January 31, 2013

Empire State Building From Midtown Manhattan


1913 Prices At Grand Central Terminal Shops & Restaurants On February 1, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013 marks the 100th birthday of the Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Throughout the day, there will be a variety of events and giveaways.


The coolest?


1913 PRICING FROM GRAND CENTRAL SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS


• 19¢ ea. shrimp, 13¢ ea. mussels, 13¢ ea. clams at Pescatore


• 10¢ for a side of french fries at Tri Tip Grill

[From 11am-3pm]

• 5¢ small drip hot coffee at Financier Patisserie 

[Starting at 12 pm. Limit one per customer]

• 10¢ shoe shine at Leather Spa


• 10¢ nylon watch straps from Central Watch

[First 500 Customers. Limit one per customer]

• 25¢ piece of Legendary Fudge at Li-Lac Chocolates

[Limit one per customer]

• 19¢ slice of cheesecake at the Oyster Bar & Restaurant

[Dine-in only]

• 10¢ for bambini scoop of gelato or sorbet at Ciao Bella

[Limit one per customer]

• $2 for 100% silk scarves (unisex) at TOTO


• 6¢ loaf of rye bread at Zaro’s Bakery

[Shuttle Passage and Grand Central Market locations only. Limit one per customer]

• 75¢ Adirondack cocktail at Michael Jordan’s The Steak House N.Y.C.


• 5¢ 1lb box of pasta with purchase of a Ceriello Sauce at Ceriello Fine Foods

[Until 4pm]

This past November, I attended the Lunch Hour NYC exhibit at the New York Public Library, which gave insight into the evolution of the lunch hour in New York City.


The exhibit runs until February 17, 2013.

January 30, 2013

San Francisco 49ers Cornerback Chris Culliver Is Ignorant, But Very Eloquent & Sophisticated

Earlier this week, several players of the San Francisco 49ers responded in a positive manner when it was revealed that Kwame Harris, a former player, is gay.

BREAKING NEWS: GAY PEOPLE KNOW HOW TO PLAY PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

"We all come from various different backgrounds, whatever they are," said long snapper Brian Jennings. "We're all there for the common purpose of winning football games. I don't know if it mattered or if anyone was aware of his sexual orientation."

Cornerback Chris Culliver has a different take on LGBT players.

In an interview on Tuesday, Culliver said that gay players would not be welcome on his team:

"I don't do the gay guys man. I don't do that. No, we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do."

BREAKING NEWS: THERE ARE RUMORS THAT LESBIANS ARE LIVING IN PORTLAND

"Can't be with that sweet stuff. Nah...can't be...in the locker room man. Nah."

What an articulate son of a bitch! 

What college did he go to?

When asked if gay players should keep their homosexuality a secret, he responded: "Yeah, come out 10 years later after that."

BREAKING NEWS: CHRIS CULLIVER IS A FUCKING SCUMBAG

An apology was issued by Culliver on Wednesday.

I'm Upset With My First Facebook Graph Search

January 29, 2013

Good Lord: 27% Of Americans Believe That God Influences Sporting Events

If you are wondering why God allowed hundreds of thousands of people to be massacred around the world this past week, I have the answer:

HE WAS GETTING READY FOR THE SUPER BOWL, DUDE!


Additionally, more than half of Americans believe that “God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success."

The telephone survey, which was conducted between January 16 and 20, used a random sample of 1,033 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

During half time of the Super Bowl this Sunday, God will be using that time to grab a beer, take a quick bathroom break and dabble with the idea of ending the various conflicts in the Middle East.

January 28, 2013

2 Social Media Ideas For Those Who Will Be Single On Valentine's Day

Since I spend my workday coming up with social media concepts, I figured I would help you single folks with a handful of social media updates for February 14, 2013.

For the most part, I want to see a little bit of variety on Facebook and Twitter this year.

