Archive | February 2013

Jim Harbaugh reached out to his brother first after Super Bowl

The Harbaugh brothers have spoken since Super Bowl XLVII.

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said this afternoon that he was the one who picked up the phone and reached out to Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Surely, there was a congratulations in there somewhere.

“Talked a little about the game and some other things,” Jim Harbaugh said at Lucas Oil Stadium. “Don’t think (the Super Bowl) affects (their relationship), other than stronger.

“We have a strong relationship, and it always seems to get stronger. (We’re) very close.”

Jim Harbaugh said he didn’t get any special insight from his brother about the game. The topic of their relationship was the first thing that was raised in his press conference. The spotlight is still shining brightly on their relationship and the unique situation.

“I think it’s a fascinating thing, to use your word,” Jim Harbaugh said. “What more can I tell you? We discussed some facets into the game and some other football talk.”

Jim Harbaugh made it clear it wasn’t any easier losing the game to his brother and said they share less strategy now than they did when he first joined the NFL ranks as a head coach.

“I don’t think we’ve shared a whole lot of strategy throughout the course of the season,” he said. “It’s definitely gotten less, the longer I’ve been in the league.”

Shia LaBeouf Quits Broadway Show After Disagreement With Alec Baldwin, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Moving In Together: Top 5 Stories of the Day

Shia LaBeouf Quits Broadway Show After Disagreement With Alec Baldwin, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Moving In Together: Top 5 Stories of the Day

Shia LaBeouf quits Broadway showOrphans after a “disagreeable situation” with Alec BaldwinMila Kunis andAshton Kutcher are moving in together, and Josh Brolin and Diane Lane split after eight years of marriage: See Us Weekly‘s top 5 stories from Thursday, Feb. 21 in the roundup!
1.Exclusive: Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher Moving In Together!

Home is where the heart is — and forMila Kunis, that means home is where boyfriend Ashton Kutcher is. Namely, at his 9,000-square-foot mansion in the Hollywood Hills. As the Feb. 25 issue of Us Weekly revealed, Kunis, 29, and Kutcher, 35, are taking their relationship to the next level: cohabitation

2.Shia LaBeouf Quits Broadway Show After “Disagreeable Situation” With Alec Baldwin

Shia LaBeouf‘s exit from Broadway’s Orphans sounds even more dramatic than the play itself! After producers announced Wednesday, Feb. 20 that LaBeouf would be leaving the show “due to creative differences,” the actor is shedding new light on exactly what those differences were — and who they were with. Shortly after his departure was made official, LaBeouf, 26, posted a video of his audition for Orphans as well as screen shot images of alleged email exchanges with director Daniel Sullivan, playwright Lyle Kessler and costars Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge.

3. Exclusive: Josh Brolin, Diane Lane Divorcing After Eight Years

Josh Brolin and Diane Lane are going their separate ways. A little more than eight years after they tied the knot, the Cinema Verite actress, 48, and her Gangster Squad actor husband, 45, have split, reps for the couple tell Us Weekly exclusively. “Diane Lane and Josh Brolin have decided to end their marriage,” the reps tell Us. Adds an insider: “It was a mutual decision. It is very amicable. It’s not ugly, it’s just over.”

4.Kim Zolciak Rocks Skimpy Swimsuit Six Months After Giving Birth to Son Kash Kade

Kim Zolciak is clearly proud of her post-baby body! Six months after welcoming her fourth child, son Kash Kade, the former Real Housewives of Atlanta star shared a sexy picture of herself via Instagram on Wednesday, Feb. 20. “I’m obsessed with Have Faith swimsuits,” 34-year-old Zolciak wrote in the caption. In the image, the “Tardy for the Party” singer models the label’s $169 halter-style one-piece, which features a deep V-plunge and open back.

5.Kim Kardashian Not Quitting Keeping Up With Kardashians Yet, Shares “Baby Hairs” Picture

And Kim Kardashian is telling you: She’s not going! Although she’s preparing for a major life transition — motherhood — the pregnant reality star has clarified recent comments to DuJourmagazine that suggested she’s leaving the Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the reality show that made her a superstar, after season nine.

