The Dead @ John Paul Jones Arena

The problem with the holidays is that the minute you get back from all the traveling and revelry you’ve got a mound of things to get caught up on once you arrive back home. As a result there are just some things you can’t get to quick enough…like this little announcement: The Dead coming together for their first tour in five years and making a tour stop in Charlottesville to boot.

Surviving Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann will be joined by Gov’t Mule / Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti on a 19-stop April/May tour through 16 cities that is set to begin on April 12 in Greensboro, NC and will wrap up on May 10 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA. Included on the tour schedule is a stop at Charlottesville’s John Paul Jones Arena on Wednesday, April 15. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 23 at 10am. [complete tour date listings after the break].

It looks like the circus is coming to town this spring. It should make for an interesting evening to say the least. On a personal level I’ve included a video from my favorite era of The Grateful Dead’s long, strange musical trip. For me the ‘Pigpen’ years are the Grateful Dead! I’m pretty sure this version of “Easy Wind” is taken from the Grateful Dead’s concert at the Winnipeg Fairgrounds on July 1, 1970.
The Dead 2009 Tour Dates:

Date: City: Venue:

Sun 4/12 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum

Tue 4/14 Washington, DC Verizon Center

Wed 4/15 Charlottesville, VA John Paul Jones Arena

Fri 4/17 Albany, NY Times Union Center

Sat 4/18 Worcester, MA DCU Center

Sun 4/19 Worcester, MA DCU Center

Tue 4/21 Buffalo, NY HSBC Arena

Wed 4/22 Wilkes-Barre, PA Wachovia Arena @ Casey Plaza

Fri 4/24 Uniondale, NY Nassau Coliseum

Sat 4/25 New York, NY Madison Square Garden

Sun 4/26 Hartford, CT XL Center

Tue 4/28 E. Rutherford, NJ IZOD Center

Wed 4/29 E. Rutherford, NJ IZOD Center

Fri 5/1 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Spectrum

Sat 5/2 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Spectrum

Tue 5/5 Chicago, IL All State Arena

Thu 5/7 Denver, CO Pepsi Center

Sat 5/9 Los Angeles, CA The Forum

Sun 5/10 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheater

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Martial artist accused of defacing Wash. Capitol

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A mixed martial arts fighter and avowed anarchist has been charged with malicious mischief, accused of spraying graffiti on the state Capitol.

Jeff "The Snowman" Monson, 37, of Olympia, was charged because of photos published in the Dec. 29 edition of ESPN The Magazine that show him spray-painting an anarchist symbol on the Capitol.

Police had sought the person responsible for spray-painting columns on the north side of the Capitol on Nov. 26, The Olympian reported. The vandalism included an anarchy symbol, a peace symbol and the words "no poverty" and "no war."

Police recognized Monson in footage captured by a surveillance camera, but the break didn't come until ESPN ran its article on the fighter, court papers show.

Monson told The Olympian in a telephone interview that he took responsibility for the graffiti, which he said was a protest against the Iraq war and economic inequality.

Every great movement in the U.S., Monson said, "has been the result of people standing up and breaking the law, refusing to stand at the back of the bus, refusing to stand aside when the government asks you to get off their property.

"At some point you have to stand up," he said.

The graffiti in November cost $19,000 to clean up. An article on said Monson did not give the photographer advance warning before pulling out the spray can.

A warrant was issued Wednesday in Thurston County Superior Court. If convicted, Monson could face a maximum 10 years in prison.

Information from: The Olympian,

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“Monster” Miata on eBay!

Their main focus was our 500hp Vortech Supercharged 1999 Monster Miata and the 1997 White 300 hp Monster.Bishop is proud to offer for sale our 1990 Red Monster Miata with a 240hp Ford 302 V8, T-5 Manual Transmission and a 7.5″ Thunderbird rear end.

The “Monster Miata” was the creation and product of Monster Motorsports, a defunct California company.This is our 1992 Monster Miata.With the installation of the Monster Miata ‘427′ body conversion kit, you’ll transform your stock (or body-damaged) Miata into a unique version of a 427 roadster.

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The much heavier Ford engine did add about 4 percentage points to the front/rear weight balance - and the car takes a corresponding amount of care to drive in turns.

This is one of the original 90 or so cars built by Monster Motorsports of Escondido, California, a division of LaForza Industries.

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I just discovered after driving the car around for a bit that the front left wheel needs to be aligned a bit better because that tire is wearing out on the inside quickly.

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Kimora Lee Simmons Pregnant?

Kimora Lee Simmons and Oscar nominated actor Djimon Hounsou are reportedly expecting their first child together, Us magazine is reporting.
Simmons has two daughters from her previous marriage to Hip Hop Mogul Russell Simmons.

Kimora Lee, who runs the Baby Phat clothing empire she founded with her former husband, has said in the past that she would like to have more children.
Spotted by photographers at a restaurant in Beverly Hills on Thursday, Kimora held a large purse in front of her, presumably to shield the signs of her pregnancy.
Simmons and Hounsou have been dating for two years.

Rumors have been flying around all day that Kimora Lee Simmons is pregnant with Djimon Hounsou’s baby since US magazine reported as an exclusive that they were. It hasn’t been confirmed by Kimora or Djimon yet and people are still buzzing about it. This isn’t the first time it has been rumored that she is pregnant.

These pictures of Kimora were taken recently and by the looks of it I would say she is pregnant. It’s an old celebrity trick to hide your belly behind a big purse. Ashlee Simpson did that before she revealed she was pregnant too. Until then though we will keep you updated…

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Notorious Review

Director: George Tillman Jr.
Notable Cast: Jamal Woolard, Angela Bassett, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke, Anwan Glover, Naturi Naughton, Antonique Smith

The music biopic has become one of the more popular types of films come award season to the point where they were spoofed pretty brilliantly with Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story recently. Into their ranks comes Notorious, yet another standard musician biopic that doesn’t give us much insight into the life and times of the Notorious B.I.G.

Chris Wallace (Jamal Woolard) released two of the most important hip-hop albums before he turned 25. He would’ve released more, one suspects, if he hadn’t been shot to death in one of music’s famous unsolved murders. While his death would propel Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs (Derek Luke) to superstardom and be the end of the East Coast-West Coast rap feud that centered his famed falling out with fellow deceased before 25 rapper Tupac Shakur (Anthony Mackie), his life was one of bad decisions in an otherwise good-natured existence. At least that’s what Notorious would like you to believe as this is perhaps the most sanitized a look at his life as could be. Considering Wallace’s real life son plays the young version of himself, and his family and Sean Combs are listed as producers, it’s no wonder why.

Woolard is an absolute find as the film’s headliner and the film’s success rests on his shoulders. A real life rapper who performs under the name “Gravy,” Woolard doesn’t merely play Wallace but inhabits his presence. A little stiff at times, Woolard does the iconic rapper justice with an incredible performance. While the resemblance isn’t as precise as it could be, after a minute or so of screen time he becomes Biggie Smalls. He shines during the moments where he has to rap, naturally, and many of B.I.G’s bigger hits come through wonderfully through Woolard’s lips. It may not be an award-winning performance, but it’s definitely one to keep an eye out on the young Woolard. He has charisma and a natural screen presence outside of his natural large size.

The problem is that the film doesn’t really offer us any new insight into his life, other than the tragedy that it ended when things began to turn around in his personal life. Nothing about his relationship with the two main women in his life, Lil Kim and his widow Faith Evans, is explored other than he loved them and cheated on both regularly. His relationship with Combs, whose mannerisms are captured dead on by Luke, is captured as one filled with slogans and catchphrases as opposed to any true meaning. It makes for a lackluster view of his life, a sanitized version of a unique human being who was never truly as good a human being as he’s been portrayed as.

