Sunday, March 13, 2011

Derek Luke's 'Captain America's Role Revealed

When it was recently announced that Derek Luke had a role in the upcoming Marvel film, 'Captain America: First Avenger,' many fans and websites were curious as to which character the 36 year-old New Jersey native would play since the studio hadn't mentioned it in numerous press releases on the film.
Luke will be playing one of Nick Fury's Howling Commando's, Gabe Jones, stated Jones is remembered in the Marvel universe as a fierce fighter who always carried his trumpet into battle.
Other roles Luke was speculated for were a young Nick Fury, Fury's father Jack or Captain America's Avengers' partner Falcon.

As the first African-American to serve in an integrated unit, Jones is one of the close confidantes to Sergeant Nick Fury, who would later become the head of the organization S.H.I.E.L.D. Jones would later join him as an agent.
Nick Fury has been played by Samuel L. Jackson in both 'Iron Man' films and will appear in this film as well as the upcoming 'Avengers.'

Luke, who made his film debut in Denzel Washington's directorial debut Antwone Fisher, and played a soldier in Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna, last appeared in the 2009 films, Tyler Perry's 'Madea Goes to Jail,' and the rapper Notorious B.I.G. biopic 'Notorious,' where he played Sean 'Diddy' Combs. In 2009-2010, he starred in the now-cancelled NBC medical TV series, 'Trauma.'

Luke also joins the list of African Americans being featured in upcoming comic books films.
Besides Samuel L. Jackson, Idris Elba is playing the Norse God Heimdall in Kenneth Branagh's 'Thor,' and Angela Bassett is playing the mysterious Dr. Amanda Waller on the DC' superhero film, 'Green Lantern,' starring Ryan Reynolds.

Directed by Joe Johnston, 'Captain America: The First Avenger' stars Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Hugo Weaving, Sebastian Stan, Toby Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Dominic Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, and Neal McDonough.

Scheduled to be released in 3D on July 22, 2011, the film will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America.
Born during the Great Depression, Steve Rogers grew up a frail youth in a poor family. Horrified by the newsreel footage of the Nazis in Europe, Rogers was inspired to enlist in the army. However, because of his frailty and sickness, he was rejected. Overhearing the boy's earnest plea, General Chester Phillips offered Rogers the opportunity to take part in a special experiment... Operation: Rebirth. After weeks of tests, Rogers was at last administered the Super-Solider Serum and bombarded by "vita-rays." Steve Rogers emerged from the treatment with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. Rogers was then put through an intensive physical and tactical training program. Three months later, he was given his first assignment as Captain America. Armed with his indestructible shield and battle savvy, Captain America has continued his war against evil both as a sentinel of liberty and as leader of the Avengers.

Farrakhan deflects foes' charges of anti-Semitism

Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, lashed out Friday night at those who would label him anti-Semitic, saying the accusation reflects "an attitude of hatred" that members of the African-American community must avoid in order to unite and grow strong.

"I have never harmed one Jewish person. All I've done is tell the truth of what was involved in the slave trade," Minister Farrakhan said. "But because I have been charged of being an anti-Semite, and because that charge has stuck ... I have suffered rejection by my own people. I have never hated the Jewish people. If anything, I admire them."

Minister Farrakhan, 77, made the remarks during an appearance on "The Bev Smith Show," a nationally syndicated radio program broadcast live Friday night from the August Wilson Center, Downtown.
The event, attended by more than 600 enthusiastic and vocal audience members, was the second of four town hall sessions addressing the topic of "The Disappearing Black Community."

Speaking in a measured manner that flowed from softly delivered sentences to shouted points of emphasis, Minister Farrakhan said he brought a message to "the members of the human family," that had its roots in the words of Moses and the Torah, Jesus and the Gospel, and Mohammad and the Koran. His topics ranged from the dangers of fast food and the importance of family to crime in the streets and Israeli actions in Gaza.
Whether he was telling a story from American history, a parable of Jesus, or a lesson he learned as a boy being spanked by his mother, Minister Farrakhan hammered home the message of responsibility, unity and dignity.