Posts such as "THIS HOLIDAY WAS CREATED BY HALLMARK" or hearing every last detail of your date - including the cut and temperature of your steak - are getting a little old.

Nobody cares that you are eating lobster, just as nobody cares when I eat an entire pizza by myself after analyzing my love life.

Additionally, I look forward to the "72 Amazing Pictures Of Your Shit That Look Like Hearts" or "22 Tumors That Look Like Saint Valentine" posts that most likely will appear a day or two before Valentine's Day on BuzzFeed.

Idea One:

Throughout the day, tweet reasons why you think you are single, such as:

"Reason #7: I was cheated on once, now I can never get over it and have a real relationship!"

"Reason #18: I think I'm better than everyone in this city ... Why can't I live in NYC or LA?"

"Reason #23: I've had a fuck buddy for 3 years and think 2013 will be the year to settle down!"

A Generation Y Perspective On Love

Idea Two:

Send me an anonymous letter that I will post on Valentine's Day describing your crush and why you like them.

I think it would be cute and who knows ... maybe they'll see it?

PS - Same-sex marriage is only recognized in a handful of US states. 

Let's keep working to end this by Valentine's Day 2014.

January 27, 2013

Gay Marriage Opponents Take Bizarre Stance With Supreme Court

AP Photo / Eric Risberg
Opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court that only opposite-sex marriages should be legal because only they can "produce unplanned and unintended offspring."

Wait, what?

To further their "reasoning," Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for the House Republicans, said that "substantial advance planning is required" when same-sex couples want to have or adopt children.

"Gays and lesbians are one of the most influential, best-connected, best-funded and best-organized interest groups in modern politics, and have attained more legislative victories, political power and popular favor in less time than virtually any other group in American history," Clement wrote.

He know we got dat swag, baby.

The best part of his defense:

"... reflect a unique social difficulty with opposite-sex couples that is not present with same-sex couples — namely, the undeniable and distinct tendency of opposite-sex relationships to produce unplanned and unintended pregnancies. Unintended children produced by opposite-sex relationships and raised out-of-wedlock would pose a burden on society."


The Supreme Court will hear arguments from gay rights advocates on March 26 and March 27 on why they should strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that prohibits same-sex marriage, and Proposition 8, a California law that bans marriage between those of the same sex.

Catholic Hospital In USA: Fetus Not A Person

On New Years Day in 2006, Lori Stodghill was 7 months pregnant when she arrived at St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado.

Stodghill was vomiting and short of breath, and while in the lobby of the hospital, she went into cardiac arrest.

She died at age 31 and her unborn twin boys also perished.

Jeremy Stodghill, her husband, sued the hospital and its owner, Catholic Health Initiatives, for what he believed to be three wrongful deaths.

After two years of litigation, he lost the case regarding his unborn sons, in addition to the case involving his wife, and claimed that the hospital and doctors sued him for $118,000 in legal fees.

At Odds With Religion. Again.

According to court documents, the defense lawyers in the case said that under the state law of Colorado, an embryo is not person until it is born alive.

Interesting.

The Catholic Church teaches that life begins at conception.

Reason #4,523 Why I Am The Best At Dating


January 26, 2013

Center For American Progress Puts The $3 Million In DOMA Spending Into Perspective


Gays, Lesbians & Bisexuals Experience Same Rate Of Domestic Violence As Straights

According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gay men, lesbians, and bisexual individuals experience domestic and sexual violence over their lifetimes at rates equal to (or greater than) those of heterosexuals.

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey is the first to report data regarding the sexual orientation of the respondents.

In a press release, CDC director Tom Frieden said that the findings "suggests that lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals in this country suffer a heavy toll of sexual violence and stalking committed by an intimate partner."

Not cool, dude!

According to the report:

"Bisexual women report a higher prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, at 61.1 %, than either lesbians (43.8%) or straight women (35%). The majority of women, regardless of their sexual orientation,  who reported experiencing sexual violence said the perpetrator was male. Of the bisexual women who experienced intimate partner violence, 90% reported having only male perpetrators, while two thirds of lesbians reported having only female perpetrators."

