Entries Tagged as 'Celebs'

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Happy 4th to all you hot dog crazies

Look at this astounding chart from Flowing Data showing the spike in consumed hot dogs (+buns) at the Nathan’s Hot Dog annual 4th of July hot dog eating contest in the 2000s. Who will win this year? I hear Kobayashi san is on a mission…

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Pitt Jolie and a Cool Mil

Missourian, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie made a $1 million gift through their foundation (apparently called the Jolie-Pitt Foundation) to help kids in war-torn Iraq. The money will be distributed by the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, an initiative that was launched at the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative and co-chaired by Jolie. The money […]

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Cool Keillor on Father’s Day

Keillor’s kindness impresses a fanGarrison Keillor plays the good guy in Detroit on Father’s Day.Garrison Keillor for father of year? You can make a case, based on this act of kindness by the public radio star. Elliott Zelenak, 12, and a 7th grader-to-be at Dearborn’s Sacred Heart School, listens to radio endlessly and came to […]

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Phil Up

The Columbus Dispatch : Mickelson manages goodwill aceGood guy – and super awesome golfer – Phil Mickelson is at it again with his helping ways. Read this story that came out of the Memorial Golf Tournament a few weeks ago about how he helped a fellow professional athlete out.

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Call for Nominations – 21 Nicest People of 2006

During the week of Thanksgiving we will be unveiling the First Annual 21 Nicest People of 2006. Now is the time to submit your nominations.

The criteria is simple:

1) The person must be real (i.e., not animated);
2) The person — one of his/her agents or his/her persona (person doesn’t have to be alive) — must have done something nice in 2006;
3) The person — or one of his/her agents — must be well known and/or reachable by email or phone.

So, get out your nice thinking caps and send in your names. Just email D. Robert at drobert@nicemagazine.org and include names, your reasons for the nominations and either an email, phone number or snail mail address for the nominees. If it is a famous or well known person, contact information is not necessary. Also, if she/he is not a personal acquaintance and you only know about her/him through something you read or saw in a news clip, just include a link or reference to the story.

Keep referring back to the 21 Nicest People of 2006 page for details and updates.

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Watch Warren Buffet on Charlie Rose Show (Video)

Watch the Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates interview on Charlie Rose for free on Google Video for a limited time.

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Buffett’s Philanthropy Buffet

As you all have heard by now, the second richest man in the world, Warren Buffett, has made the long awaited decision to give away the bulk of his 44 billion dollars to five different charitable foundations. The biggest beneficiary will be the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which, at $30 billion in assets, is already the largest foundation in the world. So, the two richest men in the world join their tremendous assets to create the most powerful philanthropic machine the world has ever seen.

The Gates Foundation deal was inked earlier today after a television appearance with the three principles on The Charlie Rose Show in New York City. Buffett’s divestiture plan (explained below) will give off approximately 1.5 billion in today’s dollars in July of this year and similarly for a number of years forward to the Gates Foundation. By design, most of Buffett’s annual gifts will be put to use each year on Gates Foundation projects.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focuses approximately 60% of its resources fighting viruses — like malaria and HIV-AIDS — and correcting poverty conditions around the world and another one-third on education reform in the United States. As you can imagine, their approach is well planned, strategic and calculated. Ultimately, it’s one of the best managed and efficient foundations in the world. Along with the fact that he has the highest personal faith in Bill and Melinda to be the shepherds of the “body of his life’s work”, as Melinda Gates put it on today’s Charlie Rose Show, Buffett felt it was a “no brainer” to make this gift.

Buffett will also give a significant amount of his net worth to four other foundations, each associated with a different member of his immediate family.

The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, renamed after Buffett’s late wife, will receive approximately $150 million this year.

The Susan A. Buffett Foundation of Omaha, NE; the Howard G. Buffett Foundation of Decatur, IL; and the NoVo Foundation of New York City will each receive approximately $52.5 million this year.

The Deal

Here’s how this ingenious gift will work.

Buffett will slowly convert his A shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock (symb: BRK/A) — currently trading at $91,600 — into B shares (symb: BRK/B) — trading at $3,048 — roughly a 30:1 conversion. He has made an irrevocable agreement with each of the five foundations to earmark a set amount of B shares to be gifted slowly over the next couple decades.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (10,000,000 B shares)
Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (1,000,000 B shares)
Susan A. Buffett Foundation (350,000 B shares)
Howard G. Buffett Foundation (350,000 B shares)
NoVo Foundation (Peter A. Buffett) (350,000 B shares)

Every year in July, for the next couple of decades, 5% of the remaining earmarked shares of Berkshire Hathaway B will be gifted to the respected foundations. Buffett in all his optimism is confident that the annual gain of Berkshire stock on a year-to-year basis should make-up in dollar value the 5% in lost shares, such that in 20-years the amount of the annual gift remains about the same as it is today (not taking into account, of course, the effects of inflation).

