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Predictive Policing: New Tech Could Predict Crime Before It Happens

minority report 2012 08 02

"Minority Report" just got so much more plausible.

New technology is helping understaffed police departments decide where their forces are most needed.

The LAPD is using an approach called "predictive policing."

A computer utilizes algorithms to determine what parts of the city could most benefit from extra cops by figuring out patterns based on what's happened in those areas. And, while the dystopian future in which Tom Cruise lived in "Minority Report" was pretty scary, the idea behind "predictive policing" is much nicer. Instead of nabbing criminals and shipping them off to prison, the idea is to prevent the crimes from happening so that nobody gets into trouble.

Read more about it, here.



DiD yOu KnOw? ... Want to help stop crime in your neighborhood? Learn about crime prevention on the National Crime Prevention Council's website.

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If It Ain't Chickens, It's Feathers: Chick-Fil-A 'Appreciation' Hits Twitter, Drive-Thrus

chick fil a 2012 08 01

Today was the unofficial "National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" -- an effort spearheaded by Mike Huckabee.

Chick-fil-A has been getting serious grief after the announcement by COO Dan Cathy that his corporation believes in traditional family values.

And, with the recent death of Public Relations Vice President Donald Perry (who suffered a heart attack amidst the craziness of the past couple of weeks) -- and major city officials telling the company to get out -- people are starting to wonder if things are starting to get out of hand.

While we're for fairness and equality, we do believe wholeheartedly in the freedom of speech (we're a media outlet, after all!). People have a right to boycott Chick-fil-A if they don't agree with its views, that is true. But, isn't it also true that the owners of Chick-fil-A have a right to believe in whatever they may believe?

Feel free to tweet your opinions our way @glittarazzi. But, please, folks, keep it kosher!

And definitely keep scrolling down to read some of our favorite tweets -- from both sides of the debate -- on the controversy.

 


See also: Spread The Word About Chick-fil-A’s Discriminatory History [HRC]
 

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Video: Camila and the Chickens sing 'Forget You' 

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Interview: Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis Poke Political Fun At 'The Campaign' Premiere

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For whom would "The Campaign" stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis prefer to work: Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?

“In what capacity?” Will asked Glittarazzi. “Lawn maintenance? Whoever lets me take the most breaks.”

“It really would depend on which one's laziest,” Zach told Glittarazzi. [Watch our video, here!]

The jokesters made a campaign, er, movie stop at the Newseum Tuesday evening for a preview of their new political parody, in theaters Aug. 10, that features two congressional candidates at war during election season.

And, having spent quite some time promoting their films, the actors now know what the scrutiny of a political campaign is like.

Will and Zach both said they empathized with political candidates because they understand what it is like to constantly have cameras on them. They also told us that the media’s job now seems to be looking for gaffes.

But, despite that fact, inquiring Washingtonian political reporters wanted to know: what does the duo think about Barack Obama’s tax policy?
 
“In which country?” Will asked reporters. “I would raise taxes 75 percent.”

(Not that he would be willing to pay it.)


Showtimes / tickets: The Campaign

 

Want to win some cool prizes? Visit "The Campaign" movie's official website (here) for the scoop on how to snag some hot political-comedy swag.




Video: Glittarazzi Interviews Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis At Premiere Of "The Campaign"



Video: "The Campaign" - trailer


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Interview: Travel Channel’s ‘Toy Hunter’ Star Jordan Hembrough Talks Valuable Toys + His New Show

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Jordan Hembrough is one of those people who's been lucky enough to make career out of what he loves.

The self-professed "toy and collecting geek" got his first job out of college as the head buyer for a chain of sci-fi and collectible stores. Then, he then started his own company, Hollywood Heroes, which finds and sells valuable and collectable toys.

Now, Jordan is bringing his expertise in finding prized playthings to the American TV viewing audience on the Travel Channel's new show, "Toy Hunter," which premieres Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 10 p.m. ET/PT and will run regularly every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

We were recently able to chat with Jordan about his new show, our old toys, and the cut-throat world of collectible trading. ...

