Tuesday, January 13, 2015

First Drip (01/13/15): Isis hacks U.S. military's Twitter, massive debt write-off for NASCAR museum

Posted By on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 9:48 AM

“AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS.” So read the first message tweeted by the U.S. Central Command—one of nine unified commands in the U.S. military--that was hacked by ISIS militants Monday. The Central Command's YouTube account was also hacked.

On Monday, Charlotte City Council voted 10-1 to pay Wells Fargo and Bank of America $5 million for the banks to write off more than $22 million in debt from the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

A South Carolina judge declared a mistrial early this morning after a jury deadlocked, saying it could not reach a unanimous verdict in the murder trial of a white former police chief charged with killing an unarmed black man in May 2011. Prosecutor David Pascoe said nine jurors had voted to convict former Eutawville police chief Richard Combs for shooting Bernard Bailey three times. "We just had three jurors we couldn't convince," he said. Pascoe says he will continue to push the case.

Four years after the revolution that toppled him, Egypt’s high court Tuesday overturned the only remaining conviction against former President Hosni Mubarak, making his release from jail possible. This is a blow to protesters hopeful the "Arab Spring" would usher in a new era of political discourse in Egypt, as thousands of Mubarak's political opponents remain jailed.

A judge in Georgia could rule today in a dispute over Dr. Martin Luther King’s Bible and Nobel Prize. The Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc. is controlled by Martin Luther King III and his younger brother, Dexter Scott King. A year ago, they asked a judge to order their sister Bernice to turn over the Nobel medal and traveling Bible, which has since been kept in a safety deposit box. The brothers want to sell them to a private buyer. The national holiday celebrating the slain civil rights leader is Monday.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

First Drip (1/01/15): New N.C. laws go in effect today, Deadly stampede in China, Play-Doh pulls penis-shaped toy

Posted By on Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 9:28 AM

At the stroke of midnight that rang in New Year's Day, the last set of laws passed by the General Assembly in 2013 and 2014 went into effect. Most of the flashy stuff lawmakers did last year, such as new criminal laws making it a felony to steal a Venus flytrap, went into effect in 2014. But a few tax changes and a grab-bag of civil laws take effect Thursday. Here are five you may want to know about.

Dozens were injured and at least 36 people were killed in Shanghai as they celebrated New Year's Eve. A stampede occurred shortly before midnight, at 11:35 p.m., at the Bund — a waterfront area that is one of Shanghai’s most popular tourist landmarks. People rushed to pick up coupons that looked like U.S. currency, which contributed to the panic.

Acknowledging major problems with the trial and sentencing, Egypt's top court has accepted the appeal of three Al Jazeera journalists who have been in prison for more than a year, and ordered a retrial, the defense lawyer said. They will not be released until they appear before the new chamber, which will decide whether to release them or not. Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were denied bail at the appeal hearing as the court said the case had to go back to the criminal court.

Hasbro, maker of the classic childhood toy Play-Doh, has said on its Facebook page that it will replace a piece in its “Cake Mountain” play set after receiving complaints from parents. The icing maker in the play set, which allows children to decorate a plastic cake with the popular modeling clay, resembled a part of the male anatomy according to social media reports and parental complaints.

In news even Stevie Wonder could see coming, Fox & Friend's #OverIt2014 Twitter chat backfired on Tuesday when it asked people on Twitter what were some of the things they were over. Black Twitter responded with gusto, leading Fox & Friends to realize it should probably just take a seat.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cheap Thrills (Jan. 31-Feb. 2)

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Going out in Charlotte doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, to prove that statement, we've compiled a list of cheap things to do in the Q.C. this weekend. These events may vary, but they're all entertaining and they won't break your bank (piggy banks excluded).

The Laramie Project at Charles LaBorde Theatre: Based around the brutal hate crime and murder of Matthew Shepard back in 1998, this production zeroes in on how the media frenzy affected the small Wyoming town of Laramie. $7-$10. Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 7 p.m. Charles LaBorde Theatre, 1415 Beatties Ford Road.

Vagina Monologues at UNC Charlotte: The annual V-day performance raises awareness and funds to end violence against women and children. Proceeds to benefit Safe Alliance's Clyde and Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter of Charlotte. $10. Jan. 31, 8 p.m.; Feb. 1, 1 p.m. UNC Charlotte (Cone Center's McKnight Hall), 9201 University City Blvd. www.women.uncc.edu.


