Tuesday, September 28, 2010

DC Comics Announces it's top guests for New York Comic Con

DC Comics has revealed some of the top guests who will be on hand to meet and greet fans at the annual New York Comic Con (NYCC) which will take place October 8 – 10, 2010 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. Acclaimed writer J. Michael Straczynski will join DC executive talent including co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee as well as superstar writer and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment Geoff Johns as Guests of Honor.

Other all-star DC creators who will be participating in various panels and activities at NYCC include John Arcudi, Art Baltazar, Matthew Clark, Amanda Conner, Tony Daniel, Shane Davis, David Finch, Franco, Derek Fridolfs, Adam Hughes, JT Krul, Francis Manapul, Sean Murphy, Dustin Nguyen, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joe Prado, Ivan Reis, Nicola Scott, Peter Snejbjerg, Scott Snyder, Peter J. Tomasi and Freddie Williams II.

Are you all ready for Comic Con and who are you attending in hopes of seeing?

7 Year Old Rapper on Ellen

Was it Sarah Palin Who Was Booed on 'Dancing with The Stars' ??

Sarah Palin was in the audience to support daughter Bristol Monday night, (watch Bristol's performance here) and just before host Tom Bergeron interviewed Sarah, the audience was filled with boos. But watch the video below, were the boos in response to contestant Jennifer Grey's scores or to Palin? You decide. The video is underneath the AP article on the evening, which does not mention any boos.

Watch Bristol's high-scoring quickstep here.

Brad Womack RETURNS as the New 'Bachelor'

It's official: former 'Bachelor' Brad Womack will return to the show and continue his quest to find true love, PEOPLE reports. Womack, 37, shocked 'Bachelor' fans in 2007 when he rejected both of the final two bachelorettes, DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft, on the finale of season 11. Now he's getting a second chance to find his soul mate.

The news was revealed during Monday's 'Dancing With the Stars.' "Brad, this time, pick somebody!" quipped 'Dancing With the Stars' host Tom Bergeron.

"At first I was skeptical," 'Bachelor' host Chris Harrison told PEOPLE. "But the more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with the idea of him coming back, getting another shot." Never before had a 'Bachelor' or 'Bachelorette' rejected both finalists.

There was quite a bit of backlash after Womack made the decision-causing him to go into hiding.

"I don't think Brad deserved as much of the anger and resentment from the fans," Harrison says of the treatment Womack received from fans. "He's come out a better man and I think he's ready to do this."

The next season of 'The Bachelor' premieres in January 2011.

Chef Joe Cerniglia's Death Ruled a Suicide

Joe Cerniglia, a New Jersey chef once featured on Gordon Ramsay's 'Kitchen Nightmares,' was found dead in the Hudson River on Friday. His death has now been ruled a suicide, the Star-Ledger reports via the New York Medical Examiner's office.

The cause of death was drowning, but blunt impact injuries were detected on his body. A 911 caller reported seeing someone jump from the George Washington Bridge an hour before Cerniglia's body was found, though an NYPD spokesman says the investigation is still in progress: "It could be a coincidence. It might not be. I don't know if it will ever be determined."

Cerniglia was a married 39-year-old with three sons. He bought Italian eatery Campania in Fair Lawn, NJ, six years ago and was featured on FOX's restaurant-revamping series in 2007. When the episode aired, Cerniglia told the Star-Ledger the phone began ringing and "didn't stop for a long, long time," adding, "For Gordon Ramsay to come in and do that, it was good PR for me."

The same newspaper earlier this year called Cerniglia's appearance on the show his "15 minutes of fame that keep on giving."

In the 2007 'Kitchen Nightmares' episode, Cerniglia said purchasing the restaurant had put him $80,000 in debt. "I am financially in trouble. The debt of this restaurant alone is overwhelming. My personal debt -- wife, kids, mortgage -- that's a lot of debt."

Ramsay was particularly dissatisfied with Cerniglia as a businessman. "Why would you decide to go into business if you haven't got a clue how to run a business?" the blunt Brit said.

Cerniglia's mother Pat said on-camera: "I worry about Joe. I worry about his stress levels."

His wife Melissa said at the time: "The hardest thing for me is people like us put everything on the line for a dream. I just want to see him succeed."

