Tattle: Celebs' digital deaths: How tweet it is

Posted: November 29, 2010

ALICIA KEYS, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher and other celebrities are going offline on Wednesday.

They have joined a new campaign called Digital Life Sacrifice (and what a sacrifice it is) on behalf of Alicia's AIDS charity, Keep a Child Alive. The celebs plan to sign off of social-media platforms like Facebook and Twitter on Dec. 1, which is World AIDS Day.

They will sign back on when the charity raises $1 million.

Not only will not tweeting raise money, it will save fans from wasting time reading their tweets. It's the ultimate win-win for charity.

"It's really important and super-cool to use mediums that we naturally are on," Alicia said.

The campaign also includes Jennifer Hudson, Ryan Seacrest, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Elijah Wood, Serena Williams, Janelle Monae and Alicia's husband, Swizz Beatz.

So if Tattle can raise $2 million, will they promise not to sign back on?

As part of the fundraiser, the celebs have filmed "last tweet and testament" videos, and will appear in ads showing them lying in coffins to represent what the campaign calls their digital deaths.

We think that's creepy, but Alicia said: "It's so important to shock you to the point of waking up. It's not that people don't care or it's not that people don't want to do something, it's that they never thought of it quite like that."

The foundation, which began in 2003, will accept donations through text messages and bar-code technology, featured in the charity's Buy Life campaign. Money raised support families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.

Black Friday for Willie

A U.S. Border Patrol spokesman said that country singer and serial pot smoker Willie Nelson was charged with marijuana possession after 6 ounces was found aboard his tour bus in Texas.

Can you imagine, marijuana on Willie Nelson's tour bus? Doesn't Homeland Security have anything better to do?

Patrol spokesman Bill Brooks says that the bus pulled into the Sierra Blanca, Texas, checkpoint about 9 a.m. Friday. An officer smelled pot when a door was opened, and a search turned up marijuana.

Come on, he got a contact high just from standing near the bus.

(Our bet is that Willie's bus would have to be fumigated and reupholstered for you not to smell pot on it.)

Willie was among three people arrested and, stand-up guy that he is (when it comes to weed), he told the El Paso Times that the reefer was his. He then rolled the El Paso Times and smoked it.


* Actor Martin Rayner, playing a dying Sigmund Freud in the show "Freud's Last Session," was sent to a Manhattan hospital after collapsing on stage during Saturday's matinee.

The New York Times reported that Rayner, playing Freud, rose from an armchair and fell to his knees. Mark Dold, who plays C.S. Lewis, asked if a doctor was in the house.

A doctor other than Freud, that is.

Rayner was conscious and alert shortly thereafter, and although an understudy took over Saturday night, he hoped to be back for yesterday's performance.

* The former HBO series "The Wire" is the topic of a new class at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the city where the drama was based.

The class was introduced this semester and uses the show as a way to look at the problems big cities in America face.

The class was taught by Peter Beilenson, an adjunct professor, and uses the 60 episodes of the show as a textbook.

For their midterm assignment, students visited and wrote about needle-exchange sites and juvenile-justice centers. And for their final assignments, students will write memos suggesting fixes to city problems.

Can't wait until the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, starts a class based on HBO's "Cathouse."

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

E-mail gensleh@phillynews.com

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