Friday, November 30, 2012

Only One Third of Gay Men Have To Access HIV/AIDS Services

29 Nov 2012 15:15 Africa/Lagos

New Study Shows Structural Factors Play Major Role in Access to HIV Services for Gay Men Worldwide

Global survey finds homophobia, comfort with service provider, and community engagement make significant impact on access to condoms, lubricant, HIV testing, and HIV treatment

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A large-scale study of gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), conducted by the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF), indicates that only one third of MSM can easily access condoms, lubricant, HIV testing, and HIV treatment. Combining a multi-lingual online survey and focus group discussions, the study suggests that structural barriers like homophobia play a significant role in blocking access to HIV services for MSM, while greater comfort with health service providers and more community engagement are associated with higher levels of service access.

(Photo -

The MSMGF's study aimed to identify factors that affect access to HIV services for MSM. The online survey conducted earlier this year included 5779 men from 165 countries. In addition, the MSMGF collaborated with African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR) to conduct focus group discussions with 71 MSM across five cities in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.

Of men who participated in the online survey, only 35% reported that condoms were easily accessible, 21% reported easy access to lubricant, 36% reported easy access to HIV testing, and 42% reported easy access to HIV treatment. Levels of access differed by country income level, with reduced access to services more commonly reported in lower income countries.

"Such poor levels of access at the global level are unacceptable," said Dr. George Ayala, Executive Director of the MSMGF. "The differences in access by country income are especially important to note as the Global Fund moves into a new funding model where countries are grouped into bands by income level. Even in upper middle income countries, MSM still have extremely low access to services. Without targeted funding to MSM and other key populations, the new funding model may continue to deteriorate levels of access for the groups most affected by HIV."

The MSMGF research team also conducted analyses to identify barriers (factors associated with lower access) and facilitators (factors associated with higher access) that impact the ability of MSM to obtain condoms, lubricant, HIV testing, and HIV treatment.

Adjusting for country income, greater access to condoms, lubricants, and HIV testing were associated with less homophobia, greater comfort with health service providers, and more community engagement. Among participants living with HIV, higher access to HIV treatment was associated with less homophobia and greater comfort with health service providers. Greater access to lubricants and greater access to HIV testing were also associated with less outness (the degree to which others know of one's sexual orientation) and fewer negative consequences as a result of being out, respectively.

"As we collectively forge ahead into the new territory of treatment-based prevention, it is clear that many of the old challenges remain," said Noah Metheny, Director of Policy at the MSMGF. "Addressing structural barriers remains essential to realizing the potential of HIV interventions for MSM, and it becomes more important with each new prevention and treatment option that is made available. Investments in the development of new interventions must be accompanied by efforts to increase access."

The quantitative data from the online survey was supplemented with qualitative data from focus group discussions, helping to place barriers and facilitators in the broader context of the sexual health and lived experiences of MSM. Focus group discussion participants identified barriers and facilitators that were highly consistent with those found in the online survey, and many participants explained the ways that structural barriers at the policy, cultural, and institutional levels cascade down through the community and individual levels to block access to services for MSM.

Focus group discussion participants described how structural barriers like stigma, discrimination, and criminalization force MSM to hide their sexual behavior from health care providers, employers, landlords, teachers, and family members in order to protect themselves and maintain a minimum livelihood. The inability of MSM to reveal their sexual behavior to health service providers was linked to misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and delayed treatment, leading to poor health prognosis and higher risk of transmitting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections to partners.

Conversely, focus group discussion participants explained that the negative consequences of structural barriers were moderated by the existence of safe spaces to meet other MSM, safe spaces to receive services, access to competent mental health care, and access to comprehensive health care. Participants described MSM-led community based organizations as safe spaces where they could celebrate their true selves, receive respectful and knowledgeable health care, and in some cases receive mental health services.

"The study's findings underscore the urgent need to improve access to essential HIV services for gay men and other MSM worldwide," said Dr. Ayala. "Interventions must both disrupt the negative effects of barriers and bolster the protective effects of facilitators. Study participants clearly indicated that community engagement and community-based organizations are central to moderating barriers and promoting service access. Successfully addressing HIV among MSM will require a real effort to address structural barriers, and the findings from this study suggest that investing in MSM-led community-based organizations may be the best way to do that."

Entitled, "Access to HIV Prevention and Treatment for Men Who Have Sex with Men: Findings from the 2012 Global Men's Health and Rights Study (GMHR)," the full report can be found on the MSMGF's website at:

Media Contact:
Jack Beck
510.332.0786 (m)
510.271.1956 (o)

The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) is an expanding network of AIDS organizations, MSM networks, and advocates committed to ensuring robust coverage of and equitable access to effective HIV prevention, care, treatment, and support services tailored to the needs of gay men and other MSM.

SOURCE The Global Forum on MSM & HIV

Web Site:

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
30 Nov 2012
14:00 MAC AIDS Fund Calls on the HIV Community to Prioritize the Most Marginalized, Underserved Populations at the Highest Risk of Infection in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS
29 Nov 2012
21:44 HIV/AIDS Qualifies As "Chronic Condition" Under Affordable Care Act, Scoring Major Victory in Fight Against HIV/AIDS
12:18 Women for Positive Action Highlight Ongoing Need for More Research Into Gender Differences in HIV Outcomes
06:36 Protocol of cooperation between the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University in Egypt

27 Nov 2012
18:00 AIDS Is a Deeply Personal as Well as Societal Concern For Young Americans of Color
18:00 More Than Half Of Young HIV-infected Americans Are Not Aware Of Their Status

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Top Baby Names Of 2012

29 Nov 2012 15:00 Africa/Lagos

Photo Credit: Baby Phases.

The Results Are In ... BabyCenter® Reveals Top Baby Names Of 2012
Sophia and Aiden Hold Tight to Top Spots; Mia and Jack New to Top 10
50 Shades of Grey and One Direction Provide Inspiration; Female Comedians, the United Kingdom, and Space Among Top Trends

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BabyCenter® , the #1 pregnancy and parenting mobile and web destination worldwide, today released the results of its highly anticipated annual Baby Names Survey and the Top 100 Baby Names of 2012. Based on the names of 450,000 babies born in 2012 to moms registered on the BabyCenter website, Aiden tops the boys' list for the eighth consecutive year while Sophia holds tight to the lead for girls for the third year in a row. However, there was some movement within the top 10 as Mia and Jack joined the ranks. Moms also looked to new, unexpected sources for baby name inspiration this year.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:

(Photo: )

"A unique or unusual name remains one of the top qualities parents seek in a baby name, but it's trending down. What's becoming more important to new parents is finding a name with meaning," says Linda Murray, BabyCenter Global Editor in Chief. "Parents are looking for more substance in baby names. They want names with more significance. Meaning can come from the name itself (for example, Sophia means 'wisdom' and Aiden means 'fiery') or because the name is associated with a loved one or other inspiring person. This is a significant new trend in baby naming and one I'm delighted to see."

BabyCenter's Top 100 Baby Names list combines names that sound the same but have different spellings, making it a true measure of baby name popularity. The website also conducts its Baby Names Survey every year, talking directly to parents about their baby name decisions and diving deep into the psychology and trends surrounding baby naming.

Top 10 Baby Names of 2012


Moms weren't only focused on names with meaning this year. As always, pop culture had a big influence, with celebrities, athletes, and politicians also making their mark. Additionally, characters in TV shows and books sent moms' imaginations running wild.

The hottest baby name trends of 2012 are:

50 Shades of Grey

It doesn't get any hotter than this! Parents are looking to the spicy 50 Shades of Grey trilogy for baby name inspiration. The name Grey is up nearly 20 percent, Anastasia jumped by 10 percent, and Ana climbed 35 spots. Interestingly, the name Christian declined in popularity, leading BabyCenter editors to believe that while moms are physically attracted to Christian, they do not see him as a role model for their sons. A third of pregnant moms still deciding on a name say they are looking for inspiration from characters in books, an increase of 6 percent versus last year.

London Calling

From singing sensations to the royals and the Olympics, it was a year with great focus on the UK, and this has clearly influenced American naming trends. The boy band One Direction is leading the trend of British names on the rise. Four out of the five band members' names are up this year, and the fifth, Liam, gets bragging rights as the hottest of the bunch. Liam ranks number four on our top 100 list for the second year in a row. Additionally, the name Harry is up a whopping 57 percent since last year, and Pippa increased by 35 percent. They are also faring better than Will and Kate, whose names have both decreased in popularity.

Funny Ladies

Moms are celebrating the lighter side of parenthood this year. The first names of comediennes Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Chelsea Handler, and Kristen Wiig are all climbing the charts. Amy soared 41 percent, Maya rose nearly 25 percent, Chelsea saw a nearly 10 percent increase, and Kristen scrambled up 5 percent. Additionally, BabyCenter moms can't get enough of Betty White. Out of all the funny ladies, the name Betty showed the biggest jump – a gain of 54 percent this year.


The smart phone may just be the best parenting tool since diapers, and some moms and dads are paying homage to industry leader Apple in their choice of baby names. The moniker Apple, though still an unusual choice, rose 15 percent for girls, vaulting a whopping 585 spots. For boys, the name Mac jumped 12 percent. And parents sure like the sound of Siri: The company's voice-enabled personal assistant climbed 5 percent on the list of girl names.

And They Lived Happily Ever After ...

New movies and TV shows such as Brave, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Once Upon a Time have moms in a fairy-tale frenzy. TV characters (and the actors that play them) are becoming an increasingly popular source of baby name inspiration (up 11 percent since last year) and, as a result, names like Hamish, Angus, Graham, Finn, and August are on the rise for boys, with Regina, Charlize, Belle, and Ruby spiking for girls.

Political Mindset

POTUSes from the past are proving much more popular than the ones of today. The name Reagan increased a whopping 46 percent, and fellow past presidents Kennedy, Carter, Lincoln, and Nixon all jumped in the rankings. No such wins for Barack, Mitt, Joe, or Paul.

