Spin Gym by Forbes Riley

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spin Gym is a portable device, very easy to use and carry. You could carry it in your purse, briefcase ar even pocket and it is fully assembled and always ready to be used. Furthermore, it weighs less than one pound but can produce more than 20 lbs of resistance per pull.

Only 5 minutes of Spin Gym work out a day and you will feel the difference, you will feel better, full of energy and you will also build up a very nice upper body. Forbes Riley is an American actress from Long Island, New York. She was declared Miss Teenage New York and had her TV debut on NBC along with Bob Hope in the Miss Teenage America pageant.


Tickets to Dame Edna

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dame Edna Everage is probably the most popular and gifted woman in the world today.
The widely-loved international home-maker, talk show host, gigastar, fashion icon, swami and most sought-after friend to the rich, famous and royal, is making a return to the United States with what she describes as her “First Last Tour.”

“In this show you will see me up close and personal Possums, perhaps for the last time! Close enough to see my beauty and personal enough to feel my love, and even, in some cases, my reluctant disapproval. I’m sharing and caring with those who need it the most – YOU, my adoring audiences.”

The Dame Edna Experience - The Christmas Specials

Edna’s stage success is unparalleled. She won a Tony Award for her Broadway show “The Royal Tour” in 2000, and a Tony Nomination for “Back with a Vengeance” in 2005. Whether touring in her native Australia or in her beloved United States - “America is the best kept secret in the world, Possums” – she gives and gives and gives. Never have Americans needed to laugh, cry and give standing ovations as much as they do today. Her compassion is legendary, and her stage offerings possess a unique “edge”, due to the fact that she doesn’t need the money. Dame Edna’s inspiring publications have been placed in the nightstands of hotel rooms across the world.

Click to visit Corky's Pest ControlThis is to be a “First Last Tour” because Dame Edna has decided to devote more quality time to her seriously dysfunctional family. The jewels she will be wearing, her famous face furniture and her glorious gowns are all made from organic materials and very few animals have been significantly hurt in their making.

Dame Edna Everage is probably the most popular and gifted woman in the world today.

The widely-loved international home-maker, talk show host, gigastar, fashion icon, swami and most sought-after friend to the rich, famous and royal, is making a return to the United States with what she describes as her “First Last Tour.”

“In this show you will see me up close and personal Possums, perhaps for the last time! Close enough to see my beauty and personal enough to feel my love, and even, in some cases, my reluctant disapproval. I’m sharing and caring with those who need it the most — YOU, my adoring audiences.”

This is to be a “First Last Tour” because Dame Edna has decided to devote more quality time to her seriously dysfunctional family. Don’t miss this historic show or your loved ones will never forgive you, and neither will Dame Edna!

Dame Edna
Tuesday, June 2, 7:00 p.m.
Show runs thru June 7
Civic Theatre
Third and B Street
Downtown San Diego

Click Here If U want Dame Edna Ticket


WEST PALM BEACH- — The fattest jackpot since Florida became part of Powerball - $222 million - had tickets flying out of the machines at a rate of $850 per minute Tuesday.

That was up from $660 the night before as Floridians lined up for a crack at what is currently the largest jackpot in the world, according to lottery officials.

The odds of winning the big prize remain long - one in 195 million - but a ticket buys at least a rich fantasy life until tonight's drawing at 10:59.

Michael Alexander could think of ways to spend that bailout package.

New house. Helping family and friends pinched by a slow economy. Charity. And OK, vintage Mercedes with gull wings.

"This is the biggest jackpot I've ever heard of," said Alexander of West Palm Beach, who endured a short wait to buy a ticket at a gas station on Okeechobee Boulevard.

Florida Lottery spokeswoman Amanda Marquardt said temporary terminals have been added in Miami, Orlando and Tallahassee.

"This the largest Powerball that Floridians have been able to play since we became part of it Jan. 4," she said.

The current series of Powerball jackpot rollovers has generated $23.2 million for education since April 11.


Forbes Riley : Spin Gym

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Make sure to tune in tonight for another PitchMen LiveBlog! as we dissect and analyze the newest PitchMen episode, “Spinning Green.” According to the Discovery Channel website, the featured product will be “Spin Gym,” by Forbes Riley.

And to mix it up a little, Billy and Sully go to Hollywood! Want to guess which one goes on The Tonight Show. Sparks could fly.

Here’s a Fox News Clip of Forbes Riley where she sneaks in a Spin Gym pitch:

PitchMen, “Spinning Green,” Episode facts:
Channel: Discovery
Original Air Date: 2009/05/27
Time: 10:00pm EDT and again at 1:00am EDT

Product: Spin Gym
Inventor: Forbes Riley


The final four products Billy n Sully had to choose from here is intruiging. Billy n Sully are off to Vegas to pick the product. Billy just wants to pick the best product and that’s it. This is they’re at ERA in Vegas and come across Forbes Riley. There are some giants at the show: TELEBrands, livemercial…

Riley is trying to get Billy n Sully turned on to Spin Gym. Sully looks excited. Billy seems on the fence. Forbes got her inspiration from her father - an abstract inventor who didn’t know how to get his products to market. Forbes Riley claims she sells about $2,000 a minute when on QVC (or HSM. I missed it). Now she wants her name on a product and have the same effect. She didn’t’ invent Spin Gym, but she’s an inventor.

Billy and Sully will field test, but first Billy has a Kaboom shoot. :-) …take 8, take… Sully n Billy are fighting about how to wipe glass scum. I guess it proves that details make all the difference. Billy is giving Sully the death look while Sully does an onscreen rant.

“Maybe you should use a ShamWOW,” said the production assistant whose sure not to have a job much longer (unless that was Billy Mays III). If Billy only had a ZorbEEZ in his back pocket at that point.

“Maybe I’ll give you a ShamPOW!”

Commercial break :11 after

The Cleaning lesson continues. “See, if you listen to me I’ll make you look good every time,” Sully. But now the schedule is behind. Billy wants to get the shoot on schedule - so long as he doesn’t have to listen to Sully.

“Billy may have actually done something in one take - because he listened to me.”

Field testing the Spin Gym on the boardwalk - “Welcome to the gun show.”

The question: Toy or workout device? They all tell Billy its a workout device but then tell the camera they think it’s a toy. That’s mean.

TELEBrands TIME! Forbes, Billy, and Sully meet with AJ Khubani. Riley is selling the idea to AJ - Grease Bullet in the background. (I bet Grease Bullet is about to relaunch right, about, now… :-) )

AJ is concerned about Spin Gym’s credibility. Riley says it was the same thing with Ped Egg. AJ is testing the product. Now the learning curve is a concern.

Billy n Sully point out that it’s demonstrable, solves a problem…the ball is in AJ’s court.

Commercial break :20 after

AJ’s answer: he’s willing to give it a go.

In the meantime, Billy n Sully are interviewing other inventors. A guy is showing a wine stopper with an air bag that keeps the air away from the wine. Billy’s afraid to promote alcoholic beverage but doesn’t know if it’s an As Seen on TV material.

An inventor has a plant watering device (very Aqua Globes-ish but without the work of art). Billy and Sully like the product. The inventor is in his 70’s and his dad - all 99 years old of him - is the co-owner of the product. Life springs eternal.

Forbes Riley comes to Sullivan Studios to discuss the price point. She brings in a team of exercise geeks to do a Spin Gym workout. Forbes, you don’t have to preach to the converted. AJ Khubani got thinks that with his Chinese manufacturing that they can get the product down to $19.99. The price point scares Riley. (Riley, most of the best infomercial products sell at $19.99!!!)

Uh-oh, Forbes Riley found out her Spin Gym trademark has been taken. She put in a call to the owner of the name and is waiting to hear it back. Now they’re doing product naming.

Commercial break :33 after

The name setback has her down.

Commercial shoot time. How do they keep doing shoots without trademark on product names. She’s franticly offering $10K for the naming rights…she got it. That’s called listening to Billy - “take it or leave it.”

Forbes Riley is doing the promo herself. Billy, Sully, and Riley in the same room. They could make the whole episode around them arguing how to say, “Here’s how to order…” Billy Mays name drop time!

Now they’re arguing price point reshoots. She earlier discussed how she didn’t get her MBA. If she had, she’d understand the value of price point instead of the prestige. She’s willing to walk away because she’s that afraid of the prestige of the price point.

Commercial break :43 after

“I don’t know what her problem is. I think she’s more concerned about a Forbes Riley product for $10 bucks than she is selling the product. I mean, What the f###?” - Sully.