The two main conditions of the Gates Foundation agreement are:

1. Either Bill or Melinda Gates must be alive and running the Foundation during the term of Buffett’s gift; and

2. His gift must be utilized in its entirety every year up to the amount of 5% of the assets of the Foundation plus the value of Buffett’s gift. So, the Foundation at $30 billion must give away 5% ($1.5 billion) of its own money plus the additional $1.5 billion of Buffett’s first year gift — a cool $3 billion of annual giving.

Click here to view copies of the actual letters of agreement sent by Warren Buffett to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others.

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

My Karma Named Earl

With the 05-06 television sitcom season a wrap, I must say that one of the best new shows for the year is NBC’s My Name is Earl starring actor / producer Jason Lee.

The basis of the show is about how a petty criminal and half-wit, Earl, works to redeem his life of bad deeds by doing good ones. Each episode follows the exploits of Earl and his colorfully interesting cast of kooks and characters as they try to find karma by doing good.

After a life-changing brush with death, Earl has a morphine-induced epiphany while watching Carson Daly on a television program explain about his personal karma – that he has gotten as far as he did in life by being good to others. Earl knows immediately that the rest of his life should be dedicated to finding his own karma.

This sets Earl off on his journey to fill up his karma pool, one redeeming act at a time. He has a list of every bad thing he has done – like the time he burned down a local hot dog stand for a couple hundred bucks – and for which he strives to right. I have not seen every episode this season, but those that I have were gems. Earl is oddly the nicest thing of this past network sitcom season. It’s really cool that a primetime network show exists that is essentially all about a guy trying to do good things, albeit in a very off-beat way. Can’t wait for season two.

Check out these Earlesque links:

Official Earl Site
NBC’s official My Name is Earl website allows you to take a karma quiz and study a very Earlesque karma guide.

The Hollywood Reporter
Early review of the show notes that Fox passed on this show and HBO should be envious of NBC’s good fortune.

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Floyd Patterson

On Thursday, Floyd Patterson, youngest ever heavyweight boxing champion and Olympic gold medalist, died at the age of 71. He lived in New Paltz, New York.

Patterson was known as one of the nicest guys in boxing circles. He was underweight all of his career but battled through this adverse position to attain boxing’s crown jewel – the title of undisputed world heavyweight champion.

Perhaps one moment best illustrated Patterson’s humanity. In the second of a trilogy of boxing matches against Swedish boxer, Ingemar Johansson, Patterson stunned the world as he cradled his fallen opponent after knocking him out for the count in the fifth round. It was said that at that moment Patterson promised Johansson a rematch. Now, that’s crazy nice, the sign of a great person.

Holding the record for the youngest person to win a heavyweight title, Patterson is also known for having been knocked more than any other champion. Of course, Patterson has been known to point out that this record also means that he has gotten back up more than any of his peers. That’s the kind of forward looking, positive vibe Patterson put forth. The world will miss him. I for one am saddened for his loss and for the fact that I only until now knew what a great and good guy he was.

Monday, May 8th, 2006

Barbaro Hero

By now you know that an explosive thoroughbred has hit the big time. Barbaro, the Kentucky bred brown beauty won the Race for the Roses this past Saturday at the Churchill Downs racetrack by seven lengths over Bluegrass Cat. Barbaro, undefeated so far this year, could be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed completed the feat in 1978.

But the story isn’t in this amazing horse. The real NICE story is found in the stables with Barbaro’s trainer, Michael Matz.

Matz is a three-time Olympic equestrian rider and arguably one of the best Americans to have ever competed in the sport. He can now add Kentucky Derby winning trainer to his resume.

But Matz is most notably the man who saved two little children and an infant from the fiery wreckage of United Flight 232 in an Iowa cornfield on July 19, 1989. Bumped to the flight in Denver, on his way back from Hawai’i, Matz could not have been prepared for the tragic set of events he was to face later that day.

The plane was trying to make an emergency landing in Iowa after one of four engines exploded mid-flight. As soon as it made touchdown, the plane skidded then flipped over and caught fire. Matz, along with many of the passengers (182 of the 296 people onboard survived), were able to get out of the plane relatively unscathed. He led the two children sitting next to him to safety immediately after the crash. Then came the real hero part: Noticing that his then fiancée, D.D. Alexander, was missing, Matz went back into the fiery fuselage to save her. Unable to find her, he and another heroic man heard a baby crying and ended up saving it from the trappings of an overhead compartment. Matz brought the baby to the safety of the tarmac where he found his fiancée alive and in one piece.

Pretty crazy stuff (I think I saw something like it in a 1990s Dustin Hoffman movie). Some of us really do live charmed lives and Matz would certainly belong to this club. And although it’s at times hard to cheer for the front runner in sports, Barbaro and Matz will certainly have my bets come May 20 at Pimlico Race Course and the 131st running of the Preakness Stakes. I’d love to see the Triple Crown awarded once again and the Matz factor just makes it so much more interesting. Besides, it’s always fun to follow a story of when the good guy wins.

Read this L.A. Times article for an interview with Matz reflecting on his Flight 232 experience.