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Showing posts from October, 2009

Lambert on Oprah

Friday fun at your editor's expense

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Adam Lambert's debut single
"For Your Entertainment"

Truancy of Slumdog stars puts their trust fund at risk

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A trustee for the fund established for two child actors from Slumdog Millionaire said they were in danger of losing their stipends as well as the fund itself if they did not start attending school more often, the AP reported.

After the release of Slumdog Millionaire, its director, Danny Boyle, and a producer, Christian Colson, helped establish trusts and find new homes for Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, 11, and Rubina Ali Qureshi, 10, who played the young incarnations of two of the film’s lead characters. But Noshir Dadrawala, who helps administer the fund, said Azharuddin was showing up at school 37 percent of the time, and Rubina had a 27 percent attendance rate. The trust decided that the children must raise their attendance above 70 percent or forfeit their monthly stipends of about $120.

“It’s pathetic,” said Mr. Dadrawala, who added that the children’s travel schedules were contributing to their truancy.

“They are constantly going to Paris and Cochin and Chennai,” he said. “That’s fin…

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Brandon Beemer as featured on Towleroad.

Bitter:Sweet's
"Dirty Laundry"

Ethics investigators probe dozens in Congress

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The Washington Post reports: House ethics investigators have been scrutinizing the activities of more than 30 lawmakers and several aides in inquiries about issues including defense lobbying and corporate influence peddling, according to a confidential House ethics committee report prepared in July.

The report appears to have been inadvertently placed on a publicly accessible computer network, and it was provided to The Washington Post by a source not connected to the congressional investigations. The committee said Thursday night that the document was released by a low-level staffer.

The ethics committee is one of the most secretive panels in Congress, and its members and staff members sign oaths not to disclose any activities related to its past or present investigations. Watchdog groups have accused the committee of not actively pursuing inquiries; the newly disclosed document indicates the panel is conducting far more investigations than it had revealed.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday…

Today reveals their Halloween costumes

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Chaz Bono: I love being a man

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People reports: Now that he’s finally in the body he always felt he belonged in, Chaz Bono says he’s enjoying something that took decades to accomplish.

“It’s a long process going back almost a decade. I got clean and sober in 2004 and I couldn’t have done this before that,” Bono, formerly known as Chastity, tells, ET in an interview airing Thursday and Friday.

Born the daughter of Cher and Sonny Bono, Chaz, 40, has been undergoing a female-to-male sex change since March, a process that has already had significant physical changes on his body.

It lowered my voice,” he says. “Fat redistributes, muscle growth, hair growth, sex drive increases.”

One thing that didn’t need changing: His mental and emotional concept of himself as fundamentally male.

“I always felt like the male from the time I was a child. There wasn’t much feminine about me,” he says. “I believe that gender is something between your ears, not between your legs. That is something I discovered in the early ’90s. It was just a lo…

Bea Arthur leaves $300K to gay youth

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Golden Girls star Bea Arthur's generosity lives on. The actress, who died in April, included a $300,000 donation to New York's Ali Forney Center, an organization supporting homeless LGBT youth, in her will, leaving center Executive Director Carl Siciliano overwhelmed by her kindness.

Siciliano said he knew of Arthur's plan to include the center in her will, but never knew the amount.

He had been struggling to keep the doors of the shelter open. The organization assists more than 1,000 people each year, providing shelter for those who had to leave home "for being who they are," Siciliano said.

"The last year and a half, since the economic crisis started, it's been really hard to keep this program going," Siciliano said. "A lot of the foundation and corporate money that we used to get has dried up, and we've been growing. Every day, we have about 125 kids a night waiting to get into our housing."

But on Tuesday morning, a FedEx carrier deliv…

Stimulus directly saved or created roughly 650,000 jobs

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ABC News reports: The Obama administration's $787 billion stimulus bill directly saved or created about 650,000 jobs as of the end of last month, administration officials announced this morning.

The numbers come from Congressionally-mandated reports submitted earlier this month by tens of thousands of state and local governments, private companies, colleges, universities, and community organizations nationwide, administration officials said, with the majority of the funds coming from state governments.

