Michael Jackson Dies at 50, 2 Weeks Before ‘Comeback’ Shows

michael jackson dies dead coma heart attack badSeveral outlets (including TMZ) are reporting that Michael Jackson died this afternoon at age 50. These reports have not yet been confirmed and do not cite sources but the situation is grim. The LA Times reports that Jackson is in a coma now confirms that Jackson has been pronounced dead:

Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by doctors this afternoon after arriving at a hospital in a deep coma, city and law enforcement sources told The Times.

Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a medical call at 12:21 p.m. today in the 100 block of North Carolwood Drive in LA found Michael Jackson, 50, on the other end — not breathing. Horrifying news in a week in which we’ve already seen the passing of Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett.

“When the [paramedic] team arrived, they saw that CPR was already in progress by someone at the home. The person not breathing was transported to UCLA Medical Center and remains there,” said an LAFD spokesperson. Jackson’s father, Joe has confirmed that Michael is hospitalized, according to E!.

Jackson was reportedly in good health according to a recent physical exam — he had gotten into shape in preparation for his return to the stage after many years — a set of 50 dates in July at London’s O2 Arena, where fans lined up and bought all 750,000 tickets for the 50 show run (valuing $85 million). The “comeback” shows, billed “This is It” was to start July 10 and run into March 2010.

Our prayers are with the Jackson family. Rest in Peace, King of Pop.

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VIDEO: What Analog TV is Like after the Digital Television Transition

I’m not the only one who didn’t bother to upgrade my TV set from a hand-me-down analog to a DTV-capable (or converted) set. Surprisingly, there are at least two or three channels that continue broadcasting (on UHF in Los Angeles), including HSN.com. The rest of the local channels feature an irritating infomercial on how stupid we must be for not converting our analog TV’s with a DTV converter box. Or, as you’ll see in the beginning of the video — it’s complete and total dead air (as in the case of ABC 7). No matter, I’m watching Game 5 of the NBA Finals via a Veetle livestream broadcast. Interestingly, some channels — for example, what was formerly NBC Los Angeles Channel 4 — are broadcasting the DTV infomercial exclusively in Spanish, as if to say that it’s clearly a class or language issue. Also noted — an apparent Chicago bias in the content of the DTV infomercials. Catch Alfonso Soriano rounding the bases with a quick cut to a Lou Malnatti’s Pizzeria sign about half way through. Check out the 3:30 video below for a tour of analog TV in the DTV era.

Video: President Obama’s Speech in Cairo, Egypt

Barack Obama gave a formative speech on the future of U.S. – Middle East relations today, focusing in particular on U.S. relations — both as perceived and purported — with the Muslim World. Initial feedback is that it was a powerful speech that went over well by most accounts. Watch and decide for yourself. For photos, transcripts in multiple languages, and more, check the White House blog here.

English transcript is below:

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Beatles Rock Band Unveiled

So cool, I had to post it. 45 songs — I may have to buy a game console for the first time since Sega Genesis way back when.

Ten of the songs were revealed, according to GameSpot: I Feel Fine, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Day Tripper, Taxman, I Am The Walrus, Back in the USSR, Octopus’s Garden, Here Comes the Sun, Get Back, I Saw Her Standing There.

Watch the full Beatles Rock Band trailer below: