Thursday, May 31, 2012

Leaf’s Pride

Burke was named Youth Role Model of the Year for his efforts in addressing homophobia in sports. Jer’s Vision is Canada’s youth diversity initiative, which works to address bullying, homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination of all kinds in schools and youth communities. Of course, the reason Burke has been speaking out is in memory of his late son Brendan, who was killed in a car crash in Indiana in February 2010, just three months after admitting publicly he was gay. “I told (Brendan) he had to keep his head on a swivel for the first couple of months, that he had better be careful. “How sick is that?” Brendan’s coming out was widely praised and supported by the media and fans, generating multiple discussions about homophobia in sports, and in hockey in particular. “When Brendan told his team he was gay, they said to a man ‘we love you, we support you,’ ” said Burke. “My son touched a lot of people.” (Brian Burke scores in Ottawa).

Brian P. Burke (born June 30, 1955) is an American ice hockey executive, who is currently the President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and was the General Manager for the United States national men's ice hockey team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, Burke is married to Jennifer Mather Burke, an anchor at CTV News Channel. They have two daughters together. Burke also has four children from a previous marriage, including Patrick, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers. Burke is a strong supporter of gay rights and attended the 2009 Toronto Gay Pride Parade with his son Brendan Burke, who was gay. On February 5, 2010, Brendan died, aged 21, from injuries suffered in a car accident in Indiana (Wikipedia).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

ferociously self-assured anna

Variety: Until then, it's a measure of Anna Kendrick's performance in Jeffrey Blitz's comedy "Rocket Science" that while her Ginny is many things -- ambitious, manipulative and ferociously self-assured -- the 22-year-old actress wasn't always so confident behind the scenes. "I thought I was a fast talker naturally," she says, referring to her character's mile-a-minute delivery as a champion high school debater. "And then we saw this video of a national collegiate championship, and I thought, 'I can't do this. What have I gotten myself into?' " An altogether fascinating acting career, that's what. Long before she set adolescent boys' hearts aflutter in "Rocket Science," the Portland, Maine, native co-starred at age 12 in the Broadway musical "High Society," earning a Tony nomination and Drama Desk and Theater World awards. More legit work followed, including the role of Fredrika in the New York City Opera's "A Little Night Music" before she made her bigscreen debut in 2003's well-received indie musical "Camp." (Anna Kendrick Experienced 'Rocket' actress takes off).

Anna Kendrick (born August 9, 1985) is an American film and stage actress best known for the role of Natalie Keener in the 2009 film Up in the Air. Her other work includes the films Camp (2003), Rocket Science (2007) and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) and the Broadway musical High Society (1998) and also stars in The Twilight Saga. Kendrick is a Tony, Drama Desk, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit and an Academy Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress (Wikipedia).

Sunday, May 27, 2012

jumping on bandwagon

MTV: Bass understands the complexities of being young and gay, even if you aren't out. "I can tell you right now, when I was in high school in Mississippi, I was one of the first ones to jump on the bandwagon to make fun of a gay person, and look how I turned out," he explained. "I had the secret this whole time. And so if people can look at me and see that I was one of those bullies that, like, always made fun of gay people and I had this huge secret, there is always more to the story than you see." Bass now says he gets how hard it is to sort out your feelings as a teenager. He understands that not everyone is outgoing enough to find a support system. His advice is to try to find a small group of friends to rely on and talk to about it. You don't have to tell the world, but you should have someone you can tell. "I really didn't get picked on because I really tried to stay in the background. I tried to stay friends with every single person, but a lot of kids aren't that lucky to be able to socialize like other kids," he said. "They don't have that skill or even don't want to and those are the ones that get picked on just because they're not best friends with the most popular person or they don't have the best clothes or they might be a little more poor than someone else. They don't realize it doesn't matter right now. It doesn't matter at all." (Lance Bass 'Really Shocked' By Suicides Of Gay Teens).

EW: Former *NSYNC member Lance Bass appeared on Larry King Live last night alongside Kathy Griffin, Tim Gunn, and Wanda Sykes to talk about bullying in wake of the recent string of teen suicides. But the now-openly gay pop star surprised King — and audiences — when he admitted that as a teen, he bullied other gay students to fit in. Bass said: “When you’re 13, 14, you just go along with what the other people are doing. You just want to fit in. You want to make sure that your friends like you. So yeah, you’re going to crack jokes, you’re going to laugh along with it. And when you’re a teenager, you’re not really thinking, ‘Oh, I’m being a bully by laughing along with it.’” (Lance Bass admits he bullied kids in the past for being gay).

James Lance Bass (born May 4, 1979), best known as Lance Bass, is an American pop singer, dancer, actor, film and television producer, and author. He grew up in Mississippi and rose to fame as the bass singer for the American pop boy band 'N Sync. 'N Sync's success led Bass to work in film and television. He starred in the 2001 film On the Line, which his company, Bacon & Eggs, also produced. Bass later formed a second production company, Lance Bass Productions, as well as a now-defunct music management company, Free Lance Entertainment, a joint venture with Mercury Records. After completion of 'N Sync's Pop Odyssey Tour, Bass moved to Star City, Russia, in much publicized pursuit of a seat on a Soyuz space capsule. Bass was certified by both NASA and the Russian Space Program after several months of cosmonaut training, and planned to join the TMA-1 mission to the International Space Station. However, after his financial sponsors backed out, Bass was denied a seat on the mission. In July 2006, Bass revealed that he is gay in a cover story for People magazine. He was awarded the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award in October 2006, and released an autobiography, Out of Sync, in October 2007, which debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list (Wikipedia).

Friday, May 25, 2012

we still deserve our rights

Afterelton: - On criticism about him sending out "vapid or superficial" gay image - "I'm not totally surprised by it, because I'm a member of the gay community and we take a lot of things personally. We're a very insecure community about the way that we are portrayed or the way we're thought about by straight people. We've sort of been beholden to the way straight people think about us, and we let that control our community a lot of the time. I just did a video for my Facebook saying look, it's a television show made for the purpose of entertainment and we're not here to represent the whole gay community — we can only represent seven people in the gay community, and watch it for that. Watch it as a TV show. If you think we're a bad representation of the gay community, it's like, every gay person knows ... we all know the way these seven guys, including myself, act on the show are an accurate representation of the way a lot of gay people act.

For you, as a gay person, to deny that this is a fair representation of the gay community, you're fooling yourself. What you're really trying to say is, you're worried about how we look to straight people. In my video I say this is what we have to stop doing as a community — stop worrying about how we're portrayed to straight people. No matter how we're portrayed, it's how we are. If every gay guy in America wants to walk around in a dress all day long and sing show tunes and be as stereotypically gay as possible, we still deserve our rights. We still should demand our rights, and we shouldn't be worried that we don't have credibility to demand our rights because straight people look at us differently. We still deserve our rights. When we start cutting each other down from the inside and say "He's the wrong kind of gay and he's the right kind of gay"... We should start saying "Okay. As a gay person, I accept all people and the way they act in the gay community, even the way they're acting on the A-List because that is a fair representation of the way a lot of gay people act." [If we do this], then we're going to get strong as a community because we're going to say despite how we are, for real, we still deserve our rights anyway." (Interview: "A-List: New York"'s Reichen Lehmkuhl Hates Austin and Cooks Breakfast in the Nude).

