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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to unlock any padlock If you're ever in need to open a Chasity Belt or break into a safe, here's how you'll succeed!

Pick Locks Like a Pro
Via: Online Education

The Apple iPad: starting at $499

After nearly a decade of rumors and speculation, Apple's finally unveiled the iPad. It's a half-inch thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds, with a 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen IPS LCD display, and it's running a custom 1GHz Apple "A4" chip developed by the P.A. Semi team, with a 10-hour battery life and a month of standby. It'll come in 16, 32, and 64GB sizes, and it's got the expected connectivity: very little. There's a 30-pin Dock connector, a speaker, a microphone, Bluetooth, 802.11n WiFi and optional 3G, as well as an accelerometer and a compass. There's also a keyboard dock, which connects underneath in the portrait orientation, support for up to 1024x768 VGA out and 480p composite out through new dock adapter cables, and a camera attachment kit that lets you import photos from your camera over USB or directly through an SD reader. The device is managed by iTunes, just like the iPhone -- you sync everything over to your Mac. As expected, it can run iPhone apps -- either pixel-for-pixel in a window, or pixel-doubled fullscreen -- but developers can also target the new screen size using the updated iPhone OS SDK, which is available today. The 3G version runs on AT&T and comes with new data plans: 250MB for $14.99 and an unlimited plan for $29.99 a month contract-free. Activations are handled on the iPad, so you can activate and cancel whenever you want. Every iPad is unlocked and comes with a GSM "micro-SIM," so you can use it abroad, but there aren't any international deals in place right now -- Steve says they'll be back "this summer" with news on that front.

It starts at $499 for 16GB, 32GB for $599, and $699 64GB. Adding 3G costs a $130 per model, so the most expensive model (64GB / 3G) is $829. The WiFi-only model will ship in 60 days, and the 3G models will come in 90.

Developing... check out our first hands-on right here!

Four Ways to Find Coke and Pepsi with Cane Sugar

Finding cane-sugar based sodas is becoming easier and easier these days. New, smaller soda makers are capitalizing on Coke and Pepsi’s insistence on using high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in their drinks. Colas like Boylan’s Cane, Red Rock, and Afri-Cola have begun inching their way into mainstream stores, much to the chagrin of Coke and Pepsi.

For twenty-five years now the Coca Cola company has been using HFCS in its original formula drink. The switch from cane sugar happened during the roll out of New Coke and the company’s rebranding in 1985. Coca-Cola Classic was reintroduced a few years later, although this time with HFCS instead of sugar which became the norm across most Coke and Pepsi sodas.

Here are at least four options for finding Coke and Pepsi with cane sugar in the U.S.

Option #1: Kosher Coke & Option #2: Kosher Pepsi for Passover

Now with Passover fast approaching, Kosher Coke and Kosher Pepsi are starting to appear on the shelves. These versions of Coke and Pepsi are both made with cane sugar instead of HFCS, and most reviewers say they prefer the taste. In addition they avoid the purported negative effects of HFCS including increased obesity and insulin resistance.

The kosher versions are mostly available in many urban centers, but they can be special ordered at most stores through the local bottler. Both kosher Coke and Pepsi have flown off the shelves in recent years with increased awareness of HFCS . Even non-Jews have been purchasing the special versions and stocking up on them. (Image source:

Option #3: That 70’s Cola

Last year, Pepsi introduced Pepsi Throwback, touted as a sentimental version of the original recipe and only sold for a limited time. It’s back again for 2010 with a new-old look and will be sold until February 22, 2010. Why the limited time frame? Who knows, but it’s a brilliant marketing move by Pepsi to position it as vintage, avoiding the HFCS argument. Mountain Dew Throwback is also available. Each of these versions add about ten calories to a twenty-ounce serving (260 vs. 250 calories).

Option #4: Destapa la Felicidad
Another way to find Cola-Cola with cane sugar is to seek out the Mexican formula, which is said to taste better than its American counterpart. It’s often difficult to find, but most Hispanic groceries and many restaurants are now selling it, along with some Costco and Kroger chain stores in areas with large Hispanic populations. Originally it was bootlegged in from across the border to keep local US bottlers from losing sales, but Coca-Cola now imports it into the US in small quantities.

