Monthly Archives: December, 2013

Beyoncé’s sample, using audio from ’86 Challenger tragedy, slammed as ‘insensitive’

Beyoncé Knowles performing in Milan, Italy, 2007. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Beyoncé Knowles performing in Milan, Italy, 2007. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

 

 

Grammy award-winning singer Beyoncé has been slammed as “insensitive” by NASA astronauts and families for using an audio sample that described the 1986 space shuttle Challenger tragedy .

NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt’s voice stating, “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction,” is heard at the beginning of the song “XO” before it segues into pop lyrics about relationships…

Click here to read about controversy swirling around Beyoncé’s use of NASA audio clip in “XO” love song.

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Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio vows to ban horse-drawn carriages: ‘It’s over’

Horse-drawn carriage in New York City. (Photo: Onegreenplanet.org)

Horse-drawn carriage in New York City. (Photo: Onegreenplanet.org)

 

 

 

 

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has vowed to outlaw horse-drawn carriages in New York City’s Central Park once he is in office. At a news conference Monday, he said it is inhumane to expose horses to the dangerous city streets…

Click here to read about Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s plan to outlaw horse-drawn carriages in New York City.

China amends one-child policy, abolishes labor re-education camps

Poster promoting the one-child policy, 1986. (Photo: Hidden Harmonies China Blog)

Poster promoting the one-child policy, 1986. (Photo: Hidden Harmonies China Blog)

 

 

 

On Saturday, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed resolutions to amend China’s one-child policy. The resolution is equivalent to a legal document in China. Reforms were also implemented on the re-education through labor, or laojiao, camps…

Click here to read about China’s amendments to its one-child policy and re-education through labor camps.

13 states increase minimum wage on Jan. 1

McDonald's workers protest on Fifth Avenue, New York City, Aug. 29. (Photo: Bloomberg Businessweek)

McDonald’s workers protest on Fifth Avenue, New York City, Aug. 29. (Photo: Bloomberg Businessweek)

 

On Jan. 1, the minimum wage will increase in 13 states, including New York, Connecticut and Ohio. Other states which will see a boost are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, affecting more than 2.5 million worker. Five cities also raised the minimum wage…

To read about the minimum wage increase in 13 states and five cities, click here.

More than a million Americans lose unemployment benefits

Hundreds stand in line at a Harlem job fair, in Aug. 2013. (Photo: Daily News)

Hundreds stand in line at a Harlem job fair, in Aug. 2013. (Photo: Daily News)

 

 

 

 

Funding for the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will end Saturday and 1.3 million across the US will lose benefits. The long-term benefit began in 2008 during the recession and provided extended compensation to the jobless who are looking for work…

Click here to read about more than 1 million workers who lost unemployment compensation.

60-year-old Chinese woman bears twin girls after losing only child

 Sheng Hailin, receives a kiss from her two daughters, conceived via IVF treatments. (Credit: GB Times/Internet Photo)

Sheng Hailin, receives a kiss from her two daughters, conceived via IVF treatments. (Credit: GB Times/Internet Photo)

Sheng Hailin, 63, gave birth to twin girls who are now three years old after IVF treatments, making her the oldest Chinese woman to give birth. In 2009, she and husband, Wing Jinzhou, lost a daughter, who was then in her 20s due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hailin deeply mourned the loss of her first daughter and stated, “To survive and free myself of the loneliness, I decided to have another child in my old age.” Family and friends encouraged her…

Click here to read about a 60-year-old Chinese woman who had twins via IVF after her only child died.

Okinawa approves relocation of US military base after nearly 20 years

A Japanese man protests against US Marine Corps Base Futenma in Ginowan, Nov. 8, 2009. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

A Japanese man protests against US Marine Corps Base Futenma in Ginowan, Nov. 8, 2009. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

 

Okinawa prefecture Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima announced approval for the US Marine Corps Base Futenma to construct a new site, on the Henoko coast near the town of Nago, while hundreds of Okinawan residents protested Friday.

At a live news broadcast, Nakaima stated that although he gave his approval, the relocation will not be feasible or easy. He added that moving the base outside Okinawa is a “better plan.” Protesters brand Nakaima a traitor as he reversed previous opposition to the move…

Click here for more on Okinawa approval of US military base relocation.

 

Chicago plastic surgeon to use Google Glass during rhinoplasty

Google Glass, the wearable, high-tech camera. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Google Glass, the wearable, high-tech camera. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

 

On Thursday, Dr. Anil Shah, a University of Chicago plastic surgeon, will use “Google Glass” to perform a rhinoplasty. Google Glass is a wearable computer.

The surgeon, who is an invited tester said, “This is a perfect case to highlight the merits of Google Glass since her nose has both obvious external as well as internal nasal deviation”…

Click here to read about how surgeons are using Google Glass.

UPS, FedEx under fire after failing to deliver Christmas goods on time

A UPS truck driver en route in Memphis, TN. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

A UPS truck driver en route in Memphis, TN. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

 

 

UPS announced Tuesday it was overwhelmed and probably would not be able to deliver Christmas packages by Wednesday. Shortly after, FedEx acknowledged that it, too, would be unable to meet deadlines.

Delays were blamed on recent weather conditions in the Midwest, an increase in online shopping and customers waiting until the last minute to place orders…

Click here to read about UPS and FedEx Christmas deliveries.

Christmas: A pagan holiday evolved into a ‘Christian’ one

Sculpture of ancient Romans celebrating the Saturnalia Festival. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Sculpture of ancient Romans celebrating the Saturnalia Festival. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 25 because of its pagan origins, but the holiday later became known as Christian. What may be surprising is that there are Christians who do not celebrate Christmas. For some, like members of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, it is because the church abides by the tenet “solo scriptura,” a Latin phrase which means by scripture alone. Since Jesus did not leave instructions for his followers to celebrate his birth, the FPCS does not. Other Christians stop celebrating the holiday when they discover its roots . . .

Click here for a story on the pagan roots of Christmas.