A calico cat named Willow has made an extraordinary journey of almost 3,000 km after she went missing from her Colorado home five years ago and turned up in Manhattan, New York.

How Willow made the distance of more than 1,600 miles from Broomfield, Colorado, to Manhattan, New York, is still a mystery

A man found Willow wandering down East 20th Street on Wednesday and sent her to the Animal Care & Control (ACC) – an animal rescue and shelter in New York City.  A scanner found the microchip implanted in the cat, enabling the centre to contact Willow’s owner based on information on the microchip.

Animal Care & Control Executive Director Julie Bank said Willow, who now weighs 7 lbs, is healthy and well-mannered, and probably has not spent her life on the mean streets of Manhattan.

Willow stares out from a cage at her temporary home in New York's Animal Care & Control facility.

How Willow made the distance of more than 1,600 miles from Broomfield, Colorado, to Manhattan, New York, and the kind of life she lived in the city are both mysteries.

Jamie and Chris Squires, of Boulder, Colorado, were ‘astounded’ when they got a call from Animal Care & Control in New York City, saying she had been found on East 20th Street.

‘To be honest, there are tons of coyotes around here, and owls,’ said her owner Jamie Squires of Colorado. ‘She was just a little thing, five and a half pounds.

‘We put out the “Lost Cat” posters and the Craigslist thing, but we actually thought she’d been eaten by coyotes.’

Squires and her husband, Chris, have three children – aged three, 10 and 17 – and the two older ones remember Willow.

The family also has a yellow Labrador named Roscoe, who knew Willow, and an English mastiff named Zoe.

“We had another dog back then, too, and I remember that Willow would lie with them as they all waited to be fed,” Squires said.

“She thought she was a dog.”

Mrs Squires added that her husband told her not to tell their children until they were sure it was indeed Willow that had been found.

‘Then we saw the picture, and it was Willow,’ she said. ‘It’s been so long.’

‘All our pets are micro-chipped,’ Mrs Squires said. ‘If I could microchip my kids, I would.’

Willow the Cat

Jamie Squires said Willow escaped in late 2006 or early 2007 when contractors left a door open during a home renovation

Since then the family had moved about 10 miles from Broomfield to Boulder, but kept its address current with the microchip company.

The ACC and the Squires family were trying to arrange for health certificates and transportation back to Colorado.

They said it might be two weeks before the reunion. Willow may spend some time with a foster family in New York.

‘The kids can’t wait to see her,’ Mrs Squires said. ‘And we still have her little Christmas stocking.’

none

Courageous teenager Alice Pyne of Ulverston, England, has written a “bucket list” of things she wants to do before she dies of cancer.

The 15-year-old pupil at Barrow’s Chet-wynde School has been fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma – cancer of the white blood cells – for four years. She has undergone extensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments and has also received a stem cell transplant where her own treated cells were used, but treatment was not effective. Last year more than 1,000 people signed up to see if they could donate bone marrow to Alice, along with help from the Anthony Nolan Trust, but in October a scan showed there were no more curative treatment options and her condition was diagnosed as terminal.

Alice Pyne

Alice, who describes her occupation as “full-time cancer fighter”, refused to be downhearted and started her blog Alice’s Bucket List to share her list of things she is trying to get done before she goes.

Even though she’s dying with maybe only weeks to live, she hasn’t given up. She says she wants to make the best of what she has.

Her bucket list includes swimming with sharks, meeting Take That, whale watching, entering her dog Mabel in a show and visiting Cadbury World to eat “loads of chocolate”.

Her inspiration to create her bucket list came from the 2008 movie The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman who play terminally-ill patients who go on a road trip with a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket”.

Her blog continued: “I’ve not quite finished the list yet. I keep remembering other bits, so I might add things to it as I go along.

“I’m not expecting to do everything on it. Some of the things are just not going to happen because I can’t even leave the country now. But they’re there because they were on my ‘to do’ list at some point.”

One of those things on her bucket list is to become a trending topic on Twitter. Well, she has achieved that way beyond her wildest dream.

With the simple hashtag #alicebucketlist, she’s rising to the top of Twitter, trending Worldwide. It all started with a few Tweets from prominent Twitter users like Terry Moran from ABC News and actor Channing Tatum, urging people to make Pyne’s day. And with that, Twitter exploded, sending a torrent of well-wishes and love to Pyne who writes on her blog, “I’ve been fighting cancer for almost 4 years now and I know the cancer is gaining on me and it doesn’t look like I’m going to win this one. The cancer is spreading through my body. It’s hard because I gave it my all. And it’s a pain because there’s so much stuff I still want to do. Anyway, Mum always tells me that life is what we make of it.”

Alice Pyne (left), with parents Simon and Vicky and her sister Milly.

Parents Vicky and Simon, 48, a project manager, have embarked on a string of fundraising events with daughter Milly to raise money for charity since Alice was diagnosed.

Vicky, 42, said: “Sometimes I see kids walking down the street, and I think, ‘It isn’t fair, she should be out there with them’ – but she never complains.”

Among Alice’s hopes is for everyone to sign up to be a bone marrow donor.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock took up her cause during Prime Minister’s Question Time in Parliament.

Mr Woodcock told David Cameron: “After four years, 15-year-old Alice Pyne in my constituency is losing her battle against cancer.

“At the top of the list is a call to make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor, so will he work with the leader of the opposition and I to address why too few people are currently on this life-saving register?”

Mr Cameron responded by saying: “I will certainly do that and I am sorry to hear about the situation facing Alice and what she’s going through, and our thoughts go out to her and her family.

“We do want to get as many people as possible on to the register.”

Take That’s manager is in discussion with Alice’s parents Vicky and Simon Pyne after being inundated with requests on behalf of the teenager.

Alice, believed to be at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, said that the torrent of comments to her blog this week has kept her up at night, staying up to read every single comment that flooded in from all over the planet, and they have made her smile. She also replied to hundreds of fans on her blog site.

Alice looking through cards from well-wishers on her bed

“I’m excited about the things I am going to be doing, but the biggest thing has to be all the people who are joining bone marrow donation schemes because of me.

“I will take a camera with me wherever I go and post photos of everything I do.”

Well-wishers from the USA, Canada and the UK sent her story in a relay which generated more than 2,000 pledges of help. Beauty salons from Barrow and fashion designers from London have offered massages and hotel trips while an international community from New York to Berlin rallied round to organise sending iPads and music vouchers to be sent from abroad.

Thousands praised Alice for her optimistic outlook.

Alice celebrating her 15th birthday

Celebrities have lined up to support her cause on Twitter, including pop star Katy Perry, comedian Dara O’Briain, comedian Bill Bailey, former footballer Robbie Savage and TV presenters Phillip Schofield, Stephen Fry, Richard Madeley and Fearne Cotton.

The remarkable thing about her blog is that she is not asking for donations or money; she wants ALL people to register to become bone marrow donors. What an amazing goal for a young girl, and one the Prime Minister endorses.

ALICE’S TO DO LIST SO FAR

To swim with sharks

To make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor

To go to Kenya (I can’t travel there now but I wanted to)

To enter Mabel in a regional Labrador show

To have a photo shoot with Milly, Clarissa, Sammie and Megs

To have a private cinema party for me and my BFFs

To design an Emma Bridgewater Mug to sell for charity

To stay in a caravan

To have a purple Apple iPad but I’m not really allowed to put that on here and mum is trying to borrow one

To be a dolphin trainer (I can’t do this one either now)

To meet Take That

To go to Cadbury World and eat loads of chocolate

To have a nice picture taken with Mabel

Alice Pyne with her pet Labrador Mabel

To stay in the chocolate room at Alton Towers

To have my hair done if they can do anything with it

To have a back massage

To go whale watching

Alice lives with younger sister Milly and parents Vicky and Simon. She and her family have campaigned tirelessly to increase the number of people registered as bone marrow donors and Alice derives a great deal of comfort from the fact that she has, in all likelihood, been instrumental in helping to find donors for other people with life threatening conditions.

