Friday, January 30, 2009

SAG Awards: Angelina Jolie Wears Gown Backwards

Angelina Jolie had fashion critics talking when she appeared on the SAG red carpet wearing her Max Azria gown backwards.

The actress’s stylist Jen Rade now clears up speculation on whether the switch was done on purpose, or if Jolie was too busy caring for her six children with Brad Pitt to notice the mistake. Rade tells US magazine that the reversal was done on purpose to give the gown a “more blouson,” or blouse, fit.

While many labeled Jolie’s current fashion choices matronly, the actress returned to her former form fitting style while at a press conference to promote her new film Changeling. The 33-year-old wore a tight grey Ralph Lauren dress, this time the right way, with her favorite Stuart Weitzman nude heels.

From Trans World News

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Is Tops at SAG Awards

In an awards season almost as thrilling as winning the 20-million-rupee prize on an Indian game show, the cast of “Slumdog Millionaire” received the Screen Actors Guild’s award for outstanding performance by a motion picture cast at a ceremony on Sunday night. The award, accepted by the cast members Dev Patel, Irrfan Khan, Freida Pinto and Anil Kapoor, is likely to raise the film’s fortunes at the Academy Awards. “Slumdog Millionaire” and its director, Danny Boyle, were both nominated for Oscars on Thursday.

The television series “30 Rock” was honored by the guild for best comedy ensemble, and “Mad Men” won best drama ensemble. Sean Penn was named best lead actor in a motion picture for “Milk,” Meryl Streep was chosen best lead actress for “Doubt,” and Heath Ledger was honored as best supporting actor for his performance in “The Dark Knight.”

From the New York Times

Katie Stam and Mariana Bridi da Costa.

Katie Stam worked her way through 52 contestants to win the Miss America competition. In a weekend that made her Miss America, a tragedy unfolded in the beauty world. Just a few days before the contest, Brazilian model and beauty queen contestant Mariana Bridi da Costa, 20 was reported to have had her hands and feet amputated and would later die from complications resulting from the mysterious illness that developed in December.

It was an awful story that ended in the worst wy. At the time the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the 20-year-old model who was a finalist to represent Brazil in the Miss World contest had her hands and feet amputated after contracting a severe urinary infection.

The infection was caused by bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which has resistance to some antibiotics. According to WebMD,Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections are "exceedingly rare" in young, healthy people in the U.S. Mariana's illness was originally incorrectly diagnosed as kidney stones in December.

News from The National Ledger

Angela Suleman: Daughter now has 14 kids in total!

The mother of a woman who gave birth on Monday to octuplets said her daughter already has six children at home and was undergoing fertility treatment.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday that Angela Suleman said her daughter had the embryos implanted last year, resulting in the eight births.

"They all happened to take," Suleman told the Times. "I looked at those babies. They are so tiny and so beautiful."

The woman declined to have the number of embryos reduced when she discovered she was carrying multiples, the Times reported. The six older siblings range from ages 7 to 2, according to the newspaper.

Suleman said she was concerned about her daughter's homecoming because her husband, a contract worker, is due to return to Iraq.

In the meantime, the mother, who remains unidentified, appealed for privacy while she recovers from giving birth, medical officials said Thursday.

In her written statement delivered by Dr. Karen Maples of the Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in California, the woman who delivered eight babies in five minutes said she would soon make public the details of her "miraculous experience."

"We understand that you are all curious about the arrival of the octuplets, and we appreciate your respect for our family's privacy," she said.

"The babies continue to grow strong every day and make good progress. My family and I are ecstatic about all of their arrivals."

"Needless to say, the eighth was a surprise to us all, but a blessing as well," she added.

The six boys and two girls -- ranging in weight from 1 pound, 8 ounces to 3 pounds, 4 ounces -- are doing well following their Caesarean-section delivery at the Bellflower hospital, doctors said. They were born nine weeks premature.

Dr. Mandhir Gupta, a neonatalist, said all but one of the octuplets are now breathing on their own. That baby might be taken off breathing equipment Friday.

Caring for eight premature babies is a challenge. Duties are being shared by a large team of hospital nurses and doctors for the time being. Two nurses have been assigned to each child, and all the babies are receiving fluids, proteins and vitamins intravenously, Gupta said.

"We feed them. ... We change diapers. ... When they cry, we console them," Gupta said. "When the mom comes and touches the babies, you can definitely see their expression on their faces and body. They are very happy."

The babies, who are being referred to by letters of the alphabet, will remain in the hospital for at least seven more weeks.

