Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teen Choice Awards honor 4 Nashville recording acts

Swift claimed six statues, including the organization’s most prestigious, The Ultimate Choice Award, to make her the most awarded winner in the show’s history. In addition, Swift won Choice honors for female artist, female country artist, country single, breakup song and red carpet fashion icon female.

Paramore collected trophies for Choice Music rock group and rock track. Urban won male country artist; Lady Antebellum won country group.

The evening’s other big winners included Selena Gomez, who took home five awards, and her boyfriend, Justin Bieber, who picked up four nods.

Kanye West,Jay-Z live up

How confident are Kanye West and Jay-Z in their abilities? Confident enough to call their first full-fledged venture together Watch the Throne without fear that snarky critics and Internet commenters might suggest that the hotly hyped endeavor is worthy of being flushed.

And the self-assurance of the hip-hop kingpins, it turns out, is not misplaced.

Watch the Throne (Roc-A-Fella *** ½), which went on sale exclusively on iTunes on Monday and will be sold on CD solely at Best Buy starting Friday, is the rare, surprisingly serious-minded superstar collaboration that plays to both parties' strengths.

The duo first worked together when West provided beats for "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" and "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)," two standout cuts on Jay-Z's 2001 album The Blueprint. They'll tour together this fall as The Throne, including a date at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia on Nov. 2, for which tickets went on sale Monday.

Despite being as highly anticipated as any album this year, Watch the Throne wins the expectations game. And that's a surprise. Neither "H.A.M.," the operatic boast included as a bonus track on the deluxe edition, nor "Otis," the fun but frivolous cut that samples Otis Redding and was released a few weeks back, suggested that Jay-Z and West would bring out the best in each other.

Happily, evidence of such is plentiful throughout. It starts with the opening track, "No Church in the Wild," in which Frank Ocean of the hip-hop collective Odd Future sets a soul-searching, spiritually inclined tone. Before the marquee attractions are heard, Ocean, in a quietly commanding voice, sings the hook: "What's a king to a God? What's a God to a king? What's a God to a nonbeliever?"

Those questions set the stage for a winning tag-team affair in which two heavy hitters share equal time on the mike, with West's more impetuous yet self-scrutinizing rhymes giving way to Jay-Z's seemingly offhand master-class deliveries.

A thoughtful and effectively playful Watch the Throne track is "New Day," produced by the Wu Tang Clan's The RZA. It finds the MCs musing about growing up fatherless, and promising to do better for their as-yet-unborn sons.

"I'll never let my son have an ego, he'll be nice to everyone wherever we go," West rhymes. In the next couplet, referencing his telethon remarks criticizing George Bush after Hurricane Katrina, he adds: "I'll even make him be a Republican, so everyone knows he like white people."

Jay-Z, 41, insouciantly joshes about the super-celebrity he enjoys with his wife, Beyoncé - who puts her four-alarm voice to work on the party track "Lift Off." "Sorry junior, I already ruined ya," he rhymes. "Ain't even been born yet, paparazzi already pursuing ya."

Mysterious Orange Goo in Alaska Tiny Eggs of Unknown Species

he mysterious orange colored goo that washed upon the shores of an Alaskan village last week has been identified. Denying rumors that suggested that the orange stuff was a form of alien life, Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lab said on Monday that it was a mass of microscopic eggs filled with fatty droplets, most likely to be of a small crustacean.

"We now think these are some sort of small crustacean egg or embryo, with a lipid oil droplet in the middle causing the orange color," Jeep Rice, a lead NOAA scientist at the Juneau lab, said in a release.

"So this is natural. It is not chemical pollution; it is not a man-made substance," Rice added.

Scientists believe that the substance is some kind of crustacean eggs; however, they are not sure enough about the species. They also don't know whether the substance is poisonous. This is what makes the residents of Kivalina, an Inupiat Eskimo community, worried.

"Certain organisms can produce toxins, and you can't tell if that's the case (here) until you know what species it is," said Emanuel Hignutt, analytical chemistry manager for the state Environmental Health Laboratory.

"It was easy to see cellular structure surrounding the lipid droplet, and to identify this as 'animal'," said Rice. "We have determined these are small invertebrate eggs, although we cannot tell which species."

According to Janet Mitchell, Kivalina city administrator, the substance may have rained down on the village Wednesday evening as it was found in buckets used by some residents to collect rainwater that night.

The samples of the mysterious substance have sent to the Institute for Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Monday.

DNA building blocks found in meteorites

For 50 years, scientists have debated whether the components of DNA — the molecule central to all life on Earth — could spontaneously form in space. A new analysis of a dozen meteorites found in Antarctica and elsewhere presents the strongest evidence yet that the answer is yes.

Meteorites are space rocks that have fallen to the ground, and the new report bolsters the notion that heavy meteorite bombardment of the early Earth may have seeded the planet with the stuff of life. While life has not been found beyond Earth, all earthly plants and animals rely on DNA to store genetic information. At the center of the ladder-like DNA molecule lie ring-like structures called nucleobases.

Perry to test GOP interest

Leaning toward a presidential run, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will visit at least two early primary states -- South Carolina and New Hampshire -- on Saturday at the same time most of his would-be GOP opponents are competing in an important test vote in Iowa.

A Republican with links to the governor said Perry won't go forward if he can't secure enough financial commitments by this weekend.

Spokesman Mark Miner said Monday: "The governor is not a candidate for office at this time. Stay tuned."

House page program ending

Leaders are ending the page program that began in the 1820s, allowing high school students to serve as messengers while getting a behind-the-scenes look at Congress that few Americans ever get.

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote House members Monday that the Internet and email have left the pages with little to do. Their message — delivered via mail — said the House could no longer justify the $5 million annual expense.

Pages, usually high school juniors, live in their own dorm, have their own school and at times party like — well, like teenagers whose parents are away. The program, which has adult supervision, has nonetheless been touched by a few sex scandals.

But most of the time, the pages could be seen around the Capitol complex with their dark blazers and neatly trimmed hair, running at warp speed when summoned by a member of Congress. They all were smart, needing a minimum 3.0 grade average in core school subjects to get into the program.

The problem, Boehner and Pelosi said, is they now have little to do. The stacks of bills and the packages they carried, the messages transmitted from one lawmaker to another, can all be delivered electronically.

The House program will end by Aug. 31, although the Senate page program will continue.

In 1983, the House censured Republican Rep. Dan Crane of Illinois and Democratic Rep. Gerry Studds of Massachusetts for sexual relationships with pages — Crane with a young woman and Studds with a young man.

More recently, in 2006, Republican Rep. Mark Foley of Florida resigned in disgrace after it was learned he had sent sexually suggestive electronic messages to former male pages. That scandal, and the failure of Republican leaders to act after they learned what Foley was doing, helped the Democrats regain the House that year.

After the Foley case, the House overhauled the board that supervised pages, including giving both parties an equal say in overseeing the program. The Republican chairman of the board during the Foley scandal had failed to notify other board members of Foley's questionable emails. The board also was expanded to include a former page and the parent of a page.

One former page, Rep. John Dingell, said "It's very sad" that the program is ending.

Dingell, 85, went on to win election to Congress in 1955, and the Michigan Democrat is now the longest serving member of the House.

Latin American Stocks Fall Sharply

Latin American stocks fell sharply as part of a global sell off following the downgrade of the United States' credit rating and the debt crises afflicting some European countries.

On Monday, Brazil's Bovespa stock index dropped below 50,000 points for the first time since July 2009, losing more than 8 percent of its value. The Brazilian currency, the real, fell to 1.6 against the U.S. dollar. Shares of mining giant Vale and the state-owned oil company, Petrobras, also traded more than 5 percent lower.

President Dilma Rousseff has said Brazil is strong enough to confront this hurdle. Brazil is Latin America's biggest economy and is now considered one of the world's major emerging economies.

Elsewhere, Mexico's stock index was down about 5 percent. Mexico is particularly dependent on the U.S. economy, sending about 80 percent of its exports to its northern neighbor.

Chile's key IPSA index was also down several percentage points Monday.