Friday, December 14, 2007

Movie Review: I am Legend

I Am Legend is set in a starkly empty future Manhattan. Much thought and work has gone into the art direction in creating it’s unique look and atmosphere. They’re the films greatest strengths. Stunning glimpses of what a city could look like when a plague wipes out human life are around every corner - forests of weeds thrusting through city pavement, disrepair and emptiness in contrast with what were once bustling streets with the grand, optimistic architecture that makes New York unique. And for the purposes of the story, the centre of the universe.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Nancy Makin loses 500 Pounds

After 12 years of weight gain, Makin had spiraled into despair. The more food she ate, the more shame she felt, and nothing could stop the cycle.

Then one day her sister gave her a computer. Inspired by the friends she'd made online and no longer judged by how she looked, Makin finally took control of the situation.

"The anonymity of the computer gave me access to a world that would have just as well have left me alone, alone to die but I did not," Makin wrote in a letter describing her saga.

Today Makin weighs a healthy 170 pounds and hopes others will be inspired by her story to take back their own lives.

Out of Control

The weight gain started after a divorce and fear at her job. Makin began overeating to avoid her feelings and soon she just couldn't stop.

"My son would bring me 10 double cheeseburgers. So I'd eat four, put the rest in the fridge. And then they'd call to me during the night or whatever and you'd eat 'em cold. I could go in and overeat cold squash out of the fridge. It doesn't matter."

"You're stuffing your feelings. That's what people need to know. It's not just being a glutton."

Too humiliated to go out in public, Makin only allowed her family to see her, often sending her son to get her groceries. "I only regret that my son — that I hurt him, that I marred his childhood somehow, that it could have been more full."

Escape Online
It was the gift of getting online that ultimately let Makin escape her misery.

"Internet provided anonymity. And people who would have rejected me out of hand, based on appearance, got to see my insides."

Before she knew it, the political junkie was surfing through chat rooms and making friends, beginning to find value in herself again. "I was being loved and nurtured by faceless strangers. … Friends accepted who I was based on my mind and soul."

"I was so busy and happy to get up every morning that I like to say I lost weight in my fingers first."

Makin said the psychological transformation was so complete that she lost all that weight without diet pills, exercise or even a diet. She just stopped gorging.

"I achieved this on my own, in a natural way, with no surgical procedures having been performed. No particular 'diet' plan was followed; no pills, potions or ab-crunching exercises played a part in my recovery," she wrote in a congratulatory letter to herself.

A Lurid Aftermath to a Hedge Fund Manager’s Life

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But the boyish Mr. Tobias never ran with the titans of Wall Street. He was a small player in an industry where successful managers command billions or even tens of billions of dollars. Nonetheless, Mr. Tobias managed to make a name for himself on financial-news television, appearing on “Squawk Box” and “Kudlow & Company” on CNBC.

Now, the hints emerging about his private life have captivated Wall Street. Mrs. Tobias told the police that her husband may have been using cocaine on the night he died, according to police reports. Some of Mr. Tobias’s former associates say he used drugs regularly and often disappeared from his office for days or weeks at a time.

Mr. Tobias’s life was apparently as volatile as his investment returns. After Circle T lost 5.3 percent in 2005, his marriage began to fray. In March 2006, the police were called to the Tobiases’ home because of a domestic disturbance. A few days later. Mr. Tobias filed for divorce. It was one week before the couple’s first anniversary.

The Tobiases later reconciled. But the divorce filings included a laundry list of accusations. Mrs. Tobias stated that she caught him having an “adulterous affair” and that he “gambled away tens of thousands of dollars and used other funds on illicit habits.” She asked the court to award her $46,000 a month for living expenses. He argued that she was constantly spending too much money.

Even after the couple reconciled, they fought constantly, mostly over money, according to several friends, who asked not to be identified for fear of being subpoenaed in connection with the case or because they were worried that their professional reputations would be harmed by being associated with the case. At one point, Mrs. Tobias bought a Porsche on her credit card and then cried when Mr. Tobias told her to return it, one friend recounted.

