50 Cent’s Feud with Floyd Mayweather Could Benefit Charity

50 Cent challenged Floyd Mayweather to a reading contest

The feud between 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather could benefit charity.
Image: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Opting out of the wildly popular and influential “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” rapper 50 Cent posted a video on Instagram earlier this month, challenging Floyd Mayweather Jr. to read a full page of a “Harry Potter” novel aloud without messing it up. In the video, 50 Cent states that if Mayweather, who currently holds the title of best boxer in the world, does so and has proof, he will donate $750,000 to any charity of Mayweather’s choice.

Later, 50 Cent posted another video stating that late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel agreed to let Mayweather read on his show. “We don’t want to put pressure on you,” 50 Cent says to Mayweather in the latest post. “We know you can’t pronounce those words in the “Harry Potter” book, so we gonna let you read “‘Cat in the Hat.’”

Floyd Mayweather does not seem to be a fan of many rappers lately. He fought T.I. in a Fatburger in Las Vegas in May, dissed Nelly for being a high school dropout on ESPN, and has had a total falling out with former friend 50 Cent. Nelly is also now dating Mayweather’s ex-fiancé, Miss Shantel Jackson.

At the end of the Instagram video 50 Cent yells, “f*** the bucket of ice,” and tosses it over his balcony. Mayweather still hasn’t replied but sources say that if he does, it will likely come via social media. Was this display in poor taste given the seriousness of ALS, an incurable disease? While many people aren’t invested in the overly hyped and often media-manufactured feuds between celebrities, at least 50 Cent was able to stir up more attention for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a campaign that raised millions of dollars for ALS research.

How do you weigh in on this charitable feud? Does it truly serve charitable causes to raise funds in this way?

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The National Impact of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

John Krasinski ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

John Krasinski ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

And the nominees are…”

No, this is not the Emmys or Oscars. Rather, it’s a casting call for acquaintances, friends, or family by individuals and celebrities who challenge them to dump a bucket full of ice water on their heads. Why, you ask? This outlandish challenge that hundreds of thousands have participated in and even more are conscious of is a social media campaign to raise money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The Ice Bucket Challenge, which began surfacing in the media earlier this summer, has only continued to bombard popular social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter since it picked up speed in July. Your Facebook newsfeed has likely informed you of someone completing the challenge every hour with an uploaded video. In addition to your friends and acquaintances participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge, every week, more and more celebrities join the cause and nominate others to do the same.

Individuals post a video stating they have been nominated by another person to complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. After they have been dowsed in ice-cold water, the individual commissions a few others to complete the challenge, or to donate funds to the ALS Association.

One social criticism of the Ice Bucket Challenge lies in the fact that some skeptics weren’t convinced that all of the videos uploaded to social media were making any real impact. Many individuals feel the because of the challenge’s vigorous spread in the media that the Ice Bucket Challenge is nothing but just a stunt, or “slacktivism.” There are many people asking, “If the challenge is for charity, then why don’t people just donate money?” Not to mention—if people are completing the challenge, are they also donating afterwards?

Whether the challenge is genuine or not, the ALS Association has confirmed the viral spread through the media is actually helping. More than 22 million dollars has been raised, and the donations are still growing. According to the ALS Association, any recognition for this incurable disease is appreciated. It’s good to know that the challenge is actually generating charitable results, helping people with ALS to remain hopeful; that a cure will soon hopefully be discovered.

So, if you’re one of the ‘lucky’ nominees, will you give in to the Ice Bucket Challenge? Do you think that campaigns like this are helpful in advancing medicine and finding cures for deadly diseases?

Regardless of your thoughts, my personal favorite video was from John Krasinski and Emily Blunt – check them out below!

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The Collapse of the Mosul Dam Could Affect Millions of People

Mosul Dam

Mosul Dam IMG: via Google Earth

General Karim Fatah, commander of a Kurdish peshmerga battalion near the Mosul dam, told ABC News that Kurdish forces have taken control of both ends of the dam. However, fighters from Iraq and Syria (ISIS) still control some positions near the western end of the structure.

The U.S. government is concerned about these developments, causing President Obama to send a letter to Congress. In this letter he authorized airstrikes against ISIS targets at the dam “in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.” The letter went on to explain, “The failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, endanger U.S. personnel and facilities, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace.”