It goes without saying, but if you are in an abusive relationship, reach out to friends, family, or law enforcement to get help as soon as possible.

January 24, 2013

MODAVANTI: Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good

Are you looking for a place to find hip and funky fashion, but also care how your clothes are made?

Well, you should check out Modavanti; a fashion forward, progressive company based in Brooklyn, New York.

At Modavanti.com, customers are able to search for products that fit certain sustainability qualifications.

There are eight critia that an item may fall into, such as, made in USA, organic, vegan, recycled/repurposed, energy efficient, handmade, fair trade and eco-conscious.

The company donates 2% of every sale to one of three charities.

1. Charity Water
2. Nest
3. 19th Amendment

To learn more about Modavanti and the charities, visit their website, become a fan of the company on Twitter and join them on Facebook.

January 23, 2013

Visit Las Vegas: Everyone's Welcome ... Even Straight People!

R & R Partners, a company that has done some great LGBT marketing campaigns in the past, are behind awesome new ads encouraging people to visit Las Vegas. There are a handful of others.

Interested in learning about how the marketing world has been making progressive strides over the past few years?

If so, check out my op-ed in The Advocate: Marketer on How America Subconsciously Evolves on the LGBT Rights Movement

January 22, 2013

40 Years Later: The Woman (Norma McCorvey) Behind Roe Vs. Wade Is (Was) A Lesbian

AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta
On Tuesday, Americans on both sides of the abortion debate observed the 40th anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade.

In 1973, emphasis was placed on the 14th Amendment, under the due process clause, which the Supreme Court Justice decided extended a women's right to privacy, thus allowing abortion across the United States.

Norma McCorvey, better known as "Roe," was a 20-something, down on her luck woman living in Texas during the late 1960's. 

She became pregnant for a third time and ... blah blah blah, you know the story.

Or, I hope you do.

Anyways, in her 1994 book, I Am Roe, she admitted her sexual orientation as lesbian and discussed how her mother kicked her out of the house and took custody of her first daughter, Cheryl.

I heard rumors that I Am Legend starring Will Smith is loosely based on I Am Roe.

In an interview with The New York Times, she expressed how she was living with her then-partner, Connie.

"We're not like other lesbians, going to bars. We're lesbians together. We're homers."

Soon after, McCorvey became a Christian and ultimately, dismissed her homosexuality and felt remorse about her role in Roe Vs. Wade.

New York City's Mico-Apartments Revealed

$940 to $1,800 a month for rent in Manhattan?

For New Yorkers, we know that price range is a steal. But, what are you getting for your money?

Last year, New York City jumped on the small living trend and launched the adAPT competition last summer, which requested proposals for micro units to fill a building located at 335 East 37th Street in Manhattan.

According to Curbed NY, construction will start at the end of this year and move-ins would begin in September 2015.

"The units - the building will have 55 apartments, 40 percent of them affordable - will range from 250 to 370 square feet, with nine-to-10-foot ceilings and Juliette balconies. The design is meant to accommodate NYC's growing number of one-and two-person households, and the small unit size means that some amenities that might ordinarily be located within an apartment will be common spaces, instead."

7 Signs You Are A Jaded Millennial Living In New York City

Additionally, the space will also have a rooftop garden, lounges on most of the floors, a deck, a multi-purpose lounge for dinners and events, a laundry room, bike storage and general storage, a cafe, and a fitness room.

January 21, 2013

Is Manti Te'o Gay?

(AP/ Joe Raymond)
As a writer who discusses the LGBT movement and gay rights in a majority of my posts, I often times bypass writing about particular topics.

I see no need in joining the hype of "is that celebrity in the closet?" or bashing individuals unless their actions or beliefs are completely out of line.