You could summarize Wallace’s life as “everything is happy and wonderful until he dies, the end” while playing both of his albums and probably get the same perspective that Notorious provides. For fans of the man it’s a nice reminiscence on his life and music, but it doesn’t provide anything new or insightful.

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Video of Flight 1549 Skidding into the Hudson

At about the two minute mark you can see US Air Flight 1549 skid into the Hudson. Then, you can see the passengers climb out onto the wings. This video is 10 minutes long.

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Battlestar Galactica-Sometimes a Great Notion

So the entire staff of Cinema Blend is apparently drinking it up at Sundance while I enjoy a quiet evening at home being a total geek over Battlestar Galactica’s return. And after bombarding the gang with random text messages all night, they finally realized I could write up the review of tonight’s premiere. I’ve learned my lesson about being social with my co-workers. Tonight’s episode should have been named "OMG" because the show is filled with them including the biggest one of all.

The show begins just as last year ended; complete and utter despair at what Earth is. I’m not much of a cinematographer but I love the somber hues that make up the shots on Earth. When life on Galactica seems more vibrant, you get the idea of how bad Earth is. The show begins with Tigh staring out over the ocean and quickly jumps to somber gazes from Baltar, Anders, Dualla kneeling, Apollo, and Laura Roslin picking a little planet as if she’s Wall-E.

The rest of the crew is investigating the area for signs of life with none showing up. Kara is with Leoben and she picks up a signal and walks off in search for it. So what happened to Earth? Baltar quickly confirms that the planet was nuked 2000 years ago and as Roslin muttered “Great, we traded one nuked world for another”.

Of all the Galactica crew, Dualla is taking Earth’s fate the hardest. Dualla was almost an afterthought last season so maybe Ronald Moore decided to bring her back on more to up the "Who’s the 5th Cylon?" debate. Well, that’s at least what I thought at the time. After returning to Galactica, Roslin is devastated and cannot deliver the news to the crew and asks Admiral Adama to get her out of there as quick as possible. The utter devastation that the fleet must feel begins to show itself through the eyes of Laura Roslin

Back on Earth, Kara and Leoben find the wreckage of a ship with the code 757NC showing. Leoben notices that Kara seems bothered by this information and asks what is wrong with her. She informs him that her ship’s number was 8757NC. The show’s first "OMG," although many people predicted something was fishy with Kara. Now what exactly is it?

Cylon Six leads an excavation crew on Earth at many sites and finds bones and Cylon Centurion-like robots and delivers the show’s second "OMG" moment when it was revealed that Cylons were the 13th tribe that set out for Earth. Maybe I have been obtuse but I never saw that as a possibility. Brilliant.

The Chief experiences what I would call "deja-vu" on the beach when he sees a dark shadow on a wall fragment. He touches the wall and he sees a vision of himself walking around Earth the day of the nuclear attack. Something about how Tyrol is aimlessly looking at fruit adds more to the hurt that they all are going through. Little things like shopping at a market is something they would all give everything to experience again.

Dualla’s repeated appearances in tonight’s show had my cylon-sense tingling all night, although I’m assuming Lee was feeling a completely different tingle. (Hey now!) Lee doesn’t know what to tell everybody as acting President, but Dualla builds him up and reminds him that he’s Apollo. Lee asks his ex-wife to get a drink later and she accepts, so maybe the old couple will get back together.

Kara and Leoben find the rest of the wreckage of the ship that bored her number and the biggest confirmation from last year comes true. Kara’s decomposed body is in the ship. Well, the blonde hair and dog tags seem to confirm it is her and nothing leads me to believe it is not supposed to be her body. So if Kara is dead in the ship, the who or what is the Kara that led the fleet to Earth? An OMG moment indeed. What could possibly top this? Kara asks Leoben for answers but he’s totally freaked out about this and basically runs away from Kara. Men have a hard time with complicated relationships involving dead girls apparently.

