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Monthly Archives: February 2011
February 28, 2011Posted by on
Celebrity Wedding Anniversaries
William Shatner marks wedded bliss today. And perennial Oscar nominee Judi Dench hit her milestone earlier. Which other stars got hitched in February?
February of course is a month known for love. Find out which celebrities marked their nuptials in this month and see if they are still together or if cupid’s arrow misfired after the lavish weddings.
Jennifer Lopez & Ojani Noa
Married Feb. 22, 1997
The marriage: Singer, actress and “American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez and Ojani Noa married in a bilingual, Catholic ceremony.
The divorce: They divorced shortly after.
She is now married to singer Marc Anthony, and the two are parents to twins Max and Emme.
Nicolas Sarkozy & Carla Bruni
Married Feb. 7, 2008
French president Nicolas Sarkozy and former model Carla Bruni. The ceremony was performed by the mayor.
Katharine McPhee & Nick Cokas
Married Feb. 2, 2008
Singer and former “American Idol” contestant Katharine McPhee and producer Nick Cokas married just over two years ago. McPhee walked down the aisle to bagpipe music and serenaded Cokas during the reception to “She’s Got a Way” by Billy Joel.
Salma Hayek & Francois-Henri Pinault
Married Feb. 14, 2009
Actress and producer Salma Hayek and billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault. The couple had a small private wedding and are parents of daughter Valentina.
Pinault is the CEO of this luxury-brand company, which owns fashion houses Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent, among others.
Diana Ross & Arne Naess
Married Feb. 1, 1986
The marriage: Iconic singer and actress Diana Ross and Norwegian billionaire shipping magnate Arne Naess had a fairy-tale wedding after a civil ceremony in October in New York City.
The divorce: They lasted many years (by Hollywood standards).
His death: He died in a tragic accident.
Shannen Doherty & Richard Solomon
Married Feb. 3, 2002
The marriage: Actress Shannen Doherty (best known for her roles in “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Charmed”) and Richard Solomon – best known for a sex tape with Paris Hilton – were briefly married.
The annulment: They had the nuptials annulled.
Elizabeth Taylor & Michael Todd
Married Feb. 15, 1957
The marriage: When iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor (“A Place in the Sun”) wed Michael Todd, he was 24 years older than Liz, and she had been divorced from her previous husband– for only three days. They had a daughter later that year. Less than a year into the marriage, Todd died in a tragic accident.
Frank Sinatra & Nancy Barbato
Married Feb. 4, 1939
The marriage: The legendary Frank Sinatra (see pictures) married his first wife, Nancy Barbato, when he was 19. They had Sinatra’s first child in June of that year.
The divorce: After three children and Sinatra’s extramarital affairs, the couple divorced. When? He went on to marry iconic actress Ava Gardner, with whom he’d had an affair during his marriage to Barbato.
Judi Dench & Michael Williams
Married Feb. 17, 1971
Actress Judi Dench and actor Michael Williams married in Hampstead, England. They met while working at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Their wedding reception was held at a zoo. The couple were married until his death in 2001.
Sarah McLachlan & Ashwin Sood
Married Feb. 7, 1997
The marriage: Singer Sarah McLachlan and Ashwin Sood. They exchanged their vows in a gazebo overlooking the ocean and now have two children.
The separation: They were married for an eternity by celebrity standards.
Bob and Rita Marley
Married Feb. 20, 1966
Iconic reggae singer Bob Marley wed and Rita Marley while she was pregnant with the couple’s first of three children. Bob adopted two children Rita had prior to their marriage. The two remained married until the singer’s death, despite constant infidelity on Bob’s part that resulted in seven other children.
Cary Grant & Virginia Cherrill
Married Feb. 21, 1934
The marriage: Legendary actor Cary Grant and actress Virginia Cherrill met at the premiere of “Blonde Venus.”
The divorce: The marriage – Cherrill’s second and Grant’s first of five – lasted only a short time. She divorced him following charges that Grant had hit her.
Queen Victoria of England & Prince Albert
Married Feb. 10, 1840
The wedding of Queen Victoria of England and Prince Albert began with a procession and 21-gun salute. The royal couple were married until Albert’s death from this illness in December 1861.
Ringo Starr & Maureen Cox
Married Feb. 11, 1965
The marriage: Beatle Ringo Starr and Maureen Cox married when Cox was 18. They had three children.
The divorce: They lasted quite a while, despite extramarital affairs by both husband and wife.
William Shatner & Elizabeth Anderson Martin
Married Feb. 13, 2001
Actor William Shatner and Elizabeth Anderson Martin have been married for a decade. Martin is Shatner’s fourth wife.
February 19, 2011Posted by on
Now this story is one of those bits of news that maybe shouldn’t be news but an obsession over Cheryl, Simon and relationships means it makes the headlines and the relationship part is what interests me.
So it plays up on a lot of stereotypes.
The father figure Simon Cowell is looking out for his daughter figure, Cheryl and her typical cheat ex Ashley. Only the role model can stop irrational Cheryl from getting back with the love cheat.
I am sure Cheryl has enough of her own mind to deal with her own relatonship and Simon is likely ordering her around more because he has a vested interest in her as a product that he has sold to X-Factor USA.
The fact that these issues with women and taking bad men back is hitting the news means that a big problem exists. Cheryl is a confident woman who has done very well for herself and she should not be in a position to be knocked down by a man who treats her in a bad way. No woman deserves to be treated like this. If Cheryl was to get back with Ashley then it would really put a bad message back to young girls who should be being taught to be head strong and find good men in their life.
Simon Cowell is often making the news with recent articles focusing on him planning a new games show and being one of the most powerful celebrities. His mentoring of Cheryl Cole is bringing in more news too and we all know he loves playing this game so may even be pushing this story up himself, which of course is sad if it is the case.
February 19, 2011Posted by on
We’ve gotten so used to singing, dancing and dating reality shows that it may be hard to believe there are other options out there. Well, here are a bunch of reality series that are WAY out there. Behold: ten of the world’s weirdest reality series.
Human Tetris (Japan)
Japan has given the world a ton of reality TV over the past few decades, such as “Dragon’s Den,” “Wipeout,” and anything featuring the possibility of extreme injury or humiliation. But their oddest show has to be “Tonneruzu no Minasan no Okage deshita,” literally translated as “Thanks to the people of Tunnels (A comedy pair)” or more helpfully translated as “Human Tetris.” Here’s the skinny: the contestant wears a Tron-like costume and stands in front of a pool of water while a giant block with a cut-out shape comes at him. If he can morph his body into that shape, he’ll pass through the block and earn points. If he can’t, the block will push him into the water. For added weirdness, a Japanese Betty Draper points at him and laughs. The American version now airs on the Cartoon Network as “Hole in the Wall.”
Who wants to donate a kidney? (Netherlands)
The Dutch invented “Big Brother” and unbridled televised nudity, so it makes sense they’d be the ones pushing reality TV boundaries again. In 2007, they did it by putting on a one-time reality TV special in which a 37-year-old terminally ill woman got to choose which of three contestants she’d donate her kidney to after her death. Viewers were encouraged to text in who they wanted to receive the transplant. “De Grote Donorshow” courted controversy and got it in spades. Even the Dutch Prime Minister worried the show would damage the country’s reputation. But when it aired, the show was revealed as a well-intended hoax. The woman was an actress and the three transplant hopefuls participated as a publicity stunt to raise awareness of the shortage of organ donors in Holland. It worked: over 7,000 people signed organ donation forms in the month after the show aired.
The Ba-aachelor (Croatia)
Ever feel like reality show contestants are just a bunch of sheep? In Croatia’s 2005 reality show “Stado,” they actually were sheep. This online series trained a webcam on a herd of seven sheep and encouraged viewers to follow their interactions 24-7. The sheep the viewers didn’t like would be voted out, and perhaps eaten. The winner received poetry written in his or her honour. Animal rights groups protested but the show’s organizer claimed he wasn’t “an insensitive bastard who abuses animals” – he was just trying to demonstrate that “more and more people, especially those who take part in reality shows, are made to look like sheep in every situation.”
Habitat for inhumanity (Russia)
With Russia’s economy in tatters for decades, cutbacks have become a way of life. Those apparently include combining several reality show ideas into one, and then making the humble contestants work really hard for their prize instead of giving anything away for free. The result, “Dom-2,” mixes “Extreme Makeover,” “The Bachelor,” “Big Brother” and “Million Dollar Mansion” by getting contestants to build a house, try to find love while living in it and then compete as couples to win that house. Got all that? One couple got engaged after the show aired, so that was a happy ending for them. But another houseguest got arrested on the set and sentenced to four years in jail after a viewer he’d conned money from recognized him. Guess another thing that got cut from the show was background checks.
Who’s the boss? Pamela Anderson! (India)
The premise for India’s “Bigg Boss” reality show sounds just like “Big Brother”: a motley crew of housemates live under one roof for 14 weeks. But this show is on our list for one weird reason: they got Pamela Anderson to be a houseguest last fall. She wore a sarong and did housework and everything. Sure, that means she’s attention-starved and can’t get on a reality show closer to home. But she must’ve gotten good exposure in return. “Bigg Boss” is watched by 114 million viewers in India and another 100 million people around the globe. That’s a lot of eyes taking in Anderson’s, um, talents.
Virgins for sale (Australia)
Last year, an enterprising Australian producer got the sexy idea to make a reality series in which a group of virgins auctioned off their deflowering to the highest bidder. Needless to say, he found willing contestants, including a 21-year-old woman who needed the money but thought that since it was a “one-time thing,” she wouldn’t have to think of herself as a prostitute, and another young man who said he just wanted to meet people. The prize was set at $20,000 AUS plus 90 per cent of the winner’s sale price. Needless to say again, the show was shut down by Australian authorities, who said it really did amount to prostitution. So the enterprising producer moved filming to a brothel in Nevada. No word yet when (or if) the auction will happen.
A million poets can’t be wrong (United Arab Emirates)
If you saw “Sex and the City 2” and were disturbed by its suggestion that all Abu Dhabi women want to do is take off their burqas and wear slutty, ridiculous clothes like Carrie and her friends, take heart. The most popular reality show in the Middle East is “Million’s Poet,” an “American Idol”-style competition in which ordinary people recite poems they’ve written for the chance to win over $1.3 million CAD. Last year, Hissa Hilal became the show’s first female finalist after reciting her politically controversial poem about religious extremism. She took home third place and about $800,000 CAD. Unfortunately, she also took home death threats.
Stupid human tricks (Germany)
The German reality show “Wetten, dass..?” (“Wanna bet that”?) is basically David Letterman’s Stupid Human Tricks segment with the added element of betting on whether the stunt can be pulled off. There’s also the added element of celebrity guests getting in on the betting. Celine Dion bet on whether a guy could lap up a bowl of water faster than his dog, and ended up gamely gargling a glass of water to the tune of “My Heart Will Go On.” Other celebrities to trot onto this show include Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Jackson and Bill Gates. Unfortunately, one contestant was seriously injured when he tried to jump over moving cars with springs attached to his shoes. Perhaps the show should be renamed “The Darwin Awards.”
Too-organized crime (Brazil)
In Sao Paolo, state legislator Wallace Souza hosts the popular true crime show “Canal Livre,” where he always seems to be first on the scene of a drug dealer’s murder, capturing the gory footage before police arrive and take over. In 2009, the state police intelligence chief got suspicious that Souza and his son were ordering the executions and then rushing their TV crew there as a way of boosting ratings. Not incidentally, they also think Souza is involved in drug trafficking on the side and likes to eliminate his rivals on air. Souza denied the allegations but died (in a San Paolo hospital where he was being treated for chronic liver disease) leaving the mystery unsolved.
Hello Baby (South Korea)
When the Pussycat Dolls made a reality series, “The Pussycat Dolls Present,” it was all about girls competing to join their group. In South Korea, an all-girl group called Girls’ Generation made a reality series about themselves competing to see who would make the best… mom? “Girls’ Generation’s Hello Baby” is either a pre-feminist pile of crap or brilliant post-feminist entertainment, depending on your point of view. Each week, the girls visit a different couple – sometimes college students, sometimes celebrities – and babysit their infant for the day. The dad gets to vote for the Best Mom and Worst Mom, which nets the winner a gold sticker on a chart and the loser another chore to do. If only the Pussycat Dolls realized that all we really wanted to watch them do was change diapers.
February 19, 2011Posted by on
>Lady Gaga wore a giant condom-inspired outfit on US TV.
The Born This Way singer appeared on Good Morning America to promote safe sex.
She also donned a Napoleon-style bicorne hat.
She said: “Today was a latex condom inspired outfit because we are here to talk about safe sex.
“I really wanted to – head to toe – be representative about what we women need to be concerned about, which is HIV.”
The star, real name Stefani Germanotta, was promoting her second M.A.C. Viva Glam lipstick line. A share of proceeds from the sale of the cosmetics range goes to HIV/AIDS charities.
“We raised $34 million USD last year and I want to raise $50 million USD this year for AIDS, to save lives,” she told the US TV show.
Hundreds of fans gathered outside the TV show’s Times Square studio in New York to see their idol.
Some said they waited more than 12 hours to get a glimpse of the 24-year-old singer.
February 19, 2011Posted by on
Whether they are starring on the tennis court, ice rink, football pitch, swimming pool or velodrome, there’s no shortage of beautiful women competing in international sport.
