Fake Signer At Mandela Memorial - After Mandela’s memorial service on reports started flying that the sign language interpreter presiding over the ceremony was an imposter. 34-year-old Thamsanqa Jantjie was accused of signing gibberish and has responded to the criticism by saying that he’s schizophrenic and suffered an episode during the service. During an interview he said that he was hearing voices and said, “There was nothing I could do. I was alone in a very dangerous situation. I tried to control myself and not show the world what was going on. I am very sorry. It's the situation I found myself in.” Jantjie says that he is a “champion of sign language”. The government was in charge of the ceremony and said that they don’t know who he is despite the fact that he has signed two large African National Congress events in the past. Crazy!
Healthcare Numebrs Show Increases In Obamacare - The Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave a report on the progress of health care sign ups under the new Obamacare system. The number of people signing up for coverage via the healthcare.gov website has risen to about 365K but that’s still 800K short of the 1.2 million goal that was projected for this time. The sign-ups have been accelerating since the website’s rocky launch back in October but even at this increased rate it’s still doubtful that the 7 million goal will be reached by the end of March.Sebelius said, “HealthCare.gov is working faster, responding more quickly, and we’re able to handle larger volumes of concurrent users. Pages that once took eight seconds to load are now responding in under a second. The site’s error rate, which once topped 6 percent, has been driven down to below 1 percent. The 14 states that are running their own programs have also seen improvement signing up 227,478 last month compared to about 79K in October.
Time Says Celebrity Sneaker Deals Are Publicity Stunts - After both Kanye West and Drake announced their new sneaker deals with Adidas and Jordan respectively, Time Magazine has said that sneaker deals are merely publicity stunts for rappers not really a business venture- they site the limited number of sneakers that are actually sold under the rappers name. Some examples given were Kanye’s Air Yeezy II’s which only had about 5,000 pairs produced and had people bidding as much as $90K on Ebay A sports research analyst said “Part of what makes collaborations like this successful is very, very limited distribution. They create a lot of hype, they get mentioned in all the sneaker head magazines and blogs. There’s a lot of brand attention to it.” The article says that the main target customers are sneaker heads who will wait in long lines and pay top dollar “to buy a higher end product that others only aspire to have.” The author writes that while some celebrity sneakers see commercial and marketing success “It can be challenging for celebrities to create a line that has the year-after-year success of athlete-branded shoes.
Instagram Direct Messaging Is Here - Let the instagram ratchetry continue. Yesterday the social media site announced the launch of a new feature- direct messaging. Instagram Direct will allow users to privately send photos or videos to up to 15 of their followers. IG’s founder said, “Sometimes you want to be able to share not with everyone, but just a specific group.” The feature is similar to to ‘Snapchat’ in that the messages send in real time and you’ll be able to see which of your friends actually opened and viewed the image/ video. Even though Instagram has started to feature promoted images and advertising they say that for right now IG Direct will remain advertisement free.
'Time's' Coolest Person Of 2013 - Time Magazine has been announcing their ‘people of the year’. Pope Francis took away the main title of ‘Person of the Year’ while The Roots’ drummer Questlove has taken the title of the ‘Coolest Person of 2013′. Other people in the running included Bruno Mars, Rob Ford and Pharrell Williams but they ultimately decided on Questlove because, “We needed someone who was classically cool. A person in a hip-hop band, a music producer, a DJ. A man who has his own line of Nike sneakers and owns a hoodie shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. A guy who has lived in Europe and loves art-house movies. A person who goes by many names, several of which have a question mark in them. We were so traditional in our choice that the 2013 Coolest Person of the Year has the most clichéd cool job in the world: he’s a drummer.” Also earning him his title were the two books he wrote this year, his composition of music for Comedy Central, his alternative musicians website, his DJing at a bowling alley every weekend, the fact that he’s the lead drummer for The Tonight Show and his DJing of 13 weddings this year including his runner up’s- Pharrell.Upon learning of his honor Questlove said, “Does it speak volumes that my first response is the high school nerd in me being afraid of if I’ll get any backlash from Kanye for getting this accolade?”
Air Jordan 12s Sell For 105k - A ball boy who was working the 1997 NBA Finals game between the Bulls and Utah Jazz was able to walk away with Jordan’s pair of Air Jordan 12’s. He recently put them up for auction and they sold for $105K. TMZ is reporting “MJ signed the shoes for a ball boy who worked the game ... and they eventually ended up for auction this month on Grey Flannel Auctions. The auction finally ended this morning.” The identity of the winning bid has not yet been revealed.
FDA Moves To Phase Out Anti-Biotics In Livestock - The FDA has announced that due to potential public health risks it will ask pharmaceutical companies to stop labeling human antibiotics as acceptable for growth promotion in livestock. Cattle, hog and poultry producers have been using antibiotics as a way to keep their animals healthy and make them grow faster. It the drug companies agree to help it will become illegal to use these drugs on animals and producers will need to get prescriptions to use the drugs for sick animals. Over time antibiotic resistant diseases have grown in animals and humans and consumers have started requesting antibiotic-free meat. An FDA representative made a statement saying, “We need to be selective about the drugs we use in animals and when we use them. Antimicrobial resistance may not be completely preventable, but we need to do what we can to slow it down." The new requirements will give the companies three years to comply.
The Most Retweeted Celebrity Of The Year Revealed - If you think its Justin Bieber, you're wrong. The most re-tweeted celebrity was actually Glee's Lea Michele, whose heartbreaking post about her boyfriend Cory Monteith was re-tweeted 408-thousand times. Other celebrities among the most re-tweeted were members of One Direction and the deceased Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker.