By: Henry Hanks, CNN
December 26, 2012
Editor's note: SPOILER WARNING: Do not read this story if you don't want to know what happens in "Amazing Spider-Man" #700.
(CNN) -- For decades, comic books have had major shakeups in their pages, with varying degrees of fan support -- and outrage.
In 1992, well before the advent of social media, Superman was killed and comic books went flying off the shelves.
In 2007, social media like Facebook and Twitter were in their infancy when Captain America died.
And now -- due in part to the abundance of social media and the intense interest in Spider-Man's alter ego, Peter Parker -- a firestorm has erupted, after Marvel revealed that Parker will die, and the role of Spider-Man will be taken over by his archenemy, Doctor Octopus.
The just-released "Amazing Spider-Man" #700 marks the end of one of the most popular comic book series of all time after 50 years. All parties involved maintain that the changes are quite permanent, and next month, the saga begins anew with the release of "The Superior Spider-Man" #1, with the Doc, Otto Octavius, stepping into the Spidey suit.
Doc Ock in the suit? Blasphemy!!
Otto believes that with the combination of his intelligence and Parker's inherited memories and spider powers, he can be an uber-Spider-Man. He can live Parker's life better than Peter could -- from fighting crime to getting back together with on-again, off-again girlfriend Mary Jane Watson.
When issue #700 was leaked early, fan reaction -- both positive and negative -- went into overdrive, with a few posted death threats directed at the issue's writer, Dan Slott.
Slott reacted on his Twitter and Facebook by saying he would report any threats: "Reality check: There is NO such thing as a 'funny death threat.' Especially if you TAG someone in it."
Slott later noted that the reactions were getting more civil as time went on.
CNN spoke separately to Slott and to Marvel editor Stephen Wacker about the controversial comic.
By: Alyssa Newcomb | ABC News
An Iowa dentist was within his legal rights when he fired a longtime employee he found to be "irresistible" and a threat to his marriage, the State Supreme Court unanimously ruled.
The seven justices, all male, affirmed on Friday a lower court's decision in favor of Dr. James Knight, who terminated Melissa Nelson after employing her for 10 and a half years as a dental assistant.
"We do think the Iowa Supreme Court got it completely right," said Stuart Cochrane, an attorney for James Knight. "Our position has always been Mrs. Nelson was never terminated because of her gender, she was terminated because of concerns her behavior was not appropriate in the workplace. She's an attractive lady. Dr. Knight found her behavior and dress to be inappropriate."
The two never had a sexual relationship or sought one, according to court documents, however in the final year and a half of Nelson's employment, Knight began to make comments about her clothing being too tight or distracting.
"Dr. Knight acknowledges he once told Nelson that if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing," the justices wrote.
Six months before Nelson was fired, she and her boss began exchanging text messages about work and personal matters, such as updates about each of their children's activities, the justices wrote.
The messages were mostly mundane, but Nelson recalled one text she received from her boss asking "how often she experienced an orgasm.
The couple consulted with a senior pastor at their church and he agreed that Nelson should be terminated in order to protect their marriage, Cochrane said.
On Jan. 4, 2010, Nelson was summoned to a meeting with Knight while a pastor was present. Knight then read from a prepared statement telling Nelson she was fired.
"Dr. Knight felt like for the best interest of his marriage and the best interest of hers to end their employment relationship," Cochrane said.
Knight acknowledged in court documents that Nelson was good at her job and she, in turn, said she was generally treated with respect.
By: BBC World News
Unless users delete their Instagram accounts by a deadline of 16 January, they cannot opt out.
The changes also mean Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as other affiliates and advertisers.
The move riled social media users, with one likening it to a "suicide note".
The new policies follow Facebook's record $1bn (£616m; 758 euro) acquisition of Instagram in April.
Facebook's vice-president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson earlier this month had said: "Eventually we'll figure out a way to monetize Instagram."
However, the updated policy will not change how it handles photo ownership or who is able to see a user's pictures, it added.
But the new policy has triggered a backlash among social media users, with some threatening to quit.
One user tweeted: "Good bye #instagram. Your new terms of service are totally stupid and nonsense. Good luck playing with the big boys."
New York-based photographer Clayton Cubbit wrote on his account that the new policy was "Instagram's suicide note".
Analysts said that the new policies could deal a blow to Facebook's reputation and alienate some users.
"Are you concerned how Instagram might be using your photos? Should you receive some compensation if profits are made? Leave your comments and concerns below."
By: Jordan Zakarin - The Hollywood Reporter
With numerous utterings of the "N" Word within his new film, "Django," does Tarantino hope to diffuse, or ignite all the ill feelings behind the word all in the name of art?
In Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino does not try to continue the slow unpacking of America’s long legacy of slavery and subsequent racism; instead, he plants a stick of dynamite in the country’s baggage and detonates it all over the screen.
In total, the dialogue is peppered with over 110 instances of the n-word, uttered by both racist whites and black characters. It is used as an insult, a proper noun, and as throwaway filler. Whether it’s a sign of how far the nation has come in its race relations, or an indication of how much progress is left to be made, the use of the word has stirred debate a full two weeks before the film even hits theaters.
"In the deep south, if we hadn’t heard that word as much as we did, it would have been a-historical. The language in that way was precise,” Toure, an author and co-host of MSNBC’s afternoon show The Cycle, told The Hollywood Reporter after seeing the film at a screening for press. "It’s so embedded into their society, its not pejorative, it's 'this is how we talk.’ They’re not even conscious of the racism or gravity. To make a big deal out of it, and if you watch that film and that's what you get out of it, that’s just an incredibly unintelligent knee jerk reaction to the whole thing."
Specifically, Toure was referring to conservative media members who have criticized Tarantino’s use of the word in Django, including blogger Matt Drudge, who splashed “N*gger” seven times across the top of his site on Wednesday. Yet it is more than a single word, however odious its legacy, that fuels the debate over Tarantino’s treatment of race in the new movie; the brutal depiction of slavery, with whippings, hot boxing, verbal abuse, chain gangs and near-castration set a tone that is equally divisive.
Ultimately, that Tarantino is the writer/director behind Django provides as much context as any historical setting or degree of blood splatter. Beginning in earnest with a monologue by the director himself in Pulp Fiction, in which he says “n-----” repeatedly, he has displayed a propensity for including the term in his films that is unmatched among white directors.
By: Amelia Butterly, BBC Newsbeat reporter
Paperless tickets could help combat touts but many venues still do not have the capabilities to support them, say independent music promoters.
Although most tickets are sold online, bringing a printed barcode ticket means it is not truly a digital transaction.
But one independent promoter Anton Lockwood, who works for DHP, says paperless is not always "practical". "It only works where the cost of introducing the system can be spread over high ticket prices," he said.
"The physical design of arenas can make paperless tickets much easier to handle but in club venues, for example, it's more difficult as there isn't usually the space for equipment like electronic turnstiles."
Dave Newton of We Got Tickets, an online retailer, believes that the technology has actually made it easier for small venues.
"Paperless ticketing has brought the cost down [for smaller venues and promoters] and opened up the option of advanced ticketing," he said.
"Resistance is still there at the larger venues because they're used to having people stood on the door ripping tickets."
He said: "Following the recent set of dates at The O2 for Robbie Williams, a survey that we [Ticketmaster] completed suggested that 87% were satisfied with their experience of paperless.
"Fans agreed that it is the future of ticketing."
New technology Other technologies, such as electronic wristbands and smartphone apps, may be the way that paperless ticketing is rolled out across the industry.
By: David Jackson - USA Today
December 9. 2012
President Obama goes "Gangnam Style" on Sunday night, even after the creator of the dance craze apologized for an anti-American song stemming from the Iraq War. Obama and his family attend the taping of the annual "Christmas in Washington" special, which includes a performance by Korean rapper Psy.
As his song-and-dance "Gangnam Style" quickly became the most watched You Tube video of all time, Psy's past performances began to draw critical scrutiny.
In 2004, he protested the U.S.-led invasion of of Iraq with a rap song calling for the killing of "Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives," including the lyrics: "Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers. Kill them all slowly and painfully."
In his apology, the 34-year-old singer sad that performance reflected a "deeply emotional reaction" to the Iraq war.
"I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words," he said, adding: "While I'm grateful for the freedom to express one's self, I've learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I'm deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted."
Psy is one of several performers scheduled for the "Christmas in Washington" concert, now in its 31st year; others include Diana Ross, Demi Lovato, and Scotty McCreery.
