Monday, April 9, 2012

Colorado Senate Passes Illegal Immigrant Tuition Bill

 The Democrat controlled Colorado Senate passed a bill that would give illegal immigrants a discounted tuition rate.

It passed after an amendment was added that stated only illegal immigrants who graduate from Colorado high schools would be eligible for the lower rate.

Students would also be required to state that they are seeking legal status.

Each college or university would have the choice on whether or not it would participate in the program.

The bill is now headed to the Republican controlled house, where it is not expected to pass.

Voting has been completely along party lines.

Lakewood Considering Open Space Smoking Ban

Lakewood, Colorado will vote tonight whether or not to ban open space smoking, in certain areas.

The ban would make smoking in bleachers, band stands, parks, and other public gathering places illegal.

They're also deciding whether or not to increase the no smoking areas around building entrances to twenty-five feet.

The ban is expected to pass, as there has been little opposition.

A tougher ban, that would've outlawed smoking in any public places, including bar and restaurant patios, was replaced with this one.

Al-Qaeda Attack on Lawdar, Yemen Fended Off

At least twenty-three were killed when members of Al-Qaeda attacked a military base near Lawdar, Yemen.

The attack, which began at dawn, lasted over three hours and was but the latest of Al-Qaeda attacks in the country.

Local tribesmen joined the military forces in fending off the assault, which only ended when air power showed up to assist the base.

The United States has assisted Yemen, from time to time, with drone strikes against Al-Qaeda targets. It has recently been reported that unrest in the country is being propped up by Iran as well.

Facebook To Buy Instagram for $1 Billion

Facebook has announced that it will be buying Instagram for $1 billion. They will not be messing with Instagram's structure, only becoming a parent company, so as to gain the profits and avoid competition.

Instagram is an app for smart phones that allows a user to take a picture and then add a filter to it, to change the look. It then allows them to share it to social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. Instagram also has it's own friend structuring, so you can follow other picture takers, without involving them into your other media.

From Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook wall:
"I'm excited to share the news that we've agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we've focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we'll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram's strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That's why we're committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram's experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook's strong engineering team and infrastructure.

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it's the first time we've ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don't plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We're looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we're going to be able to build together."

North Korea Planning Nuke Test

North Korea's already heavily condemned plans to launch what it calls a satellite into space, have met with even greater worries from the world. South Korean and US intelligence officials reported that they see evidence the North is also planning a nuclear test.

Evidence of the test has been caught on satellites. Pictures show a massive excavation taking place near Punggye-ri. Punggye-ri was the site for North Korea's two previous underground tests.

The launching of the satellite, is condemned by the South, US, Japan, and other countries as actually being a long range missile test. Japan and South Korea have threatened to shoot down any parts of it that cross into their air space, prompting the North to change the trajectory further south. The new path, has expectations of landing off of The Philippines. President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines has publicly condemned the launch as a "needless provocation".

The allied states around North Korea have stated that the launch would be a breach of a truce agreement, in which the North pledged to end nuclear enrichment and long range missile research in exchange for food. A nuclear test would be an undeniable violation of the agreement.

China continues to state they they've asked the North to not launch the rocket. Either they haven't, or North Korea no longer listens to what China has to say. Most likely China is enjoying watching the North make the world sweat.

Mike Wallace, Dead at 93

Mike Wallace, who helped make 60 Minutes a long term show, died Saturday at the age of 93.

Known for his hard hitting style of interrogation interviews, he was at times feared by those who were to be on camera with him. Unslowed until a heart surgery was required, he had done news for sixty years. Even after he retired in 2006, he returned regularly for interviews.

Over his career he was awarded twenty-one Emmys, five DuPont-Columbia journalism, and five Peabody awards.

All the while he also acted in various movies, TV shows, and on Broadway.

No one else on TV, ever, has had the presence of Wallace. Only he tried to ask some of the questions he did, and only he could've gotten away with asking them.

Remembering: The Confederate Surrender

April 9, 1865 General Robert E. Lee surrenders his forces to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

Lee's army was without supplies and had been trying to retreat, but found itself surrounded. He asked Grant to meet him.

Grant agreed to the meeting and then surprised Lee with generous terms, which were quickly accepted.

The surrender of Lee's army effectively ended the war, and almost all of the other armies were quick to surrender as well.

The last shots were fired June 22, by the CSS Shenandoah off the Aleutian Islands.

The war, which lasted three days short of four years, saw over 600,000 Americans killed.

Classic Pick: Theodora Goes Wild

Theodora Goes Wild is on TCM 1 AM Tuesday. Here's a great example of screwball comedy done right, as well as being an important movie in the career of star Irene Dunne.

Dunne plays a Sunday school teacher from a small town, who, unbeknownst to anyone is actually the author, under a pseudonym, of a racy, scandalous novel titled The Sinner, which has been running in installments in the local paper.

Melvyn Douglas plays the commercial cover artist with whom Dunne does the obligatory romantic "dance/chase" which involves Douglas posing as a gardener in her small town, threatening to expose her, then returning to New York where Dunne follows him to serve up a nice juicy scandal to help him get out of his unhappy marriage.

After more than five years of weepy women’s dramas, epics, romances, and musicals, all of which Dunne did beautifully, Theodora Goes Wild was her first big screwball comedy, and as such surprised many critics, while also defining and boosting her career. It was a genre in which she would further improve her timing and talent, and would handily make her own in a way distinct from the other comedy queens like Carole Lombard, and Theodora shows just how she did so.

Dunne strikes the most perfect balance between being a nutty but grounded screwball comedienne, intelligent but with a great capacity for being ridiculous, especially when it’s meant to skewer and spoof both herself and conventions meant to keep her reigned in. She’s zany like a fox, for a purpose and just at the right moments, and only “playing” the naive small town lady with a knowing wink. And as a bonus she sings!

Another figure for whom Theodora was a comedy first was director Richard Boleslawski, who kept the farcical events going at a great steady pace with lots of laughs and a few homages to his fellow native Soviet filmmakers thrown in, because really, what would a comedy be without those?