Romney releases statement, conservative voices offer condolences regarding temple shooting; Update: Paul Ryan adds statement

http://twitter.com/#!/ZekeJMiller/status/232213293761187840

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney released a statement regarding the senseless shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

Romney: Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the entire Oak Creek Sikh community.

— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 5, 2012

Other conservative voices chimed in with their support of the victims and their families.

In response to the shooting in Wisconsin at the Sikh Temple where seven people were killed: It's very sad to see… http://t.co/mCJCo4F4

— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) August 5, 2012

Pray for our Sikh friends in Wisconsin — multiple people shot.

— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) August 5, 2012

Thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the shooting at Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI today

— Reince Priebus (@Reince) August 5, 2012

Prayers go out to all the victims of the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. Show some love on The #Sikh Republican FB page http://t.co/foxLJuPf

— Ξ BLACK REPUBLICAN Ξ (@blackrepublican) August 5, 2012

And, this is from the governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker.

Our prayers are with victims & families & our thanks to law enforcement & 1st responder professionals on the scene: http://t.co/mbj5fVAt

— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) August 5, 2012

Update:

Congressman Paul Ryan, who represents the district in which the temple is located, releases a statement.

Rep. Paul Ryan says he's "deeply saddened by this malicious crime" and "grateful" for emergency responders. #Templeshooting

— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) August 5, 2012

#Templeshooting happened in district of Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI). Says "we will all come together…and stand with the #Sikh community."

— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) August 5, 2012

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/08/05/romney-releases-statement-conservative-voices-offer-condolences-regarding-temple-shooting/

85 Things You Probably Don’t Know About "Lost"

We have to go back.

ABC

 

1. While on vacation with his family in Hawaii in the summer of 2003, the then-chairman of ABC Entertainment, Lloyd Braun, watched the network’s broadcast of Cast Away and thought the concept would make for an interesting show.

2. Braun had liked the name Lost ever since an NBC reality show launched with the name in 2001.

3. The room fell “dead silent” after he pitched the idea during an ABC corporate retreat shortly thereafter.

4. But ABC’s head of drama development, Thom Sherman, liked the idea and hired fledgling writer Jeffrey Lieber (Tuck Everlasting) to work on it.

5. In his first draft, Lieber changed the title of the proposed series to Nowhere. The draft did not live up to Braun’s expectations and Lieber was taken off the project. Braun reached out to J.J. Abrams, who was still working on Alias. (Lieber, however, would go on to receive a “created by” credit on the completed show.)

6. Because Abrams was so busy, the network also approached young writer Damon Lindelof, who wanted nothing more than to get a job on Alias. He had been in touch with ABC drama executive Heather Kadin, hoping she’d help make it happen.

7. Among Lindelof’s initial pitches to Abrams was the suggestion that the castaways discover a hatch in the middle of the jungle and spend the whole first season trying to open it.

8. Abrams originally wanted Michael Keaton for the role of Jack.

9. The character of Jack was supposed to die midway through the pilot episode.

10. Steve McPherson, the then-president of ABC, argued that killing Jack would make viewers not trust the show. When the plan changed, Keaton was out.

11. Jack’s death scene instead went to Oceanic 815’s co-pilot (played by Greg Grunberg, Abrams’ friend since kindergarten and a former star of two of his other series, Alias and Felicity).

12. Forest Whitaker was originally cast as Sawyer, but backed out to direct First Daughter, which coincidentally starred Michael Keaton as the president of the United States.

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From left: Michael Keaton, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, Josh Holloway Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images & ABC

13. The story goes that, though Sawyer was originally meant to be an older city con artist from Buffalo, N.Y., Holloway forgot a line at his audition and subsequently kicked a chair and loudly swore in frustration. The writers reportedly liked the edge he brought to the character and decided to write Sawyer as more of a Southern con man instead.

14. Yunjin Kim initially read for the role of Kate, since Sun didn’t exist at the time — there wasn’t even a Lost script yet.

15. The writers created the character of Sun after their first impressions of Kim.

16. Abrams first noticed Jorge Garcia on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and was determined to cast him.

17. Garcia initially read for the role of Sawyer because Hurley didn’t even exist yet either.

18. The writers then also created the character of Hurley based on him.

19. Dominic Monaghan also read for Sawyer, before being cast as Charlie.

20. The only member of the principal cast who didn’t have to audition was Terry O’Quinn, who had worked with Abrams on Alias. (He played FBI Director Kendall.)

