Are these the ancient nude statue pics that prompted the Plano ISD to remove a textbook?



Perhaps you’ve heard about how the Plano Independent School District recently decided to remove a humanities textbook because it contains photos of ancient nude sculptures. Earlier today, the district reversed itself, in the wake of an online campaign accusing it of censorship.

Anyhow, as far as we can tell, none of the media outlets covering this story have provided examples of the ancient nude statue photos in question. So, in an effort to fulfill our role as the gay paper, we went looking for them ourselves.

While we can’t seem to find the exact edition of the book online, here’s what we came up with from another edition that’s posted on the Google Books site.

—  John Wright

NEW YORK CITY: Cops Bust Heroin Dealers Via Google Street View

Brooklyn detectives were able to identify some local heroin dealers thanks to images captured on Google Street View, where multiple photos showed the group working the corner. Also, do dealers really still use that hanging shoes bit?

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Lesbian pop duo Sugarbeach launches RightOutTV stream of LGBT musicians

Marlee Walchuk and Tully Callender of the music duo Sugarbeach are two women after my own heart. As out musicians, Walchuk said that as Sugarbeach was releasing their own videos, there were few sites to put them on save for getting swallowed up on YouTube. “There was nothing on the ‘net I found where people could see videos of queer artists,” Walchuk said. “Plus, I would mention queer artists I knew of, but no one heard of them. We saw a need and decided to fill it.”

And RightOutTV was born. The streaming video site features only videos from out LGBT musicians. The ladies worked on compiling artists and getting the basic site up for the last two months, and on Oct. 31 it went live. As far as Walchuk has found, theirs might be the only site providing the service. “It’s been a great process and we could be the only ones, but I’d hate to say that in case there’s one in Budapest doing the same thing,” she joked.

Now she and Callendar can get people clued in on gay artists and help present them to the rest of the world. Right now, the site features five hours of streaming video from various artists. They are working on putting more up, but that costs money. Right now, the site is all out of pocket. “We wanted to get it rolling and didn’t want anything to stop us, so basically we went with LiveStream, a free channel. Five hours is all we can do right now for free but that’s still a lot,” she said. “We’re going to work on getting a sponsor or some funding and bring it to a totally different level. With advertisers or money coming in, we can have better streaming and more storage capacity.”

Which means right now, they have to put up with Google ads on the page and in the stream. “Yeah. Sometimes we get Billy Graham ads that pop up,” she said.

Yikes — someone get them cash quick!

—  Rich Lopez

Don’t forget your gift and card for Powerbottom Appreciation Day on Saturday

So, what exactly do you get your favorite powerbottom? The gift ideas here don’t make much sense, but that Wiki page does give you the back story on the annual holiday. “Power Bottom Appreciation Day is an annual holiday that recognizes Power Bottoms, as well as the positive contributions that they make to society. According to Durban Bud, it is celebrated on the 30th of October, which, ironically, is also National Candy Corn Day.” Although, wouldn’t that be more of a coincidence? Bud cites on his 2006 blog post Martha Stewart hints for PBAD after the jump, but I think he jests:

According to a Martha Stewart magazine article, we’re supposed to treat Power Bottoms with the utmost respect on this day by gifting them with flowers (preferably rosebuds), fancy non-spicy dinners, easily digestible chocolates (with NO almonds) and, of course, constant verbal praise followed by light fanny pats.

If you have the money and want to go all out, Martha suggests purchasing loose diamonds and then wrapping them in a handmade gift box with a copy of Maya Angelou’s award-winning poem, “My Precious Power Bottom, I’m So Thankful I Got ‘Im.”

Because I saw it first on Wikipedia, I wasn’t sure if there was any truth to it. A Google search proved me wrong. There is even an underwhelming website marking the day. Although there is nothing overly official out there on the subject, the word is well out on what I figure is a top’s favorite holiday. And, if you see anyone donning a pink rose, or officially a rosebud, wish them a happy PBAD.

As for what to get your special PB? Well, the obvious “toy” would be a little too cliche and phallic items from the produce aisle aren’t overly special. But since it’s also Halloween, how about a nice, giant gummy worm? And some imagination.

And it’s ribbed.

—  Rich Lopez

Did Chef Gordon Ramsay’s harsh criticism drive Oak Cliff’s Rachel Brown to suicide in 2007?

Rachel Brown

More than three years ago we published this short story about the apparent suicide of Rachel Brown, an Oak Cliff-based personal chef who’d been a contestant on the Fox reality show Hell’s Kitchen.

This Tuesday, we noticed that for some strange reason, our story about Brown’s death was experiencing a remarkable surge in online readership (with now more than 3,000 page views in the last two days). When we looked into it, we discovered that the main “entry source” for recent readers of the story is the Google search phrase, “Rachel Brown Hell’s Kitchen.” But why, we wondered, is everyone all of a sudden searching this? Well, for one thing the new season of Hell’s Kitchen began last week. But a much bigger factor has surely been this story from CBS News, prompted by the recent suicide of another cooking show contestant:

Joseph Cerniglia, 39, of Pompton Lakes, N.J., apparently leaped to his death yesterday from the George Washington Bridge, the New York Post reported. The owner of a restaurant in suburban New York, Cerniglia had appeared in 2007 on “Kitchen Nightmares,” a show that subjected struggling restaurateurs to harsh criticism from English foodie Gordon Ramsay.

In 2007, 41-year-old Rachel Brown reportedly shot herself to death after appearing on “Hell’s Kitchen,” another show that featured Ramsay.

Ramsay is famously tough on contestants.

“Your business is about to f – - king swim down the Hudson,” Ramsay told Cerniglia, the married father of three, according to the Daily Mail.

Does that kind of talk drive people to kill themselves?

Probably not, says the former president of the American Academy of Suicidology, Dr. Robert Yufit.

“My guess is that both of these people had major problems before appearing on the show,” Yufit told CBS News. “I would almost bet that the show itself should not be held responsible. I would say say that the show might have tripped off something else that was going on in their lives.

—  John Wright

Face to Facebook

‘Catfish,’ a documentary about online relationships, is a gripping true mystery

STEVEN LINDSEY  | Contributing Writer stevencraiglindsey@me.com

4.5 out of 5 Stars
CATFISH
Rated PG-13.  90 mins. Now
playing at the Angelika Film
Center Mockingbird Station and AMC NorthPark Center.

……………………………..

If you’ve heard any spoilers for Catfish already, shame on the person who told you. This is a rare opportunity to be surprised in a movie theater in a time when studios are opting for marketing tactics that gets people into the theater without concern for truly entertaining them once they get there. To be sure, Piranha 3-D wasn’t a great movie, but did they have to show the final shocking scene in the trailer?

The last time an onscreen secret deserved to be kept by audiences and critics alike was probably The Crying Game. The mystery at the center of this film, thankfully, isn’t the entire thrill. Really, it’s the way filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost structure their documentary.

Capitalizing on the do-it-yourselfability of modern filmmaking — where anyone with access to digital HD cameras and editing software can be an auteur — they weave animated sequences from Google Earth, instant messages from Facebook and videos from YouTube with the same frantic browsing experience of anyone who’s ever attempted to multi-task online.

The method of storytelling, which would’ve been thoroughly confusing to just about anyone even as recently as three years ago, intuitively plays to the way our brains now function.

The story starts out innocently enough. Schulman’s adorably cute (and distractingly hairy) brother Nev has begun an online friendship with Abby, an eight-year-old girl who sent him a painting of one of his photos. Soon, he’s developed a friendship with the girl’s mom, and eventually, a crush on her 19-year-old half-sister, Megan. The family begins sending him frequent care packages filled with more and more paintings and intimate glimpses into their family life.

After exchanging hundreds of text messages and chatting endlessly online and over the phone, Nev begins to slowly uncover inconsistencies in Megan’s story. Blinded by the possibility of love and curiosity, he and the filmmakers head to rural Michigan to surprise her in person. At this point, the mystery begins — utterly compelling and nothing my sick imagination had predicted. The result is a story that’s at once heartwarming, frightening, unsettling and vivid.

The fact that the filmmakers stumbled onto this bigger narrative completely by accident has caused many critics to accuse them of faking the whole thing. But I tend to believe them.

Catfish ends up as one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen in quite awhile. Just make sure to stay for the closing frames where even more shocking truths are revealed in simple white text on a black screen. Then head home and decide whether or not you should keep your Facebook account.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 24, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Commenter: ‘The only thing a disgusting faggot has a right to is a six foot hole in the ground’

We’re really starting to like this game, and we’re hoping a few of our tech-savvy readers will play along.

Joe Jervis at Joe.My.God. has confirmed, using an Internet Protocol (IP) address, that a comment left on his blog under a post about Tuesday’s DADT vote saying, “All Faggots Must Die,” originated in the office of Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia. And now Chambliss’ office is conducting its own internal investigation to determine the person responsible for the comment, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“We have seen the allegations and are moving quickly to understand the facts. This office has not and will not tolerate any activity of the sort alleged,” Chambliss spokeswoman Bronwyn Lance Chester said. “Once we have ascertained whether these claims are true, we will take the appropriate steps.”

Which brings us to a comment that was left here on Instant Tea on Tuesday, below a post about Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Pete Sessions receiving awards from the Log Cabin Republicans. The comment posted by someone calling himself “BillyBob” said: “the only thing a disgusting faggot has a right to is a six foot hole in the ground.”

We’re no experts, but using Google alone we’ve managed to trace the source of the comment to the area of Brady, Texas. So what we’re wondering is, can any of our readers figure out who posted it? If so, shoot us an e-mail. We’d like to know.

Here’s the full IP address: 71.116.4.78

—  John Wright

Censorship on Google Instant

GOOGLE INSTANT X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMThe Web is buzzing about Google’s latest advancement, Google Instant, which doesn’t even wait for the user to click the search button after typing a query. It simply goes straight to the page by predicting what you will type, as you type it.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

Fort Gay, rugby slurs and Tea Party hatefulness: Learning the lesson that words matter

Former Tea Party official Tim Ravndal, left, and Olympic champion swimmer Stephanie Rice, right, both learned lessons this week about the power of words.

I have two sons in middle school, so I know for a fact that children call each other names all the time. Some are silly. Like the time the younger son called his older brother a butthead, and the older brother responded with, “Well, you’re a butt-er head.” I don’t think that one came out the way he intended.

But one day, when the younger brother was calling the older one names, the older one responded, “Sticks and stones may break my bones. But words will never hurt me.” Then he hesitated, turned to me and said, “But that’s not really true, is it? Words can hurt a lot.”

Yep, I told him. Words matter very, very much. Below are three examples how they matter:

—  admin