 


There's a lot of "finder shows" out there -- some are specific and others are pretty general. But, it seems like toys are of a very universal subject. Why do you think it took so long for a toy-finder show to hit primetime?

"You know, that's a very good question. First of all, I do agree with you, toys are the universal - the sort of universal denominator; everyone was a child once and everyone has this real emotional connection with the toys.

"As to, you know, why now, I think the time is right. You know, there are a lot of what I call antiques shows -- you know, whether it be the storage shows or the auctions shows or whatever, and a lot of them have to deal with, you know, the cool stuff that we all find and we all covet.

"But, every now and then a toy trickles in and people get really, really excited about it. I think the timing was just right; people understand that, you know, all these beloved toys from the '80s are coming back in vogue right now.

"And, I really think a big push on all this is a lot of the companies now - the new toy companies are reintroducing a lot of these old brands back into the market again. They're changing them up a little bit, they're reintroducing them as TV shows, a lot of them are movies now. And, I think, you know, a lot of people are embracing it. They're saying, 'Look, this is my childhood all over again.'"
 


Could you walk us through of how an episode of the show will work?

 

"Every Wednesday, you guys are going to tune into Travel Channel, and you guys are going to see me on a great journey. ... I'm going to go around the country I'm going to meet with great collectors; everybody from former Kenner designers in Ohio to flea market pickers in Asheville, N.C., and vintage toy store owners in Austin, Texas.

"I'm going to talk about the toys they grew up with, and I'm going to hunt out some of the rare and really cool toys that these guys have stashed away in their attics or basements or everything like that, even if it's something like going to a Batman Collector in Biloxi, Miss., a guy who only collects Batman. I'm going to hunt out for the really rare Batman toys. Really just sit and share a moment with these people about the childhood and why they love what they love.

"You know, people ask me all the time what this show is about and how can I sum up 'Toy Hunter'. And I just say, 'I really think 'Toy Hunter' as a really happy childhood memory.' 'Toy Hunter' is going to bring back a lot of those warm and fuzzy memories."
 


Are there any toys that our readers might remember -- or even still have in their basements -- that might be worth some big bucks?

 

"Oh yes. Have you seen Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lately or Jurassic Park? It's out there. I promise you the great thing about these toys is every few years the next generation starts getting more valuable.

"And if I were to talk directly to the generation of 20 and 30 year olds, I'd say keep an eye on the horizon for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles really going up in value because some of the toys are worth $600 today. And look for Jurassic Park because Jurassic Park line by Kenner really has started taking off in the secondary market."


OK. We're glad about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That's good.

 

"Save yours, don't sell them, save them."
 


We heard a great story. You found these really valuable Hot Wheels at a garage sale, which an elderly woman was selling, and, you did this amazing good-karma thing where you flipped them on this collector and got a lot more money than you paid her for them. But, then you went and gave the money to the woman because she needed it. How do you, as someone who earns his living by selling collectables, make a decision like that?

 

"That's a great question. You know, it varies on all circumstances. Naturally I'm in this to make money, OK. It's a business for me. I pay my way through life; you know, home, family, et cetera.

"This woman was very, very unique. She did not have a lot of money. She had problems going on in her life; she had lost her husband. And I saw something in her that really struck an emotional accord with me.

"And every now and then, more often than not, you just got to do the right thing in life and this woman needed money. She didn't know what she had. And, to be honest, it really wasn't hard for me to sell them; they were very, very valuable. I was able to make the deal, you know, effortlessly and quickly.

"And, you know, so I thought to myself, 'You know, here is someone who needs the money more than me.' And I went back and gave her the money and she broke down and cried and she was very, very grateful.

"And it is; it is good toy karma. It's just people helping people. And that's what you've got to do every now and then."
 


Jordan, thanks for answering our questions.

 

"Thank you so much. I really appreciate it."

 

Learn more: Check out the "Toy Hunter" website!