They also secretly frequented a gay bar called Cupids in West Palm Beach, in a strip mall along a main thoroughfare. It was there, according to Mr. Ash, that Mr. Tobias first met Tiger.

“Seth used to come in here back when it was crazy,” said Adiel Hemingway, the longtime manager of Cupids. As a flat-screen television blared hard-core gay pornography, he said that Mr. Tobias often came to the club with his wife. Mr. Hemingway took out a picture of Tiger in his office. Tiger is blond and covered with tattoos that look like stripes.

“I know exactly who he is, but I’m not telling you,” Mr. Hemingway said. The Tobias brothers have subpoenaed Tiger, using the address of Cupids, but have been unable to learn his true name.

The day Mr. Tobias died, he spent the afternoon at the Breakers with his wife and several friends, drinking and possibly using cocaine, according to Mrs. Tobias’s statement to the police. From there, Mr. Tobias went with one of the friends to E. R. Bradley’s Saloon, a boisterous open-air bar in Palm Beach that looks over the Intracoastal Waterway.

What happened next is unclear, except that Mr. Tobias was dead in the pool, with abrasions on his nose, forehead and back. When the police arrived, Mrs. Tobias, on the advice of a friend who is a lawyer, refused to let them enter the house, which is perched on the edge of the sixth hole of a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course in a gated community. After returning with a warrant, the police found a Ziploc bag with a white powdery substance and a small baggie and a straw, as well as two empty plastic prescription bottles. Mr. Tobias’s eyeglasses and a drinking glass were discovered on the bottom of the pool.

According to the brothers’ lawsuit, Mrs. Tobias caused her husband “to ingest one or more controlled substances that induced loss of consciousness and capacity to breathe.” They further claimed that she caused him “to enter the swimming pool at their residence after his ingestion of controlled substances and in his stuporous and helpless condition he was asphyxiated and died.” Mr. Tobias’s best friend, Patrick Bransome, said in a statement to police that he had not seen him go in a pool or swim in years. Mr. Bransome declined to comment.

A few weeks later, Mr. Ash called the police and told them that Mrs. Tobias had confessed to him and that he had a tape recording to prove it. Mr. Ash has a past: he has been arrested at least 11 times on charges ranging from larceny to prostitution; He has been called Mr. Madam because of a past connection he says he had to Heidi Fleiss, the Hollywood Madam. Investigators flew to Mr. Ash’s home in San Diego and spent a day interviewing him.

“She confessed to me on tape,” Mr. Ash, said in an interview. “I believe she absolutely did it.” He would not provide the tape, but expressed outrage that the case was not moving more quickly. “I’m the only one standing up for him. Who else in this whole crazy thing is looking out for him?”

The police in Jupiter appeared unimpressed with Mr. Ash’s allegations. “You can take it for what it is worth,” Sergeant Pascarella said.

Through her lawyers, Mrs. Tobias refused to comment for this article. In a recent interview with The Palm Beach Post, she said, “I’m broken. I haven’t gone out in six weeks. I’ve been in and out of the hospital. I just pray all day and wonder why people could be so evil.”

She said of Mr. Ash: “All those rumors are disgusting. He’s a very sick man who should be institutionalized.”

Seth Tobias - A Lurid Aftermath to a Hedge Fund Manager’s Life

Seth TobiasJUPITER, Fla. — A life of private jets and black-tie balls ended with Seth Tobias, a wealthy investment manager and a familiar presence on CNBC, floating face down in the swimming pool of his mansion here.

Seth Tobias, a regular guest on “Kudlow & Company” on CNBC, was found dead in the pool of his home in Florida. His brothers say his wife killed him.

It was just after midnight on Sept. 4 when Mr. Tobias’s wife, Filomena, frantically called 911. “Please send somebody, please!” Mrs. Tobias screamed. “He’s not breathing!” By the time the police arrived, she had pulled her husband’s body to the edge of the pool, where she cradled his head in her arms, sobbing.

Mr. Tobias, who was 44 years old, had apparently suffered a heart attack, his brother Spence said at the time. The police did not consider his death suspicious.

But now an unfolding drama over Mr. Tobias’s estate is providing a lurid account of fast money and faster living in the volatile world of hedge funds. Mr. Tobias’s four brothers and Mrs. Tobias are locked in a legal battle over the estate, which is worth at least $25 million. And, in a civil complaint, they have gone so far as to accuse her of murder.

The brothers, Samuel, Spence, Scott and Joshua, claim Mrs. Tobias drugged her husband and lured him into the pool. Bill Ash, a former assistant to Mr. Tobias, said he had told the police that Mrs. Tobias confessed to him that she had cajoled her husband into the water while he was on a cocaine binge with a promise of sex with a male go-go dancer known as Tiger.

Mrs. Tobias’s lawyers call the claims outrageous. She has not been accused of any crime.

The mystery deepened when it emerged that Mrs. Tobias spent $9,628 to have the pool drained and resurfaced days after her husband died, according to documents filed in an unrelated case.

The salacious accusations have captivated this wealthy enclave north of West Palm Beach and transfixed the investment world in New York, where Mr. Tobias ran a $300 million hedge fund from an office on Park Avenue. From the Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, a stately symbol of old money, to trading floors on Wall Street, the epicenter of the explosive wealth now reshaping American society, the case is seen as a parable of the modern gilded age.

“I don’t understand why this hasn’t ended up on ‘CSI: Miami’ yet,” said Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s stock-picking show “Mad Money” and Mr. Tobias’s former boss on Wall Street.

The questions keep piling up, starting with the big one: How did Mr. Tobias die? The police in Jupiter have not opened a homicide investigation but are awaiting the results of toxicology tests before making a final determination, said Sgt. Scott Pascarella.

At the center of the dispute is Mr. Tobias’s will, which designates his brothers as beneficiaries but does not name Mrs. Tobias. She contends that she is entitled to the estate because the will was signed before the couple married. In court filings, the Tobias brothers invoke Florida’s “slayer statute,” which prohibits inheritance by a person who murders someone from whom they stand to inherit. They claim she “intentionally killed” her husband “by asphyxiation and drowning.”

One lawyer representing Mrs. Tobias, Gary Dunkin, said he was shocked by the accusation. “In my 25 years practicing law, this is the most reckless allegation I have ever seen,” he said in court. Her lawyers, which include her prior husband, Jay J. Jacknin, have asked the court to put off her depositions, citing her “psychiatric condition.” They said she hired contractors to empty the pool because she was distraught over her husband’s death.

However this mystery plays out, it is providing a treasure of details about the lavish lifestyles that hedge funds can afford their founders, and perhaps sheds light on how all that money ultimately influences personal lives.

Mr. Tobias, a native of Philadelphia, entered this secretive, often volatile corner of the financial world after spending less than a decade on Wall Street, including a stint with Mr. Cramer’s former money-management firm. He formed Circle T in 1996, with $4 million, and parlayed that into a $300 million hedge fund and brokerage firm. Circle T is in the process of returning investors’ funds; clients have not lost money.

He counted among his investors Samuel Zell, the billionaire who recently agreed to buy the Tribune Company. Mr. Zell, in an interview, said he rarely interacted with Mr. Tobias. “I knew Seth for 10 or 15 years on a very unconnected basis,” he said. “He was a good, smart guy.”

Along the way, Mr. Tobias collected the trappings of success. He spent days at the Kentucky Derby and nights at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. He frequently shuttled by private jet between New York, where he worked in the Seagram Building in Manhattan, and Florida, where he owned two homes.

Mr. Tobias made — and apparently spent — millions of dollars a year, court documents suggest. Outstanding expenses at the time of his death included $52,532 on his American Express Centurion Black Card and $7,960 on his Bank of America credit card. His mortgage payment for one of his homes was $35,000 a month. He paid $1,367 a month to lease a Land Rover. His monthly cable bill from Comcast was $535.19.

read rest of story...