“This whole thing can go from a $10 Spin Gym to an $80,000 paperweight.” - Sully

She’s getting nauseous over the price points. It looks like her nerves are calming down after the shoot. Working out with the Spin Gym for 3 hours in front of the camera can do it to.

Billy n Sully are off to Burbank - NBC Studios. Billy’s going on “The Tonight Show.”

Sully got called, “his chauffer,” by the NBC Security guard. NICE

Billy is doing an Orange Glo / Shakespeare spot on the episode. He’s getting ready to do a live take. Billy’s practicing. The’re enoying the fact they have a signed script from Jay Leno. Sully’s pumped, being ubersupportive. They both understand the significance of this moment for the Direct Response industry.

Commercial Break :52 after

Billy claims The Tonight Show was “nerve-racking,” but according to Sully, Billy Mays killed it. He got to hang out with Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes and Jennifer Aniston. Billy wants to meet her again. Sully wont’ let him go alone :-)

Media Test Buy for Spin Gym Results: the tested $19.99 against $29.99 both tested bad. The best it could do was a $196 CPO for $19.99 price point. Sully is coming back with saying the $10.00 price point could have worked. “Always go with the best offer,” Billy Mays. Have to agree with Billy n Sully.

AJ dropped the product. Billy n Sully suggest she drop the product.

Forbes Riley still won’t get over her fear of the $10.00 price point. She’s breaking down. “That’s why you’re driving the Bently and I’m not.”

Sometimes the best lessons are the hardest to learn. Check back her next week for another LiveBlog! of PitchMen.


Spin Gym - Easier than the Hawaii Chair

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spin Gym

Schwinn IC Evolution SR Indoor Cycling Bike (Factory Refurbished)

Spin Gym."It doesn't look like you're doing much..." Yes, that is an actual quote from the spot, and pretty much sums it all up. I love this product. Ingenious. I'm just a bit skeptical that it will do much of anything. I guess it probably works as well as the Health Rider that my grandpa bought from an infomercial in the 80's...and I suppose they are, as usual, targeting the couch workout crowd...

If the pricing in the ad is a bit high for you, I've found a way to make your own for cheap. Just use a button and a string, as shown by this 6-year old girl, and pull the string tight to see the button spin. It's fun AND a workout!

US Games Spin Jumper Set of 6

Unlike the Spin Gym, the button and string gym does NOT promise results, so don't email me to get your $0.05 back! See one unsatisfied customer below, and be warned.


How To Make Thermite

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Now, I am not going to tell you guys what thermite is, or what you can do with it. Just do a Google search and you'll find tons of sites telling you a bunch of uses for it. I will however, tell you how to make the stuff.

Obtaining the Aluminum
1) Go to a machine shop. They will usually give you aluminum powder for sweeping the floor or something.
2) Break open an Etch-A-Sketch, the stuff inside is pure aluminum powder.
3) Go to a paint store, they usually have powdered aluminum that people use to mix into paints to give it pigment.
4) Get a grinder, and something made of aluminum. Good ideas are soda cans, bike frames, and lacrosse sticks. Start grinding the aluminum and collect the sparks in a container.
5) Search eBay, they sell it for pretty cheap.

Obtaining the Iron Oxide (Rust)
1) Take some steel wool then put it in a jar and then cover it wool with water. Use a magnet to make sure the steel wool doesnt float during the reaction process. Next, put in 5 tablespoons of regular bleach into the water and 5 tablespoons of regular vinager. Wait a day or so and then filter the brown paste with a coffee filter. Leave it out to dry overnight.
2) Go to a paint store, they usually have powdered iron oxide that people use to mix into paints to give it pigment.

3) Connect wires to a direct current (9-volt battery), strip both ends and put them into a saltwater solution. Let them sit for five minutes. One of them will start bubbling more than the other. This is the POSITIVE(+) wire. Put a nail tied to the positive wire into the jar. Now put the negative wire in the other end. Now let it sit overnight and in the morning scrape the rust off of the nail & repeat until you have a bunch of rust on the bottom of the glass. Let it dry out, and crush it into a powder.
4) Search eBay, they sell it for pretty cheap.

Mixing the Stuff
Thermite is 8 grams of iron oxide to 3 grams of aluminum. The formula is by weight but because aluminum is very light, it will appear to be approximately a 50-50 mix. Put them together in a container and mix them until it is an even mixture. If you want, mix four parts thermite with one part clay or Play-Doh and knead thoroughly for moldable thermite.

Thermite needs a lot of heat to light, that means magnesium. Find some magnesium ribbon, or a sparkler that contains magnesium and put it into a pile of thermite. Light it with a torch, and run!


Kari Byron, who is on the Build Team on Mythbusters, is pregnant. What better opportunity for her to debunk some pregnancy myths? She was interviewed by Pregnancy 360 about some common myths — salt cravings, determining the child’s sex, and others — and did a great job debunking them.

I’m not surprised. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her twice: once at TAM, and once in Alberta when I moderated a panel discussion with the Build Team. She’s even smarter, sassier, and funnier in person than on the show, and I’m glad this article got published. Spread the word, and let’s help stamp out some of these ridiculous myths about pregnancy!


Robert Pattinson goes shirtless while shooting a steamy kissing scene with co-star Kristen Stewart on the set of The Twilight Saga: New Moon in Montepulciano, Italy on Wednesday afternoon (May 27).

The on-screen couple swapped spit as they shot their kissing scene multiple times to get it right. Anyone know why Rob has black dots all over him? Is it for the ‘dazzle’ special effects???

Kristen, Robert and costar Taylor Lautner will be presenting an exclusive New Moon clip at the MTV Movie Awards THIS Sunday (May 31).


Auditions continue tonight. I won’t blogging at all but will be watching on and off. If any mod watching wants to blog the show they can do so.

Tonight, the SYTYCD auditions take us to Miami. What kind of talent will the jidges find? Tyce Diorio joins Mary Murphy and Nigel Lithgoe to pass out tickets to Vegas.

First up is a guy named Tony who says he has his own style of dance called “Tony style” and his body is like a rubberband. They kind of need to tell Tony to flip the rubberband out of the theater. And they do. Tyce goes WAY overboard telling him how bad it was. It’s a no. Tony leaves the theater and promptly has some sort of attack where he nearly faints and/or pukes.

Moving on, we meet Priscilla Marrero a gorgeous 23 year old from Miami who dances beautifully and wows the jidges. Mary calls her captivating and Tyce says she makes him happy to be a dancer. Ticket to Vegas.

Cameras cut back to Tony in the lobby who is being tended by a medic. The cameras don’t stay on him long before Cat Deeley’s voice-over gives us clues to what we’ll see after the break.

Back to Miami, Tony is fully recovered after having some water and a banana. It’s still a no, Tone.

Next is a latin duo, Janette Manrara and Romulo Villaverde, who are full of lifts and tricks, but not much actual dancing at first. But, to my untrained eye, they are very good! Janette made it to Vegas(?) last year but was cut. They get a Mary scream AND a ticket to Vegas!

Jennifer and Jessica Guadix are twins from Miami who say they learned ballet by reading books. They are dressed all in black with weird tie-dye..things…tied around their lower legs. They definitely think they are better than they really are. Their dancing is pretty awful and explain it away by saying they made the dance up in one day. It’s a no, thank goodness!

Lots of footage of Tyce being brutally honest and I am made to wonder, where the heck did this come from? He didn’t shut up. When did he get that mean?

Joseph Smith is up to bring the…SHAWHAM! Whatever that is. He’s a pop and locker, I guess and I liked it. He was fun. He goes to choreography and Shawhams his way off the stage. 31 other dancers go with Joseph to choreography to try to get a ticket to Vegas. He gets one and so do 17 others. And so ends the first day of auditions in Miami.

The 2nd day of auditions in Miami begins with a girl whose name I didn’t understand, nor could I read it on my TV screen because there was a weather warning scrolling across the screen at the exact moment her name showed up. Doesn’t much matter because she was pretty bad. I do know that she was about to lose her girls right out of her bathing suit top or it may be a stripper’s outfit. Poor girl pretty much begs them to teach her a routine because she can dance. No. She can’t and it’s a no.

We get to see several dancers’ dreams being crushed then a tapper named Erik “Silky” Moore. I don’t know much about tap, but boy is pretty good. His tap routine is to “Thriller” and even has him doing the worm. He’s adorable and has a great personality. He gets a ticket to Vegas!

Poor Slim, there hasn’t been one blonde hottie tonight.