Space Exploration

It seems space was a huge naming inspiration for parents this year: Sky, Star, Luna, Skylar, Heaven, Stella, and Mars all flew higher than last year. BabyCenter moms aren't alone; celebrities like Uma Thurman – who named her daughter Luna – are looking to the sky as well.

For more information on BabyCenter's Top 100 Baby Names of 2012, a complete list of trends, and online tools for finding your ideal baby name, please visit:

About BabyCenter® LLC

BabyCenter® is the voice of the 21st Century Mom® and modern motherhood. It's the #1 pregnancy and parenting mobile and web destination worldwide, reaching more than 12 million moms monthly in the United States and more than 30 million moms monthly in 22 markets from Australia to India to China. In the United States, 7 in 10 babies born last year were BabyCenter babies. BabyCenter is the world's partner in parenting, providing moms everywhere with trusted advice from hundreds of experts around the globe, friendship with other moms like them, and support that's remarkably right at every stage of their child's development. BabyCenter also works with some of the world's most prominent brands and institutions to provide life-stage marketing solutions and a direct line to highly engaged moms. BabyCenter is a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.

SOURCE BabyCenter(R) LLC

CONTACT: Nicole Centinaro / Sue Murphy, Coyne Public Relations, +1-973-588-2000

Web Site:

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Top Questions of 2012

Will Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart get back together?

From Snooki to Sandy, Sheds Light on the Year's Biggest Questions - and the Story Behind the Answers

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --, a leading online brand for questions and answers and an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), today released the top trending search terms and corresponding questions for 2012 around celebrities, news and politics. This year, Ask takes its annual analysis one step further with its 2012: What's on America's Mind? survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive among over 2,000 adults in November, which sets out to surface the underlying consumer perceptions driving these questions to the top of Ask's annual list. In conjunction with the release, Ask also created a virtual flipbook, capturing some of the most notable moments of the year.

"With nearly half of the queries on in the form of a full question, we get a snapshot of not only what captured consumers' attention, but also what piqued their curiosity," said Valerie Combs, vice president of communications for "This year, we partnered with Harris to dig even deeper and unearth how the nation really feels about 2012's most captivating headlines."

More than 100 million people turned to to satisfy their curiosity around 2012's biggest news and events. And, apologies to Kim Kardashian, but the person Ask users most wanted to know about this year was Kristen Stewart, one-half of America's favorite Twilight couple. Indeed, "Will Rob and Kristen get back together?" is officially the top trending question of 2012, and if the tabloids are correct, users have their answer.

Top celebrity search terms and questions from include:
  1. Kristen Stewart. Will Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart get back together?
  2. Katie Holmes. Was Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's marriage fake?
  3. Psy – Gangnam Style. What does Gangnam Style mean?
  4. Snooki. When is Snooki's baby due?
  5. Prince Harry. What will happen to Prince Harry because of the nude pictures?
  6. Brad Pitt. How big is Angelina's engagement ring?
  7. Carly Rae Jepsen. What is the best Call Me Maybe parody?
  8. Jessica Biel. When are Justin and Jessica getting married?
  9. Miley Cyrus. Why did Miley Cyrus cut her hair?
  10. Ryan Lochte. Does Ryan Lochte have a girlfriend?
What do Americans think? Kristen Stewart may drive the most searches, but she is no fan favorite. According to the 2012: What's on America's Mind? survey, Kate Middleton is 2012's overall favorite celebrity by a landslide. Nearly one-half (47 percent) of US adults surveyed put Kate Middleton at the top of their list of favorite celebrity newsmakers, beating out Brad Pitt (41 percent) and Angelina Jolie (39 percent), Tom Cruise (37 percent) and Katie Holmes (36 percent) and Kristen (20 percent).
Top news search terms and questions from include:
  1. 2012 Olympics. How many medals did the US gymnastics team win?
  2. Hurricane Sandy. What is the damage from Hurricane Sandy?
  3. Black Knight shooting. What happened at the Colorado shooting?
  4. Jerry Sandusky. What is Jerry Sandusky's sentence?
  5. iPhone 5. When will the iPhone 5 be released?
  6. Facebook IPO. When is the Facebook IPO?
  7. Lance Armstrong. Did Lance Armstrong take drugs?
  8. Whitney Houston. How did Whitney Houston die?
  9. Costa Concordia. How did the Costa Concordia sink?
  10. Trayvon Martin. Why was Trayvon Martin Shot?
What do Americans think? Millions of users clamored for details on these headlines, but here's what they really think, according to our survey:
  • Armstrong Divides the Nation: America is split over the Lance Armstrong scandal; 38 percent of US adults support Lance Armstrong being stripped of his Tour de France titles while 39 percent do not.
  • iPhone Who? The iPhone 5 may have made big waves in the press, but it barely registered a ripple among U.S. adults: nearly one-half surveyed (49 percent) said they don't see a big difference between the iPhone 5 and the previous version.
  • I-P-Out: Like investors, many Americans were unimpressed by Facebook's much-anticipated IPO, with 45 percent of respondents believing the stock is not a good buy.
  • Time to Heal: When it comes to the most shocking headlines, more than a third of Americans point to the devastating Shootings in Aurora, Colo. (36 percent), followed by the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy (24 percent), and the shooting of Trayvon Martin 7 percent).
Top political searches and questions from include:
  1. Presidential race. Who will win the Presidential race?
  2. Democratic National Convention. When is Clinton speaking at the DNC?
  3. Mitt Romney. What did Mitt Romney say about 47 percent?
  4. Republican National Convention. Why did Clint Eastwood talk to a chair in his speech?
  5. Chick-Fil-A. What did the CEO of Chick-Fil-A say about gay marriage?
  6. Todd Akin. What did Todd Akin say about legitimate rape?
  7. Gay marriage. Where is gay marriage legal?
  8. Obamacare. What is Obamacare?
  9. Greece bankruptcy. Is Greece bringing down the Euro?
  10. John Edwards. Was John Edwards found guilty?
What do Americans think? This election year, there was no shortage of questions, but it appears Americans didn't much "Like" getting the answers from friends via social media. Despite the popularity of going political, 59 percent of Americans have an aversion to reading friends' political views on Facebook.
For more information on these findings and the stories that seized America's attention in 2012, go to

With more than 100 million global users, is a leading online brand for questions and answers and an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI).  Now available as a mobile service, mobile apps have been downloaded more than 2 million times. More information is available at or

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of from November 12-14, 2012 among 2,071 adults age 18+. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit .

CONTACT: Stephanie Cooley, Dotted Line Communications for, +1-510-922-8416,
Web Site:

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Kelly Osbourne Feature Story Launches Today on Lifestylemirror.Com


New York, NY – November 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —, the online destination for stylish living, debuts today its latest cover story with a feature on Kelly Osbourne.

Osbourne sat down with the website for an interview and photo shoot at her childhood home, the legendary Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles.

“My dad was always recording here, and I lived in villa 2A,” says Osbourne. “When I was about 13 or 14, I would sneak out of my hotel room, climb down a tree and go into the bar in my pajamas and clean the glasses so they would give me Malibu Pineapple,” she says. “If there were an Eloise of this hotel, it’d be me.”

Ten years after the debut of The Osbournes, Kelly talks through her evolution from rebellious teen to fashion star. Of her current project, part of E!’s “Fashion Police,” she says, “I have the best job in the world. Joan and Melissa [Rivers], G [Giuliana Rancic] and George [Kotsiopoulos] are my second family,” with Rivers fitting in as the “grandmother I never had.”

While the show focuses on fashion, the highlight is how they work as a team. “I’m finally starting to realize that it’s a fashion–based comedy show,” she explains. “Joan tells the joke, I give the perspective of the eccentric youth, Giuliana gives the perspective of the modern day woman, and George is the style expert.”

In time for Cyber Monday, readers will be able to shop the shoot and purchase the items worn by Osbourne including pieces by Hervé Léger, Alexis Bittar, David Yurman and Kelly Wearstler.

To accompany the story, also shot a special behind–the–scene video short. The short is available for download at:

The story and video launches today on

Launched in February of 2012 by Emanuele Della Valle, Lifestyle Mirror is the definitive online shopping source for every component of stylish living: men’s and women’s fashion and accessories, food and wine, home design, art and architecture, travel, beauty, and real estate. Through weekly cover stories that capture intriguing international personalities, Lifestyle Mirror provides a rare glimpse into their world and the things that most inspire them.

Media Contact:

C&M Media
Edward Padron
646-336-1398 × 204

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kim Kardashian is Most-Searched Person of 2012

Kim Kardashian is most-searched person of 2012; baby fever dominates most-searched celeb events; Justin Bieber is most-searched musician; Honey Boo Boo makes her debut; and iPhone 5 is the top-searched news story.

As we look back at 2012, Bing searches show it was a year of familiar faces, momentous events and baby fever.

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — As we look back at 2012, Bing searches show it was a year of familiar faces, momentous events and baby fever. While last year people were singing “Baby, baby, baby” with Justin Bieber as the most-searched person of 2011, 2012 was the year of the real baby, as celebrity births were five of the top 10 celebrity events. From new reality stars such as Honey Boo Boo to viral hits such as “Gangnam Style” and airwave darlings such as Taylor Swift, Bing captured history through the searches that mark the year’s most fascinating people, sensations and moments in time.
Based on the aggregation of billions of search queries conducted on Bing this year, here are the much-anticipated top search lists for the most-searched people, news stories, athletes, musicians, celebrity events, social networks and TV shows. The complete report, including most-searched viral videos, movies, songs, TV personalities and more, is available at

Most-Searched Person of the Year
Kim Kardashian didn’t just keep up with other celebs such as Justin Bieber (2011’s most-searched person) this year, she took back the top spot. Kim K. was the most-searched person of the year in 2012, regaining the spot she also held in 2010. Her relationship ups and downs, including a new relationship with Kanye West, made Kim more interesting than ever. While Justin Bieber fell to the second spot, he still was the most-searched male of the year and the most-searched musician, thanks to the continued support of his many “Beliebers.” Newcomers to the list include Rihanna, who skyrocketed from No. 20 in 2011 to No. 4 this year; Selena Gomez, who jumped from No. 13 to No. 7; and Nicki Minaj, who just barely cracked the top 10 at No. 9, up from No. 23 in 2011. Miley Cyrus made the biggest gain within the top 10 list, jumping from No. 10 to No. 3, likely due to her surprise engagement.

Rank 2012 2011
1 Kim Kardashian Justin Bieber
2 Justin Bieber Kim Kardashian
3 Miley Cyrus Jennifer Aniston
4 Rihanna Lindsay Lohan
5 Lindsay Lohan Jennifer Lopez
6 Katy Perry Britney Spears
7 Selena Gomez Katy Perry
8 Jennifer Aniston Megan Fox
9 Nicki Minaj Lady Gaga
10 Taylor Swift Miley Cyrus
Other Top Search Results
Top News Stories
  1. iPhone 5
  2. 2012 Election
  3. 2012 Olympics
  4. Hurricane Sandy
  5. Honey Boo Boo
  6. “Gangnam Style”
  7. Kony 2012
  8. Academy Awards
  9. Kindle Fire HD
  10. Facebook IPO
Top Musicians
  1. Justin Bieber
  2. Whitney Houston
  3. Katy Perry
  4. Selena Gomez
  5. Rihanna
  6. Nicki Minaj
  7. Taylor Swift
  8. Beyoncé
  9. Chris Brown
  10. Jennifer Lopez
Top Athletes
  1. Peyton Manning
  2. Tiger Woods
  3. Tim Tebow
  4. Maria Sharapova
  5. Kobe Bryant
  6. Serena Williams
  7. Lamar Odom
  8. LeBron James
  9. Cristiano Ronaldo
  10. Terrell Owens
Top Celebrity Events
  1. Beyoncé’s baby
  2. Jessica Simpson’s baby
  3. Whitney Houston’s death
  4. Snooki’s baby
  5. Kourtney Kardashian’s baby
  6. Coachella
  7. Rodney King overdose
  8. Grammy Awards
  9. Jennifer Garner’s baby
  10. Academy Awards
Top TV Shows
  1. “American Idol”
  2. “Dancing With the Stars”
  3. “The Young and the Restless”
  4. “The Walking Dead”
  5. “Family Guy”
  6. “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”
  7. “Glee”
  8. “Vampire Diaries”
  9. “The Bachelor”
  10. “Game of Thrones”
Top Social Networks
  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. MySpace
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Tumblr
More details and additional categories of top 2012 searches from Bing are available at and via the Bing Top Searches of 2012. For the latest on all things Bing, check out, and

About Bing
Bing is the search engine from Microsoft, designed for people who do. For people like you who are always doing more and don’t have time to sit still. Now, only Bing brings together the best search and the best people from your social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, to help you spend less time searching and more time doing. So whether you’re on your PC or on your phone, Bing is designed not just to connect you to the information you are looking for, but also to help you get things done right on

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

For more information, press only:
Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, (503) 443-7070,
Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

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Anna Karenina!

“Be bad, but at least don't be a liar, a deceiver!”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

"Anna Karenina" tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness. While previous versions have softened the robust, and sometimes shocking, quality of Tolstoy's writing, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have produced a translation true to his powerful voice. This award-winning team's authoritative edition also includes an illuminating introduction and explanatory notes. Beautiful, vigorous, and eminently readable, this "Anna Karenina" will be the definitive text for generations to come.
"Pevear and Volokhonsky are at once scrupulous translators and vivid stylists of English, and their superb rendering allows us, as perhaps never before, to grasp the palpability of Tolstoy's 'characters, acts, situations.'"
~ (James Wood, "The New Yorker")

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Why Many Nollywood Movies Cannot Make Hollywood Box Office

IJÉ the Journey, the highest grossing film in West Africa and the most successful film in the history of Nollywood.

Why Many Nollywood Movies Cannot Make Hollywood Box Office

Movies are made for the cinemas first before other forms of distribution and cinemas or movie theaters made Hollywood the film capital of the world buoyed by over 38,605 indoor screens in 5,561 sites and 628 outdoor screens in 381 sites in the US, the largest in the world.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with an estimated population of over 160 million people, over 95 million of them use GSM phones, the largest in Africa and millions of them are using the Internet on their mobile devices and PCs ; thus making Nigeria the digital media hub of Africa.

The emergence of Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry has made movies very popular among the millions of Nigerians and foreigners. Nollywood movies have not only become popular collector’s items at homes in Nigeria, but also in other African countries and in the Diaspora making Nollywood one of the largest film industries in the world due to the proliferation of home videos by both the legitimate distributors and the elusive and pervasive pirates at large.

According to a UNESCO report published and posted on the website, the most recent UIS survey results released in 2009 showed that India remains the world’s leading film producer, but Nigeria is closing the gap after overtaking the United States for second place. According to the UIS survey, Bollywood produced 1,091 feature-length films in 2006 compared to 872 productions (in video format) from Nigeria’s film industry, which is commonly referred to as Nollywood. In contrast, the United States produced 485 major films.

The survey noted a unique perspective on how different countries and regions are transforming traditional approaches to the art and industry of film-making especially in video and digital formats.

Of course we cannot compare Nollywood videos made on low budgets to the huge budgets of Hollywood films. But the popularity of Nollywood movies has made MNET’s Africa Magic channel the favourite of millions of cable TV subscribers and launched the first Nigerian million dollar online cinema Iroko TV dubbed "The Netflix of Africa" with over 500,000 subscribers and over 100 million visitors so far. And this phenomenal growth of Nollywood has challenged many Nigerian filmmakers to improve the professional quality of their movies to compete with those made in Hollywood and Bollywood in world class standards. Some of them have gone as far as attending popular American film schools to learn both the skills and tricks of the trade and have produced some Hollywood standard movies like Chineze Anyaene's IJÉ the Journey, Jeta Amata’s Amazing Grace, Black November and Emperor: The Story of Toussaint l'Ouverture, Stephanie Linus’ Through the Glass, Kunle Afolayan’s The Figurine, Faruk Lasaki’s Changing Faces and others making headlines and winning awards at international film festivals. But none of them has made the official selection or qualified for the competition at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival where underdogs and dark horses from developing countries have been given the opportunities to attract major distributors in the U.S. and Europe, and no Nigerian film has even qualified for the Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards, the ultimate zenith for ambitious filmmakers all over the world where South Africa has been nominated and with Tsotsi won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006. And I have deliberately noted the remarkable achievement of South Africa, because this is an African country not known for churning out thousands of home videos and bragging about them, but better known for making world class films in quality and not in quantity. Therefore, Nigerian filmmakers should learn from the trail blazing South African filmmakers.

Some of the ambitious Nigerian filmmakers have featured notable Hollywood actors and actresses and also used some Hollywood crew in their films to attract the attention of major film distributors in the US and UK, but featuring African American or Caucasian American and European actors in Nigerian movies is not the short-cut to breaking into Hollywood. You can only make it by making world class films telling extraordinary tales like the outstanding foreign films at American cinemas and grossing millions of dollars at the box office this year.

Nigeria's Nollywood is only best known globally as the second largest industry for home videos by mediocre producers and notorious for the piracy of American films. In fact, Nigeria is not even in the 2011 top 10 international box office markets outside the U.S. And many of the stakeholders in Nollywood continue to compete for bragging rights over how Nigeria is the second largest producer of movies in the world instead of admitting that Nigeria is not even a major box office market. No Nigerian film is even listed among the best 100 foreign films so far and the list includes non-Western cultures of Africa, India, China, Japan, Iran and the Middle East, Native American, Mexican, South American, and Caribbean.

It would take a miracle by a conspiracy of the universe for Nollywood movies to get major distribution in the U.S, because the African Americans and Africans in America who would have been the major target audience of Nollywood movies are at the bottom of the ladder of movie goers in the US. The Caucasians who are the majority of movie goers hate Nollywood movies most when compared to other foreign films they don’t even like, because these Americans dislike subtitled and dubbed foreign movies.
According to the duly verified reports of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA):
"Foreign films simply don't play with American audiences. On average, foreign-language movies make up less than 1 percent of the U.S. box office," said Paul Dergarabedian, President of the box office division of

China's biggest-budget film ever, Zhang Yimou's $90 million The Flowers of War made only $205,778 in the USA.

The following report on Hollywood box office by Foreign Policy is a comprehensive analysis of the challenges of foreign movies in the U.S. market and noted that Hollywood productions still do far better than foreign films in their home markets.

"We've tried to dub, but then the critics kill you -- and these films play to audiences that pay a lot of attention to reviews," says Mark Gill, the former president of Warner Independent Pictures.

Because investors don't expect foreign films to play well in the United States, still by far the world's largest and most important film market (China and Japan are vying for second place, but each brings in about one-tenth the combined U.S. and Canada box office), they don't get the same production and advertising budgets that Americans do. At the same time, broadcast television networks refuse to buy foreign-language products, leaving a crucial player in film financing absent when it comes to assembling the kind of multi-source deals that get most non-studio pictures made these days.

"We have a Lebanese film opening in the spring, Where Do We Go Now?, and in Lebanon it's about to become the top-grossing film ever, beating Titanic," says Tom Bernard, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, one of the few companies that continue to back foreign releases in the U.S. Despite this, it will only open on 10 screens here, he says -- compared with 3,000-4,000 for major studio releases.
Production values for American films are vastly superior to foreign ones, helped by budgets that can exceed $200 million (100 times the price of many foreign films, and at least 30 times the estimated $6 million-plus budget of Where Do We Go Now?)

There's a strange paradox at play here: While Hollywood films are losing audiences at home, where they're increasingly being siphoned away by social media, games, and the Internet, they're building them abroad. Revenues from American films outside North America constitute more than 60 percent of each year's take by the Hollywood studios, a number that's risen from under 40 percent several decades ago. Paramount Pictures, for instance, made $3.21 billion of its total $5.17 billion earnings in movie theaters for 2011 abroad. This is despite the fact that foreign-made films are gaining an increasing share of their own industries: Japanese are seeing more Japanese films than ever; so are Russians, Chinese, and Koreans. Box office is simply growing across the board in those countries.

Without a strong export market, countries such as China are likely to resist American pressure to deal with the single biggest threat to studio revenue -- piracy -- which has grown rampant thanks to websites operated everywhere from Nigeria to Ukraine. One 2007 study estimated that the U.S. loses $58 billion per year to piracy of movies, television, music, and other intellectual property, and the studios are terrified this will kill their business if it increases. The newly signed deal between the United States and China, allowing more U.S. movies to be shown there, was hailed as revolutionary, adding 14 to the present 20 films that can be screened in that country each year. (The deal has the important caveat, however, that the films be in IMAX or 3D.)

For foreign filmmakers with their foreign movies, making it to the US box office is like cracking the highest glass ceiling in the highly competitive film industry controlled by major film studios and distributors dictating the rules and terms of film business. But some new foreign movies have succeeded in making it to the Hollywood box office.

The successful French movie The Artist made in classic Hollywood style black-and-white about a silent star's fall from grace and subsequent return to fame became the first non-Anglo-Saxon film to win the Best Picture at the 2012 Academy Awards and made over $44,671,682 in North America alone. It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won five, including Best Picture, Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius, and Best Actor for Jean Edmond Dujardin making him the first French actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Another notable successful foreign movie The Intouchables has made $13 million at the U.S. box office since its release in May 2012. And other foreign movies coming up at the U.S. box office include Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone, opening in Los Angeles on Dec. 7, and Michael Haneke's Amour, opening Dec. 19. Haneke got his Hollywood breakthrough after winning the Palme d'Or twice at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009 and 2012.

Rust and Bone (French: De rouille et d'os) by Jacques Audiard won Best Film at the 2012 BFI London Film Festival and won Best Actress of the Year for Marion Cotillard at the 2012 Hollywood Film Festival.

Michael Haneke's Amour won the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and was selected as the Austrian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards.

See more details on foreign movies at the U.S. box office on,0,7754861.story

Global box office for all films released in each country around the world reached $32.6 billion in 2011, that’s 3% more than in 2010.

Each international region enjoyed growth in 2011 with the Chinese box office growing by 35% and making it the second largest international market after Japan. And the international box office in the U.S. also grew by 35% in over five years boosted by impressive growths in various markets, including China and Russia.

Hollywood studios have started to invest in foreign films, and companies such as Sony and 20th Century Fox have established divisions that finance "indigenous" film-making (Hollywood parlance for foreign films), but these films are generally restricted to release in their own countries or ones with the same language, like Sony's co-financing of the Bollywood movie Saawariya and Warner Bros with the Hindi film Chandni Chowk to China.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Monday November 26, 2012.
Michael Chima is a prize winning Nigerian writer and an expert on Nollywood and the film industry. He is the Founder/Festival Director of Eko International Film Festival, Founder/CEO of Screen Outdoor Open Air Cinema (member of the Projection Foundation), author of Children of Heaven, Scarlet Tears of London, Bye, Bye Mugabe, In the House of Dogs, The Prophet Lied and other books. He is also the most prolific African blogger.
© Orikinla Osinachi. 2012. Please, no reproduction of any part of this content in any format of media without the authorization and permission of the author and copyright owners.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Yes, JEHOVAH God Is Alive And Well And Still Working Wonders For Us

Yesterday was a beautiful Saturday for me and today is a wonderful Sunday.
Saturday morning I set out to get a children's Bible that the one year old daughter of my neighbour insisted that she wanted when the one belonging to another neighbour's child was taken from her. I gave her other publications, but she rejected them and insisted on having the children's Bible. Janet is really a special child of a faithful Christian couple and even as little as she is, she makes sure that she stops at my office to greet me whenever she is passing by with her young parents. And Janet already knows how to bow to greet elders at one year old! So, I made sure I got her the children's Bible and her parents were really glad and grateful. The fully illustrated colourful hardcover children's Bible is exactly the same kind she wanted too. It was not cheap, but Janet deserves the gift that I know she will treasure for long.
Afterwards, I returned to my office to update my popular news and entertainment blogs and work on the book cover design for one of my new books, The Prophet Lied. Then I stumbled upon Derek Murphy of who has done some fantastic book covers for successful authors including Joanna Penn, author of the bestselling action-adventure thriller novels Pentecost and Prophecy in the ARKANE series. And Derek has just offered to do the book cover of The Prophet Lied FREE!

For Pentecost, my first novel, I wanted to rank as an Amazon bestseller and make more than a standard advance for a first novel (around $5,000 USD). I achieved both of those goals within six months of publishing. If you don’t know your goals, how will you be able to tell whether you are successful? So that’s my advice; work out what you want and then you have something to aim for.

~ Joanna Penn

I am so glad and grateful to God for answering my prayers to send me divine helpers and He has always done so and in most cases JEHOVAH God uses complete strangers I have never known or met before to help me.
WOW! Great is His faithfulness, loving kindnesses, goodness, mercies, awesome favours and miracles in my life. Please, join me to give Him praise. Will someone join me to shout Hallelujah!

7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.
8 All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
from palaces adorned with ivory
the music of the strings makes you glad.
9 Daughters of kings are among your honored women;
at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir.

~ From Psalm 45.

7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll
8 I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart
~ Psalm 40:7-8.

New International Version (NIV)

~ Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, aka Orikinla Osinachi

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Is My Ex Normal Or Confused?

She posted her latest profile picture on my Facebook page.

When your ex said you should stop sending her messages, because she did not want anything to do with you again and you agreed not to call or send her messages. Then she posted her latest profile picture on your Facebook page, is she normal, confused or suffering from Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)?

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Why Do Nigerian Guys Think Short Girls Are Easier To Date?

Only men with low IQ think women are nothing more than sex objects.
~ Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Nigerian guys often rush to ask short girls out than tall girls. They think short girls are easier to date.
Not that they are afraid of dating tall girls, but they think tall girls have an attitude of being aloof.
I have seen this playing out over the years as I discovered and managed models in Lagos.
The short girls feel inferior to the tall girls even though they deny it. But you always see their nervousness in the company of tall girls.
Many Omega males, low literate Nigerian men like the low literate street guys call Area Boys in Lagos and the low literate traders easily accost short girls and women, but don't do so when they see tall girls.

I have been seeing more short girls in Nigeria these days and I am wondering if Nigerian girls have stopped growing taller or what could be the cause of their stunted growth?

The Alpha and Beta males often use their male chauvinism to intimidate short girls and low literate poor girls, but keep a safe distance and act with caution when they are approaching tall girls and frankly they regard and treat tall girls and women with more respect than the short girls. In fact, when guys see you with a tall girl, they hail you with thumbs up, but when they see you with short girls, they are not so impressed.
The tall girls can cherry pick their eligible boyfriends and bachelors while short girls are left to compete for the available guys around or Average Joe guys. That is why you see short girls tripping for tall guys to date and mate with than short guys. And the short guys are most desperate to impress short girls before they lose them to the tall macho guys. But there are short girls who also avoid dating tall guys, because they think they cannot keep them for long. So, it would be safer to settle with short guys in town.

Short men also prefer dating tall women to boost their male ego.

Salman Rushdie & Pia Glenn: It's not the first time that celebrated author Salman Rushdie dated younger as well as taller women! First it was model Padma Lakshmi and now it is Broadway actress Pia Glenn who is 6 feet tall.

Again, short girls should avoid dating shorty guys if they don't want to end up with pigmies and dwarfs later when they get married and your short children will blame you for your wrong choices in procreation.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bukola And Chico Of Classic FM Rock Eva Soaps Launch in Lagos

The compères of the Event, Bukky and Chico Of Classic FM Lagos, Nigeria.

Top OAPs Bukola Sawyerr Izeogu of the Lagos Jazz Series, Chocolate City Group and her colleague Chico Chukwuma Aligwekwe at Classic Fm 97.3 rocked the maiden media parley and launch of EVA soaps on Wednesday November 21, 2012, at The Regent Luxury Suites, 25, Joel Ogunnaike Street, GRA Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. Also present were top Nigerian news media celebrities from The Encomium, Entertainment Express, The Nation, Brand World TV, The Moment, Daily Champion, Daily Sun, City People, Ovation International, Supple magazine, Nigerians Report, TALK OF THE TOWN, Daily Independent, This Day and others.

The Unveiling of the Eva Complexion Care Soap, L -R Lady Clara Okoro , Mr. Charles Nwagbara , Mr. Emeka Oramadike, General Manager Evans Industries, Engr. Dan Nwaiwu and Mrs. Nonye Okwara of Events Gallery.

Marketing Manager Ekulo Group, Mr Emeka Oramadike, General Manager Of Evans Industries Ltd, Engr. Dan Nwaiwu, and Quality Control Manager, Mr Gbenga Adepoju.

Quality Control Manager of Evans Industries Ltd, Mr. Gbenga Adepoju answering questions about the Eva Brand.

Mrs. Nonye Okwara, CEO of Events Gallery Limited, Chico Chukwuma Aligwekwe and Bukola Sawyerr Izeogu' of Classic FM 97.3 and Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, aka "Orikinla", Founder/Festival Director of Eko International Film Festival and Founder/CEO of Screen Outdoor Open Air Cinema at the launching of EVA soaps on Wednesday November 21, 2012, at The Regent Luxury Suites, 25, Joel Ogunnaike Street, GRA IKeja, Lagos, Nigeria.

Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima with Mr. Ingram Osigwe, the Media Consultant of Evans Industries Limited, the makers of EVA Range of Soaps in Nigeria.

Upcoming Nollywood actor and hip hop rapper Aloysius Onyejegbu.

Eva complexion soaps come in 6 variants of Eva Classic, Eva Gold, Eva Ivory, Eva Herbal, Eva Pearl and Eva Forever.

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