Friday, June 29, 2012

Good News - Snooki Takes on Prenatal Yoga

Yoga Dork



by YD on JUNE 28, 2012
in NEWS
Well, we already knew Snooki was a yoguidette, or at least we’ve seen the pictures. Now she’s preggo, and following the popular celeb (and reality TV?) trend of prenatal yoga. TheInsider.com has a sort of awkward exclusive clip from the Snooks and her fiancé Jionni LaValle doing some yoga at NYC’s Prenatal Yoga Center. (there’s a video. if you can’t see it below gohere)
Despite what you may think of the little orange jelly bean, we’re glad she’s considering yoga as a way to stay healthy during pregnancy. Just please somebody tell her she’s supposed to gain weight during pregnancy. Actually, someone please tell everyone else to ignore most or everything she has to say.
:volume on mute:
But look, she’s doing prenatal yoga with her baby daddy!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

'The Evil Dead' Gets Animated -- Mondo Style


FearNet
Army of Darkness
The folks at Mondo must be beaming with pride today --one of their posters has inspired a new animated short. Based on an Olly Moss design, Ex Mortis Films and director Daniel M. Kanemoto have come up with a minute-long journey through Sam Raimi's Evil Dead films. Watch it below.
The thing I love about this short is that it not only has some pretty cool design, direction, and animation, but it could almost serve as an example of how to do an Evil Dead ride at Disneyland. Not that the studio is going to incorporate splatter comedy into their theme parks any time soon, but Kanemoto's work is reminscent of some of the great old Disney rides that encapsulate the films on which they're based in fun, spooky ways -- like "Pinococchio's Daring Journey" and "Snow White's Scary Adventures." Oh well, a guy can dream...  For more from Ex Mortis, go to exmortisfilms.com
Who can pick just one???


Just Because I Can - FIREFLY!!!


Comic-Con 2012: Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion Set for 'Firefly' Anniversary Panel (Exclusive)


The Hollywood Reporter

It's official: Firefly is heading to Comic-Con.
The short-lived cult hit fromBuffy the Vampire Slayercreator Joss Whedon will make its debut at the San Diego convention with a special 10-year anniversary panel, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
Whedon and writer Tim Minear will join stars Nathan FillionAlan Tudyk, Adam BaldwinSean Maher,Michael Fairman and the rest of the crew of the Serenity for a panel at 12:30 p.m. Friday, July 13, in Ballroom 20.
The series is part of the Comic-Con slate from first-time attendee Science Channel, which began airing repeats of the Fox space Western last year, continuing to draw an audience of loyal Browncoats and attracting new fans during its run. Science also will make available special collectible bags (see photo) featuring Firefly and the rest of its Comic-Con lineup.
In addition to the panel discussion, the hourlong session will also feature never-before-seen footage along with what Science is billing as "numerous buzz-worthy surprises."
In addition, Science Channel has set a July 13 panel with Fringe's John Noble joining the creators ofDark Matters: Twisted but True for a session previewing the show's upcoming second season, which bows July 14. (Science will launch syndicated repeats of Noble starrer Fringe on Nov. 20.) TheDark Matters panel is set for 7:15 p.m. in Room 6A.
Lastly, popular Science podcast and upcoming series Stuff You Should Know will hold court on at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 12, in Room 5AB with hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant joined by celebrity guests for an exclusive preview of the upcoming series, which launches in January.
"As a network, Science has one foot in the planetarium and the other in Comic-Con. This venue is the Mecca for creativity and inspiration that can spark a great work of art or the next scientific breakthrough," Science GM and executive vp Debbie Adler Myers said. "From Joss, Nathan and our amazing Firefly panel, to John Noble and Dark Matters, to Josh and Chuck, our panels reflect the programming on Science -- totally diverse but all whip-smart, hugely entertaining, lean-forward television."
Comic-Con International 2012 runs July 12-15 at the San Diego Convention Center. Get your Browncoats ready and start camping out now.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Disney's 'Brave' shows mettle with $66.7M debut