Reichen Lehmkuhl (born Richard Allen Lehmkuhl on December 26, 1973), is an American former reality show winner, male model, and occasional actor. A former Air Force officer, he is best known for winning season four of the reality game show The Amazing Race with his then-partner Chip Arndt, and for his much publicized 2006 relationship with pop singer Lance Bass. Bass and Lehmkuhl split in January 2007 and subsequently, Lehmkuhl dropped his lawsuit against Perez and removed the post from his MySpace. Hilton and Lehmkuhl remain rivals, with Hilton once posting on his website that he will take a picture with anyone, "except for Lance Bass's boyfriend or Fidel Castro...and they're both practically dead to [me] anyways!" Hilton also posted naked pictures of Lehmkuhl on on April 6th 2011 (Wikipedia).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

stepping up to the plate

Monsters and Critics: USA Network is always at the vanguard of social issues, and celebrating cutting edge artists in mixed media, whether it is photographs, film, television or written word. Plus, they have the most entertaining smallscreen series, such as "Burn Notice," "Royal Pains," "White Collar" and "Psych" that continually draw audiences to the ensemble casts that knock it out of the park every week. Many notable USA fan favorites are stepping up to the plate to voice their support for a return to civility and manners in the country, to put the brakes on unchecked bullying and intimidation. Tim DeKay took the pledge: “As a character of the USA, I pledge to stand against intolerance, prejudice, discrimination and hate, and to promote greater understanding and acceptance. I believe life is richer and we are stronger as a country when we see beyond stereotypes and appreciate each other for the characters we are. After all, characters are what makes us, USA.” (Take the pledge: Anti Bullying PSA with USA star Tim DeKay, video).

Timothy Robert DeKay (born June 12, 1963) is an American character actor. His first on screen acting job was as corporate giant Larry Deon on seaQuest 2032. He was a cast member of the series Party of Five from 1997–1999, Carnivàle from 2003–2005 and Tell Me You Love Me in 2007. He has also guest–starred on a number of top-rated television series, including Seinfeld, Friends, CSI, My Name Is Earl, NCIS, and Scrubs. DeKay is currently starring in the USA Network series White Collar, which chronicles the partnership between a con artist (played by Matthew Bomer) and an FBI agent (DeKay). In 2009, DeKay was both director and producer of the short film This Monday. He also had a hand in shaping the scripted story. The film has been included in at least half a dozen short film festivals, including Cannes Short Film Corner. Reviews have been favorable, like this one from the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival (ShortFest): “Absolutely the Best of the Palm Springs Short Film Fest 2009, ‘This Monday’ features tone-perfect directing by Tim DeKay and screen-writing by Michael Santorico. Four Stars(out of Four) (Wikipedia).

Monday, May 21, 2012

the idea of “rice queens” According to Cho, racism against Asian Americans is more subtle then racism against other minorities. “It's about non-inclusion rather than racist slurs and hate crimes, which do happen too.” Cho pointed to the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre, in which the press “made a big deal out of the fact that the shooter was if his race of his Asianess was somehow a contributing factor to his craziness.” Cho said that a week later, one of her comedy specials aired on television, and received complaints because people felt it was in “bad taste to show any more Chos on television.” Cho explained that the subtlety of this kind of racism made it difficult to identify. “But if I have such a hard time identifying and discussing it, how am I ever going to get over it'?” Cho explained that she was still trying to figure out how to deal with racism in queer communities, especially as it related to the idea of “rice queens” - white males who exclusively prefer to date East and Southeast Asian males. “It comes from this weird situation of thinking 'Oh, we're so discriminated against, we can do it to someone else.' It's very convoluted, and I don't know how to address it yet,” she explained (Margaret Cho Provokes Laughter and Thought in Q&A Session).

Margaret Cho (born December 5, 1968) is an American comedian, fashion designer, actress, author, and recording artist. Cho is best known for her stand-up routines, through which she critiques social and political problems, especially those pertaining to race, sexuality, and sex. She has also directed and appeared in music videos and has her own clothing line. She has frequently supported LGBT rights and has won awards for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of women, the transgender community, Asians, and the LGBT community. As an actress she has played more serious parts, such as that of John Travolta's long-suffering FBI colleague in the action movie Face/Off. She is part of the hit TV series Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime Television, playing the role of Teri Lee, a paralegal assistant. Cho began getting major tattoo work done in 2006 and has become an enthusiast; as of March 2007 she estimates that 15-20% of her body is currently tattooed. As of 2009, Cho lives in Peachtree City, Georgia. She is openly bisexual (Wikipedia).