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Top 4 'Avatar'-'Pocahontas' mash-up videos

Is "Avatar" just a thinly disguised remake of Disney's "Pocahontas"? Yes, say grassroots critics — and they've created videos to prove it

Top 4 'Avatar'-'Pocahontas' mash-up videos

"Avatar": A blue-tinted rehash of "Pocahontas"?
(20th Century Fox")

One of the many complaints about James Cameron's blockbuster film, "Avatar," is that its "derivative" plot ploddingly parallels that of 1995's Disney animated tale "Pocahontas." Though the similarities haven't dimmed "Avatar"'s box office — on track to beat Cameron's "Titanic," says — they’ve provoked grassroots critics to "mash up" footage and audio from the two films to expose what they consider a shameless ripoff. Consider exhibits 1 through 4:

1. "Avatar" meets Disney: This spoof marries audio from 1995's "Pocahontas" with "Avatar" clips to make the case that the respective heros and heroines are interchangeable. By the time Vanessa Williams starts singing about blue moons and the irrelevancy of skin color (in "Colors of the Wind," the "Pocahontas" theme song) at 00:45, the two films seem to blur into one.

2. "Pocahontas" meets James Cameron: This mashup uses the reverses strategy — ambitiously syncing the "Avatar" trailer's audio with "Pocahontas" footage. Savvy viewers may notice that, at 1:28, Pocahontas begins "spouting" Sigourney Weaver's cynical "Avatar" dialogue, giving the effect that the sensitive Indian Maiden considers her lover an empty-headed himbo.

3. The alternative "Colors of the Wind" music video: Here, Vanessa William's Disney theme song becomes a musical backdrop to an "Avatar" dream date. Two large-nosed blue beings flirt, swoon, and soar about on the backs of pterodactyl-like creatures until it becomes clear that, of all the windy colors with which one can paint, blue is the most romantic.

4. "Pocahontas" recut as an "Avatar" action film: Similar to number 2 (above) but with a faster-paced, "Terminator" edge. In this version, the relatively chipper Disney tale turns menacing with help from James Horner's pounding "Avatar" soundtrack and Sigourney Weaver's voice ("let your mind go blank...") emerges not from Pocahontas, but from a sinister, anthromophized tree.


Send California inmates to Mexico, says Schwarzenegger


Send California inmates to Mexico, says Schwarzenegger
AFP/Getty Images/File – The California Institution for Men prison is seen in Chino, California. A riot took place at the prison …

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger suggested California could ease its crowded prison system by sending thousands of undocumented inmates to specially built jails in Mexico.

Speaking to reporters at the Sacramento Press Club, Schwarzenegger said California could ease its strained finances by a billion dollars if 20,000 illegal immigrants currently held in the state were housed across the border.

"I think that we can do so much better in the prison system alone if we can go and take, inmates for instance, the 20,000 inmates that are illegal immigrants that are here and get them to Mexico," Schwarzenegger said.

"Think about it -- if California gives Mexico the money. Not 'Hey, you take care of them, these are your citizens'. No. Not at all.

"We pay them to build the prison down in Mexico. And then we have those undocumented immigrants down there in prison. It would half the costs to build the prison and run the prison. We could save a billion dollars right there that could go into higher education."

Schwarzenegger's remarks come as California prepares for the latest in a long line of state budget crises.

Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency earlier this month, warning severe cuts were necessary to stem a 19.9-billion-dollar deficit.

California has some of the most overcrowded prisons in the United States, with an estimated 170,000 inmates housed in facilities designed for 100,000 people, according to 2007 figures.

Schwarzenegger said he believed the financial burden of California's prisons could be eased if the private sector moved into the industry.

"I think that there is no reason why we should have just state employees and public prisons," Schwarzenegger said. "Why shouldn't we have private prisons and private prisons competing with public prisons?

"I don't want to go and get rid of public prisons, not at all. It's not an attack on their labor union even though they may take it as such.

'Pants on the Ground' ripoff: Detroit's Green Brothers say they were first in 1996

By Jessica Nunez |

100126-back-pockets-on-the-floor.jpgThe Green Brothers of Highland Park claim their song 'Back Pockets on the Floor' was copied by the famous 'American Idol' song 'Pants on the Ground.'As 62-year-old General Larry Platt and his "Pants on the Ground" video became the stuff of viral gold over the past two weeks, scores of people were probably sitting around kicking themselves for not thinking of it first.

Not the Green Brothers.

According to Gerald Green, one half of a hip-hop group from Highland Park, they did think of it first -- and recorded it in 1996. And they want to make sure everyone knows it.

Gerald, who contacted Fox News Detroit about his dilemma, says their song "Back Pockets on the Floor" has the same intent, ideas and general message as Platt's.

Which doesn't seem like such a big deal -- plenty of people complain about how young people dress.

But if you listen to the "original" version, you notice some very similar wording and even similar rhythm in the delivery.

The Brothers posted this message along with their video on YouTube a few days ago:

This is in regaurds to the General Larry Platt "Pants on The Ground". His song is a take off of the Green Brothers song " Back Pockets On The Floor'. Back Pockets On The Floor was written by G. Green andwas copyrighted and recorded by the Green Brothers in 1996. The General's song have the same intent, idea and in part the same message. YOU BE THE JUDGE AMERICA!!

What do you think? Is this for real? And is it a big deal?

The Green Brothers version, 1996:

General Larry Platt's version, 2010:

Video: Who are the Green Brothers, self-claimed originators of 'Pants on the Ground?'

Visions of the Decade: Koudelka’s Invasion 68: Prague [PICS]


All Photographs © Josef Koudelka. Behind the CKD Praha factory, looking towards the Hloubetin district.

Michael Jackson Filipino Inmates Strike Again

With all the time in the world on their hands, the inmates of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines have learned another Michael Jackson routine ... with some help.

Jackson's long-time choreographer Travis Payne, with dancers Daniel Celebre and Dres Reid, taught the inmates routines from "This Is It."

It's just how Michael would have wanted it.

Read more:

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' coming in 3D!

Harry_potter_half-blood_prince_250 By Carl DiOrio


Warner Bros. will release the next two "Harry Potter" films in 3D, a move underscoring the post-"Avatar" rush for extra-dimensional boxoffice.

Studios executives on lots around town have been scrutinizing film slates for opportunities to expand forays into 3D releasing. Warners has been testing footage from its upcoming "Clash of the Titans" -- converted into 3D by an outside vendor -- and the tests have gone so well that execs have decided to release not only "Titans" but also the two-part "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in 3D.

Warners refused to confirm the decisions Tuesday, but an announcement on "Titans" -- a co-production with Legendary Pictures -- is expected by week's end. Official word on the "Potter" pics also is awaited.

Conversion expenses have been coming down, so each film will cost just $5 million to change into 3D. Warners also will absorb an additional $5 million expense per pic to pay for 3D glasses for exhibitors handling the movies.

In a related move, Warners will push back the release of "Titans" one week to April 2. "Deathly Hallows: Part I" is set to unspool Nov. 19, and "Part II" is slotted for July 15, 2011.

The only previous "Potter" pic to dabble in 3D was last year's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," which included brief footage viewable in 3D in Imax venues. It was unclear whether "Potter" author J.K. Rowling had to OK the move into the third dimension.

As for the impact on boxoffice prospects for the final two "Potter" sequels, consider the more imminent situation with "Titans."

A remake of a 1981 film starring Laurence Olivier, "Titans" previously might have been expected to fetch no more than $200 million domestically, and even that was an aggressive projection. Released in 3D, Warners figures to reap well north of $200 million, with 2007's $211 million domestic grosser "300" considered a beatable benchmark.

"Titans" in 3D also is considered a safe bet to best the $245 million in foreign coin that Warners fetched with "300."

The "Titans" move is not without risk. The installed base of 3D movie screens has been growing rapidly, but it's not sufficient to release the film entirely in 3D.

That should be less of a concern by the time the next "Potter" hits multiplexes. But execs also are quietly confident of getting enough 3D playdates for "Titans."

"I would not think it would be an issue to establish ourselves in the 3D marketplace with 'Titans,' " a studio insider said. "By sliding it back a week, we should at least have enough screens in the major markets."

Warners should secure upward of 1,000 playdates for "Titans," which will unspool a week after Paramount bows DreamWorks Animation's spring tentpole "How to Train Your Dragon."

The "Titans" move might spur further reshuffling in the spring release calendar, as its new date makes for a fifth wide opener set for Easter weekend, which historically is a solid boxoffice session but hardly one to support that many big pics.

Other wide openers set for April 2 include Fox's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," a likely PG-rated film adapted from a book series popular with middle-schoolers; Disney's PG-rated Miley Cyrus starrer "The Last Song," adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel; Universal's futuristic action thriller "Repo Men," starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker; and Lionsgate's latest Tyler Perry pic, "Why Did I Get Married Too?"

Meantime, the move of "Potter" into the extra dimension could prompt other high-profile moves. Could a 3D James Bond loom?

Warners' decision with its "Potter" franchise is likely at least to prompt 3D discussions between MGM and 007 producers. But unlike Warners' incremental move with the "Potter" franchise -- going with full-on 3D only after an initial foray into partial Imax 3D -- Lion execs would be starting at square one in talks on Bond.

Still, there is the siren call of those extra-dimensional dollars -- and other 3D currencies. In addition to lusting after "Avatar"-like boxoffice, industry execs have taken note of how well 3D pics play overseas.