"A community is a body of people that shares a common history, a common language, a common pain," Minister Farrakhan said. "We have indeed made progress. But the black community has disappeared. We have some fault in this matter. When segregation ended, we took our minds off of the prize.

"The black community as a community has flat-lined. You know what flat-lined means? You're dead. ...
"We could create business. Where are our factories, where is our industry? Let's get busy and do something to help ourselves."

He said part of the problem with those who are educated is that they leave the universities looking for someone to give them a job, rather than looking to create jobs.

"The worm does its job. The ant does its job. The bird does its job," he said. "You don't find blackbirds looking to redbirds for a job."

Friday night's event had been criticized by local and national Jewish groups that questioned why Ms. Smith, who lives Downtown, had invited "a rabid anti-Semite" to speak.

Minister Farrakhan rejected the criticism despite a post-program tirade against "those who control" American foreign policy and lock him out of access to national media.

"There's a group that is very small, but their influence is so large that they can direct foreign policy of this nation," he said.

"That's dangerous for America. Because if the Israelis don't like the Palestinians or the Iranians or whoever, they can manipulate."

Ms. Smith said it did not occur to her that there would be opposition to an appearance by Minister Farrakhan, whom she praised for his empathy, integrity and involvement with the African-American community, as demonstrated by his organization of the 1995 Million Man March.

Still, civil rights leader Melanie Campbell, president and chief executive officer of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, withdrew from the program because funding for one of her organization's projects would be jeopardized if she shared a stage with Minister Farrakhan.

Replacing Ms. Campbell on the program with Minister Farrakhan and U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., was civil rights activist Dorothy Tillman.

Mr. Clyburn encouraged those listening to embrace the things they heard and make the lessons part of their daily lives.

"I get a little concerned when people react to the precepts, then when the meeting is over and they go home, there is no demonstration that they heard the message."

Ms. Tillman agreed with Minister Farrakhan's statement that women were the strength of the African-American community.

"If you want to see a community, look at the women," Ms. Tillman said. "I never thought that when we got our freedoms and our rights, we would turn our backs on our community.

"I call it post-traumatic slave syndrome. It's an illness. And we have to cure it."

By Dan Majors

Seven hundred Haitians to be deported from US

by Global News Staff

WASHINGTON, USA -- The US government plans to deport 700 people convicted of crimes back to Haiti before the end of the year.

It recently sent home more than two dozen Haitian men who say they have been struggling to rebuild their lives in the quake-hit nation.

The men were part of the first wave of forced removals since the earthquake last year that destroyed much of Port-au-Prince.

One of the deportees, Serge Michel Dorval, says he is having a hard time adjusting to his new surroundings, living in a tent in the middle of one of the largest refugee camps.

The 25-year-old, who left Haiti as an infant, says he served two years in a US jail on cocaine possession charges before being released.

He says he was picked up by immigration officials last month and put on a plane to Port-au-Prince.

Video: Meltdown threat: Japan 'preparing for worst'

Video: Protesters shot dead in Yemen euronews


Routine murders of Palestinians has become an everyday occurrence in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza. When civilians are murdered, the prospect of peace is also murdered. When these murders are avenged by more murders, it only leads to more of the same.

Over the weekend, five members of an Israeli family of settlers were murdered in their home while sleeping.  It is a never ending process of hate that only leads to more hate and more terror from both sides.

DesertPeace condemns these actions and those responsible for them. We also condemn any Palestinian Website that condones these actions as well as any zionist Website that advocates the continuation of the occupation of Palestinian territories.

Peace will only become a reality when both sides realise it is the only possible way to survive …. there is no other alternative. Below is a report showing how terror begats terror. IT MUST END NOW!

