Friday, July 31, 2009

Playlist for 7/31/09

Here is the playlist for this week's show. I have also included a song by a local band called The Young, a Flo Rida song I had to edit and a mix for my friend Dan, who is turning 25 this weekend. Happy Birthday!

Summer Movies Throw Down at Box Office

Summertime usually translates into no homework, no pesky responsibilities or stress. However, summer also means that new movies are released. Which summer blockbuster is your favorite? Take the poll on the sidebar---------------->

For this week's show, I wanted to talk about some of the new movies that I've already seen and some of the movies that will open this Friday.

The Harry Potter series has been a worldwide phenomenon, and the movies have generated millions of dollars. But the new film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" has brought in the lowest revenue of all the Harry Potter films, including "The Prisoner of Azkaban."

Box Office Mojo reported that the film has only generated $637,920,753 worldwide. Yes, this is a great deal of money, but the film cost $250 million to make, which is largest amount for any Harry Potter movie. The low revenue is also shocking because this film was shown in 4,325 theaters – more than any of the other films.

I wonder if the problem stems from the disappointment from "Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix?" Or perhaps the Harry Potter generation has grown up and would rather spend their money on movies like "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Fast & Furious." Although, I don't know why.
This brings me to the next summer hit, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." I haven't seen this film so I can't say whether it's a waste of money or not, but I have heard it's not a family film. With unnecessary foul language in dialogue, children will have to repeatedly cover their ears. Careful Michael Bay, you don't want to lose a big part of your audience.

However, I don't think Bay was worried about losing the toddler audience since the movie grossed $201 million in the first five days, Hollywood Insider reported. The movie is still going strong and has become China's biggest box office hit ever, after grossing 400 million China yuans.

Stepping away from action and fantasy, "The Ugly Truth" debuted last weekend and has grossed $38,454,189 worldwide so far. The film stars Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler and is unlike any romantic comedy I've ever seen.

The film has an R rating for some offensive language and sexual references, however, it is definitely worth seeing. The script is fantastic and will keep audiences guessing throughout the entire film as to what Gerard Butler is going to say next. Katherine Heigl's character also musters up some laughs during her "orgasmic" dinner with Butler's character Mike.

To read more about "The Ugly Truth" check out my movie review for Sidelines here.

The last movie I would like to talk about is "Funny People." With an all-star cast and director Judd Apatow behind the camera, "Funny People" looks like another fresh summer comedy. But I'm not quite sure what to make of the movie's plot?

Ever since "The 40-year-old Virgin" became a hit movie in 2005, the former cast members and producer of "Freaks and Geeks" have done no wrong. Releasing movie after movie with quirky characters and hilarious dialogue, Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen have made a name for themselves in Hollywood.

But how long can they keep this streak up? Secretly, I'm waiting for one of their movies to tank, but after having seen all of them I'm still satisfied with the creativity each one displays. I'm really hoping that "Funny People" won't be the film that bombs at the box office, especially if I actually get around to see it in a theater.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Playlist for 7/24/09

Diana Taurasi's court date postponed

Diana Taurasi's court date was originally scheduled for July 22, but East Valley reported that the date has been postponed until Aug. 21.

East Valley said Taurasi was scheduled to appear in Phoenix Municipal Court on Wednesday, but attorneys agreed to a continuation.

As of now, Taurasi has been suspended for two games by the Mercury "for conduct detrimental to the team." She missed last Saturday's game against Detroit Shock and sat out Wednesday night's game against Minnesota.

Taurasi originally thought she might miss out on the All-Star Game altogether, but to her surprise she was chosen as a reserve for the 2009 Western Conference All-Stars. The bad news is that mandatory sentencing for extreme DUI is 10-30 days in jail.

The future is unknown for this talented athlete, but I'll do my best to keep fans updated on the situation.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Phoenix Mercury star faces DUI charges

Forward-guard Diana Taurasi is facing three DUI charges after she was pulled over on July 2 for speeding.

ESPN Associated Press reported that a Phoenix police report released earlier this week shows Taurasi's blood-alcohol level was 0.17 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent in Arizona.

Prior to this, Taurasi had scored 22 points in a matchup against the Seattle Storm. A few hours later around 2:30 a.m., Taurasi found herself being questioned by police.

Taurasi is pleading not guilty to the DUI charges and not responsible to the speeding citation.

The police officer who stopped Taurasi said the 27-year-old was driving nearly 20 mph over the 35 mph speed limit.