Some, like tennis stars Ana Ivanović and Maria Sharapova, enjoy global recognition for their sporting prowess and their looks. However, there are numerous female stars competing in other sports who are equally talented and glamorous.
Russian tennis superstar Maria Sharapova’s name is ever-present in any conversation about the world’s most beautiful sportswomen.
In addition to her model looks, the 23-year-old former world No 1 boasts three grand slam singles titles and is the world’s highest-paid female athlete. In August 2010, Forbes magazine estimated her annual earnings to be a staggering $24.5 million.
Attaining success in the male-dominated world of Indy Car racing has made Danica Patrick one of America’s most celebrated sportswomen.
But Danica hasn’t limited herself to the adrenaline buzz of wheel-to-wheel racing. The 28-year-old racer has hosted US TV shows, modelled for FHM and Sports Illustrated and made a cameo in the video for Jay-Z’s Show me what you got.
It’s not just slick passing and clinical finishing that makes Dutch football so appealing. 25-year-old Utrecht midfielder Anouk Hoogendijk has represented the Netherlands national women’s football team on 50 occasions since making her debut in 2004. She was also named best Dutch female athlete in 2008.
Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn is the first American to win back-to-back overall World Cup Championships.
In 2010, she was hailed as the darling of the US Winter Olympic team as she battled through injury to compete in five different Olympic events. She struck gold in the downhill, the blue riband event of the Games.
Sheffield-born track-and-field star Jessica Ennis is the darling of British athletics and the current World and European Heptathlon champion.
Universally respected by the public and her peers, she finished third in the 2009 and 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards and has been named Sportswoman of the Year by the Sports Journalists Association for the past two years.
20-year-old Dane Caroline Wozniacki is currently ranked as the world’s best female tennis player. Although she has yet to win a grand slam event (she finished runner-up in the 2009 US Open), Wozniacki has 12 WTA titles to her name.
Sporting success runs in her family. Her father was a professional footballer while her mother represented her native Poland at volleyball.
Somewhat overshadowed by her compatriot Lindsey Vonn at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, alpine skier Julia Mancuso boasts a medal haul that means she doesn’t have to take a backseat to anybody.
Already a gold medalist in the giant slalom at the 2006 Winter Games, Mancuso scooped two silver medals in Vancouver.
With eight world championships and an Olympic gold medal to her name, sprint cyclist Victoria Pendleton must be considered one of Britain’s greatest sporting stars.
The 30-year-old is a former Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year and was awarded an MBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours list.
US swimmer Amanda Beard was once the world’s fastest female breaststroker over 200 metres.
The multi medal-winning Olympian also managed to stir up plenty of controversy away from the pool. She has previously posed nude for Playboy magazine and participated in an anti-fur campaign for animal rights advocates PETA wearing nothing but her birthday suit.
Jennie Finch starred as the pitcher for the US softball team in a successful run to Olympic gold at the 2004 Athens Games. She also represented her country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and came away with a silver medal for her efforts.
In 2008, Finch starred in US TV show The Celebrity Apprentice, lasting four weeks before being fired by Donald Trump.
Amy Williams ended Britain’s 30-year wait for an individual gold medal at the Winter Olympics when she triumphed in the skeleton event at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Her Olympic success saw her appointed an MBE in the Queen’s 2010 birthday honours list and made an honorary freeman of the city of Bath (her hometown).
There’s no shortage of beauty in the upper echelons of women’s tennis so it takes something special to stand out from the crowd.
A combination of on-court talent (she won the French Open in 2008 and is a former world No 1) and sultry, captivating looks means Ana Ivanović does just that.
29-year-old Hope Solo is the goalkeeper of the United States national women’s football team.
Her crucial woman-of-the-match performance in the 2008 Olympic final enabled the US to secure a memorable 1-0 extra time victory over Brazil.
The prodigiously talented Serena Williams has amassed whopping career earnings of almost $33 million since turning professional in 1995, the most prize money ever amassed by any woman in any sport.
Her interest in fashion and penchant for the occasional outrageous outfit means she garners just as much attention off the court as she does on it.
It should come as no surprise that 28-year-old American golfer Natalie Gulbis is considered a sex symbol of her sport.
Despite enjoying relatively little success on the course (she’s won three titles in her eight-year career), Natalie rakes in the endorsement dollars year after year. In 2004, she released a calendar that featured her in numerous bikini shots. The USGA deemed it inappropriate and banned it from being sold at their events.