21. The two-hour Lost pilot cost a reported $13 million.

22. It came in under budget.

23. The polar bear who charges at Sawyer in pilot was originally going to be a wild boar.

24. Some viewers thought the Dharma Initiative logo made an appearance in the pilot behind Walt in the plane wreckage. But it wasn’t created until Season 2.

25. In Season 2, Episode 2 (“Adrift”), there is a Dharma Initiative logo on a shark’s tail when Michael is pulling Sawyer back onto the raft.

26. And the Dharma Initiative was originally called Medusa Corp.

Walt, not with the Dharma Initiative logo.

ABC via tv.yahoo.com

A shark with the Dharma Initiative logo on its tail.

ABC

 

27. Remember Lloyd Braun, the then-chairman of ABC? Braun provided the voice of the “Previously on Lost” intro, which ran at the start of each episode.

28. Executive producer Carlton Cuse and Lindelof had wanted to cast Lance Reddick for the part of Mr. Eko, but he was unavailable due to The Wire. Reddick eventually joined the show in Season 4 as Matthew Abaddon, a mysterious employee of Charles Widmore.

29. With Reddick unavailable, the producers reached out to Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who was starring on HBO’s prison drama Oz.

30. The name Mr. Eko was Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s own creation. He suggested they change the original name of his character, Omecca, to Eko, which is consistent with the actor’s own Nigerian tribal lineage. He also noted they should add a “Mr.” “Carlton and I looked at each other like it was the silliest thing in the world,” Lindelof said. “Then we kept saying it, and we realized there was something really cool about it.”

31. The original plan was for Mr. Eko to stay on the show four seasons, but Akinnuoye-Agbaje was released from his contract after only one season because he wanted off the show.

Lance Reddick as Matthew Abaddon

ABC

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Mr. Eko

ABC

 

32. Locke’s backstory was created because O’Quinn would take breaks in between scenes on the beach while listening to his iPod. “That guy has a secret,” Abrams told Lindelof. “You figure it out.”

33. Ian Somerhalder (Boone) was the first actor cast on the show.

34. Somerhalder was also the first to be killed off.

35. Cuse was stuck on the last number of the notorious 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 number combination. He came up with the idea of 42 as an homage to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in which it’s the “Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” Lindelof had the same idea, which made it official.

36. Of the six numbers, 23 is used the most.

37. The first four numbers appear in ABC Studios’ logo.

38. In a flashback scene in Season 1, Episode 15 (“Homecoming”), Charlie’s at a bar with a fellow heroin addict friend, who points out Lucy Heatherton (Sally Strecker), a potential victim for a scam to score more drugs. She tells Charlie that her father is out of town buying a paper company in Slough, a reference to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s The Office in the U.K.

39. Brittany Perrineau, the real-life wife of actor Harold Perrineau (Michael), appeared on the show as Mary Jo, Sawyer’s girlfriend, in Season 1, Episode 16 (“Outlaws”).

40. In Ben Linus’ flashback scenes, Carrie Preston — who is the real-life wife of Michael Emerson (adult Ben) — plays young Ben’s mother.

Michael Emerson and Carrie Preston

Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment

Harold and Brittany Perrineau

Paul A. Hebert / Getty Images Entertainment

 

41. The first raft that was built sank in Season 1. And the second one was too fast and kept outracing the camera boat.

42. While shooting “Exodus,” the Season 1 finale, the guys on the raft all mooned Maggie Grace (Shannon) at once.

43. And in that scene, “Vincent” improvised and just swam out after them.

44. Walt’s dog Vincent was actually played by a female yellow Lab named Madison.

45. When filming their makeout scene, Grace pulled a prank on Somerhalder by smoking a cigar, filling her mouth with minced garlic, and stuffing an oversized athletic cup down her pants.

46. Evangeline Lilly (Kate) took home the original ”Dear Mr. Sawyer” letter as a keepsake during Season 1, but it burned in the fire that destroyed her home in 2006.

47. In “Everybody Hates Hugo” (Season 2, Episode 4), Hurley has a dream in which he chugs some milk from the hatch and on the carton, Walt’s picture is plastered under the word “MISSING.”

85 Things You Probably Don't Know About "Lost"

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Walt’s face on Hurley’s milk carton. ABC

48. O’Quinn would walk 12 miles to and from set.

49. The stand-in for Baby Aaron was a doll named Jane.

50. Lindelof is a fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and invited creator/star Rob McElhenney to play Aldo in Season 3 of Lost.

51. During that same season, Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) called Lindelof and Cuse before he bought a house in Hawaii to ask them if they planned on killing Jin off.

52. Yunjin Kim approached Cuse and told him that her onscreen husband wasn’t actually speaking Korean.

53. In the Season 3 finale, Jack visits a funeral parlor called Hoffs/Drawlar, which is an anagram for “flash-forward” and this was the first episode that utilized that time-traveling storytelling devise.

54. Locke’s coffin is transported from the funeral parlor to Ben’s Canton-Rainier Carpet Cleaning van in “The Little Prince” (Season 5, Episode 4) — “Canton-Rainer” is an anagram for “reincarnation.”

55. And Mittelos Bioscience, the Others’ front science organization to recruit people from the outside world, is an anagram for “lost time.”

56. AND Ethan Rom (William Mapother) is an anagram for “other man.”

ABC

ABC via docarzt.com

 

57. When Jin is speaking with Byung Han, the Secretary of Environmental Safety, in “…In Translation” (Season 1, Episode 17), the latter’s daughter is watching TV and Hurley is on the news at the gas station.

58. Sayid (Naveen Andrews) can also be seen on TV while Kate is in Sam Austen’s (Lindsey Ginter) office in “What Kate Did” (Season 2, Episode 9).

59. Nikki (Kiele Sanchez) and Paulo (Rodrigo Santoro) came to the forefront of the show in Season 3 because fans wanted to know more about everyone else on the island.

60. But even before fans turned on the ill-fated Oceanic 815 survivors, Cuse and Lindelof realized they hated the characters too. “We had a very elaborate story worked out for them which would span one season or more, but we condensed it into one episode where we buried them alive,” Cuse said.

61. Nikki’s show Exposé can be seen in four episodes: Locke watches it while eating a TV dinner in “The Man from Tallahassee” (Season 3, Episode 13); Nikki films it in “Exposé” (Season 3, Episode 14); Sun watches it, dubbed over in Korean in “Ji Yeon” (Season 4, Episode 7); and Hurley’s dad is watching it before Hurley comes in with an unconscious Sayid in “The Lie” (Season 5, Episode 2).

62. Yunjin Kim and Cynthia Watros graduated from the British American Drama Academy together.

63. Michael Giacchino, who scored Lost, used some of the plane’s parts for percussion.

64. No cast member appears in every episode of Lost.

65. But Jorge Garcia was in the most episodes (118 of 121).

85 Things You Probably Don't Know About "Lost"

View this image ›

ABC / Via niketalk.com

66. Dominic Monaghan was snorting brown sugar in Charlie’s heroin-snorting scenes.

67. DriveSHAFT’s hit song “You All Everybody” plays in the background of an episode of Alias Season 4 when Sydney (Jennifer Garner) and Jack Bristow (Victor Garber) talk outside Weiss’ (Greg Grunberg, again!) birthday party.

68. Cuse does the narration in the commercials for the Hanso Foundation, which funded the Dharma Initiative.

69. Jennifer Jason Leigh was offered the role of Libby, which eventually went to Cynthia Watros.

70. Michael Emerson and Mira Furlan (who played Danielle Rousseau, the mother of Ben’s daughter) share the same birthday (Sept. 7), but Emerson is a year older.

71. Walt was 10 years old when the series started, but after two seasons, the actor who played him, Malcolm David Kelley, had grown tremendously. Hence, Walt being kidnapped at the end of Season 1. He was only able to return during flashforward scenes later on, since he’d aged appropriately by then.

72. In fact, Kelley had grown 10 inches from the Lost pilot to the series finale.

Little Walt

ABC

Big Walt

ABC

 

73. “The Constant” (Season 4, Episode 5) is Cuse and Lindelof’s favorite episode.

74. They did write a scene that explained who the people were during the outrigger chase in Season 5, Episode 4 (“The Little Prince”). But ultimately, Lindelof said, they decided: “This is cool, but it would be much cooler if we never answered it.”

75. A Hawaiian priest was brought in to bless the set and crew before shooting for the sixth and final season began.

76. Also before Season 6 started, Kayak was listing Oceanic Airlines flights from Sydney to L.A. for $4,815.16.

77. During the filming of Season 6, Cuse and Lindelof didn’t even tell the actors about the flash sideways because they “felt it was the best way to get the performances [they] needed.”