This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Shia LaBeouf Quits Broadway Show After Disagreement With Alec Baldwin, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Moving In Together: Top 5 Stories of the Day

Ex-Senator Admits to Fathering Child With Other Senator’s Daughter

Former New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici revealed today that he fathered a son in an extramarital affair with another senator’s daughter more than 30 years ago and has kept the secret since then, only telling his own family in the last “several months.”

In a statement to the Albuquerque Journal, the 80-year-old Republican, who represented New Mexico for more than 30 years, said the mother of his son “made me pledge that we would never reveal that parenthood and I have tried to honor that pledge and so has she.”

Domenici wrote that he was worried about the privacy of his son, a 34-year-old Nevada lawyer named Adam Laxalt, as well as the potential impact on Laxalt’s mother, Michelle Laxalt, 58. Domenici has eight other children with his wife Nancy.

Check Out Some Other Politicians With A Love Child Here

“My past action has caused hurt and disappointment to my wife, children, family, and others. For that I am solely responsible,” Domenici, who still lives in Washington, D.C., said in the statement. “My family has been aware of these events for several months. I have apologized as best as I can to my wife, and we have worked together to strengthen our relationship. I deeply regret this and am very sorry for my behavior. I hope New Mexicans will view that my accomplishments for my beloved state outweigh my personal transgression.”

Michelle Laxalt, the daughter of former U.S. senator and Nevada Gov. Paul Laxalt, is a former government relations consultant and lobbyist. Paul Laxalt was a U.S. senator from Nevada from 1974 to 1987 and served as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Domenici told the newspaper he made the confession because he believed someone else was about to make the story public.

“Rather than have others breach this privacy, I have decided to make this statement today. These circumstances now compel me to reveal this situation,” Domenici said.

Michelle Laxalt also put out a statement to the Albuquerque Journal, saying, “one night’s mistake led to pregnancy more than 30 years ago.

“I chose to go through with that pregnancy, although other choices were available,” Laxalt wrote. “I also chose to raise my child as a single parent. Given the fact that both my father and the father of my child were United States senators, I felt strongly that I would make this choice according to my values, and would not seek advice, input or permission. My interaction with my child’s father consisted of telling him my decision, asking that he avail himself for health-related purposes, and asking that he agree that this remain private between the two of us.”

She said she raised her son Adam “surrounded by love and joy and opportunity.”

“I am proud of him, yet saddened that the circumstances of his birth might be used like a weapon to hurt many we love,” Laxalt said in the statement. “Recently information has come to me that this sacred situation might be twisted, re-written out of whole cloth, and shopped to press outlets large and small in a vicious attempt to smear, hurt and diminish Pete Domenici, an honorable man, his extraordinary wife, Nancy, and other innocents. Why after more than 30 years, would anyone insinuate pain and ugliness where joy and beauty have presided?”

Adam Laxalt returned an e mail interview request from ABC News writing that he has “lived my entire life as a private citizen and intend to remain one.”

“I plan to address personal issues privately and will not be commenting or joining any public discussion,” Laxalt wrote.

According to his online biography at his Las Vegas law firm, Adam Laxalt served for five years as a Naval Officer and lawyer in the U.S. Navy. He was also deployed to Iraq, where he provided legal advice on detainee detention operations.

Domenici served in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009, and was the longest serving U.S. senator in New Mexico’s history. He retired in 2009 when he was diagnosed with a type of dementia. During his time in the U.S. Senate he served as the chairman of the Budget Committee and the Energy Committee.

The confession comes just days after it was revealed that Re p. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) has a secret daughter, although the congressman has never been married. He was spotted trading tweets with a young woman during the State of the Union address and his “ilu” signoffs – digital shorthand for I love you – prompted inquiries into the identity of the congressman’s tweet mate. Just days later he confessed that the woman – 24 year old Victoria Brink – is his daughter whom he learned about three years ago.