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Hey Athletes, Want To Get Booted From The Olympics? Tweet Something Racist.

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Making it to the Olympics is kind of a big deal.

People spend their entire lives training and competing to represent their country, which, in itself, is a huge honor.

So, if someone gets kicked out of the games and sent back home, it is usually because they did something pretty stupid and embarrassing -- like tweeting racists statements about their fellow Olympians.

That's what Michel Morganella, a member of the Swiss soccer team, did.

For those you following the games, you probably know that on Monday the Swiss lost in soccer to South Korea. Hours later, Michel tweeted in a mix of French slang and text speak that South Koreans "can go burn" and called them a "bunch of mongoloids."

Yep, that's pretty racist.

But, considering that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been heavily encouraging athletes to use social media in order to promote the games, we're not surprised.

In fact, Michel isn't the first athlete to be sent home for racist tweeting. The week before, Voula Papachristou, a triple jumper from Greece, became the first athlete to be banned for her social media behavior. On July 22, Voula tweeted, "So many Africans in Greece at least West Nile mosquitoes will eat homemade food."

Yep, that's also kind of racist. 

We think to prevent future embarrassment, the IOC should just make racist tweeting an Olympic event.
 

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South Korean Artist To Launch Homemade Satellite Into Space

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When it comes to doing stuff on your own, launching something you built by yourself into space to orbit the earth is pretty high up on the "not really possible" list.

But, apparently, no one told South Korean Artist and Technophile Song Ho-jun that -- because it's exactly what he's doing.

Song, who's known for tech-based art installations, has spent the past six years learning how to build and find the parts for his satellite, which he's named "Open Satellite Initiative" or "OpenSat." The whole thing cost less than $500 to put together, and now a French tech company has announced that it's successfully brokered a deal with a third party rocket company.

The team is going to shoot the satellite, which is built from savaged parts found online and back-alley electronics shops, into space for around $105,000.

The satellite weighs a little bit more than two pounds and measures roughly four cubic inches. While in space, the OpenSat will transmit updates on how it's doing, including its battery's status, its temperature, and how fast it's solar panel rotates. Oh, and the satellite will hopefully send out a repeated Morse code message via its LED lights.

Geesh! For something that so cool ... that actually seems kind of boring.

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Top Chef's Marcus Samuelson Holds Memoir Launch Event (& Cooks Up Some Treats)

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Marcus Samuelsson, guest chef for the first state dinner of the Obama Administration, hosted an event at the historic Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., this week to launch his new memoir.

The book, "Yes, Chef," is a love letter to food and family in all its manifestations.

The book chronicles his remarkable journey from Ethiopia to his adoptive grandmother’s kitchen in Sweden, where he first learned to cook, to some of the most demanding and cutthroat restaurants in France, Switzerland and New York City.

The Top Chef star held a cooking demonstration for everyone in attendance and, of course, everyone got to eat the delicious food.

We hope that his memoir does as well as his Red Rooster restaurant in New York and that he continues to succeed in his amazing career.

(We also welcome him to come to Glittarazzi headquarters and give us a private lesson -- because his food was delicious!)


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Eagle Scouts Across America Return Medals In Protest Of Anti-Gay Policy

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Chick-Fil-A workers aren't the only ones getting backlash over their anti-gay stance.

The Boy Scouts of America are getting a little piece of the hate, too.

Men have been sending back the medals they received when they were made Eagle Scouts (the medals are highly coveted awards that take a lot of hard work to earn and help young men to earn scholarships, higher rankings if they enlist to serve the country, and even job interviews).

The return of medals has come about since the Boy Scouts organization decided to ban openly gay, bisexual, or transgender kids from participating in scouting. And, the reactions from men sending back their medals -- both gay and straight -- are extremely intense.

You can read them, here.



DiD yOu KnOw? ... Want to urge the Boy Scouts to change their views? Check out "Scouts for Equality," here.