Meanwhile back at the "beach," Anders finds remnants of an old guitar and has a Tyrol-like moment as he remembers the words to the song that activated him and that he once was living on Earth. Anders, Tyrol, and Tory reminisce about the good ol' days before the Empire. Before the dark times. Oops wrong Sci-Fi show. Anders asks a question that I hope we get the answer too. What made them re-awake in Caprica thinking they were human after 2000 years?

Roslin continues her despair be burning her religious papers and the prophesies that led her to Earth, and she discontinues her medical treatment even after Admiral Adama asks her to reconsider. She’s devastated by her "failure" and seems ready to die. On Earth, fake Kara burns Dead Kara’s body. Not that I can blame her. It’s not everyday you find out you are already dead. Both strong women are definitely searching for something.

Lee and Dualla’s date seems to have went quite well as they walk along the ship. Dualla asks Lee to repeat his speech of optimism to the fleet. She’s in a great mood and kisses Lee goodbye before entering her quarters. Once there, she talks to Lieutenant Gaeta about her night and stares at a photo of her as a child. Dualla makes quite the interesting comment when she says that she can hardly remember being that little girl. Is she the final Cylon? Gaeta leaves the room while she takes a look at her locket and removes her ring from her finger. Before I can even grasp what is going on, she grabs a gun and blows her brains out. OMG!!! Gaeta and crewmembers rush to the room. The despair was obviously too much for Dualla and the rest of the crew starts to crumble alongside her fallen body.

After a commercial, we find Lee in the morgue obviously pondering what in the hell went wrong in the time after he left her 45 minutes before. The Admiral comes to talk to him but he’s obviously been drinking since his last encounter with Roslin. Lee refuses to drink with his dad and he leaves the morgue. The man’s had a rough day for sure. The Old Man loses it once he raises the sheet and sees Dualla. His words “What did you do?” make you think he’s referring to Dualla but he’s talking to himself. He’s blaming himself for everything going wrong on the ship, with his family, and with Roslin. Adama marches with a loaded side arm to Tigh’s quarters and begins a "talk" with his XO. The Admiral starts insulting Tigh’s dead wife and Tigh pulls a gun on Adama which is exactly what the Old Man wants. He’s tired of being the leader. He tells Tigh that if he can’t pull the trigger he’ll do it himself. It was quite disturbing to see Admiral William Adama’s emotion tailspin at the hurt over discovering Tigh is a Cylon, Roslin dying, and the overall devastation of what Earth was. Tigh won’t pull the trigger and he eventually helps his old friend understand that the crew needs the Admiral and the XO to be strong for the entire crew. When Tigh pushes away the liquor, you know it’s serious. This scene was quite long and ranks as one of the best scenes in the history of the show. Tigh proves he’s more man than machine. Watch it for yourself. I can’t do it justice.

Admiral Adama and Tigh make it to the bridge, albeit a little wobbly and obviously worn out. The Old Man does what he always does. He pulls himself together for the fleet. He announces to the fleet that he understands that the past few days have been painful but that hope wasn’t gone. He announces that they are just like the 13th colony. They needed a home and they will find a home just like the lost colony. The man can give a speech if you haven’t picked up on that throughout the show. I was thinking the show was wrapping up the major moments when they cut back to everybody packing up on Earth and heading back to the ship. D'Anna tells Tigh she plans to stay on Earth because she’s tired of running and tired of history repeating. She asks Tigh if he just wants to end it and ride the tide out to sea. Tigh walks out into the water in as if he’s looking for something that he’s unsure of. He gets over waist deep and has his déjà vu moment finally. He sees Ellen trapped under rubble on Earth and he rushes to her. Bombing is going on all around. Helen is dying but she tells Tigh things will be okay because they will be reborn again and together. HOLY CRAP. And just like that Saul Tigh and all Battlestar Galactica fans realize that Ellen is the 5th Cylon. OMG indeed.