Higgs Boson Particle May Spell Doom For the Universe

A subatomic particle discovered last year that may be the long-sought Higgs boson might doom our universe to an unfortunate end, researchers say.

The mass of the particle, which was uncovered at the world’s largest particle accelerator — the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva — is a key ingredient in a calculation that portends the future of space and time.

“This calculation tells you that many tens of billions of years from now there’ll be a catastrophe,” Joseph Lykken, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., said Monday (Feb. 18) here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“It may be the universe we live in is inherently unstable, and at some point billions of years from now it’s all going to get wiped out,” added Lykken, a collaborator on one of the LHC’s experiments. [Gallery: Search for the Higgs Boson]

The Higgs boson particle is a manifestation of an energy field pervading the universe called the Higgs field, which is thought to explain why particles have mass. After searching for decades for proof that this field and particle existed, physicists at the LHC announced in July 2012 that they’d discovered a new particle whose properties strongly suggest it is the Higgs boson.

To confirm the particle’s identity for sure, more data are needed. But many scientists say they’re betting it’s the Higgs.

“This discovery to me was personally astounding,” said I. Joseph Kroll, a University of Pennsylvania physicist who also works at the LHC. “To me, the Higgs was sort of, it might be there, it might not. The fact that it’s there is really a tremendous accomplishment.”

And finding the Higgs, if it’s truly been found, not only confirms the theory about how particles get mass, but it allows scientists to make new calculations that weren’t possible before the particle’s properties were known.

For example, the mass of the new particle is about 126 billion electron volts, or about 126 times the mass of the proton. If that particle really is the Higgs, its mass turns out to be just about what’s needed to make the universe fundamentally unstable, in a way that would cause it to end catastrophically in the far future.

That’s because the Higgs field is thought to be everywhere, so it affects the vacuum of empty space-time in the universe.

“The mass of the Higgs is related to how stable the vacuum is,” explained Christopher Hill, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. “It’s right along the critical line. That could either be a cosmic coincidence, or it could be that there’s some physics that’s causing that. That’s something new, which we didn’t know before.”

Strikingly, if the Higgs mass were just a few percent different, the universe wouldn’t be doomed, the scientists said.

But even if the universe is in for an unfortunate end, there is at least one reason for consolation.

“You won’t actually see it, because it will come at you at the speed of light,” Lykken said. “So in that sense don’t worry.”

Geno Auriemma and Kim Mulkey combine for one of the photos of the year

When top-ranked Baylor and third-ranked UConn met Monday night in one of the most anticipated games of the women’s college basketball season, the showdown delivered more than just a potential national championship preview.

[Forde Minutes: College basketball coaches go a bit crazy]

It also produced one of the most bizarre photos of the season.

AP photographer Jessica Hill captured a shot of UConn coach Geno Auriemma patting Baylor coach Kim Mulkey on the backside before the start of the Bears’ impressive 76-70 road victory. Everything about the photo is memorable, from Mulkey’s stance, to Auriemma’s laser focus, to the giggling assistant coaches in the background.

Thankfully, the Connecticut Post’s Rich Elliott asked Auriemma about the exchange after the game and got an explanation for the unusual scene. Auriemma clarified it was a lighthearted, harmless moment between two longtime friends.

“She was staring at my butt and she was commenting on it and I said, ‘Really? How about yours?’”Auriemma told the Post. “She went, `Yeah, look at it,’ and I went (slap), ‘I’ll teach you a lesson.’ And then she started talking about how she only dated Italians her whole life and that she wanted me to set her up with some Italians and I said `The Italians I send to see you aren’t going to date you.’ We’ve had a long and great relationship since, gosh, she was an assistant at Louisiana Tech. It goes back a long ways.”

Despite Auriemma’s explanation, UConn hoops fans at the Boneyard still had some fun with a create-a-caption contest. The best of the responses? “One more example why the women’s game is different from the men’s.”

Very true. If the UConn and Baylor men ever play, Kevin Ollie and Scott Drew probably won’t share a pregame exchange quite like this.

Mindy McCready Suicide: Fans, Friends Share Mixed Reactions

The morning after she committed suicide, Mindy McCready’s death is still shocking to the world. But it came as little surprise to those who knew her best.

