Psychic Sylvia Brown tells mom that Amanda Berry is dead

Psychic, Sylvia Browne, a frequent of the Montel Williams, claimed that Amanda Berry was dead… to her mother. Clearly, this prediction was incorrect as she was found alive Monday along with two other girls: Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. After being confined to their kidnappers basement for nearly a decade, Amanda Berry decided enough was enough, and escaped with the help of a neighbor. In 2004, the year following Berry’s disappearance, her distraught mother appeared on “The Montel Williams” show, to be told by Sylvia Browne that her daughter was “in heaven and on the other side” and that her last words were “goodbye, mom, I love you”. Amanda Berry’s mother, Louwana Miller,  truly believed Sylvia that her daughter had passed, only to die a year later after appearing on the show due to heart failure. As a result of Sylvia’s accusation, she has come under scrutiny–and not for the first time. Comments on her Facebook page read, “Sylvia is a con artist and commits fraud for financial gain”. However, as many people believe in mediums and their ability to speak to dead, Browne’s business will keep on booming–she charges $850 for a phone psychic reading, but it has currently been discounted to $550…I wonder why. As a skeptic myself of this practice, I cannot believe people pay that much for a PHONE conversation with someone who they have never met that claims to be a spiritual guide and psychic–not to mention has been proven wrong time and time again. Does anyone else see this as a HUGE scam?

 

Jodi Arias: Twitter, etc

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(source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/11/jodi-arias-reportedly-tweeting-from-behind-bars/)

In 2008, Jodi Arias admitted that she killed her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in self-defense. Some sources report that Alexander was abusive, and that Arias’ crime was not premeditated, while others say the exact reverse. Regardless, Alexander’s corpse was a grisly spectacle when it was found; a shot to the face, with 20 stab wounds, and a slit throat from ear to ear.

Their relationship was actually more of an affair that culminated in extreme jealousy on Arias’ part. Arias apparently converted to Mormonism, Alexander’s faith, but he still broke up with her and dated other women. Friends of Travis Alexander report that Arias took up stalking and slashed his tires.

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(source: http://www.hlntv.com/article/2013/02/13/arias-sentencing)

The most recent news is that she has finally been declared guilty of first-degree murder. She is currently on suicide watch due to comments she made that displayed her wish for a quick death (death sentence), as opposed to a prolonged one (life imprisonment).

Interestingly enough, Arias is stated to only follow 14 followers on Twitter. Amongst them is famous comedian, Kathy Griffin, who speaks her thoughts on the matter in this video. In the video, Griffin seems somewhat amused/surprised that Arias/her representative is tweeting from the prison.

Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Eun

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(source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/03/01/state-department-no-position-on-dennis-rodmans-north-korea-trip/)

NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman is making headlines, not for anything solely basketball-related, but for diplomacy. On his twitter, he publicly called on Kim Jong Eun to release US citizen Kenneth Bae, who, just last month, was sentenced to 15 years hard labor by the North Korean government.

Here is the tweet…

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(source: https://twitter.com/dennisrodman/status/331826019747127297)

Rodman has been praised for his efforts of fostering a friendly relationship with the young dictator of the often unstable North Korea. Using their mutual love of basketball, they became quick friends when Rodman initially visited during February.

He and Globetrotters Bull Bullard, Buckets Blakes and Moose Weekes made the trip, and spent time in the isolated country. They apparently watched (Rodman)/participated (Globetrotters) in an exhibition match that was held in Pyongyang. Overall, this visit was especially beneficial due to ever-increased tensions between North Korea and the US due to the former’s continuing involvement with its nuclear program.

 

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(source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/sports/basketball/dennis-rodman-meets-north-korean-leader.html)

Rodman is not an official diplomat and also does not consider himself a politician. Still, his amiable relations with North Korea may have a chance at releasing Kenneth Bae. Hopefully Kim Jong Eun will find a means to reply to Rodman’s message.

Charles Ramsey: Hero

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(source: http://www.vibe.com/photo-gallery/meet-charles-ramsey-local-hero-becomes-internet-sensation)

If you’ve been keeping up with recent happenings, you would know that a dishwasher in Cleveland has become something of a national hero, his name trending across Twitter, his face featuring in T-shirts, his videos going viral, etc. What exactly is the reason for all this attention? His quick actions of rescuing three young women who all went missing years past, has made him an iconic figure.