After writing for The Advocate and working for mainly LGBT organizations in Los Angeles and New York since I graduated from college, I began to understand that there was another type of "out" in America in regard to high profile people; they are known to be gay, but one would never address the issue, or seemingly, the secret boyfriends would turn into a reoccurring aspect of their life.

Coming Out As LGBT In Genera
tion Y: Is Social Media Changing Things For The Better?

Sure, America is progressing on a social level when it comes to LGBT equality and respect, but sports culture seems in be lagging.

Even in 2013, there are no openly gay professional athletes, although a handful have come out since retiring from sports.

Sure, the case of Manti Te'o seems bizarre, but as a gay male who has played sports for over a decade, it didn't seem too far fetched.

In no way am I saying that I played for a prestigious, conservative college and possibility had the chance at playing professional football and could relate directly to his actions, or am I implying that Te'o is gay, but from all the factors considered, it seems to make sense.

For a majority of gay Millennials in America, a little white lie now and then made sense in our lives.

Our personal lives were exaggerated while our true selves were pushed slowly aside as we attempted to please others in our conservative high school or colleges.

As we got to know that our new college friends or co-workers were accepting and kind people, the small lies started to stop as we become more comfortable.


Was he behind the hoax?

Maybe.

If he truly did believe that he was dating a girl without seeing her, or even talking with her via video, then it's most likely that he choose to believe what was going on as a cover for his homosexuality, if he is indeed attracted to the same sex.

A Real Perspective On Being A Young Gay Millennial In America


Technology is pretty advanced from my last analysis, and if I have the ability to connect and speak with a tribe in Africa through my computer screen, I don't think it's that far fetched to believe that one should verify the identify of a person before building a relationship with them.

Gay or straight, I believe this experience should be a lesson for us all on the actions taken by those of our generation.

Ah, that reminds me.

I have to respond to that email where someone discovered $5.7 million in a bank account on my behalf in London.

A Sign From God That America Loves PBR


I was enjoying a delicious Pabst Blue Ribbon while watching the Sabres game in lower Manhattan on Sunday.

I looked down and noticed foam that sorta kinda maybe looks like the United States in my beer glass.

If you look really close you can see bigot Americans who still want to deny gay people the right to marry and other fundamental rights.

January 17, 2013

Canisius College Alum Cory Conacher Earns Spot On Tampa Bay Lightning

As a Buffalo native and Canisius College graduate, there are three things running through my veins: 

Blood, alcohol, and hockey.

Well, one more than the other two, but I'm not gooona get into it.

As it's always great to see Canisius alums doing great things, I thought I'd take the time to highlight Cory Conacher, a 2011 grad who recently earned a spot on the Tampa Bay Lightning's opening-day roster.

"I like his grit, I like his relentlessness, I always have and he deserves it," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said today, via the teams official Twitter account.

Canisius College, a Jesuit institution in Buffalo, New York, is D1.

For further reading, find out Why You Should Have Sex With A Jesuit College Student.

Dear Abby, Popular Advice Columnist, Dies At 94

Pauline Phillips, better known as Dear Abby to millions of newspaper readers over the past few decades, lost her battle with Alzheimer's Disease on Wednesday.

She was 94-years-old.

"I have lost my mother, my mentor and my best friend," Jeanne Phillips, her daughter, said in a statement. 

"My mother leaves very big high heels to fill with a legacy of compassion, commitment and positive social change. I will honor her memory every day by continuing this legacy."

The first "Dear Abby" column appeared in 1956 and in 2000, Pauline and Jeanne began to share the byline.

Phillips, an advocate for the LGBT community, once famously responded  simply with "you can move," when a reader seemed to imply that a gay couple moved in across the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighborhood.

January 16, 2013

Anti-Gay Rally Held At Rhode Island State House

On Tuesday afternoon, opponents of same-sex marriage rallied at the Rhode Island State House in Providence as lawmakers met regarding this year's bill to allow gay marriage.

The nearly 200 protestors must have been so worked up and distracted over LGBT equality that they made various spelling and grammar errors on their signs.

Is it inmoral or immoral, buddy?

The group, Faith Alliance to Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage as Established by God, wants to "safeguard God's covenant and definition of marriage."

There is no word yet on why the name of their organization is so fucking long.

If gay marriage becomes a reality in 2013, Rhode Island would be the last state in New England to allow same-sex marriage.

Make sure you check out the bizarre video of the protest.

Lena Dunham Won't Get Married Until Same-Sex Marriage Is Legalized

A little known writer and actress named Lena Dunham won't be getting married until gay people are able to do so within the United States.

In a short interview with USA Today, Dunham said, "I am not engaged. I don't want to get married until all gay people can get married."


7 Signs You Are A Jaded Millennial Living In New York City


Her boyfriend, Jack Antonoff, guitarist for the band Fun., is also an advocate for the LGBT community.

Last year, Antonoff and fellow band members founded The Ally Coalition, which attempts to advance the gay rights movement through heterosexual allies.

After taking everything into consideration, I will be joining Lena Dunham!

I will not be getting married until all gay Americans are able to do so.

How To Use Writing To Protest, Petition, And Sway Opinions

Ah, shit. 

Looks like I don't have a choice.

January 14, 2013

Do Millennial Foodies Spend All Their Disposable Income Eating Out?

In a recent New York Times article entitled "The Unaffordable Luxury Of Food," writer Ginia Bellafante profiles Millennial Yaffa Fredrick.

Fredrick, a New Yorker, makes around $30,000 a year, after taxes, but spends about half of that on dining out in the city.

Girl, watcha thinkin'?

As I've lived in New York for about a year now - and called Los Angeles home before that - I can understand the big city draw of eating out has on people, especially Millennials.

As a busy New Yorker, I often set a goal of eating out to a few times a week, but as I am running one event to another and get home most nights around midnight, it's oftentimes easier to grab some food at a local bar or restaurant or order some Chinese take-out.

3 Things I Thought About At The Gym Today

Please note that since I moved here in March, I have evolved from "friend" to "good friend" to "very good friend" at the Chinese restaurant around the corner from me. 

Needless to say, I have decided to cook more often after I realized I was one orange chicken order away from being considered part of their family.

I'm not here to judge Fredrick, or other Millennials who have a yearning for fine dining, but if you are living in New York, or any other city in the United States, there are a few options to consider if you don't want to break the bank.

If you have some time, check out the articles below:

Guess What? New York City Is Not That Expensive

Download Scoutmob. Now.

You Should Be Going On Dates After An Open Bar

The Atlantic Magazine Runs Blog Sponsored By The Church Of Scientology

On Monday, The Atlantic ran a blog post online which was sponsored by the Church of Scientology.

The blog post, which was labeled "sponsor content," has since been removed.

In part, it read:

"2012 was a milestone year for Scientology, with the religion expanding to more than 10,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, spanning 167 nations--figures that represent a growth rate 20 times that of a decade ago. The driving force behind this unparalleled era of growth is David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion."

When one attempts to visit the blog, you are greeted with "We have temporarily suspended this advertising campaign pending a review of our policies that govern sponsor content and subsequent comment threads."

The paid advertisement in The Atlantic comes just days before the release of a controversial new book, "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief," by writer Lawrence Wright.

The publication, which was founded in Boston in 1857, has been a cultural staple in America over the past 150 years.

How Does One Navigate Religion As An Agnostic Millennial?

Ironically, 2010 marked the first year in which the magazine reported its first profit in the last decade.

How Does One Navigate Religion As An Agnostic?

Growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York, religion wasn't a component in my life until I moved away after high school and attended Canisius College; a Jesuit, Catholic institution that was open, progressive, and liberal.

Over four years, I was captivated - and anxious - by religion and the role it had on my life. 

