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HealthyToys Chemical Consumer Guide

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Corporate News, Internet, Toys,

chemicalsLeapster 2

Worried about those toxic toys? HealthyToys has a database of more than 1,500 of them that were tested for chemicals. They include lead, mercury and PVC. The organization found lead in some that came from China as well as several manufactured in the U.S. This is the second year that the organization has created its consumer guide. We suggest you head over there before you hit your local dollar store or discount retailer. And if you are out shopping, you can SMS text 41411 with the toy name and HealthyToys will let you know the chemical levels.

Read More | HealthyToys


Barack Obama to tap Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

Hillary Clinton

With Inauguration Day less than two months off, President-Elect Barack Obama will tap former First Lady and current U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) to be Secretary of State in his administration.  She is expected to accept the post, which will be announced after the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

A recent AOL readers poll showed Clinton’s nomination to be a popular choice with 73% giving it a thumbs up rating, 21% gave it a thumbs down and 6% weren’t sure. A total of 32,148 participants took part in the poll.

Clinton will face some daunting tasks right from the get go - ending the police action in Iraq, repositioning troops to face ongoing terrorist activity in Afghanistan, repairing alliances with European allies and expanding American alliances to include China and possibly Russia. If election issues are an indication, arranging for timely troop withdrawals from Iraq and addressing the Afghan situation would seem to be at the top of Obama’s foreign policy agenda. Although the topic hasn’t been broached since the election, finding and either capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, head of the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, also seems to be a top priority.

Click to continue reading Barack Obama to tap Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

Read More | New York Times

HK Lego User Group Beijing Olympics

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Design, Misc. Tech, Toys,

Lego Beijing

We love those Lego gadgets and couldn’t pass this one up. About 4,500 people that comprise the Hong Kong Lego User Group were so inspired by the Beijing Olympics that they created their own version. The mini-tribute measures 10 x 26 ft. and took over 300,000 bricks. Included are the Birds’ Nest Stadium, the Water Cube aquatic center (inside and out,) equestrians, cyclists, ping pong, and beach volleyball. It was recently on display at the Grand Century Palace in Hong Kong. We think it should go on tour. More pictures available via the link of the Daily Mail.


Read More | Daily Mail

Saturday Ratings: Michael Phelps Had the Country Watching

Posted by Veronica Santiago Categories: Specials, Sports, NBC, Ratings,

Michael Phelps

USA’s Olympic golden boy helped the Peacock network earn ratings gold this weekend.

Viewers, eager to see MIchael Phelps win his 8th gold medal turned, gave its largest Saturday audience since 1990.

That evening’s coverage drew an average of 31.1 million for the entirety of the sports coverage. Meanwhile, Phelps’ actual event - the 4x100m medley relay - drew approximately 40 million sets of eyeballs at the 11 p.m. hour.

Interested to know which program had couch potatoes watching on that Saturday 18 years ago? You can find out the surprising answer after the jump.

Click to continue reading Saturday Ratings: Michael Phelps Had the Country Watching

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Futon Critic

China Does A Milli Vanilli

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Design, Editorial, Misc. Tech, Music,

Olympic Fireworks

First we hear that some of the fireworks displayed during the opening night ceremonies in Beijing were a 3D CGI. Created by Crystal Digital Technology Co, the excuse was “for convenience and theatrical effects.” Now we hear that China has used one little girl’s pretty face to lip sync to another’s voice. Okay, but is this the kind of image China wants to project? About 1 billion watched the ceremonies with about 34.2 million from the U.S. alone.


Read More | CNN

Friday Ratings: Olympics Ceremony Brings the Gold to NBC

Posted by Veronica Santiago Categories: Specials, Sports, NBC, Ratings,

2008 Summer Olympics

Let’s face it. Viewers probably weren’t watching Swingtown last night. So let’s just focus on the one event the world was glued to: the .

Although a lot of controversy has surrounded this year’s games, the ratings - at least for the tape-delayed opening ceremony - surpassed expectations:

  • Beijing’s opening day was the most-watched summer ceremony held outside the United States.
  • The 2004 Athens games scored a 18.0 rating/30 share; Friday’s event earned a 21.5 rating/37 share.
  • In comparison, the 1996 Atlanta games pulled in a 23.6/45 on its opening day.

is planning up to 3600 hours of coverage through August 24.

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Sharon Stone Apologizes for China Remark

Sharon Stone, Cannes Film FestivalWhat a difference a year makes. In 2007, was serving on the jury of the Shanghai International Film Festival. Today, that same organizing committee has banned her for life.

This stiff decision was a result of Stone’s controversial remarks about the Chinese earthquake; it follows a large theater chain’s proposed boycott of the star’s films.

As part of the fallout, one of Stone’s own employers has had to take swift action to repair the damage. In addition to dropping the 50-year-old from their Chinese ads, fashion house Christian Dior has released a statement from the Casino actress:

“Due to my inappropriate words and acts during the interview, I feel deeply sorry and sad about hurting Chinese people. I am willing to take part in the relief work of China’s earthquake, and wholly devote myself to helping affected Chinese people.”

So Sharon’s insensitive remarks caused her to lose work? Now, I think that would qualify as karmic retribution.

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Hollywood Reporter

China May Boycott Sharon Stone Films

Sharon Stone, Cannes Film FestivalWhile it’s not unusual for to make her presence known, controversial remarks made during the Cannes Film Festival currently have her in China’s spotlight.

While speaking to the Cable Entertainment News of Hong Kong, the Tibetan supporter lent her thoughts on China’s devastating earthquake. And while her comments seemed less offensive toward the end, most only heard what she said in the beginning. (You can see that full interview after the jump.)

The 50-year-old admitted she wondered if karmic retribution played any part in the May 12th event. “I’m not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don’t think anyone should be unkind to anyone else.” She then said, “And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you’re not nice that the bad things happen to you?”

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Hollywood Reporter

RoboCup Rescuers Work through Mazes

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Misc. Tech, Science, Videos,

Bots recently competed in Germany as part of the RoboCup to be held in July in China. A sub-competition, RoboCup Rescue, allows robots to practice on dolls in such critical situations as chemical spills and other disasters. Robotic teams must go through a maze and scores are based on how well they can navigate and generate a 3D map of the course. A Manipulation Challenge gives extra points for delivery of radios or water bottles to victims. Currently, it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to scan the area and the same amount of time to create the image, but that should decrease as the bots become more advanced.


Read More | New Scientist Tech

The Rehab Reunion: Where Are They Now?

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Reality, Cable, Editorial,

Celebrity Rehab - Dr. DrewFrom the first moment I saw with Dr. Drew, I was hooked. While celebrities struggled with the demons of their own addictions, I developed a new one of my own. Ever the cynic, I’m the first one to cry false when it comes to reality TV…but I can’t do that with this show. Infinitely touching, sad, happy, provocative, evocative, it’s probably the best show I’ve ever seen. So where was I Thursday night when the celebrities joined together six months after their televised project to talk about their recoveries? Naturally, I was glued to the TV. And if you missed it, I suggest you put everything else on hold until you catch up.

The absence of two - former contestant Jessica Sierra and famous brother Daniel Baldwin - was immediately apparent, though not addressed until the show was almost over. Statistically, only one in ten of them will successfully cease their addictions even after the intensive rehabilitation they all faced. Of the cast, only four suffered no serious relapses with their addictions.

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