The statuesque Swin Cash is one of the most decorated women’s basketball players in America. She played college ball for the all-conquering University of Connecticut and has starred for the Detroit Shock and Seattle Storm in the WNBA since 2002. She was also part of the US women’s Olympic gold medal-winning team in 2004.
Karina Petroni is a professional female surfer and model who has enjoyed plenty of success in both fields.
She has been a competetive surfer since the age of nine and has the honour of being the first person to win the Eastern, US and national championship titles in the same year.
Her success brought her endorsements for watches, clothes, shoes, swimwear, skin products and cars. She has been styled in couture by fashion giant Versace, and has collaborated with New York fashion designer Rachel Roy.
Women’s tennis feels like it is awash with glamourous Russian stars. 24-year-old Maria Kirilenko is just that. In 2009, she featured alongside fellow players Daniela Hantuchová and Tatiana Golovin is the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in a pictoral entitled Volley of the Dolls.
There’s a chance that NBA benchwarmer Shelden Williams might not even be the best basketball player in his own house. That’s because he’s married to WNBA sensation Candace Parker.
How good is Candace? In her debut season, she was named the league’s most valuable player as well as rookie of the year. The same year, her stellar play helped the US women’s team to a gold medal at the Olympics.
Despite a lack of suitable training options in her homeland, British skier Chemmy Alcott is ranked as the world’s eighth best competitor in skiing’s Supercombined event.
She’s also finished just outside the top 10 twice in the Winter Olympics, placing 11th in the Supercombined event in 2010 and 11th in the Downhill in 2006.
At the 2008 Beijing Games, Natalie Coughlin became the first American female athlete in modern history to win six medals in one Olympics. Away from the pool, the 28-year-old Californian has also starred in US reality show Dancing with the Stars.
The world of figure skating boasts its share fair of glamourous women but there’s not too many skaters who outshine Tanith Belbin.
Although she was born in Canada, Belbin has competed for the US since her debut in 1998. The high point of her career to date came at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin where she and partner Benjamin Agosto claimed the silver medal.
Don’t be fooled into thinking the world of professional pool is the sole preserve of grizzled barflys and craggy hustlers.
Brooklyn-born Jeanette Lee brings a much-needed touch of glamour to the sport. But beware, Lee’s competitive instincts have earned her the nickname ‘The Black Widow’, a reference to her ability to eat an opponent alive when she comes to the table.
Athletics afficianados might baulk at the thought we’ve included a javelin thrower in our list of sporting beauties. But Paraguayan chucker Leryn Franco is certainly worthy of her place.
She’s also the only woman on our list who combines atheltic endeavours with a career as a beauty pagaent contestant. It should come as no surprise she has a third job as a professional model.
Few competitors can match the glittering career of figure skater Michelle Kwan. A five-time world champion and two-time Olympics medalist, Kwan became once of the most celebrated female athletes in the US and her popularity endured long after she shunned international competition in favour of completing her academic studies.
February 16, 2011Posted by on
>The introduction of a new Senate bill, S.3480, dubbed the “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010,” is sparking concerns about a massive power grab over the Internet under the guise of “national security.”
The bill, proposed by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I – CT) claims the entire Internet, the whole global computer network and everything on it, as a “national asset” of the United States, and seeks to give President Obama the power to seize control over broad swaths of it with no oversight during a “National Cyber Emergency,” which would itself be something the president would be able to declare at any time.
But easily the most controversial aspect of the nearly 200 page bill is what is being called a “kill switch,” granting the president the power to shut down the entire Internet across the planet for national security reasons. Sen. Collins (R – ME), a supporter of the bill, claimed it was necessary to prevent a “cyber 9/11.”
The bill amounts to a remarkable claim of presidential power, claiming a large portion of the global economy as a specific asset of the United States and further claiming the right to nationalize or destroy it in whole or part on a whim. The news may be disquieting enough for Americans faced with this sort of power grab from their own government, but for foreigners the idea that another nation can commandeer the Internet, cut them off from it, or render it unusable is totally shocking, and not surprisingly, a source of no small consternation.
When reading through the bill, one can’t notice how frankly it claims such enormous powers, or imagine how shocked the entire planet would be if Sen. Lieberman proposed the same measures without adding the prefix “cyber” to every few words. Couching it as a technical matter, with the usual technical ignorance of a Congressman thrown in for good measure, is a way to hide exactly how sweeping the new powers would truly be.
In fact Sen. Lieberman insisted that the very fact that the internet is now “a necessity of modern life” was the justification behind his bill. We can’t, it seems, have billions of people worldwide living a modern life without the president’s imprimatur.