The victims of the Itamar settlement attack, 10-year-old Yoav Fogel, Udi Fogel, 37, four-year-old Elad Fogel, three-month old Hadas Fogel and Ruth Fogel, 36.
Photo by: Emil Salman

A Tear In The Matrix/A Disturbance In The Force-- And Conservatives Find The Perfect Time To Cut Off Funding For Tsunami Preparedness

I want to tell you how soundly I sleep. When I wake up in the morning, my bedding is completely undisturbed. I can make my bed with one finger. Always. Friday, I bolted upright at 1am and rushed down to my computer. I don't know what made that happen. It was a first.

I saw the news reports on the catastrophe in Japan. I sent out a few tweets... like the ones above. If you follow DWT with any regularity-- or my Facebook page or Twitter feed-- you know I don't hesitate to ruffle feathers. I've been holding powerful figures to task for years-- and not just easy targets like Bush, Limbaugh, Rove, Emanuel, Boehner, Palin, Lieberman and Beck but even occasionally misguided allies like Obama, Reid, Feingold or... Emily's List and Michael Moore (was I ever wrong on the Moore front). But I never got a reaction like the one I got yesterday: scores of tweets-- many from engineers (remember them from college?)-- attacking me for reporting the news about Japan's nuclear reactor problems. Arturo Mirando Bencomo's, WebSquirrel's and PolPotWasLeftie's-- never heard of them either-- were typical:

Hopefully they'll unfollow me quickly because they're not part of any discussion I'm in. I have no doubt that the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl was very different from the ones at Fukushima and the other Japanese sites-- and different from the ones at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon. And I'm sure a bunch of physicists and engineers could have a rip-roarin' debate about containment vessels. Let me know the results-- but keep it to 145 characters. My problem is something else-- something unfortunately engineers don't consider-- the reason, for example, why technological advancement's outpacing mankind's moral advancement has our species, if not the planet-- for the first time ever-- on the precipice of extinction.

Nuclear energy may be very profitable for the companies involved in generating it, especially when it's subsidized by the politicians the companies pay off, but that doesn't make it viable. And handing out iodide pills isn't a satisfactory answer.
News reports from Japan indicate that officials there are preparing to distribute iodide pills to citizens in order to prevent certain types of radiation sickness should a nuclear meltdown occur.

If the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, or any of the others that have been damaged after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, does indeed melt down, several types of radioactive materials could be expelled into the environment. Cesium-137 and strontium-90 present long-term environmental hazards and can be absorbed throughout the body, particularly bones. Plutonium-239 exposure often leads to lung cancer, and it has a half-life of 24,000 years, so it would be around for a long, long time. (A half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of the radioactive isotopes in a substance to decay.)

But one of the most dangerous materials that could come out of the reactor is iodine-131. Iodine has a relatively short half-life of about a week, but it can do a lot of damage in that time. It will most likely escape in gas form, which makes it easy to pick up, and the body rapidly funnels it to the thyroid, where it can accumulate and cause cancer in a relatively short amount of time.

posted by DownWithTyranny

Google to Launch Major New Social Network Called Circles, Possibly Today (Updated)

We believe that Google will preview a major new social service called Google Circles at South by Southwest Interactive today. Update: Google has now officially denied that Circles will launch here, but not that it exists. Others, including Tim O'Reilly, have also now confirmed that they've seen it and that it's awesome. If what we've heard is correct, the service will offer photo, video and status message sharing. Everything users share on Circles will be shared only with the most appropriate circle of social contacts in their lives, not with all your contacts in bulk. Circles may be shown off at an event co-hosted tonight by the ACLU, an organization focused on privacy and the liberties it affords. It may not be a big public launch yet, but it's clear that this is a major product in the works at the very least.

The service has been developed with extensive participation by Chris Messina, the co-creator of numerous successful social and software phenomena online, from BarCamp to Hashtags and much more. Messina declined to comment for this story. Jonathan Sposato, CEO of the photo editing service Piknik that Google acquired last year, is working on Circles as well. Sposato may be the only entrepreneur to have sold not one but two startups to Google - having founded Phatbits, a service that was acquired by Google in 2005 and became Google Gadgets. These are heavy hitting tech leaders and the service should be very interesting.