Factoring jobs indirectly created from the stimulus -- not reflected in these numbers -- an administration official says in a statement that "because these reports show that less than half of the spending through that date created or saved about 650,000 jobs, they confirm government and private forecaster’s estimates that overall Recovery Act spending has created and saved at least 1 million jobs."

Moreover, the administration emphasized, these reports do not reflect the job …

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Paul Alessandrini as featured on Kenneth in the (212).

Obama signs Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill into law

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CNN reports: President Obama yesterday signed a law that makes it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

The expanded federal hate crimes law, hailed by supporters as the first major federal gay rights legislation, was added to a $680 billion defense authorization bill that Obama signed at a packed White House ceremony.

The hate crimes measure was named for Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming teenager who died after being kidnapped and severely beaten in October 1998, and James Byrd Jr., an African-American man dragged to death in Texas the same year.

Shepard's mother, Judy, was among those at the ceremony that also included Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Attorney General Eric Holder and leading members of Congress and the Pentagon, who were on hand for the appropriations bill signing.

To loud applause, Obama hailed the hate crimes measure in the bill as a step toward change to "help protect our …

Little Boots'
"Earthquake"

The Funnies

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Economy grows at best pace in 2 years

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The economy grew at a 3.5 percent pace in the third quarter, the best showing in two years, fueled by government-supported spending on cars and homes.

Today's Commerce Department report delivered the strongest signal yet that the economy entered a new, though fragile, phase of recovery and that the worst recession since the 1930s has ended.

Many analysts expect the pace of the budding recovery to be plodding due to rising unemployment and continuing difficulties by both consumers and businesses to secure loans.

Still, the much-awaited turnaround ended the streak of four straight quarters of contracting economic activity, the first time that's happened on records dating to 1947.
Armed with cash from government support programs, consumers led the rebound in the third quarter, snapping up cars and homes.

Consumer spending on big-ticket manufactured goods soared at an annualized rate of 22.3 percent in the third quarter, the most since the end of 2001. The jump largely reflected car pu…

New version of health care bill due out today

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CNN reports: House Democratic leaders will unveil a health care bill that includes a more moderate version of the public option today, several Democratic leadership aides tell CNN.

This version would allow doctors to negotiate reimbursement rates with the federal government, the aides said Wednesday.

The proposal would be a blow to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has argued for a more "robust" public option, one that ties reimbursement rates for providers and hospitals to Medicare rates plus a 5 percent increase.

But Pelosi and other Democratic leaders, after a week of canvassing rank and file Democrats, appear to be bowing to the reality that her preferred approach does not have enough votes. Instead, the more moderate version, favored by rural and moderate members, appears to have the most support among House Democrats.

One Democratic aide told CNN that "the votes aren't there for robust public option, so that means we're looking at the other form of the public option.&…

Lambert defends "campy" album cover

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To those who found Adam Lambert’s upcoming album cover to be a tacky mash-up of twinkling fonts, outdated inspiration and retouching gone wrong, the American Idol runner-up wants to make one thing perfectly clear: he meant to do that.

The singer took to his Twitter account yesterday, hoping to convince critics that the cover art represented a tongue-in-cheek tribute rather than a personal case of bad taste.

“Thank you to those who appreciate and understand that the album cover is deliberately campy,” Lambert wrote. “It's an (homage) to the past. It IS ridiculous.”

If some are still undecided about the singer’s fairly obvious intent (seriously, forget the glitter — the pore-free “glamour shot” look and frosty pink lipstick give it away), Lambert takes comfort in the fact he was at least noticed, if not understood.

“For those that don't get it: oh well…Glad to have gotten your attention,” the performer tweeted before signing off with, "Androgyny. Rock n Roll.”

(Via NBC Miami)

Historic Hialeah Park to reopen in November

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The Miami Herald reports: For eight long years, Hialeah Park was a historic landmark in hibernation -- its future in doubt, its famous Renaissance Revival architecture slowly fading away.

These days, Hialeah Park is a busy place. Armed with its new quarter-horse permit -- and racing dates approved this week by the state -- Hialeah Park is gearing up for a Nov. 28 reopening.

Roughly 150 construction workers are doing double shifts painting ceilings, patching damaged pipes and sweeping floors. As the deadline gets nearer, they might go to triple shifts.

"It will definitely be presentable. . . . for sure,'' said Orlando Ceballos, the construction project manager.

Will Hialeah, which first opened in 1925, once again exude the grandeur that so many fondly remember? Not completely, as large portions of the massive restoration effort won't be done by the time Hialeah again welcomes the public.

Visitors at first will be allowed into the clubhouse area, but other sections still bei…

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Joseph Sayers as featured on We Love Guys.

Perez Prado Orchestra
"Mambo Jambo"

Rosie O'Donnell gets serious about radio show

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USA Today interviews Rosie O' Donnell about her new gig. An excerpt:
In an upstairs room of a renovated historic home right on the Hudson River, Rosie O'Donnell sits behind a desk with her feet up. She's sporting an outfit one step removed from pajamas. Relaxed, but a little on edge, she takes a swig of Perrier. An assistant comes and goes. Various people hover nearby. She adjusts her headset.

At 10 a.m. precisely, she starts talking. "Welcome to Rosie Radio ..."

Yes, she's back — the woman you love, the woman you love to hate. Rosie, 47, is returning to the spotlight on Nov. 2, when she launches her new Sirius XM satellite show. It will air live every weekday from 10 a.m. to noon ET, right here from one of the five houses on her waterfront property.

"I'm sure I will cause tremendous seismic shifts in the culture again," she says wryly, off-air.

After all, where Ro goes, controversy follows.--> The rest of the article can be found here.

Fidel Castro's sister was once recruited by CIA to overthrow brother

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MSNBC reports: Fidel Castro spent much of the 1960s with eyes in the back of his head, always looking out for any attempts on his life -- he claims there were more than 600 plots -- but little did he know that one of the most serious threats was his own sister.

Juanita Castro claims she was recruited by the CIA to help overthrow her dictator brother, working with the agency for three years before she left Cuba for Miami in 1964.

The famous sister of Fidel and current leader Raul, now 76, made the revelations during an Univision-Noticias 23 interview yesterday, according to Reuters.

Her memoir, Fidel y Raul, Mis Hermanos, co-written with Maria Antonieta Collins, hits store shelves today, and it's sure to reveal her tenuous relationship with her brother. The 432-page Spanish language book was shelved by Castro for 10 years.

"I began to become disenchanted when I saw so much injustice," Castro said in the interview with Collins. "My situation in Cuba became delicate becaus…

Elizabeth Taylor tweets praises of 'Michael's genius' in This Is It

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CNN reports: It is an understatement to say that Elizabeth Taylor likes the new Michael Jackson movie This Is It. The legendary actress let loose with a flurry of 20 Twitter messages Monday afternoon, ending with her belief that, "This film should be nominated in every category conceivable."

Taylor, who doesn't get out much these days because of illness, said she screened the movie last week.

Here is an unabridged log of her tweets posted over a half-hour Monday:

"I was honored with the great privilege of seeing 'This Is It' last week. I was sworn to secrecy, but now I can let you know about it. It is the single most brilliant piece of filmmaking I have ever seen. It cements forever Michael's genius in every aspect of creativity. To say the man is a genius is an understatement. He cradles each note, coaxes the music to depths beyond reality. I wept from pure joy at his God given gift. There will never, ever be the likes of him again. And we have this piece …

Andre Agassi admits to using crystal meth

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ChattahBox reports: Tennis legend Andre Agassi serves up a bombshell in his new memoir, “Open: An Autobiography,” which will be excerpted in People and Sports Illustrated this week. The book details his hair loss, his troubled marriage to Brooke Shields and the love he eventually found with his current wife, Steffi Graf. But Agassi’s upcoming autobiography also contains an admission that he used the recreational drug crystal meth.

The New York Daily News says Agassi specifically used crystal meth as a stimulant in 1997, failed a drug test and boldly lied in a letter to tennis officials saying it happened after sipping one of his assistants “spiked sodas”, in order to successfully dodge a competition ban. That year was a low point in Agassi’s career, when a wrist injury sidelined him for much of the season and his world ranking slipped to 141. Later on, Agassi writes, he received a call from ATP doctors telling him he’d tested positive for meth.

Agassi writes: “My name, my career, everyt…

Christine Ebersole as Edith Beale in Grey Gardens

Adam Lambert's For Your Entertainment album cover

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The album is to be released November 23rd. You can pre-order it here.


Via AdamOfficial.com

The Funnies

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Pick Me Up of the Day

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Jerry East as featured on DNA.

Democrats push green energy agenda

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CNN reports: Top Democrats put the issue of climate change back in the spotlight today, debating legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions while announcing $3.4 billion in new clean energy funds.

A key congressional committee began hearings on a "cap-and-trade" bill requiring emissions to be cut by more than 80 percent over the next four decades.

Questions related to global warming have been among the most politically contentious in recent years. Democrats are generally more receptive to proposals designed to curb energy consumption in order to slow climate change; leading Republicans continue to express concern about the necessity and economic impact of such measures.

President Obama has made the push for greater investment in a clean energy agenda one of his top domestic priorities.

Attempting to move that agenda forward, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee kicked off hearings on the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. Supporters say the bill would reduce…

Pink Martini releases fourth album

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Let the joyous news be spread! Pink Martini at last releases their fourth album, Splendor in the Grass today. You can buy it here.

As a long-time Jerry Curlobsession favorite, Pink Martini has been wowing audiences and critics alike for years. Internationally known for their style of mixing musical styles, they're a fresh and exciting band in a musical landscape that really needs it. And from what we've been able to sample on their MySpace page, Splendor sounds like another solid installment of great music. We'd expect nothing less.
The following is an excerpt from an NPR interview with Thomas Lauderdale and lead vocalist China Forbes:
The band Pink Martini draws its influences from a wide variety of places and music genres, which its members credit in part to their international audience.

For its latest record, Splendor in the Grass, the Portland-based band found inspiration for two of its songs from an unlikely place: a sheet of music left on band member Thomas Lauderdale&#…

Weekend box office

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Weekend Top Five:
1 Paranormal Activity ($21.1M)
2 Saw VI ($14.1M)
3 Where the Wild Things Are ($14M)
4 Law Abiding Citizen ($12.4M)
5 Couples Retreat ($10.6M)

A note to our fearless editor:

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Bette Midler's
"In The Mood"

The case for Equality Maine

Testimony given for and against Maine's marriage equality bill on April 22, 2009. Nearly 4,000 people attended the hearing, with marriage equality supporters out-numbering the opposition 4 to 1.

(Via Towleroad)

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Co'D as featured on We Love Guys.

Google, MySpace, Facebook make music moves

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Internet power players Google, MySpace and Facebook are adopting strategies to better compete in a music industry that is rapidly shifting online.

In separate developments Wednesday, it emerged that Google plans to launch a music search service, MySpace said its music videos will be spread on competing social networks through recent acquisition iLike, and Facebook said it will now allow friends to send each other song-streaming gifts for as little as 10 cents each.

The developments, all of which came with the blessing of the major recording companies, are examples of attempts to reap online revenue as compact disc sales continue to fall.

Google: According to people familiar with the matter, Google next week will launch music search pages that will package images of musicians and bands, album artwork, links to news, lyrics, videos and song previews, along with a way to buy songs on one search results page.

Song previews and sales on Google will be provided by online music retailer Lala and…

Egypt wants Rosetta Stone back

Embedded video from CNN Video

Activists to hold global warming rallies Saturday

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The Miami Herald reports: With bike rides, dune plantings and rallies in Miami-Dade, and yoga classes, street cleanings and rallies in Broward, environmental and social activists from South Florida will take part in a campaign on Saturday advocating climate change legislation.