Cerniglia participated in a New Jersey version of 'Iron Chef,' called 'Ultimate Chef Bergen County,' and was recently deemed one of the five best chefs in the state by Inside Jersey magazine.

"He was just so interested in food and so animated," said Jill Hanifan, a frequent Campania guest who knew Cerniglia. "He even made you want to eat things you didn't like. He would sit down and talk to you about food, about growing food. I had made some green tomato relish, and he let me talk. He wasn't just about me, me, me, I, I, I."

The Star-Ledger once called Cerniglia's meatballs served at Campania arguably the best in the state.

The Rich Keep Getting Richer... 2010 Census Report

The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record as young adults and children in particular struggled to stay afloat in the recession.

The top-earning 20 percent of Americans - those making more than $100,000 each year - received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.

A different measure, the international Gini index, found U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations.

At the top, the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, who earn more than $180,000, added slightly to their annual incomes last year, census data show. Families at the $50,000 median level slipped lower.

"Income inequality is rising, and if we took into account tax data, it would be even more," said Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who specializes in poverty. "More than other countries, we have a very unequal income distribution where compensation goes to the top in a winner-takes-all economy."

Lower-skilled adults ages 18 to 34 had the largest jumps in poverty last year as employers kept or hired older workers for the dwindling jobs available, Smeeding said. The declining economic fortunes have caused many unemployed young Americans to double-up in housing with parents, friends and loved ones, with potential problems for the labor market if they don't get needed training for future jobs, he said.

Rea Hederman Jr., a senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, agreed that census data show families of all income levels had tepid earnings in 2009, with poorer Americans taking a larger hit. "It's certainly going to take a while for people to recover," he said

The findings are part of a broad array of U.S. census data being released this month that highlight the far-reaching impact of the recent economic meltdown. The effects have ranged from near-historic declines in U.S. mobility and birth rates to delayed marriage and the first drop in the number of illegal immigrants in two decades.

The census figures also come amid heated political debate in the run-up to the Nov. 2 elections over whether Congress should extend expiring Bush-era tax cuts. President Barack Obama wants to extend the tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 and joint filers making less than $250,000; Republicans are pushing for tax cuts for everyone, including wealthy Americans.

The 2009 census tabulations, which are based on pre-tax income and exclude capital gains, are adjusted for household size where data are available. Prior analyses of after-tax income made by the wealthiest 1 percent compared to middle- and low-income Americans have also pointed to a widening inequality gap, but only reflect U.S. data as of 2007.

Among the 2009 findings:

-The poorest poor are at record highs. The share of Americans below half the poverty line - $10,977 for a family of four - rose from 5.7 percent in 2008 to 6.3 percent. It was the highest level since the government began tracking that group in 1975.

-The poverty gap between young and old has doubled since 2000, due partly to the strength of Social Security in helping buoy Americans 65 and over. Child poverty is now 21 percent compared with 9 percent for older Americans. In 2000, when child poverty was at 16 percent, elderly poverty stood at 10 percent.

-Safety nets are helping fill health gaps. The percentage of children covered by government-sponsored health insurance such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program jumped to 37 percent, or 27.6 million, from 24 percent in 2000. That helped offset steady losses in employer-sponsored insurance.

The 2009 poverty level was set at $21,954 for a family of four, based on an official government calculation that includes only cash income. It excludes noncash aid such as food stamps.

Arloc Sherman, a senior researcher at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, noted the effects of expanded government programs in cushioning the impact of skyrocketing unemployment. For example, the Census Bureau estimates that 3.6 million people would have been lifted above the poverty line if food stamps were counted - a number that would have reduced the 2009 poverty rate from the official 14.3 percent to 13.2 percent.

Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor, said while the U.S. has developed policies to combat poverty, it has trouble addressing ever-widening income inequality - even with a growing federal deficit and previous warnings by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan about soaring executive pay.

An Associated Press-GfK Poll this month found that by 54 percent to 44 percent, most Americans support raising taxes on the highest U.S. earners. Still, many congressional Democrats have expressed wariness about provoking the 44 percent minority so close to Election Day.

"We're pretty good about not talking about income inequality," Danziger said.