Comedian and talk show host Conan O'Brien hosts the special, which will be taped Sunday night and airs Dec. 21 on TNT.
By: BBC Newsbeat
Lady Gaga has bought 55 items at an auction of Michael Jackson costumes in Los Angeles.
She tweeted that the clothes would be "archived & expertly cared for in the spirit & love of Michael Jackson, his bravery, & fans worldwide".
The auction included a jacket worn during Jackson's Bad tour, that went for $240,000 (£148,000) and two crystal gloves.
The items were all made by designers Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush.
Lady Gaga also tweeted a picture of herself and her bidding paddle at the auction.
More than $5m (£3.1m) was raised by the sale, according to LA-based Julien's Auctions.
By: BBC UK World News
on December 01, 2012
The nine justices of the US Supreme Court have put off until next week a decision on whether to consider the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.
The US high court met to discuss cases to be heard, including a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (Doma) that outlaws gay marriage.
The 1996 law states that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.
The high court would hear any cases chosen by the coming spring and make a ruling by the end of June 2013.
Thirty-one of the 50 US states have passed constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, while Washington DC and nine states have legalised it, three of them in the recent US elections.
All of the possible cases before the Supreme Court deal with three laws:
By: Ryan Grenoble-The Huffington Post
Posted: 11/30/2012 3:10 pm EST
The next time you're concerned your kids are playing too many video games, calm yourself with this mantra: They're actually studying fine art.
That idea comes on good authority, via the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
On Thursday, MoMA curators announced plans to add video games to their collection -- 14 to start with, ramping up to a total of 40 if the museum can secure all the games on its wish list.
The list includes venerable titles like "Pac-Man" (good luck evading ghosts at the MoMa, bud), "Tetris," and "Myst," as well as more modern selections like "Portal," and "Canabalt." (Scroll down for a full list of the games.)
So, are video games art?
"They sure are," writes Paola Antonelli, a senior curator at the museum, in a release. "But they are also design, and a design approach is what we chose for this new foray into this universe."
Museum officials selected games for the collection after evaluating the work based on "behavior" (the behavior a game elicits from a player), aesthetics, space (physical environments built by code) and time.
By: Keith Spera, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
November 30, 2012 at 5:03 PM
Tickets for the 2013 New Orleans Jazz Fest go on sale Saturday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m. Early-bird single-day tickets are $45 plus service charges, the same price as for this year's festival. Some time in January -- the exact date has not been announced -- the advance price increases to $50. Tickets will be $65 at the gate, also the same price as 2012.
Purchasing tickets now requires a leap of faith. The roster for the 2013 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell, which is April 26-28 and May 2-5 at the Fair Grounds Race Course, won't be announced until mid-January. However, jazz saxophone legend Wayne Shorter's reps let slip that he'll be at the Fair Grounds on May 5.
Single-day tickets are weekend specific. Tickets will be available at nojazzfest.com and ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 800.745.3000. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Jazz Fest ticket office located at the New Orleans Arena Box Office. All general admission Jazz Fest tickets are subject to additional service fees and handling charges, which are generally the lowest when paying with cash in person at the arena box office.
In addition to single-day tickets, Jazz Fest's various VIP ticket packages also go on sale Dec. 1.
Jude's Korean adventures
Alcohol in South Korea
All bars and local night establishments are filled to the brim with things you have seen in all other places like Jack Daniels and Jagermeister.
However you may spy a little green bottle with Korean writing on it and you may ask what is that? It's called Soju, my friends or 소주 for the Hangil inclined (Korean Language).
Soju is a spirit primarily made from rice, barley, potatoes or tapioca and has an average alcohol content of 20% ABV however there are some brands of Andong Soju that are upward of 45% ABV.
None the less, they will both get the job done. Soju has a taste very similar to vodka but it is slightly sweeter and easier to consume by itself.
Now we get to the matter of cost and availability; however rest assured the answer will be qiute positive. Soju is available all over South Korea from the local convenience store for 1,000 Won = roughly $1 or in a restaurant for 3,000 Won =$3. So these adult treats certainly won't set you back any considerable amount.
It alco mixes quite well with beer, cider, and energy drinks. Soju has been around since the 13th century and shows no signs of going anywhere anytime soon. So when you get the chance come on down to the Republic of South Korea and have a shot of deliciousness.