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Ice Bucket Challenge Gives $15 Million Into ALS Association

The challenge is simple. Participants dump a bucket of ice-cold water over their heads and post the video to social media, challenging three others to either do the same within 24 hours or make a donation to the ALS Association.

Many participants, which have included some of the top names in the sports, entertainment, business and political world, have said they’re doing both.

Some critics have knocked the viral trend as yet another example of “slacktivism,” the derisive nickname for efforts in which people support a cause on the Internet, but don’t do anything to actually help.

But the numbers don’t bear that out in this case.

The ALS Assocation said that 307,598 of the donations it has received in recent weeks have come from people who had never given before.

“Without a doubt, the popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge, the social media phenomenon that continues to sweep the nation, has encouraged tens of thousands of Americans not only to douse themselves with ice water but also to open their pocketbooks and to donate to the fight against ALS,” Barbara J. Newhouse, the president and CEO of the association, said in a message posted to the group’s website on Saturday.

It hasn’t hurt that people with massive public profiles, and deep pockets, have been among those to go under the ice.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg challenged Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who responded with a funny video in which he designs an elaborate structure to douse himself. Hen then challenged SpaceX and Tesla Motors boss Elon Musk, Ryan Seacrest and Chris Anderson of TED (All three accepted).

Oprah Winfrey answered multiple challenges by taking (or, rather, receiving) the plunge, with best buddy Gayle King, of course, doing the honors.

NBA superstar Lebron James, tennis champ Caroline Wozniacki and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell are just a few of the most recent athletes to ice-bucket. The trend took off in a big way in the sports world, after being kicked off by Pete Frates, a former baseball player at Boston College who has been living with ALS since 2012.

He floated the idea and his former teammates, as well as other Boston-area athletes, took him up on it. It was noticed and covered by local media and that attention, along with the social Web’s viral nature, launched it onto a much larger stage.

Newhouse said the ALS Association will be using the funds to help families dealing with the disease as well as invest in helping find a cure.

Currently, the group supports 98 active research projects and recently announced $3.5 million in funding for 21 new ones.

“Never before have we been in a better position to fuel our fight against this disease,” she said in her post. “Increased awareness and unprecedented financial support will enable us to think outside the box.”

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Watch Paolo Bediones Viral Video Part 2

Watch Paolo Bediones Viral Video Part 2

There’s a widespread chitchat in media circles that raises this very simple question: How in the world did News5 executives allow Paolo Bediones to resume his anchoring job amid his sex video scandal?

So far we can only rely on the network’s press statement that says it’s “purely a personal and private matter in which TV5 has no involvement or desire to intrude.”

We may not really know the entire story why they decided to keep Mr. Bediones even after being involved in a sex scandal, but we just don’t get why the network is pretending like everything’s back to normal.

Part of the network’s statement that says, “We firmly express our support for our anchor Paolo Bediones in the face of a controversy that represents nothing more than an attempt to smear his reputation,” serves more of an encouragement to the TV5 anchor than an apology to his viewers and netizens who felt dismayed with the release of his private video.

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From an ethical standpoint, the most reasonable move for TV5 is to ask Bediones to take an LOA or leave of absence, or if the network won’t initiate, then Bediones himself should opt to consider filing one on his own.

It’s been proven over the years that “celebrities” can make a comeback even after a storm as big as a sex scandal (insert: Hayden Kho, Wally Bayola and Katrina Halili, just to name a few). But it takes some time. People just don’t easily forget especially a controversy that’s been the top trending topic on social media just a few days ago.

For ratings reasons, of course, TV5 just couldn’t and probably wouldn’t even dare to temporarily let go one of their lead news anchors. The reason is very simple: they need Bediones as much as he needs them. Regardless of the damage of the sex video scandal he’s involved in, it’s serving as a lifeline to News5 — giving them some attention they need at the moment following the much-hyped but heavily criticized Aksyon-branded programs (more on that in the coming days).

“Kung under siya kay Ging Reyes or Maria Ressa, Paolo probably doesn’t have a job right now,” said a veteran reporter from a rival network. “Paolo is now a news anchor and news anchors should project a certain image that they’re trustworthy. In this case, Paolo is not just the news presenter but he’s also at the center of the news.”

If the grapevine is to be believed, Luchi Cruz-Valdes is having her “last hurrah” as news chief of News5. What better way to end a tumultuous five-year reign than to increase the ratings of News5 programs which stuck in distant third position since 2010.

But wouldn’t it be better to leave the network on a high note? It would be nice to FINALLY see LCV’s journalistic stamp on the network… to see her standing up for what’s right and advocate a high ethical standards on the ailing News5.

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Need you to LIKE this PICTURE Vespa Photo Contest

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