Amazon is preparing to launch a fan fiction publishing platform called Kindle Worlds, where writers will be able to submit novels, novellas and short stories and earn royalties.
Writers can only create their fan fiction around "worlds" licensed by Amazon, and so far those worlds only include ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars," the CW’s "Vampire Diaries" and "Gossip Girl." Entertainment Weekly reports that Amazon Publishing secured just those licenses -- all three of which are owned by Warner Bros. -- though it expects to announce more soon.
Most stories will be priced between $0.99 and $3.99 in the Kindle Store and available through Kindle apps on Android, iOS and other devices.
Writers will own the copyright to original elements they contribute to the world their story is set in, including characters and events. Amazon Publishing retains the exclusive license to writers' original elements, in order to allow "Kindle Worlds authors to build on each other's ideas and elements."
It should also be noted that the owner of the original world, such as "Vampire Diaries," would be able to use a writer's original elements and "incorporate them into other works" without compensating them.
Amazon published content guidelines for writers ahead of the platform's launch, and disallowed crossover into other worlds, use of copyrighted material outside the world, excessive use of brands and offensive content.
The Alabama Department of Public Health reported yesterday that seven cases of a mysterious respiratory illness had been diagnosed. Two have died, according to WSFA.
The number has now climbed to 10, but no more patients have died. Two have been released from the hospital. The sickness has been cited in eight counties in south Alabama, including Barbour, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counties.
The ADPH expects results from the Centers for Disease Control on Thursday. Doctors have not yet determined what causes this respiratory illness, but said that each patient had a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Each of the patients had pneumonia as well as the mystery illness.
The two that died had different strains of influenza. The public health offices are monitoring the illnesses closely and keeping records on where the cases spring up. For now, health officials are treating the sickness like they would standard flu.
None of the patients are connected to one another, and none have traveled out of the country recently.
Hollister, a California-style clothing store for teenagers run by oft-criticized parent company Abercrombie & Fitch, has been ruled in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Colorado Independent reported last week.
The judges ruling comes after a four-year legal battle between disability rights advocates and the clothing company for trendy pre-teens. After a judge asked the company to work with disability activists in March to make their store entrances more accommodating, the two sides failed to work out a compromise.
One of the plaintiffs in the class action suit, Julie Farrar, 45, said she was opposed to Hollister's wheelchair accessible side doors, which other plaintiffs argued were often blocked with merchandise.
“I would never go through a side door. It’s not something I would do. I’m philosophically opposed to that,” Julie Farrar, 45, said of Hollister stores' signature front entrances, which are meant to look like the front porch of a beach house. Farrar, who has been in a wheelchair since she was 12, said it was difficult to get into a Hollister store with her daughter.
“These stores are designed to look shuttered and hidden, as if to keep out the riffraff,” Farrar said.
The lawsuit targets 248 stores nationwide that are said to have Hollister's porch-like front steps.
American electric car company Tesla has taken endless criticism for relying on funding from the federal government, according to Bloomberg.
But now, Tesla has repaid the government, as Elon Musk's company wrote a $451.8 million check to close its $465 million loan, for which Sarah Palin called the company losers.
"Following this payment, Tesla will be the only car company to have fully repaid the government," the company wrote on its website.
And not only is it paid, it was paid nine years early. The loan repayment comes after a series of good news for Tesla, including its first-ever profit and sales predictions much higher than they initially guessed. Shares have risen from $25.52 to $87.24 this year.
Pro golfer Tiger Woods was spotted with his girlfriend, Olympian Lindsey Vonn, on his yacht, the Latin Times reported.
And his children with ex-wife Elin Nordegrin tagged along, too. Vonn's contact with the children is seen as a sort of stamp of approval from Nordegrin, especially after spending time together on multiple occasions.
Vonn has also been seen taking Woods's children to school in Palm Beach without Nordegrin or Woods present, I4U reports.
She has to have given her approval -- the divorce settlement between Elin and Tiger stipulates that he is not allowed to have the children around any new girlfriends or dates without her explicit approval.
That includes female members of Tiger's staff but exempts married women not linked to Tiger's love life.
Recent reports have shown that the couple has moved in together at Woods' home in Jupiter Beach, Fla. and have talked about a prenuptial agreement and getting married. They officially announced their relationship in March.
Trevor Bolder, who once played bass for David Bowie on several studio albums and as a member of his backing band, Spiders from Mars, has died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 62, Rolling Stone reported Wednesday.
Born Kingston Upon Hull in Yorkshire, England, Bolder joined the Spiders From Mars in 1971 and played bass on four Bowie albums, "Hunky Dory," "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars," "Aladdin Sane" and "Pin Ups."
"Trevor was a wonderful musician and a major inspiration for whichever band he was working with," Bowie said in a statement on his website. "But he was foremostly a tremendous guy, a great man."
Bolder joined Uriah Heep in 1976 and played with them until his health prevented him a few months ago.
"Trevor was an all time great, one of the outstanding musicians of his generation, and one of the finest and most influential bass players that Britain ever produced," Uriah Heep said in a statement.
"His long time membership of Uriah Heep brought the band’s music, and Trevor’s virtuosity and enthusiasm, to hundreds of thousands of fans across the world"
Spandau Ballet guitarist Gary Kemp honored Bolder in a tweet:
RIP another Spider from Mars, a kind and decent man, Trevor Bolder. Love and peace to his family. twitter.com/garyjkemp/stat…— Gary Kemp (@garyjkemp) May 21, 2013
See Bolder do his thing in the videos below:
Researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute have published a study that lends some merit to the colloquial first aid advice to "rub some dirt in it."
Associate professor Shelley Haydel and graduate research associate Caitlin Otto looked into the practice and found a family of antibacterial clays capable of killing pathogens ranging from E. coli to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as hard-to-kill MRSA.
Clays have been used since antiquity for wounds, in poultices and in baths. Clays were ingested to treat diarrhea, dysentery, tapeworm and hookworm. In the 19th century, clays were applied to surgical wounds to reduce inflammation and putrefaction, and to aid healing and pain management.
Researchers tested a variety of different clays and found that five metal ions -- iron, copper, cobalt, nickel and zinc -- had antibacterial properties when present in sufficient quantities with an acceptable pH. The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, also identifies the specific ions which are effective against E. coli and MRSA.
Haydel is optimistic about the potential for medicinal clays in the fight against antibiotic-resistent pathogens. Currently, MRSA is highly contagious and often plagues hospitals.
The authors also suggest more widespread use for the clay, particularly as bandages. The clays adhere to the skin to seal out external contaminants, and their absorptive properties help remove devitalized tissue and foreign materials from a wound, while the antiseptic metal ions prevent infection.
Haydel notes that many minerals found in clays are toxic. "Since clays can contain toxic metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, safety precautions must be in place to minimize exposure to toxic ions. Efforts must be taken to standardize the composition and antibacterial efficacy of clays if they are to be used therapeutically and prophylactically."
The pop and R&B superstar's fifth album "Janet" sold over 7 million copies and boasted six Billboard Hot 100 singles, and just marked its 20th anniversary May 18.
The singer has raked in $260 million in album sales thanks to the success of "Control," "Janet" and "Rhythm Nation 1814," and she earned a further $81 million from music and book publishing fees.
Jackson, 47, has made over $500 million on her sold-out world tours and related tour sponsorships, and over $300 million from her big-screen roles in "The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps," "Poetic Justice" and "For Colored Girls."
In an interview with Billboard last week, Jackson revealed she's working on a new album. "I am working on a new project now. We are creating the concept and initial thoughts on the music," she said.
The youngest child of the Jackson family and sister to fellow performer Michael Jackson, Janet began her career in the early 1970s and became a pop culture icon. She announced in February that she married Qatari retail billionaire Wissam Al Mana in a private ceremony in 2012.
A photo of Bill Murray imitating a crying baby has gone viral.
The picture, which features Murray posing next to the child he is imitating, was posted on the Tumblr "Reasons My Son is Crying" on Thursday under the caption "He met Bill Murray."
"Resons My son is Crying" is a Tumblr dedicated to document "all the many many completely logical reasons that children cry."
The site was created by 32-year-old Greg Pembroke, a father of two boys under 4, because "every parent experiences meltdowns and I was trying to have a little fun with it.”
Former Major League Baseball player and Twitter oddity Jose Canseco appears to have live-tweeted the arrival of police at his Las Vegas home to question him as a potential subject in a rape.
Clark County, Nevada District Attorneys confirmed that Canseco was being considered either a person of interest or a suspect, but no charges had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon.
Police source reached by phone called Jose Canseco a 'person of interest.' @lvmpd press release called him a 'suspect.' No charges filed.— Jackie Valley (@JackieValley) May 22, 2013
Canseco appears to have revealed the identity of his accuser in a stream of tweets, including a picture of the woman and her phone number. He also said he would be willing to take a polygraph test on national television.
All the tweets have been deleted, but screenshots are included here, with the personal details of the accuser removed.