Monday, October 03, 2011

Amanda Knox to Go Free: Murder Conviction Overturned

American Amanda Knox was ordered freed in a court in Perugia, Italy in an appeal of the sensational murder case of her roommate Meredith Kercher. A jury acquitted her on almost all charges.

The 24-year-old Knox had been sentenced to a 26-year sentence for the murder of her roommate, Briton Meredith Kercher. Kercher was found stabbed to death in their house in Perugia, where both she and Knox were students.

Knox's Italian boyfriend at the time, Rafaelle Sollecito, was also convicted of the murder. The two had been in prison for the last four years.

Both Knox and Sollecito spoke before the six-person jury shortly before they went into their deliberations. Knox proclaimed "I am innocent" in her statement, which she delivered in Italian. "I did not kill, I did not rape, I did not steal," Knox said in her emotional 10-minute statement to the jury.

Knox was found guilty on a charge of defamation and sentenced to three years, but since she had already served four years already, she was ordered released. CNN reported that she was to head back to prison to collect her belongings and was free to leave the country.

Amanda Knox News: Verdict Due; Acquittal Coming?

Monday, Oct. 3rd is the day that a verdict is set to be announced in the appeal by Amanda Knox. Will she be acquitted of the murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher?

Here are some of the latest bits of Amanda Knox news from the world press:
* Amanda Knox proclaimed "I am innocent" in her 10-minute statement to the jury, which she delivered in Italian. The jury began meeting soon afterward
* Australia's Herald Sun talks about how Knox is preparing her final statement to the jury that will decide her fate
* CNN offers an explainer on how Knox's case will be decided;
* another CNN piece looks at the Amanda Knox case timeline
* the Italian town of Perugia has taken a hit to its reputation, with the trial showing its seamy underside of drugs and drunken foreign students

In a previous post I talked about some of the info on Amanda Knox's MySpace page (which was later taken down). You can read what she had on her MySpace page, and see a screen capture of it there.

(See a gallery of Amanda Knox personal photos.)

Knox's appeal is focused on the evidence in the case, or rather the lack of it. Her team has argued that the DNA evidence is sketchy, and that despite the bloody crime scene found around Kercher, Amanda Knox's DNA was not found at the scene. Some of Knox's DNA was found on a knife believed to be the murder weapon, but since Knox and the victim were roommates, it's possible that the DNA got on the knife by completely innocent methods.

The defense has also argued that investigators botched the case by tainting the DNA evidence.

Knox's initial defense had to contend with inconsistent statements made by Knox herself and emotional appeals based on the bloody Meredith Kercher crime scene photos.

The six-person jury is expected to deliver its verdict on Monday in Perugia; the families of both Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher will be in attendance.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Casey Anthony Acquitted; World Waits for Nancy Grace's Head to Combust

Casey Anthony: "Hmm, book deal? Movie deal? 'Dancing With the Stars'?"

The Casey Anthony jurors have spoken, and the world holds its collective breath for the coming cataclysm: Nancy Grace's head exploding, or imploding, or bursting forth like a supernova. No doubt Grace was fuming after the acquittal of Casey Anthony in the death of her daughter Caylee, and probably spent her entire show Tuesday screeching "Tot mom! Tot mom! Tot mom!" at the top of her lungs. (She did apparently say that "the devil was dancing" at the verdict.)

The way Grace substitutes "tot mom" for the name "Casey Anthony" every chance she gets, you'd think she's trademarked the phrase. Maybe Grace is planning on marketing a series of "Tot Mom" t-shirts and coffee mugs? Or maybe she has a clause in her HLN contract that give her a nickel every time she utters the phrase "tot mom" on the air.

Nancy Dis-Grace certainly has plenty of devoted viewers, but plenty of folks find her act of proclaiming every development as "Stunning!," "Blockbuster!," "Bombshell!," etc. pretty tiresome.  The New York Daily News called Grace “everything that’s wrong with cable TV.” And you have to wonder if it was news "personalities" like Grace that Ted Turner had in mind years ago when he lamented that cable news had descended into "pervert of the week" coverage.

