Jamaica has the distinction of being a country that is particularly hostile to gays, thanks in no small part to U.S. evangelical speakers attempts to sow hatred there. The fallout of the hostility includes GLBT youth being forced into the sewers, having nowhere else to go after being kicked out by families and suffering abuse in shelters.
On Ash Wednesday, police in New Kingston forcibly evicted a gay youth encampment from the sewers. An abandoned building they had previously settled in was torn down and a gully encampment was burned down on the pretext that the encampment "attracted criminals," so many of them resisted as they had nowhere else to go.
When taken to court, the judge fined them for swearing, but told the arresting officers that the sewers are a public space and the youth have a right to be there. Once released, the youth returned to living in the sewers.
You can watch a video report on the encampment AFTER THE JUMP...
Italian pasta maker Barilla, who last September made international headlines when he told an Italian radio show that the company would never make an ad with gay people and if they didn't like it they could find another brand of pasta, has opened a restaurant in midtown Manhattan, the Wall Street Journal reports:
Company officials picture the restaurant as an Italian version of Chipotle, the popular Mexican fast-food chain. Mr. Albano said he has already begun the hunt for two smaller locations in heavy-traffic Herald Square and Bryant Park.
Soon after making the remarks last September, Barilla chairman Guido Barilla apologized, and in November the company announced a Diversity and Inclusion Board, and a Diversity Officer.
It's unclear what has come of that, although on its website there is a notice for a "Barilla Diversity Challenge" in which "entrants will be asked to create short videos about diversity that will be submitted to the web community to be liked, shared and voted."
Of course the company could also learn a lesson or two from Honey Maid.
Chelsea Handler Tells Piers Morgan He's a 'Terrible Interviewer' and That's Why His Show is Over: VIDEO
Handler accused Morgan of not paying attention to her, and he shot back that perhaps she would deserve attention if she were more interesting. Handler said that shouldn't matter and called him a "terrible interviewer" and added that perhaps his lack of interest in his guests is why his show is coming to an end.
Yukari Iwatani Kane — author of Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs — just held a SXSW Interactive discussion in which she discussed whether Apple's vision died with Steve Jobs.
Kane covered Apple from fall of 2008 (right around the time that Jobs’ dramatic weight loss fueled public speculation about his demise) all the way to the end of Jobs' life, during the iPad launch and the controversy over iPhone 4’s antenna problems. Apple did not help Kane with her book (apart from letting her attend one meeting). However, she interviewed nearly 200 company insiders, experts and business partners to reach her conclusions and also owns an Apple computer, iPhone and iPad.
In short, her talk suggested that Apple’s current CEO Tim Cook lacks Jobs’ celebrity marketing savvy and inflexible managerial style. As a result, while Cook has maintained that Apple has not changed, his statement rings hollow considering some of company’s cultural changes and product stumbles after Jobs' passing.
Keep reading AFTER THE JUMP...
Here's three big stand-out changes since Jobs' death that, according to Kane, reveal how Cook differs significantly from his predecessor:
1) APPLE RELEASED AN INCOMPLETE PRODUCT - In 2011, Apple unveiled Siri as the centerpiece of their new iPhone 4S. In commercials, Apple showed the voice-commanded digital personal assistant aiding celebrities like Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson with things like setting reminders, locating nearby food vendors and playing music. The problem: the actual product couldn’t answer some of these same questions.
Never before had Apple released a beta product still in development. It’s true that a voice-recognition software as sophisticated as Siri needs lots of user input to improve, Apple had set up expectations very high with its commercials and previous projects and failed to meet them with Siri. Siri’s designers and marketers did not confirm that the ad’s questions would actually work in real-life, “the kind of mistake" Kane says, "that Steve Jobs would not have made."
She also admits though that Siri was a project in development before Jobs died, so its execution did not occur entirely under Cook’s reign.
2) APPLE FIRED SOMEONE FOR A FAILED PRODUCT - Apple’s iPhone 5 included a notoriously defective version of Apple Maps which encouraged drivers to drive over airport runways and off of famous world bridges.
After he refused to apologize for the failure, Apple more or less forced Scott Forstall — the company’s senior vice president of software who oversaw Apple Maps development — to resign. Forstall reportedly had a big ego and was disliked by other company executives, but many think that Jobs would never have let such an experienced executive go and would have kept Forstall’s ego in check while forestalling Maps’ failed launch until it performed optimally.
3) THE END OF SKEUOMORPHISM - Shortly after Forstall’s departure, Apple’s new iOS began to openly reject skeuomorphism, the design philosophy that all of the company’s application icons should closely resemble their real-world counterparts (such as a green felt poker table for their Game Center icon or a wooden bookshelf for their eReading and text subscription software). The open rejection of the company’s long held design aesthetic struck Kane as possibly insecure or a way to pile on top of Forstall who had helped keep the aesthetic in place for so long.
Something Kane also mentioned in passing is that the mobile computing marketplace has changed dramatically since the transfer from Jobs to Cook. When Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in 2007, “the idea was the phone was your digital hub on the go,” says Kane. Now that idea has found itself expressed in many mobile devices, leaving Apple in a much more competitive world.
Also Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix are all competing for market dominance when it comes to offering movies, music and user connectivity. According to Kane, the founders and visionaries behind those companies can take huge risks that a hired manager like Cook just can’t.
When Jobs used to unveil new products, Kane says, Apple employees and users alike felt like they had taken part in a world-changing event — a world that Jobs had manifested into being (though he obviously didn't do it alone). In contrast, she says that Tim has yet to convey a new vision forward with the company — something she thinks it will need to do in order to continue its impressive record of successful innovation.
She also adds that Cook’s delegation style of management makes other executives (rather than himself) wholly responsible for product successes or failures, and that this approach has fostered more recent stumbles and a growing sense that Apple is directionlessness.
GORDON KLINGENSCMITT: "It's a tragedy every time somebody comes out of the closet."
LITTLE MIX: Covers Cameo's "Word Up"
TONIGHT SHOW PHOTOBOMB: Jimmy Fallon and Jon Hamm photobomb unsuspecting tourists.
OSCAR SELFIES: Lots of people tried to replicate it.
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African gays seek legal help amid spate of harsh criminal penalties.
Mad Men gets psychedelic promo poster from Milton Glaser.
Family calls 911 after angry cat traps them in bedroom.
Ugandan activists take anti-gay law to Constitutional Court: "The activists — under a group called Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law — filed the petition Tuesday in the presence of some prominent Ugandan gay activists...it will be several months, even years, before judges reach a decision in the case."
National Review goes all in for anti-gay discrimination. "For months, National Review's staff has worked to invent bogus justifications for anti-gay business discrimination, condemning non-discrimination efforts as a form of government overreach. Long before states like Kansas and Arizona sought to pass laws allowing business to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers, National Review was championing business owners who had been sued for engaging in anti-gay discrimination."
Zac Efron is "100 percent down" for more High School Musical.
Ricky Martin mobbed at Rio airport.
Trans former couple who starred in Barneys' Bruce Weber campaign to release memoirs.
How many square feet will $1 million buy you in every major city?
Meet the world's LGBT billionaires: "This year’s Forbes Billionaires list featured 172 women – more than ever before – and unearthed 268 new ten-figure fortunes. At least one member of the world’s 50 richest people can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Yet just seven, or 0.4%, of the globe’s 1,645 billionaires openly identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender."
Elephants can distinguish different human languages: "A study found the gentle giants can distinguish a warlike tribe from a more peaceable people, simply by listening to recordings of their voices. Not only could the African elephants tell the two languages apart, they could also work out if the speaker was a man or a woman and an adult or a child."
New Orleans-based parenting magazine puts gay dads on cover, gets calls for boycott from angry Catholics.
Game of Thrones takes the cover of Vanity Fair.
The International Christian School of Hong Kong demands its employees align to a 'Morality Contract,' which, among other things, stipulates a heterosexual-only workforce and prohibits unmarried couples who live together from working in the school.
Skrillex releases surprise debut album.
Linda Harvey finally admits that the whole "protect marriage" fight is a mask for something else: "We aren’t fighting to protect marriage because the term and tradition are important. Let’s be honest that the only reason for this dispute is because people want to engage in anatomically challenged behavior that is observably unnatural, medically risky, improper as an example for children, and changeable. And it’s a behavior God calls sin. There is no other biblical description of homosexuality except always and only a big taboo."