View more documents from Paul Adams

Courting Developers

Given who is working on it, I expect that Google Circles will be as developer friendly as other Google social products, but with a much greater emphasis on design and usability.
googlehackers.jpgMessina and Sposato both have strong backgrounds in working with developers and APIs. Messina was trained as a visual designer and created the full page ad in the New York Times announcing the launch of Firefox, then went on to become a leader in the open web community. His work has included co-creating the international unconference phenomenon called Barcamp, helping build OpenID federated identity system, leading the Activity Streams movement for an interoperable social network user activity data system and initiating the use of #hashtags on Twitter. When he joined Google in January 2010, we wrote extensively about his life and career.
Right: Messina posted this photo on Foursquare today of posters promoting Google's hacker event at SXSW.
It is nearly inconceivable that Messina would be involved and the effort wouldn't be a standards-based platform play. If Circles is unveiled at SXSW, the timing couldn't be better from a developer relations perspective. Google can position itself as going exactly the opposite direction Twitter is. Twitter saw its biggest outpouring of criticism yet when it told developers on Friday that they should not build any more basic interfaces, clients, for using Twitter. It remains to be seen how that will play out, but if a major social network wanted to try to lure developers to build on their platform, this could be a good time to start talking about it.
Google Tries Again Google has launched many different social efforts over the years but has remained far behind Facebook and Twitter in its efforts. Social networking is an important technology for Google to find success with as it's a key way that people spend time online and that targeted advertisements are delivered to those people.
Google Buzz felt overbearing and bolted on. It also got privacy terribly, terribly wrong. Google Wave was more confusing than collaborative. Google's Open Social interoperable widget platform was hugely hyped as a distributed Facebook killer, but it now primarily focused on enterprise social networks.

Reports emerged last June that Google has been working on a secret social project called Google Me.
In December a screenshot was leaked to TechCrunch showing a new toolbar item on called "Loop." (Loop seems similar to Circles - I think Circles is better.) I believe that Circles will be a toolbar level service as well.

It's hard to think of a stronger angle to take than support for contextual integrity of communication and conversation, of personas in social networking.

Google has tried and failed in many other (though not all) social efforts. Bringing some of the best thinking and the best innovators in the world to a new effort to tackle one of the world's biggest problems is very ambitious.

Presuming that the things we're hearing are true (I believe they are), then we'll follow up with in-depth coverage of Google Circles once it's launched. That may be tonight, it may be as far in the future as the Google IO developer conference in two months - but I believe we are going to see at least some parts of it today. More clear than the timing is that this is definitely happening: Google is putting some of its most innovative social thinkers behind a major product called Circles and focused on personas.

Arabs endorse no fly zone

CAIRO. Speech at meeting of the permanent repr...Image via Wikipedia
Washington Post:

The Arab League called on the U.N. Security Council on Saturday to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and announced that it was recognizing the rebel movement as that country's legitimate government.

The move could significantly raise pressure on the United States and European nations to act in response to the conflict that has erupted in recent weeks as rebels have seized half of Libya and Moammar Gaddafi's security forces have struck back with massive firepower. NATO has said an Arab endorsement of the no-fly zone was a precondition for taking such action.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa announced the move in Cairo on Saturday evening, saying that the no fly-zone should have "one goal: to protect the civilian population of Libya."

The decision was made by representatives of 21 nations; Gaddafi's government, which had been a member of the Arab League, was not invited. Moussa said the Arab League would begin working immediately with an interim council established by rebels in the eastern city of Benghazi.

It is highly unusual for the Arab League to ask for international military action against one of its own members, but Moussa said Gaddafi's government had become illegitimate.

"The fatal violation and the dangerous crimes of the Libyan authorities make [the government] illegal," Moussa said.

It would probably be cheaper and more humane to just destroy Qadaffi's air force. There is really no reason to let it survive at this point. The reason we did not do the same to Saddam after 1991 is that we did not want to tempt Iran into an attack. That is not a problem with Libya.