Yahoo News



LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new Disney princess has ascended to the box-office throne with a No. 1 debut for Pixar Animation's "Brave."
The latest from the makers of "WALL-E," ''Finding Nemo" and the "Toy Story" movies opened with $66.7 million domestically, according to studio estimates Sunday. "Brave" added $13.5 million in 10 overseas markets for a worldwide start of $80.2 million.
Featuring a feisty Scottish princess, "Brave" was the first ofDisney's Pixar animations with a female protagonist. And it left American hero Abraham Lincoln in the dust.
The 20th Century Fox action tale "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" opened far back at No. 3 with $16.5 million, behind "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted."
DreamWorks Animation's animated "Madagascar" sequel had been No. 1 for two weekends and added $20.2 million to raise its domestic total to $157.6 million.
"Brave" is the 13th-straight Pixar release to open at No. 1 since "Toy Story" launched Hollywood's age of computer animation in 1995.
"Their track record is just unbelievable," said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. "The Pixar brand just carries so much weight with the audience, it doesn't matter almost what the story is about if it has the Pixar name."
The weekend's other new wide release, Steve Carell and Keira Knightley's apocalyptic romance "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," misfired with just $3.8 million, debuting at No. 10.
The Focus Features film, playing in much narrower release than other top-10 movies, stars Carell and Knightley as heartbroken neighbors on a road trip as a killer asteroid hurtles toward Earth.
Woody Allen's Italian romance "To Rome with Love" pulled in huge audiences in limited release, debuting with $379,371 in five theaters. That gave the Sony Pictures Classics release a whopping average of $75,874 a theater, compared to $16,028 in 4,164 cinemas for "Brave."
"Brave" features a voice cast led by Kelly Macdonald and Emma Thompson in a mother-daughter story of a young Scottish princess defying tradition that requires her to marry against her will.



The film proved that audiences will turn up for a female hero, not just the male protagonists of past Pixar flicks, such as Woody and Buzz of "Toy Story," the robot of "WALL-E" or the rat and his chef buddy of "Ratatouille."
"Brave" matched the $66.1 million debut of Pixar's "Cars 2," with male automotive lead Lightning McQueen, over the same weekend a year ago.
"It is a phenomenal thing, these guys and their mastery of big storytelling and character development, delivering something that plays well to adults as well as kids, to girls as well as boys," Dave Hollis, Disney's head of distribution, said of Pixar.
The audience for "Brave" did lean toward females, who accounted for 57 percent of viewers. Two-thirds of the film's business came from families, who also continued to flock to "Madagascar 3," making a rare weekend when two PG-rated movies led the box office.
The R-rated "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" was a clever idea — the 16th U.S. president waging his own civil war against the blood-suckers of the republic. But critics were unimpressed, and action fans had only a passing interest in the movie, which featured relative unknown Benjamin Walker as Lincoln.
Still, it was made for $69 million, a modest budget for a summer action movie, and 20th Century Foxhad hopes it would hold up well over the next week or so before "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "The Dark Knight Rises" swoop in to take over cinemas in July.
"It's actually a good start for this movie," said Chris Aronson, the studio's head of distribution. "This is an interesting and untested genre that I think audiences are going to continue to seek out. Mash-ups have been done, but the historical mash-up has not been done."
Estimated ticket sales were for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Brave," $66.7 million ($13.5 million international).
2. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," $20.2 million ($30.1 million international).
3. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," $16.5 million ($8.1 million international).
4. "Prometheus," $10 million ($12.7 million international).
5. "Snow White & the Huntsman," $8.01 million ($22.6 million international).
6. "Rock of Ages," $8 million ($2.9 million international).
7. "That's My Boy," $7.9 million ($900,000 international).
8. "The Avengers," $7 million ($2.3 million international).
9. "Men in Black 3," $5.6 million ($10.5 million international).
10. "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," $3.8 million.
___
Estimated weekend ticket sales at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:
1. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," $30.1 million.
2. "Snow White & the Huntsman," $22.6 million.
3. "Brave," $13.5 million.
4. "Prometheus," $12.7 million.
5. "Men in Black 3," $10.5 million.
6. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," $8.1 million.
7. "Dark Shadows," $6.9 million.
8. "The Dictator," $4.4 million.
9. "Tengo Ganas De Ti," $4.3 million.
10. "Rock of Ages," $2.9 million.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Good Story! - When Did We Start Calling Things "Witch Hunts"?

The Slate



How the Salem trials turned into a political metaphor.

