geological disasters,' the government said in a statement after the meeting.

It was also acknowledged that the dam on the Yangtze River in central China was impacting downstream shipping, irrigation and water supplies.

The huge project has disturbed the natural balance of the area served by the Yangtze, which has resulted in frequent landslides, drought and a bottleneck for shipping.

Some experts say the Three Gorges Dam is partially responsible for China's worst drought in 50 years, arguing that the drought in the Yangtze basin has been worsened by the dam upsetting the region's ecological balance and causing a decrease in rainfall.

However, supporters of the project, which has created a vast reservoir stretching for 660 kilometres, say the severe drought problem has actually been eased by water discharges from the dam.

Wednesday's surprise cabinet meeting highlights the level of local discontent and the negative impact the dam is having on the region, with critics saying their worst fears have now been realized.

'The project has had large negative effects, be they ecological, geological or social, considering the necessary relocation of people,' Fan Xiao, the chief engineer of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau in Chengdu, told German Press Agency dpa.

'Even if there are advantages as a result of electricity generation, it is our view that the project will cause more damage in the long term.'

The final load of cement was poured onto the top of the 185-metre-high dam on May 20, 2006. But due to the ongoing criticisms of the project, which reached all the way to the government level, no member of the Communist leadership was present to take part in the celebrations.

The forced relocation of 1.2 million people to facilitate the vast reservoir has caused perhaps the greatest resentment towards the project, which resulted in the flooding of 13 large and 140 smaller towns, as well as 1,350 villages.

Over a year ago, unexpected landslides caused by fluctuations in the water level of the reservoir led to the announcement that a further 300,000 people would need to be relocated in order to create a natural shelter belt.

Many people were forced to move to higher ground, where the land suffers from erosion and is not as fertile. The cost of the latest relocation has yet to be calculated, but is thought to run into the billions.

The recent huge earthquake in Japan has also revived fears that the weight of water could lead to a similar devastating event along the Yangtze, although Fan doesn't agree, due to geological differences between the two areas.

'It is almost impossible for there to be a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, such as in Japan, at the Three Gorges,' he said.

Fan refused to rule out the possibility of a weaker earthquake, but says the dam is designed to withstand quakes of magnitude 6.0 or 7.0 without sustaining any serious damage.

The real danger would come in the unstable region surrounding the reservoir, which could suffer massive landslides.

The problem of water pollution has also yet to be resolved. Efforts have been hampered by the huge quantities of rubbish and other debris that have been washed into the river and accumulated at the reservoir.

Whether the dam has lived up to its promise of solving flooding problems further down the Yangtze has been cast into doubt, with experts saying its effect has been minimal due to the fact that the size of the reservoir is limited.

Navigation has also been adversely affected, with the dam only able to deal with half the shipping tonnage originally envisaged, leading to serious delays.

Although the official cost of the project is put at 22 billion dollars, Western experts estimate the Three Gorges cost twice as much, while Chinese critics believe it cost around three times that amount.

It is also feared that around 10 per cent of the money spent on relocating people has been siphoned off through corruption.

Source: Monster & Critics
READ MORE - Problems continue to mount at China's Three Gorges Dam

Jack Kevorkian, long-time Royal Oak resident, in hospital with kidney problems

Jack KevorkianBy Shaun Byron
For The Daily Tribune

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the renowned assisted-suicide advocate dubbed Dr. Death, has been hospitalized for unspecified health problems.

We took him in last night,” said Kevorkian’s attorney Mayer Morganroth. “He was in a couple weeks ago, but he was out of the hospital and how he is back in.”

Kevorkian, a long-time Royal Oak resident, became a well-known figure during the 1990s for his views on assisted suicide and actions.

He was on the cover of news magazines, featured on national news shows and the subject of late-night comedy routines. Throughout the 1990s, he dodged criminal convictions despite several high profile arrests and trials. He helped his attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, achieve national fame.

However, the pathologist's luck turned after he appeared on "60 Minutes," pushing the issue further than before.

In 1999, he was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 52-year-old Thomas Youk and sentenced to a 10- to 25-year prison term.

Kevorkian was found guilty of administering the substance used to kill Youk, a Waterford Township resident. The killing was videotaped and played on national television, prompting newly elected Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca, who had run under the promise of no more prosecutions against assisted suicide cases.

He was paroled in 2006 after agreeing not to assist with any more suicides.

Kevorkian has reputed to have assisted in 130 suicides.

In 2008, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in the 9th District as an independent.

Source: Daily Tribune
READ MORE - Jack Kevorkian, long-time Royal Oak resident, in hospital with kidney problems

Rosie Perez sues ‘Law & Order: SVU’ producers over injuries

Rosie PerezRosie Perez is suing the producers of “Law and Order: SVU” over injuries she allegedly suffered on set.

The "Special Victims Unit" guest star wants NBC to take responsibility for the herniated disc she claims she endured during the taping of a 2009 episode called “Hardwired.”

The lawsuit states that during filming, an extra "recklessly pulled, grabbed, yanked, wrenched and/or manhandled” her, CBS reports. Perez, 46, appeared as an upset mother who reaches into another car and starts choking the driver. A school crossing guard intervenes and that’s when the actress was allegedly injured.

"The thing to do was taking someone who knows what he's doing to make it look violent without being violent,” lawyer Brian O'Dwyer tells the New York Daily News. "This person was not a stunt man, he was just an extra."

He also claims she was pressured to continue taping, which may have exacerbated her injuries. "She's still suffering severe pain, numbness of the arms, and she'll never be the same despite the surgery.”

So far, Perez has already undergone two surgeries, one involving a spinal fusion when bone marrow from her pelvis was transplanted into her vertebrae.

With Rosie on the mend, O’Dwyer says the actress hasn’t been able to work for about a year and that damages will be “very substantial.” NBC has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

Source: LA Times
READ MORE - Rosie Perez sues ‘Law & Order: SVU’ producers over injuries

Janice Dickinson : Loses Teeth

Janice DickinsonPage Six first reported that Janice Dickinson lost two false teeth at a Southampton restaurant.

Huffington Post reported that the 56-year-old supermodel unfastened her falsies to enjoy her food.

She told Page Six, “I was so excited talking to (my friend) that I put my teeth in my napkin, and then I couldn’t find them! Did they fall into the soup? These things are so expensive they could feed a small village.”

According to the New York Post, Dickinson said she found herself “diving under the table like a porpoise.” She then recruited the entire restaurant to join in the hunt. Once she finally found the back tooth and a “small one in the front” on the floor under the table, Dickinson says she slipped into the bathroom, washed them off, popped them back in and returned, supermodel-style, “flashing her pearly whites.”

Earlier this week, a leaked nude photo of Dickinson went viral.

Ology reported it was while doing a photoshoot, that Janice just decided to get naked for the cameras.

Last week, E! reported Dickinson’s feelings toward Mia Amber Davis, the model and actress who died suddenly after routine knee surgery. Despite how she came off on her since-canceled show, scene-chewing former supermodel Janice Dickinson claims to have had nothing but love for Mia Amber Davis.

“My heart goes out to her family,” Dickinson told E! “I am deeply disturbed by this news. I have been sobbing all afternoon. She was a kind, gentle girl. She was gentle and sweet and had a heart of absolute platinum…I am proud to say she was my friend and she had a heart of gold and I loved her dearly. This has really saddened me. Life goes on, but she has touched the hearts of everyone.”

Source: Long Island Press
READ MORE - Janice Dickinson : Loses Teeth

eXTReMe Tracker