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NEWS: A Pansexual Legislator In Texas, A Tormented Androgyne In London, And The Sanctity Of Marriage In Nevada

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Towleroad-roadicon After his London disappointment, gay Aussie diver Matthew Mitcham ponders the future:

Mitcham ... has had enough of the incessant pounding and had gone to London pretty much convinced that he and his body couldn't take much more. But then he felt his love of the Olympic Games reignited, so much so that he never wants to miss another one of them. That means either joining the dread ranks of those reporting on his sport, or continuing in it, almost certainly in the shape-shifting role of a springboard diver.

"I've always been a platform specialist who's done springboard either to fill spots or because I was semi-OK at it," Mitcham said. "So I have been in discussion with Chava (Sobrino), my coach, about the possibility of becoming solely a springboard diver. It's certainly a possibility and I'm not really going to take a holiday when I get home. I'm actually going to start working on the strength to become a springboard diver right away because it's going to take a long time to get my thighs as big as (China's) He Chong's."

Towleroad-roadicon Now that she's running unopposed, Texas pol Mary Gonzalez has come out. Not as a lesbian -- she already did that -- but as pansexual:

“During the campaign if I had identified as pansexual, I would have overwhelmed everyone,” she said this week, adding that people don’t know what being pan means. “Now that I’m out of the campaign, I’m completely much more able to define it.”

Although her election focused on helping El Paso’s District 75 citizens gain access to clean drinking water and better educational opportunities, her sexuality was front and center, and something she had to repeatedly address. Mainstream media called her the Latina lesbian lawmaker. The coverage led to negative comments about her dating men in the past and accusations that she was not a “true lesbian,” Gonzalez said.

Towleroad-roadicon In Nevada, US District Chief Judge Robert Jones has set a date to hear arguments on marriage equality. He'll accept lawyers' arguments only -- no testimonies:

Jones ... said he planned to rely on oral and written arguments from attorneys, not courtroom testimony from people who might be offered as experts on the history of discrimination against homosexuals.

"Testimony would be not only useless but an absurd inquiry.

CasterSemenya Towleroad-roadicon Yesterday, the lovely androgyne Caster Semanya, a world-champion runner and now an Olympic silver-medalist, looked a little like a woman throwing a race.

Towleroad-roadicon -- and who would blame her? This three-year-old, marvelously written story from the New Yorker details the terrible torment endured by the then 18-year-old athlete when her dominance in the 800-meters led to a protracted investigation of her gender. 

Towleroad-roadicon Steve and Roger have been together 19 years, and their family is very large.

Towleroad-roadicon More on Paul Ryan's homophobia.

Towleroad-roadicon How Olympic skepticism gave way to delight.

Towleroad-roadicon Reykjavik mayor Jon Gnar, at Iceland's iconic pride parade, supports imprisoned Russian punk band Pussy Riot. 

Towleroad-roadicon (They're in prison for behaving badly in a church, and could be imprisoned for up to seven years. They'll learn their fates on Friday.) 

Towleroad-roadicon Tonight, watch the Perseids

 


Occupy Wall Street Goes Global

2011-10-15_134411Today's maybe the biggest day yet for Occupy Wall Street, with events breaking out in 87 countries, including Andorra, Luxembourg, Iceland, and Senegal. Senegal!

According to CNN, the protestors' demands are typically, hearteningly anarchic. In South Korea, a protestor expressed solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street Movement, claimed to have no particular beef with the leadership in Seoul, and suggested his demonstration seeks redress for "economic problems worldwide." In Indonesia, an honest-to-goodness Communist named Rudi Daman declaimed a harsher message at a protest outside the American embassy in Jakarta:

We wanted to show that the American regime, its system of imperialism needs to be destroyed.

Yikes. Think that'll get quoted on Fox?

Happily, most protestors, even on the other side of the globe, seem to have tenderer feelings towards the United States. And despite the world's grim economic situation, seemingly inevitable slide towards geopolitical instability, and generally frowny outlook on just about everything ... doesn't there seem to be something kind of giddy about these protests? Something ... jubilant? Hopeful, even? Lookit all those smiles breaking out at Occupy Tokyo, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Continue reading "Occupy Wall Street Goes Global" »


Jake Gyllenhaal's Balls are in His Throat in 'Man vs. Wild' Preview: VIDEO

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As I mentioned last week, Jake Gyllenhaal will share an Icelandic snow cave on the premiere episode of Man vs. Wild on July 11. A preview for the show has been released in which Gyllenhaal digs a snow cave, crosses a chasm on a rope, and notes his fear of heights.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jake Gyllenhaal's Balls are in His Throat in 'Man vs. Wild' Preview: VIDEO" »


Jake Gyllenhaal and Bear Grylls Will Be Men vs. Wild

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Jake Gyllenhaal will share an Icelandic snow cave with Bear Grylls on the premiere episode of this season's Man vs. Wild:

Grylls_gyllenhaal For two days, Bear and Jake embark on a survival experience neither will forget, to an Icelandic landscape dominated by mountains, huge glaciers and some of Europe's most active volcanoes. Jake will have to go where Bear goes, eat whatever Bear eats, and on occasion even take the lead, if he's going to cope with some of the worst conditions known to man. "For me, it's all about discovery," said Gyllenhaal.

Said Bear about the experience, "The wild is always very revealing - not only physically but mentally. You've got to smile when it's driving horizontal hail and be able to face your fears and just get on and do it -- and on both of those accounts, Jake came up strong."

The Belfast Telegraph adds:

Bear revealed: "A couple of weeks ago I took Jake Gyllenhaal, reportedly the fittest man in Hollywood, on a Born Survivor to Iceland. He said he wanted to to be pushed and afterwards said he'd never been pushed so hard.

He went on: "We had crazy conditions - sleeping in snow caves, huge river crossings and these torrential storms. I was a little bit nervous as I promised Jake's management team I would keep him alive, but he was brilliant.

"There's something magical about the raw emotion of fear and nerves. I think that's what people like about the show."

Given the methods available to stay warm in such situations, it should be a glorious episode.

The show premieres on July 11.


Watch: Stunning Video of the Grímsvötn Volcano in Iceland

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Above, a shot of the Grímsvötn volcanic eruption as seen from the GOES-13 satellite.

Volcanic ash is affecting air travel more than officials thought it might:

Although airports remained open on Tuesday, airlines halted hundreds of flights amid safety concerns at the high density of ash caused by the eruption of the Grímsvötn volcano in Iceland. British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Loganair, Flybe and KLM were among carriers cancelling flights.

However, BMI was still operating out of Edinburgh and Glasgow, saying the ash remained further north than forecast earlier. The airline was constantly reviewing the situation, it said.

Also, below, the most stunning video yet of the eruption.

Video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Stunning Video of the Grímsvötn Volcano in Iceland" »


Grímsvötn Volcano Erupts In Iceland

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Just over a year after the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano caused massive air traffic disruptions, another one in that country has started spewing ash, resulting in the closure of at least one aiport.

"In an announcement, Isavia, the Icelandic company that operates that nation’s airports, cited airborne ash as the reason for closing Keflavik International Airport (KEF), which serves Reykjavik, the capital. It said a 'danger area has been established for all instrument flying that includes the upper approach airspace' for Keflavik and also the smaller Reykjavik Airport (RKV), which serves domestic flights."

NASA has released impressive satellite images of the eruption:

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The volcano, named Grímsvötn, last erupted in 2004 and is not expected to have the same effects as Eyjafjallajökul last year. Video of the new eruption, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Grímsvötn Volcano Erupts In Iceland" »


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