 


Video: Cyndi Lauper - True Colors

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Giuliana Rancic Receives 'Beautiful Humanitarian' Award At 'American Hairstyling Awards'

giuliana rancic 2012 07 26

E! Entertainment journalist Giuliana Rancic hosted the "National American Hairstyling Awards" in Las Vegas this week, and was honored with the "Beautiful Humanitarian" award.

Giuliana received the award for her work with breast cancer -- for sharing her own experience and educating others about the disease.

She's also supported causes, like Operation Smile, Mercy Home for Boys & Girls in Chicago, and Dress for Success.

Congrats, Giuliana!



DiD yOu KnOw? ... We're super proud of Giuliana for her accomplishments -- and, not just because we love watching her on E! Giuliana was born in Italy and came to the U.S. to study at the University of Maryland. She also completed her Master's Degree at American University, right smack-dab in Washington, D.C.! 

 


Video: Stevie Wonder - "Isn't She Lovely" 

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Yes, Folks, A Spice Girls Reunion Will Happen At The 2012 Olympics

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The Spice Girls fulfilled the dreams of young twenty-somethings everywhere by announcing that they'll be performing at the closing cermonies of the London Olympics.

Even a reluctant Victoria Beckham has agreed to join -- but, only as long as this is their last performance, ever. 

We're so glad to hear they're coming back to represent their country! We can already imagine the Olympic crowds going wild over them when they perform. And, it's fitting that Victoria decided to join, considering that her husband will be participating in the opening ceremonies.

Girl power!



DiD yOu KnOw? ... The Spice Girls aren't the only British performers taking the stage. Take That, George Michael, and The Who are also gearing up for Olympic performances.

 


Video: Spice Girls - "Say You'll Be There" 

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PBS Remixes The Classics: Bob Ross & Mister Rogers Get The Auto-Tune Treatment

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First, it was "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."

Now, it's Bob Ross on "The Joy of Painting."

Let's just say that PBS's decision to "remix" its classic shows is making us giggle with giddiness. The videos take some of the great lines from the shows and set them to auto-tune. The Bob Ross video is exactly what you would expect from the master who taught us all about life and oil paints. He doles out inspirational advice while throwing in some hilarious tips for painting.

Watch it below -- we promise it'll make your day 10 times better!



Video: Bob Ross Remixed - "Happy Little Clouds" 


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Video: Mister Rogers Remixed - "Garden of Your Mind"

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Hanksy Strikes Again: George Clooney Gets ‘Hank’-ed As 'Bi-Curious George'

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What do you get when you take a famously handsome movie star and a mischievous cartoon monkey?

Bi-curious George Clooney, of course.

Street “fartist” (his word, not ours, though we would like to take credit for it), Hanksy, a.k.a. Christopher Lee Rios, haunts the streets of New York City poking fun at pop culture icons. (His name is short for Tom Hanksy, and obviously a play on the more famous Banksy.)

And, his latest portrait is of George Clooney as Curious George, peeling an unusually phallic banana.

Don’t worry, ladies, Hanksy isn’t claiming to know something the rest of us would cry ourselves to sleep over:

@HanksyNYC:
regarding bi curious george, don't get your undies in a pundle, it was all for the wordplay.
 
Whew!

After Anderson, we couldn't stand to lose another silver fox.
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Say 'Cheese!': David Beckham Surprises Olympic Fans During Photo-Booth Sesh

beckham 2012 07 24

Great Britain Olympic fans who were snapping pictures at a photo booth in London got a pleasant surprise this week: David Beckham decided to surprise them with a visit.

David popped into the booth as people were preparing to take pictures showing their national pride -- and the surprise was enough to cause a few tears to be shed.

And, who can blame them? 

We honestly couldn't say what we would do if David surprised us like that. But, we'd definitely try to abduct His Royal Hotness.

Watch the video, below.



DiD yOu KnOw? ... While Becks may have gotten a major snub by not being invited to play on the British team but, he'll still get to play a role in the opening ceremonies. Read all about it, here.

 


VIDEO: David Beckham Pops Up At #Takethestage Photo Booth

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