SELF Magazine makes fun of cancer survivor’s tutu

That’s Monika on the right

A San Diego runner and cancer survivor says she was snubbed by a popular women’s magazine that used a photo of her wearing a tutu to make fun of the fitness fashion trend.

Monika Allen says she was excited to receive an email from SELF magazine asking for permission to use a photo that showed her running the LA marathon dressed as Wonder Woman and wearing a tutu in an upcoming issue.

But when the April issue came out, Allen said she was “stunned and offended.”

The picture appears in a section of the magazine called “The BS Meter,” with a caption that refers to a “tutu epidemic” and basically makes fun of the women’s outfits, she said…

Allen said the photo was “really offensive for a couple of reasons.” The marathon came right in the middle of chemotherapy, and she says the outfit gave her motivation.

“The reason we were wearing those outfits is because this was my first marathon running with brain cancer,” Allen explained.

Another reason was that she made the tutu herself. Her company Glam Runners makes them and donates the money to Girls on the Run, a charity that sponsors exercise and confidence-building programs for young girls. She said she’s raised about $5,600 for the nonprofit by making about 2,000 tutus over the past three years.

Allen said she emailed SELF magazine Tuesday night. As of Wednesday afternoon, she had not received a response.

In a statement to NBC 7, SELF apologized “for the association of her picture in any way other than to support her efforts to be healthy.”

There are dozens of messages of support for Allen on the Glam Runner Facebook page. Just another example of a presumptuous style of journalism – assuming you know everything about an incident without checking in with easy and involved sources.

Apology noted. For what it’s worth.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

George W doing fundraiser for group trying to convert Jews — to bring about a second coming of Christ


Next week, former President George W. Bush is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser in Irving, Texas, for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that trains people in the United States, Israel, and around the world to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The organization’s goal: to “restore” Israel and the Jews and bring about about the second coming of Christ…

This 1st paragraph follows with an explanation why this is controversial. Har. I don’t think many folks outside Waco need explanations.

Based in Dallas, the MJBI claims that it acts like the Apostle Paul in helping to “educate Christians in their role to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and thus save some of them (Romans 11:11-14).” It has Bible schools in 12 countries, an online school of “Messianic theology,” and programs to train Messianic rabbis and pastors. Its logos feature a star of David and a menorah, and its website promotes the weekly Torah portion, a “Yiddish Mama’s Kitchen,” and links to purchase Judaica and books, such as Christ in the Old Testament. The nonprofit organization brought in approximately $1.2 million in revenue in 2011, the last year for which records are available.

This year’s event is designed to bring in funds for the group’s proselytizing operations. And the former president is helping out with more than just speech-making. The most expensive of the ticket packages, which range from $100 to $100,000, includes 20 invitations to a VIP reception and photo opportunity with Bush, 10 signed copies of Bush’s book Decision Points, and passes to tour the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Top donations get you a box of crayons to go with Bush’s book.

Grad students press on with fundraiser — facing an apple shortage

Cornell University — This year’s smaller apple crop didn’t stop College of Agriculture and Life Sciences graduate students from continuing a favorite fall tradition at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES): using apples from the station’s field trials and breeding programs to press cider, and selling that cider to fund scholarships for high school seniors.

“We use different varieties depending on the year,” said Erik Smith, a graduate student and member of the Student Association of the Geneva Experiment Station (SAGES). “Our main varieties this season were Empire and Crispin. Empires are quite sweet while Crispin tend to be more acidic, so combining the two makes for a nice balance of flavors.”

The student-made cider has become a popular autumn offering at NYSAES, and the students’ biggest concern this year was making enough to meet the demand.

“The unusual spring weather did affect the crop,” said Smith. “There weren’t as many apples, and the quality of those we had to pick from wasn’t what it usually is.” But thanks to donations from the programs of Kerik Cox, associate professor of plant pathology, and Herb Cooley, food science technician, the students stockpiled enough for the year’s pressings.

One thing that sets the students’ cider apart is how fully local it is. Not only are the apples grown and harvested at NYSAES, but some of the varieties used were first developed by Cornell apple breeders. The Empire apple, developed in 1966, is one of 66 Cornell-developed varieties and one of the most successful varieties ever released by the station.

Even the pasteurization process is homegrown. The ultraviolet pasteurization technique the students use was developed at NYSAES by Randy Worobo, associate professor of food microbiology, and his lab members as an alternative to thermal pasteurization…

Seven high school seniors have received awards.

“For me, this is a way of giving back to the community,” said Smith. “Most of us are studying in Geneva for only a short time, but we want to be able to call it home. Since so much of the region’s economy depends on agriculture, we’ve decided to lend a hand to students who’ve chosen agriculture as a career. Plus, our cider tastes great.”

My kind of university. Rooted in the community. Serving humanity.

Desperate ‘walk of shame’ revealed as publicity stunt

Xie Sanxiu, a poor migrant textile worker, was showered with money and sympathy after internet users heard how she had been forced to withdraw her daughter from Guangzhou Children’s Hospital because of a lack of funds.