Baby H made headlines for its surprise appearance during the delivery, which took months of preparation by a team of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists. Video Watch a report on babies' progress »

The mother will not be able to hold her babies for another week, Gupta said. They are still fragile, developing intestines, he said.

Doctors initially thought the mother was pregnant with seven fetuses. She was hospitalized seven weeks ago and ordered to bed rest.

During the seven weeks, a team of 46 physicians, nurses and other staff members prepared for the births. When they started the delivery Monday, they were in for a surprise.

"After the seventh baby was born, we were taking a sigh of relief," Maples said.

"It was a surprise of our life when we in fact discovered there was an eighth baby," she said. "We never had an assignment for baby H nurse or baby H doctor. We just had to go on the fly and figure out what to do."

"Baby G nurse stepped up. We handed off the baby to baby G nurse. She then delivered that last baby to the neonatologist of the baby F."

"It was all wonderful because of the teamwork and the training we did before," Maples said.

News from Cnn

California Octuplets apparently doing great

It’s been ten years since a successful birth of octuplets happened in the United States, but recently a California woman has done it again. The woman is excited about each and every one of the six boys and two girls that was delivered by cesarean section on Monday. The babies were nine weeks premature.
There have been many questions to whether or not the woman was on fertility drugs or underwent Invetro, but Angela Suleman, the woman’s mother, put those questions to rest. She stated to the Los Angeles Times that her daughter had the embryos implanted last year, and they all took.
Suleman also said that doctors tried to convince her daughter to reduce the pregnancy, but the California woman decided that she couldn’t kill her children.
Ultrasounds done on the children only showed seven embryos, so the family was both shocked and ecstatic about the eighth birth.
The parents of the Octuplets already have six children, so adding eight more will be a challenge, but not a challenge that their mom isn’t happy to take on. The mother of the preemie babies is living with her parents, and her husband is scheduled to leave for Iraq where he is a contract worker.
Dr. Mandhir Gupta, a neonatologist at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center, where the octuplets were born, told ‘Good Morning America’ that all eight babies were in stable condition.
Only two of the preemies needed ventilators right away, and have since had their breathing tubes removed. Three still need some sort of oxygen through their noses still, but all are breathing on their own. Seven of the eight babies are eating, and the eighth is said to start today.
The babies are known by letters A-H are expected to be released from the hospital in two months. The most exciting news, other than the eighth baby, was that Baby E who weighed only 1 pound, 8 ounces was the smallest baby, and no longer needs a ventilator. Dr. Gupta described him as, “Very feisty” Tuesday.
All of the babies weighed between 1 pound, 8 ounces and 3 pounds, 4 ounces.

Doctors are warning that even though the babies are doing well, there is still the chance that one or more will develop complications in the future. They urge us to remember that octuplets are rare, and any premature baby's health can change quickly.
There are no octuplets on record that were conceived naturally. The first group of octuplets on record was born live in Mexico City in 1967, but all died within 14 hours according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The first octuplets born alive in the U.S. arrived in Houston in 1998, and one died within a week.
The family sees them all as a blessing, and asks for our prayers that their suddenly larger family will make it through these uncertain times.
The mother of the octuplets is said to be recovering quickly, and has been to see her babies many times. Kaiser Permanente are respecting the mother’s choice for privacy, and not releasing her name, but keep her in your thoughts.

News from

Bacon explosion = Bacon + Italian sausage

Never underestimate the power of bacon — or the Internet.

Two local barbecue-lovin’ guys have found themselves the toast of the bacon world thanks to a recipe calling for just two main ingredients: bacon (two pounds of it) and Italian sausage (two pounds of that). The sausage is wrapped in a basket-weaved blanket of bacon, and for good measure there’s even more bacon inside. Sweet KC-style sauce, too.

Then you smoke it. In a backyard smoker.

Aaron Chronister and Jason Day, who compete in barbecue circles as Burnt Finger BBQ, call this meat missile “Bacon Explosion.” And explode it has: first online (it helps that Chronister is an Internet marketer), then Wednesday on the cover of The New York Times’ food section (headline: “Take Bacon. Add Sausage. Blog”), then online some more.

Anyone doubt that Kansas City is the barbecue capital of the world?

All told, Chronister and Day say the Bacon Explosion recipe on their site,, has attracted 510,000 page views since it was posted just before Christmas; 90,000 alone on Wednesday.

Now, thanks to the Times story, the bacon buds are bound for New York, where they’ll smoke their sausage Friday morning in Times Square. That’ll be on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” show. Then they’ll head south to Tampa, Fla., to do some Super Bowl tailgating Sunday on another Fox channel. Two book publishers e-mailed Wednesday and want to talk.