As a gay male, I was never at odds with religion, any religion, due to my sexuality and what various scriptures described as a "sin."

Nearly everyone in my life had pre-martial sex, drank, swore, lied on occasion, and partook in a "sinful" lifestyle, so I figured if we were going down, we were all going down together; no pun intended.

Belief In God Plummets For Generation Y

Traveling the world in college, being taught by open-minded priests, and partaking in friendly debate with my classmates - Catholic, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist, and so on - helped me understand that our generation is very different than the generations before us, and more so, our spiritual and religious beliefs are more easily disconnected from societal laws regarding abortion, same-sex marriage, the death penalty, and other issues.

Well, at least in America, Canada, and a handful of European countries.

While being open minded and level headed on various topics in my life, I feel as if I have experienced the most push back as an Agnostic; those can't understand why I classify as so, when it's so much easier to say, "Well, I'm Catholic, but I don't believe everything in the Bible."

Canisius College: No Place For The LGBT Community?

Sure, I suppose it would be easier - and more comforting - to think that there's an afterlife and to think that one day, I'll be reunited with those I love here on Earth. But, sadly, although it's something that I hope for, and I believe it's something that all good people hope for, I don't think that is what the future has in store for me. Or you. Or anyone. Well, to be honest, I don't know.

There are a lot of issues I feel strongly about in my life, and there are a lot of things where I am searching for the answer, but as of now, I think I'm comfortable in saying, "Well, I don't know."

3 Things I Thought About At The Gym Today

Earlier this year, I reported that the World Health Organization ranked obesity as the worlds top hunger problem.

After I wrote the article, I realized two things:

More people will want to have sex with me if I'm muscular and if I'm in better shape, I will finally be able to make the mad dash up the subway stairs before everyone else during my New York City morning commute.

To be honest, I am more concerned about the latter.

Here are a few things I thought about while at New York Sports Club tonight:

1. I can't wait to update my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts to let everyone know that yes, I am working out, and yes, I mean business! 

Fuck, do you know what? 

Give me some wood and matches and I'll send out a damn smoke signal alerting lower Manhattan.

2. How do all those gay guys take those great "selfie" pictures at the gym? The last time I tried to take one it took around five minutes and I got dizzy ... and there was no exercise involved. 

The end product was me looking away from the mirror looking slightly confused.

3. I wonder if my trainer will ask me out on a date. 

Yes, I have sworn off dating for a few months, but I've always wanted to brush dirt and sweat off my shoulder at the same time.

Brooklyn Gal Is Queen Of Kings County: Introducing The New Miss America

Now, while my roots are in Buffalo and I would have loved for a Queen City girl to win the Miss America pageant, I'm still pretty happy with the outcome.

Mallory Hagan, a 23-year-old millennial living in Brooklyn, New York, was crowned Sunday night as Miss America.

Hagan, originally from Alabama, moved to New York City several years ago and was crowned Miss Brooklyn in 2010.

7 Signs You Are A Jaded Millennial Living In New York City

The last Miss New York to win Miss America was Vanessa Williams nearly 30 years ago; ultimately, she was forced to to relinquish her crown after a magazine published nude photos of her less than a year after her victory.

Hagan said she moved to New York with less than $1,000 in 2008 and a dream.

She will travel for the next year promoting her platform, "Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention."

43% Of New Nurses Can't Find Work In America

According to a new study by the American Society of Registered Nurses, it appears that 43% of newly licensed RNs still do not have jobs.

Those detailed in the study have graduated within the past 18 months.

In an interview with CNN Money, Millennial Ronak Soliemannjad, 28, said that she is discouraged after how she has been treated as a recent graduate.

"The process has become more and more discouraging, especially since hospitals want RNs with experience, yet nobody is willing to give us the experience."

American Millennials Optimistic About Finding Employment

In related health news, if you are an attractive gay doctor living in the New York City area, please send me an email if you would like to go on a date.

