Archive for November 14th, 2010

Is Castle’s Latest Case Out of This World?

For once, Richard Castle might not be the nerdiest person at a crime scene.

On Monday’s Castle, Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) investigate a murder that could be out of this world. “We have a couple [crew members] on the show … who are from The X-Files, and so in a lot of ways this was our chance to do our Castle version of an X-Filesepisode,” creator-executive producer Andrew W. Marlowe tells TVGuide.com.

Check out photos of the Castle cast

It all starts when the coroner determines that the victim died in a rare way. “We find a woman who’s been killed due to explosive decompression,” Marlowe says. “There are very few things that cause it, and one of those things is exposure in outer space. Of course, Castle sets off jokingly suggesting that maybe aliens were behind it.”

Oddly enough, each turn in the case lends some credence to Castle’s theory. Beckett & Co. quickly meet the victim’s former colleague, a super-nerd who has written books about alien abduction and leads a support group for survivors. (It’s oddly fitting that this role is played byLance Henriksen, whose sci-fi bona fides include a starring role on X-Files creator Chris Carter‘sMillennium.) Things get even more eerie when a mysterious Men in Black-like federal agent played by musician Lyle Lovett begins nosing around.

“He’s a man of great mystery,” Marlowe says of Lovett’s character. “He’s asked, ‘What government agency did you say you worked for?’ And he goes, ‘I didn’t say,’ and that’s the end of that conversation.”

Castle scoop: A trip to Los Angeles and a Jennifer Love Hewitt guest spot?

This is hardly the first time that Castle’s theories have been a bit out there. Just this season — to which ABC just added two episodes after the show’s most recent episode topped timeslot rivalHawaii Five-0 in total viewers (10.8 million vs. 10. 2 million) for the first time — Castle has posited that a psychic medium predicted her own death and than one victim killed by an antique bullet was killed by a time-traveling murderer. Even though it makes for fun scenes with Castle and Beckett, Marlowe says the ideas in Castle’s adventurous mind are often the most difficult parts of the episode to write.

“A lot of times we know Castle is just tweaking Beckett, but we don’t want him to come off as just clownish,” Marlowe says. “What’s a challenge for us is to find the outlandish theory that has some credibility, some portion of it that’s grounded in truth. We often end up in a situation where his theory actually does pay off in the episode.”

Castle: Can Castle learn to let his little girl go?

Castle will be brought back to reality, however, when he is again reminded just how serious things are getting between his teenage daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn) and her boyfriend (Ken Bauman).

“Castle has to meet the parents, which is kind of fun,” Marlowe says. “He has to sit down and break bread with Ashley’s parents. We’ll see how that goes.”

Castle airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.



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Photo Galleries:

For millions of fans around the world, the Harry Potter franchise has been one of the most consistently entertaining (and lucrative) series in movie history. For the actors who played the young wizards of Hogwarts, the series is more like extremely expensive home movies: they literally grew up in front of the camera. With “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” coming to theaters on November 19, we have put together a gallery of how the Harry Potter kids changed over the years, along with how old they were when each movie was released.


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San Diego Man Balks at Scan

That’s right screw the man.  I applaud this dude.  Peace.

Folks have been surrendering their dignity in the name of safe air travel for years. Most of the time, this happens without incident. But John Tyner, who was scheduled to fly from San Diego’s Lindbergh Field to South Dakota for a hunting trip on Saturday, drew the line when he was asked to submit to either a full-body scan or a very personal pat-down.

As a consequence, he was threatened with a civil suit and a $10,000 fine if he left the airport’s secured area.  An in-depth article from the San Diego Union-Tribune explains that Tyner was wary of full-body scanners for both health reasons and privacy concerns. He even went so far as to check the Transportation Security Administration’s website before leaving for the airport to confirm that Lindbergh Field didn’t use them. (When he arrived, he was surprised to see that the airport did indeed have them.)

The incident itself started when Tyner, 31, was directed toward the full-body scanner in the security line. Tyner refused, opting instead for the traditional metal body scan and a pat-down. When he was told that the TSAagent would have to conduct a kind of “groin check.” Tyner balked, saying, “You touch my junk and I’m going to have you arrested.”

That’s when things got interesting. Various supervisors got involved, Tyner was pulled aside, the police came by, and a supervisor told Tyner that he wouldn’t be allowed to travel unless he submitted to the check. Tyner opted to leave instead, getting a full refund for the ticket, but not before he was told that if he left the secured area he would be “subject to a civil suit and a $10,000 fine.” Tyner left anyway.

After leaving the airport, Tyner wrote up a post on his blog detailing the incident as well as posted the video of his confrontation on YouTube. Both are drawing big clicks and even bigger searches. Many commenters on Tyner’s blog are applauding him for standing up for himself. One person wrote, “My full admiration. Well handled, and well done.” Another pledged to give Tyner $100 if the fine is actually levied.

In an email interview, Tyner said he isn’t sure of what consequences, if any, he will face. He’s not aware of any legal action “beyond what was threatened in the airport.” When asked whether he was concerned about the possibility of being placed on the no-fly list, he said he wasn’t “that concerned.” However, he says he is troubled by the government’s ability to limit his methods of travel because he exercised his right to privacy.

The TSA did not immediately returned to a request for comment.




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Joy to the world, the holidays are here! Marked by parties, festive decorations and excuses to overindulge — it’s also a time to take precautions to ensure our pets’ safety as we celebrate the season. “Many of our winter habits and holiday traditions could pose a potential threat to our companion animals,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, a Board-certified veterinary toxicologist and Senior Vice President of ASPCA Animal Health Services.

So PEOPLEPets.com consulted with experts at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Centerand PetPoisonHelpline.com for tips on how to enjoy a fun holiday season — with your furry best friends safely out of harm’s way.

1. Keep foods away from pets. Avoid feeding your pet rich or fatty leftovers — it can cause stomach upset and even inflammation of the pancreas. Foods potentially toxic to pets? Grapes, raisins and currants; chocolate and cocoa; macadamia nuts; sugarless gums and candies that contain xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to dogs; and poultry bones, which can splinter and cause blockage. Secure the garbage, keep your pet on a normal diet and don’t let holiday visitors sneak your pet table scraps.

2. Avoid access to alcohol. Cocktails, eggnog and mulled wine abound at holiday parties, but keep unattended alcoholic beverages out your pets’ reach. “If ingested, the animal could become very sick and weak and may go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure,” according to the ASPCA. Beware: Alcohol can also found in “rum-soaked fruitcake or unbaked dough that contains yeast,” says PetPoisonHelpline.com.

3. Beware of poisonous plants. While poinsettias are only mildly toxic if ingested, says PetPoisonHelpline.com, far more dangerous to pets are seasonal plants such as holly leaves, holly berries, mistletoe, rosemary and Japanese Yew.

4. Pet-proof the Christmas tree. To prevent your Christmas tree from toppling over should your cat or dog pounce on it, consider anchoring the tree to the wall or ceiling with durable string, such as fishing line. And cover the water in which your Christmas tree sits; it may contain fertilizers or bacteria that can cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested by your pet.

5. Avoid potentially dangerous holiday decorations. Which cat doesn’t love ribbon or tinsel? But these holiday-inspired decorations can cause serious intestinal blockage if your kitty swallows all or part of it. Don’t let your pets play with glass ornaments that can break. Cover electrical cords with pet-proof covers. Don’t place candles, including menorahs, where your pets can knock them over or get burned. Place any liquid potpourri out of your pet’s reach to avoid chemical burns if licked. Many snow globes contain antifreeze — which is highly toxic to cats and dogs – so beware if a snow globe should crack or shatter.

Should your pet have an unfortunate accident during the holidays, know that there is help available. Both the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center and PetPoisonHelpline.com are available 24 hours a day for phone consultations. (A fee does apply.)

See more tips on PEOPLEPets.com:
Top 10 Tips for Adopting the Right Dog for You
Bundle Up! 5 Tips for Keeping Your Pets Warm This Winter

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Senior Signs:

LOL …. Everywhere a sign.

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U.S. doctors still too cozy with drug industry:

(Reuters) – Doctors in the United States are still too cozy with drug companies, although they have managed to break some of those ties, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

The team at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital did a national survey of 1,900 primary care doctors in 2009 about their contacts with drug companies.

They found 84 percent reported some type of relationship with drug companies, compared with 94 percent in 2004.

About two thirds accepted drug samples, 70 percent accepted food or beverages from drug companies and 14 percent accepted payment in exchange for their professional services, they reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

“We found a significant decline overall in the percentage of physicians who have relationships with industry,” Eric Campbell of Massachusetts General, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.

In the team’s first study of industry ties in 2004, getting drug samples or accepting lunches or other food from drug company salespeople were most common, followed by payments from drug companies for attending medical meetings or continuing education seminars.

Since then, several government and academic groups have pressured doctors to sever their ties to drug companies.

Members of Congress, including Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, have been pushing to limit the influence of drugmakers over the practice of medicine after a probe showed a noted Harvard neuroscientist had failed to disclose payments from drug companies.

The moves appear to have paid off, Campbell said. Doctors in the survey say they now have fewer meetings with drug company representatives, dropping from an average of three a month to two.

But Campbell said the numbers are still unacceptably high.

He said doctors continue to think they cannot be influenced by free drug samples or a fancy lunch — a notion he said defies basic social science.

“Cultures to the beginning of time have figured that gifts engender a positive response toward the giver. What’s hysterical is the fact that physicians deny that these happen,” said Campbell, who also teaches at Harvard Medical School.

“It’s absolutely ludicrous to think that drug companies would spend all their time and money giving away this stuff if it didn’t work.”




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Quote of the Day:

Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.
– Laurens Van der Post

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