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10/01/2014

WWF Says Earth Has Lost 50% Of Its Wildlife In The Past 40 Years

WildA new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London has found the number of wild animals on Earth has reduced by half over the last 40 years, according to The Guardian. The decrease comes as a result of the negative impact humans have had on ecosystems across the globe. Wildlife have been hunted and killed for food by humans at an unsustainable rate and have also had their habitats destroyed or polluted:

The steep decline of animal, fish and bird numbers was calculated by analysing 10,000 different populations, covering 3,000 species in total. This data was then, for the first time, used to create a representative “Living Planet Index” (LPI), reflecting the state of all 45,000 known vertebrates. […] 

The report concludes that today’s average global rate of consumption would need 1.5 planet Earths to sustain it. But four planets would be required to sustain US levels of consumption, or 2.5 Earths to match UK consumption levels.

The fastest decline among the animal populations were found in freshwater ecosystems, where numbers have plummeted by 75% since 1970. “Rivers are the bottom of the system,” said Dave Tickner, WWF’s chief freshwater adviser. “Whatever happens on the land, it all ends up in the rivers.” For example, he said, tens of billions of tonnes of effluent are dumped in the Ganges in India every year.

Posted Oct. 1,2014 at 6:25 PM EST by in Nature, News | Permalink | Comments (2)


Former Senator Larry Craig Ordered to Pay $242,000 for Misuse of Campaign Funds: VIDEO

6a00d8341c730253ef0167690d8f11970bOn Tuesday, a federal judge ordered former senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) to pay the U.S. treasury $242,000 for improper use of campaign funds.

This news is the latest in a long, sad, and winding road for Craig in the aftermath of his 2007 scandal. Things have been messy not just in the legal procedings after the stall ("wide stance") incident, but also with the revelation that Craig used campaign funds to pay for his legal defense. On this front, trouble has been brewing for the Senator over the last two years. Craig's attorneys previously argued that he was entitled to use the money, given that he was in the airport on "official business."

Looks like this arguement has not held up so well. Via The Washington Post, here is a quote on the matter from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson:

The Court finds that defendants violated the FECA when they converted campaign funds to pay for legal expenses related to Senator Craig’s efforts to withdraw his guilty plea, which was a personal matter that was not connected to the Senator’s duties as an officeholder.

Also check out the The Washington Post's recreation of the stall incident, filmed at the actual scene of the "crime", AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Former Senator Larry Craig Ordered to Pay $242,000 for Misuse of Campaign Funds: VIDEO"

Posted Oct. 1,2014 at 6:00 PM EST by in Larry Craig, News | Permalink | Comments (5)


NEWS: Gay Square Dancing, SCOTUS, Jared Leto, Ebola

EfronRoad A how-to-guide to make sure you don't miss Ben Affleck's member in Gone Girl.

Road According to GLAAD, television has increased its depiction of gay, lesbian and bisexual characters: "In the 2014-15 season, the study by GLAAD said that 3.9 percent of 813 characters regularly seen on prime-time network scripted series will be lesbian, gay or bisexual, a total of 32 characters.That represents an increase over last year's 3.3 percent, but is down from the 4.4 percent record high for LGBT depictions on network series in 2012."

Road New study says women prefer gay male porn to "porn for women."

Road Zac Efron gets into a tickle war with Wes Bentley.

Road Novelist Ken Follett on gay characters in his works: “These gay characters are there because this is the world I live in,” Follett said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “I live in a world in which there are gay people, and to leave them out would seem odd, just as it would seem odd to write a story in which there were no people of color, or all the heroes were men and no women were heroes. It's just not the world I live in.”

Road Gay square dancing convention headed to New Jersey.

WalrusRoad 35,000 walrus converge on Alaska beach as sea ice retreats.

Road Drama reported behind the scenes of The View between Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell.

Road Andrew Sullivan wonders, "Is The HIV Divide Now Over?": "What are your options today as a gay man with a sex life in America? You live in a community where a deadly virus has killed hundreds of thousands and is still resilient in the gay male world as a whole. It has no external or visible symptoms most of the time. Many people have no idea they have it. But the virus can be permanently suppressed to a point where it cannot be measured in your bloodstream and to a point where an HIV-positive man cannot transmit the virus to another person. And someone who is HIV-negative can also have access to a daily pill that, if taken conscientiously, all but wipes out the chance of getting infected.

Road SCOTUS: Still "no announcement Tuesday on whether [the Court] will take up a case seeking marriage equality at its first conference of the term, making such a declaration unlikely until the beginning of next week at the earliest." However, there are orders coming tomorrow at 9:30 AM EDT that could include a grant or a denial in the same-sex marriage cases before the Court.

Road Happy LGBT History Month!

Road Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigns following security lapse scandals.

Road Court rebuffs Kansas GOP on issue of Democratic candidate in Senate race.

CoupleRoad Andy Rooney's grandson, Benjamin Fishel, marries partner: "Andrew Siman Brady and Benjamin Leo Fishel were married Saturday just off Pilot Knob, N.Y., on Lake George. Paul E. Boivin, a Progressive Universal Life minister, officiated aboard the Morgan, a cruise vessel that he captains." Grandfather Andy Rooney came under fire in 1990 for comments he made that were perceived as disparaging towards the gay community: "'There was some recognition in 1989 of the fact that many of the ills which kill us are self-induced. Too much alcohol, too much food, drugs, homosexual unions, cigarettes. They're all known to lead quite often to premature death.''

Road Jared Leto shows off ripped side-torso.

Road Will Apple launch a gold iPad this month?

Road Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton smoulder and look Biblical in trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Road Clark Gable / Carole Lombard estate is for sale sale in Palm Springs.

Road Eruption of Mount Ontake in Japan was fueled by steam not magma.

Road Doctors say Tracy Morgan may never perform again as a result of the injuries he sustained from an accident in June.

Road With the first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States, the CDC is now trying to discern whether anyone else has been infected: "A CDC team is in Dallas helping to find the people that the patient may have come into contact with, said [CDC Director Dr. Thomas] Frieden. Once those people are identified, they will be monitored for 21 days -- taking their temperatures twice a day -- in cooperation with local and state health officials, Frieden said Wednesday."

Posted Oct. 1,2014 at 5:29 PM EST by in News | Permalink | Comments (4)


Drag Queens Declare Victory as Facebook Apologizes, Says It Will 'Fix' 'Real Name' Policy

Mtg

Facebook's head of product Chris Cox apologized on Wednesday to "the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbors, and members of the LGBT community" for the "hardship" caused by the company's "real names" policy, which resulted in the deactivation of many accounts after the social network began to enforce rules requiring users to attach their birth names to personal pages.

A group of dissenters led by Sister Roma of the San Francisco chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence met with Facebook officials last month and reported afterward that the company would continue to enforce the policy, keeping accounts active for two weeks to people could decide whether to provide their "real" names.

The group had a second meeting today.

At today's meeting they were told of the company's promise to change the policy and offered the public apology by Cox, which you can read in full here.

CoxToday, Cox (right) said the company promises to "fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were."

Said Cox:

The way this happened took us off guard. An individual on Facebook decided to report several hundred of these accounts as fake. These reports were among the several hundred thousand fake name reports we process every single week, 99 percent of which are bad actors doing bad things: impersonation, bullying, trolling, domestic violence, scams, hate speech, and more — so we didn't notice the pattern. The process we follow has been to ask the flagged accounts to verify they are using real names by submitting some form of ID — gym membership, library card, or piece of mail. We've had this policy for over 10 years, and until recently it's done a good job of creating a safe community without inadvertently harming groups like what happened here.

Our policy has never been to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name. The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life. For Sister Roma, that's Sister Roma. For Lil Miss Hot Mess, that's Lil Miss Hot Mess. Part of what's been so difficult about this conversation is that we support both of these individuals, and so many others affected by this, completely and utterly in how they use Facebook.

Cox also justified Facebook's "real names" policy as a point of differentiation from the rest of the internet, much of which operates on anonymity.