Paris Torres, a former Miss Washington, impresses the jidges with her contemporary routine (or was it lyrical?) and gets a ticket to Vegas. We see short clips of Henry Rivero, Megan Kinney (cute blonde alert!) and Alex Wong and they all go straight to Vegas.

Geo Smith with an odd mask of feathers does an African dance that is wild and all over the place, including off the stage. He entertained the jidges and gets a yes to choreography.

Talia Rickards is a young widow who hasn’t auditioned for over two years. She married young and was married for just under 4 years before losing her husband in a motorcycle accident. Her dance is a mixture of hip hop-ish and contemporary-ish. Nigel tells her not to scrunch her face like a Cabbage Patch Doll but the dance wasn’t enough. Mary sees potential. They send her through to choreography.

Geo makes it through to Vegas as does Talia and I think 12 others if my math is right. Math was never my strong suit, though. But, Cat told us that 32 from Miami make it in all. That’s all that matters.

The auditions move to Memphis where Lil C joins Mary and Nigel to critique the dancers. Up first is a police officer, Marico Flake, who does some ‘Memphis Jukin.’ At least I think that is what he called it. I’ve never heard of it but it was a pretty cool style of hip hop dancing. I liked it as did the jidges. They try to fake him out by telling him it’s a no to choreography, but he gets a ticket to Vegas.

Oh my. Dustin Dorough is up next and claims to be one of the Backstreet Boys’ 2nd cousins. He was pretty bad and I can’t decide if he is serious or not. He then makes the excuse that he just got over the flu and bronchitis. He’s somewhat of an odd bird, but takes his no very well.

Christopher Carrozza has long dreadlocks and weird facial hair who does an even more weird jumpy routine which he calls “electric.” He doesn’t take his critique well and turns into a total a**. He came into that looking for a confrontation. He got it. And it’s a no.

Next up is the “SYTYCD Guide to a Good Audition.”
Rule #1 Always start with your best move.
Rule #2 Come dressed to impress.
Rule #3 Connect with the judges.
Rule #4 Always follow directions.

All the rules included footage of dancers who didn’t exactly follow the rules.

Caitlin Kinney, sister to Megan who got a ticket in Miami and the 2nd blonde hottie for Slim, goes next and she dances beautifully. The judges are very impressed and she gets a ticket to Vegas to join her sister! Besides Caitlin, 6 other dancers from the first day in Memphis get tickets to Vegas.

The second day of Memphis auditions begins with Anna Dunn, a beautiful 18 year old who recently lost her dad to suicide. She’s a contemporary (lyrical?) dancer who I think Mia Michaels would love. Nigel thinks her head moves too much but she is a lovely dancer. Mary thinks she is gorgeous and is a diamond in the rough. Lil C relates to her in that he lost his dad to suicide as well. They send her through to choreography, but I think she should have gone on to Vegas.

Travis Prokop is 20 years old and his dad is the high school football coach. His dad is 100% behind his dancing. Throughout his dance, I just found his shorts annoying as he had one leg folded up and one down. The judges think he needs to get stronger. The jidges send him to choreography.

A familiar face from Vegas last year, Evan Kasprzak, is back and brings his brother Ryan to audition as well. I remember him from last year and I wanted him to make it through! He’s adorable and the jidges like him and send him to Vegas. Yay!

Twins Lauren Guerra and Lydia Guerra dance together and Nigel calls them a joy to watch. They both move on to choreography.

Evan’s brother, Ryan Kasprzak, goes last and does a tap routine with added sound effects from a whoopie cushion. It was comical and fun and 2 to 1 the jidges send him to Vegas.

After the choreography round, Lauren Guerra gets a ticket to Vegas as does Anna Dunn,Travis Prokop and Lydia Guerra. In all, day 2 brought 15 dancers with tickets to Vegas.

Tomorrow night, auditions will be coming to us from L.A. and Seattle. I won’t get to blog the show live as I have to work until 10pm tomorrow. However, if no one else blogs the show, I will take care of it after work.


We have only just seen season 5 of “So You Think You Can Dance” premiere last week and there have been some good dancers on this season. We have also seen that Judges Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe are back and also Cat Deeley is back as its host.

But if you didn’t get a chance to audition for season 5, you are lucky as season 6 is to be shown in the fall and they are holding auditions now. Fox.com, have given details on where you can go to audition. They start on Thursday 28th May in Boston at the Hyatt Regency.

Then they go on to Atlanta at the Woodruff Arts Center on the 1st June. Next is Los Angeles on June 12th at the Orpheum Theater. Then the auditions go onto Phoenix at the Phoenix Convention Center and that will be on June 26th. And finally, on July 24th, at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in Salt Lake City.
Boston Auditions Thurs, May 28
Doors open at 8:00AM.
Be prepared to stay for an extra TWO DAYS for potential callbacks.

Hyatt Regency Boston
One Avenue de Lafayette
Boston, MA 02111


Pequot Capital Management -- a pioneering and well-connected hedge fund that gained fame for racking up years of strong returns -- is shutting its doors amid a revived insider-trading probe.

As recently as 2001, Pequot Capital Management Inc. managed about $15 billion, making it one of the largest hedge funds in the world. But in recent years, investors have shunned it, partly because of an off-again, on-again investigation into insider trading, including allegations that founder Arthur Samberg may have engaged in insider trading in Microsoft Corp. stock with the help of one of his then employees, who joined Pequot from the software giant.Mr. Samberg, 68 years old, has strenuously denied any impropriety.

Late Wednesday, he threw in the towel. In a letter to investors, Mr. Samberg wrote: "Public disclosures about the continuing investigation have cast a cloud over the firm and have become a source of personal distraction." Calling the situation "increasingly untenable for the firm and for me," he said, "I have concluded that Pequot can no longer stay in business."

The closure caps a half-decade of legal and public-relations headaches at Pequot -- including the allegations of insider trading in Microsoft stock, which eventually spawned Senate hearings that excoriated the Securities and Exchange Commission's handling of the matter. In addition, a SEC staffer alleged that John Mack, then a top executive at Credit Suisse, had tipped off Mr. Samberg about a merger deal.

At that time, the SEC brought no charges against Pequot, Mr. Samberg or Mr. Mack.

The matter flared up again for Pequot and Mr. Samberg amid new questions about $2.1 million Pequot in 2007 agreed to pay to David Zilkha, the former Microsoft employee. That payment came to light in Mr. Zilkha's divorce proceedings. Mr. Zilkha left Pequot in September 2001. A Pequot spokesman earlier this year said the payment was related to a civil claim regarding Mr. Zilkha's employment and termination. A lawyer for Mr. Zilkha didn't return a call seeking comment.

More recently, Pequot was among several investment firms mentioned in court documents regarding a "pay to play" investigation of a major New York's state pension fund, in which several firms are alleged to have made payments to a middleman in order to secure investments from the pension fund.

Pequot hasn't been accused of wrongdoing in the case. A person familiar with the matter said that investigation didn't spur Mr. Samberg's decision to close the firm.

There is no indication that charges in the insider-trading case are imminent.

Mr. Samberg, along with George Soros, Michael Steinhardt and Julian Robertson, ranks among hedge-fund pioneers. Over his 22 years as a stock-picker, Mr. Samberg racked up annualized gains of 16.8% after investor fees were deducted, compared with 8.5% for the S&P 500, according to his letter to investors.

Despite returns like these, investors have been reluctant to sign up, partly due to concerns about the investigation. It also became harder for Mr. Samberg to recruit top talent to join the firm's staff.

Currently, Mr. Samberg manages about $3 billion. Earlier this decade, Mr. Samberg and Pequot's co-founder, Daniel Benton, split the firm, with each continuing to oversee roughly half the assets under management.

Mr. Samberg has told associates that he now plans to retire. Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Mr. Samberg, said he wasn't available for comment.

The news comes at a precarious time for the hedge-fund industry. Just a year or so ago, investors flocked to investments like these. The managers of hedge funds -- who operate with relatively little oversight and earn outsize performance fees -- were the envy of Wall Street.

While hedge funds generally have held up better than investment banks and mutual funds, many irked their investors last year with disappointing returns. Others didn't let their investors pull money out, citing difficult trading conditions.

The current insider-trading investigation concerns whether Pequot used information provided by Mr. Zilkha in trades that helped yield Pequot more than $2 million, according to an SEC report.

The SEC and the Justice Department had investigated emails sent by Mr. Zilkha as he was in the process of joining the hedge fund. After a two-year probe, interviews and review of emails, the SEC concluded there was insufficient evidence to bring a case, the agency report said.