The Mosul Dam was built in the 1980s on really terrible ground, requiring constant maintenance to prevent it from collapsing. “Mosul Dam, the largest dam in Iraq, was constructed on a foundation of soluble soils that are continuously dissolving, resulting in the formation of cavities and voids underground that place the dam at risk for failure,” David Petraeus, currently the chairman of KKR’s Global Institute and former commanding general of the U.S. Army, and Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, stated in a letter.

The dam requires “extraordinary engineering measures” – which is a lot of grouting operations to fill in the holes and “maintain the structural integrity and operating capability of the dam,” according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report in 2007. The Iraqi government has been able to keep the dam in passing condition by continuously pumping in tons of grout.

“Assuming a worse [sic] case scenario, an instantaneous failure of Mosul Dam filled to its maximum operating level could result in a flood wave over 20 meters [65 feet] deep at the city of Mosul, which would result in a significant loss of life and property,” Petraeus and Crocker’s letter stated.

Last Friday an Iraqi government official said that the lead dam engineer and his steam were still on site. The water level was being kept lower than normal to reduce risk, according to the official.

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Texas Attorney General Threatens to Sue EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Attorney General Greg Abbott insisted this week that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back down from their proposal to expand the definition of federal waters to include seasonal and rain-dependent waterways. But according to the EPA, the proposal will create harsher penalties for polluting these waterways, which is not only better for the environment but also for local residents—especially because many people get drinking water from these sources.

“It’s important to protect the whole network of streams that flow into rivers and oceans,” said Ellen Gilinsky, a senior adviser for water at the EPA. “This rule ensures clean waters for Texans to drink and recreate in, clean water for businesses, and clean water for farmers.”

But in a written response, Abbot says the new proposal “is without adequate scientific and economic justification and, if finalized, would erode private property rights and have devastating effects on the landowners of Texas.”

The EPA says the update is needed to help close loopholes in the Clean Water Act, which has left more than half of America’s streams and around 20 million acres of wetlands at risk of unregulated pollution and development.

Abbot’s battle with the EPA over air pollution has been extraordinarily long-winded. So far, Texans have had to pay nearly $4 million for Abbott’s continued pressure on the federal agency charged with protecting the nation’s environment through regulations. While some Texans still stand behind Abbott on the issue, not all are happy with the drawn-out drama unfolding.

“Abbott is using precious public resources to attack clean air protections for Texans,” wrote Marcelo Norsworthy, a Texas-based transportation analyst for the Environmental Defense Fund in July. “His penchant for rhetorical flourish is in sharp contrast with his actual track record. He has racked up a long list of court losses in his ongoing effort to weaken environmental and public health protections.”

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Kim Kardashian App Projected to Earn $200m in First Year

Kim Kardashian Game

Kim Kardashian Game

Did you know that Kim Kardashian has a game app? And perhaps more surprisingly, that it’s been incredibly popular since its release? Glu Mobile released the game in late June and by the end of July, it was the ninth most popular free download on the Apple App store.

The game is based around creating your own personalized avatar that visits Hollywood hotspots to meet, flirt, date or just network with other players as you try to become an “A-list” model or actor. Only if you climb high enough on the social ladder do you get to hang out with reality star and fashion entrepreneur, Kim Kardashian.

The game is set to gross $200 million by next summer, which would make it one of the top mobile app games ever. Who knew that hanging out with virtual Kim Kardashian would be so appealing to so many people?

“In Hollywood, when they are losing the predictability of things like the DVD business, there’s an unparalleled opportunity to get into the gaming business,” said Niccolo de Masi, who is chief executive of Glu Games Inc.

The age range for the game is surprisingly extensive. Payal Shah, a 24-year old entrepreneur that provides jewelry for celebrities says, “It’s almost like living a parallel life … it’s a fun escape after a challenging day. The fancy clothes, the stunning villas and apartments, the clubbing and socializing are just a few keystrokes away.”

The world seems to be as obsessed with this game as it is with the Kardashian family itself. And with still more updates set to release, including new locations for the game, it seems like the app will keep looking up for quite some time.

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