New Releases

Half An Orange Go Intergalactic on 'Buzz Lightyear'

Pulsating dance music with subtle energy.

Photo Courtesy Half An Orange

Andrew Spellman and Michael Maloof are Half An Orange. Their new single is "Buzz Lightyear."

According to the duo, "The song 'Buzz Lightyear' is about wishing you could fly away from your problems and situation but you can't because your mistakes and baggage are weighing you down."

The duo's unusual name comes from a Portuguese idiom: "metade da laranja." Translated as "half an orange," the phrase means everyone is half an orange looking for the one person, purpose, or thing that completes them. They like the name because they sometimes feel like round pegs in a square hole.



Half An Orange formed in 2016, when Maloof returned from backpacking through Brazil and shared his poems with Spellman, who decided they needed to be set to music. First, they converted each poem into an acoustic song, and then they went into the studio and added electronic production.

"Buzz Lightyear" opens with surfacing synths, followed by soothing, filtered vocals flowing into a pulsing dance groove. The harmonics stream gently over the measured cadence, as sparkling colors twirl and swirl overhead. Blinking tones infuse depth and dimension, as the whispery vocal harmonies radiate nuanced aspirations.

"On most nights / I'm just wearing my pajamas / Staying up too late cause I'm watching Futurama / Thinking where is my trauma / My life is no melodrama / Leave it off the screen cause it's got no genr / Sometimes I call my momma / Ring ya she's always my armor."

The lyrics reflect the desire to fly away from all your problems and start over. Like Pixar's character in Toy Story, we want to fly but can't.

Follow Half An Orange Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.


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Sports

THE OPTION | Collegiate eSports is the Next Big Thing

eSports scholarships are the way of the future.

Last week, Ohio's Ashland University made history, creating the first collegiate scholarship for the video game Fortnite.

Ashland is the newest school hopping on the rapidly-growing eSports bandwagon, but with this recent move, they've set a new precedent. While many eSports scholarships are centered on a genre, (for example NYU's EVO scholarship is mainly focused on students who play fighting games) Ashland has decided to narrow its focus to a specific title, adding a Fortnite squad to go along with its Overwatch and League of Legends teams. This will allow Ashland, with its limited resources, to compete in specific collegiate eSports tournaments without forcing it to invest too much capital.

That said, Fortnite is a strange choice for a scholarship program. The game is insanely popular, but it doesn't have a strong unified league yet, and while there are tournaments, Fortnite isn't that big of a deal in the competitive gaming community. This is partially due to the fact that the game is less than a year old, but there's still no guarantee that its popularity will translate into the world of professional gaming.

Ashland's commitment to a recent, less-established title marks a significant change in the way college sports programs operate. Ashland isn't creating a team based on confirmed profitability or a rich history of competition. Fortnite isn't League of Legends. There aren't 25 million dollar prize pools associated with Fortnite tournaments. Ashland is making an educated bet, hoping that Fortnite lives up to its potential. If Ashland's athletic department bet correctly and Fortnite manages to become a major player, then they'll have gotten there first, making Ashland a major competitor in any and all NCAA Fortnite tournaments by default.

Ashland's eSports logo

But why Fortnite? Well, unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably noticed Fortnite's popularity, as well as its cultural influence. It's not just nerds playing either. Both athletes and musicians (including but not limited to JuJu Smith-Schuster, Drake, Logic, and Ben Simmons) are just as obsessed with the game as its biggest fanboys. On top of this, the Twitch community is in love with watching top Fortnite players. For example, Ninja, the gamer who was recently featured in Forbes for monetizing his stream to the tune of $500,000 per month, recently hosted an event in Vegas that garnered close to 700,000 concurrent viewers.

Still, for all of the money being invested in individual players, outside of a few minor tournaments hosted by Epic Games, (Fortnite's developer) competitive matches have been few and far between. One reason for this, is the games mechanics (if you're unfamiliar with how Fortnite works, read this). Because loot and weapons placement is random, there's a certain element of luck involved in Fortnite matches. While some treat this like the NFL treats rain, there is a certain contingency of players who feel uncomfortable leaving professional matches up to chance. Still, even considering the gripes of a few gamers, the market is clearly there, and Fortnite's transition to the world of eSports is more a question of when rather than if.

