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04/19/2007


Richard Branson Speaks Out Against Nigeria's Anti-Gay Bill

Virgin head Richard Branson is speaking out against the bill pending in Nigeria that would imprison gay people and those who support them.

Writes Branson, on his blog:

BransonToo sad to comprehend that Nigeria are passing a law in this day and age to put gay people in prison just for being gay.

The Prohibition of Same-Sex Marriage Bill passed through Nigeria’s Senate unopposed last week. It means gay couples entering into either marriage or cohabitation will be jailed for up to 14 years. Even people "witnessing" or "abetting" gay relationships could be punished under this sad, repressive and cruel law.

Like everyone else in society, gay people have an enormous amount to offer and Nigeria should embrace them not prosecute them.

All of us with influence in Nigeria must do what we can to stop this cruel law. I would urge educated Nigerians all over the world to do what they can to help fight this discrimination.

Nigeria's bill mandates 14 years in prison for same-sex couples who marry and 10 for those who help them. Amnesty International condemned the bill last week. This week activists delivered more than 58,000 signatures opposing the bill to the Nigerian Mission to the UN. I've written more about it here.


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #995

RANDY ROBERTS POTTS: The late televangelist's grandson in a recent interview with NBC.

RICHARD BRANSON: The Virgin mogul has an encounter with a Great White Shark in one of his fantastic Virgin Oceanic vehicles.

POKE TO QUACK: Please press this dog's button.

BILLY EICHNER: Gay comic Billy Eichner's man on the street show is coming to FUSE in December.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


Watch: Branson Guests Get Thrill Riding in Tandem with Spaceship

Whiteknight

Journalists and guests of Sir Richard Branson got a space and aviation thrill yesterday when they were invited to ride in the new Virgin America A320 Airbus as it escorted WhiteKnightTwo, the carrier aircraft for the world's first commercial spaceship, on the inaugural landing at its brand new terminal at San Francisco International. The terminal opens April 14.

Guests aboard the A320 watched excitedly as WhiteKnight Two, carrying SpaceShipTwo, swooped out of the sky to line up with the aircraft and ride in tandem over the Golden Gate Bridge and into SFO.

Branson, Gavin Newsom, and Buzz Aldrin were among guests aboard the aircraft.

Watch a very cool clip from inside the plane, AFTER THE JUMP...

Spaceshiptwo

Continue reading "Watch: Branson Guests Get Thrill Riding in Tandem with Spaceship" »


Watch: Richard Branson Wants to Go Deep

Branson

Virgin mogul Richard Branson announced plans this week to explore the furthest depths of the oceans.

Virgin believes that the Oceans offer exciting possibilities for human exploration and scientific research. Our vision through Virgin Oceanic is to explore the possibilities of enabling adventurers and pioneers to participate in oceanic exploration.

If we are successful in our mission with this innovative design of submarine, then we will have proven that a vehicle can be built to withstand the extreme pressures of the oceans and that it is possible to take humans at far reduced risks to the bottom of our Oceans. The submarine we unveil today will likely finish its days on display in a museum here in the US but if we can prove the design, Virgin may explore the possibility of future missions involving other submarines that can collect samples and facilitate science and research. When we have evolved our capacity for exploration, we will unlock opportunities to discover vast areas of our planet that we currently have no knowledge of. This is our vision.

Check out the site here. Watch the teaser video, AFTER THE JUMP...

BoingBoing has a long post about the project.

Continue reading "Watch: Richard Branson Wants to Go Deep" »


News: Tom Hardy, Karl Rove, iPad, Space, Burlesque

 road San Jose only has only one openly gay male police officer among the 1,200 cops on its force.

Hardy  road Tom Hardy gets more ink on his body.

 road Gay group in Mesa, Arizona holds vigil to call attention to suicide in LGBT community.

 road Karl Rove on Sarah Palin: Her three book stops in Iowa are "a smart thing to do...It gives her an excuse to be there as something other than a candidate, which is really important. That's a pretty smart move if you're thinking about running for president."

 road Teen arrested for attempting to blow up van at Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.

 road Hugh Jackman gets buff for Wolverine 2.

 road The Department of Homeland Security has seized dozens of domain names that the believe violate copyright laws.

 road Prince Chunk goes to kitty heaven.

Saturn  road NASA probe finds oxygen on Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea, a satellite composed ice.

 road Bowling Green, Ohio votes to keep LGBT rights: The City Council "passed the anti-bias laws last year. But opponents demanded that the ordinances go before voters, in the evident belief that they could kill the measures with a divisive, distorted, and mean-spirited campaign...(voters) rejected the notion that sexual orientation or gender identity and expression is an appropriate basis for government-sanctioned bias."

 road Ugly Betty bit actor goes insane, hacks mother to death after thinking she is possessed by a demon.

 road Richard Branson does not want to be outdone by Rupert Murdoch in the quest to create iPad-exclusive publications.

 road Nikki Finke on Burlesque: "Screen Gems chief Clint Culpepper greenlighted his boyfriend's $55+ million passion project."


Richard Branson Unveils Commercial Tourist Spacecraft in Desert

Spaceship2

Richard Branson unveiled Virgin's SpaceShipTwo yesterday in the Mojave Desert:

Branson "As Britain's most visible showman-entrepreneur unveiled his latest creation in the southern California desert last night – a giant fantasy of a flying machine that promises to take tourists out of the Earth's atmosphere into outer space as soon as 2011 – everything was in place for the aviation equivalent of a glitzy Hollywood premiere. Branson had the klieg lights, the sound system booming eerie space-age music, and the hospitality tents doling out free champagne and vodka cocktails right on the runway of the Mojave air and space port. He even had "celebrity" guests – everyone from Victoria Principal, of Dallas fame, to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California – and countless stunning young women draped across the arms of tech geeks, engineering whizzes and assorted zillionaires, some of whom had flown halfway across the world to watch a little piece of history in the making."

The craft will begin taking paying customers ($200,000) into suborbital space as early as 2011.

BoingBoing (top image) has a gallery.

Check out video of the unveiling, and a very cool video demonstrating what a flight in SpaceShipTwo might be like, AFTER THE JUMP...

Ss2

Continue reading "Richard Branson Unveils Commercial Tourist Spacecraft in Desert" »


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