78. Two extras were hired who looked like Sun and Jin while filming the series finale. They were dressed up in formal attire and asked to walk around outside the church where the final scene was filmed so photographers would think they were filming a version of Sun and Jin’s wedding.

79. Akinnuoye-Agbaje was reportedly offered a hefty amount of money to do one scene in the series finale, but he allegedly wanted five times the amount that was offered. So he turned it down.

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ABC

80. After filming on the series wrapped, Lindelof took the cover of the hatch and made it into a coffee table.

81. And Cuse now has the countdown clock from the hatch.

82. Meanwhile, Garcia took two of Hurley’s paintings from the mental institution.

83. The boots Sawyer wore on the show were Josh Holloway’s own. He had owned them for 12 years before the show.

84. Garcia had a locked mailbox installed in his Hawaii home so he could have scripts sent to his house.

85. And Garcia cried when he read the final script.

ABC

ABC

ABC

 

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/jaimieetkin/85-things-you-probably-dont-know-about-lost

Sen. Joe Manchin ‘totally committed’ to background check legislation

http://twitter.com/#!/mkraju/status/328497799903707138

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, everybody was at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Saturday night, including Sens. Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin, whose joint effort to pass expanded background check legislation isn’t dead yet, despite a defeat in the Senate Apr.  17. President Obama took to the Rose Garden almost immediately following the vote to insist he wasn’t giving up, and it looks like Toomey and Manchin are “totally committed” to reviving their amendment.

The New York Times reported last Thursday that Manchin and Toomey were “quietly” working behind the scenes to revive gun control legislation, and the two confirmed that effort Saturday at “Nerd Prom.”

Reporting ace @kellyo pauses from grilling Manchin & Toomey on gun background check revival effort. @nbcnews #whcd twitter.com/JohnJHarwood/s…

— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) April 28, 2013

Manchin followed up with an appearance on Fox News Sunday, where he said he would rework the proposal in preparation for another floor vote. Manchin told host Chris Wallace, “If you’re a law-abiding gun owner, you’ll love this bill.”

Manchin says he’s working to get another Senate vote on gun background check foxnews.com/politics/2013/… #NRAStandAndFight

— NRA (@NRA) April 29, 2013

Sen. Joe Manchin: Background check bill “expands your Second Amendment rights” shar.es/lfpFG via @sharethis

— StarDust Dolittle (@DustyFae) April 29, 2013

Joe Manchin isn’t done with gun control. Does it matter? ow.ly/kwr0L

— The Fix (@TheFix) April 29, 2013

Manchin might have found some inspiration to keep up his fight for background checks from an unlikely source. Robert A. Levy of the Cato Institute published an op-ed in the New York Times making “a libertarian case” for a modified version of the Manchin-Toomey proposal. That argument, however, alludes less to the Constitution than to the belief that “public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of reasonable legislation.”

A Libertarian Case For Manchin-Toomey: j.mp/11xsXCp via @dmataconis

— Cato Institute (@CatoInstitute) April 29, 2013

How timely! Why no snicker-quotes around “Libertarian”? ‏RT @catoinstitute A Libertarian Case For Manchin-Toomey: j.mp/11xsXCp

— Ass Of Balaam (@AssOfBalaam) April 29, 2013

@catoinstitute @dmataconis Doesn’t seem very freeing.

— Gregory M. (@NotGregoryM) April 29, 2013

Is there any hope for America when Chairman of Cato backs mandatory background checks 4 all gun sales? ow.ly/kxw4h

— SBailey 4 Congress (@Bailey4COCD2) April 29, 2013

Editor’s note: This post originally referred to Chris Matthews as the host of Fox News Sunday. It is, of course, Chris Wallace. We apologize for the error.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/04/29/sen-joe-manchin-totally-committed-to-background-check-legislation/

10 Unsettling Facts About Microsoft

Everyone’s heard the jokes about how evil Windows is, though admittedly most of these snarky comments come from Apple users. Here are 10 facts about Microsoft that are actually pretty disturbing.

10Lawsuits

1- lawsuits
All companies tend to be slightly trigger-happy when it comes to suing other people. But Microsoft really decided to sink low when they sued a 17-year-old boy. The multimillion-dollar company threw a fit in 2004 when Mike Rowe created his own website and named it MikeRoweSoft, as he thought it would be a clever, but innocent, pun. Microsoft felt differently and threatened to sue Rowe for copyright infringement. Mike Rowe asked for a settlement if he was forced to give up his website, and Microsoft offered him a measly sum of $10. He countered with $10,000, claiming that he was offended by their suggestion.

That’s when things got ugly, and the press and public continued to present Microsoft in an awful light. Eventually, Microsoft relented and agreed to not only reimburse Rowe, but offer him a visit to Microsoft headquarters, Microsoft training, and an Xbox with a selection of games.

9Racism

2- racist2

It’s true that racism is still, sadly, all around us even to this day. But it’s even worse when big names like Microsoft send out racist messages—even if it’s claimed to be an innocent mistake. In 2009, the Polish version of Microsoft’s Business Productivity Infrastructure was published with one key difference from the American version: Polish users noticed that an African-American man had been Photoshopped out and a Caucasian man had been placed on the home page of the website instead. The image was quickly returned back to its original form and Microsoft apologized for their “mistake,” but the damage was already done.

While some people have tried to justify it as Microsoft’s attempt at “promoting interracial harmony,” others believe that it is more likely that, since the Polish audience is predominantly white, someone thought that having a person of color in the picture would be a bad idea.

8Charity

3- charity
People like to idolize Bill Gates as the college dropout who went on to make a multibillion-dollar company. But just as Microsoft’s reputation isn’t exactly squeaky clean, neither is its creator’s. In 2013, an investigation took place into one of the charities he had helped create, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which admittedly has funded several admirable projects. But the foundation’s trust has also made investments in groups such as The GEO Group, a private prison company with a mile-long list of offenses, such as one of their juvenile facilities having its walls covered in feces, the inmates (all minors) abused, and locked emergency exits. Even the state of Texas won’t fund them.

But if you think that’s bad, it gets even worse. Bill Gates’s charity also invests in the defense contractor group DynCorp, which has been charged with several incidents of abuse of human rights, up to and including sexually molesting Afghan boys and paying them to dress up as girls and dance. They were also accused of being involved in a sex-slave ring in Bosnia, where the company’s employees were charged with raping girls only 12 years old.

7Sexism

4- sexist
When video games were first created, they were definitely seen as a stereotypical “guy” pastime for a long period of time. But the number of girl gamers is astounding. In fact, a recent study showed that around half of all current video game players are women. Unfortunately, girl gamers are often persecuted and excluded, and Microsoft hasn’t exactly been helpful with that.

In a recent ad, Microsoft insinuated that women hated video game systems and that their men needed to beg them to let one into the house. In an attitude fresh from the 1950s, the ad suggested cheerfully, “You’d rather knit than watch me slay zombies, but hear me out on this. Xbox One is actually for both of us. Seriously.” The outraged criticism wasn’t exactly a surprise.

6Bribery

5- bribes
Bribery’s not a new problem—politicians and organizations get bribed by companies all the time, and now, in the Internet age, so do YouTube stars. It was recently discovered that Microsoft secretly paid some of the most popular YouTube hosts to talk about the Xbox One. They would pay $3 for every 1,000 views the channel received if they incorporated 30 seconds of playing an Xbox game. Considering that these channels get millions of views, that’s actually a lot of cash.

And of course, the YouTubers were also forbidden from saying anything negative about Microsoft or revealing what was going on. Technically it’s not illegal, but it definitely hurt the reputation of both parties involved, especially the YouTube stars who people tended to trust more. The details of this dirty little agreement got out when a full copy of the legal document was posted on the Internet. In the end, Microsoft got themselves busted by their own creation.

5Privacy Violations

6- NSA
Thanks to Edward Snowden, the NSA got itself into some pretty hot water regarding the Internet surveillance they had been performing on completely unaware citizens. Out of all the companies accused of assisting the NSA and betraying the privacy of their users, Microsoft was considered one of the biggest offenders. Reports showed that Microsoft helped the NSA override the security measures on Microsoft Outlook, allowing them to read through hundreds of chat conversations and emails. They also allegedly allowed the NSA to view thousands of Skype video chats (Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011).

Microsoft continues to deny these claims, insisting that the privacy of its users has always been its chief concern. The only information Microsoft was willing to reveal was that they had received 6,000 to 7,000 criminal warrants, subpoenas, and orders in a six-month period. They also pleaded for the federal government to make their actions clearer to avoid further incidents like this.

4Sexual Discrimination

7- gay
Besides politics or religion, nothing gets people steamed up like issues regarding sexuality. Microsoft was heavily criticized for its treatment of the LGBT community—they banned users of their games from using the word “gay” in any of their tags, even if they were describing their own sexuality. One member was banned simply because his name was “TheGAYERGamer,” and an executive in the Xbox community referred to the title as “a form of implied sexual innuendo.”

But things became extremely ugly after Xbox Live ended up banning “Teresa,” a gamer who had identified herself as a lesbian in her profile info and who had been repeatedly harassed online, with other players stalking her and saying that they “didn’t want to see that crap.” To their credit, Microsoft now states that they are working with GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) in order to make sure that everyone can use their products fairly.

3Censorship

8- censored2
Nowadays, China censors everything—in fact, their system of Internet censorship is one of the best in the world and has earned the nickname “The Great Firewall.” But it’s definitely disgusting when American companies help them do it. To be fair, Microsoft isn’t the only company that’s helped China cut its people off from the rest of the world—so have Google, Yahoo, and AOL. Microsoft in particular will block Chinese users from certain searches or blog titles that include sensitive political topics.

Thankfully they’re not as bad as Yahoo, who actively reported people to the Chinese government. Activist groups such as Human Rights Watch have let all of these groups have it, announcing that it is “ironic that companies whose existence depends on freedom and expression have taken on the role of censor.” Unfortunately, none of these companies seem to have any interest in challenging these rules, even the rules that aren’t technically legally binding.

2Pervert Santa

9- santa
Some kids love to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him all about what they want for Christmas. Others burst into tears at the site of jolly old St. Nick. With regards to this particular Santa, they might have good reason to. In 2007, Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to create a virtual Santa that children would be able to talk to. And it probably would have been a great idea, if it weren’t for the fact that the old man started getting a little bit off topic—it wasn’t long before he went from talking about presents to lecturing about sexual acts.

The first time this problem occurred, Santa was talking to two girls aged 11 and 13 who were asking him about pizza. Besides the specific, crude sexual acts that Santa tried to discuss, some users could also prompt the big man to expound upon his criminal past and to repeatedly cuss the users out. Microsoft took it down as quickly as possible.

1Labor Contracts

Microsoft Prepares To Unveil Surface Tablet At New Times Square Store
It seems hard to believe that Microsoft could be so heavily criticized for its labor practices, considering its permanent workers are known to enjoy wonderful corporate treatment. However, that’s a surprisingly small percentage. Believe it or not, Microsoft has been referred to as a “Velvet Sweatshop,” a term first coined in a Seattle magazine and a term which its own employees now use regularly. Even though Microsoft insists that its employees get the best of everything, reports have suggested that workers are often highly overworked throughout their stay.

And if you ever want to leave Microsoft? Well, that’s even more of a mess. Microsoft uses controversial forced retention tactics—which basically means that if you try to quit, they’ll sue you for everything you’re worth. They’ve also been accused of cutting employee’s health benefits. Many of the employees who do manage to quit make their way toward companies that compete against Microsoft, like Google and Yahoo.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2014/10/04/10-unsettling-facts-about-microsoft/

RIP, Ben Affleck’s Beard

1. Ben Affleck was spotted walking around Los Angeles yesterday missing something very special to us… HIS BEARD.

FameFlynet Pictures

2. It’s okay to get emotional.

4. It’s upsetting, we know.

6. …because we’re about to remember the good times we shared with Ben’s beard during awards season!

Stuart Wilson / Getty Images

7. Like when he won this award.

Getty Images / Handout

8. And the time that he held a box.

FameFlynet Pictures

9. There was that time when he was staring off into space while his beard kept his face warm.

FameFlynet Pictures

10. That time he posed with his SAG award.

FameFlynet Pictures

11. And the time he got coffee with a hand on his hip.

FameFlynet Pictures

12. That time he walked off his frustrations for being snubbed by the Oscars.

FameFlynet Pictures

13. And this time he was talking on stage for some reason or another. Mmm, beard.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

14. The time his beard smiled at a lady at a Farmer’s Market.

FameFlynet Pictures

15. And this time — have mercy!

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

16. Of course, there was the time he was talking with his hands like this.

Michael Buckner / Getty Images

17. And the semi-unfortunate time he wore a hat and leather jacket.

FameFlynet Pictures

18. RIP, Ben Affleck’s beard! It’s been real.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/rip-ben-afflecks-beard