Collegiate eSports fans

In order to understand why a college might invest in eSports, via scholarships or participation in various competitions, it's important to realize that college sports are first and foremost a money-making operation. College athletes famously go unpaid, while universities rake in tons from ticket/concession sales. The moral failings of the NCAA aside, colleges invest in the sports, or in this case eSports, that they think will make them money. That said, the barriers to entry to the world of NCAA football or basketball are extreme. These programs take years to build, and this doesn't even take the cost of stadiums, road trips, and equipment into account.

According to a report, it costs a school in the SEC over $150,000 a year for each student athlete they enroll. That's a lot of overhead for a small college. eSports on the other hand, are relatively cheap equipment-wise and don't necessarily require a stadium. By investing in a smaller game, with a more niche eSports community, Ashland University is giving us a glimpse into the future of the NCAA. While athletic powerhouses like Penn State, Duke, and Notre Dame will likely start investing in the more popular eSports, the world of professional gaming is so vast that smaller colleges have the chance to compete by investing in games that haven't yet hit their peak in terms of competitive play.

The eSports industry is currently valued at around $900 million, and while the IOC has said no to violent video games, there are still talks that eSports could be included in the Olympics in 2024. With this in mind, it's hard to imagine a world in which eSports don't become supremely popular. The wide array of video games also promises to help democratize the NCAA a bit. With so many titles to choose from, schools that were never known for their athletics departments will have a chance to excel at specific games. Whether or not eSports constitute athletics is debatable, but one thing is certain, gaming has become an extremely marketable skill and an invaluable part of the college landscape.


Matt Clibanoff is a writer and editor based in New York City who covers music, politics, sports and pop culture. His editorial work can be found in Inked Magazine, PopDust, The Liberty Project, and All Things Go. His fiction has been published in Forth Magazine. -- Find Matt at his website and on Twitter: @mattclibanoff


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Cincinnati zoo gorilla shooting mom negligence investigation over after prosecutors determine she was not at fault

The mother of the 4-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure at Cincinnati zoo will not be charged with negligence.

As Popdust previously reported, the incident led to an endangered western lowland gorilla, named Harambe, being shot dead by zoo officials.

The toddler, Isiah Gregg, had crawled through a barrier around the enclosure, before falling 15 feet onto the ground.

17-year-old Harambe, who weighs 400 pounds, quickly seized hold of the boy, and dragged him through the enclosure’s water area as horrified onlookers watched from above.

Zoo officials quickly rushed to the scene and shot Harambe dead—claiming they were unable to tranquilize him as the sedative would have taken too long to take effect and may have endangered the child further.

The shooting of Harambe caused outrage—with people blaming the mom, Michelle Gregg, for his death, and calling for her to be prosecuted.

Authorities cleared the zoo of any wrongdoing, despite video surfacing that, according to many animal behaviorists, seemingly showed the gorilla had actually been trying to protect the little boy just prior to his death.

They announced last week they would be investigating the boy’s parents to see if charges of negligence should be brought against them.

Shortly after the incident, Gregg took to Facebook to defend herself:

God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him.

My son is safe and was able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes... no broken bones or internal injuries.

As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids.

She’s since deleted all of her social media accounts after being inundated with angry messages.

Ohio prosecutor, Joseph Deters, released a statement today, saying they believe the mother was not negligent:

By all accounts, this mother did not act in any way where she presented this child to some harm.

She had three other kids with her and turned her back. ...

And if anyone doesn't believe a 3-year-old can scamper off very quickly, they've never had kids.

Had she been in the bathroom smoking crack and letting her kids run around the zoo, that’d be a different story.

She was being attentive to her children, by all witness accounts.

Deters concluded that the zoo had lost "a beautiful animal" that was beloved in the community, "but it's still an animal. It does not equate human life."

Following the prosecutor’s ruling, Myers released her own statement:

It is what we expected.

This is one more step in allowing us to put this tragic episode behind us and return to our normal family life.

We extend thanks to all of those who have been praying for us and who have supported us through this trying ordeal and praise to God for His mercy and grace.

Meanwhile, if one good thing can come out of this whole sorry, tragic affair, it's the national dialogue that's been sparked over gorillas being held in captivity.

Harambe was born in captivity and held behind bars for the entire 17-years he was on this planet.

Basically, imprisoned for life without any chance of parole—and gawped at day in day out by ogling screeching crowds.

To find out more on the subject visit The Born Free foundation website and check out Peta's zoo stats report.

For more entertainment, music and pop culture updates and news, follow Max Page on Twitter

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cincinnati zoo gorilla shooting parents investigation launched—critics call for family of 3-year-old boy to face negligence charges

Cincinnati cops are investigating the parents of the 4-year-old boy who fell into Harambe the gorilla’s zoo enclosure Saturday.

The incident led to zoo officials shooting dead the endangered western lowland gorilla, who had been behind zoo bars since his birth in captivity  17-years ago.

The shooting was caught on camera and has led to an outcry—with many criticizing the zoo for not tranquilizing the gorilla instead of shooting him dead.

A zoo spokesperson claimed that was not an option, explaining that a tranquilizer dart requires time to take effect, and may have prompted the gorilla to act violently towards the little boy.

The zoo claims their only option in order to ensure the boy’s safety was to kill Harambe.

However, new video footage surfaced Monday, seemingly showing the 800Lb gorilla was actually protecting the boy, rather than posing any threat to his life.

And, some animal behaviorists claim Harambe was showing no aggression towards the child, and that when he was dragging the boy across the water, it was in reaction to screaming from the crowds.

That he was actually trying to keep the boy safe from danger.

The new video footage also appears to show the gorilla holding the little boy’s hand just shortly before the shooting.

Whatever the true situation—and, we will never know for sure now either way—Harambe is dead, and there’s no bringing him back.

However, people want somebody to be held accountable for his death—and the finger of blame is now being pointed firmly at the boy’s parents.

News of the investigation into Michelle Gregg and Deonne Dickerson, follows calls for them to be charged with negligence.

Although, it has to be noted, Dickerson was not at the zoo that day.

An online petition was launched shortly after the investigation, with over 385,000 people (at time of posting) demanding Gregg be held responsible for the gorilla’s death.

A Facebook page, called Justice 4 Harambe was also set up.

Gregg has been subjected to online abuse and some have called for her to be fired from her job.

Following the online harassment, Gregg removed her Facebook page—but, she posted about the incident shortly after it occurred.

Sharing that her son was "able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes... no broken bones or internal injuries".

She went on to state:

As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes of of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids.

Accidents happen but I am thankful people were in the right place today.

Meanwhile, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters says once the police inquiry had finished they “will confer with our office on possible criminal charges.”

For more entertainment, music and pop culture updates and news, follow Max Page on Twitter

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ohio school shooting Another Day Another US School Shooting 14-Year-Old Injures 4 Students

Just another day in the U.S. of A.

A 14-year-old student has been arrested after opening fire on classmates at Madison High School in Middletown, Ohio, on Monday.

Student opens fire in cafeteria ohio school shooting

WLWT reports that James Austin Hancock, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of felonious assault, inducing panic and making terroristic threats, after shooting two, and injuring two of his fellow students, during an incident at the school’s cafeteria this morning.

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Cameron Smith, 15, and Cooper Caffrey, 14, have been identified as the two students who were shot—Brant Murray, 14, and Katherine Doucette, 14, were injured from shrapnel while trying to flee the building—thankfully none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Tracked down by K-9 team ohio school shooting

According to reports, directly after opening fire, Hancock ran from the school, dropping his gun as he fled—he was subsequently tracked down near school grounds by K-9 officers, and taken into custody.