I never expected much from this episode but ended up with one of the top five episodes in Galactica history. Who even thought we would find the fifth Cylon tonight?Could this be a red herring? Before that bombshell was dropped I was already amazed at what we had learned tonight. What about you? Were you as blown away as me? Can I ask anymore questions?

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Downadup virus exposes millions of PCs to hijack

A new sleeper virus that could allow hackers to steal financial and personal information has now spread to more than eight million computers in what industry analysts say is one of the most serious infections they have ever seen.

The Downadup or Conficker worm exploits a bug in Microsoft Windows to infect mainly corporate networks, where -- although it has yet to cause any harm -- it potentially exposes infected PCs to hijack.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at anti-virus firm F-Secure, says while the purpose of the worm is unclear, its unique "phone home" design, linking back to its point of origin, means it can receive further orders to wreak havoc.

He said his company had reverse-engineered its program, which they suspected of originating in Ukraine, and is using the call-back mechanism to monitor an exponential infection rate, despite Microsoft's issuing of a patch to fix the bug.

"On Tuesday there were 2.5 million, on Wednesday 3.5 million and today [Friday], eight million," he told CNN. "It's getting worse, not better."

source -

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VERTU Cell Phone is now available in market

What - So you want a cell phone that grabs everyone in the vicinity attention then a Vertu cell phone is what you are looking for. The Vertu Cell Phone are all hand made and come with the top quality materials such as a Sapphire Crystal screen to make finger prints and blemishes a thing of the past. The Vertu cell phone are encased in 18K gold. Now there are also the limited editions such as the Ferrari lines (picture above) or the Diamond signature line which has almost a thousand diamonds surrounding the phone. Needless to say with this type of luxury comes one heck of a price tag

Who - Vertu Cell Phone
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Circuit City Liquidation

Circuit City became the largest retailer to fall victim to the expanding financial crisis Friday, announcing it will shut down its remaining 567 U.S. stores at the cost of 34,000 more jobs after failing to sell the business.

The closure of the nation's second-biggest consumer electronics retailer spells more trouble for the nations malls, and is the latest casualty of an unprecedented pullback in consumer spending that has claimed KB Toys, Mervyns LLC and Linens 'N Things.

"Very, very sad," said Alan L. Wurtzel, son of company founder Samuel S. Wurtzel and himself a former chief executive of Circuit City. "I feel particularly badly for the people who are employed or until recently were employed."

Richmond, Va.-based Circuit City had been seeking a buyer or a deal to refinance its debt, but the hobbled credit market and consumer worries proved insurmountable. Negotiations for an acquisition extended past midnight Thursday before finally falling through, Circuit City lawyer Gregg Galardi said.

Two potential buyers _ Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego, who controls a chain of electronics stores in Latin America, and the Golden Gate Capital private equity firm _ considered a shrunken form of the business, retaining as many 350 stores or as few as 180. But Circuit City couldn't secure the necessary financing or support from vendors.

"This is the only possible path for our company," acting Chief Executive James A. Marcum said in a statement. "We are extremely disappointed by this outcome."

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Huennekens gave final approval to the liquidation plan Friday afternoon. Some employees were notified that they would lose their jobs and certain stores would begin close-out sales as early as Saturday.

"Since my childhood, that's been where you go to buy electronics _ Circuit City," said 37-year-old Sonya Webb, who was standing outside a store in Chattanooga, Tenn., watching as an employee set a 46-inch Sony television in her car.

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Former Muir teacher to stand trial in murder case

A former John Muir High School English teacher should be tried on charges of murdering his ex-wife's boyfriend in Arcadia last March, a judge ruled Thursday.

Pasadena Superior Court Judge Laura F. Priver found "sufficient cause" to hold Brandon Michael Landreth, 30, of Pasadena to answer to charges of first degree murder and set an arraignment for Jan. 30.

Citing testimony that Landreth had made threats against another of his ex-wife's lovers, Priver also javascript:void(0)set Landreth's bail at $5 million.