The case became an online cause célèbre after a chat room user calling himself “Rich Son of Guangzhou” taunted the desperate mother, offering to pay her money for her daughter’s treatment for retinoblastoma, a form of eye-cancer, if she would humiliate herself…

“If you can kneel and crawl on the road for a thousand metres, I will immediately give you 20,000 yuan.”

Mrs Xie performed the shaming walk, with her sick child wrapped in a blanket in her arms, telling local journalists: “Regardless of wind or rain, I must go. As long as I can save my baby, I’m willing to do anything. I hope ‘Rich Son of Guangzhou’ you will honour your promise…”

Sympathy turned to anger, however, after investigations showed that “Rich Son of Guangzhou” didn’t really exist, but was an alias of Shi Jinquan, a content moderator for, one of China’s best-known discussion forums that had hosted the original plea for help from Mrs Xie.

Mr Shi was fired from his job for the subterfuge, after it emerged that he had coached Mrs Xie in how to reply to questions from media and public, and even advised her to start her ‘walk’ from outside the offices of the leading local newspaper.

The story has sparked an ethical debate in China about whether the online moderator’s noble ends justified his duplicitous means, but Mr Shi remained unrepentant. “You can say the means were not noble and people are angry, but I’m only trying to help,” he told state broadcaster China Central Television.

Mrs Xie said that she had gone along with the plan out of desperation after managing to raise just 400 yuan (£38) after months of begging for online donations…”I’m not a great mother, as the media reported. I’m just a poor mother, a mother who told lies. I was just trying to save my daughter.

The public reaction veered from anger at the deception, to equal anger that a mother should be driven to such lengths to get treatment for her child.

Most recent reports from China describe continued and growing support for Mrs. Xie – and contempt for Shi.

I think he should come to the West and get a job on Fleet Street or Madison Avenue. Lying, misleading is an honorable profession among the dishonorable.

RNC throws teabagger Breitbart under the bus

The Republican National Committee has canceled a fundraiser with conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who is under fire for promoting an edited video that falsely portrays former Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod as having boasted about discriminating against a white farmer looking for her assistance.

Breitbart was scheduled to appear with RNC Chairman Michael Steele at a reception later this month in Beverly Hills…

The spokesman said the fundraiser was cancelled “To better capitalize on the fall fundraising season that happens post-Labor Day, while also lowering costs by utilizing existing trips to California.”

Michael Steele is concerned about lowering costs?

Breitbart has been under fire for posting the video clip of Sherrod that led to a rush to judgment and Sherrod’s forced resignation. She was later vindicated when her speech to a chapter of the NAACP was shown in full.

I look forward to the exercise in sophistry requiring neocons and libertarians to defend both the RNC and Breitbart.

N.C. school (briefly) sold 20 test points for $20

A fundraiser at a North Carolina middle school sold students 20 test points for a $20 donation.

That’s enough to raise a B to an A on two tests, or a failing score to a D.

Or at least it did until the News & Observer newspaper began asking questions, and the Wayne County school administrators ordered Goldsboro Middle School to stop the fundraiser.

They also issued this statement:

Yesterday afternoon, the district administration met with [Rosewood Middle School principal] Mrs. Shepherd and directed the following actions be taken: (1) the fundraiser will be immediately stopped; (2) no extra grade credit will be issued that may have resulted from donations; and (3) beginning November 12, all donations will be returned.

Susie Shepherd told the newspaper that a parent advisory council had come up with the idea and that she had endorsed it. She said the council is looking for a new way to raise money.

Last year, they did chocolates, and it didn’t generate anything,” she says.

Here’s a school system with one administrator too many.

Homeowner holds political fundraiser, no band – busted by Sheriff for noise complaint! Hostess arrested.

Candidate Busby
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

A fundraiser for Francine Busby, who is running for Congress, ended in chaos Friday night when sheriff’s deputies responded to a noise complaint, pepper-sprayed some of the guests and arrested the party’s hostess.

Shari Barman, 60, was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of obstructing a peace officer and battery on a peace officer. She has since been released…

I have never seen anything like it. Most of the people were stunned,” Busby said, adding that there was no music or entertainment.

Pepper spray was dispersed on the crowd, and the deputies were able to reach Barman…and arrest her.

A statement from Busby’s office said a man shouted an “obscenity-laced tirade” from a wooded area as Busby spoke to the guests. It said about 25 mostly middle-aged guests…were “quietly chatting” when a deputy arrived and asked to speak to the homeowner.

Busby said she was outside the house at the time of the incident and saw some of it unfold.

“When the homeowner asked the deputy sheriff why he needed her date of birth, the deputy reacted by restraining the homeowner,” said Busby’s statement. “Alarmed guests pleaded with the deputy to let the 60-year-old homeowner go and stop hurting her. She had recently had shoulder surgery and was clearly in pain. His response was to spray the women with pepper spray which caused confusion and outrage.”

The event had been highlighted on Busby’s campaign Web site as an evening cocktail party hosted by Barman and her partner, Jane Stratton, who co-founded the Acura Classic tennis tournament in San Diego.

O.K.. San Diego coppers not certain who they’re serving – or who they’re protecting.