On Monday – just one day after she killed herself with a single gunshot to the face on the porch of her home in Heber Springs, Arkansas – her ex-boyfriend (and the father of her 6-year-old son, Zander), Billy McKnight, revealed in an interview with the “Today” show, “As sad as it is, it didn’t come as a major shock. She’s just been battling demons for so long … I was around her when she attempted suicide twice, so I knew it was in her.”

The country singer, who also shot and killed her dog, had been on a rapid decline ever since the January 13 suicide of her boyfriend, David Wilson, also the father of her 10-month-old son Zayne. Shortly after his death, McCready was accused of killing him in a jealous rage after she caught him cheating – all of which she adamantly denied.

Still, her two sons were removed from her care on February 6, after her father Tim McCreadyrevealed in court documents that she had been in bed for three weeks and was neglecting them. “Sleeps all day,” he wrote. “Drinks all night and is taking Rx drugs. Not bathing or even helping take care of her 2 children.”

After her boys were put in state foster care – where they remain – McCready was ordered to enter a facility for a mental-health and alcohol-abuse evaluation, but was able to undergo outpatient treatment instead. Eleven days later, she was dead.

Once the news of McCready’s suicide became known on Sunday evening, many of her famous fans and friends in country music expressed their condolences on Twitter. “I grew up listening to Mindy McCready…so sad for her family tonight,” wrote Carrie Underwood. LeAnn Rimes, who also tweeted her sorrow, released a statement, as well. “Mindy and I both started our careers around the same time. We worked with a lot of the same people, so we ended up spending lots of time around one another. She was always so kind and very protective of me, like a big sis. My heart is broken that she’s gone.”

McCready, whose 1996 debut album, Ten Thousand Angels, sold two million copies and peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart, appeared on the third season of VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Pinsky,” and is now the fifth person from that series to relapse and die.

She’s also the third from her season to die. Last August, former “Real World: Hollywood” participant Joey Kovar was found dead at a friend’s home in Chicago following a cocaine binge. Before that, in March 2011, former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr overdosed on prescription pills in Utah. The other two “Celeb Rehab” alums to pass away are “Grease” actor Jeff Conaway (from prescription pills in May 2011) and Rodney King, who was found drowned in a pool after a night of alleged drinking and marijuana smoking in June 2012.

Dr. Drew released a statement about the loss of the latest star from his reality show. “I am deeply saddened by this awful news. My heart goes out to Mindy’s family and children. She is a lovely woman who will be missed by many. Although I have not treated her for few years, I had reached out to her recently upon hearing about the apparent suicide of her boyfriend and father of her younger children. She was devastated. Although she was fearful of stigma and ridicule she agreed with me that she needed to make her health and safety a priority. Unfortunately it seems that Mindy did not sustain her treatment.”

Bob Forrest, Head Counselor on “Celebrity Rehab,” shared his feelings on McCready’s passing on “omg! Insider” on Monday. Calling her loss, “so devastatingly sad,” he explained, “One of the key things is Mindy had two, possibly three or four interwoven problems,” including personality disorder and addiction. “If one doesn’t get you the other one does … They all play together in this perfect storm.”

Although “Celebrity Rehab” has certainly made for some riveting television through its five seasons on air, getting help in front of millions of eyes each week may not be the best solution.

Doug Thorburn, author of Alcoholism Myths and Realities, explains to omg! that Alcoholics Anonymous was created with the “understanding that alcoholism (and most other-drug addiction) causes egomania. They designed their program, the 12 steps, around the idea that the massive alcoholic ego must be deflated for recovery to occur. The first 11 steps are all about this: no practicing egomaniac can admit he is powerless over something; no practicing egomaniac can see the need to pay amends and then to actually become so contrite. This is the reason the program requires anonymity … ‘Celebrity Rehab’ and other shows like it violate this essential prerequisite to recovery; hence, so many relapses and, even, suicides.”