Cox added:

Second, it's the primary mechanism we have to protect millions of people every day, all around the world, from real harm. The stories of mass impersonation, trolling, domestic abuse, and higher rates of bullying and intolerance are oftentimes the result of people hiding behind fake names, and it's both terrifying and sad. Our ability to successfully protect against them with this policy has borne out the reality that this policy, on balance, and when applied carefully, is a very powerful force for good.

Cox says that the company is building better authentication tools "for understanding who's real and who's not" and a way to better communicate with those who are affected.

ElloIs it enough to prevent a mass exodus to upstart social networks like Ello, which has been described as "anti-Facebook" and has been attracting thousands of new members a day since the "real names" policy controversy began?

Well, a group of dissenters who had been planning a protest against Facebook for this Thursday at 12 noon in front of San Francisco City Hall have instead turned it into a Victory Party, writing:

GREAT NEWS: At our meeting Wednesday, Facebook acknowledged the flaws in their "real names" policy, stating that it was never their intention to require legal names and that everyone should feel free to use the names they go by in real life. We're also thrilled to report that Facebook's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox issued a sincere apology to our communities and agreed to take concrete action in the coming weeks to amend the enforcement procedures so that we won't have to deal with trolls again or show ID. We couldn't be happier, so we're turning this protest into a VICTORY RALLY!!!

Mark Snyder, Senior Manager, Communications at Transgender Law Center also released a statement to Towleroad:

"We had a very productive meeting with Facebook today in which they apologized for the way this situation has been handled, and they committed to making changes to the way they enforce their 'real names' policy to ensure that folks who need to use chosen names that reflect their authentic selves online are able to do so. We are excited to work in good faith with Facebook to address all the concerns raised in today's meeting. What was made clear today is that Facebook is ready to collaborate with our communities and shares our value of making sure everyone is able to safely be their authentic self online. We applaud the many staff at Facebook who advocated tirelessly for this progress."

(top image dragaholic news twitter)

Posted Oct. 1,2014 at 4:52 PM EST by in Drag Queens, Facebook, News | Permalink | Comments (9)


Rosamund Pike Tells Seth Meyers What It's Like To Have Sex with Neil Patrick Harris: VIDEO

Rosamund

Rosamund Pike, one of the stars of David Fincher's latest thriller Gone Girl, sat down with Seth Meyers to promote the movie and shared what it's like filming a sex scene with co-star Neil Patrick Harris. Before she dished, Meyers provided clear instructions: "Don't leave a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g out." The actual filming of the scene was "remarkably normal", according to Pike. However, Fincher asked the two to rehearse the scene for two hours. Alone. On a soundstage. As Pike put it, "You are alone with a man who is not your husband, who also has a husband." 

Watch as Pike explains the experience of getting up close and personal with NPH, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rosamund Pike Tells Seth Meyers What It's Like To Have Sex with Neil Patrick Harris: VIDEO"

Posted Oct. 1,2014 at 3:27 PM EST by in Neil Patrick Harris, News, Seth Meyers, Video | Permalink | Comments (7)


Director Matthew Warchus Breaks Down A Scene From 'Pride': VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 2.04.49 PM

As a part of their "anatomy of a scene" series, The New York Times has posted a new video focusing on the film Pride. The scene includes commentary from director Matthew Warchus. He details some basic plot elements, and creative choices such as the disco soundtrack — in this scene, the crew (cheekily) selected Evelyn 'Champagne' King's "Shame."

In a week where "Skeleton Twins" has been so dominant, it's easy to overlook gay gem "Pride." The film is based on true events; it's the story of a Welsh miner town in financial trouble that embraces the help, and later the friendship, of a gay activist group. In the NYT video, watch as the women of the town are thrilled by an activist's campy dance, and the men are, well, somewhat more hesitant.

Intrigued? Check out Nathaniel Rogers review, and the video feature, embedded AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Director Matthew Warchus Breaks Down A Scene From 'Pride': VIDEO"

Posted Oct. 1,2014 at 3:00 PM EST by in Activism, Film, Wales | Permalink | Comments (3)


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