Monthly Archives: January 2012

Brazil Losing It’s Iconic Teeny-Weeny Bikini?

-RIO DE JANEIRO

A country famous for it’s shapely women in string bikinis all over the beaches, Brazil is losing it’s luster to a now heavier population of women, with thicker waists and more curves than before.

Clothing designer Clarice Rebelatto, founder of Lehona, a plus-size bikini line, is transforming swimwear for the women who opt to throw out their size 12 all black one-pieces.

With 14 styles including dramatic neck plunges, straps that are basically strings, and bottoms less moderate than the U.S is used to, Rebelatto offers a bit more than the crowd favorite “fio dental” or “dental floss.”

Sold exclusively at specialty shops for Brazil’s big and tall, Lehona launched in 2010 and will cost you about 130 reais or $75.

A conventional swimwear line launched in 2008, Acqua Rosa, added plus-sizes to the mix, which is now more than 70 percent of it’s sales, said director Joao Macedo.

Luis Rebelatto, son of Clarice Rebelatto stated, ”We’re working from the principle that bigger women are just like everyone else: They don’t want to look like old ladies, wearing these very modest, very covering swimsuits in just black.”

A 2010 study by the statistics institute said 48 percent of adult women and 50 percent of adult men in Brazil were now overweight. In 1970 ten percent of the population was considered underweight and most malnourished.

While one of the largest consumers of cosmetic surgery, ten percent of Brazilian teens and adults exercise regularly, a 2008 study found.

Analysts blames Brazil’s rapid belt bust on the swap of beans and vegetables for chips and processed meat.

 

“Honour Killings” Trial Holding Family Accountable

Photo Credit: echonn.com

The three Afghan-Canadians charged in the murder trail of four relatives came to a close Sunday afternoon, being convicted on all charges.

After the family trio ‘proclaimed innocence,’ Mohammad Shafia, 59, his 2nd wife Tooba Mohammad Yaha, 42 and their eldest son Hamed, 21, were given the automatic life imprisonment sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

The verdict was reached at 1pm Sunday after the jury deliberated 15 hours over two days at the Frontenac County Court House in downtown Kingston.

“It is difficult to conceive of a more despicable, more heinous crime. The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims offended your completely twisted concept of honour, a notion of honour that is founded upon the domination and control of women,” said Mr. Justice Robert Maranger of Superior Court.

Defense Lawyer David Crowe was “disappointed” with the outcome and promised an appeal following the trial.

The bodies of sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti Shafia, 13, were found at Rideau Canal in a submerged car in June 2009. Rona Amir Mohammad, 53, Mr. Shafia’s first wife, was also in the submerged vehicle. Mohammad posed as Shafia’s cousin and entered Canada illegally. Mohammad was in a polygamous relationship with Shafia and his 2nd wife, but indicated to desperately escape the marriage.

The family denied drowning their female relatives and were booed upon leaving the courtroom.

 

Twitter Censorship has Few Supporters

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Twitter has announced that they have to power to block certain tweets in a specific country if the government legally requires them to do so.  This new development has led to outrage around the world, specifically in Middle Eastern countries.

Many are currently fearful whether this new policy will suppress the right to free speech and thousands of users are threatening to boycott the social media.

The flock of criticism is a new feeling for Twitter, which is often viewed as embracing the First Amendment.  The companies chief executive, Dick Costolo, even refers to the social media as “the free speech wing of the free speech party.”

But Twitter, along with other major Internet companies like Facebook, Google, and Yahoo, are struggling to find the medium between its philosophical opposition to censorship with the economic desire to fan out around the world.

Twitter still maintains that it is fully committed to free speech.  With the new rules, a censorship notice will appear whenever a tweet is removed, but only in the country which the tweet is deemed illegal.  Previously, if a tweet violated a law and was removed, it vanished completely from the Web.

Twenty-Six Exoplanets Discovered

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NASA scientists have discovered twenty-six new exoplanets outside our solar system.

The exoplanets were found orbiting stars in 11 recently discovered solar systems and range in size from slightly larger than Earth to larger than the planet Jupiter in our system.  The planets were discovered by the Kepler telescope, which views 150,000 stars in a narrow sliver of the night sky.  The telescope orbits the sun.

Most of the planets orbit their stars, which are all larger than the sun, around once every six to 143 days.  The largest solar system just discovered has been given the name Kepler-33 and has five exoplanets.  The exoplanets in this particular system are one-and-a-half to five times larger than Earth.

Doug Hudgins, the program scientist from the Kepler mission, says that he and his fellow scientists don’t currently believe that any of the newly discovered planets can support life.

Since the Kepler telescope was launched two years ago, scientists have discovered 61 exoplanets and over 2,300 planets that need to be further observed.  In order to be deemed an exoplanet, the telescope uses a system called Transit Timing Variations.  This is when two or more planets are in a solar system orbiting their home star.  The gravitational pull of each passing planet must then cause one to speed up and the others to slow down, which confirms a planetary observation.

SOPA Was Only the Beginning: ACTA Gets International Push Back

As members of the European Union sign ACTA into something that we should use, it still requires ratification from the European parliament. Many citizens decided to fight against ACTA, unfortunately while these protests are happening, the government signed the treaty anyway.

ACTA can impact the Internet. ACTA may not be as popular as the SOPA/PIPA bills were. The anti-SOPA protests resulted in a positive way. On the other hand, ACTA appears as if the complaints are not being heard. Many people are protesting, and want the government to notice.