Irish Need Apply.

Idiot Of The Week: Gun Appreciation Day Chairman Larry Ward

"I believe that Gun Appreciation Day honors the legacy of Dr. King. The truth is, I think Martin Luther King would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history. And I believe wholeheartedly that’s essential to liberty.”

- Larry Ward, Chairman of Gun Appreciation Day

Saudi Arabia Defends The Beheading Of A Sri Lankan Maid

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia defended its execution of a maid from Sri Lanka after the death of an infant in her care.

In 2005, Rizana Nafeek was convicted of killing her employer's son.

The family says she strangled the child, while Nafeek claims that the youth choked to death on milk.

Human rights groups, in addition to the Sri Lankan government, have lobbied for leniency in the case over the past few years.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia categorically rejects any interference in its affairs or in the provisions of its judiciary under any justifications," a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency read.

2012 Is Deadliest Year On Record For Journalists

Nafeek was beheaded Wednesday in the small town of Dawadmi.

Prior to the killing, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had twice asked Saudi King Abdullah to stop the beheading.

"We pointed out to Saudi officials that Rizana came to their country as a housemaid. She was not competent or trained to look after a baby, which she had been assigned to her by her employer," External Affairs Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama said in a statement released Friday.

It is reported that Saudi Arabia has executed close to 80 people in 2012 alone, for which 27 were non-Saudis.

January 13, 2013

Hobby Lobby Avoids Obamacare Fines

By Monday, Hobby Lobby would have racked up around $20 million in fines from the IRS since they are not complying with Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, due to religious objections.

$1.3 million a day fines began on January 1, 2013, for companies not adhering to the mandate, but it seems that the company has found a tax loophole to avoid the fines.

Peter M. Dobelbower, general counsel for Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. said in a statement:

"Hobby Lobby discovered a way to shift the plan year for its employee health insurance, thus postponing the effective date of the mandate for several months."

The company also discussed their religious beliefs against abortion as the foundation for their claims, making a refernece to controversial "morning after" pills, such as Plan B.

"Hobby Lobby does not provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in its health care plan. Hobby Lobby will continue to vigorously defend its religious liberty and oppose the mandate and any penalties."

According to CNN, the Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby chain has more than 500 stores that employ 13,000 employees across 42 states, and takes in $2.6 billion in sales.

In related news, I will be shopping elsewhere the next time I want to make an "I love Obamacare" decorative pillow.

Should We Respect The Privacy Of Celebrities?

A few months ago, as I sat in a Brooklyn bar after an usually boring date, I thought about about the conversation with the dude I had met via OkCupid.

"I had a chance to check out your website," he said.

"Oh, cool. Did you love it or did you love it?" I joked.

"Well, honestly, I wasn't quite too sure how I felt about it. The religion satire was a little too much and you swear a lot. Some of the posts were a little out there."

As times progresses toward and my site becomes a tad bit more popular each month [thanks to my grassroots marketing campaigns, such as giving my business card to the doorman of my one night stands], I have realized that my lack of privacy is something that I have brought about myself. 

How Not To Use Social Media As A Millennial

On the same note, it's very easy for me to press "delete," and although a hard process, move towards a life of anonymity.

I, of course, do not consider myself a celebrity, but as my website continues to evolve over the past year and a half, I'm often put at odds with those who ask or demand privacy while showcasing themselves in the public eye.

Sure, Jodie Foster hasn't put herself out there in the form of a reality show or sex tape or any other formats that seem to symbolize stardom in the year 2013, but then again, no one has a gun pressed against her head that forces her to make movies or attend award shows.


Note: If she does have a gun pressed against her head, it's probably because Hollywood movies and how they influence the general public, right NRA?

Social media is changing the way celebrities are viewed, and further, how everyday Americans are turned into mini-celebrities with their memes or blogs, among other formats.

It's simple ... if you are getting a sunburn, get out of the sun.

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