As for the reports that “Celebrity Rehab” pays its famous patients $250,000 for their 21-day stay on the show, Thorburn adds that the monetary incentive only acts as an enabler. “Give me two equally down addicts, one with money and one without: the one without has the greater chance of getting abstinent and achieving long-term sobriety,” he adds. “Hence, I’m not sure rehab really does anyone any good other than to get them started.”

Gun ban would protect more than 2,200 firearms

This undated evidence photo, provided by retired FBI agent Edmund Mireles, shows the Ruger Mini–14 used by one of the shooters in the deadly April 11, 1986 bank robbery shootout in Miami that left two FBI agents dead and five others injured. New models of this firearm that have folding stocks and pistol grips would be banned under proposed gun control legislation under consideration in Congress. But a similar model without a folding stock would be exempted. Both models can take detachable magazines that hold dozens of rounds of ammunition. Mireles was among the five agents injured. (AP Photo/FBI)

Congress’ latest crack at a new assault weapons ban would protect more than 2,200 specific firearms, including a semi-automatic rifle that is nearly identical to one of the guns used in the bloodiest shootout in FBI history.

One model of that firearm, the Ruger .223 caliber Mini-14, is on the proposed list to be banned, while a different model of the same gun is on a list of exempted firearms in legislation the Senate is considering. The gun that would be protected from the ban has fixed physical features and can’t be folded to be more compact. Yet the two firearms are equally deadly.

“What a joke,” said former FBI agent John Hanlon, who survived the 1986 shootout in Miami. He was shot in the head, hand, groin and hip with a Ruger Mini-14 that had a folding stock. Two FBI agents died and five others were wounded.

Hanlon recalled lying on the street as brass bullet casings showered on him. He thought the shooter had an automatic weapon.

Both models of the Ruger Mini-14 specified in the proposed bill can take detachable magazines that hold dozens of rounds of ammunition. “I can’t imagine what the difference is,” Hanlon said.

President Barack Obama has called for restoring a ban on military-style assault weapons and limiting the size of ammunition magazines.

A bill introduced last month by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. would ban 157 specific firearms designed for military and law enforcement use and exempt others made for hunting purposes. It also would ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

Yet there are firearms that would be protected under Feinstein’s proposal that can take large capacity magazines like the ones used in mass shootings that enable a gunman to fire dozens of rounds of ammunition without reloading.

Feinstein said in a written response to questions from The Associated Press that the list of more than 2,200 exempted firearms was designed to “make crystal clear” that the bill would not affect hunting and sporting weapons.

The December shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that left 26 students and educators dead forced Washington to focus on curbing gun violence, a risky political move not tried in decades.

The gun industry, which is fighting any sort of ban, says gun ownership in the U.S. is the highest it’s ever been, with more than 100 million firearms owners.

Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden have traveled around the country in an effort to gain support for new laws. Feinstein’s proposal is the only sweeping piece of legislation designed to ban assault weapons currently being considered.

But some gun experts say the lists of banned and exempted firearms show a lack of understanding and expertise of guns.

“There’s no logic to it,” said Greg Danas, president of a Massachusetts-based expert witness business and firearms ballistic laboratory. “What kind of effect is it going to have?”

Feinstein’s bill defines an assault weapon as a semi-automatic firearm with a detachable magazine that has one of several military characteristics that are specified in her legislation. Examples of those characteristics include a pistol grip, which makes a firearm easier to hold, and a forward grip, which makes the firearm easier to stabilize to improve accuracy. The definition is similar to the one in Congress’ original ban on assault weapons, which went into effect in 1994 and was widely criticized for outlawing firearms based on cosmetic features.

Feinstein was behind the 1994 law which, at the time, protected more than 600 firearms. The current bill would exempt by name and model more than 2,200 firearms by name and model.

Feinstein said her staff had worked for more than a year to draft updates for the ban that expired in 2004, and it was apparent in the wake of recent mass shootings that now was the time to introduce a new bill. She said her staff consulted with law enforcement agencies and policy experts for months to create the expanded list.

