Powered by Blogger.
  • Home
  • 'Outlander,' The Wedding Episode And TV's Sexual Revolution

    It would pain me greatly if critics and viewers dismissed "Outlander" for irrelevant, trivial or condescending reasons.

    Don't mistake my purpose: I'm not here to tell you "Outlander" is a perfect show. I like it, I loved a couple of episodes, but I outlined some of my issues with it in my original review.

    That said, sometimes a show on the margin of the public's attention does something radically different -- even revolutionary -- and it'd be a real shame if the show's non-trendy status prevented people from recognizing the fantastic thing it has done.

    "Outlander" has blown up a lot of the received ideas about sex on television -- how it's shot, who it's for, who it's made by and who it's about. The show's Sept. 20 episode, in which the two lead characters get married and have a lot of sex, was nothing short of revolutionary in its depiction of nudity and intimacy, and in its willingness to entertain the female point of view.

    I'm not saying other shows haven't done compelling and interesting things with sex on occasion, or even on a regular basis. As Emily Nussbaum tweeted the other day, "we are living in a dirty honest TV wonderland." I agree, and this development is tremendously exciting.

    It's a distinct relief that "Outlander" is not alone. We've now seen two full seasons of the twisted power dynamics that inform those strange, intense hotel-room encounters in "Masters of Sex." "Girls," obviously, has an honest treatment of sex as one of its main goals, and Jill Soloway, partly inspired by Lena Dunham, just unleashed "Transparent," a fantastically complex depiction of all kinds of desires. Thanks in part to streaming options and an expanding array of adventurous creators and networks, shows with sexually unapologetic women suddenly seem to be all over the place: "The Fall," "The Good Wife," "The Americans," "Orphan Black," "New Girl," "You're the Worst" and "Orange Is the New Black" are all part of a seemingly unstoppable wave of shows that treat the sexual activities of their leading ladies with refreshing matter-of-factness and genuine interest.
    Even a few years ago, it was not like this. Shows like this cropped up here and there, but they were not thick on the ground.

    To overgeneralize, you could say that the post-"Oz," post-"Sopranos" revolution in television was all about what a protagonist could do. The wave of ambitious dramas that crested in the mid- to late-'00s (and still lingers in sizable pockets of the TV landscape) explored the outer limits of the behavior of a complex individual ... as long as that individual was a dude.

    The last two or three years have seen a welcome and overdue explosion in who a protagonist could be. "Looking," "Happy Valley," "Borgen," "The Honorable Woman," "The Bridge," "Enlightened," "Broad City," "Top of the Lake," "Sleepy Hollow" and the shows mentioned above -- these and other programs often dominate conversations about adventurous television, and they aren't all that concerned with changing definitions of masculinity, the status anxiety of white guys and all that anti-hero baggage. They often feature diverse ensembles; they're often about how communities and individuals regard each other and change each other. A new set of thematic concerns has joined the big TV party, and that's also exciting. ax

    Ayperi Alekseeva Gets 9-Pound Hairball Removed From Her Stomach

    A 18-year-old girl in Batken, Kyrgyzstan went through a hair-raising medical procedure in order to have a nine-pound hairball removed from her stomach.

    Ayperi Alekseeva was admitted into a hospital recently after she complained of stomach pains so severe that she was unable to eat anything, or even drink water.

    X-rays revealed the hairy blockage and realized they needed to operate quickly.


    “It was actually the only alternative, nothing else would solve the problem," surgeon Bahadir Bebezov said, according to News.com.au.
    Bebezov said the hairball formed in Alekseeva's stomach because she had a nasty habit of picking up hair from the carpet and eating it and also chewing the tips of her hair.

    "In fact her stomach was so badly swollen from hair and bits of wool from the carpet that it literally just oozed out as soon as the wall of the stomach was cut," Bebezov said according to the Telegraph.

    After going through the ordeal of major surgery, Alekseeva has promised her hair-eating days are over.

    She's not the only person who paid a price for having a bizarre taste in snack foods.

    In October, 2012, doctors in Indore, India removed a hair ball weighing nearly four pounds from the stomach and small intestine of a 19-year-old girl.

    Like Alekseeva, she too had a taste for hair, but combined it with chalk.

    Sickening moment suspected British paedophile leads 11-year-old Cambodian girl up to 'secret sex abuse room

    Michael Jones, 55, is in jail awaiting trial for carrying out indecent acts against minors and paying for child prostitution

    This disturbing video shows a suspected British paedophile leading an 11-year-old Cambodian girl up to his rented room.

    Michael Jones, 55, is currently in jail awaiting trial after being charged with carrying out indecent acts against minors and paying for child prostitution.

    Undercover surveillance, given exclusively to MirrorOnline, shows Welshman Jones nonchalantly strolling through the back streets of the country's capital Phnom Penh followed by an 11-year-old girl.

    They then climb up a ladder to a rented hotel room.

    The girl later told police a man paid her just £3 for sex. She says she has been abused a total of four times.
    In other footage, Jones, originally from South Wales, is followed by three half-dressed eight and nine-year-olds from an impoverished local family.

    The children follow him to a restaurant where Jones is said to have bought them pizza and ice cream.

    Their parents say Jones asked to take them away in exchange for paying their rent.

    They refused but allowed him to spend time with the children.

    The girls have since alleged he touched them inappropriately.    

    Charity campaigners Action Pout Les Enfants (APLE) took the pictures and video after being tipped-of about Jones' alleged activity with underage girls.

    He is later filmed being confronted by police who arrested him at a taxi rank in him in front of his 22-year-old Cambodian girlfriend.

    California Quietly Adopts Landmark Condom Law To Protect Sex Workers

    Last week, without fanfare or media attention, California became the first state in the nation to adopt a law aiming to protect sex workers from being prosecuted as prostitutes merely because they're carrying condoms. The police practice of targeting for arrest those in possession of multiple condoms undermines critical efforts to help this vulnerable population avoid sexually transmitted diseases, advocates for sex workers argue.

    The advocates applauded California's legislation as a step in the right direction, but they said the measure as written doesn’t go far enough.

    "It's great that the California Legislature has contemplated this issue and taken it seriously," Sienna Baskin, managing director of the New York-based Sex Worker Project at the Urban Justice Center, told The Huffington Post. "That said, I do think a more comprehensive bill would be more effective."

    The California legislation, which Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law on Sept. 19, requires a court to state explicitly that the presence of condoms is relevant to the individual case before prosecutors can use them as evidence of prostitution. The original bill, authored by California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), would have banned the use of condoms entirely as evidence of prostitution, but it didn’t have the votes to pass.
    "Right now, there’s no process, and condoms are admitted into court even when they aren’t actual evidence," Wendy Hill, Ammiano’s senior legislative assistant, said to HuffPost. "There are very few cases [against sex workers] in which an actual condom is listed as a valid piece of evidence."

    A report released by Human Rights Watch in 2012 looked at prostitution cases in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington. It found that in all four cities, police officers frequently seized condoms from sex workers and used them as justification for arrest. "The practice makes sex workers and transgender women reluctant to carry condoms for fear of arrest, causes them to engage in sex without protection, and puts them at risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases," stated the 112-page report, published in advance of that year's International AIDS Conference.

    Advocates for sex workers hope the additional legal requirement under California’s new law will act as a deterrent against specifically targeting those sex workers who carry condoms. "We believe that the process of having to seek a court’s permission on a repeated basis will ultimately prove too burdensome for many district attorneys to pursue," Whitney Engeran-Cordova, senior director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s public health division, said in a statement. "As a result, sex workers, prostitutes and others may now possess more than one condom without the current -- and rational -- fear of incriminating themselves."

    Shilpa Shetty, Raj Kundra meet with an accident

    Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra met with an accident. Fortunately, they escape unhurt. While coming back from Jalandhar, Shilpa and Raj narrowly escape the mishap. The couple went to Jalandhat to address some promotional event.
    The accident took place when the other car tried to overtake Shilpa’s car at the venue and at the last minute major clash was averted. They were all saved because of skills of Shilpa’s driver. The rash driver almost hit Shilpa's car. The scene turned worse when Shilpa and Raj’s bodyguard got down to thrash the rash driver.

    The incident was reported to the police station.  Restless and frightened Shilpa said that due to the blessings of Maa Durga their lives were saved. a

    Female Farmers Make Nude Calendar To Raise Money For New Land

    Two Florida women hope that by selling a pin-up calendar featuring naked female farmers and strategically placed produce, they can raise enough money for a down payment on some new land.

    That's the pitch behind an Indiegogo campaign from Ten-Speed Greens Urban Farm. The company's owners, Claire Mitchell and Danielle Krasniqi, are currently farm-less; the landlord of their previous farm wanted to build homes there instead. So the ladies and their friends decided to strip down -- tastefully -- and rally folks to donate to their cause.

    There was a time when Ten Speed Greens Urban Farm, in Tallahassee, totally cranked. With only a six-person staff, it produced about 90 pounds of salad greens -- arugula, red mustard, kale, broccoli shoots and more -- every week for restaurants, local markets and their community-supported agriculture program. The farm produced more than a ton of tomatoes in its first year.