Warning In Regard to Womenra Female Viagra

While different new versions of female viagra may be coming soon, Womenra may be fake and claims not substantiated.

A new project called Womenra (Sildenafil) is in the market providing medical pills for women to for sexual arousal. We visited Womenra's website and found the following information.

The Claim: "WOMENRA is scientifically formulated to provide intense sexual satisfaction
for women seeking ultimate pleasure. WOMENRA works by increasing genital
blood flow and vaginal compliance resulting in intensified pleasure during
sexual activity."

In Womenra's About US section we read the following: " only sells the highest quality medications available. All medications are government approved and are dispensed by a fully licensed and approved pharmacy. Every medication is checked, verified and filled by a trained and licensed pharmacist. We take care of your health.

" is accredited by The International Pharmacy Association. Their presence is to represent and support the ethical and professional practice of international pharmacies and to ensure its members carry out the highest standards of practice. Only certified pharmacies are awarded this seal."

However, our email to has not been answered yet. While Womenra may be a member of FIP, it does not say anything about being approved by US FDA.

Another thing that made us more suspicious about Womenra and its female viagra pill is the fact that's we could not find an address or telephone number of the company. If you had a great product that lives up to the claimed standard would not not want to have your address and the toll free number so people can freely contact you?

To the question How Can I Contact The Billing Department Womenra answers the following way: "If you have any queries regarding a transaction, please contact our billing section through a support ticket." Now this is really suspicious. No address, no telephon number, who knows where you payment information is going, why would someone buy Womenra and trust it?

BuzzFeed puts it in a very nice way writing: "A sketchy version of viagra for women highlights the search for female arousal. Womenra, as far as we can tell, is a total fake, but there will likely soon be several versions of women's viagra available."

Please be warned of Womenra.

Patriots Ravens Score: Pats win the game in last minute

Skill and luck, a lot of luck, saved the New England Patriots on Monday night when the unbeaten met the Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots vs. Ravens final score 27-24. The Patriots were trailing by four points up until 44 seconds was all that left in the game and a touchdown by Jabar Gaffney - a play challenged by the Ravens, but the call stand and the Pats took back the lead. The Ravens committed 2 penalties after the touchdown, one of them being No. 57 throwing the referee's first flag into the stands. With 8 seconds left until the end of the game the Ravens had an amazing opportunity to beat the Patriots - Mark Clayton caught the ball only 2 yards away from the end zone, but the New England defense was quick to make sure Clayton will stay inches away from the touchdown and the time ran out as the defense was bringing down Clayton. New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens score 27-24 and the Pats continue ahead unbeaten.

The Ravens showed an excellent game play tonight, most likely encouraged from the Patriots last week game against the Eagles. Tonight - the same scenario and the Patriots win again by only 3 points, failing miserable to cover the -20 point spread posted earlier. The odds on the Ravens to win the game were listed at +1050 at Bodog Sports, which means that the bookie was 44 seconds away from paying out 1050 for every 100 bet, a very close call for many Baltimore fans betting on their team. Now that the Patriots barely won their last two games, it will be interesting to see the spread and betting numbers on the New England upcoming game against the Steelers.

National debt grows $1 million a minute

ike a ticking time bomb, the national debt is an explosion waiting to happen. It's expanding by about $1.4 billion a day — or nearly $1 million a minute.

What's that mean to you?

It means almost $30,000 in debt for each man, woman, child and infant in the United States.

Even if you've escaped the recent housing and credit crunches and are coping with rising fuel prices, you may still be headed for economic misery, along with the rest of the country. That's because the government is fast straining resources needed to meet interest payments on the national debt, which stands at a mind-numbing $9.13 trillion.

And like homeowners who took out adjustable-rate mortgages, the government faces the prospect of seeing this debt — now at relatively low interest rates — rolling over to higher rates, multiplying the financial pain.

So long as somebody is willing to keep loaning the U.S. government money, the debt is largely out of sight, out of mind.

But the interest payments keep compounding, and could in time squeeze out most other government spending — leading to sharply higher taxes or a cut in basic services like Social Security and other government benefit programs. Or all of the above.

A major economic slowdown, as some economists suggest may be looming, could hasten the day of reckoning.

The national debt — the total accumulation of annual budget deficits — is up from $5.7 trillion when President Bush took office in January 2001 and it will top $10 trillion sometime right before or right after he leaves in January 2009.

That's $10,000,000,000,000.00, or one digit more than an odometer-style "national debt clock" near New York's Times Square can handle. When the privately owned automated clock was activated in 1989, the national debt was $2.7 trillion.

It only gets worse.

Over the next 25 years, the number of Americans aged 65 and up is expected to almost double. The work population will shrink and more and more baby boomers will be drawing Social Security and Medicare benefits, putting new demands on the government's resources.

These guaranteed retirement and health benefit programs now make up the largest component of federal spending. Defense is next. And moving up fast in third place is interest on the national debt, which totaled $430 billion last year.

Aggravating the debt picture: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates could cost $2.4 trillion over the next decade

Despite vows in both parties to restrain federal spending, the national debt as a percentage of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product has grown from about 35 percent in 1975 to around 65 percent today. By historical standards, it's not proportionately as high as during World War II — when it briefly rose to 120 percent of GDP, but it's a big chunk of liability.

"The problem is going forward," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard and Poors, a major credit-rating agency.

"Our estimate is that the national debt will hit 350 percent of the GDP by 2050 under unchanged policy. Something has to change, because if you look at what's going to happen to expenditures for entitlement programs after us baby boomers start to retire, at the current tax rates, it doesn't work," Wyss said.

With national elections approaching, candidates of both parties are talking about fiscal discipline and reducing the deficit and accusing the other of irresponsible spending. But the national debt itself — a legacy of overspending dating back to the American Revolution — receives only occasional mention.

Who is loaning Washington all this money?

Ordinary investors who buy Treasury bills, notes and U.S. savings bonds, for one. Also it is banks, pension funds, mutual fund companies and state, local and increasingly foreign governments. This accounts for about $5.1 trillion of the total and is called the "publicly held" debt. The remaining $4 trillion is owed to Social Security and other government accounts, according to the Treasury Department, which keeps figures on the national debt down to the penny on its Web site.

Some economists liken the government's plight to consumers who spent like there was no tomorrow — only to find themselves maxed out on credit cards and having a hard time keeping up with rising interest payments.

"The government is in the same predicament as the average homeowner who took out an adjustable mortgage," said Stanley Collender, a former congressional budget analyst and now managing director at Qorvis Communications, a business consulting firm.

Much of the recent borrowing has been accomplished through the selling of shorter-term Treasury bills. If these loans roll over to higher rates, interest payments on the national debt could soar. Furthermore, the decline of the dollar against other major currencies is making Treasury securities less attractive to foreigners — even if they remain one of the world's safest investments.

For now, large U.S. trade deficits with much of the rest of the world work in favor of continued foreign investment in Treasuries and dollar-denominated securities. After all, the vast sums Americans pay — in dollars — for imported goods has to go somewhere. But that dynamic could change.

"The first day the Chinese or the Japanese or the Saudis say, `we've bought enough of your paper,' then the debt — whatever level it is at that point — becomes unmanageable," said Collender.

A recent comment by a Chinese lawmaker suggesting the country should buy more euros instead of dollars helped send the Dow Jones plunging more than 300 points.

The dollar is down about 35 percent since the end of 2001 against a basket of major currencies.

Foreign governments and investors now hold some $2.23 trillion — or about 44 percent — of all publicly held U.S. debt. That's up 9.5 percent from a year earlier.

