Sam Simon: ‘Simpsons’ Co-Creator, Humanitarian & Rebel With A Cause


Sam Simon, who was most famous for co-creating The Simpsons, died on Sunday March 8, 2015 in Pacific Palisades, California at the age of 59.

He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012 and was told he only had three to six months left to live. That’s when he vowed to give away his fortune believed to be $100 million to charity. Simon made millions every year in royalties from The Simpsons and other producing credits on TV shows like Cheers, Taxi, and The Drew Carey Show.

“I’m not driven by long-term decisions that someone would make if they’re trying to have as much money as they can when they’re 90 years old,” Simon said during an interview for the documentary “Rebel with a Cause:

“I have a limited time on Earth to do what I can do until I’m gone,” he said. “You are a little more aware of it when you’re sick.”

Some who follow the philanthropy world closely said they’d never seen anyone try to unload a fortune quite so fast. Perhaps it was his commitment and love for animal rights that helped extend his fight.

Even a few days before he passed away, Simon was raising awareness about sea animals in captivity. When singer Britney Spears tweeted a photo of herself swimming with dolphins in Las Vegas, Simon responded.

“The dolphins you swim with are captured and killed at Taiji,” he tweeted to his 58,000 followers, referring to the dolphin hunting operations in Taiji, Japan, made famous in the documentary The Cove.
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Simon cared deeply about sea animals and illegal fishing. He donated an undisclosed amount of money to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an activist marine conservation organization that fights against whaling and illegal fishing. The group named a ship after Simon: the MY Sam Simon.

Late last year he also spent some $8,000 to save a bull that was going to be killed because he was suspected of being gay; the 5,000-pound farm animal had failed to breed with any cows. Simon purchased the bull and then made a sizeable donation to a farm to take in “Benjy the gay bull.”

Last August, he paid $50,000 to buy a farm just to be able to rescue some 400 chinchillas and close down the business. Before that, he made a sizeable donation to the animal rights group PETA so they could purchase 17 bears and free them from small concrete pens at roadside zoos in Georgia.

Simon also founded the Sam Simon Foundation, which helps needy families in Los Angeles and veterans. The foundation provides vegan meals to 400 needy families every day in Los Angeles. The group also rescues and trains dogs to help Iraq and Afghanistan veterans diagnosed with PTSD.

Throughout his illness Simon kept his sense of humor, the same quick and sarcastic humor that made him famous.

“Dr. Goldman needed a urine sample, a blood sample, a fecal sample, and a semen sample,” he says in the forthcoming documentary, joking from his hospital bed. “So I just gave him my shorts.”

Sam Smith – Lay Me Down (Red Nose Day 2015) ft. John Legend

At 56 Madonna Masters The Stage With Her New Music Video ‘Living For Love’

Madonna was the first artist to premiere a music video on the file sharing app Snapchat with 100 million active monthly users with roughly 70 percent of those being woman Madonna’s targeted audience.

In her new her music video for “Living for Love” Madonna plays a matador to men dressed as bulls in a red arena that glitters red electric, infused with the excitement of the Moulin Rouge. This is Madonna at her best, in control and master of the stage which has kept her at the top of the charts for an unprecedented 33 years.

“Living for Love” was directed by French duo Julien Choquart and Camille Hirigoyen, otherwise known as J.A.C.K., and edited by Danny B. Tull, who worked on “4 Minutes” and has also worked on several other Madonna videos. The full CD Rebel Heart will be released on March 6, 2015.

Madonna will take to the stage Grammy night on CBS  Sunday Feb 8 to to slay the bulls in “Living for Love”.

I’m attending the event as a special guest of Microsoft’s Lumia team and will provide special coverage of red-carpet fashions, the awards show and the after-event parties. Follow my Twitter feed and Instagram posts for exclusive content.