This whole thing started when a Web site called Bacon Today asked Chronister and Day if they had any bacon barbecue recipes. “The longer I thought about it,” Day wrote on, “the more I wanted to step it up a notch and clog a few arteries for those guys.”

Chronister, 32, of Kansas City, and Day, 27, of Roeland Park, admit they’re not the first foodies to combine the two pork products in a barbecue recipe. But you have to give ’em credit for a catchy name.

More than that, you have to give them credit for knowing how to exploit the Internet. Chronister’s brilliant move was posting on Twitter, a site that sends out short Web-based text messages. His 1,200 Twitter “followers” — mostly other Internet marketers and “social network influencers” — took it from there.

Some of them thumbs-upped the Bacon Explosion post on a site called StumbleUpon, which suggests Web pages based on a user’s interests. The recipe became so hot there it went to the site’s front page.

Other sites, such as Digg and, also helped the recipe go viral. There’s a Bacon Explosion fan page on Facebook. On YouTube, you can watch gas grills catching on fire when the Bacon Explosion log almost literally explodes. (Hint: Cooking in a smoker, with indirect heat, is the recommended method. Dripping bacon grease and an open flame are a dangerous combination.)

Chronister and Day do not claim, by the way, that Bacon Explosion is health food. Just one little sandwich — a couple of 1/4 -inch to 1/2 -inch rounds of meat on a buttermilk biscuit — “sits heavy,” Day says. The entire meat log contains something like 5,000 calories and 500 grams of fat.

One of the first comments posted in response to the recipe: “They should make drive-through angioplasty. It would make this much easier.”

Amy Winn of the Kansas City Barbeque Society hadn’t heard of the Bacon Explosion until The Star called her, but she’d like to try it.

“They’re good marketers,” Winn says of Chronister and Day. “Doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good cooks at this point.”

Still, considering that they and third team member Bryant Gish competed for the first time last fall, they’re doing well: Their brisket finished fifth at the American Royal. They’re looking forward to a contest with an “other” category to enter the Bacon Explosion in.

“No one else is as good at making it,” Chronister says. “There’s kind of a technique to doing it right without it falling apart.”

Chronister and Day have decided to get a sign made up for when they’re cooking in contests: CREATORS OF BACON EXPLOSION. And they’re planning to build up their Web site — it’s mostly recipes and a blog now — and maybe get some advertisers. A product called Bacon Salt just contacted them.

“We struck a chord with bacon,” Day says modestly.

Creating a ‘Bacon Explosion’
You need 2 pounds of thick-cut sliced bacon, 2 pounds of Italian sausage, 3 tablespoons barbecue rub and 3/4 cup barbecue sauce. Day and Chronister use their barbecue team’s homemade rub and sauce.

First, build a latticework of 10 slices of bacon, like on top of a pie. The strips should be tightly woven. Cook remaining bacon until crisp.

Sprinkle bacon weave with 1 tablespoon of rub.

Spread sausage on top of the bacon lattice, pressing to outer edges.

Crumble fried bacon on top of the sausage. Drizzle with 1/2 cup sauce and sprinkle with tablespoon of the rub.

Separate front edge of sausage layer from the bacon weave and roll away from you. Press sausage roll to remove air pockets and pinch together seams and ends.

Roll the sausage toward you, this time with the bacon weave, until completely wrapped. Turn it seam-side down. The roll should be 2-3 inches thick. Sprinkle with remaining rub.

Cook in a smoker at 225 degrees for about 2 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Glaze with more sauce when done. Day and Chronister don’t recommend cooking this in an oven because, unless the meat is lifted out of the pan, it will get very greasy.

Culled from The Kansas City Star

Michelle Obama & Lily Ledbetter

The reception hosted by Mrs. Obama for Ms. Ledbetter was held in the
State Dining Room. Most of the folks from the signing ceremony walked
across the hall to mix and mingle. Your faithful pooler observed several
members of Congress included Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, House
Speaker Pelosi, Axelrod, Donna Brazile, among others. President Obama
also mingled with the crowd. He left, though, at around 10:54am, before
his wife made her remarks. (He was not present for her remarks.) Mrs.
Obama's staff said that the representatives of about 150 advocacy
organizations were also there.

The guests sipped orange juice and cranberry juice and enjoyed a mix of
pastries, including apricot coffee cake, cherry orange scones, apple
muffins and a fruit mix that included mango, apple, clementines and
pineapple, according to the wait staff. Some folks sat at small round
tables adorned with yellow orchids, but mostly they stood and mixed and

Mrs. Obama, who was wearing a purple suit, white pearls and purple
pumps, talked and shook hands with folks in the crowd. At 11:03am, she
took her place behind a podium below a portrait of a Abraham Lincoln.
Lilly Ledbetter stood next to her. Here are Mrs. Obama's remarks, which
will not be distributed by the White House.

"Thank you for joining us today for this important event and welcome to
the White House,'' Mrs. Obama said. "Feel free, walk around, touch some
stuff, just don't break anything.''

Mrs. Obama said she met Ms. Ledbetter during the presidential campaign
and praised her "commitment, her dedication, her focus.''

"She knew unfairness when she saw it and was willing to do something
about it because it was the right thing to do, plain and simple,'' Mrs.
Obama said.

"In traveling across the country over the past two years, Lilly's story
and the broader issue of equal pay was a concern voiced over and over
and over again,'' Mrs. Obama said. "It was a top and critical priority
for women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, older women, younger
women, women with disabilities and their families.

"This legislation is an important step forward, particularly at a time
when so many families are facing economic insecurity and instability,''
Mrs. Obama continued. "It's also one cornerstone of a broader commitment
to address the needs of working women who are looking to us, to not only
ensure that they're treated fairly, but also to ensure that there are
policies in place that help women and men balance their work and family
obligations without putting their jobs or their economic security at

Mrs. Obama then introduced Ms. Ledbetter, who she described as "an
inspiration to women and men all across the country.'' The crowd clapped
and cheered.

Ms. Ledbetter praised the Obamas and said " I just believe in them and
their work so very much.''

"Words cannot begin to describe how honored and humbled I feel today,''
Ms. Ledbetter said. "When I filed my claim against Goodyear with the
EEOC ten years ago, never, never did I imagine the path that it would
lead me down.

"I have spent the past two years since the Supreme Court decision in my
case, fighting for equal pay for this,'' Ms. Ledbetter said. "But to
watch him sign a bill that bears my name, a bill that will help women
and others fight pay discrimination in the workplace is truly
overwhelming. Goodyear will never have to pay me what it cheated me out
of. I will never see a cent from my case. But with the passage and the
president's signature today, I have an even richer reward." Crowd claps.

"I know my daughters and granddaughters and your daughters and your
granddaughters will have a better deal,'' Ms. Ledbetter said. "That's
what makes this fight worth fighting, that's what makes this fight one
we had to win. Now with this win we will make a big difference in the
real world. On behalf of all the women in this country who will once
again be able to fight pay discrimination, thank you."

Ms. Ledbetter thanked members of Congress, advocacy groups, the
president and women who rallied behind the legislation.

"With this bill in place, we now can move forward to where we all hope
to be, improving the law, not just restoring it,'' Ms. Ledbetter said.
"You can count on my continued commitment to fight for the Paycheck
Fairness Act and to make sure that women have equal pay for equal work
because that's what this country is all about."

Mrs. Obama and Ms. Ledbetter hug. The crowd cheers. Mingling
re-commences and your pool is escorted out at 11:09am

News from the Chicago Sun Times

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chatham nanny accused of "mercy stealing"

A 24-year-old law school student who worked as a nanny for a township family this summer was arrested on theft charges last week for sending $850 worth of her employer’s children’s clothes to an expectant mother in Texas, police said.

Donna Crowe of Wyckoff allegedly sent the clothes from her employer’s storage this summer to a woman in Cypress, Texas, she met through, an advice and social networking site for mothers.

Police uncovered the theft while investigating Crowe’s interactions on the Web site because Crowe had established a CafeMom account pretending to be the mother of her employer’s children.

Crowe reportedly posted pictures of the boys she was watching, claiming they were her own, and of the interior and exterior of her employer’s home, police said. She also posted pictures of a man and a woman, claiming she was the woman and the man was her husband. Police don’t know who those people were, but said Crowe does not look like the woman she claimed to be.

An acquaintance of the family recognized the impersonation and contacted the family, police said.

The family fired Crowe and Chatham Township police immediately became involved because postings on the Web site indicated she would like to meet some of the other moms at a central location, possibly in Toronto with the children, police said.

Detective Sgt. William Behre established an account on the Web site and contacted moms who had left public messages on Crowe’s profile page. He identified himself as a Chatham Township police officer and asked the women to contact him.

Police don’t believe Crowe actually planned to take the children out of the country to meet other moms and no charges resulted from the impersonation.
“I don’t think it was going to happen,” Behre said. “If she were going to do it, she would blow her cover.”

But he did find out she had sent the clothing and a warrant for her arrest was issued in November. Crowe was notified about the warrant, but was out of state in Pennsylvania at law school, and turned herself in on Jan. 6.

Crowe, reached by telephone, declined to comment.

Cafemom Nanny charged for theft

A former nanny for a township couple was arrested for sending $850 worth of clothing belonging to twin boys in her charge to a Texas woman she met online.

Township police Detective William Behre arrested Donna Crowe, 24, of Wyckoff and a law student at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Jan. 6, after she allegedly sent clothing to an expectant Cypress, Texas woman after chatting with her online on an Internet Web site,

The alleged clothing theft came to light after police began investigating a tip from a friend of the family’s in August that indicated that Crowe was impersonating the mother of the twins on by posting pictures of the boys and the family’s house, both the interior and the exterior, as her own.

Crowe also posted a picture of an unidentified couple and claimed the photos were of herself and her husband, according to authorities..

“We didn’t look to hard to find the unknown couples identity, but I can tell you Crowe does not resemble the woman in the photo,” said Behre. “The photos were probably gotten online.”

At that point, the family fired Crowe and the police began investigating the incident

Behre said the police immediately became involved because postings on the chat Web site indicated Crowe would like to meet some of the other chat room mothers at a central location, possibly Canada, with the family’s twin children in tow.

“We became involved because we were afraid of an abduction,” said Behre. “I immediately got an account on the Web site and got in touch with other mothers on the site telling them that I was a Chatham Township police detective investigating Crowe.

What A Web Weaved?

Not believing that Crowe had stolen another woman’s identity, Behre was lambasted with emails, phone calls and postings from Internet mothers saying he was way off base.

“I got several phone calls, more emails and postings online reaming me, telling me that I didn’t know what I was talking about,” said Behre. “But after explaining the situation to them, they came around.”

To Behre’s surprise, the women began investigating Crowe, he said, and did findinconsistencies.

“They finally came around,” he said.

After a three-month-long investigation, Behre learned that used clothing belonging to the twin children, which had been stored away in the Chatham home, had been sent by Crowe to the expectant mother in Texas.

Crowe and the Texas woman had become friendly on the Internet chat site, as well, Behre learned.

Crowe used the same fraudulent profile with the Texas woman as she had when she represented herself as the mother of the township twins.

Although the Internet incident was frightening to the parents of the twins and concerning to detectives, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office could not find a criminal charge that would fit the Internet impersonation, said Behre.

“We did spend much time talking with the prosecutor because we hoped that we could charge her with some crime due to her Internet activities,” said Behre. “However, there was no appropriate crime to suit the fraud she perpetrated online. We were disappointed.”

During this time, the Texas woman returned the clothing to the police and the family identified it as belonging to their twin children.

Crowe was charged with theft, processed and released after posting $500 in bail. A court date is still pending.

A sidebar to the story was an interesting posting Behre found while investigating Crowe online. It was a posting that, he said, he could not confirm.

“There is really no way to know if this is the same Donna Crowe, but it certainly is interesting,” said Behre.

An adoption Web site posting dated Dec. 3, 2002, told of a Donna Crowe, then 18-years-old, who had posed as an unwed mother looking for adoptive parents for her infant girl.

Warnings were posted from that read, “If anyone has heard from or hears from Donna Crowe from New Jersey - she probably won’t use/give you a last name. She is 18 and said she was due with a girl Nov. 14. Had talked with her for four months. She is NOT pregnant.”

The woman went on to post that Crowe was very sorry for her untruthful actions and would never do it again because she was in counseling.

Updating her written post the adoptionscams woman said she had found other prospective adoptive parents that had been scammed by the 18-year-old Donna Crowe. The woman said she had fooled those couples, as well. She also found that Crowe was using the name Kate, as well.

“Her story was virtually the same except for the different name and twins instead of single birth,” the woman wrote. “Please beware, she is very articulate and convincing.”

The Law

In 2008, New York state Gov. David A. Paterson signed into law an Internet impersonation bill as an amendment to its penal code making it a crime to impersonate another person by electronic means, such as the Internet, to either injure or defraud another person or benefit them.

The law was designed to stop a plethora of impersonation cases on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, among others.

According to the New Jersey State Police, the state has no specific Internet impersonation statute, however the state does have a lawful slot for identity theft under the state’s wrongful impersonation law, which says the crime “escalates from a disorderly persons offense to a crime when the total monetary values for the goods or services that were defrauded exceeds $200.”