Nancy Grace: expect her head to explode in 3, 2, 1... Photo: Vidiot
CNN has marketed Grace in the past as a "tough-as-nails former prosecutor," but her pit-bull style has earned her a lot of criticism and condemnation, even in her law career. The Supreme Court of Georgia has criticized her not once but twice, according to Wikipedia, including a heroin case in which she "'exceeded the wide latitude of closing argument' by drawing comparisons to unrelated murder and rape cases." In another case, the Court determined that "the conduct of the prosecuting attorney [Grace] in this case demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness, and was inexcusable."

Grace isn't the only anchor to go overboard regarding the Anthony trial at HLN (the CNN channel formerly known as Headline News). Over the weekend we saw video of Jane Velez-Mitchell literally running after the defense attorneys to try to get a comment. And after the verdict was announced, the usually watchable Vinnie Politano fell way off the wagon and veered sharply into Nancy Grace territory. He pounded on the table and going on and on about Caylee Anthony being dumped like a pile of garbage, how could Casey Anthony not say anything for a month knowing her daughter is dead, etc., neglecting that those charges were not part of the State's indictment.

HLN should have pulled Mr. Politan off the air until he could compose himself, or take a Xanax or something. He embarrassed himself, and I'm sure a number of viewers were turned off by his over-the-top, one-sided harangue.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Watch Lady Gaga's "Judas" Video

Lady Gaga has unleashed the video for her latest single "Judas" (above) and it combines some typical Gaga elements with a biblical theme. The singer dancing around in her underwear? Check. Crazy costumes, makeup, and hair? Check. Team of lithe, half-naked dancers? Yep. Throbbing dance beat? Oh hell yes. The "Judas" video has a motorcycle-gang motif going on, with the easy riders apparently the apostles of Jesus (names like "Peter," "Judas," etc. appear on the back of their leather biker jackets, along with the skull and crossbones).

Speaking of bikes, WWJR (What Would Jesus Ride?) Would he be a Harley guy, or would he go for an imported make like a Moto-Guzzi or a Swedish Husqvarna... OK, back to the "Judas" video. Lady Gaga at one point pulls out a big, shiny silver pistol and points it at Judas's head, but instead of bullets lipstick emerges from its barrel, and Judas gets a touch-up on his face with it.

Later on, Gaga is in a hot tub with Judas and Jesus, and Judas has a six-pack of cans with him. Is that biblical beer? At one point he pulls out a can and pours the liquid on Gaga's back, and it looks more like root beer. I don't know if they had motorcycles, lipstick guns, or root beer back in biblical times, but there is a foot-washing scene and Jesus does wear a crown of thorns, so Lady Gaga does make a few attempts at historical accuracy.

If Judas were alive today he'd probably want one of those bad-ass motorcycles -- and a leather biker jacket -- instead of the pieces of silver he got for betraying Jesus.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Kate Middleton For the Win! - Photos of the Duchess of Cambridge with Hilarious Captions

We don't know what Kate Middleton, the new Duchess of Cambridge, is really thinking as she meets ordinary Britons or goes through other rituals of her royal routine, but fortunately the Tumblr blog Kate Middleton For the Win! lets us imagine. Whether she's looking glamorous or awkward in the photos, this website puts some hilarious thoughts into her head.

Most of these captioned photos were created before the wedding, but you can expect to see many more as Kate and her new hubby make appearances around Britain, its far-flung former empire, and the world. And as they try not to look absurdly out of place as they visit alternative schools, put on har hats to view construction sites, meet meet bizarrely dressed native from countries around the world, and more.

With so photos to be taken of Kate, there are sure to be many priceless expressions to be mined for comic gold.

The creator of also has a Twitter page (tweeting as the Duchess) at @PrincessKateFTW.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Rebecca Black Takes Over "Funny or Die" for "Black Friday" = "Friday or Die"!

It's true... Internet superstar Rebecca Black and her song "Friday" took over "Funny or Die" on April 1st, and in honor of the viral video and its 13-year-old star the comedy video site became "Friday or Die," with a bunch of new videos featuring Black herself. (The April Fool's joke was apparently that Black made so much money from "Friday" that she bought out "Funny or Die.") You can find all the Rebecca Black "Friday or Die" videos and photos here.