The investigation has generated controversy not only for Pequot but also for the SEC. A former SEC enforcement attorney, Gary Aguirre, alleged to Congress several years ago that he had been fired after supervisors stopped him from issuing subpoenas to Mr. Mack, in connection with the insider-trading investigation.

Mr. Aguirre was investigating potential insider trading by Pequot officials in 18 different stocks. He suspected Mr. Mack, a long-time friend of Mr. Samberg, of tipping him off about a merger that his then firm-CSFB had advised on, according to Mr. Aguirre's report to Congress, the Senate report and other documents.

Mr. Aguirre said he was fired for trying to seek Mr. Mack's testimony. SEC officials said they fired Mr. Aguirre because his behavior became erratic and he couldn't get along with his colleagues. SEC officials also said that they never called in Mr. Mack because there was never enough evidence to warrant his testimony.

After a Senate hearing and scrutiny in early 2006, the SEC called Mr. Mack to Washington to provide testimony in the insider-trading case. Mr. Mack cooperated and the SEC found no wrongdoing. The SEC closed its investigation in November 2006.

The Senate in 2007 issued a report sharply criticizing the SEC's handling of the case. The SEC's Inspector General also investigated and found that the staff could have handled Mr. Aguirre's complaints differently and also said then SEC enforcement director Linda Thomsen improperly shared information about the case with a lawyer representing Morgan Stanley's board when she told them there was "smoke" around then allegations but not "fire."

At the time, Morgan Stanley was vetting Mr. Mack to hire him as CEO. The Inspector General's report found no evidence that Mr. Mack was given special treatment and concluded that the insider-trading allegations were aggressively pursued until the case was closed. Nobody was charged with wrongdoing.


THE SHOW " George Strait: ACM Artist of the Decade All Star Concert"

WHEN | WHERE Wednesday night at 8 on CBS/2

THE DEAL Strait joins a rare club by earning that accolade from the Academy of Country Music. He's only the fifth to receive it, following Marty Robbins (in the 1960s), Loretta Lynn ('70s), Alabama ('80s) and Garth Brooks ('90s). Strait's 38 albums have sold a total of 67.5 million copies. WHO'S THERE The many talents involved included Alan Jackson, Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn, Taylor Swift, Sugarland, Montgomery Gentry, LeAnn Rimes, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, John Rich and Lee Ann Womack. (The show was taped the night after the ACM Awards in April, at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena.)QUOTE "I feel like I'm singing as good as I ever have, and I still enjoy doing the shows," Strait says. "I get pumped up and have a great time onstage, and I've been fortunate enough to find good songs throughout my career. It's just hard to pick one thing and say, 'This is why [this has happened].' "

Over the last three decades, George Strait has brought along some of country music's most promising artists as his opening acts, and this year, Blake Shelton accepted the coveted invitation. During a recent visit to CMT, the Oklahoma-born singer checked off his 10 favorite songs by the reigning King of Country Music.

"Unwound" -- "Unwound" is always going to be one of my very favorite George Strait songs because it kind of set the tone for the rest of his career. It was written by Dean Dillon, who went on to write -- and still does write -- lots of George Strait hits. Lots of his records have been written by Dean Dillon, and it's the classic George Strait sound. It started out [defining] George Strait, and it's still George Strait. "Unwound" is always going to be one of my favorites.

"The Chair" -- To me, "The Chair" is the most well-written country song of all time. I've said that before. The song is basically just a pick up line from the beginning to the end, and it's brilliant. It's sung by the King and, to me, it's the most well-written country song of all time.

"Ocean Front Property" -- I love the sarcasm of "Ocean Front Property" and I also just love the record. When the intro starts, it gets me pumped and it reminds me why I love country music so much. It's just a phenomenal song. Here again it's Dean Dillon and George Strait teaming up to make country music history with a No. 1 song.

"Amarillo by Morning" -- That's gotta be the greatest country fiddle part of all time in my opinion. And it's awesome. ... When that intro happened, it was so magical that I can just see them in the studio saying, "Hey, that intro is awesome. Play it at the end of the song and we'll fade the band out and just keep playing it." I mean, it's beautiful, and it just gets stuck in your head.

"All My Ex's Live in Texas" -- That one and "Amarillo by Morning" are the two that when you say George Strait's name, those are the first two songs that pop into my mind. I mean, I can remember my mom walking around singing "All My Ex's Live in Texas" and my dad walking around singing it. It was one of those songs that just took over. Still, when I think of George Strait, that's his signature to me.

"Baby's Gotten Good at Goodbye" -- The first time I ever heard that song was when me and my sister's boyfriend at the time went fishing together, when I was in school. And on my way walking down to the pond that day, he started singing -- and he's a terrible singer -- "What a rotten day this turned out to be." That stuck in my head forever. Still to this day when I hear that song, I think of that fishing trip. My point is, George Strait and his music has always been a part of my life. With every song, there's a scene in my head that I can picture where I was and what I was doing when that particular song was popular.

"Drinking Champagne" -- The personality on that particular record is just ...it's greatness to me. This guy is pretty much one of those dudes that you see in some classy bar somewhere. He's just there to pick up a girl and go home with her. He comes back again the next day and, deep down, he's probably got a broken heart or something. That's how he deals with it. But it's just such a laid-back record that I love it. That's one of those songs that I wish I could've recorded.

"She's About as Gone as a Girl Can Get" -- "She's About as Gone as a Girl Can Get" was always one of my favorite George Strait songs, and it was right before the Pure Country explosion happened. I think I was probably about 15 years old when that song came out, and about that time is when it was hitting me: "Man, George Strait is just awesome." He's always had songs that I liked, but it was just starting to dawn on me how much I loved him. And about that time, he came out with Pure Country and just became bigger than he ever was. He was the coolest guy in the world to me and all my friends in high school at that point.

"Easy Come, Easy Go" -- "Easy Come, Easy Go" is an awesome song. And here again, it's Dean Dillon and Aaron Barker, who also has written several George Strait hits. I first heard "Easy Come, Easy Go" on Dean Dillon's album that I bought in high school. Then when Dean decided just to be a songwriter, George Strait got his hands on a song that had already been one of my favorites. I remember how cool it was and how I felt like I was on the inside of something because I knew that song before George Strait released it. I remember thinking this song has got to be cool because all the girls in high school loved it. They all thought that was "the song" at the time. I remember I could play guitar a little bit, and they all wanted me to learn it and so I did just to try to get laid.

"You Can't Make a Heart Love Somebody" -- I'll always love the hook of "You Can't Make a Heart Love Somebody," just knowing George Strait and knowing what he's about. He's a cowboy, he loves to rope -- and just the overall rodeo image that he has. And obviously the hook comes from "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." What a great hook for the perfect artist.


As if Octomom wasn’t bad enough, a Tennessee man, 29 year old Desmond Hatchett has now fathered at least 21 children he can’t support. Hatchett was in child support court again last week. His name appeared on the dockett 11 times in one day, representing 15 of his children.

Hatchett says he wasn’t out to set a record. He says he never intended to have this many children, “It just happened.” He fathered the children by at least 11 different women and he claims all of the mothers knew about his large family. The children range in age from newborn to 11 years old.

The question Knox County officials now face is how to support all these children. Hatchett works a minimum wage job and by law the state can only take 50% of his paycheck for child support. By the time that money is split 21 ways, some of the mothers get less than $2 per month. That leaves the taxpayers footing a large portion of the bill for these children.

Even though Hatchett can’t support the children he has, there is nothing the state can do to prevent him from having more. Hatchett reports that he had 4 children in one year, twice. He says he’s done having children now, but only time will tell. He does say that he’s a good father and knows the names, ages, and birthdates of all of his children.

All of the blame can’t be placed on Hatchett in this case. One has to wonder about the women who chose to have his children. In the end, the children and the taxpayers of Tennessee will pay for their choices for years to come.


Former CNBC Vice President Jack Reilly Dies at 84

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jack Reilly, the highly respected, veteran television producer who created several of CNBC's signature programs, died Wednesday morning in a New York City hospital at the age of 84. The cause of death was not immediately known.

As Vice President and Managing Editor of CNBC Business News from 1994 to 1998, Reilly launched two innovative and influential programs, "Squawk Box" and "Power Lunch." His initiative to have Maria Bartiromo report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange gave Americans their first close-up look at Wall Street in action.

Jack Reilly helped make ABC's "Good Morning America" the nation's top-rated morning television program when he served as its executive producer from 1986 to 1994. In the early 1980s, he developed the concept and format of the popular syndicated program "Entertainment Tonight."