He and another man (Angel Cordero) reportedly kicked down the door of their neighbor, kidnapper Ariel Castro’s house, and helped the long-thought missing Amanda Berry, Georgina “Gina” DeJesus and Michelle Knight escape. This was due to the actions of Berry, who screamed for help, and luckily Ramsey was there to hear her calls. After the women were safely out of the house and reunited with their families, Castro was promptly arrested.

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(source: http://weeklyworldnews.com/headlines/56140/charles-ramsey-national-hero/)

Still, while all the internet memes are in good fun and praising the humble, down-to-eath Ramsey, some people actually do mock him for his first TV appearance: where he was disheveled, and spoke in a colorful manner of speech. But ultimately, Ramsey comes from an impoverished area, and criticizing him is pretty much in very bad taste. Most people are charmed by Ramsey’s very passionate, authentic self, and consider him a folk hero on all social media platforms.

But the media seemingly jumped at the chance to conduct more research on the unlikely hero. Recent news shows that Ramsey, himself, is no stranger to criminals. He apparently was arrested a few times in the past for domestic abuse and other misdemeanors. But Ramsey has never declared himself to be a saint, and even his then wife, Rochelle has been defending him, “Ok so for the record ppl do change and you shouldn’t hold the past against someone,” she wrote Wednesday. “The (main) thing is Charles Ramsey did a good deed and those girls are safe is that not the most important thing?”

The End of the Semester

With the end of the semester finally here, we held our last class meetings over the past two days (Tuesday April 30 and Wednesday May 1).  Here are two group photos.  Here is the Tuesday class:

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and here is the Wednesday class:

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There were a couple of students not present in the Wednesday group.  I would like to thank everyone in the class for a truly wonderful and enjoyable semester!

**** Remember to check the Final Project Blogs page (the tab is located on the left hand side of the screen) on Friday May 10 to see the final project sites. ****

Ghost – Just a Blogging Platform

There was a Kickstarter launched the other day that seems to have caught the attention of internet goers and bloggers alike. Ghost is an open source blogging platform that focuses on blogging. In the video, John explains how WordPress has grown up over the years and is no longer just about blogging. Personally, I have always hated the WordPress interface and thought it was rather difficult to navigate. There are several ways to add a new post, but the best way is hidden away inside the admin panel. With Ghost, there is a split view that shows Markdown (a markup syntax) on the left and a rendered live view on the right. Ghost Split ViewIt looks beautiful and elegant. There are few alternatives to WordPress that really back how powerful it is, but they are also more complicated. Ghost appears to be as simple as it gets. I have already backed the project on Kickstarter and recommend that you check it out also.

A Week With Pebble

If you’re not too familiar with Pebble, the best introduction for it would be here. Pebble is a smartwatch that connects to your mobile phone via bluetooth. It is capable of displaying incoming texts, emails, calls, and just about anything else from your smartphone.

I finally received my Pebble on 4/20 after backing it over a year ago on Kickstarter.pebble_box I originally ordered a white one, but a few weeks ago they sent me an email saying they were unsure when the white watches were going to ship and offered the opportunity to switch colors. Being the patient person I am, I immediately replied OK’ing the switch.

I’ve had Pebble on my wrist for a little over a week and a TLDR for you would be, “I don’t know what I did before it.” For starters, the watch tells you the time! I never owned a watch before, and always pulled my phone out of my pocket to check the time. Well with Pebble, that’s a thing of the past! Jokes aside, when a text or email comes through to your phone, the watch vibrates and promptly displays the message and sender right on the display. It’s insanely convenient to not have to pull a phone out of your pocket to see who is trying to reach you.

During calls, it also shows who you are talking with and how long the conversation has been going on for, which has more uses than you can  think of. The watch faces are super easy to switch and fairly simple to create. My Pebble Faces is a quick showcase site that lets you quickly download other users designs. Much of the software is open allowing developers to hack away creating their wildest dreams.

The only thing I wish it had is a microphone so I could do quick dictation replies. You instinctively want to respond right from the watch after reading a text. Maybe future iterations will carry such a feature. The rumors say that since Google went with Glass, Apple is most likely working on a watch to further the wearable tech. If they come up with anything as easy and awesome as Pebble, people will be lining up for weeks to get one!