Saturday, May 19, 2012

one solid positive

Aceshowbiz: At the benefit dinner, 38-year-old Josh was presented with Red Cross Spirit Award. He recently teamed up with the Red Cross to raise $150,000 for the Japanese earthquake/tsunami relief at the Youth Run 4 Japan fundraiser. He has also worked with the organization after a devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2010. Before receiving his honor, the former "Las Vegas" star joked to reporters, "I think it might be because my wife spent so much money at the auction last year that they invited us back. They needed an excuse so they gave me an award!" His wife, in the meantime, told The Insider on the red carpet she is proud of him for his charity works and finds it "really attractive that [my] husband thinks of these things." Another star being honored on the special night was veteran actress Betty White. Presented with the American Crystal Cross Humanitarian Award, the "Hot in Cleveland" star said in her speech, "When I talk about going back to when I was a kid, at 89 that was centuries ago, but growing up the one solid positive - my earliest memories were that when anything went wrong the Red Cross was always there!" (Josh Duhamel Honored at Red Cross Red Tie Affair, Fergie Sizzles).

Joshua David "Josh" Duhamel (pronounced /dəˈmɛl/, də-mel; born November 14, 1972) is an American actor and former fashion model. He first achieved acting success in 1999 as Leo du Pres on ABC's All My Children and later as the chief of security, Danny McCoy, on NBC's Las Vegas. He is also well known for his role as one of the protagonists, Captain/Major William Lennox, in the box office hit Transformers as well as its sequels, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. In 2004, before the Transformer days, he was the title character in Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! (Wikipedia).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

to enjoy every single moment

Collider: Acting was my first love. It was the first and only thing that I was excited to wake up at six in the morning on a Saturday to go do. I spent a lot of years working on a lot of projects that weren’t necessarily fulfilling. There were things that I worked on because I’m a professional and it’s what professional actors do. I worked on a lot of projects that I didn’t necessarily watch, or wasn’t necessarily a fan of. I’m just very lucky and I’m enjoying every second of this because I do realize that it’s fleeting and that you can’t always work on something like this. I’m not always going to be able to work on the hottest show on TV, in the coolest part I could ever play, in 2010, which seems like the year or the werewolf. It’s not always going to be this good, so I’ve got to enjoy every single moment of it. It is these moments that remind me of why I set out to do this, why I worked so hard and why I persevered, stuck around and stuck it out. This is a big reward for me, for sticking around (Joe Manganiello Exclusive Interview TRUE BLOOD).

Joseph Michael "Joe" Manganiello (born December 28, 1976) is an American actor. He played Flash Thompson in the Spider-Man film series, and had recurring roles in television on How I Met Your Mother and One Tree Hill. He plays werewolf Alcide Herveaux on the HBO television series True Blood. As of 2010, Manganiello lives in Los Angeles, California. He is a supporter of Until There’s a Cure, a charity dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS, and appears in public service announcements for the organization. In 2010 Manganiello was named one of People Magazine's sexiest men alive. In 2011 Manganiello was named one of Men's Fitness Magazine's 25 Fittest Guys and one of US Magazine's Hot Hollywood Style Stars. (Wikipedia).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

born with it

mtv: "...But that's actually putting it mildly, because as Levine reveals on Saturday's episode of "When I Was 17," the future Grammy-winner was totally freaking repulsive. "When I was 17, I was gross," he admits on the show, airing at 11 a.m. ET/PT on MTV. "My hair was long and really ratty and nappy. [I wore] huge, oversize flannels that didn't fit [and I had] a goatee. Like a bad version of Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites. Now that we know all of this, Levine's current obsession with his hair begins to make sense. As he told us last month, he is very particular about who clips his locks and was sad to see his favorite stylist — none other than Justin Bobby of "The Hills" fame — give up his day job. "I don't know quite how to say this — I've got to say this delicately — but the man is the most incredible hairstylist ever," Levine said. He really is. Justin, you're a genius. He cut all our hair for a long time, and then one day, mid-cut, he was like, 'So I think I'm going to do this show,' and it was called 'The Hills..." (Adam Levine Admits He Was 'Gross,' On 'When I Was 17')

Advocate: “...What’s always pissed me off about Idol is wanting to mask that, for that to go unspoken," Levine said in the interview. "C’mon. You can’t be publicly gay? At this point? On a singing competition? Give me a break. You can’t hide basic components of these people’s lives. The fact that The Voice didn’t have any qualms about being completely open about it is a great thing.” In the interview, Levine is just as open about his own life. He talks about growing up in a liberal Los Angeles home, with parents who went to Berkeley, and how his younger brother, who is gay, helped shape his perspective. “I can singlehandedly dispel any ideas that sexuality is acquired,” he said, laughing. “Trust me, you’re born with it. My brother is gay, and we knew when he was 2. We all knew...” (Adam Levine Critiques Idol for Hiding Gay Life)

Adam Noah Levine (born March 18, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and musician, best known as the front man and guitarist for the pop rock band Maroon 5. He is also a coach on the American talent show The Voice. ...Levine's ex-girlfriend Jane is the muse behind the name of the band's debut album Songs About Jane. In a 2004 interview, he claimed that she had not contacted him despite the success of the album. They have since made up, and by 2007, Levine referred to them as being "close friends". Levine is a "car junkie", his favorite car being his 1971 Mercedes 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet. In 2006, Levine broke his sternum while lifting weights, what he called "one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced." He began using spotters while lifting weights before giving up weightlifting completely when he began yoga in 2007. In September 2010, Levine said on the Howard Stern Show he had been dating Russian Sports Illustrated swimsuit and Victoria's Secret model Anne Vyalitsyna seriously for about eight months. The couple met when Maroon 5 performed at the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue release party in Las Vegas. Levine stripped naked for testicular cancer awareness for a centerfold in Cosmopolitan UK's February 2011 issue (Wikipedia).


Sunday, May 13, 2012

proud supporter of equality

SDGLN: "...The 26-year-old Herman, known for his incredible abs and cheerful encouragement to his fans to get fit, produces a weekly exercise video that is published by SDGLN on Thursdays. Herman gained widespread fame after he was cast on MTV’s popular reality-TV show, “The Real World – Brooklyn.” He bonded with the show’s transgender cast mate, paving the way for his advocating for LGBT equality. In the road rage incident, Herman told the local newspaper that he resisted the taunts of his tormentors to avoid a fight. “…Violence is not the answer, but forgiveness is,” Herman told SDGLN. “I believe that in my plight for anti-bullying, a situation such as this will only help me get my message out to other victims of bullying that doing the right thing and having the courage to do it is what will make you a better person,” he said. Herman said he was bullied in his youth, which is one of the reasons he is so adamant about supporting anti-bullying efforts. LGBT youth are bullied four times as often as their peers, studies have found. “I take my involvement with the LGBT Community on anti-bullying very seriously, which is why I spoke out...” (LGBT ally Scott Herman is target of road rage incident)

facebook: "...In August of 2009, still living in NYC, I decided to start making fitness videos to help teach those who could not afford a personal trainer. I had started a FREE online personal training business,, in 2007 and mainly went on RW in hopes that the TV time would bring more awareness to it. My idea was to teach fitness to the world, but up until RW I really had no idea how to do it. If I owe anything to MTV it is that I was given a fast-track course on how the entertainment world works and how powerful social media is. After the success of a few videos I decided to move home and work SHF full time. Now it is 2011 and I command the most powerful positive and supportive fitness community online...and recently opened my own studio in Haverhill with a few of my fitness friends. I take my job and my life very seriously. It is important to me to be known for good things and surround myself by people who share the same degree of admiration and respect. I still pursue modeling and acting and know that one day I will hit the big screen. But all in good time. Patience is a virtue and things happen when the time is right. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my dog Bello, friends, and family. I love muscle cars, the gym, music, and new experiences. I am also an active supporter in some local LGBT youth groups such as nAGLY, as well as The Trevor Project, GLAAD, and recently drove across the country to participate in the AIDS/Lifecycle Event which is a bicycle ride from San Francisco to L.A. As I said I was bullied as a kid and never want to see anyone else have to suffer the way I did. To be honest, I wanted to be a superhero when I grew up. For me, being a Straight Ally and proud supporter of equality in the LGBT kind of gives me the feeling that I am..." (About Scott)