Warners 3D horror pic "The Final Destination" overperformed internationally this summer, and Sony's 2D "Zombieland" did less than one-fourth as well overseas as domestically a few months later.

Perhaps by no coincidence, Sony might send "Spider-Man" into the third dimension with the webslinger's next pic.

Anthony Atala on growing new organs

Funny Cards between, Spielberg, Lucas, & Cameron

1982: Spielberg sent this to Lucas, E.T / R2D2

1977: Spielberg sent this to Lucas, when Star Wars took over Jaws

1998: Lucas sent this to Cameron, when Titanic dethroned Star Wars at the box-office

Whats next. Cameron sends himself a card...

Epic Timelapse Showing 3D Street Painting Being Drawn watch! Edgar Müller has followed the invitation and continued his series of large-sized 3D Pavement Art. He turned a part of the eastern Pier into the Ice Age. This project was supported by the Goethe Institution Germany as the German contribution for the Art Festival.

Orlando Bloom: Not Aboard for Next "Pirates"

BY Bryan Alexander //

Orlando Bloom: Not Aboard for Next "Pirates"

"The Pirates of the Caribbean" is about to set sail for box office gold once again, but it'll be without Orlando Bloom.

The British actor told MTV he will not be joining the Rob Marshall-helmed fourth installment of the series, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," as production begins in Hawaii.

"No, definitely not," Bloom said when asked if he would be in Pirates No. 4. So what's happened to his lovable Will Turner? "I think Will is sort of swimming around with the fish at the bottom of the ocean," he said.

The pirate franchise's box-office and spiritual anchor, Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, will be donning the pirate hat again, making it a must-see. But Bloom will be missed as he moves onto other roles, especially with recent news that Keira Knightley has bowed out, too.

"I had a great time making those movies," he said. "I just really wanted to do different things, but I think it's going to be great.

City Council Passes Pot-Shop Law; Challenges Likely

Thumbnail image for pot-thumb.jpg

After years of wrangling and foot-dragging the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday gave final approval to a law that would essentially shut down nearly 475 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city while allowing another 137 or so to remain open.

The ordinance has a final goal of capping the number of pot shops in the city at 70 as remaining shops close, go out of business or run astray of the law. The ordinance requires a 1,000 foot buffer between the stores and schools, churches and rehab centers; it limits hours of operation to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; operators can only have one dispensary in the city and have to have a clean, 10-year criminal record; and the shops cannot operate on a for-profit basis -- money exchanged must be go "toward the collective's actual expenses for the growth, cultivation and provision of medical marijuana," and annual audits will keep watch.

Additionally, dispensaries cannot be "on a lot abutting, across the street or alley from, or having a common corner with a residentially zoned lot or a lot improved with residential use.''

Those dispensaries allowed to remain open had begun their operations before a 2007 temporary moratorium was enacted by the council. That moratorium had a huge loophole that inspired even more dispensaries to open, however, and it was eventually struck down in court. The City Council had been struggling since then with ways to regulate the industry as shops opened up by the dozen, concentrating heavily in neighborhoods like Venice, South Robertson and Van Nuys.

As we told you previously, groups including the Los Angeles Collective Association and attorney Bruce Margolin told us they would likely end up in court to challenge the law, so don't hold your breath.

Ask Obama Questions (And See His Answers) on YouTube

This Wednesday, at 9 p.m. EST, U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union speech; you can follow it via White House’s live webstream, as well as the iPhone app.

It’s wonderful to see that today social media plays such an important part in the way we receive news. But perhaps even more important is the followup to Obama’s speech, as viewers will be able to submit questions (and vote on other users’ questions) over at Next week Obama will answer some of those questions in a special online event delivered live from the White House. From the YouTube blog:

“This year’s State of the Union speech will also make history. It will be the first time that citizens will have the opportunity to ask follow-up questions during the speech — and to hear the president’s response to those questions.”

Currently, the exact timing of the followup event is unknown, but we’ll let you know as soon as it’s officially announced.


Check out the first music video from the film

By Mania Staff January 26, 2010
Source: Marvel Entertainment

Comics2Film: IRON MAN 2 Poster
© Mania

When Tony Stark jumps out of an airplane in the cool new trailer for 'Iron Man 2' he did it to the grind of AC/DC's 1980 anthem "Shoot to Thrill."

Now, Marvel Studios and Columbia Records have announced plans to release the CD compilation AC/DC: IRON MAN 2 on April 19, 2010. It'll hold 15 classic AC/DC tracks, some of which will be featured in the film. The play list includes "Shoot to Thrill", "Back in Black", "Thunderstruck", "Highway to Hell" and (appropriately enough) "War Machine".