Alice (1st on the right) with her younger sister Milly and mother Vicky.

Alice says she’s excited about crossing items off her bucket list, and hopes to take pictures and blog about her experiences. But most of all, she’s glad people are joining bone marrow donation schemes because of her.

Alice’s courage and compassion is a benchmark for us all.

On her blog, Pyne asks, “If today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it?” Seriously think about it.

8 com

LinkedIn Corporation (LNKD), the social networking company geared to professionals, launched its IPO yesterday with a huge bang. The stock opened up for trading at $83 compared to its IPO price of $45 per share. Within a couple of hours the stock hit $122.69! That’s an increase of 172% from its $45 price! The stock closed at $94.25 per share at the end of its first day of trading.

The price gives the company a whopping valuation of $8.91 billion, for a company that had a net income of just $15 million in 2010, on revenues of $243 million.

On a very thin base of earnings, investors propelled its value from a mere 206 times its 2010 earnings of $0.17 a share to 584 by the end of the day. That’s 37 times the market average P/E of 16. It’s hard to imagine that the company will ever earn its way into a valuation of 584 times earnings.

Will LinkedIn be able to sustain this valuation and grow like a Google? Or are these prices a result from an over-excited market which will ultimately lead to a lower valuation?

LinkedIn, founded in 2003,  is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 100 million members in over 200 countries and territories, which currently includes executives from every Fortune 500 Company. The company, with headquarters in Mountain View, California, has a diversified business model with revenues coming from member subscriptions, advertising sales and hiring solutions.

LinkedIn Headquarters

With a valuation similar to LinkedIn, Facebook would be valued at $100 billion and social buying site Groupon would be valued at $20 billion. Where LinkedIn has 100 million members, Facebook has 600 million. At $100 billion, Facebook would be worth more than twice the value of General Motors (GM), 66% more than Home Depot (HD), and 17% more than McDonald’s (MCD).

Apart from Facebook and Groupon, other internet companies that could soon make plans for an IPO are Twitter and Zynga.

Internet Bubble?

There is a huge difference between debt-fueled and equity-fueled bubbles. When the debt-fueled bubble burst in 2008, it destroyed $30 trillion in wealth. In comparison, the bursting of the 1995 to 2000 Internet Initial Public Offering (IPO) bubble wiped off a relatively paltry $6 trillion. It seems that IPO bubbles leave some value in their wake.

Are we heading for another Internet bubble?

Are we heading for another internet bubble burst?

none

Burning up the internet is Americas’ Top Model, Adrianne Curry, with her naked pictures posted to Twitter for her followers.  Adrianne has apparently been posting numerous photos of herself for her fans to see.

Adrianne Curry

Adrianne Curry has been hailed as the best celebrity to follow on Twitter by a lot of men. And the reason is because she is constantly tweeting super-hot photos of herself to all of her followers.  You can follow her on Twitter (@AdrianneCurry) to see the sexiest TwitPics of your life.

Adrianne Curry's teasing Twitpic

In case you don’t know Adrianne Curry, she shot to fame by winning season 1 of America’s Next Top Model. Since then, she has been burning up the internet with her amazingly sexy TwitPics.

Adrianne Curry

none

We have seen pictures of cats that resemble Hitler. And not long ago, photos of a goldfish owned by a couple in Stockport created a buzz as it resembles Hitler.

A cat looking like Hitler

A goldfish resembling Hitler

And now an  unassuming semi-detached house in Wales has become an unlikely Web star after Internet users think that it looks a lot like Adolf Hitler’s face.

The Swansea home’s tan-colored, four-window facade stared out from British tabloid newspapers Wednesday following a great buzz house after a photo of the house was published on Twitter, the social networking site.

The lintel above the houes’s slim brown door vaguely echoes the Nazi dictator’s toothbrush mustache, with the black sloping roof reminiscent of Hitler’s side-parted greased down hair and the small top windows were seen as the dictator’s piercing eyes.

