March 10th, 2012
Phoenix's FOX 10 reporter Andrea Robinson was in the middle of an on-air report when an unexplained, bright white explosion appeared in the distance behind her.
The strange blast was caught on tape and aired live during Robinson's report. At first, news station employees thought the explosion was a transformer. But when FOX 10 checked with local utility providers APS and Salt River Project, they were told no transformers had blown in the area.
While the source of the explosion remains a mystery, it comes just before the 15th anniversary of one of the most-famous UFO sightings in recent history. On March 13, 1997, a cluster of glowing orbs moving in a V-shaped formation was spotted in the skies above Phoenix. That incident was also caught on film. The origin of the light formation has since been endlessly analyzed and debated.
Arizona is also home to Travis Walton, who famously claimed to have been abducted by a UFO in 1975. Walton has written a number of books on the subject, and his story was turned into the 1993 film "Fire in the Sky."
And while Phoenix officials remain stumped by the strange light explosion, FOX 10 has reached out to the public asking for assistance in explaining exactly what was caught on film.
More from The Sideshow
March 10th, 2012
March 9th, 2012
I know everybody just loves it when Christie goes off on some feckless Liberal or Union school teacher, and I actually do, too, sometimes, dependent upon the situation. And yet, I can't quite figure out why he went off on this kid, who is also a Veteran, the way he did, and why many seem to be celebrating it like it's the second coming.
Think about it; what if Obama went off on a Conservative asking a simple question, calling the man an idiot, and all, the way Christie did here.
The Conservative media would have a heyday, and we would be justified.
When we complain about authoritarians and tyranny, as Conservatives, and then watch how Christie treats, no, absolutely berates, a citizen who he is supposed to be serving like this, who was simply asking a question, or ENGAGING AUTHORITY, you have to at some point begin wondering.
Now, if the kid were being disrespectful, calling him names, or just generally being an actual pinhead, then that's one thing. But I can't, with every video I have been able to view, understand what it was that was so bad regarding what the student said.
And then we celebrate Christies' temper tantrums like they're the greatest thing since peanut butter. What does that say about us, as Conservatives? Do you teach your children that it's totally right to completely lose it and be abusive to others who have the gall to question?
Quite frankly, I am not aware of any true Conservative who would treat the people they are supposed to be serving in quite this way.
I'm just sayin'.....
March 9th, 2012
Rush Limbaugh has drawn the ire of celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who sent a letter to the Palm Beach County state attorney requesting an investigation into whether the popular radio host should be prosecuted for calling a law student a “slut” and “prostitute” last week.
“Mr. Limbaugh targeted his attack on a young law student who was simply exercised her free speech and her right to testify before congress on a very important issue to millions of American women and he vilified her. He defamed her and engaged in unwarranted, tasteless and exceptionally damaging attacks on her,” Allred told POLITICO Friday afternoon. “He needs to face the consequences of his conduct in every way that is meaningful.”
In a letter dated March 8, Allred, writing on behalf of the Women’s Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund, requested that Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe probe whether the conservative radio personality had violated Section 836.04 of the Florida Statutes by calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke the two derogatory words.
The statute stipulates that anyone who “speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing to her a want of chastity” is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. Allred explained that the statute recently came to her attention as having never been repealed, and that it could very well apply to Limbaugh’s remarks as his show is broadcast from West Palm Beach.
It is now entirely up to the prosecutor to exercise his discretion on whether there will be a prosecution. McAuliffe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Allred, whose most recent high-profile clients have included Sharon Bialek, who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment, and porn star Ginger Lee, who exchanged explicit emails with former Rep. Anthony Weiner, said Friday that she has not yet been in touch with Fluke.
“I don’t reach out to women, they reach out to me,” she said. “If she did reach out to me, obviously I would respond.”
Limbaugh’s contentious remarks, made against Fluke for testifying on Capitol Hill about women’s access to contraception, resulted in widespread public outrage and dozens of advertisers pulling their commercials from his three-hour program.
(See also: Cartoonists skewer Rush Limbaugh)
“I understand why sponsors are abandoning Mr. Limbaugh in droves,” Allred said. “I think sponsors that remain with him are supporting him and providing commercial dollars to him and his program, condoning what he said.”
She added, “Hitting him economically is one price that he has to pay. He needs to be accountable in every way possible.”
March 9th, 2012
CR: Not promoting the "Kony" clip, it's quite easy to find, but the social-media phenomenon is incredible...
An Internet video seeking to draw attention to fugitive African rebel leader Joseph Kony now stands as the fastest-growing viral phenomenon in Web history, thanks to informal celebrity advocates and young viewers.
Posted online on Monday, the video had been viewed more than 80 million times by Friday afternoon, according to online measurement firm Visible Measures Corp.
The video's creators say they can't fully explain the explosive popularity, given that they promoted it in similar ways to their previous, less-popular productions.
Why the "Kony 2012" video has taken off so quickly is "a hard question for us to answer," said Ben Keesey, chief executive of Invisible Children, Inc., the nonprofit behind the campaign. "We're sitting around late at night saying the same thing."
But as with many popular videos, two main factors contributed to the virality: young people were drawn to the story, and celebrities and other public figures promoted it through social-media sites such as Twitter.
Mr. Kony, the Ugandan-born leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder, sexual slavery and abusing children.
The video aims to spur his eventual capture.
To make their nearly 30-minute movie about a such a serious topic appealing to young viewers, the filmmakers asked themselves: "How do we make this translate to a 14-year-old who just walked out of algebra class?" Mr. Keesey said in an interview.
Among other elements designed to attract that demographic, the slickly produced video features the presence of the toddler son of one of the filmmakers, to whom the narrator tries to explain Mr. Kony's crimes, as well as numerous references to Facebook and its power to raise awareness about global causes.
On Monday evening, Invisible Children held a premiere for the film at the Los Angeles, Calif. headquarters of top Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency, where actress Kristen Bell, a friend of the filmmakers, served as host, along with actor Jason Bateman.
"As soon as the CAA premiere was over, we knew something special happened, because the look in peoples' eyes was like, 'We have to do something,' " Mr. Keesey said.
Invisible Children posted the video on YouTube on Monday and also promoted it to its followers on Facebook and Twitter.
Almost immediately, "Kony 2012" ignited chatter on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. As the filmmakers intended, the video first took off among a younger audience, with early data showing that the average viewer is 24 years old, according to Visible Measures.
Its rapid dissemination was fueled in large part by links on the Invisible Children website that allowed viewers to send online messages seeking the support of "culture makers"—including Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Bill Gates—and "policy makers" such as former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
While Invisible Children suggested that its website visitors send messages to those influential figures, the group didn't directly ask for their involvement.
"We actually kind of tried to, but we didn't get our message out to them in time," Mr. Keesey said.
The five days Invisible Children's video took to reach 80 million views is a full day less than it took the 2009 video of Susan Boyle singing "I Dreamed a Dream" on the show "Britain's Got Talent" to reach 70 million, according to Visible Measures. That video ranks among the most-watched viral videos of all time, with 480 million views.
Another popular series of online clips, featuring the "Old Spice Guy," captured 35 million views in the first week but didn't reach 70 million views until five months after it launched, Visible Measures says.
"The [Kony] video and the visibility from celebrities gave it the push it needed to catch fire," said Matt Fiorentino, chief marketing officer at Visible Measures. "It's front and center for millions of people now and they're going to continue to actively support it."
Twitter users mentioned "Kony" more than three million times from Monday until Friday afternoon, according to social media analytics firm PeopleBrowsr.
By Friday afternoon, Invisible Children had more than 380,000 Twitter followers and more than 2.5 million Facebook fans.
Though at 29 minutes and 59 seconds the film is significantly longer than most other viral videos, it was expressly designed to be shorter than Invisible Children's previous movies. "It was intentional to make it under 30 minutes," Mr. Keesey said.
Mr. Keesey dismissed criticism that proponents of the campaign might not take an active role in the cause beyond retweeting a link or "liking" a message on Facebook.
"For some people, retweeting about this movie is a big deal, and that in and of itself is a big step in the right direction for young people," he said.
And he added, his video's serious subject matter sets it apart from many viral Web videos, such as "cats flushing toilets."
On the heels of the video, Invisible Children is partnering with a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, Resolve, to launch a series of meetings around the country between young supporters and their congressional representatives, designed to provide a forum to encourage action with respect to Mr. Kony.
But activists and government officials in Uganda criticized the movie as outdated and irrelevant. Okot Patrick, a local official in Mr. Kony's hometown of Gulu, in northern Uganda, said the rebellion no longer is an issue. Instead, officials are focusing on the resettlement of more than 2.5 million people displaced by the war.
"People have more pressing problems such as poverty and diseases," Mr. Patrick said.
Even so, other charities focused on helping Africa are benefitting from the halo of the campaign. Africare, a Washington-based nonprofit organization devoted to humanitarian issues in Africa, says that it has seen donations to its group spike "by several thousands of dollars" following the "Kony 2012" video.
"We're all trying to reverse engineer this," says Shomwa Shamapande, director of communications for Africare, a Washington-based non-profit organization devoted to Africa.
—Nicholas Bariyo contributed to this article.
A version of this article appeared Mar. 10, 2012, on page B3 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: How 'Kony' Clip Caught Fire Online.