Witch.
An actual witch, or political scapegoat?
Photograph by Thinkstock.
A House committee recommended holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress on Wednesday for his failure to turn over thousands of documents in an investigation of government gun sales to Mexican drug cartels. Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney called the move part of a political “witch hunt.” Before hunting witches fell out of favor, what did we call it when authorities rounded up large numbers of innocent people based on flimsy evidence?
“Dark and severe prosecutions,” among other things. “Witch hunt” is a handy phrase because it’s utterly unique. At the time of the 1692 Salem witch trials, America’s most famous witch hunt, critics lacked an apt metaphor for the madness that engulfed the town. Even after the trials ended, authorities groped sheepishly for words. Semiliterate Massachusetts Gov. Sir William Phips called the false accusations a “delusion of the Devill” in a letter to his English overlords. The General Court of Massachusetts, in a 1711 act clearing the names of most of the victims, described the Salem trials as “dark and severe prosecutions.” When Samuel Sewall, one of the judges in the trials, apologized in 1697, he simply used the word “sin” to describe what he had done.
Seventeenth-century Americans probably didn’t use the phrase “witch hunt” in its literal sense, either. In the unfinished 1637 play Sad Shepherd, Ben Jonson referred to the “sport of witch-hunting,” but the more common phrase was “witch-finding,” after Matthew Hopkins, the self-styled “Witchfinder General” who saw to the execution of hundreds of alleged English witches in the 1640s.
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The figurative use of “witch hunt” entered the English language in the early 20th century. The Oxford English Dictionary credits Ian Hay with the first metaphorical use of the phrase in his 1915 book The First Hundred Thousand, but Hay used it humorously to describe the search for a podiatrist in a World War I army unit. Within four years, however, writers were describing the search for Bolsheviks in New York City schools as “witch hunting.”
One of the reasons that it took so long for “witch hunt” to gain metaphorical currency is that there was little self-reflection after the Salem trials. Most people placed all of the blame on the young women who identified the witches. The General Court of Massachusetts, for example, noted that the accusers “have since discovered themselves to be persons of profligate and vicious conversation.” Samuel Sewall appears to be the only of the five judges to apologize. Others seem to have destroyed their records and personal correspondence from the period. It was decades, or even a century, before people began to seriously question how civil society could have allowed the prosecutions to proceed. Some historians now believe that a panic over marauding Indians, who were supposedly aided by colonial witches, led to the trials, much like fear of Trotskyism led to the Soviet witch hunts of the 1930s, and fear of communism spawned the McCarthy era.
Got a question about today’s news? Ask the Explainer.
Explainer thanks Mary Beth Norton of Cornell University, author of In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, Benjamin Ray of the University of Virginia, author of the forthcoming book Satan and Salem, and Robert Thurston of Miami University of Ohio, author ofThe Witch Hunts: A History of the Witch Persecutions in Europe and North America.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rumour Mill - 'He's even bought her a horse!' Things are 'heating up' for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard after his split from Paradis


Daily Mail

Rumours about the nature of their relationship have been swirling for some time, but it's being reported that things 'seem to be heating up' between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. 
The Rum Diary co-stars are said to be so close that bisexual actress Heard, 26, has been a 'regular visitor' to the New Mexico set of The Lone Ranger where 49-year-old Depp is currently filming. 
And Johnny, who made an official announcement that he had split from partner of 14 years Vanessa Paradis on Tuesday, is even said to have bought Heard a horse so they can ride together, according to a report in Globe magazine.
Scroll down for video
More than friends? Amber Heard has been visiting Johnny Depp on the New Mexico set of The Lone Ranger, it has been reported
More than friends? Amber Heard has been visiting Johnny Depp on the New Mexico set of The Lone Ranger, it has been reported
Vanessa and Johnny had not been pictured together in public for months, but the Dark Shadows star insisted last month that there was no truth to rumours of a split.
'The rumours are not true,' he told The Sun newspaper. 'They are absolutely not true.'
 
'No matter what I say about this, people believe the opposite. I can’t say enough about it not being over,' he said.
Despite Johnny's denials, a number of publications carried pictures and reports that he and Heard enjoyed a trip together to Las Vegas on a private plane.
It's over: Depp's spokesperson finally ended months of speculation by revealing that Depp and Paradis, seen here in 2010, had split
It's over: Depp's spokesperson finally ended months of speculation by revealing that Depp and Paradis, seen here in 2010, had split
Depp was in town promoting Dark Shadows, and Vanessa was nowhere to be seen.
It's unclear why Amber was in the gambling town.
Amber was alleged to have joined Johnny in Vegas, and was pictured boarding his private plane the next day,
Johnny and Vanessa have declined to appear at their respective premieres and public events together recently, with the French actress attending her premiere, of Café de Flore in Paris alone, and not accompanying the actor on promotional duties for Dark Shadows.
They are parents to Lily Rose,12, and ten-year-old Jack.
Romance? Depp, seen here earlier this month, and Amber, at a red carpet event on June 1st
Romance? Depp, seen here earlier this month, and Amber, at a red carpet event on June 1st
Romance? Depp, seen here earlier this month, and Amber, at a red carpet event on June 1st


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2162453/Johnny-Depp-buys-Amber-Heard-HORSE-following-Vanessa-Paradis-split.html#ixzz1yR2vUIIC

Barry Sonnenfeld’s Secret Comic-Book Movie Is ...

Vulture



The very first question we almost always ask when we hear of a new film project is, are there are any creative elements attached? In the case of Barry Sonnenfeld’s latest, the answer is that there are actually six: Gold, Iron, Lead, Mercury, Tin, and Platinum.
While the Men in Black 3 director has been circumspect about just which sixties comic book he’s adapting at Warner Bros., our spies tell us that Sonnenfeld has actually attached himself to DC Comics’ The Metal Men series.
For those unfamiliar (and let’s be honest, that's probably most people), The Metal Men centers on an artificial-intelligence expert named William Magnus who creates six cyborgs, each made from a distinct chemical element with talents reflecting their places in the periodic table: Gold, their leader, was almost infinitely stretchable; Iron, the strongman; Lead, the simpleton protector; Mercury, the capricious risk-taker who could melt into the tiniest crevices; Platinum, a female cyborg who could flatten herself but who couldn’t believe she wasn’t a real woman.
Sadly, we’re still in doubt as to just what the sub-atomic talents of the self-doubting Tin are. Food preservation? Recycling? Refreshment? All three?

Who's Going to see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter tonight?

ME!!!


Triple Take occurred. Now I have whiplash...Fidel Castro Stuns with Reflection on Yoga

YogaDork



Well here’s something you don’t see every day…
“Yoga does things with the human body that defy the imagination.” Fidel Castro, former leader of Cuba not shy of opinions shared his thoughts about yoga in his front-page editorial of the country’s state-run Granmanewspaper.
And then the 85-year-old bearded former Prime Minister/President/Communist leader etc. handed out yoga mats to everyone and wished us all world peace! What just happened?
Since his illness, Castro has been writing a regular feature called “Reflection from Comrade Fidel,” in which he offers a sort of fortune cookie snippit of musings on topics ranging from former leaders to mulberries, resulting in what you might call his version of “Fideltweets.”
This week he chose to write about yoga. No clues as to whether he’s taken on the practice himself, or if defying the imagination is actually praise in his book, but if this doesn’t mean yoga has arrived on the world stage then Cuban cigars are on us.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Britain's 'last witch': Campaign to pardon Helen Duncan


BBC
Campaigners looking to clear the name of Britain's last convicted witch may apply for a judicial review.
Spiritualist Helen Duncan was convicted in 1944 under the Witchcraft Act for fear she would reveal military secrets during World War II.
Miss Duncan, from Callander near Stirling, was arrested in Portsmouth alongside three members of her audience as she conducted a seance.
In 2008, the Scottish Parliament rejected a petition to pardon her.
Almost 70 years after an Old Bailey jury found her guilty, campaigners maintain Miss Duncan was wrongfully convicted.
'Obsolete tomfoolery'
Graham Hewitt, who is fighting the case on behalf of her grandchildren, said: "She was tried under an old piece of legislation that shouldn't have been used at the time and advice had been issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions that alternatives were available.
"Winston Churchill even described the whole episode as 'obsolete tomfoolery' in a memo to the then Home Secretary Herbert Morrison.
"She was viewed as a potential threat by the authorities back then.