Tarzan and His Mate at the Main Library: The Main Library film series It Happened One Year: Classic Movies of 1934 continues with a screening of Tarzan and His Mate. The first sequel to 1932's Tarzan the Ape Man isn't just the best Tarzan flick in the Johnny Weissmuller series - it's the best Tarzan movie ever made. Because it was produced in the pre-Code era, the levels of violence and sexuality are startling in their explicitness. Captured hunters are killed in grisly ways, while natives are ground into dust by rampaging elephants. As for the carnal aspect, there's never any doubt when Tarzan and Jane swing off for the sole purpose of making whoopee, and Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan remain an incredibly sexy couple. Free admission. Feb. 1, 2 p.m. Main Library, 310 N. Tryon St. (Matt Brunson)

Disappearing Frogs Project at Charlotte Art League: Bringing awareness to the worldwide plight of frogs, this multi-media art installation was inspired by artist Terry Thirion. Free admission. Feb. 1, 5 p.m. Charlotte Art League, 1517 Camden Road. 704-376-2787. www.charlotteartleague.org.

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Opening Friday

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Labor Day

Labor Day - Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin

That Awkward Moment - Zac Efron, Miles Teller

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Today's Top 5: Thursday

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Jan. 30, 2014 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

* UnBridaled at Extravaganza Depot


* Big Bad Wolves at Crownpoint Stadium 12

* Anthony David at Morehead Street Tavern

* Vagina Monologues at UNC Charlotte

* Shiprocked at Snug Harbor

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Charlotte gets The Onion treatment

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 1:31 PM

According to everyone I follow on Twitter, The Onion wrote about Charlotte* yesterday in an article about a man (a fictitious one, in case that needs to be said) who's suddenly realized - to his horror! - that he is planting roots in the Queen City.

"Wait, hold on a second, am I...am I building a life for myself in Charlotte, North Carolina?" the story's protagonist, Mike Collier, asks "as it suddenly dawned on him he'd recently renewed his membership at a gym in downtown Charlotte for another year. 'No no no, this can't be right. I'm not settling down and making a go of it in Charlotte. Am I?'"

Yes, I too read the article and spent most of yesterday curled up in a corner wondering why the hell I wasn't in New York yet. After I picked myself up off the ground, fed my eight cats and took a shower - where, admittedly, I again crumbled to the ground and banged it several times with my fists, yelling WHY, GOD, WHY - I laughed. The Onion aptly described what some of us have felt, maybe for just a second, or maybe for years, about living in Charlotte. If you've never felt that way, congratulations! You're not a pretentious jerk like the rest of us.

Read the article here. Try to laugh through the tears.

* If you or a friend is struggling with Charlotte's reputation as a mediocre city, call The Onion and tell the editors they can suck it!

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First Drip (1/30/14): Blue Cross/Blue Shield to start enrolling same-sex couples, #Hothlanta finger-pointing, Cheerios' interracial family returns, more

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced yesterday it would start enrolling same-sex partners next week.

Volunteers for the The Point In Time Count took to the streets last night in search of Mecklenburg County's homeless.

The finger-pointing begins in the great #Hothlanta chaos in Georgia. (Luckily, social media stepped in to save the day.)

Need an exorcism? An Arizona pastor will hook you up over Skype for $295.

Remember that Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial family that riled up the racists? Expect to see another commercial featuring that family during the Super Bowl.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Pull List (1/29/13): Zombie-slayers and new comics

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 4:05 PM

This past weekend brought us Heroes Aren't Hard to Find's Charlotte MiniCon, the sister convention to the popular HeroesCon. Though the name may suggest a smaller event, MiniCon packed the Grady Cole Center with several vendors, 50 comic creators and countless fans from Charlotte and beyond.

And what would a con be without cosplayers? Our favorite costumes for this event were donned by a family of zombie-slayers. Charlottean Mike Powell brought his daughters to play the roles of Rick Grimes and two of his Walking Dead companions.

"I've been coming to Heroes since before I was married and had kids," Powell says, adding that the girls have never actually seen the show or read the comics. "The girls like to dress up, and daddy likes to dress up. I shop for trades and, of course, there are toys for them and whatever cool things they can find."

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Update on road conditions, trash pickup, flights, other city and county services

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Here are updates on city and county services as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29. Bear in mind this could all change in 10 minutes - we Charlotteans are just getting used to these icy conditions, after all.

We got this, yall.
  • M Fletcher (flickr Creative Commons)
  • We got this, y'all.

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Obama executive orders I'd love to see

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Well, that took Obama long enough, didn't it? After five years of endless obstruction by the far-right GOP nihilists in Congress, Obama finally decided to rely on executive orders in order to get anything done. Since last night's State of the Union address in which the president shared his new strategy, the usual goobers' cries of "socialist," "dictator" and such haven't stopped. Frankly, though, what did the tea partiers expect would happen if they kept making it nearly impossible for Congress to pass anything important? I am not comfortable with government by executive order, and there are serious limits on what a president can really do on his/her own, but as long as Republicans continue to fantasize about dictators throwing executive orders around, I say give 'em what they're expecting. With that in mind, here are some executive orders I'd like to see Obama hand out in the next few months.

Seeger gets his due

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