The events are being held in conjunction with 350.org, an international grass-roots effort focused in the United States on strengthening and passing energy legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The public is invited to join a Miami bike ride, which begins at the Vizcaya Metro Station at 11:15 a.m. Saturday. It is expected to include 50 to 100 activists, veterans and green-energy business representatives, said Andrea Cuccaro, Florida organizer for 1Sky, an affiliated campaign.

The ride will conclude at Bicentennial Park with a talk from representatives of a research sailing vessel that will be moored nearby at the AmericanAirlines Arena. At 2 p.m., participants plan to form the number 350 for a group photo…

China and U.S. try to speed global climate strategy

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The NYT reports: Senior American and Chinese officials urged their governments today to accelerate joint efforts to reduce pollution, even as their diplomats appeared at odds over crucial elements of a global strategy to fight climate change to be considered in Copenhagen in December.

The calls for cooperation, led by Vice Premier Li Keqiang, came at a clean energy forum attended by nearly 200 of both nations’ leading experts on climate change issues and technologies. The forum’s primary goal is to devise new ways in which Chinese and American researchers, corporations and others can work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But with the Copenhagen conference barely 45 days away, one subtext was to build momentum for closer collaboration between the world’s two biggest producers of greenhouse gases. Negotiations toward a new global climate change agreement have been hobbled by disagreements between China and the United States over whether curbing climate change should be princip…

Madonna cataloge to make Glee debut, Lambert music in the works

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Hold on to your pantaloons, Gleeks! EW has learned that Madonna has given Glee the rights to her catalog and that an all-Madonna-music episode is in the works for early next year.

The hit series has been building an audience and filling the iTunes charts with its cover songs, and Madonna’s involvement is a testament to how big the show is getting. Also, an amazing Glee cover of a classic Madonna track has the potential to be even bigger than the show’s blockbuster take on “Don’t Stop Believin’."
But Madonna might not be the only pop star getting some Glee love. Co-creator Ryan Murphy tells EW that he’s considering approaching American Idol runner up Adam Lambert about appearing on the show (next year, Glee will be paired with Idol on Wednesday nights). Nothing is official yet but Lambert does seem like an ideal choice for Glee.

Rosie O'Donnell, partner may be heading toward split

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A bit of sad news to report: Rosie O'Donnell has confirmed to Lifeline Live that she and partner Kelli Carpenter, 42, are on the rocks.

Yesterday in an interview at her Nyack, N.Y. compound, USA Today's Ann Oldenburg asked if the two had split -- she has been hinting at it in her blog -- and O'Donnell didn't deny it, saying, "We're a family. We will remain a family forever. And we are working on our issues."

O'Donnell, 47, wouldn't go into detail about whether Carpenter had moved out of their Nyack home and into Manhattan, as the National Enquirer reported in August. (She was not around during the interview.)

"We're a family, we remain a family and we're working on the issues," O'Donnell reiterated, noting that there are four children whose well-being comes before anything. The couple married in San Francisco in 2004 and have three adopted children -- Parker, 14, Chelsea, 12 and Blake, 9, as well as Vivienne ("Vivi"), …

Improve Anywhere strikes again

Jean Paul Gaultier hits Target

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Avant-garde designer Jean Paul Gaultier is the next high fashion name to point a mass-market arrow toward Target stores.

The edgy designer, famous for dressing the likes of Beyonce, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Madonna, will debut an accessibly priced line for the store in March, according to Radaronline.com.

“Following in the footsteps of Alexander McQueen and Anna Sui, designer Jean Paul Gaultier will be the next high fashion house to partner with Target, debuting a limited edition lower end line March 7, 2010,” reports Radaronline.com. “The collection will be available in more than 250 Target stores nationwide and also on Target.com, and will reportedly incorporate past and present styles in American pop culture.”

No word on whether the cone bra from the Blond Ambition Tour will be part of the collection.

(Via The Advocate)

Bette Midler's
"La Vie en Rose"

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Travone Hill as featured on Major Models.

The Funnies

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Adam Lambert's
"Time for Miracles"

Adam Lambert for Details magazine

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CBO finds Dem bill with public option reduces deficit

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A preliminary estimate from the Congressional Budget Office projects that the House Democrats' health care plan that includes a public option would cost $871 billion over 10 years, according to two Democratic sources.

CBO also found that the Democrats' bill reduces the deficit in the first 10 years.

This new CBO estimate, which aides caution is not final, is significantly less than the $1.1 trillion price tag of the original House bill that passed out of three committees this summer. More importantly, it comes under the $900 billion cap set by President Obama in his joint address to Congress last month.

CBO analyzed what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls a "more robust" public option -- one that ties reimbursement rates for doctors to current Medicare rates, plus a 5 percent increase.

At a meeting with House Democrats last night, Pelosi did not release CBO's preliminary numbers, but told members that CBO told leaders the House bill would cost well below $900 billion. …

Bette Midler's
"Is That All There Is?"

Lyrical Autobiography

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[Editor's note] On the occasion of my birthday, I decided to publish a little project I've been working on for weeks. Largely consisting of lyrics from some of my favorite artists, I put together a story that pretty much sums up who I am. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed working on it.
Jerry is here to share with you some rare and stimulating insight into his cosmic fabulosity. He is a boy, a very strange enchanted boy. He was born in the wagon of a traveling show, his Mama used to dance for the money they’d throw. He was justified when he was five. Raising cane, he’d spit in your eye. He never lived the dreams of the prom kings and the drama queens. He likes to think the best of him is still hiding up his sleeve. The more he lives, the more he learns. The more he learns, the more he realizes the less he knows.

He cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis and he pumped a lot of ‘tane down in New Orleans. But he never saw the good side of the city ‘til he hitched a ride on a Riv…

Taylor Lautner for GQ magazine

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(Via Just Jared)

Oprah nabs exclusive interview with Palin

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MSNBC reports: Talk about opposing forces- Sarah Palin is going to sit down with Oprah Winfrey. Harpo Productions announced today that the former governor of Alaska and Republican vice presidential candidate will appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Monday, Nov. 16.

According to Harpo, the interview will be Palin’s first about her new book, “Going Rogue: An American Life,” and it will be the first time Palin and Winfrey will meet.

Palin’s book was No. 4 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list on Tuesday. It’s slated to be released Tuesday, Nov. 17, the day after Palin’s interview with Winfrey.

Weekend box office

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Weekend Top Five:

#1 Where the Wild Things Are ($32.7M)
#2 Law Abiding Citizen ($21M)
#3 Paranormal Activity ($19.6M)
#4 Couples Retreat ($17.2M)
#5 The Stepfather ($11.6M)

Jerry Curl counts down to Bette Midler in Vegas

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[Editor's note] This week, yours truely will be celebrating his 24th birthday. To commemorate the grandiose event, I'm embarking on a holy pilgrimmaging see the Divine Miss M in Vegas! (I have 6th row center tickets for Friday's show!)

AnyBette, to celebrate this magical happening we're introducing a special week-long section on Jerry Curl aimed at highlighting some stellar Bette Midler performances. We hope you enjoy it! And be sure to look out for my complete report on the concert a la Tina Turner.

Twilight's Kellen Lutz for August magazine

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Florida jobless rate hits 11 percent

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Florida's unemployment rate edged up in September, rising three-tenths of a point to 11 percent, the state labor department announced today.

That's the highest since October 1975, and represents just over one million Floridians out of work.

County rates were as follows: Miami-Dade, 11.3 percent; Broward, 9.8 percent; Palm Beach, 11.7 percent; Monroe, 7 percent.

Unlike statewide numbers, the county figures are not adjusted to remove the effects of normal seasonal variations, such as summer layoffs at hotels.

The federal government will release an adjusted figure for Miami-Dade and other large U.S. counties next week.

(Via Miami Herald)

Nina Simone's
"My Baby Just Cares For Me"

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Kris Feragen as featured on DNA.