House that resembles Adolf Hitler

The house  — divided into two flats with four bedrooms and a small terrace at the rear— in Port Tennant, Swansea, South Wales, has become an internet hit after sharp-eyed Charli Dickenson spotted the resemblance and posted photos on her Twitter page.

Youth worker Charli, 22, said: “I walk past the house all the time – but I’d never noticed the Hitler likeness before.

“But then, at the weekend, I was in the car with my boyfriend and we were stuck in traffic – and I just said to him: ‘That house looks like Hitler’.

“We both laughed about it. I took a picture and posted it on Twitter.

“It’s very funny – everyone who has seen the picture says it looks like Hitler.

“It was picked up by Jimmy Carr on his Twitter. Now everyone is talking about it.”

Comedian Carr posted the picture on his account on the social networking site, saying: “Morning. Here’s a house that looks like Hitler.”

The Hitler house was sent on by hundreds of his followers — and Charli quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.

A neighbour, Lyn Thomas, 25, said: “I can see a resemblance now. I’ve lived here for two years but have never noticed anything before. I don’t know why it would be designed in such a way. It is uncanny.”

Another neighbour Donald Payne, 60, a plasterer, laughed as he said: “It does look a bit like the old Fuhrer, doesn’t it?

House that resembles Hitler

“You’d never know from this side of the street, but from a bit of a distance, it could almost be him. How funny that I never even noticed before.

“I hope we don’t get invaded by bus loads of tourists pulling up to take a photo. We’re right on the side of a dual carriageway here and it will cause carnage.

“If it starts attracting the wrong sort of people, I might speak to the owner and see if he’ll let me paint the front door another colour – or give the roof a centre parting instead.”

Another local said: “The jokes have already started.

“Some people are saying the house is on Swansea’s Eastern Front and the main road outside should now be re-named the Heil Street.”

none

13-year-old Rebecca Black, an eight-grader from Anaheim Hills, is currently “taking the internet by storm” with her debut single “Friday” as a result of the backlash of the online commentary. It is hilarious that the song has gotten famous for being mercilessly made fun of on the internet.

Rebecca Black

The song gained immense online notoriety for its lyrics accompanied by heavy use of auto-tune. According to Black’s profile on the Ark Music Factory website, she’s a 13-year-old aspiring entertainer who has “landed the lead role in her school musical, Oklahoma!”

The video clip was originally posted on YouTube in mid-February 2011. The music video gained notoriety during the second weekend in March, when the popular blog The Daily What and a Tosh.0 blog post titled “Songwriting Isn’t for Everyone”, posted the video on March 11th, 2011. From there, it was subsequently reblogged and shared on Tumblr, Twitter and various discussion forums. By March 18, the video had reached over 18 million views in just a week, becoming a true viral hit. And hey, the single reached the top 100 on iTunes.

“Friday” is a song written by Clarence Jey and Patrice Wilson. It was released as a single on iTunes on March 14, 2011. Black’s video was produced by Ark Music Factory, a California-based video company that was also behind similar teen-pop videos like Alana Lee’s “Butterflies” and Kaya’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Mind.”

Since the growth in popularity of the song and video, there have been numerous parody videos and remixes. The notoriety of the song is another sign of the power of social media — specifically Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, in this instance — in the ability to create “overnight sensations”.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Black’s mother, Georgina Kelly, recalls how a classmate of Black informed her of Ark Music Factory, an LA record label that allowed young singers to gain experience in the industry by recording a track for a small fee. Kelly paid Ark Music $2,000 for a package that included a choice of two pre-written songs.

Black herself chose the song ‘Friday’, as “the other song was about adult love – I haven’t experienced that yet.  ’Friday’ is about hanging out with friends, having fun. I felt like it was my personality in that song.” Ark Music handled the video’s production, and also made heavy use of the pitch-correcting software Auto-Tune. Kelly had some doubts over the quality of the lyrics, but was told by Black that “I sang it as they wrote it, Mom.”

A sweet-looking Rebecca Black

In an interview with ABC News, Black’s mother, Kelly, stated that she was “angry and upset” after Black was brought to tears by comments such as “I hope you go cut yourself and die.” However Black said that she soon got over such comments. She also went on to make a on-camera request for her idol Justin Bieber to perform a duet with her.

In a review for Rolling Stone writer Matthew Perpetua described the vocals as having “a peculiar tonality that inadvertently highlights the absurdity of boilerplate pop lyrics”, adding that the refrain “sounds unlike anything else in pop music.” He noted the sound as being not entirely agreeable to listen to, but states that Black ultimately ends up “sounding like a distinct singer with an alluring sort of anti-charisma.”

The concept for the music video is based on a typical Friday for Rebecca Black. She wakes up and then heads to school, meeting her friends on the way while having a tough time deciding which seat to sit in in her friend’s car. The focus then turns to the evening, as Black and her friends ride in a convertible, before arriving at a party. A guest adult rapper makes an appearance towards the end of the song, delivering a short rap sequence whilst driving a car.

The song has received almost entirely negative reviews. Observers have called it “bizarre”, “inept” and “hilariously dreadful”. The song and singer were “savaged” on social networks across the Internet, while being seen as a “YouTube laughing stock”.

A scathing comment....does Black deserve it?

Kevin Rutherford, a columnist for Billboard magazine, wrote, “Black’s video for ‘Friday’ is one of those rare occurrences where even the most seasoned critics of Internet culture don’t know where to begin. From the singing straight out of Auto-Tuned hell to lyrics such as ‘Tomorrow is Saturday / And Sunday comes afterwards / I don’t want this weekend to end’ and a hilariously bad rap about passing school buses, ‘Friday’ is something that simply must be seen and heard to be fully appreciated.”

Despite the overwhelmingly negative reviews, some reviewers had positive things to say about the song and video. Entertainment Weekly writer Joseph Lynch noted that there was “something sickeningly catchy about this tune that keeps you coming back for more”. Rolling Stone writer Matthew Perpetua stated, “When you see this video, you immediately notice everything that it does “wrong”, but it actually gets a lot of things about pop music right, if just by accident.” OK! Magazine also noted that “some are calling the 13-year-old signed singer the next Justin Bieber”. Pop star Chris Brown also added his view: “Honest opinion? It was great. I’ll be jammin’ to it on Friday, Friday”.

Another nasty comment that Rebecca Black pronounced Friday as "fried egg"

After reading the harsh reviews of her song, Black said that “those hurtful comments really shocked me”. Ark Music offered to take the video down from YouTube, but Black refused the offer, saying that she did not wish “to give the haters the satisfaction that they got me so bad I gave up”.

Rolling Stone’s Matthew Perpetua said that “she is actually a pretty decent singer… she is a total sweetheart…and Black comes off as a well-adjusted, happy and grateful kid”. He also pointed out Black’s intention to donate most of the profits from the song to relief efforts in Japan following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Rebecca Black....she seems like a very nice girl.

“I think that’s an accomplishment. Even a person who doesn’t like it, it’s going to be stuck in their head. That’s the point of it. It’s a catchy song,” said Rebecca, 13.

“I think I have talent on some level. I don’t think I’m the worst singer, but I don’t think I’m the best singer,” she said.

I agree with her. If you don’t like her song, just stay away from it. There are no justifications for comments that tell Black to go cut herself and die. She’s actually a cute lovely girl!

But the same cannot be said of the lyrics for “{Friday.”  Watch her video and see the lyrics below and you will understand why the song has been so critically panned. But hey, it is actually a catchy tune and you may wanna sing along with Black!