Naming firearms that would remain legal under an assault weapons ban is a politically motivated gesture that was used to help pass the original ban in the early 1990s, people familiar with the process said.

Any firearm that does not fall within the law’s definition of an assault weapon would not be banned. As a result, the list gives vulnerable politicians cover from constituents who do not want to give up their firearms.

For example, a politician can look at the list and assure a constituent that the government would not ban the firearm he or she loves to use for deer hunting. Under the 1994 law and the currently proposed one, the government would not have the authority to take away guns people already legally own. The ban would only apply to specific firearms manufactured and sold after the law is enacted.

A list of exempted firearms was not part of Feinstein’s original assault weapons ban two decades ago, said Michael Lenett, one of the lead congressional staffers on gun control issues in 1994. A separate bill in circulation exempted far fewer hunting and sporting firearms, Lenett said.

The purpose of creating such a list was to assure people that the government was not going after any legitimate hunting or sporting weapons. “The other purpose of the list was to have a high profile way of assuring certain folks — including legislators — that we would not be going after their weapons that they use for those legitimate purposes,” Lenett said.

“It was a win-win situation,” Lenett recalled, because, he said, if the list could help pick up votes needed to pass the bill and temper some of the opposition, it could assuage some opponents of the ban without making the law less effective.

But gun experts say the lists in 1994 and the expanded lists of today don’t make much sense.

“The bill demonstrates a shocking ignorance of the product they are purporting to regulate,” said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association based in Newtown, Conn., that represents gun manufacturers. “I have no idea how they arrived at this list. It would seem to be random, bordering on throwing darts at a dart board.”

For instance, Feinstein’s current proposal includes exemptions for three specific types of the M-1 Carbine, an assault rifle designed for the military that the U.S. currently bans from being imported. A draft of the legislation, created and modified in November and early December last year, banned the M-1 Carbine and didn’t exempt any models, according to a copy obtained by the AP.

Feinstein said there was disagreement among firearms experts, law enforcement and gun safety organizations about whether to include the M-1 Carbine on the list of banned weapons.

“It has been used in multiple police shootings, and was originally used by U.S. soldiers on the battlefield,” Feinstein said. “On the other hand, it comes in models that would not meet the military characteristics test.” She said she decided to limit banned weapons to those that met the definition outlined in the bill.

At a Jan. 30 hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee on gun violence, National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre said Feinstein’s bill is “based on falsehoods to people that do not understand firearms, to convince them that the performance characteristics of guns that they are trying to ban through that bill are different than the performance characteristics that they’re not trying to ban.”

The Ruger Mini-14 is a perfect example.

The model that has a fixed stock would be exempted by Feinstein’s ban; the weapon was protected in the 1994 law as well. A Ruger Mini-14 with a collapsible and folding stock would be illegal.

The guns fire the same caliber bullet and can take detachable magazines that could hold dozens of rounds of ammunition. The folding stock only reduces the gun’s length by 2.75 inches, according to the manufacturer’s website.

“It’s irrelevant,” Edmund Mireles, an FBI agent who survived the Miami shootout, said of the differences in features. “They’re equally dangerous.”

Mark D. Jones, a senior law enforcement adviser for the University of Chicago Crime Lab, said the folding stock does not affect the firearm’s lethal potential.

“Given that both firearms will accept a 30 round or larger magazine, it renders the differences between them entirely cosmetic,” Jones said.

Kristen Rand, the legislative director at the Washington-based Violence Policy Center, said the Ruger Mini-14 model that would be banned under Feinstein’s legislation is easier to hold while firing because it has a pistol grip, and it’s easier to hide because it has a collapsible stock. That’s what makes it more dangerous that the Ruger Mini-14 with the fixed stock which would be exempted under the Feinstein bill, she said.

“And that’s supposed to save somebody’s life?” asked Hanlon, the FBI agent shot alongside Mireles.

Hanlon considered the differences between the two models and whether the events of April 11, 1986, would have been different if the shooter used a Ruger Mini-14 with a fixed stock. “I don’t think it would have changed a damn thing,” he said. “I don’t see what makes that gun less dangerous.”