"We're aware of the recent reports in regards to the situation with Diana Taurasi," the Mercury said in a statement. "Our organization takes these matters very seriously. We have discussed the matter internally and determined that until all the facts are known to us, it would be inappropriate to announce a particular course of action."

Averaging 20 points per game, the WNBA's leading scorer might also miss out on a chance to play in the All-Star Game. ESPN blogger Mechelle Voepel said Taurasi has not been voted in for the All-Star Game as a starter, however, Taurasi could still be chosen as a reserve.

While Taurasi's career might have hit a rough patch, her freedom is still in question. Will she serve time in jail? How long will she be suspended from the league? All of these questions might not be answered right away, but Taurasi will appear in court on July 22.

My mother was the first person to tell me about Taurasi's DUI's, and I couldn't believe it. I'm a huge supporter of the WNBA and Diana Taurasi. The thought of her committing such a dangerous and reckless act seemed impossible, but then I remembered she is human.

Taurasi made a huge mistake. Monumental, astronomical even. She could have killed herself or someone else on the road. It was stupid and she should have known better.

My last blog entry dealt with drinking and driving. I included a death clock to give readers a sense of many people die in a hour, day or even a week. Taurasi could have easily been one of those fatalities. Or worse, she could have killed an innocent bystander.

I give no sympathy for her actions, but I do think this might have been a wake up call for the young star. She's not the first athlete in the WNBA to receive a DUI, but I think it's a bigger deal for more people because she is a prominent face for the league.

Many NBA athletes have received DUI's and face the consequences, but I think the WNBA might be held to a higher standard because the athletes are female. When the first brawl broke out between the Detroit Shock and L.A. Sparks last year, everyone seemed to be so shocked because these females athletes were acting like the male athletes.

My point is not to get off on a feminist point of view, I'm just simply saying that Taurasi is human. She shouldn't be scrutinized because she's a female athlete. She should be scrutinized because she did something really dumb.

Austin Burton, DIME blogger, said it best when he said "When it comes to off-court behavior, however, [WNBA slogan] “Expect Great” apparently translates to “Expect Perfection.”

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Playlist for 7/17/09

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones!

Cop tells teen to drive drunk

After having a little too much to drink at a Dave Matthews Band concert south of Milwaukee, 19-year-old Travis Peterson decided to sleep in his car rather than attempt to drive.

Yahoo News reported that Peterson said he was awoken by a state trooper who ordered him to leave because the lot was being cleared. Peterson obliged and began driving home. Once out of the parking lot, he was arrested for drinking and driving.

Peterson was found guilty and ordered to spend 60 days in jail.

On Wednesday, a Wisconsin appeals court commended Peterson for trying to be responsible and sleeping instead of driving. Yahoo News also reported that appeals trial court was wrong for not letting Peterson argue that police entrapped him.

During the trial, the state argued that people who choose to drink too much can't argue they've been entrapped when arrested for drunk driving.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals disagreed and said "drinking alcohol to excess, while inadvisable and unhealthy, is not unlawful by itself."

While this argument holds strong, the court forgot to mention that Peterson was underage. Peterson's attorney, Andrew Mishlove said Peterson's age was irrelevant.

There are several issues to address in this case, but the fact that a state trooper would actually order a teen to drive drunk just so a parking lot can be cleared is absurd.

In 2006, Illinois had 540 alcohol-related fatalities, Alcohol said. Illinois is also in the top five states to have the highest number of alcohol-related fatalities in 2006. Wisconsin had 352 alcohol-related fatalities in 2006.

Above is a death clock that reads 7,002 deaths from drunk driving so far this year. This number I have addressed is subject to change.

Learn About reports that eight teens die every day due to drunk driving. Also, 60 percent of teen deaths in car accidents are alcohol related.

These statistics may be scary but they are real. I doubt law enforcement officers are unaware of these numbers, so why would a state trooper encourage someone to get behind the wheel, especially after that person admitted they have had one too many drinks?

It doesn't add up to me. Plus, I wonder if the cop that ordered the boy to drive is the same cop who arrested him. Or maybe he called in a patrol buddy a few miles away and told the officer to follow Peterson. Then again, Peterson was drunk and could have been swerving on the road.

Instead of ordering Peterson to move his car from the parking lot, the officer should have offered him a ride home. I'm not saying that I condone teenage drinking, but this seems like a obvious solution to this entire problem.

While I think the police officer acted irresponsible, I think Peterson is at fault as well. He should have been escorted home and received an underage drinking citation. reported that Illinois State Police said that their officers had issued 3,315 citations for underage drinking in 2006.