Start Quote

We have to continue the battle and believe there's a strong enough case to clear her name”
Graham Hewitt
"They feared what she was telling people might lead to a crisis in the security services or to soldiers defecting."
Miss Duncan had been invited to Portsmouth in 1941 by a local church to demonstrate her abilities of spiritual materialisation.
At a seance, she reportedly summoned the spirit of a dead sailor who lost his life alongside 800 others during the sinking of Royal Navy warship HMS Barham.
It was sunk by a German U-Boat in November 1941, but had not been declared officially lost until the following January.
The government had chosen to keep it secret in order to mislead the enemy and maintain morale.
On 19 January, 1944 another séance in Portsmouth was interrupted by a police raid where she and three members of the audience were arrested.
She was eventually tried by jury at the Old Bailey and subsequently found guilty of contravening section 4 of the Witchcraft Act of 1735.
Mr Hewitt, who is also assistant General Secretary of the Spiritualists National Union, said: "The Criminal Cases Review Commission wouldn't reopen the case as they said it wasn't in the public interest.
"But, we have to continue the battle and believe there's a strong enough case to clear her name."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dr Who gives Greek tragedy a timely twist


ANTIGONE (Royal National Theatre)
Verdict: Nice spin on Sophocles 
Rating: 3 Star Rating
Greek tragedy’s King Creon is the despot who scorns public opinion and wants simply to look resolute. He will not, unlike some of today’s politicians, quickly countenance thoughts of a U-turn. He duly comes the most terrible cropper.

In the Royal National Theatre’s pacy new production of Sophocles’ Antigone, Creon is played by Christopher Eccleston. 

He may be best known nationally for his brief stint as TV’s Dr Who but Mr Eccleston is a stage actor of stature. He combines a rangy physical presence with a temple-twitching intensity.
Christopher Eccleston and Jodie Whittaker in Antigone
Intense: Christopher Ecclestone as Creon with Jodie Whittaker as Antigone 
One of his trademarks is an exaggerated precision in speech, his mouth almost doubling its normal movements as he delivers the words. 

How well this suits Creon as he tussles with his intransigence and confronts the fate imposed on him by the gods. They prove even more merciless than he.
 
    Polly Findlay’s modern-dress production begins with a recreation of that memorable photograph when President Obama’s staff watched live computer coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden. Neat idea.

    Creon’s enemy Polynices is killed in war. Queen Eurydice (Zoe Aldrich), watching the event, covers her mouth just as Hillary Clinton did when bin Laden was slotted by U.S. special forces. 
    In that episode, President Obama had his foe buried at sea. Creon, however, refuses to give Polynices a proper burial. Antigone, sister of Polynices, disobeys Creon and sprinkles soil on the corpse, for which she is sentenced to death.

    Jodie Whittaker’s Antigone did not strike me as an immediately warm figure. She seems pinched, pulled in, her vocal tone mean. 

    This increases the objectivity of the play but it perhaps robs us of a dollop of pathos. Nor was I convinced that Luke Newberry’s Haemon, son of Creon, was a likely lover of Antigone.
    Although we glimpse the walls of Thebes (which seem to be made of the same ugly concrete as the National Theatre!), the action unfolds mainly in Creon’s party HQ: fax machines, telephones, desks, office couriers.

    Political aides speak the part of the chorus. Being spin doctors, they are cowardly and do not tell their boss when he is being unreasonable. The chorus’s equivocation is well caught.

    The dialogue, a shortened version of Don Taylor’s translation, is unfussy. There is not a single ‘Oh, woe be on me, Zeus’, moment. Hooray! Such is the efficiency of the editing of the text that the whole show is over in an hour-and-a-half, without any interruption of an interval.

    Added dramatic force comes from occasional background feathering of a drum and part-frozen moments of slow motion. These are done sparingly enough to be interesting rather than a stylistic irritant.

    The shakiest aspect, apart from a jumble of regional accents (Creon’s last words are a jarringly Lancastrian ‘I am nuffink!’), comes with the entrance of soothsayer Teiresias (Jamie Ballard). 

    His mask of burnt skin looks like something off bad sci-fi telly, and Mr Ballard so overdoes things that on Wednesday’s press night he won some laughter as he ended.  Not ideal.
    But on the whole this is an admirably direct rendition of a topical dilemma: the balance, in politics and elsewhere, between decisiveness and moderation. 

    It shows how one mistake can undo a regime and how mercy in victory can buy a ruler favour not just in Heaven, but with the restive populus.

    Are you ready for Father's Day?