Scott Herman is a personal trainer, model and actor who has been working out since the age of 14. He recently received the designation of having the "best abs on the East Coast", and was featured in Men's Health magazine. The first in his family to graduate from college, he educates the public on health and fitness with his website. Along with Chet, he is one of two Republicans in the house (Wikipedia - The Real World: Brooklyn).


Friday, May 11, 2012

grit and leadership

Legends of Hockey: "A crafty, offensive forward, Doug Weight has received numerous accolades for his grit and leadership. After a solid beginning with the New York Rangers, his career blossomed in Edmonton, where he became a key component in the resurgence of that club's fortunes. Weight first made a name for himself while starring for the Bloomfield Jets in the NAJHL. He then accepted a scholarship offer from Lake Superior State University, where he scored 144 points in two seasons, earned All-American honors, and finished as one of the all-time leading scorers in school history...After a sixth place finish at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Weight and his U.S. teammates returned to the Olympic stage in 2002, capturing the silver medal. One of the premier playmakers in the NHL, Weight reached the 600 assist mark and notched his 800th career point in 2003-04. Following a brief stint in Germany during the lock-out of 2004-05, Weight returned to St. Louis in 2005-06. However, with the team struggling, Weight was dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes just prior to 2006 Winter Olympic break...After a sixth place finish at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Weight and his U.S. teammates returned to the Olympic stage in 2002, capturing the silver medal. One of the premier playmakers in the NHL, Weight reached the 600 assist mark and notched his 800th career point in 2003-04. Following a brief stint in Germany during the lock-out of 2004-05, Weight returned to St. Louis in 2005-06. However, with the team struggling, Weight was dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes just prior to representing his homeland in the 2006 Winter Olympics..." (Doug Daniel Weight)

Douglas Daniel Weight (born January 21, 1971) is a retired American professional ice hockey player who is currently an Assistant Coach and Special Assistant to the General Manager for the New York Islanders. During his 19-year National Hockey League career, he played for the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues and the New York Islanders. Weight has played several times internationally for his country. He made 3 World Championship appeareances for the United States in 1993, 1994 and 2005. He was a part of the silver medal winning team at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and also played with Team USA at the 1996 and 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. In his only junior tournament in the 1991 World Junior Championships, he led the entire tournament in scoring with 5 goals and 14 assists in 7 games for Team USA (Wikipedia).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

players speak out

Baltimore Sun: "Kudos to the Orioles for jumping on board with the It Gets Better Project and the Trevor Project, which bring awareness to the bullying of LGBT youth, by releasing a video featuring Jake Arrieta, Jason Berken, Zach Britton, Kevin Gregg and Michael Gonzalez that encourages victims of bullying to hang in there. “The Orioles are proud to support the It Gets Better Project and the Trevor Project,” Orioles Director of Communications Greg Bader said in a statement. “Bullying of any kind, for any reason, is unacceptable to our organization, and we are pleased to have our players speak out against this behavior in the hope it will provide encouragement to LGBT youth, and all children, who are facing hatred and prejudice...” (Video: Orioles speak out against bullying of LGBT youth)

The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Browns. After 52 mostly hapless years in St. Louis, the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and adopted the Orioles name in honor of the official state bird of Maryland. The Orioles name had been used by previous major league baseball clubs in Baltimore, including the American League Baltimore Orioles franchise from 1901–1902 that became the New York Yankees and the National League Baltimore Orioles which won National League championships under Hall-of-Fame manager John McGraw, before McGraw took the black and orange team colors to the New York Giants baseball team, which became the San Francisco Giants after the 1957 season. Nicknames for the team include the O's and the Birds. The Orioles have been best known for their successful stadium, the trend-setting Oriole Park at Camden Yards, opened in 1992 near the birthplace of Babe Ruth.