Jack Reilly was president of Group W Productions from 1972 to 1975. He was executive producer for both "The Mike Douglas Show" and the "David Frost Show" for Group W in the 70s.

As "Good Morning America's" host, ABC's Charlie Gibson worked closely with Jack Reilly. In a note to the network's employees, Gibson wrote, "Jack was one of the finest people I ever had the good fortune to work with and for. Modest, shy, self-effacing, not an ounce of inflated ego, and yet a cracker jack producer who understood when he should intrude, and when to stand back and let others do their work. I think all of us loved the guy almost in spite of his reluctance to be loved."


Florida State safety Myron Rolle is congratulated after defeating Maryland, 37-3, on Nov. 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

Jason Cole has an interesting look at Myron Rolle, the Florida St. safety with a ticket to play football on Sundays, but the brain to study to be a neurosurgeon at Oxford University for a year first.

Rolle, you may remember, won a Rhodes Sholarship last year on the same day Florida went on to route Maryland in College Park. He ended up geting a special exemption from the NCAA to take a chartered jet to make the test and game on time.

"When I was at Florida State, they played up how I was really smart, this brainiac-type of guy, and that was fine," said Rolle, who graduated from FSU in 2 ½ years as a pre-med student. "But it's like they would talk about how smart I am and then that was it. I'm thinking to myself, 'I don't want to just be great in that. I want to be known as a great football player, too.' "

Roll is projected as a first day pick in the 2010 NFL draft after coming out of high school as the No. 1-ranked player in the nation.


FC Barcelona were crowned European champions for the third time – and the second in four seasons – as a vibrant display of pass and move, capped by goals in either half from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi, defeated Manchester United FC in Rome.

Holders toppled
United were bidding to become the first team to successfully defend the trophy in the UEFA Champions League era and began an open contest at breakneck speed, Cristiano Ronaldo threatening three times. In the tenth minute, however, Eto'o put the Spanish champions ahead and they never looked back. Xavi Hernández struck a post early in the second period and, though the clinching second goal did not arrive until the 70th – via, unusually, the head of Messi – Josep Guardiola's side were worthy winners. The 38-year-old therefore becomes only the sixth man to lift the European Champion Clubs' Cup as player and coach, while United are the sixth club to lose the final as holders.

Relentless Ronaldo
Fourteen of the players who started the game had featured in a UEFA Champions League final before, yet initially it seemed United's experience would prove more telling with Ronaldo going close for the holders three times inside the first nine minutes. The FIFA World Player of the Year made his presence felt with barely a minute on the clock, unleashing a viciously dipping free-kick that Víctor Valdés could only parry; former United defender Gerard Piqué's last-ditch tackle was all that prevented Ji-Sung Park from converting the rebound. Ronaldo then had Valdés scrambling across goal twice in as many minutes with shots from distance. If an early breakthrough looked imminent, disastrously for United it arrived when Barcelona struck with their first attack of substance.

Eto'o brilliance
The fit-again Andrés Iniesta was the orchestrator, finding Eto'o inside the area, but there was still plenty for the Cameroon striker to do with Nemanja Vidić in close attendance. One swift turn inside the centre-back's challenge later, Eto'o was free to prod a fierce shot inside Edwin van der Sar's near post. United's previously vocal supporters were stunned into silence and their team mirrored that reaction, with Barcelona enjoying the better of the half thereafter. Perhaps not surprisingly against the competition's best defence, however, clear chances were at a premium with long-range efforts from Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernández, and a low cross from Messi fumbled by Van der Sar, the best Barça could muster.

United reprieves
Sir Alex Ferguson had said before the match that his best team talks "usually come to me about three in the morning" and the Scot sorely needed inspiration in his half-time instruction, opting to introduce Carlos Tévez in place of Anderson. This did little to stem the tide. Thierry Henry tricked his way past Rio Ferdinand only to shoot weakly against Van der Sar's right knee before Xavi curled a free-kick beyond the goalkeeper, the post coming to United's rescue. Then Wayne Rooney's right-wing centre bounced over Park's lunge and, slowly but surely, the holders began to edge their way back into proceedings, disrupting Barcelona's rhythm though creating little of their own.

Messi decisive
Twenty minutes from time, that hard work was undone as Xavi was allowed to advance down the right. With time and space, the midfielder delivered a pinpoint cross to Messi, enjoying similar freedom, and the UEFA Champions League's top scorer produced a fabulous header for his ninth goal of this season's competition. Valdés promptly denied Ronaldo to keep the two-goal cushion intact though the better chances continued to come at the other end, Van der Sar saving from Carles Puyol twice and Iniesta. Sir Alex therefore missed out on joining Bob Paisley as the only manager to win three European Cups; Barça become the first Spanish side to win league, cup and UEFA Champions League in the same season and this is surely only the start for Guardiola’s wonderfully inventive team.


Lionel Messi's goal in FC Barcelona's 2-0 final victory against Manchester United FC capped a memorable season for the mercurial forward and ensured he ends with yet another personal accolade having finished as top scorer in the UEFA Champions League.

Eight goals
The Argentinian international managed nine goals in eleven games to take the crown from Cristiano Ronaldo, who last term had edged Messi into joint second alongside Didier Drogba, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. This time, the 21-year-old has prevailed ahead of Liverpool FC's Gerrard and Miroslav Klose of FC Bayern München, both on seven goals, one more than FC Porto's Lisandro. Six players netted five goals, including Messi's club-mate Thierry Henry.

All-time high
Messi was, however, unable to match the all-time European Champion Clubs' Cup record haul of 14 goals in a season, shared by José Altafini (AC Milan, 1962/63) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United FC, 2002/03). He nonetheless becomes the first Argentinian to top-score in Europe's élite competition since ten-goal Alfredo di Stéfano (Real Madrid CF, 1957/58). Current Madrid striker Raúl González remains the European Cup's leading marksman with 64 goals, four clear of team-mate Van Nistelrooy, with Andriy Shevchenko on 56.


The two best teams in Europe with stars from countries all over the world, square off in a finale that will be witnessed from all over the world on May 27.

Manchester United has nothing to prove after dominating once again in league and cup play. They are seeking to be the first team to repeat as UEFA champions and stand a great chance to do so.

AC Milan won the European Champion Clubs’ Cup in 1989 and 1990 but the current UEFA format has yet to produce a back-to-back winner. ManU will be shooting for their fourth overall European crown.

Manchester United’s opponent also possess a rich tradition and has a bone to pick with the team that knocked them out of the UEFA championships a year prior. Barcelona is seeking their second UEFA Champions League crown in four years and third continental title. Barcelona won their first European Champion Clubs’ Cup in 1992.

Manchester United got to the finals after going undefeated in the first group stage finishing atop Group E with 10 points in six matches which included four draws. Villareal was able to hold ManU scoreless in two contests but ultimately finished second in group play because they did not record a goal either. In the semi-finals, ManU won the first leg at home 1-0 versus Arsenal and then beat them 3-1 in London for a 4-1 aggregate victory to advance to their fourth overall final.

Barcelona advanced to the finals by recording 13 points in six matches coming out on top in Group C. Despite a 3-2 loss at home to eventual UEFA Cup finalists Shakhtar Donetsk, the Spanish giant was able to overcome a semi-final showdown with Chelsea after recording a 0-0 first leg draw in Sapin. Andres Iniesta was able to score a goal with three minutes left in injury time to tie the second leg at 1-1 ultimately winning the tiebreaker on away goals to reach their sixth European final.

Barcelona has scored 151 league and cup goals this season with Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o forming a deadly combination up front. Messi is widely considered as one of, if not, the best player in the world and is just as important to his squad than Cristiano Ronaldo is for the Red Devils.

Barecelona and manager Pep Guardiola are looking to keep up their attacking ways that have served them so well thus far to dethrone mighty ManU. “I think we have been able to show maturity the last few months, but tomorrow’s game is the most important,” stated Guardiola at a press conference one day before the big game. “I want to players to be daring because they deserve it. I want them to show the world how good we are.”

Messi and Ronaldo are certainly the players that are expected to steal the show in the Italian capital of Rome, but there are many other players that will have an impact. The aforementioned Henry, Iniesta and Eto’o will also be joined by Xavi for the Barcelona side, while Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov will almost certainly have an impact for the ManU side.

Laurent Blanc, a former Barcelona and Manchester United player, stated that the two teams will be playing in a “dream final” and proclaims there to be “no favorite to win the title.” Blanc certainly can speak from experience in a rivalry that will see the teams meet for the tenth time. ManU has three wins and Barcelona has two. There have been four draws with the most recent match-up taking place last season’s UEFA semi-final in which ManU won the return leg 1-0 to take the 1-0 aggregate victory.

As even as the two club's past nine contests have been, Wednesday night in Rome should be just as close. Expect the unexpeted in this match-up and watch for Messi to play bigger than Ronaldo elevating his team to victory, 2-1.


Chynna Phillips Is Wilson Phillips Singer

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chynna Phillips is releasing an album featuring other musician’s offspring, just in time for father’s day. Chynna, who is a member of Wilson Phillips and the daughter John and Michelle Phillips has collaborated with other musicians for the album, Got a Feeling, which will feature songs their fathers sang, in salute tot their famous fathers. Read more and check out photos and video here.

Chynna Phillips

Chynna Phillips is coming out with a new album, Got a Feeling, featuring the offspring of musicians will hit itunes just in time for father’s day. The album will feature songs originally made famous by their fathers and is a tribute to them. The album, “A Song For My Father,” is scheduled release June 2, and will feature 14 tracks. The album list includes Salvador Santana performing Carlos Santana’s “Evil Ways;” Gunnar and Matthew Nelson performing Ricky Nelson’s “Travelin’ Man;” Jen Chapin doing Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle;” and Louise Goffin doing Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Up on the Roof.”

Chynna Phillips Biography

Chynna Gilliam Phillips, often misspelled China Phillips, was born February 12, 1968. She is the daughter of Philip and Michelle Philips and is best known for being a member Wilson Phillips. She is also the half-sister of actress Mackenzie Phillips, Bijou Phillips, Jeffrey Phillips, Tamerlane Phillips, and Austin Hines.
Chynna was born in Los Angeles, California. In the late 1980s, Phillips formed the musical group Wilson Phillips with her childhood friends Carnie and Wendy Wilson. The group released their first self-titled album in 1990, which went on to sell eight million copies. 1992 the group released their second album, Shadows and Light, but it was deemed a commercial failure despite being certified platinum. Phillips left the group shortly thereafter, citing exhaustion. In 1995 she released a solo album, but it did not have much success. Wilson Phillips reunited in 2004 for their third album, California.

Chynna Phillips is also an actress. She appeared in films such as Some Kind of Wonderful, Caddyshack II, Say Anything and in the 1989 television biopic Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer.

Chynna Phillips and William Baldwin married in 1995, and have three children: daughter Jameson (born 2000), son Vance (born 2002), and daughter Brooke (born 2004).


Power Texting With AT&T

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to Power Text

Adam Lambert fans can triple (at least) the number of votes by power texting. You can get 3000 to 5000 votes out in two hours.
Essentially, power texting sends ten votes at a time instead of just one.

* Must have a cell phone on AT&T. If you don’t have one, you can pick up a Go Phone for about $30 at Target, WalMart, or Best Buy.
* Must have unlimited text plan.

Power Texting (note: these instruction may differ based upon which kind of phone you have!)

1. You are going to create ten contacts in your cell phone (Adam1, Adam2, Adam3, etc.).
2. Create a contact group (also known as a distribution list) and name it something like “Adam For The Win” and add your contacts (Adam1, Adam2, etc.) to the group. If you don’t know how to do that, check the manual for your phone or go to the AT&T Support Site

3. Add the voting number for Adam (570x) to each of the contacts. At this point Adam has two numbers, but you can ONLY text to the FIRST number (Adam’s performance order number). Do this during the show before the voting starts.
4. At the end of the show, send the message “vote” to your “Adam for the Win” contact group. This sends the message to the ten contacts at once. It will take a couple of seconds more than sending a single contact.
5. Now, resend or forward the same message to your contract group over and over for the next two hours.

Super Power Texting
Get a second Go Phone and have ATT give it a number on the opposite side of the country from you. This will let you vote for two hours in Eastern Standard time and then for two hours in Pacific Time.


A Bucks County man appealed today for the release of his missing ex-wife and daughter whose disappearance is being treated as a double kidnapping by investigators.

FBI Special Agent J.J. Klaver at the same time said, without elaboration, that investigators are following a number of leads in the hunt for Bonnie Sweeten and her daughter Julia Rakoczy.

Anthony Racoczy said that he and Bonnie Sweeten had maintained a good relationship since they divorced in 2003, and that he knew no reason for anyone to harm her or their daughter.

"I'm still in shock," he said on NBC's Today show. "She's a great mother."

Earlier this morning, Philadelphia police located Sweeten's SUV in Center City.

The discovery came nearly 12 hours after Sweeten called 911 saying she was in the trunk of a car and that she and and Julia had been abducted after an accident in Upper Southampton, Bucks County.

Her daughter, she told 911, was still in the family's Yukon Denali.

A police officer spotted the SUV about 1:30 a.m. today at 15th and Chestnut Streets in Center City, two blocks from the cell phone tower that picked up Sweeten's call, police said. A parking ticket was on the windshied.

Earlier, an Amber Alert was activated for the child.

When Sweeten, 38, called police shortly before 2 p.m. yesterday, she said she was in the trunk of a dark-colored 1990s Cadillac. She said she and her daughter had been abducted by two black males, Klaver, the FBI spokesman, said yesterday.

The mother reported she and daughter were taken after they were involved in a minor accident with the Cadillac on Street Road in Upper Southampton Township, about a mile north of the city, Klaver said.

Police found nothing at the scene and investigators appealed for help from any possible witnesses.

Police impounded a black Cadillac with front end damage in Hunting Park last night, but the FBI indicated it was not linked to the investigation.

Julia is described in the Amber Alert as 4-feet, 1-inch tall, 59 pounds, with long brown hair, blue eyes, and a dime-sized birthmark on her forehead.

"She loves the Phillies. She plays softball. She always dances around the house," her father said.

Her mother is described as 5-feet, 11-inches tall, 130 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information about the case was urged to call 911.

Anthony Rakoczy and Sweeten were divorced in Bucks County Court in May 2003. Online court records indicate no ongoing disputes or court actions since the decree was granted.

This morning, Rakoczy said that when he was told of the 911 call, "I was thinking that this is not real, that this is stuff you see on TV." He described Sweeten as very organized, on top of her children's many activities, and as someone with no known enemies.

"I don't understand why anyone would want to keep them," he said. "Just let them go."

Sweeten has since remarried to Richard Sweeten, who operates a landscaping service. According to her Facebook page, she has three daughters, and is a 1989 graduate of Bensalem High School."

Her older daughter, Paige, 15, wrote on her Facebook page: "im asking everyone, to please pray for my mom and sister pray please."

Julia attends Belmont Hills Elementary School in Bensalem. A parent of another child there said that Sweeten had been very active at the school. The parent, who asked not to be identified, said news of the kidnapping broke before a student performance at the school last night.

"The word spread quickly and no one knew what to say," the parent said. "Everyone is shocked. We just pray they come back home safely and we can see them once again in the school she so generously shares her time with."

Bonnie Sweeten


Billy Baldwin and his wife Chynna Phillips have dug a serious hole with the California Tax Board --as in they owe around $40k.

We've obtained a tax lien, filed last month, showing the couple owes The State $39,561.79 from 2007.

He ain't the only celebrity in the hole to CA -- Snoop owes $284k and Xzibit owes a more than half a mil.

No wonder California is broke!

Full Chynna Phillips Biography
Daughter Jamison born on Sunday February 27, 2000. Jamison weighed 7 Ibs, 2ozs.

Singer, daughter of Michelle Phillips

Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world. [1991]

Her mother wanted to name her India at first, but her father said "You might as well name her North Vietnam or China."

Daughter of John Phillips. He along with mother Michelle Phillips were of the group 'The Mamas and Papas'.

Half sister of Bijou Phillips, Mackenzie Phillips, Tamerlane Phillips and Jeffrey Phillips

Was a member of the once popular music group Wilson Phillips, along with Wendy and Carnie Wilson.

Chynna, along with former bandmates sisters Wendy and Carnie Wilson, is writing songs for a Wilson Phillips reunion album--their first album since their break up 9 years ago. [2001]

Aunt of 'Shane Fontayne Jr.'

Sister-in-law of Alec Baldwin, Daniel Baldwin, and Stephen Baldwin.

Cousin-in-law of Joseph Baldwin.

Aunt of 'Ireland Baldwin'.

Son Vance Alexander born on October 23rd 2001 weighing 8lbs. 8oz.

Cameo in Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers' "Into The Great Wide Open" video along with Terrence Trent D'Arby,Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway.

In 1995, released her Solo-Debut Album: 'Naked and Sacred,'

In 1973, Chynna and the Wilson Sisters (Carnie & Wendy) recorded a song-demo "Take me out to the ball-game" under the group name "The Satellites." Years later, Chynna and Owen Elliot (daughter of Mama Cass) decided to record a demo, an anti-drug song and enlisted the help of childhood friends Carnie and Wendy. Owen later opted on pursuing a career on her own. Some of the Earlier Group names suggested for the girls, by their record label (SBK), included "Gypsy" and "Leda".
Chynna Phillips


Low cost airlines start to fly in the travelers' radar as Jet America Airlines introduces 9 dollar fares and will start operations on July 13. One wonders how is Jet America going to make money with 9 dollar fares? Or is this only to create some initial buzz?

Jet America Airlines 9 dollar fares will get the discount travelers from Newark, NJ to Toledo. There will be only nine seats in each flight that will cost nine dollars each. According to Tampabay Jet America Airlines will make money from additional fees, just like other low cost airlines.

Jet America Airlines opens for business today and some aspects of its business is modeled by other low cost successful European airlines such as Ryanair. Tampabay.com writes that "Jet America will charge an additional $20 for a round-trip with an assigned seat, $20 to buy a ticket by phone and $10 to book on the Web site (www.jetamerica.com). The airline will begin with one leased jet and grow to four planes in a year, said chief executive John Weikle, former boss at now-defunct Skybus. The four initial cities — Toledo, Ohio, South Bend, Ind., Lansing, Mich., and Melbourne on Florida's east coast — are subsidizing Jet America by waiving airport fees and helping with marketing and advertising."

According to Jaunted.com Jet Ameria Airlines is on track to deliver passengers on July 13 in a Boeing 737-800 jet from Toledo to Newark, N.J., Melbourne, Fla., Lansing, Mich., and South Bend, Ind.

By the way, don't confuse Jet America Airlines with the private jet service Jet America LTD. The later's website is Jetamerica.net while the website of Jet America Airlines is Jetamerica.com, which we could not access at this point. Probably many travelers are trying to book a flight.


Facebook has gotten $200 million from a Russian investment group in exchange for a small stake in the nation's largest social networking company. The deal places the value of the site, known for allowing people to connect through "SuperPokes" and virtual gifts, at $10 billion.

Digital Sky Technologies, with headquarters in Moscow and London, will get a 1.96 percent stake in the company for its investment. It will not have a seat on Facebook's board, the Palo Alto-based company said in a statement yesterday.

The investment will be used as a "cash buffer" as the company develops new features, such as a video chat service, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a conference call with analysts.

The deal places Facebook's estimated net worth at less than the $15 billion Microsoft valued it at nearly two years ago when it sought to make an investment, but far more than Facebook had valued itself. In 2007, the company estimated its worth at $3.7 billion, according to lawsuit documents involving it and another social networking site.
Zuckerberg declined to comment on his company's latest valuation. He said the company, which sometimes has a difficult time converting its popularity into revenue, is on track to be "cash positive" in 2010.

As a privately held company, it does not have to disclose revenue; tech industry insiders and analysts have calculated that Facebook is on track to make between $230 million and almost $400 million this year.

Silicon Valley tech pundit Rob Enderle said that the $10 billion valuation seems high. "Revenue and revenue growth rate doesn't suggest a valuation at this level," he said.

Enderle said this is the first major investment of Russian money in Silicon Valley that he is aware of and that the prospect makes him "a little nervous."

"You kind of wonder where the money's coming from," he said. After all, Eastern Europe is a major source of online-based identity theft rackets. "Red flags should probably go up making sure one thing doesn't connect to the other," he said.

DST's investment comes at a time when Facebook is increasing its efforts to strengthen its business overseas, said Tim Bajarin, of the Silicon Valley think tank Creative Strategies. He said Facebook's hundreds of millions of users could represent just a start for the company if it manages to successfully expand.


Sink The Vandenberg

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Project organizers coordinating the transformation of a retired missile tracking ship into an artificial reef off Key West said Friday they hope to sink the Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg on May 27.

"Our sink window opens Wednesday, May 27, and that's the date we're currently targeting," said Jim Scholl, Key West's city manager and project administrator. "However, there are factors that could delay the scuttling, including weather and other unforeseen circumstances."

The 523-foot-long ship that once tracked spacecraft blastoffs from Cape Canaveral as well as Russian missile launches during the Cold War is in Key West Harbor undergoing final preparations to be scuttled.

The day before the scheduled sinking, the ship is to be towed and anchored at a predetermined site situated seven miles south of Key West in 140 feet of water.

A time for the sinking has not yet been set, but it is likely to be in late morning, officials said.

Law enforcement agencies, including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and U.S. Coast Guard, are to enforce a 500-yard perimeter around the ship during the transit from Key West Harbor to the sink site. For the sinking, a one-mile perimeter is to be enforced on the water and in the air. No unauthorized vessels or aircraft will be permitted within those perimeters.

Following the scuttling, an assessment will be made to ensure the vessel has landed on the bottom properly and then Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary officials are to begin installing mooring buoys. After the buoys are installed, the wreck can open to sport divers, sanctuary officials said.

More than 70 percent of the project's $8.6 million cost has gone to ridding the vessel of contaminants so the Vandenberg can be sunk without adversely impacting the Keys reef.


Mike Tyson’s Baby, Exodus Tyson Dies

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mike Tyson’ s Baby, Exodus Tyson who had been admitted into Arizona Hospital yesterday due to accident involving a treadmill cord have took Exodus Tyson‘s life. Mike Tyson ’s baby, Exodus Tyson dies today at 11.45 AM at the hospital.

A rep for the Phoenix Police Department has just inform the following statement regarding Mike Tyson’ s baby, Exodus Tyson:

I was just advised by investigators that Mike Tyson ’s baby, Exodus Tyson was pronounced deceased at 11:45 AM today at the hospital. Our sympathies go out to the family.

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Sotomayor Presents a Quandary to GOP

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The New York Times and Los Angeles Times banner, while everyone else leads with, President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The LAT easily wins the headline-of-the-day award by connecting Sotomayor's nomination to the day's other big news—California's Supreme Court upholding the ban on marriage for same-sex couples—with the banner headline: "A Latina in the Middle." By nominating the 54-year-old New Yorker, Obama is "aiming to make good on his promise to bring 'empathy' to the court by naming a liberal with a compelling life story who would be its first Hispanic justice," notes the Wall Street Journal. Obama made a point of emphasizing Sotomayor's "extraordinary journey" from a Bronx housing project to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. "I have decided to nominate an inspiring woman who I believe will make a great justice," Obama said. The LAT points out that while she hasn't issued any significant rulings on hot-button issues like gay rights and abortion, "her narrowly written opinions resembled those of the justice she would replace, David H. Souter."

Sotomayor, who would be the third woman on the country's highest court and the nation's would-be 111th justice undoubtedly has an impressive résumé. She is a graduate of Princeton and Yale, went on to serve as a prosecutor and then became a partner at a New York law firm before she was nominated by George H.W. Bush in 1992 to become a judge. Besides her professional experience, though, it is undeniable that her "up-by-the-bootstraps tale, an only-in-America story that in many ways mirrors Mr. Obama's own" is one of the reasons why she was selected, notes the NYT in a separate front-page piece.

While Republicans in the Senate mostly remained silent while vowing to closely examine her record, conservatives were ready with some attack lines, tagging her as a judicial activist. Conservatives focused on a speech where Sotomayor said a "court of appeals is where policy is made" and another where she said that "our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. … I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." In a front-page look at Sotomayor's story, the Post says that her life has "been heavily sculpted, if not fully defined, by her ethnicity."

Conservatives also focused on her support for affirmative action, particularly what appears to be her most controversial decision, in which she ruled against a group of white firefighters who said they faced discrimination after tests that were supposed to be used to decide promotions were later thrown out after no blacks qualified. Sotomayor was part of a three-judge panel that issued a two-paragraph, unsigned opinion dismissing the suit. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, and if the justices decide to overrule the decision, it could be an embarrassment before confirmation hearings. But the White House pushed back, saying that the unsigned decision was an example of Sotomayor following precedent and, besides, officials seem confident that it would be difficult for opponents to turn two paragraphs into a major controversy.

Rush Limbaugh called her a "reverse racist," but her nomination "brought a surprisingly muted response from the Republican senators who will actually vote on it," notes the LAT"The senators seemed to be taking their cues from quieter voices within the party who cautioned that opposing the country's first Latino Supreme Court nominee would amount to political suicide."