Landreth pleaded not guilty at his first arraignment in April in the shooting of 25-year-old Justo Cesar Morales at Morales' parents' Canyon Road home in northern Arcadia.

In initial police reports of the crime, a gunman knocked on Morales' front door, then opened fire immediately after Morales opened the door. The gunman then rode off on a skateboard, witnesses told detectives.

Prosecutors outlined the case against Landreth at a preliminary hearing Thursday. A friend of Landreth, Gerald Gracian, and Landreth's ex-wife, Tania, both claimed he had confessed to shooting and killing Morales.

Tania Landreth testified that the defendant had met her on her front lawn in the days after Morales' death and confessed to killing Morales.

"I asked, `Was he in pain?"' she recounted tearfully. "He told me, `He died quickly."'

She also said that Landreth had made threats against Morales' life close to 100 times over the
course of two years.

Landreth's attorney pointed out that police were unsuccessful in their attempts to tape Landreth's confession by wiring Tania.

He also asked her why she had not gone to the police upon hearing the threats against Morales' life, to which she replied that Landreth had threatened her too.

At a hearing in April, investigators cited items police found inside Landreth's car when officers stopped it in Pasadena on April 2, three days after Morales was shot.

Inside his silver Volkswagen police found camping gear, a backpack full of clothing and other articles, and $9,000 in cash Landreth had withdrawn from his bank, investigators said.

In a search of Landreth's home, authorities recovered a handgun and ammunition. They also found a piece of paper with the address of another possible victim. That man, like Morales, also had dated Landreth's ex-wife, police said.

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Google May Lay Off up to 10000 Workers

Google has been quietly laying off staff and up to 10,000 jobs could be on the chopping block according to sources. Since August, hundreds of employees have been laid off and there are reports that about 500 of them were recruiters for Google.

By law, Google is required to report layoffs publicly and with the SEC however, Google has managed to get around the legal requirement. In fact, one of the ways Google was able to meet Wall Street’s Q3 earnings expectations was by trimming “operational” expenses.

Google reports to the SEC that it has 20,123 employees but in reality it has 30,000. Why the discrepancy? Google classifies 10,000 of the employees as temporary operational expenses or “workers”. Google co-founder Sergey Brin said, “There is no question that the number (of workers) is too high”.

The classification affords Google several advantages such as:

1) Hire full time employees without full time benefits. The classification enables Google to pay them above minimum wage, provide no health benefits, no insurance coverage, no stock options, and no offer of permanent employment.

2) By under-reporting actual employee headcount, Google looks good to Wall Street. A low headcount gives the illusion that productivity per employee is more than it actually is, which in turn looks good in the eyes of Google shareholders which is ultimately good for Google’s stock in the short term.

So, how does Google get around the SEC requirement regarding material information? Google has hundreds of lawyers figuring out how not to get caught. One of them is by moving workers from job to job every few months so that their status remains temporary. That is why you probably have never spoken to the same person twice at Google and that is also why there is somebody new on the job and most times you know more about their job than they do.

A bulk of the workers have been there for up to five years and many know others who had been there for seven years or more moving from job to job.

There is no question the economic downturn is hitting Google hard and with the slowdown in online advertising, their troubles are just beginning.

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A worm that spreads via removable devices, network shares, and weak administrator passwords--in addition to exploiting a critical Windows vulnerability--is spreading so fast it is becoming an epidemic, a security researcher said on Thursday.

The worm, known as Kido, Conficker, or Downadup, initially exploited MS08-067, a vulnerability considered critical for Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003. It was patched in October.

Newer variants have been configured to give the worm the ability to infect via other means to get onto the network, said Roel Schouwenberg, a senior antivirus researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

"The Kido authors are trying to get into these networks by infected removable devices and by using other Trojans to install Kido on a computer, which will then try to infect other machines on the local network," he said in an e-mail statement. The worm "is currently causing an epidemic."

An estimated 3.5 million computers are believed to be infected with the worm, ZDNet reports.

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