It seems teens aren't taking the citations seriously, therefore, the Illinois House of Representatives is trying to pass a bill that will suspend a teen's license for three months if he/she is caught drinking. The odd part of this bill is that it also applies to teens who might not be behind the wheel. The resolution of this legislation is unknown at this time.

Peterson will be spending 60 days in jail instead of paying a fine. It's a big difference and the state trooper should have been willing to drive him home instead of letting him endanger other drivers on the road.

I'd also like to mention that the death clock above now reads 7,003. In the hour it took me to write this blog, another person has died because of drinking and driving. This is a crucial issue that needs to be taken more seriously.

If you would like to get involved with distributing information about drunk driving then visit the following Web sites below.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Students Against Destructive Decisions

The Century Council

Monday, July 13, 2009

Woman sentenced after husband dies during sex game

Today, a judge sentenced a Columbia, Tenn. woman to 18 months in jail after her husband died of suffocation during bondage sex.

In April 2008, The Daily Herald of Columbia reported that Rebecca Bargy, 26, left her husband James Bargy, 29, tied up for 20 hours while she was with another man she met on the Internet. She tied up her husband and gagged him to fulfill a sexual fantasy. A medical examiner later confirmed that James Bargy died from suffocation.

Bargy was convicted on May 20 of negligent homicide and will serve her sentence in the Maury County Jail.

When I first heard about this story, the cause of death really didn't shock me, however, the location did. I guess I have a mindset that bondage sex isn't common among Tennesseans, but maybe it is.

My reporter instincts also kicked in and I began to wonder how a journalist should handle this type of situation. I've taken a journalism ethics class before and recall talking about certain cases such as this one. Do you reveal the cause of death or leave it out to prevent others from trying this kind of act?

I say leave it in. As a journalist, your role is to report the facts, and if a man or woman dies from autoerotic asphyxia or bondage sex then report it. The public has a right to know.

Personally, I don't buy into the whole fear of people trying something because you printed it. People are already trying risky sex games and dying from them, so what is so scary about reporting the truth?

Of course, a journalist might not be willing to print the cause of death out of respect for family members. You can't libel a dead person, but what you write may embarrass living relatives. It may sound cruel but I can't care about that. My main priority is to report the facts.

If a family is upset about a publication printing a cause of death that is shameful then perhaps the person who committed it should have thought about that ahead of time.

Even though I feel this way about this particular case, ethics is a gray area. It's up to publications or the individual reporter to decide the best course of action to take.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Playlist for 7/10/09

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Heterosexual Iraq War Veteran repeals "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

U.S. Rep. and Iraq War Veteran Patrick Murphy is taking a stand against the "don't ask, don't tell" law for lesbians and gays in the military.

Murphy is a heterosexual former soldier, who is trying to gain support from small communities by speaking openly about sexual orientation and why it doesn't matter to a majority of soldiers.

"They could be on the ground right now in Iraq . . . producing vital intelligence that would help us win the war on terror," Murphy said in a Philadelphia Inquirer article. "When I was in Iraq . . . my men did not care if you were gay or straight; they just wanted to get the mission done and come home alive."

Even though Murphy said that a majority of the military does not care about sexual orientation, a 2006 Military Times poll showed that 58 percent of active-duty personnel support keeping "don't ask, don't tell."

Tommy Sears, executive director for the Center for Military Readiness, said that Murphy is "in a pretty serious minority as far as military people go."

Former President Bill Clinton first enacted the "don't ask, don't tell" law in 1993. Since then, the Philadelphia Inquirer said the law has led to the discharge of nearly 13,000 gay service members.

After running an avid campaign supporting the LGBT community, Clinton felt under pressure to pass a law that would expand gay rights, especially in the military.

Current President Barack Obama did the same thing, but has yet to follow through. In Obama's first few months as president, more than 100 soldiers were discharged because of their sexual orientation, reported.

And of the 13,000 service members, 58 Arabic speakers have been discharged since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Murphy said he has always been against the law and is going to meet with legislators in the coming weeks to find needed votes. Other heterosexual soldiers are also banning together to gain support. said that a "Voices of Honor" tour, sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, will travel across the country to share stories of gay, lesbian and straight servicemen and women to gather support for the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which would repeal "don't ask, don't tell."

The Philadelphia Inquirer said the legislation to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" was first introduced in 2005 and is still in subcommittee. The bill may not come up for a House of Representatives vote this year, but it currently has 151 cosponsors.

The "don't ask, don't tell" law has been in effect for more than a decade, which is ridiculous. Even though some may view homosexuality as a sin, the military shouldn't treat people like plagues. In fact, they should be proud to have so many men and women willing to serve their country.