(Yeah, Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ark)

Oo-ooh-ooh, hoo yeah, yeah

Yeah, yeah

Yeah-ah-ah

Yeah-ah-ah

Yeah-ah-ah

Yeah-ah-ah

Yeah, yeah, yeah

Seven a.m., waking up in the morning

Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs

Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal

Seein’ everything, the time is goin’

Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’

Gotta get down to the bus stop

Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends (My friends)

Kickin’ in the front seat

Sittin’ in the back seat

Gotta make my mind up

Which seat can I take?

It’s Friday, Friday

Gotta get down on Friday

Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend

Friday, Friday

Gettin’ down on Friday

Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)

Fun, fun, fun, fun

Lookin’ forward to the weekend

7:45, we’re drivin’ on the highway

Cruisin’ so fast, I want time to fly

Fun, fun, think about fun

You know what it is

I got this, you got this

My friend is by my right, ay

I got this, you got this

Now you know it

Kickin’ in the front seat

Sittin’ in the back seat

Gotta make my mind up

Which seat can I take?

It’s Friday, Friday

Gotta get down on Friday

Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend

Friday, Friday

Gettin’ down on Friday

Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)

Fun, fun, fun, fun

Lookin’ forward to the weekend

Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday

Today i-is Friday, Friday (Partyin’)

We-we-we so excited

We so excited

We gonna have a ball today

Tomorrow is Saturday

And Sunday comes after … wards

I don’t want this weekend to end

Start Some Random Rapper

R-B, Rebecca Black

So chillin’ in the front seat (In the front seat)

In the back seat (In the back seat)

I’m drivin’, cruisin’ (Yeah, yeah)

Fast lanes, switchin’ lanes

Wit’ a car up on my side (Woo!)

(C’mon) Passin’ by is a school bus in front of me

Makes tick tock, tick tock, wanna scream

Check my time, it’s Friday, it’s a weekend

We gonna have fun, c’mon, c’mon, y’all

End Some Random Rapper

It’s Friday, Friday

Gotta get down on Friday

Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend

Friday, Friday

Gettin’ down on Friday

Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)

Fun, fun, fun, fun

Lookin’ forward to the weekend

It’s Friday, Friday

Gotta get down on Friday

Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend

Friday, Friday

Gettin’ down on Friday

Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)

Fun, fun, fun, fun

Lookin’ forward to the weekend

one

Russian supermodel Irina Shayk, girlfriend of soccer ace Cristiano Ronaldo, is this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover girl. Shayk, who has previously graced the inside pages of Sports Illustrated, has won the magazine’s coveted cover.

Irina Shayk - Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Cover Model 2011

Shayk was to be officially announced covergirl on tonight’s ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ but the news was leaked on Twitter just hours ago, reports News.com.au.

New Yorker Rana Wardlaw took a photo of a billboard featuring the cover outside her office and then tweeted.

Read the rest of this entry…

none

We can always count on Lady Gaga for a shocking surprise and we certainly got one. No, she didn’t walk down the Grammy 2011 red carpet naked or dressed in another meat dress. She arrived in grand style in the wackiest “outfit” ever. She arrived at the Grammys in a gigantic egg like an avian Cleopatra carried by four men in yolk colored shorts and skirts along with a model alongside.

Lady Gaga arrives in an egg carried by her entourage

Inside the egg Gaga was donned in  a black oufit compete with an oxygen mask, air tank, and a cooling fan. It can get warm inside an egg.

On Twitter, Kelly Osbourne tweeted: “You will not believe your eyes when you see how @ladygaga showed up to the Grammys”.

Lady Gaga alluded to the egg earlier in the day on Twitter, when a staff member wrote: “This is Nicola, Haus of Gaga: Gaga is in incubation.”

Lady Gaga and her entourage paused momentarily to talk with Ryan Seacrest with Gaga’s “model nurse” doing all the talking about Gaga’s impending rebirth on-stage later in last night’s performance of Born This Way. All that was visible of Gaga during the interview was a mere shadow of the star squirming around inside the egg.

Lady Gaga squirming in a black outfit inside the egg

The 24-year-old outrageous singer emerged from the glowing egg to launch into a spectacular version of her latest single Born This Way.