    But they were just renting their land. Now, Krasniqi and Mitchell have decided they wanted a more permanent arrangement. "We wanted it to be an urban farm," Krasniqi told The Huffington Post, "but land is more expensive in the city." Being close enough to the city to deliver their produce by bike is important to them (hence their name, Ten-Speed Greens), so they started brainstorming ways to fund the dream.
    According to their Indiegogo page, they "looked around one day and realized, 'All our friends are babes! Let's put them in a calendar with our vegetables, and raise money for our future urban farm.'"

    Their "Farmer Tans Calendar" will feature 12 months of women wearing nothing but fruits, vegetables and their farmer tans.

    The photos were snapped by a volunteer at the farm who is also a professional photographer, Jess Drawhorn.

    "For most of the photos, not only were we completely naked but we were at the farm on a busy street without a lot of personal coverage," Krasniqi (Miss January and November) said. "It resulted in a lot of funny moments because people like to stop by randomly to see if we’re open. We’d be in the tomatoes and someone would say, 'Hello?' So there was a lot of laughter in every single shoot that we did."

    Krasniqi said she's already thinking about next year's calendar. "I'm also a massage therapist, so I love bodies and the human figure. I think celebrating that and being able to celebrate it with the other job that I love so much, farming, is awesome." Next year, she says, she wants to do a "work-oriented calendar, so tools, tractors, that kind of aspect." And, of course, naked ladies.

    Sony launches Xperia Z3 & Z3 compact flagship smartphones in India

    Sony has launched its latest flagship smartphones in India.

    Sony has officially announced the launch of its Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact smartphones in India. The smartphones are priced at Rs. 51,999 and Rs. 44.990 respectively. Sony also announced plans to launch the Smartband talk and Smartwatch 3 in December.

    The Xperia Z3 is the latest flagship from Sony. Successor to the Xperia Z2, the new Sony smartphone has 5.2-inch full HD display. It is powered by 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset along with 3GB RAM.
    The smartphone has 20.7MP camera with 1/2.3-type EXMOR-RS CMOS with G Lens, CMOS image, BIONZ for mobile -4K video capture (3840×2160 pixels/30p) with SteadyShot image stabilization, and 2.1MP front camera. The Xperia Z3 is water and dust proof with IP68 certification.  Check out our detailed Sony Xperia Z3 Review

    The Xperia Z3 Compact has a 4.6-inch 720p display. The smartphone is powered by a 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset along with 3GB RAM. The smartphone has 20.7MP camera with 1/2.3-type EXMOR-RS CMOS with G Lens, CMOS image, BIONZ for mobile -4K video capture (3840×2160 pixels/30p) with SteadyShot image stabilization, and 2.1MP front camera.

    “The launch of the Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact reinforces Sony’s commitment to offer the latest cutting-edge technology to our customers. With the two size options, customers now have the option of choosing the form factor that fits their individual requirement, without compromising on either technology or design. We are very encouraged with the response to Sony Xperia smartphones in India, and are targeting 40% contribution from Xperia sales to our sales turnover of FY14. We are expanding our distribution to 10,000 retail touch-points including 250 exclusive Xperia Stores in FY14," says Mr. Kenichiro Hibi, Managing Director, Sony India

    Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro India Launch Expected at Firm's September 30 Event

    Lenovo has sent out invites to an event on September 30, where the company is widely expected to launch the Vibe Z2 Pro in India.

    The invite to "Make way for the Pro" includes an image of the Vibe Z2 Pro's rear panel with a tagline that says, "The Pro awaits you."

    Interestingly, the Chinese handset maker has listed the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro on the company's India website - pointing to an official launch soon.

    Another smartphone that can be expected to launch alongside the Vibe Z2 Pro is the Lenovo Vibe X2, which was listed on the company's India website on Wednesday. The official listing of the Vibe X2 does point to an imminent launch soon; however, there is no word from Lenovo.
    The Vibe Z2 Pro was announced last month with an expected availability of September. The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro sports a 6-inch Quad-HD (1440x2560 pixel) display, which will be up against the likes of the LG G3 and Oppo Find 7, which also sport QHD displays.

    It runs Android 4.4 KitKat out-of-the-box with the company's proprietary Vibe UI 2.0 on top. The Vibe Z2 Pro supports dual-SIM functionality, and is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon (MSM8974AC) 801 processor clocked at 2.5GHz, coupled with 3GB of RAM. Currently, the flagship devices currently in India from HTC, LG, Samsung, and Sony are powered by the same SoC series.

