John Travolta Speaks About Son’s Death

By:Brooke Fontana

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP/The Loop) — John Travolta said Wednesday he tried desperately to save the life of his seizure-prone son and made perhaps his first public description of the boy as autistic as he testified in the trial of two people accused of trying to blackmail him.

With his wife Kelly Preston looking on inside the Nassau courtroom, Travolta said that he performed CPR on his son after a nanny alerted him the teen had fallen ill at a family vacation home on Grand Bahama island. Jett Travolta later died from a seizure.

“I ran downstairs with my wife to help my son,” Travolta said.

Travolta is the star witness at the trial of two people — paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and former Bahamas senator Pleasant Bridgewater — who are accused of trying to extort $25 million from the movie star. Both defendants pleaded innocent to extortion charges at the trial that began Monday in this island chain off the Florida coast.

Travolta testified that he and Preston were awakened by a nanny around 10:15 a.m. on Jan. 2, the day of Jett’s death. Travolta said when he went downstairs, another caretaker was doing chest compressions and he began administering breathing help.

Travolta also said — apparently for the first time in public — that 16-year-old Jett was autistic, confirming speculation that had swirled for years. The developmental disorder is frequently accompanied by seizures.

“He was autistic. He suffered from a seizure disorder,” Travolta told the jury when asked about his son’s condition.

The actor said Jett suffered seizures every five to 10 days. He said the seizures would last 45 seconds to a minute and Jett typically slept for 12 hours after each one.

Travolta, 55, who has kept a low profile since Jett’s death. He skipped promotional events this summer for his latest film, “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.” He thanked his co-stars on his Web site for giving him time to grieve through their efforts to publicize the film.

Travolta arrived the Supreme Court building in an entourage of sport utility vehicles for his first appearance at the trial. Security was noticeably heavier than previous days with Bahamas police officers surrounding the courthouse.

Police say the alleged scheme involved a document related to Jett’s treatment. It would have released emergency responders from liability if the family refused an ambulance but police said that did not happen.

A police officer testified Tuesday that Travolta signed the release because he initially wanted his son taken to the airport instead of a local hospital.

A nine-person jury was expected to hear from a total of 14 witnesses, including Travolta.


Apple Releases OS X Snow Leopard

By: Brooke Fontana

Chattanooga, Tenn(The Loop/AP)  Apple’s next generation of operating software Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard reached its release date Aug 28th, 2009, and according to Apple it has been refined from installation to shutdown. For only $29 this software upgrade may be the most efficient upgrade yet.  Mac OS X is already known for its simplicity, reliability, and user friendliness.

 With users in mind Apple wanted to make a great thing even better. Designers of Mac OS X Snow Leopard refined areas such as speed, simplicity, and they simplified the installation process, these examples are just a few of what designers have done to make Mac OS X Snow Leopard the most proficient upgrade yet. 

Reliability and Disk Space 

The entire process of installation has been simplified and is 50 percent faster and reliable. For example Snow Leopard checks your applications to make sure they are compatible and sets aside applications that are not, in case something interrupts your installation, and prevents you from losing data. Another amazing feature Snow Leopard takes up less disk space, 7 gigabytes less space than the previous operating software OS X Leopard.  


64-bit compared to 32-bit computing

64-bit computing only used to be used by scientists and engineers, but the shift in computing gives everyone the opportunity for all users to use 64-bit computing. Mac’s previous software was 64-bit compatible, but now Mac OS X Snow Leopard has rewritten so nearly all system applications are in 64-bit code. This allows Mac to hold large amounts of memory. 64-bit applications deliver faster more efficient performance. <insert picture 1 here justify right> 

Another perk of the 64-bit applications is they they’re even more secure from hackers and spy ware. The reason for this is because 64-bit applications can use more advanced security procedures and techniques to ward off hackers and bad code.

QuickTime and I-chat

Snow Leopard introduces QuickTime X, which includes a new player application that supports modern codes, and delivers more efficient media playback, which makes it ideal for any application that needs to play media. QuickTime Player can now capture audio or video using the built-in camera and microphone on your Mac. You can cut video, and then upload it to iTunes for iPhone, iPod’s and Apple TV. QuickTime X uses technologies such as Cocoa, Grand Central Dispatch, and 64-bit computing to deliver the best possible performance. This allows QuickTime X to launch and play up to 2.4x faster.

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Chinese Character Input

Until now if a user every wanted to enter Chinese characters on a computer you had to type out the phonetic spelling of Chinese words and the computer would convert them into symbols. With Snow Leopard’s new technology users can write Chinese symbols directly on the Multi-Touch trackpad in your Mac notebook. The character will show up on the screen and recommends characters to use. This is a new technology only available with Snow Leopard. <insert photo 3 justify right>

User Review :Jason Parker of 

Jason Parker is an editor for and reviewed Mac OS X Snow Leopard 2 days before the release date. Parker said “Mac OS X Leopard costs $29 for current Leopard users, and packs just enough punch to be worth your money. Apple is careful to point out that Snow Leopard isn’t a complete system overhaul, but rather a collection of hundreds of smaller refinements to make Leopard run more gracefully.” There were not many negative comments in regard to the new software update by Robert’s did state this. “I don’t like that PowerPC users are unable to use Snow Leopard, but we understand that after three years with Intel, Apple is making a decision to continue moving forward with this technology.” He said that overall he thinks it is a wise choice to spend the $29 to get the update because it does enhance Leopard and make it easier to use.



New Worm Species Found: The Green Bomber

By Brooke Fontana

WASHINGTON ( The Loop/AP) –  Seven new species of worms living thousands of feet beneath the sea have been discovered by a team led by Karen Osbourne of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Researchers have given the name “green bombers” to the newly found species. The team reports about the worms in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

According to Osbourne “These are not rare animals. Often when we see them they number in the hundreds. What’s unique is that their habitat is really hard to sample.” The worms range in size from three-fourths of an inch to nearly four inches. They live at depths ranging from 5,900 feet to more than 12,000 feet and were discovered by remotely operated submarines in the northwest and western Pacific Ocean.

“They have a very strange way of using bioluminescence,” Osborn explained. They have appendages, some round, others long or oval, which they release as a defense mechanism when they are disturbed. Once the appendages are released it glows bright green. The worms are capable of regenerating their body parts she added.  It’s the first time this has been seen in swimming worms, she said. “We’re not sure who their predators are,” added Osborn, but she stated that fish usually prey on other types of swimming worms. The first of the new species has been given the scientific name Swima bombiviridis. The discovery shows how little is known about life in the deep sea, the researchers wrote.

The research was funded by the Scripps Institution, University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the National Geographic Society.


Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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