At Avaaz.org there is a petition where citizens through European are invited to sign. Its goal is to reach 750,000 signatures, currently the petition is close to the 600,000 mark.

 

Maybe these governments will sit up and take notice of what their citizens want although, considering all the governments that have already signed ACTA, these protests may not do any good until the EU parliament looks at the treaty, but is not going to happen until this summer.

 

 

The Right to Anonymity is a Matter of Privacy

January 28th marks International Privacy Day. Many countries across the globe are acknowledging this holiday with special events. This current year, we are honoring the holiday by bringing attention to recent international privacy threats.

At EFF, they view anonymity as free speech and privacy. They say that  the right to anonymity is truly a matter of privacy. Many professionals use pseudonyms online to keep employment separate from their personal lives.

Four years ago, an Alaskan blogger, Alaska Muckraker wrote about her criticism of McCain running-mate Sarah Palin. The Alaska Muckraker was blogging and committed an act of journalism. . Later, after inveighing against a rude email sent to constituents by Alaska State Representative Mike Doogan, AKM was outed–by Doogan–who wrote that his “own theory about the public process is you can say what you want, as long as you are willing to stand behind it using your real name.”

Anonymity and pseudonymous may seem increasingly difficult to achieve online. Companies like Face book block the right to use pseudonym. If you think you are being anonymous that might not always be the case.

We should continue to fight for the right of privacy but to value our right we can use tools like Tor. Anonymous bloggers can use Global Voices Advocacy;’s online guide to blogging anonymously using sites like Word press or Tor. All internet users should be educated on what is private and what is not.

 

 

 

Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” to Appear on Vinyl

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 Bruce Springsteen’s new album, that will be released on March 6, 2012, will also be appearing on vinyl.

The album will be pressed as a two LP set and will contain 11 songs from the original album.

A bonus CD copy of the album will also be included with the vinyl copy.

Springsteen reported that “Wrecking Ball” is the best album he has done in years.

Springsteen and the E Street Band will be touring the new album from March 18 throughout the month of April in addition to his European tour dates.

This story contains information from Ultimate Classic Rock.

Miranda Lambert Suffers another Loss

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After an already tough week for Miranda Lambert, the country star is faced with another loss.

After Lambert and her husband, Blake Shelton, dealt with the mourning over the death of his father, Dick Shelton, Lambert now has lost her childhood friend after a tragic accident.

Lambert posted a heart-filled tweet on her Twitter regarding her current situation, “I have lost a friend I’ve had since 3rd grade today in a tragic accident, when will this pain end. Please pray for peace,” according to Taste of Country.

Friends and family of Lambert replied with their thoughts and prayers like fellow country star, Dierks Bentley.

Lambert later reminded fans, friends and family to contact your friends especially ones you haven’t heard from in awhile, and to remind them you love them because the pain you feel when it’s too late is hurtful.

Shelton and Lambert both rescheduled shows last week to spend time with their family. It is not yet determined if Lambert will rescheduling anymore shows.

 

Former Michigan Attorney General Against Legalized Marijuana

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The former attorney general for Michigan, Mike Cox, recently admitted that although he had smoked marijuana in high school during the 1970s, he doesn’t believe that cannabis should be legalized.

Cox believes there are some problems with legalizing the drug and that he won’t support moves to do it in the states.

“I am not for it mostly because I don’t know how you regulate common, everyday things such as driving while impaired,” Cox said.

The Republican former attorney general was the keynote speaker during a daylong symposium held on Jan. 27.  The event was held at Wayne State University’s Law School and the social, economic, health and legal impacts of marijuana reform were discussed.

Cox said during his speech that he wants the Michigan Legislature to address the ambiguities in the medical marijuana law that was passed in 2008 by 63 percent of voters.

The former attorney general said he believes medical marijuana dispensaries are consistent with voter wants, although they aren’t directly authorized in the referendum that they approved.

The event came after activists had launched a petition drive urging people to sign for a constitutional amendment that would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and over.  Their effort needs to collect 322, 608 signatures by July 9 in order to qualify for the November ballot.  The drive has recruited around 2,000 volunteers around the state.

Despite these efforts, the current Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette outwardly opposes medicinal cannabis and claims that the whole business is a sham.  He also believes that medicinal cannabis is just a back door to legalization.

Since the approval of medical marijuana in 2008, around 130,000 patients have registered with the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

‘The Grey’ Not a Hit with Environmentalists

Renowned actor Liam Neeson recently starred in a movie called The Grey that tells the story of a team of oil drillers in Alaska that survived a plane crash but must now survive the blood thirsty wolves before help finds them.  The film has not been well received among environmentalists as they claim it is a false depiction of wolves.

The beasts that fall into the role of villain for the film are described as “rogue wolves,” a term that does not apply to the real-life animals.  Contrary to what the movie shows, since gray wolves have been reintroduced to Yellowstone Park, the elk herds that had been foraging in the area and diminishing certain plant life have been curbed with the wolves’ hunting patterns, which don’t include human beings.

Not all reviews are concerned with the veracity of the wolves’ depiction though.  In a review by the Rolling Stone, The Grey is complimented on its exciting portrayal of man vs. nature with Neeson playing the heroic survivalist who conquers nature by beating the killer wolves.

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