You'll find videos including:
* the trailer for "Sunday Comes Afterwards," an end-of-the-world disaster movie starring everyone's favorite teen cereal eater
* Rebecca Black analyzing the deep societal meaning of the lyrics to "Friday"
* an infomercial for "Rebecca Black's Greatest Hits," featuring "Friday" remixes and tunes including "Cereal (Extended Remix)" and "I Chose the Backseat"

Besides the videos, you'll find the "top 10 Rebecca Black animated GIFs." See the girl in the red dress dance! See Rebecca's friend wearing a mustache and playing an accordion! And more!

There are also video mashups with The Cure's "Friday I'm in Love" and other Friday-related content.

Rebecca Black is working on her next single, called "LOL," and is said to be planning a full-length album. And, in case you've been on the International Space Station during the last month and haven't seen the original Rebecca Black "Friday" video, here it is:

Friday, April 01, 2011

Google Introduces Gmail Motion!

Desk jockeys will have not excuse for not getting out of their chairs with Google's new Gmail Motion. This system gets you away from the keyboard by using body motions to execute Gmail tasks.

See the video at the Gmail Motion website for a demonstration. For example, to reply to a message, lift your hand and point your thumb behind you. For "reply all," point both hands behind you. What could be easier?

Note: do not try these Gmail Motion commands in certain situations, such as why walking across an airport tarmac to board a plane. Pilots may interpret your motions as directions to them and result in an aircraft accident.

Gmail Motion was announced by Google on April 1st, 2011.

And speaking of April 1st, those folks at Google have added another amusing note to our Internet experience, replacing the traditional YouTube logo with a retro-looking "YouTube 1911" logo. Sometimes it does seem like YouTube has been around since 1911, doesn't it? (Especially when watching some of those laughably dated early-1980s music videos—they really do look like they were made 100 years ago.

Enjoy Gmail Motion and YouTube 1911... I'll make a note here if I come across any other Google April 1st gags.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Charlie Sheen Launches Website Selling "Winning" T-Shirts; Live Shows Sell Out

What's Charlie Sheen doing these days? Duh, winning! Or rather, merchandising. A few days ago Sheen announced his first live shows (next month in Chicago and Detroit), and today he said on Twitter that they had sold out.

In the meantime, Sheen proclaimed that he had launched his own website,, which is now selling t-shirts with the Vatican assassin's trademark catch phrases. He broke the news on Twitter thusly:

"#fastball; After years of being at the mercy of a decaying troll, is finally in the hands of its Warlock owner! Go Now! c"

The site also had tickets for sale for his live shows (when they were available) and also featured the latest tweets from Sheen's Twitter feed.

What kind of t-shirts are available? Well, you can buy Charlie Sheen t-shirts that say:
* "Winning" (with an illustration of Charlie's face)
* "Gnarles Gnarlington"
* "Surprise... that's what winners do!"
* "I've got one speed... go!" (available in ladies model, too)

Or, for the folks who like the me-and-Charlie-against-the-world sentiment, the Charlie Sheen store has a shirt that reads, "You're either in Sheen's Korner or you're with the trolls."

Although Charlie Sheen's recently announced live show, entitled the "Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option Show," has sold out these first two gigs, no doubt there will be more added considering the quick sellout of the first two.

We knew a Charlie Sheen store was coming, but where's the Tiger Blood energy drink? That's got to be in the works for sure...

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Charlie Sheen vs. Lady Gaga Auto-Tune REMIX - Video

Here's a brief little mash-up of the recent interview with everyone's favorite train wreck celebrity, Charlie Sheen, combined via the magic of Auto-Tune with some Lady Gaga. Yes, he is on a drug, and it's called Charlie Sheen! It's all passion, baby.

Does Charlie Sheen really "expose people to magic"? Watch and decide. And for more magic, you can watch the entire interview Sheen did with 20/20, or the Today Show, or Good Morning America, or any of the other TV shows he hit on his recent media tour.

We'll probably never see Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men again, but he seems determined to leave us with the lasting comic legacy of his interviews.

And as you've probably heard, there's the all-new Charlie Sheen Twitter account where you can read Chuck's real-time commentary as he posts it (including some wacky photos). Over a million Twitter followers can't be wrong, huh?

For more fun, see this gallery of Charlie Sheen quotes used as captions for The New Yorker cartoons.