Some legal experts, including one of her colleagues, were quick to say that Sotomayor can best be described as a moderate liberal. "On the modern court, she's on the center left, pretty much right in line with Justice Souter," one lawyer who frequently argues in front of the Supreme Court telss the LAT. "Back in the day of the Warren court, she certainly would have been regarded as a moderate."

For those interested in the process, the NYT reports that Sotomayor spent seven hours at the White House last Thursday. By Friday, Obama said he was leaning toward selecting her but said he would take the weekend to think about it. The Post has the most detail about the White House plan for what "they hope will be a 72-day campaign to confirm Sotomayor by Aug. 7," when the Senate will go on a monthlong recess. "We have to keep control of the narrative, to make sure that her story doesn't get told by someone else," one senior official said. The plan is to have Sen. Chuck Schumer introduce her to his colleagues, and she will "then disappear" until confirmation hearings begin.

In a front-page analysis, the NYT's Adam Liptak says Sotomayor's "opinions are marked by diligence, depth and unflashy competence." Her decisions "are usually models of modern judicial craftsmanship" but "they reveal no larger vision, seldom appeal to history and consistently avoid quotable language." The WP says that on controversial issues, "Sotomayor has been difficult to categorize ideologically, with some rulings that have pleased conservatives and others liberals." Liptak adds that her penchant for "technical, incremental and exhaustive" decisions "makes her remarkably cursory treatment" of the firefighters case—Ricci v. DeStefano—"so baffling." This is why that one case will probably attract more attention than any other during confirmation hearings. Slate's Emily Bazelon writes that "Sotomayor punted when Ricci came before her, to such a degree that she raised more questions than she answered."

The NYT talks to some conservatives who say the big issue will be how she might rule on a same-sex marriage case. "Abortion is in some sense a stale issue that has been fought over many times, but gay marriage is very much up for grabs," said the executive director of the Committee for Justice. "Gay marriage will be bigger than abortion."

Same-sex marriage was certainly the topic of the day in California, where, as was widely expected, the state's Supreme Court upheld the ban on same-sex marriage that voters approved when they backed Proposition 8. At the same time, the court ruled that the marriages of approximately 18,000 same-sex couples who tied the knot before the November election are still valid. The justices also emphasized that same-sex couples would continue to have the right to enter into "committed, officially recognized and protected family relationships" under the state's domestic partnership law. The LAT points out that certain parts of the ruling "read as a lament over the ease with which the California Constitution can be amended."

Within a few hours of the California Supreme Court decision, activists on both sides of the issue were already staking out their battle plans for their next fight, notes the LAT. As upset as gay rights activists may have been, they were hardly surprised, so they wasted no time in urging supporters to donate money and time in anticipation of the next ballot measure that could come as early as 2010. Supporters of the ban were obviously pleased by the decision but emphasized that this is no time to rest on their laurels. It would be "foolish to think this will be the end of the battle," a pastor tell the LAT

In an overview of the state of same-sex marriage in the country, the WP points outthat, as of now, five states allow it, and four of them are in New England. The three other states that look poised to approve it in the near future are in the Northeast, "making same-sex marriage appear increasingly to be a regional phenomenon rather than a national trend."

The LAT, NYT, and WP front word that General Motors and the United Auto Workers have agreed to a new restructuring plan that would give the union a smaller stake in the company and leave the government owning as much as 70 percent of the automaker. It was previously thought that the government would get a 50 percent stake in the company. So now the much-repeated quip, which the NYT mentions today, that GM will now stand for Government Motors may be more appropriate than ever, although everyone is careful to mention the numbers could still change before GM files for bankruptcy, which is widely expected to happen Monday. The WP points out that once you add the stakes that Canada would get in the company, nearly three-quarters of the new GM could end up being government-owned.

The new bankruptcy reorganization proposal would have the United States lending the automaker around $30 billion more, in addition to the $19.4 billion it has already spent. The NYT points out that some estimate that "tens of billions beyond that amount may be required." The WSJ specifies hat the plan would have the government paying off GM's secured lenders in full to the tune of around $6 billion. Out of concern for GM's future, the union sought to lower its stakes in the company down to 17.5 percent, in exchange for some concessions. As the NYT emphasizes , the idea that GM will effectively be a government company raises lots of questions since numerous "policy decisions—on matters such as fuel economy standards, tax incentives to replace aging cars and green technology initiatives—will present conflicting interests."

In the NYT's op-ed page, the paper's former Supreme Court correspondent Linda Greenhouse writes that many people ignore how the highest court in the land "is a dynamic institution whose component parts are always, although not always visibly, in motion." Even if Sotomayor holds similar views to Souter, the truth is that every time someone enters Washington's most exclusive clique, it makes a difference. "Will it be a difference that is discernible in the outcomes of cases? That may not be clear immediately." But she could eventually push some of her colleagues, particularly the main swing voter, Justice Anthony Kennedy, to see things through her eyes. Coming after a few years when it seemed the court was "headed in the opposite direction from the country," Sotomayor's arrival "will, at the least, change the way the world sees the Supreme Court."


Identity Justice

Posted by Cik Apple | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Responding to early 19th-century rumors that they drank excessively, the Supreme Court justices decided to drink nothing on conference days -- unless it was raining. At the next conference, Chief Justice John Marshall asked Joseph Story to scan the sky for signs of rain. When Story said he saw none, Marshall said: "Our jurisdiction extends over so large a territory that the doctrine of chances makes it certain that it must be raining somewhere -- let us refresh ourselves."

Americans have argued about the court's jurisdiction forever. They should not stop, especially now that the president has nominated U.S. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

The 1987 fight over President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork interred the tradition that the Senate, in evaluating judicial nominees, would not delve deeply into the nominee's jurisprudential thinking. Bork's defeat was unjust, but the new approach to confirmations was overdue, given the court's increasingly central role in American governance.

Before Sotomayor's confirmation hearings begin, the Supreme Court probably will overturn a ruling she supported on the 2nd Circuit -- the propriety of New Haven, Conn., canceling fire department promotions because there were no African Americans (although there was a Hispanic) among the 18 firemen the selection test made eligible for promotion. A three-judge panel of 2nd Circuit judges, including Sotomayor, affirmed a district court's dismissal of the firemen's complaint, doing so in a perfunctory and unpublished order that acknowledged none of the large constitutional questions involved.

Stuart Taylor of the National Journal calls this "a process so peculiar as to fan suspicions that some or all of the judges were embarrassed by the ugliness of the actions that they were blessing and were trying to sweep the case quietly under the rug, perhaps to avoid Supreme Court review or public criticism, or both." Taylor says that when "the circuit's more conservative judges got wind of the case," they sought to have it reheard by the full 2nd Circuit. They failed but successfully argued that the Supreme Court should take the case.

Taylor has also noted this from a Sotomayor speech to a Hispanic group: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn't lived that life." Says Taylor, "Imagine the reaction if someone had unearthed in 2005 a speech in which then-Judge Samuel Alito had asserted, for example: 'I would hope that a white male with the richness of his traditional American values would reach a better conclusion than a Latina woman who hasn't lived that life' -- and had proceeded to speak of 'inherent physiological or cultural differences.' "

Her ethnicity aside, Sotomayor is a conventional choice. The court will remain composed entirely of former appellate court judges. And like conventional liberals, she embraces identity politics, including the idea of categorical representation: A person is what his or her race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual preference is, and members of a particular category can be represented -- understood, empathized with -- only by persons of the same identity.

Democrats compounded confusion by thinking of the court as a representative institution. Such personalization of the judicial function subverts the rule of law.

In the 1978 Bakke case involving racial preferences in admissions to a California medical school, the opinion written by Justice Lewis Powell said race can be a "plus" factor for certain government-preferred minorities. But according to Powell's biographer (John Jeffries of the University of Virginia Law School), when the justices conferred on the case and Thurgood Marshall said such preferences would be needed for another century, Powell was "speechless." In 2003, affirming the constitutionality of racial preferences in university admissions, Sandra Day O'Connor, writing for the majority, said such preferences would be unnecessary in 25 years -- 19 years from now. How long does Sotomayor think they will be necessary? What are her criteria of necessity?

Perhaps Sotomayor subscribes to the Thurgood Marshall doctrine: "You do what you think is right and let the law catch up" (quoted in the Stanford Law Review, summer 1992). Does she think the figure of Justice should lift her blindfold, an emblem of impartiality, and be partial to certain categories of persons? A better jurisprudential doctrine was expressed by a certain Illinois state legislator in a 2001 radio interview: "The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. . . . It says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf."