Saturday, March 1, 2008

"Free boobies!"

from - by Sara Bonisteel

For those women whose cups do not runneth over, there is a Web site that promises to pay for a new pair, free of charge.

Women who sign up on earn the money for their breast augmentation surgery through donations from men who peruse their MySpace-like profiles.

"I figured why not," said Lindsay, a 22-year-old from Columbus, Ohio. "I honestly didn't think it was real at first. It took me a good day of really being on the site and researching it before I really was like 'OK, I'm going to make this work for me.' It totally seems too good to be true, but it works."

Jason Grunstra, a Web developer in Los Angeles, founded the site in July 2005 after brainstorming the idea during a bachelor party in Las Vegas. A small-breasted friend was the site's test subject.

"She agreed to try it out, just to see what would happen, and sure enough, in about 4 1/2 months, she raised about $5,000," Grunstra said.

"So at that point I decided, 'Well if it works for one, let's bring it to a wider audience and expand it and see if it works for many ladies, and sure enough it did." operates much like a social-networking site. Women 18 and over can sign up for free and create a profile with photos and the type of implant they desire: silicone or saline. Men — they're called "benefactors" — can also sign up for free, but then they must purchase credits, which can be used to send messages to the women.

For each message a woman receives, she gets a dollar toward her new chest.

Lindsay, who declined to give her last name, signed up in February 2007, and by June she had the $4,000 she needed to transform from a 34A to a 34D-DD. She is one of 103 women who have had new implants courtesy of the site's benefactors.

Jessica Levine, a 27-year-old marketer from Tampa, Fla., got her new silicone breasts on Nov. 13, 2007 after raising $7,500 online.

"It's free, but you do have to put a lot of time and energy into the Web site — contacting friends, writing the people on the site," she said.

Grunstra estimates that thousands of women have signed up for the site and tens of thousands of men have contributed.

"The guys and girls love it," Grunstra said. "Occasionally, we'll get a feminist here or there that is outraged by the idea and can't believe that sex sells. We tell her to wake up and join reality. It's 2008."

Grunstra said raised more than a million dollars toward surgeries in 2007, and he expects that figure to double in 2008.

He said the Web site takes a percentage of the money raised by the sale of credits to run its operations; it also earns money from advertisers. Grunstra said he doesn't earn money from the endeavor.

And the site pays surgeons directly for the procedures.

"We pay the doctors directly to make sure that the surgery actually happens and the girls don't go on some shopping spree," he said.

At first the site offered to pay for other surgeries, but they found men weren't interested in paying for anything but breasts.

"Guys aren't really interested in paying for liposuction or a nose job," Grunstra said, adding "it's kind of like you're creating the perfect woman in your eyes and at the same time you're making pretty good friends."

Dr. Theodore Diktaban, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York, said the site seems like a novelty.

"It's an interesting twist," Diktaban said. "It's not the way I think most people would do it."

Diktaban said there are other ways to finance breast augmentation surgery, including a service called CareCredit, which offers loans for procedures not covered by medical insurance.

Finding a doctor to perform the surgery should start by word of mouth, he said.

"The best way to go is speak to friends of yours that have had it done. Are they happy? And who was the doctor that did that," Diktaban said. "You want to get a board certified plastic surgeon. You can always go to the American Society of Plastic Surgery and get a list of doctors in your area."

Though it's been months since Levine has had the surgery to make her chest a 36D, she still chats online with the benefactors who helped her get her new breasts.

"We keep in touch," she said, adding they "talk about things that have nothing to do with implants."

Friday, February 29, 2008

"RIAA faces lawsuits from artists"


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is facing the possibility of legal action from artists who claim to have received no money from the settlement of peer-to-peer cases.

The RIAA has negotiated settlements worth hundreds of millions of dollars from YouTube, Napster, Kazaa and others, but the artists whom the organisation has been so litigiously defending say that they have not seen a cent.

"Artist managers and lawyers have been wondering for months when their artists will see money from the copyright settlements and how it will be accounted for," John Branca, a lawyer who has represented Korn, Don Henley and The Rolling Stones, told the New York Post.

"Some of them are even talking about filing lawsuits if they don't get paid soon."

The record companies have protested that some payments have been made and that they are working out the best way to pass the money onto artists.

However, it has been years since some settlements and artists, and their managers, are getting concerned.

"They will play hide and seek, but eventually will be forced to pay something," Irving Azoff, talent manager for The Eagles told the paper.

"The record companies have even tried to credit unrecouped accounts. It's never easy for an artist to get paid their fair share."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"A little note to Jay-Z"

Dear Mr. Carter. I'm sure by now you are well aware of the situation going on in The Bronx at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue.

If you are not, let me give you some highlights....

It is known as the birthplace of Hip-Hop. This is where DJ Kool Herc started the genre back in 1973 that you have built an empire on.

The tenants, along with help from some local politicians and Kool Herc himself have been trying to raise enough money to purchase the building before it is bought by real estate gazillionaire Mark Karasick. So far they have $11 million. They need $3 million more, and time is running out.

See, this is where YOU come in Sean. Cut a check. Make some calls. Gather the money together and save this historic site. Since you've been "overcharging labels for what they did to Cold Crush" an all, I figured now would be a good time to share some of that profit.

Now, I have no clue if you have already donated to this cause or not - perhaps you did anonymously. If so, thank you. If not, step up and make this happen.

Your pal,

*This message is also going out to all other high profile Hip-Hop artists who have made millions of the genre and (from the outside) seem to give little-to nothing back, and don't seem to care about it's origin.

"Really hungry? How about 134-pound burger?"

SOUTHGATE, Mich. (AP) - A Detroit-area restaurant owner believes he has broken the world record for "largest hamburger commercially available."

After 12 hours of preparation and baking, the 134-pound burger emerged Saturday at Mallie's Sports Bar and Grill.

The "Absolutely Ridiculous Burger," made with beef, bacon and cheese, was delivered on a 50-pound bun, The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press reported. It sells for $350, and orders require 24 hours' notice.

Flipping the burger required three men using two steel sheets.

Owner Steve Mallie told The News he wanted to show that he has the biggest and best burgers.

Authenticating Mallie's claim could take a few weeks. His burger would outweigh the 123-pound burger made last year by Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, of Clearfield, Pa.

"Artist creates portrait of Amy Winehouse using frozen red wine: VIDEO"