    The new Lenovo flagship packs a 16-megapixel rear camera and also houses a 5-megapixel front camera. The Vibe Z2 Pro's rear camera comes with OIS (optical image stabilization), 4K video recording functionality, and dual LED flash.

    India play China in crucial last game, need draw to progress

     Shattered after the close 1-2 loss against arch-rivals Pakistan, Indian men’s hockey team will have to regroup themselves quickly and eye atleast a draw in their last crucial Pool B fixture against China in Incheon on Saturday, to qualify for the semifinals of the 17th Asian Games.

    After dishing out an insipid display, both in attack and defence, against Pakistan on Thursday, The Sardar Singh-led side will need to tighten their belt and come up with a much more convincing display against China.

    A draw on Saturday would be enough for India to seal their semifinal berth as the second best team from Pool B as they enjoy a better goal difference than the Chinese.

    India, thanks to their superior goal difference of plus 17, are lying second in the pool ahead of their crunch game against China which they have to win or draw to ensure their berth in the last four.

    But if they manage to qualify, it won’t be easy for India in the semifinals as they clash against hosts and four-time champions South Korea, who will end up in the top spot in Pool A.

    The danger of going in with a defensive mind-set to force a draw in the match might just backfire for the Indians which was the reason for chief coach Terry Walsh to say that his wards needed to win the game against China after the defeat against eight-time champions Pakistan.
    While the Indian forward-line functioned disjointedly against the skilful Pakistanis with hardly any support from the midfield, besides missing a few gilt-edge chances.

    The Indian defence was also panicked whenever the rivals attacked deep into their area.

    India hardly produced a defence-splitting pass during the entire duration of the game and failed to stitch together enough number of passes to break through the determined Pakistan defense.

    Surprisingly, even the ever dependable Sardar Singh did not have a great match as he was called upon more to bolster the fumbling defence and, as a result, could not control the midfield as he does.

    Roving forward Akashdeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh were guilty of not grabbing the chances that came their way which cost India dear.

    Even though India are above China in world ranking, it would be a mistake to take them tomorrow and Walsh also warned his wards not to be complacent.

    “We have a very big game coming up against China tomorrow and we have to win that match to reach the semifinals. It’s not going to be an easy game as China are a tough team to beat,” said the former Australia forward.

    China and India have both come to this stage after winning by big margins against minnows Sri Lanka, back in Asiad fray after 32 years, and Oman and losing to Pakistan.

    Sierra Leone Restricts Travel For Over 1 Million To Stop Ebola Spread

    Sierra Leone on Thursday took the dramatic step of sealing off districts where more than 1 million people live as it and other West African countries struggle to control the Ebola outbreak that has claimed thousands of lives.

    With three new districts under quarantine, about one-third of Sierra Leone's 6 million people are now living in areas where their movements are heavily restricted. In parts of Sierra Leone and in neighboring Liberia where these cordons have been used in this outbreak, food prices have soared, some markets have shut and the delivery of goods has slowed.

    "There is a desperate need to step up our response to this dreaded disease," the Sierra Leone government said. "The prognosis is that without additional interventions or changes in community behavior, the numbers will increase exponentially and the situation will rapidly deteriorate."

    President Barack Obama warned a meeting at the United Nations on Thursday that the world is not doing enough to stop the outbreak, saying there is "a significant gap between where we are and where we need to be."

    The Ebola outbreak, the world's largest ever, has hit Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea hardest and is believed to have sickened more than 6,200 people. Senegal and Nigeria have also had Ebola cases, but it appears the disease has been contained in those countries.
    U.S. health officials warn that the number of infected people could explode to 1.4 million by mid-January, adding that the outbreak could peak well below that if efforts to control the outbreak are ramped up.

    The outbreak's unprecedented scale and geographic spread have pushed governments to impose severe measures like the cordons, but the disease has continued to overwhelm efforts to contain it.

    In an address to Sierra Leone on Wednesday night, President Ernest Bai Koroma put Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba districts under isolation with immediate effect, allowing only people delivering essential services to enter and circulate within these areas. The restrictions will remain in place until the chain of transmission is broken, officials said.

    In other parts of Sierra Leone, including the capital, Freetown, homes will be put under quarantine when cases are identified, according to a government statement. Security forces surrounded a house in a Freetown slum on Wednesday, quarantining residents inside, after a popular herbalist who lived there died from Ebola. The forces will ensure that no one leaves or enters until it's clear that no one else in the house has been infected.

    Total Pageviews