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Showing posts from March, 2011

Katy Perry ft. Kanye West
"E.T."

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Pick Me Up of the Day

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Kelvin Fletcher as featured on DNA.

Stunning video of Aurora Borealis lights

The Aurora from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.Terje Sorgjerd's lovely time-lapse of the Aurora Borealis, shot over the period of a week.

"Shot in and around Kirkenes and Pas National Park bordering Russia, at 70 degree north and 30 degrees east. Temperatures around -25 Celsius."

(Via Towleroad)

Betty White will host new NBC reality show

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The unstoppable Betty White is taking on reality TV with a hidden-camera show that turns senior citizens into merry pranksters.

NBC has ordered 12 episodes of Betty White's Off Their Rockers, the working title for a series based on a hit Belgian program that has been produced in other European countries and South Korea.

"People have been telling me that I'm `off my rocker' for years – now I can prove it," White joked in a statement Thursday.

The reality show follows seven seniors who band together to play pranks on younger people, with White helping conspire to put one over on "the unsuspecting youth of America," said NBC and Universal Media Studios executive Paul Telegdy.

White, 89, has a track record at NBC. She starred in the network's sitcom The Golden Girls for seven seasons and won an Emmy last year as host of Saturday Night Live.

The actress also stars in the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland, which has been renewed for a third season, and has a boo…

In memoriam:
Selena "No Me Queda Mas"

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Today marks the 16th anniversary of the death of Selena.

Brad Goreski lands his own show on Bravo

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Socialite Life reports: Brad Goreski is getting his very own show on Bravo. After parting ways with stylist Rachel Zoe last year, the former assistant has stepped up his styling game.

Goreski tweeted yesterday:
I’m so excited about my show on @bravotv!! Can’t wait to start filming “Its a Brad Brad World!!” Dream come true!!
The show, It’s a Brad Brad World, will follow Goreski “as he embarks on his new solo career as a stylist…and tries to maintain his personal life."

Since leaving Zoe, Goreski has worked with Kate Spade, styled for In Style and Harper’s Bazaar, and has even been rumored to have stolen Demi Moore away from his former boss. He also brought on Jessica Alba as a client and has been shopping buddies with Cameron Diaz.

Backstage fashion photography for charity

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Photographer Kevin Tachman does his thing at Jeffrey Fashion Cares in NYC. More here and here.

World's first legally wed lesbian couple mark 10th anniversary

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Ten years ago, Dutch pair Helene Faasen and Anne-Marie Thus walked down the aisle into the history books as the world's first legally wed lesbian couple, a distinction they now employ in activism.

"We married for love, not politics. But of course we were aware it was an historic moment," 41-year-old Anne-Marie, a notary assistant and gay rights campaigner, said ahead of their 10th anniversary on Friday.

By tying the knot in front of the world's press, "we wanted to make other people think about how horrible it is to be denied something that is a natural right for others," added her wife, 44-year-old notary Helene Faasen.

"A heterosexual person never needs to think about whether he is allowed to marry or not, he simply needs to be lucky enough to find the love of his life."

The Netherlands was the first country to legalise same-sex marriage, in 2001. Helene and Anne-Marie, both in traditional, flowing wedding gowns, exchanged the first nuptials alo…

New Rosie O’Donnell talk show will tape from Oprah's studio

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CBS Chicago reports: Harpo Studios will serve as home to multiple Emmy award-winning television host Rosie O'Donnell's highly anticipated new talk show for the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Rosie's new daily daytime one-hour talk show will be produced by the award-winning Harpo team and tape in the legendary studio that has served as the home of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Rosie O'Donnell makes her return to daytime television in the all-new talk show on OWN in Fall 2011.

The decision to put Rosie into Harpo Studios will not only help keep many jobs in Chicago, but it will also keep business in general booming in the West Loop. Harpo Studios literally helped develop the West Loop over the past two decades and brought a lot of attention and business to the city.

Rosie made the announcement about her new show in a webcam video.

Google snubs city that named itself Google

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CNN reports: In an effort to woo a Google high-speed internet project, the Kansas capital of Topeka changed its name to Google, Kansas for a month, last year.

Like, actually changed it. By a vote of the City Council.

Apparently that wasn't enough. The search giant announced yesterday it had chosen Topeka's blandly named neighbor -- Kansas City, Kansas -- as the winner of its contest. That city, just 60 miles to the east of Topeka, soon will get some of the fastest internet connections in the country.

Topeka's mayor could be mad about all of this.

He could be embarrassed that his city -- home of soybean fields, animal research, and, let's not forget, Kansas' capitol dome -- changed its name to that of a giant corporation to court its favor, only to be rejected.

Maybe he feels like he'll lose business to Kansas City, which, by 2012, is expected to have Google-installed internet connections that are 100 times faster than the national average.

Or maybe not. As it t…

Prince braves Arctic cold for charity trek

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Jerry Curl apologizes for no updates

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[Editor's note] Good morning, curlies. I have to apologize for not posting yesterday. My day was consumed with finishing an over-due term paper. We're back in full force today, though. Please enjoy.

Gay storyline coming to Days of Our Lives

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As Days of Our Lives celebrates its 45th anniversary in daytime, the traditionally conservative soap is about to get a lot more contemporary.

EW has learned exclusively that a gay storyline may be in the works! From what we gather, it may involve a current cast member hooking up with someone new.

A show spokeswoman declined to comment.

While competing sudsers have been in the forefront when it comes to same-sex couples -- ABC's All My Children, for example, featured the first lesbian character in Bianca Montgomery (Eden Riegel), which led to the first gay marriage between her and Reese Williams (Tamara Braun) -- Days has largely played a backseat role when it comes to featuring gay couplings.

Meanwhile, current and previous cast members like Kristian Alfonzo (Hope Brady), Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker) and Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans) have hit the road to help promote the book Days of our Lives 45: A Celebration in Photos.

--> As a 13-year watcher of Days, I'm glad to hear t…

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Jay Byars as featured on Homotography.

Elizabeth Taylor leaves a legacy of charity

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The New York Post reports: Screen queen Elizabeth Taylor has left behind a fortune worth at least $600 million, much of which is expected to go to the AIDS charities she championed for decades.

Her famous jewelry collection, valued at an eye-popping $150 million in 2002, is likely to be auctioned off with the bulk of the proceeds going to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and amfAR, the AIDS charity she helped found in 1985, according to WFLD/Fox TV Chicago.

At the time of her 1994 divorce from her last husband, Larry Fortensky, Taylor's net worth was estimated at $608.4 million. That figure could now be well in excess of $1 billion.

During the 1990s, Taylor reportedly earned about $2 per second, or about $63 million per year. Her famed perfume, White Diamonds, earned more than $70 million last year, according to reports.

Taylor's acting career was, of course, quite lucrative and even in her later years, she was paid top dollar for film work. The violet-eyed siren, who in 1…

FCKH8 earns $300,000 for charity

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The Advocate reports: Forget what your mama told you. Luke Montgomery proves that dropping f bombs is not only fun, it’s socially rewarding.

In addition to starting important dialogues by blasting bigotry online and getting middle school kids in hot water, Montgomery’s FCKH8 campaign is also giving back to the LGBT community in a big way.

What started as an expletive-laced stance for marriage equality has become a powerful voice against hatred. “In the beginning, everything we did was pink,” general manager Cole Stevens says of the campaign’s initial merchandise offerings. “Then when bullying became a hot topic, we switched to purple.”

Stevens is rightfully proud of the campaign’s accomplishments. “In the past six months we have earned $300,000 for worthwhile causes like the Trevor Project, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, Equality California, the Courage Campaign, and Lambda Legal,” he says. “Five dollars from every shirt we sell gets divvied up and distributed to those char…

Christian Chavez & Anahi
"Libertad"

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Audiences flock to Priscilla Queen of the Desert

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In its first full week of performances since opening on Broadway to generally good reviews, the new musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert notched a 30 percent increase in ticket sales last week and the revival of Arcadia was up 20 percent compared to its box-office grosses the prior week, according to data released yesterday by the Broadway League.

Most other Broadway musicals and plays had down sales last week, after students and families returned home from spring vacations in New York.

Of those shows making gains, Priscilla had by far the biggest week-to-week jump, with a total gross of $962,163. Also coming on strong was Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which was up about 8 percent for a total of $1.52 million. Spider-Man was the third highest-grossing show on Broadway last week, behind Wicked with $1.63 million and The Lion King with $1.58 million.

(Via ArtsBeat)

NY Times begins charging for digital access

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The AP reports: The New York Times began charging yesterday for full access to its website and mobile services.

The third-largest U.S. newspaper is charging $15 every four weeks, or $195 a year, to read more than 20 articles a month on its website. That fee also covers a subscription on the newspaper's software for smartphones. The new fees kicked in at about 2 p.m. EDT.

Readers who want unlimited access on the website and the Times' software for Apple Inc.'s iPad tablet computer have to pay $20 every four weeks, or $260 annually. A digital subscription covering the website and both mobile options costs $35 every four weeks, or $455 annually.

The New York Times Co. is charging for digital access because online advertising revenue hasn't grown fast enough to offset losses in print ads.

Print subscribers will keep free online access. The Times is hoping to bring in more digital revenue while giving print readers more reason to keep their subscriptions.

The company declin…

Obama defends US role in Libya

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Jerry Curl tweets

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Can't get enough? Find me @Jerrymeister

The Funnies

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Pick Me Up of the Day

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Ethan Robertson as featured on Homotography.

Malawi charity workers sue Madonna over wrongful dismissal

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Eight workers at Madonna's Malawi charity are suing the pop star for unfair dismissal and non-payment of their benefits, their lawyer said on Sunday.

The board of the charity, Raising Malawi, was sacked after abandoning plans to build a state of the art girls' school just outside the capital Lilongwe due to mismanagement, the New York Times newspaper reported on Saturday.

Madonna, who has adopted two children from Malawi, lent $11 million to the organization and is now on the board.

The workers' lawyer, Mzondi Chirambo, said Madonna had 14 days to respond to their concerns.

"Their employment was terminated by the trustees of Raising Malawi Academy for Girls ostensibly following the change of plan not to build the school as planned," Chirambo said. "My clients are also being forced to sign a discriminatory termination agreement before they are paid their benefits."

Chirambo said one of the workers he represented was the chief executive of the school, so…

Doctors warn about teens and 'Facebook depression'

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The AP reports: Add "Facebook depression" to potential harms linked with social media, an influential doctors' group warns, referring to a condition it says may affect troubled teens who obsess over the online site.

Researchers disagree on whether it's simply an extension of depression some kids feel in other circumstances, or a distinct condition linked with using the online site. But there are unique aspects of Facebook that can make it a particularly tough social landscape to navigate for kids already dealing with poor self-esteem, said Dr. Gwenn O'Keeffe, a Boston-area pediatrician and lead author of new American Academy of Pediatrics social media guidelines.

With in-your-face friends' tallies, status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times, Facebook pages can make some kids feel even worse if they think they don't measure up. It can be more painful than sitting alone in a crowded school cafeteria or other real-life encounters th…

Facebook gets five more film rentals

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CNET reports: After the launch of The Dark Knight rental on Facebook earlier this month, Warner Bros. Entertainment is expanding its product offering.

Early this morning, the company released five more films that the social network's users can watch from the site. The newly available films--Inception, Yogi Bear, Life As We Know It, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets--are available to rent on users' individual Facebook pages. As with The Dark Knight, users who want to stream the rentals over the Web need to apply

Facebook credits to rent the movies. However, pricing will vary. Whereas The Dark Knight is still available for 30 Facebook credits (about $3), the newer releases are retailing for 40 Facebook credits (about $4). The two Harry Potter films are available for 30 credits.

When Warner Bros. launched rentals on Facebook earlier this month, the company made it clear that it was done solely to test the waters and find out if…

Weekend box office

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Weekend Top Five:
#1 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules ($24.4M)
#2 Sucker Punch ($19M)
#3 Limitless ($15.2M)
#4 The Lincoln Lawyer ($11M)
#5 Rango ($9.8M)

Jerry Curl pays tribute to Elizabeth Taylor

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Photo caption: My personal collection of mementos.
[Editor's note] After a couple of days spent in grief-stricken, contemplative thought, I think I’m ready to add my voice to the chorus of praise for Elizabeth Taylor.
It's difficult (and perhaps a little silly) to grieve for someone you never really knew personally. I learned just how difficult when another Elizabeth died. It's even more difficult to justify that grief when the departed spent the majority of my lifetime out of the public spotlight. But nonetheless, it seems as though Elizabeth as been in my life for as long as I’ve had the abilities to think and love.

I don’t remember how or when I first came to know about Elizabeth Taylor. Her existence in my mind’s eye defies chronology. As a kid, her big lavender-colored eyes and impossibly black hair reminded me of a Disney princess. Her beauty was magical. At a department store once, I remember urging my mother to buy White Diamonds just so I could know what she smelled…

amfAR tribute to Elizabeth Taylor

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Life & times of a legend

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

RIP Elizabeth Taylor

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I'm stunned, saddened, and irreconcilable. I knew this day was coming, but I'm not prepared to deal with this. Elizabeth Taylor, the legendary actress famed for her beauty, her jet-set lifestyle, her charitable endeavors and her many marriages, has died, her publicist told CNN Wednesday. She was 79.

Taylor died "peacefully today in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles," said a statement from her publicist. She was hospitalized six weeks ago with congestive heart failure, "a condition with which she had struggled for many years. Though she had recently suffered a number of complications, her condition had stabilized and it was hoped that she would be able to return home. Sadly, this was not to be."

Though a two-time Oscar winner -- for Butterfield 8 (1960) and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) -- Taylor was more celebrated for simply being Elizabeth Taylor: sexy, glamorous, tempestuous, fragile, always trailing courtiers, media and fans. She wasn't…

Chord Overstreet on Ellen and shirtless

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The 22-year-old Glee hunk posed shirtless for photographer Christian Rios.











(Via JustJared & Towleroad)

Jerry Curl resumes regular operations after vacation

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[Editor's note] Hello kids. I'm back from a week of disconnected bliss. I managed to stay away from all news sources, get a nice tan and some much needed rest. I can also report that I Emma Watsoned my hair, mostly as a symbol of my burgeoning female independence... (Actually, it's just hot as Hell in Miami and short hair works best in these conditions). But the burgeoning thing sounds way more important.

Anywho, I also managed to schlep my mother and my goddaughter to Disney for a couple of days. It was nice to have a girls trip and reconnect with two of the most special ladies around. I have to say though, traveling with elders and children isn't easy. For some reason, their stamina didn't come close to mine. Then again, I can run on my Disney zeal for days!
However, it must be said that someone seems to be dropping the ball at the Magic Kingdom. On more than a few occasions I noticed some very unmagical things: an exposed metal lock at the Swiss Family Robinson tr…

Weekend box office

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Weekend Top Five:

#1 Limitless ($19M)
#2 Rango ($15.3M)
#3 Battle: Los Angeles ($14.6M)
#4 The Lincoln Lawyer ($13.4M)
#5 Paul ($13.2M)

Jerry Curl will be out next week for Spring Break

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[Editor's note] I regret to inform you that Jerry Curl service will be interrupted next week. Monday marks my first real Spring Break in three years so I won't be updating on a regular basis.
Among the many activities planned, I'm hoping to read for fun, crisp myself in the sun, sip fizzy drinks with umbrellas, and visit Disney World. And if at all possible, meet boys that look like the ones above.
That being said, I'll have my Mac on hand and will try to keep some information flowing. But I make promises as drinks with umbrellas are the priority!
Cheers.

Tomorrow declared Liza Minnelli Day in NYC

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Rejoice! in honor of Liza Minnelli's 65th birthday tomorrow, New York Major Michael Bloomberg has proclaimed March 12th Gray Line New York/Broadway Day Starring Liza Minnelli.

More pictures of Lady Liza over at Steve Rothaus' blog.

Pick Me Up of the Day

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Rob as featured on DNA.

Gloria Estefan to sign books this Saturday

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Gloria and Emilio Estefan will be at Books & Books in Coral Gables this Saturday signing copies of The Exile Experience: Journey to Freedom.

Published by the Miami Herald and the Estefans' Crescent Moon Publishing, The Exile Experience is a coffee table book that features the story of the waves of exiles as told by a collaboration of writers including Mirta Ojito.

The book also features a collection of profiles on successful exiles such as the Mas Canosa family, Cristina Saralegui, and Perry Ellis CEO George Feldenkreis, among others.



If you go:
Where: Location: 265 Aragon Ave Coral Gables, Fl
When: 2:00PM

More info at Books & Books.

Bradley Manning breaks silence

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Queerty reports:

Bradley Manning, the US soldier being held in solitary confinement on suspicion of having released state secrets to WikiLeaks, has spoken out for the first time about what he claims is his punitive and unlawful treatment in military prison.

In an 11-page legal letter released by his lawyer, David Coombs, Manning sets out in his own words how he has been "left to languish under the unduly harsh conditions of max [security] custody" ever since he was brought from Kuwait to the military brig of Quantico marine base in Virginia in July last year. He describes how he was put on suicide watch in January, how he is currently being stripped naked every night, and how he is in general terms being subjected to what he calls "unlawful pre-trial punishment".

It is the first time Manning has spoken publicly about his treatment, having previously only been heard through the intermediaries of his lawyer and a friend. Details that have emerged up to now have inspired…

Lambert "Aftermath" remix for Trevor Project

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As previously reported, sales of a new remix of the Adam Lambert single “Aftermath” will benefit the Trevor Project and its efforts to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youths.

Idolator reports on the remix by Billboard, who recently coproduced Britney Spears’s "Hold It Against Me" with Max Martin and Dr. Luke. The "Aftermath" remix was made available from the official Lambert site yesterday, the same day the singer performed an acoustic version of the song on American Idol (video below).

In related news: Adam Lambert will drop Glam Nation Live, a live CD/DVD combo of his 2010 headlining tour on March 22!

Britney opens up about her idols, her contemporaries, and motherhood

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The Marquee Blog reports: With her new album, Femme Fatale, dropping March 29, Britney Spears' name is currently on everyone's lips. But in a new interview, she's turning the tables and speaking out about other stars.

Spears, a longtime Madonna fan, tells the latest issue of Out magazine that she is molding her career after the Material Girl's.

"She is an amazing entertainer," says the pop princess, who posed in a barely there leotard that reveals tattoos near her crotch. "Besides Madonna, I also admire Sarah Jessica Parker’s career and her shoe collection."

Spears also gushes about fellow former Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera, calling her "truly talented," and says that Betty White is her favorite Golden Girl "because she's so sweet and innocent."

The mom of two—who tells the magazine she'd love her boys unconditionally if they turned out to be gay—listens to the music of contemporaries like Lady Gaga and admits that she wis…

Stars gather for Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall 50th anniversary concert

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April 23 will mark the 50th anniversary of Judy Garland's famed concert at Carnegie Hall, often called "the greatest night in show business history."

Garland's two-album live recording spent 13 weeks at No. 1 in 1961 and has never been out of print. It won four Grammys, including Album of the Year. Ten years ago, Capitol released the complete, unedited concert, which is still available on compact disc and for download.

To celebrate the anniversay of Judy Garland's legendary concert, Lorna Luft will retrace her mother's footsteps tonight at Carnegie Hall. Luft and other Broadway stars, including Tony winners Karen Olivo and Heather Headley, will re-create Judy at Carnegie Hall with a one-night-only concert featuring The New York Pops-- conducted by Steven Reineke. The program will include Garland's original 1961 orchestrations.

"This was a no-brainer," Reineke told Playbill.com. "I thought, 'This spring concert – it's going to be 50 yea…

Artist honors Cuba’s Ladies in White

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To an arts district that finds more inspiration in New York than Havana comes the whimsical work of master puppeteer Pablo Cano: drawings framed by scalloped-edged cake boxes and brushed on plastic Clorox bottles — a tribute to the Ladies in White, the gladioli-carrying Damas de Blanco who peacefully march in Cuba in a silent quest for human rights.

Cano’s drawings, on exhibit at the Kelley Roy Gallery in Wynwood, depict the damas, often the target of pro-government mobs, as pious Byzantine figures who wear crowns and long flowing gowns.

One holds a scroll that reads “Liberty.” Another stands atop an upside down globe. A lone one drifts on a raft in the middle of the sea surrounded by sharks, a commanding galleon towering over her.

“Gothic Madonnas,” the artist calls his ladies.

The 50 ink drawings were made on telephone directory pages from Havana and Miami-Dade, white-washed by the artist with a light coat of primer. Some of the drawings were inked on pages from a 1958 Havana telephone …

Trailer for Christopher and His Kind released

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Seminude young men sunbathing, a man being whipped in a dark room in Berlin, and Sally Bowles — the trailer for the upcoming drama Christopher and His Kind promises one of the gayest television films of the season.

The BBC adaptation of the classic Christopher Isherwood novel chronicles the formative years of the acclaimed writer after he escapes this repressive life in England and moves to decadent pre-war Berlin. Doctor Who's Matt Smith stars in the title role.

It will premiere on BBCTwo March 19.

Trailer for Becoming Chaz released

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Becoming Chaz, a documentary which had its premiere at Sundance and will be broadcast on Oprah's OWN network in May, chronicles Chaz Bono's transition from the Sonny and Cher show till now.

Royal Mail's new stamps from magical realms

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This week, Royal Mail released a special set of stamps featuring some of the world's most famous wizards, witches and enchanters, from C.S. Lewis' Aslan to Albus Dumbledore.

A slideshow of the new stamps can be found here.

Jon Cryer has fun response to Sheen's digs

Because we all need a little laugh today.

Annette Funicello rushed to hospital after house fire

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Annette Funicello is one lucky lady. The former lead Mouseketeer was one of three people rushed to the hospital yesterday for possible smoke inhalation after her suburban L.A. house caught fire.

The blaze at the Encino, Calif., home started in the early morning hours and was first reported around 7:21 a.m. Firefighters were quickly on the scene and managed to subdue the flames in about a half-hour.

The 68-year-old Funicello was taken by ambulance to a nearby medical center, along with an unidentified man and woman said to be her husband and nurse. One of the women, believed to be Funicello, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was in a wheelchair. All three are reportedly in good condition.

No word yet on the cause of the inferno but arson investigators are on the scene.

Before Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, there was Funicello. She was one of the original and most popular kids in Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club in 1955. She later recorded a string of late-'50s pop hits bef…

Massive quake unleashes huge tsunami in Japan

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MSNBC reports: A magnitude 8.9 earthquake — the biggest in modern Japanese history — slammed Japan's northeastern coast today, unleashing a 13-foot tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland and prompting a "nuclear emergency."

At least 60 people were killed and there were reports of several injuries in Tokyo, hundreds of miles away, where buildings shook violently through the main quake and the series of massive aftershocks that followed.

A ship carrying 100 people was swept away by the tsunami, Kyodo news agency reported.

The quake triggered problems with a cooling system at a nuclear power plant , officials said, prompting the "emergency," but the officials maintained that no radiation had leaked. A fire was reportedly burning in a turbine building at the plant.

Fires triggered by the quake burned out of control up and down the coast.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the quake caused "major damage" in northeastern Japan.

Offic…

It's official: Julie Taymor ousted from Spider-Man

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It was 1996 when Disney Theatrical Productions took a chance on a little-known director of experimental theater named Julie Taymor. They handed her a musical based on their hit film, The Lion King, and they found themselves with a billion-dollar hit. Ms. Taymor became the theater world’s star auteur.

Now, all of a sudden, she is something else entirely.

After nine years of work, Ms. Taymor is stepping aside as director of the most expensive and technically ambitious musical ever on Broadway, the $65 million Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, its producers announced last night. They named a new director to replace her and a script doctor to rewrite the show, as they prepared to overhaul the production during the next three months — including adding two new songs by the composers, U2’s Bono and the Edge.

Last night, the producers, along with Bono and the Edge, told the Spider-Man cast that Ms. Taymor was out. According to one person who was there, Bono said that Ms. Taymor would still be part …

The Funnies

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Disney World pulls plug on Grad Nite

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This spring will see the last Grad Nite celebrations at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World announced yesterday.

Disney World says the increase in theme park attendance in the spring has made scheduling the after-hours, separate-ticket event for high school seniors increasingly difficult. As an alternative, Disney will offer Florida school groups a special one-day, one-park ticket for $55 valid any time during the year.

"Over the years, we've signficantly increased the frequency and types of programming offered specifically for students," Walt Disney World spokeswoman Andrea Finger said. Sports competitions, performing art workshops, festivals and educational programs give students access to Disney "virtually any time of the year," she said.

Live performances have been a hallmark of the event. Musical acts have included Britney Spears, Miami Sound Machine, Katy Perry, Oingo Boingo, Ne-Yo, New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, Paramore and Boys Like Girls.

Set for th…