Japan is first with $586 billion, followed by China ($400 billion) and Britain ($244 billion). Saudi Arabia and other oil-exporting countries account for $123 billion, according to the Treasury.

"Borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from China and OPEC puts not only our future economy, but also our national security, at risk. It is critical that we ensure that countries that control our debt do not control our future," said Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, a Republican budget hawk.

Of all federal budget categories, interest on the national debt is the one the president and Congress have the least control over. Cutting payments would amount to default, something Washington has never done.

Congress must from time to time raise the debt limit — sort of like a credit card maximum — or the government would be unable to borrow any further to keep it operating and to pay additional debt obligations.

The Democratic-led Congress recently did just that, raising the ceiling to $9.82 trillion as the former $8.97 trillion maximum was about to be exceeded. It was the fifth debt-ceiling increase since Bush became president in 2001.

Democrats are blaming the runup in deficit spending on Bush and his Republican allies who controlled Congress for the first six years of his presidency. They criticize him for resisting improvements in health care, education and other vital areas while seeking nearly $200 billion in new Iraq and Afghanistan war spending.

"We pay in interest four times more than we spend on education and four times what it will cost to cover 10 million children with health insurance for five years," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. "That's fiscal irresponsibility."

Republicans insist congressional Democrats are the irresponsible ones. Bush has reinforced his call for deficit reduction with vetoes and veto threats and cites a looming "train wreck" if entitlement programs are not reined in.

Yet his efforts two years ago to overhaul Social Security had little support, even among fellow Republicans.

The deficit only reflects the gap between government spending and tax revenues for one year. Not exactly how a family or a business keeps its books.

Even during the four most recent years when there was a budget surplus, 1998-2001, the national debt ranged between $5.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion.

As in trying to pay off a large credit-card balance by only making minimum payments, the overall debt might be next to impossible to chisel down appreciably, regardless of who is in the White House or which party controls Congress, without major spending cuts, tax increases or both.

"The basic facts are a matter of arithmetic, not ideology," said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan group that advocates eliminating federal deficits.

There's little dispute that current fiscal policies are unsustainable, he said. "Yet too few of our elected leaders in Washington are willing to acknowledge the seriousness of the long-term fiscal problem and even fewer are willing to put it on the political agenda."

Polls show people don't like the idea of saddling future generations with debt, but proposing to pay down the national debt itself doesn't move the needle much.

"People have a tendency to put some of these longer term problems out of their minds because they're so pressed with more imminent worries, such as wages and jobs and income inequality," said pollster Andrew Kohut of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

Texas billionaire Ross Perot made paying down the national debt a central element of his quixotic third-party presidential bid in 1992. The national debt then stood at $4 trillion and Perot displayed charts showing it would soar to $8 trillion by 2007 if left unchecked. He was about a trillion low.

Not long ago, it actually looked like the national debt could be paid off — in full. In the late 1990s, the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office projected a surplus of a $5.6 trillion over ten years — and calculated the debt would be paid off as early as 2006.

Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan recently wrote that he was "stunned" and even troubled by such a prospect. Among other things, he worried about where the government would park its surplus if Treasury bonds went out of existence because they were no longer needed.

Not to worry. That surplus quickly evaporated.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's, said he's more concerned that interest on the national debt will become unsustainable than he is that foreign countries will dump their dollar holdings — something that would undermine the value of their own vast holdings. "We're going to have to shell out a lot of resources to make those interest payments. There's a very strong argument as to why it's vital that we address our budget issues before they get measurably worse," Zandi said.

"Of course, that's not going to happen until after the next president is in the White House," he added.

Stump the King - Jennifer Love Hewitt

In case you haven't heard, new pictures of Jennifer Love Hewitt in a bikini have surfaced on the internet. In case you haven't seen them, I'll tell you that there is nothing particularly scandalous about the shots.

There is no nudity, accidental or otherwise. She's not eating a sloppy hamburger or doing anything else "unladylike." Truthfully, the only reason these pictures are getting any notice at all is because they reveal Ms. Hewitt's "curvy, cellulite-ridden physique."