The Orioles experienced their greatest success from 1964–1983, winning seven Division Championships (1969–1971, 1973–1974, 1979 and 1983), six pennants (1966, 1969–1971, 1979 and 1983), three World Championships (1966, 1970 and 1983), and four Most Valuable Player awards (3B Brooks Robinson 1964, OF Frank Robinson 1966, 1B Boog Powell 1970 and SS Cal Ripken Jr. 1983). The first World Series Championship team in 1966 was led by Hall-of-Famers Frank Robinson (OF), Brooks Robinson (3B), and Jim Palmer (P). Frank Robinson won the 1966 World Series MVP award, as well as the Triple Crown in hitting, in which he led the American League in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. The second World Series Championship team in 1970 was led by the previous trio of Hall-of-Famers, Hall-of-Fame manager Earl Weaver, and 1970 AL MVP Boog Powell (1B). Brooks Robinson won the 1970 World Series MVP award. The third World Championship team was led by Hall-of-Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. (SS), Eddie Murray (1B), Jim Palmer (P) and 1983 World Series MVP Rick Dempsey (C). The Orioles' success after 1983 included the following: Frank Robinson won the American League manager of the year in 1989 managing the Orioles to a second-place finish in the AL East Division only two games behind the Toronto Blue Jays; Cal Ripken Jr. won the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 1991; the Orioles won their first American League Wild Card playoff appearance in 1996 and went wire-to-wire in winning the American League East Division championship in 1997, with Davey Johnson winning the American League Manager of the Year Award. Since the retirement of Cal Ripken Jr. in 2001, the Orioles have been in a downward spiral, compiling a losing record in every season since (Wikipedia).

Monday, May 7, 2012

“Hunslet’s darkie one of Britain’s heroes”

Palebluenews: "...At six feet tall and fourteen stone at his physical peak, Thompson was regarded as a relentless ball of energy by opposition and coaches alike and quickly became a firm fans favourite with the terraces at Hunslet. The Yorkshire Post at the time memorably called him “Hunselt’s living bronze.” He was not the typical rugby player, even for this era. Thompson was a shy pacifist who didn’t drink or smoke and admitted in his later years that he had been “terrified of girls” as a youth. In 1951, the great BBC rugby league commentator Eddie Waring, wrote: “If Cec Thompson is not chosen for the Great Britain squad, the selectors must be racists.” –such was the young man’s stature within the game. He was selected for the Great Britain side and the British Empire XIII and The Daily Herald trumpeted the occasion with the headline: “Hunslet’s darkie one of Britain’s heroes” It is worth noted that Thompson was nicknamed –with warm regards- “darkie” for much of his rugby league career. Such was the social climate at the time, I suppose. Thompson played two matches against New Zealand and was on the winning side each time. Britain won the first Test, during which Thompson was concussed, 21-15, and the second 20-19. Alfred Drewry, the Yorkshire Post’s lyrical rugby league correspondent, wrote about “an athlete poised with one foot on a ball needing only wings to be too good for this earth”...In an era decades before the over-inflated wages of sports stars and the cash injections of Sky Sports, Thompson had supplemented his earnings by working as a window cleaner, a grim living in the cold and often wet north of England. However, it was on his round that he found inspiration for the next stage of his life. “I used to go to schools to clean their windows and I would see teachers at work and imagine how pleasant it would be if I could do their job,” he recalled. “Window cleaning is cold, harsh work. Playing rugby is a brutal occupation. Put the two together and you have my life.” Self-financed by his window cleaning business, Thompson went to night school in his mid-30s, taking a course for 14-year-olds who had failed their 11-plus. At 39 he won a place at Leeds University, graduating four years later with an honours degree in Economics and a teaching diploma. While there, with typical enthusiasm and aplomb, he co-founded the Student Rugby League along with Andrew Cudbertson and Jack Abernathy: another part of his legacy that flourishes today. On leaving university he taught economics, first at Dinnington Comprehensive School and then at Chesterfield Grammar School, where he ended his career as head of economics and master in charge of rugby..." (Cec Thompson, Hunslet’s “Living Bronze”)