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Eyewitness, eighth-grade student, Shelby Kinnin, talked about the terrifying ordeal to WLWT

I was eating with my friends and stuff and we were chatting. I was about to move my chair over and I heard like a couple of a loud bangs.

And then I looked over and one of the kids that got shot liked grabbed his leg. He fell down and the shooter like ran out. There were kids screaming and like crying and everybody ran out of the building.

ABC News reports that authorities are aware of a motive for the shooting, but have not yet released details to the press.

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7,800 gun-related incidents already this year ohio school shooting

According to the Gun Violence Archive, today’s shooting adds to the 7,800 gun-related incidents that have occurred so far this year in the USA.

Here’s the stats for 2016 ohio school shooting

2,018 deaths

3,937 injuries

82 children (0-11) killed/injured

438 teens (12-17) killed/injured

37 mass shootings

767 police officer involved incidents

372 home invasions

392 accidental shootings

Pretty shocking when you consider we aren’t even three months into 2016 yet.

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The BBC reports that there were 372 mass shootings in the U.S. last year—resulting in 475 deaths, and 1,870 injuries.

64 of those mass shootings occurred in schools.

In total, there were over 13,286 gun-related deaths in the U.S. last year (excluding suicides, and not taking into account incidences that occurred in the final weeks of 2016)

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U.S. is a world leader in gun violence ohio school shooting

When it comes to firearm deaths, the U.S. is a world leader—NPR breaks the numbers down by region—and it’s eye-opening to say the least.

Going by 2013’s violent gun death statistics, the U.S. is right near the top of gun deaths per 100,000 people, in five out of six world regions.

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Sense of urgency ohio school shooting

Back in January President Obama called for a “sense of urgency” to help fight gun violence.

Obama introduced a number of executive actions in hopes of curbing firearm-related deaths—including, stricter background checks for potential gun purchasers and improved gun safety technology.

Murdered Ohio Woman Hanging On Fence Mistaken For Halloween Decoration

Republicans have roundly condemned all of Obama’s proposed measures, and vowed to overturn all and any should they be signed into law.

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Some people really go all out on Halloween—Jack-O-Lanterns...mock-coffins....dry ice.

Or the dude who thought he’d freak out his neighbors by draping what appeared to be a woman’s corpse over his fence. At least that’s what  a man walking his dog in Chillicothe, Ohio assumed when he happened upon the spooky site.

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However, it turned out that the dead woman hanging from the fence was actually a dead woman hanging from the fence—31-year-old mother of one, Rebecca Cade.

According to Ohio’s WKRC, construction workers made the grisly discovery around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday thinking it was a Halloween decoration—and local neighbors had assumed the same thing.

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“I thought somebody was playing a prank on the construction workers and I told my daughter it was just a dummy,” one neighbor said. “it was so awful that I thought it was a prank that went too far.”

But, it was no prank, it was the results of a truly gruesome murder.

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Police Chief Keith Washburn says Cade died from blunt-force injuries to her head and neck—she had been beaten so badly that she was unrecognizable. A bloody rock “the size of a grapefruit” was found close by and is presumed to be the murder weapon.

Cade suffered from learning disabilities, and neighbors say she was sweet and overly trusting.

“She was very gullible, very easily misled, as long as she thought you were her friend she would do just about anything for you,” one neighbor told WKRC.

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Her alleged killer, 27-year-old Donnie Cochenour Jr., is currently being held on a $2 million bond.

27-year-old Donnie Cochenour Jr. has been charged with one count of murder

Cochenour has purportedly already confessed to the murder and is currently behind bars, on suicide watch at Ross County Jail.

Ross County Prosecutor Sherri Rutherford revealed in Chillicothe Municipal Court on Wednesday that he was allegedly involved in a fight with Cade before killing her. She was apparently trying to climb the fence and escape when she died.

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Cochenour appeared in court earlier this week via video link, wearing clothing designed to prevent suicide attempts. His uncle said he has been “concerned” about his nephew's mental health for several years.