Normally, I wouldn't give this kind of non-event the time of day but I bring it up not because of the pictures themselves but because of Ms. Hewitt's reaction to them.

While most female celebrities are ignoring these kind of photos. JLH shot back at her detractors saying, " I've sat by in silence for a long time now about the way women's bodies are constantly scrutinized. To set the record straight, I'm not upset for me, but for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image. A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size 0 doesn't make you beautiful."

Like Tyra Banks, before her, JLH has taken the world one baby step closer to understanding that real-life beauty is never perfect. As a father of two young girls, I appreciate her comments and as a typical American male, I appreciate the pictures.

Thousands attend Sean Taylor's funeral

MIAMI - Thousands of people attended the funeral of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor on Monday morning.

The service, held at an arena on the campus of Florida International University, took place one week after Taylor was fatally shot during a break-in at his home. He died early the following morning at the age of 24.

Taylor's casket was surrounded by large bouquets of flowers and was placed in front of a large video screen which showed highlights from his playing career. Part of the bouquet was arranged in the design of a No. 21, Taylor's jersey number.

Several speakers addressed the crowd of mourners, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, Redskins running back Clinton Portis and Reverend Jesse Jackson.

"The NFL is proud of Sean Taylor, not just of his Pro Bowl ability," Goodell said. "He loved football, and football loved him back.

"But more important is what he was as a man and what he was becoming as a man, for lots of people here today - fans, family, admirers. He made an impact on all of us."

Taylor was the first player drafted together by Gibbs and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who also was in attendance.

"Over the four years, the thing that excited me most - it was about Sean's life," Gibbs said. "It was not about football. (It) was the maturing process in his life."

Portis, also a teammate of Taylor's at the University of Miami, donned large sunglasses and spoke of the Pro Bowl safety's ferocity and talent on the field.

"There's nobody who played in the NFL with more heart than Sean," Portis said. "If there was anything that made me more motivated to play football, it was seeing Sean hitting someone, knowing Sean was on our team.

"I don't fear much. But if I was on the opposing team, I would fear Sean's No. 21."

After telling the mourners to stand and applaud Taylor, Jackson spoke about violence in America and the growing problems regarding the availability of guns.

"Sean was a safety, a tackle of last resort," Jackson said. "He stood between the other team and a touchdown. If we learn from his death, we've saved many a touchdown."

Former Redskins linebacker Lavar Arrington, current Miami coach Randy Shannon, agent Drew Rosenhaus and various family members and friends also spoke at the service.

Colts: Freeney is lost for the season

Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney will have season-ending surgery on his left foot but is expected to be fully recovered for the 2008 season, the team announced early this afternoon.

The team's career sack leader with 60 in six seasons, Freeney suffered the injury on a spin move late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 23-21 loss at San Diego.
The condition is what's known as a Lisfranc injury, which is damage to the middle part of the foot. It's similar to what former Colts receiver Brandon Stokley suffered in December 2002. It took Stokley approximately nine months to fully recover.

Today's release about Freeney said, “We have been told by the doctors to anticipate a full and complete recovery in time for the 2008 season."

Freeney was placed on injured reserve, making him the third defensive starter to be lost for the season. Strong-side linebacker Rob Morris suffered a season-ending leg injury in Week 4 and defensive tackle Anthony “Booger” McFarland blew out a knee in preseason.

The Colts claimed 12th-year veteran Simeon Rice off waivers Monday, and coach Tony Dungy said Rice would play at right end, Freeney’s position.

The team also placed substitute linebacker Victor Worsley on the injured-reserve list, signed defensive back/returner T.J. Rushing and Devin Aromashodu to the active roster, and signed linebacker Brandon Archer to the practice squad.