Cec Thompson (12 July 1926 – 19 July 2011) was a British professional rugby league footballer of the 1940s, '50s and '60s. He was born in County Durham, the son of a mother from Durham and a Trinidadian father. His father died when he was very young and his childhood was spent in a succession of orphanages. Thompson took up rugby league when working near Hunslet. He turned out to have a natural talent for the game. He went on to play for Great Britain and Ireland and was transferred to Workington Town in Cumbria after which he was manager of Barrow. All Cec's games for Hunslet and in representative matches were as a Second-row. For Workington he played 164 games at Second-row, twenty-two at Loose forward/Lock, and six on the Wing. At Barrow, with the side plagued by injury, he played two games as a Second-row against Bramley and Blackpool Borough, to make up the numbers. He was one of the founders of the Student Rugby League in the UK, when along with Andrew Cudbertson and Jack Abernathy, he founded a team at the University of Leeds in 1967. Thompson built up his own window cleaning business, and then qualified to teach Economics with a degree from the University of Leeds and a teaching diploma at the age of 39, initially at Dinnington Comprehensive School and then at Chesterfield Grammar School (Wikipedia).

Saturday, May 5, 2012

beautiful and passionate

Bizarre: "...The accolade helped Alexander land the part of Lady Gaga’s boyfriend in the steamy video for her ‘Paparazzi’ single, who has wild sex with her, then tries to kill her by pushing her off the balcony of a stately home. Alex got the job thanks to his friend Jonas Åkerlund, a fellow Swede, who directed the video. At first he was reluctant to star opposite the rubber-loving pop princess, but the kinky idea behind the video sold him on the project. “When I got the call asking if I wanted to play Lady Gaga’s boyfriend, I said if it was walking down a beach holding hands I wasn’t interested. But when Jonas told me that I’d try to kill her, I thought it sounded fun.” Alexander admits, however, that the idea of such a passionate romp between the sheets only came about on the day they were filming, when he and Gaga started talking about the concept of the video. “It was pretty intense doing that. It kind of happened on the day,” he explains. “We talked about it and we wanted it to be beautiful and passionate at the beginning so it would then be a bigger deal when he pushed her off the balcony. Lady Gaga is great – really intelligent, smart and hard-working...” (Alexander Skarsgård)

Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård (Born August 25, 1976) is a Swedish actor. He is best known for his roles as vampire Eric Northman on the HBO series True Blood, Meekus in Zoolander and Brad Colbert in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. Skarsgård is a fan of Swedish football and supports Hammarby IF, a club based in his birth city. In October 2010, he participated in "Bajen Aid" by donating several items he had autographed and auctioning them off to raise money for the Hammarby football club. In July 2011, Skarsgård received an honorary degree from Leeds Metropolitan University where he was formerly a student (Wikipedia).

True Blood is an American television comedy drama series created and produced by Alan Ball. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, and details the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional, small town in the state of Louisiana. The series centers on Sookie Stackhouse (played by actress Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress at a bar, who falls in love with vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). The show is broadcast on the premium cable network HBO in the United States. It is produced by HBO in association with Ball's production company, Your Face Goes Here Entertainment. It premiered on September 7, 2008. The series has received critical acclaim and won several awards, including one Golden Globe and an Emmy. The show's second 12-episode season had its premiere on June 14, 2009 and the third season on June 13, 2010. On June 21, 2010, HBO renewed True Blood for a fourth season (Wikipedia).

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