Controversy over gay rights always stems from religion, but what our government needs to remember is that there is a separation of church and state doctrine that clearly says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

Bottom line: Soldiers of any race, gender or sexual orientation should be given equal rights in the military.

If you agree, sign Murphy's petition here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Newspapers ask college journalists for help

Newspapers across the country might be laying off staff members and cutting salaries, but young journalists graduating from college still have a chance in the industry thanks to technology.

With new technology and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, editors have found themselves asking younger journalists for advice on how to use these tools on the Internet. recently reported on a group of undergraduate and graduate journalism students at West Virginia University , who have been working with several small newspapers and training editors how to use the Internet, high-definition cameras and video editing software.

The idea arose when two students approached the school's interim assistant dean, John Temple. Temple said the idea evolved into the "Uncovered Project," but originally started as a way to show editors multimedia being taught at the university.

As a trade off, students will be able to receive experience and learn how a community newspaper operates.

"It's good for everyone to learn more about their state," said Kendal Montgomery, a West Virginia University graduate. "To get in there... to focus on community journalism with these small newspapers... people depend on them."

Community newspapers are extremely important because without them, who would cover local events or news that bigger media outlets consider inferior? However, community papers tend to be short staffed, which makes it difficult to report on numerous stories using alternate story telling techniques.

But this could be a good thing for graduating journalism seniors who are looking for jobs. My advice is to apply to a community paper and gain some experience in covering a small town. It might not be your dream job, but at least it pays and you will be working.

More advice: Learn all you can when it comes to the Internet, Google, using a camera (even a handheld Flip camera), photography and familiarize yourself with diverse ways to use Facebook and Twitter for reporting and sharing information.

Some of the "Uncovered Project" stories include features about pregnant inmates at a federal institution, a camouflage-themed wedding and a wildlife tour on a historic locomotive.

CHECK OUT all the stories here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Memphis Police Officer Receives Life Sentence Plus 255 Years

Today, Chief Judge Jon P. McCalla sentenced Arthur Sease IV, former Memphis police officer, to a prison term of life, plus 255 years. said Sease was found guilty of 44 counts of civil rights, narcotics, robbery and firearm offenses.

My Harrison, special agent in charge of FBI's Memphis Field Office, said that Sease's sentence is one of the longest ever imposed for civil rights violations, which did not involve a victim's death.

"This sentencing sends a serious message that police misconduct will not be tolerated and will be dealt with harshly by our courts," said Larry Godwin, Memphis police director.

Memphis said that Sease began stealing money and drugs from dealers to help pay for his dream of becoming a record producer. But after a few thefts, Sease became greedy and even stole $32,000 in one stop.

While Sease received a long and extended punishment for his crimes, he did not act alone. reported that Sease conspired with other members of the Memphis Police Department. Apparently, Sease and other officers used power and authority to rob people of drugs and then sell them on the side to earn a profit. Sease committed or was involved in 15 separate robberies.

Perhaps Sease received one of the longest sentences because he was the last one to confess. It has been reported that five other police officers confessed. Andrew Hunt was sentenced in February 2009 to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in September 2006 to a federal civil rights conspiracy, robbery and drug distribution.

Antoine Owens pleaded guilty in August 2007 and received a prison sentence of 63 months and three years of supervised release in March 2009.

Alexander Johnson pleaded guilty in April 2007 and served 30 months in prison before being released in March 2009. He will be supervised for two years.

In September 2007, civilian Laterrica Woods confessed to helping Sease and Hunt with a robbery. Woods also pleaded guilty to a civil rights conspiracy, and received 36 months imprisonment. Woods was released in April 2009 and will be supervised for the next three years.

Harold McCall, former Memphis police officer, pleaded guilty to a civil rights conspiracy in May 2007. McCall received a sentence of three years probation, including one year of home confinement in June 2009.

Harold McCall, also a former Memphis police officer, pleaded guilty to a civil rights conspiracy in a related case in May 2007 and received a sentence of three years probation including one year of home confinement in June 2009.

It sounds like these police officers received a fair and reasonable punishment. All of the officers brought this on themselves. It's hard to claim ignorance or peer pressure when you work for a department that promises to uphold the law and seek justice.

As for the 255 years, I find it quite humorous. Even after Sease is dead, he will still be serving out his sentence. I know that might sound harsh but imagining all the cruel and vicious acts he committed, makes me think of a quote from "The Craft."

"Whatever you send out you get back times three."