Jennifer Love Hewitt Bikini Pictures Spark Outrage from Star Over 'Fat' Comments

Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt is slamming back against comments made in the media about her weight after photos of the star in a bikini were splashed across the Internet. Hewitt, who recently became engaged Scottish actor Ross McCall, issued a statement to the press saying: "like all women out there should, I love my body… being a size 0 doesn’t make you beautiful".

Photos of the Ghost Whisperer star frolicking on the beach in a bikini surfaced this past week on the Web, prompting a slew of nasty comments about the actress' body on blogs and gossip web sites., one of the most popular celebrity gossip sites on the Net, posted an unflattering shot of the actress with a nasty play on words referring to her starring role in I Know What You Did Last Summer: "We know what you ate this summer, Love—everything!"

Bloggers and gossip columnists all over the web had opinions to air about Jennifer Love Hewitt and her bikini-clad form. Normally most celebrities tend to let such things slide by, refusing to engage in a flame war over comments on their personal lives or appearance. Hewitt, on the other hand, decided to come out swinging.

In a scathing post on her web site blog, the Party of Five hearthrob issued a statement in response to the media frenzy over her bikini pics. "Like all women out there should, I love my body, I know what I look like, and so do my friends and family," she says. "I've sat by in silence for a long time now about the way women's bodies are constantly scrutinized"

Hewitt claims her decision to face the negative comments made about her appearance were prompted by her concern for young women who might be hurt by such portrayals of female celebrities in the media. "To set the record straight," she stated on her blog, "I'm not upset for me, but for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image."

"A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size 0 doesn't make you beautiful. …To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist," Hewitt says, "put on a bikini—put it on and stay strong."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel Dies at 69

Evel Knievel died Friday after 69 years, which is more than twice as long as it by all rights should have taken him. Knievel, who had been in poor health for years from conditions including diabetes and hepatitis C, was best known for his death-defying jumps on motorcycles (and other vehicles) in the 1960s and '70s. But really the stuntman, born Robert Craig Knievel Jr., was best known, and loved, for his crashes. After a number of successful jumps — over cars, trucks, live animals — Knievel shot to national fame after ABC Wide World of Sports aired footage of him spectacularly crashing, and crushing his pelvis, while trying to clear the fountains at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

To kids of a certain period — the heyday and then the decline of the moon-landing program — the star-spangle-wearing Knievel was like an astronaut, but more exciting for how briefly and dangerously he broke the bonds of the Earth. With every boast, promise, world record and broken bone, he became a bigger figure and graced more lunchboxes. Driven to top himself, he pushed motorcycle design, and his luck, by commissioning the Skycycle, a rocket-boosted cycle he would use for his most famous jump. Trying to clear the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in 1974, he was blown into the chasm when a malfunctioning parachute deployed. That the chute also saved his life — he escaped with minor injuries — was only some consolation.

Knievel attempted a few more spectacular jumps after Snake River but retired a few years later. Butte architect, and Knievel's graphic design artist, Bob Corbett recalls that Knievel wanted to attempt one last, record jump with his motorcycle. But Corbett did a graphic rendering of several views of the proposed 320-foot, ramp-to-ramp jump, including side views and helmet views. "After you see this," he told Knievel, "you will quit talking about making this jump." Knievel, he says, looked at the renderings and simply exclaimed, "Holy s---!"

Corbett, who did all the promotional posters and pins for Butte's annual Evel Knievel Days each summer, said Knievel was suffering from pulmonary fibrosis that hardened the lungs. "When you spoke with him, it was an effort for him to finish a sentence without taking another breath. But he faithfully came to Evel Knievel Days, even though the severe altitude change, from sea level to mile-high, was especially hard on him. But he was tough."

Even after his daredevil jumping days were over, his memory lived on in pop culture, and in the lingering scars of formerly impressionable bike-riding boys. In the end, maybe "death-defying" is the wrong term to describe him. All death could do, after all, was make him stop living; in his outlook, fear was the only thing that could truly kill him. That which didn't kill Evel Knievel, as he proved more literally than most, made him stronger.,8599,1689843,00.html