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1. “Living for Love”
Madonna Thomas Wesley Pentz Maureen McDonald Toby Gad Ariel Rechtshaid U. Emenike
Madonna Diplo

2. “Devil Pray”
Madonna Tim Bergling Carl Falk Rami Yacoub Savan Kotecha
Madonna Avicii Blood Diamonds Dahi Falk

3. “Ghosttown”
Madonna Jason Evigan Sean Douglas Evan Bogart
Madonna Billboard
4:08

4. “Unapologetic Bitch”
Madonna Pentz Rechtshaid McDonald Gad
Madonna Diplo

5. “Illuminati”
Madonna Gad McDonald Larry Griffin Jr. Mike Dean
Madonna Kanye West Dean Charlie Heat

6. “Bitch I’m Madonna” (featuring Nicki Minaj)
Madonna Pentz Rechtshaid McDonald Gad
Madonna Diplo Sophi

7. “Hold Tight”

8. “Joan of Arc”

9. “Iconic” (featuring Chance the Rapper and Mike Tyson)

10. “HeartBreakCity”

11. “Body Shop”

12. “Holy Water”

13. “Inside Out”

14. “Wash All Over Me”

Innocent Victims Of War: Dozens Of Animals Die Of Neglect At Gaza Zoo

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Dozens of animals have wasted away from thirst or hunger at Khan Younis zoo since its inception in 2008 in the impoverished Gaza Strip home to 4 other zoos in a densely populated coastal area of 1.7 million people ruled by Islamic Hamas militants.

There is no governmental body in Gaza that oversees zoos, and no animal rights movement in the region, this leaves the animals and facilities virtually unsupervised. A zookeeper is not on the premises at Khan Younis zoo and medical treatment is done by consulting over the phone with zoo veterinarians in Egypt. With this level of care, animals are receiving basic or nonexistent treatment.

Dozens of the 65 animals have died at the zoo which included ostriches, monkeys, turtles, deer, a llama, a lion and a tiger. They were among the many animals that were left without food and water zoo owner Mohammed Awaida says during the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  During Israel’s 2008 military offensive against Hamas which began in December and continued for 3 weeks, Mr Awaida says his staff was unable to reach the zoo and many of the animals died from neglect and starvation.

The zoo has a tradition of stuffing and embalming the animals that die and return them to their enclosures. The zoo has ten embalmed animals on dismay in makeshift exhibits fashioned from fencing salvaged from Jewish settlements that Israel dismantled in 2005. Gaza’s zoos have also resorted to painting white donkeys with black stripes to look like zebras because it was too expensive to replace them during the Israeli offensive.

Hassan Azzam, director of the veterinary services department in Gaza’s ministry of agriculture, said: ‘We have humble capabilities,’ but the ministry encourages zoos.

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This zoo is an extreme example of the mistreatment and neglect of animals due to extenuating circumstances but there are other zoos worldwide where the treatment of captivate animals is deplorable.

From an animal rights standpoint, we do not have a right to breed, capture and confine other animals, even if they are endangered. Animals in captivity suffer from stress, boredom and confinement.

The vast majority of captive breeding programs do not release animals back into the wild. The offspring are forever part of the chain of zoos, circuses, petting zoos, and exotic pet trade that buy, sell and barter animals exploiting them.

If people want to see wild animals, they can observe wildlife in the wild, visit a sanctuary or watch them on TV.  A true sanctuary does not buy, sell, or breed animals, but takes in unwanted exotic pets, surplus animals from zoos or injured wildlife that can no longer survive in the wild.

If zoos are teaching children anything, it’s that imprisoning animals for our own entertainment is acceptable.

Diane Sawyer To Interview Bruce Jenner: Keeping Up With The Transition

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Olympian and reality TV star Bruce Jenner, 65,  plans to sit down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer to discuss rumors that have been floating around in the media for the past year that he is transitioning to life as a woman.

Sawyer is “in the final stages of negotiating the interview” with Jenner, who reportedly is planning a docu-series on the E network about the gender transition, Jenner’s interview will air in May.

“He is finally happy and his family is accepting of what he’s doing,” an unnamed source reportedly told People. “He’s in such a great space. That’s why it’s the perfect time to do something like this.”

“It will air when he is ready to be open about his transition,” another source reportedly told People. “But he’s acting more and more confident and seems very happy.”

Jenner, who has not publicly confirmed the reports, divorced Kris Jenner, fellow star of the E! series “Keeping up With the Kardashians.”


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Sam Smith: From London Barback To 6 Grammy Nominations

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In a new cover story interview with Rolling Stone,  soulful crooner Sam Smith, 22, says he came out long before the album promotion for his Grammy nominated “In The Lonely Hour” CD. Smith, told the magazine that when he was just 13 years old he was asked point-blank by a classmate if he was gay.

“I turned ’round and I was just like, ‘Yeah,'” the Brit spilled. “And everything’s changed.”

The “Stay With Me” singer had teenage and young adult years full of love and lust — some unrequited and some regrettable.

“I had a lot of one-night stands,” Smith admitted. “I met a few dodgy friends, people I’m definitely not friends with now.”

“I fell in love with a straight guy last year, and he didn’t love me back,” he added. “I got trapped in my own mind.”

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He wrote the boy a confessional love letter, and the object of his affection wrote back, explaining that he liked him as a friend but not romantically.

“It makes me emotional, actually,” Smith told Rolling Stone, looking back on his one-sided crush. “He looked out for me for the rest of school. He just made sure that if anyone took the piss out of me, he would stick up for me. He could have made it hell for me.”

While Smith’s classmate was sweet to him, others have not been as kind. The “Money On My Mind” singer recalled a time when another student lent him an eraser, but he washed it off when Smith returned it to him. “He was like, ‘I don’t want to share my eraser with a gay man,'” Smith explained.

Another time, Smith was walking with his father in his town when someone hurled a gay slur at him.

“I was just embarrassed that my dad had to see that, because I could only imagine how you feel as a parent,” he said. “You just want to kill them. I was always embarrassed for the people around me. It never actually deeply affected me. You just ignore it, you know?”

Smith’s worst and most recent encounter took place after he moved to London and was kicking off his career. He was walking down the city streets while wearing makeup and was attacked. “I got punched in my neck, just out of nowhere,” he said. “It wasn’t the easiest.”

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Sam Smith’s smash “Stay With Me” helped him become the breakout male pop star of 2014, and with six Grammy nominations, he’s only gaining steam. Just a couple of years ago Smith was a barback in London’s financial district, eating customers’ leftover fish and chips for dinner. Now, he’s anxiously preparing to launch his first-ever arena tour after the smash success of his first CD.

Smith will be performing live at the 57th Annual Grammys Sunday, February 8 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

I’m attending the event as a special guest of Microsoft’s Lumia team and will provide special coverage of red-carpet fashions, the awards show and the after-event parties. Follow my Twitter feed and Instagram posts for exclusive content.

Premiere: ‘Earned It’ From The ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey Soundtrack’ – The Weekend

The 19 Shades Of Sons Of Anarchy Star Charlie Hunnam

When-He-Channeled-Jax-EW

British actor Charlie Hunnam’s has been in the spotlight for more than a decade. Thanks to the popularity of Sons of Anarchy, his starring role in 2013’s Pacific Rim, and the fact that he backed out of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, Charlie has definitely been making  a name for himself in film and TV. Feast your eyes on a dose of eye candy and relive his sexiest moments on Sons of Anarchy.


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Vietnam’s Dirty Little Secret: Hell On Earth For Dogs And The Barbaric Dog Meat Industry

SOI DOG

There are no laws against animal cruelty in Vietnam.

Eating dogs is not only a cruel and barbaric activity practiced in Vietnam it has also become big business where activists say up to 5 million dogs are brutally slaughtered annually. Dog meat is more expensive than pork and can sell for up to $40.00 a dish in high-end restaurants in Hanoi.

The horror starts for many dogs as they are snatched from the streets and backyards in Thailand and tossed into cramped, filthy cages. With no food or water and barely enough room to move, many will suffocate, be crushed to death or die from exposure. Shockingly, their torture has only just begun.

In Hanoi Vietnam’ capital seven tons of live dogs are shipped (smuggled) to Vietnam each day from neighboring Thailand and Laos over the Mekong River. Once they arrive in Hanoi, the dogs are stored in deep pits before being slaughtered and sold on to restaurants to be cooked and eaten. One busy holding house processes around 2,000 live dogs every day, with up to 200 squashed into each cage.

Nguyen Tien Tung is one of the men that run a Hanoi slaughter-house, frenetic and filthy the 42-year-old has an open air concrete patio which leads on to a busy road lined with industrial supply shops. Mr. Tung reaches into a cage and caresses the dog closest to the door. As it starts wagging its tail, he grabs a heavy metal pipe, hits the dog across the head, then, laughing loudly, slams the cage door closed. Some of the dogs are still sporting collars, thousands of dogs are stolen from gardens and porches in Thailand with many being stolen at night in Vietnam.

On the leafy streets of north Hanoi’s Cau Giay district there are a number of dog meat restaurants no one knows when the Vietnamese started eating dogs but its consumption primarily in the north is increasingly popular for drinking parties, family reunions and special occasion. Vietnamese erroneously believe it is said to increase a man’s virility, warm the blood and provide medicinal cures.

That Rae is a sleepy little town in Thailand’s paddy-filled north-eastern state of Sakon Nakhon. That Rae has been trading dogs for 150 years when a group of Vietnamese Catholics fled persecution in Vietnam. Today, locals say at least 5,000 people one-third of the population supplement their meager farming incomes by snatching, selling or killing dogs for local and foreign consumption.

Many Vietnamese believe the more the dogs suffer before it dies, the tastier its meat, which explains the brutal way the dogs are killed in Vietnam, usually being bludgeoned with a heavy metal pipe 10 to 12 times, having their throats slit, being stabbed in the chest or being burned alive. The dogs are also force-fed like foie gras in the West. They shove a tube into their stomach and pump solid rice and water in them to increase their weight for sale. Nguyen Tien Tung has a simple method for increasing the bottom line, “we just put a stone in the dog’s mouth.” He shrugs, before opening up his cage for another kill.

Demand for dogs in Vietnam has increased so dramatically where they have traditional been “farmed” in the countryside, this has led to 300,000 dogs yearly being tightly packed in metal cages in Thailand floated across the Mekong to Laos, then trucked hundreds of miles through jungles without food or water before being mercilessly killed. This creates unimaginable cruelty and suffering for the dogs in barbaric conditions that leads to many of them dying before they even make it Vietnam.

SOI DOG AD

Click On The Image Above To Visit The Soi Dog Website.

The route the smugglers take to reach Vietnam is Highway 8, a two-lane ribbon of road that cuts through Laos’s limestone mountain passes, past wooden shacks and the large, modern mansions of the wealthy. While still in Thailand, the dogs will have been crammed into poultry carriers or heavy metal cages, 12 to 15 dogs in each, six to eight cages per truck, every convoy worth around $5,000. They are driven, at night, to the border, before being floated across the Mekong and loaded on to other trucks.

This is a black-market industry, managed by an international mafia and facilitated by corrupt officials.

“At first it was just a handful of small traders wanting to make a small profit,” says Roger Lohanan of the Bangkok-based Thai Animal Guardians Association, which has been investigating the dog meat trade since 1995. “But now this business has become a fundamental export. The trade is tax-free and the profit 300-500%, so everybody wants a piece of the cake.”

Transporting dogs without proper vaccination papers is illegal in Thailand, as is smuggling them into Laos without customs and tax documents. Eating them is not illegal.

Despite the large numbers of dogs that are smuggled out of the country every year, only a handful of people run the Thai operation, claims Edwin Wiek, cofounder of the Animal Activist Alliance, a Thai-based charity pushing to stop the trade. “We know these people: we know where they live, we know their names, we even have photographs,” says Wiek, whose alliance relies on full-time informants in Thailand and Laos. “Some of the photographs show their cars – their numberplates could be easily traced – but they get away with it because they pay a lot of money in bribes. And as long as they keep paying, there will be people in the system who accept it and turn a blind eye.”

Crackdowns have increased, however, thanks to a large network of informants working primarily with the Royal Thai Navy, which intercepted a shipment of nearly 5,000 dogs as they were being stacked on to boats and shipped to Laos. Leading the busts was Captain Surasak Suwanakesa, 45, naval commander of the regional Mekong River Patrol Unit, who oversees the Thai-Laos river border crossing. His desire is to end the dog meat trade once and for all. “It really is a point of shame for this country,” he says, shaking his head.

The naval team depends on tipoffs from locals to crack down on the trade, but arrests are few and far between, activists say, with most smugglers paying only small fines and going back into business within days.

Pet ownership is still relatively new in Vietnam dogs here have traditionally been reared for either food or security purposes so activist have chosen to scrap the “cruelty” argument in favor of emphasising dog meat’s effect on people’s health. It has been linked to regional outbreaks of trichinosis, cholera and, a point activists underscore as the region looks to eradicate rabies by 2020.

Activists in Thailand are pushing for a new animal welfare law that would protect pets such as dogs and cats from being consumed or traded for consumption. But the law has little chance of making a real difference, Lohanan says. Few in the Thai government openly oppose the trade. Of the nations involved in the dog meat trade, it is Thailand that is taking most action to curtail it. Activists in Thailand are pushing for a new animal welfare law that would protect pets such as dogs and cats from being consumed or traded for consumption. But the law has little chance of making a real difference.

‘Regulation is not a step towards banning they are completely separate legislative tools and regulating a fundamentally cruel business and should not be our aim. We should not spend time and resources arguing to win a battle that we don’t want to fight. Our time and money is better spent bringing a complete end to the suffering of dogs. There is only one goal and we need to focus on that for the sake of the millions of dogs who currently suffer from absolute indifference to their needs and misery.

VIETNAM’S DOG SNATCHERS

WARNING CRUELTY  TO DOGS  IS SHOWN IN THIS FILM

The dog meat trade is a highly contentious and emotive issue in most countries where it is popular. As a result of mounting national and international concerns for animal welfare, a rapidly increasing pet ownership in Asia, and a greater awareness of the human health risks associated with this industry, the opposition towards the production and consumption of dog meat has become increasingly vocal.

While no country has specifically legalized the dog meat industry, a number of Asian countries, including, Taiwan, and the Philippines, and the city of Hong Kong (where dog meat was once a popular dish), have banned the slaughtering and the sale of dogs for human consumption.

Our voice is becoming louder and our determination and commitment are resolute the tide of opinion is turning against an industry that has led to the endless suffering and cruelty of millions of innocent dogs annually.

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Barbra Streisand’s Homeless Stepson Jess Brolin Rummages In Trash For Food As Family Sits On $500 Million Fortune

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Jess Brolin’s family includes 3 Hollywood superstars Barbra Streisand, husband James Brolin and his brother actor Josh Brolin. Barbra Streisand’s net worth is to be believed in the range of $500 million yet Jess is left to sleep in the chilly air of Ojai Valley.

The trouble 41 year old stepson whiles away his days sitting on benches and rummaging public trash cans for food in Ojai, California, 80 miles north of Los Angeles.

JESS BROLIN

In 1995 Brolin received a six figure inheritance when his mother, animal activist Jane Cameron Agee died in a car accident. After depleting his inheritance and losing his $800 per month apartment in 2011 Brolin now lives on the streets and sleeps in vacant lots. The 41 year old is miles away from his father actor James Brolin and stepmother Barbra Streisand’s  multi-million Malibu estate.

A spokesman for the Brolin family admitted they’ve done everything in their power to help Jess.
‘We have offered help and support and we continue to do so,’ the spokesman said. ‘We love him very much and only want what is best for him.’

barbra streisand-james brolin-jess brolin

 

 

 

 

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