Pre-orders begin today, January 26th at for the AC/DC: Iron Man 2 CD and at for a deluxe version of AC/DC: Iron Man 2 – CD+DVD and two LP vinyl packages.

The debut video from AC/DC: Iron Man 2 is the AC/DC’s classic album cut "Shoot To Thrill," which was filmed live last month in Buenos Aires during the band’s highly acclaimed Black Ice World Tour, the second highest grossing world tour of 2009 according to concert industry trade publication Pollstar. The video also incorporates exclusive footage from “IRON MAN 2” and debuts today worldwide. Check and for more information. “Shoot To Thrill” was originally recorded for the band’s 50-million selling album Back In Black, one of the best selling albums of all time.

"Jon Favreau’s vision and passion for AC/DC’s music blend seamlessly into this incredible film" said Steve Barnett, co-chairman of Columbia Records. "The music really underscores the high energy and excitement of the film."

"Music is an integral part of the Tony Stark and Iron Man experience, and we are pleased that Columbia and AC/DC are taking part in the franchise’s phenomenon. Through this relationship, the band is delivering fans supercharged Iron Man branded music through all our combined consumer touch points, from the movie to retail outlets and even virally with the debut of the new video,” said Tim Connors, Chief Operating Officer, Marvel Studios.


Hogwarts Castle Towers Over Orlando


The towers of Hogwarts Castle rise above Florida in this new photograph, released Monday by Universal Orlando.

Although Universal says the castle is still “very much a work in progress,” the grand centerpiece of its Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park already looks amazing. When the park opens this spring, Hogwarts Castle will contain an attraction called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and will overlook the town of Hogsmeade, in which you and a million other fans will be jostling for your chance to drink Butterbeer and buy Chocolate Frogs.

Photo: Kevin Kolczynski/Universal Orlando Resort

1/3rd of Women in US Military Raped

Posted By Ole Ole Olson



According to NPR [2], “In 2003, a survey of female veterans found that 30 percent said they were raped in the military. A 2004 study of veterans who were seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder found that 71 percent of the women said they were sexually assaulted or raped while serving. And a 1995 study of female veterans of the Gulf and earlier wars, found that 90 percent had been sexually harassed.”

The BBC [3] recently reported on The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq by Helen Benedict. This book examines the extreme difficulties female soldiers have in serving abroad. Benedict interviewed several women in the military to get a deeper understanding of the issue, and some of their stories were real eye openers.

Army specialist Chantelle Henneberry spoke of some of her experiences in Iraq, “Everybody’s supposed to have a battle buddy in the army, and females are supposed to have one to go to the latrines with, or to the showers – that’s so you don’t get raped by one of the men on your own side. But because I was the only female there, I didn’t have a battle buddy. My battle buddy was my gun and my knife.”

Another study concluded that 90% of all women serving are sexually harassed. Another one estimates that 90% of all the rapes do not get reported, despite supposedly easier ways to report the crime with confidentiality since 2005. Either way, this appears to be an epidemic that needs to be dealt with.

An online discussion from a former soldier whose identity is being protected had this to say, “At least a rape ends. It’s the day-to-day degradation that eats at you. None of my friends who were raped on active duty reported it. Or if we tried, we were told to shut up for ‘morale.’ Working with your rapist on a daily basis isn’t a lot of fun, believe me.”

How the military is dealing with this appears to demonstrate a pattern of sweeping it under the rug. In 2008, 62% of those that were convicted of sexual assault or rape received very lenient punishments such as demotion, suspension, or a written reprimand.


This problem is not confined to the US military either. This abuse is rampant among private defense contractors overseas as well, as recently highlighted by the recent press about Jamie Leigh Jones. Ms. Jones was in Iraq in 2005 when seven Halliburton/KBR employees drugged and brutally gang-raped her. Her injuries were so extensive that she had lacerations to her vagina and anus, her breast implants were ruptured, and her pectoral muscles torn. The response of KBR was to lock her in a shipping container with only a bed, and to deny her food, water, and medical treatment. The rape kit that was taken after she regained consciousness was mysteriously lost.

This crime eventually led to an amendment being added to the defense appropriations bill by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). This would require defense contractors to allow their employees access to US courts in cases of rape or sexual assault, regardless of where they are stationed. The 30 Republican senators voted against this amendment are currently being humiliated on the Republicans for Rape website and by John Stewart on the Daily Show.

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The culture of sexual violence against women that is allowed to exist in both the US military and private contractors needs to come to an end. When almost a third of all women serving are raped, and over two thirds sexually assaulted, this problem is rampant and systemic.