Lady Gaga emerging from the egg

none

Sarah Murdoch, supermodel host of Australia’s Next Top Model, has been left red faced and close to tears after realizing that she had announced the wrong winner of season six of the Fox Television reality show last night.

Sarah Murdoch

Sarah named 19-year-old Kelsey Martinovich from Sydney the winner who then gave a  heartfelt acceptance speech in a live finale before the host realized she had announced the wrong name. Martinovich had completed her acceptance speech before Murdoch backtracked on stage to reveal the real winner from a public vote was 18-year-old Amanda Ware from Gold Coast.

Her hand over her face, Murdoch made an awkward apology. Murdoch said the wrong name was fed to her earpiece.

“I don’t know what to say right now. I’m feeling a bit sick about this,” Murdoch told a 2,000-strong audience.

But Martinovich was a good sport and gracious in her sudden defeat, saying: “It’s okay” over and over, hugging and repeatedly congratulating Ware and dismissing Murdoch’s apologies.

The disastrous event was dissected in real time on Twitter, and it became an international trending topic immediately.

Prominent blogger Mia Freedman sent a sympathetic tweet to Murdoch: “Oh @SarahAMurdoch you handled that with grace. I wouldn’t want to be the person who fed you the wrong name.”

Foxtel publicity director Jamie Campbell blamed the blunder on a miscommunication between series directors in a broadcasting truck control room and Murdoch on stage.

She said: “Sarah handled what was a difficult situation with utmost professionalism and grace. Amanda and Kelsey were neck and neck in the voting all night.”

Sarah is the daughter-in-law of media baron Rupert Murdoch. Foxtel is owned by Australian phone company Telstra, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Consolidated Media Holdings.

Martinovich may have had a very short-lived reign as Australia’s Next Top Model, but Foxtel said she would receive a Ł12,000 cash prize and trip to New York as compensation for the blunder.

There are accusations that the bizarre mix-up is a publicity stunt to push up the ratings. And Australian newspapers are saying that this is the country’s most awkward TV moment.

Kelsey Martinovich

Ware won an appearance in Harper’s Bazaar magazine, a modelling contract, Ł12,000, a trip to New York and a car.

The winner Amanda Ware

one

The Internet is abuzz about author and pastor Rick Warren being temporarily blinded by firestick plant sap. Rick  was pruning a firestick plant in his yard when he got some of the sap on his hands. According to publicist A. Larry Ross, “He went to wipe his brow and immediately experienced excruciating pain in both eyes.” The sap of the Firestick plant, or Euphorbia tirucalli, is corrosive and extremely toxic.

Rick Warren on the cover of Time Magazine

The pain was so debilitating that his wife Kay had to call 911 and Rick was zipped to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo because he couldn’t articulate to his wife what had happened. He was attended to by an eye specialist, kept overnight and released the next day.

After returning home, Warren took to Twitter, asking for prayers from friends, family and members of the Saddleback Church where he serves as a Pastor. Rick is the author of the international bestselling book “The Purpose Driven Life.”

Cover of the Purpose Driven Life (English edition)

Cover of The Purpose Driven Life (Mandarin edition)

It’s not uncommon for such a sap related problem to arise, thus the Firestick Plant being nicknamed the “Blinding Tree.” The Firestick plant is also known as Indian Tree Spurge, Naked Lady, Pencil Tree, or Milk Bush. It is a shrub that grows in semi-arid tropical climates and has red tips resembling sticks on fire. It is indigenous to tropical eastern and southern Africa.

A firestick plant

Firestick plant

All parts of the firestick plant ooze a milky sap when damaged or cut. Skin contact with the sap causes severe burning. Contact with the eyes may cause severe pain and temporary blindness for up to 7 days.

The milk bush has been used in traditional medicine in cultures of Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malabar, and Malaysia. It is thought to treat cancers, warts, asthma, rheumatism and toothache.

If you have firestick plant in your garden, please be warned. You would not want to experience what Rick had gone through.

none

Categories

Blogroll

Archives

Adverising

sal