Saturday, December 1, 2007

"Siegfried and Roy hint they may return"

(AP) Four years after retiring, illusionists Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn say they may just reappear.

The German-born performers' long-running "Siegfried & Roy" production ended in October 2003 when Horn was critically injured on stage by a tiger.

"A good magician never lets the cat out of the bag," Horn told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday for a story about the pair's possible return to show business. "Act surprised when you hear about it."

The tiger sank its teeth into Horn's neck and dragged him off stage in front of a horrified audience at The Mirage, ending one of the most successful casino shows in Las Vegas history.

Siegfried, 68, said retirement has had its hurdles.

"The stage is my life. It took some adjustment. I was really not ready for it," he said.

Siegfried said he marvels at Horn's dedication to his recovery regimen, which includes daily rehabilitation and trips to a gym three times a week, including games of racquetball.

"It cheers me up," Siegfried told the newspaper. "All the doctors say what he's doing now is impossible. I've always said, `I am the magician and Roy is the magic.' And Roy shows me every day the magic — the magic of life."

Horn, 63, gets a boost from visits to his family of animals at The Mirage, including Montecore, the white tiger that attacked him.

Horn and Siegfried remain convinced that Montecore sensed Horn was having a mini-stroke and was dragging him to safety, rather than attacking him.

"I hang out with my lifesaver," Horn said.


"Cat survives 19 days with jar on head"

BARTLETT, Tenn. (AP)--
Tabitha Cain has fed a feral cat she calls Wild Oats for several years, but now she's thinking of changing the feline's name to Survivor.

That's because she says the cat survived for 19 days with a peanut butter jar stuck on its head.

"We tried to get her, but being the type of cat you can't catch, she kept running and hiding," said Doretha Cain, Tabitha's mother.

The family saw the cat several times with the jar on its head and tried in vain to catch it. But after not seeing the cat for a week, the Cains feared the worst.

"I thought she was going to die with that jar on her head," said Tabitha Cain, 25.

They found the once chubby cat on Wednesday, too thin and weak to flee. They caught her with a fishing net and used some oil to get the jar off her head.

They gave her water and treated her wounds and on Friday she began to eat again.

"I've heard of cats having nine lives but I think this one has 19 because she survived 19 days," Doretha Cain said.

Memphis veterinarian Gerald Blackburn said he's heard similar stories of pets getting trapped for days or even weeks at a time and surviving. Blackburn said the cat may have lived off of its excess fat.

"Where street graffiti meets LEDs: Lichtfaktor"

from news.com

Remember writing your name in the dark with a sparkler? Take that, add a long urban tradition of street graffiti, mix well with new lighting technologies. Cologne, Germany-based artists Lichtfaktor have made it their main mode of artistic creation. They've gathered a vast set of "paintbrushes" for their new medium--not just sparklers, but fluorescent tubes, LEDs, glow sticks, and plain old flashlights. It's not just for fun, either--they've created a following among the film crowd and major ad agencies alike.

"Cusack clocks in for 'Factory' role"

John Cusack has signed on to star in "The Factory," a psychological thriller for Dark Castle to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Morgan O'Neill, a winner of the Australian "Project Greenlight," co-wrote the script and is directing the feature, which is being produced by Dark Castle's Joel Silver, Susan Downey and David Gambino.

Cusack will play an obsessed cop who, with his partner, is on the trail of a serial killer prowling the streets of Buffalo, N.Y. When his teenage daughter disappears, the cop drops any professional restraint and goes all out to get the killer.

O'Neill wrote "Factory" with Paul Leyden, an Australian actor who starred in "As the World Turns" and "LAX." Dark Castle picked up the script preemptively a year ago.


The movie is slated to go before cameras in January.

"Prostitute auctions sex for charity"

from Reuters via yahoo.com

A Chilean prostitute has auctioned 27 hours of sex to raise money for the country's largest charity during an annual fund-raising campaign.

Maria Carolina became an overnight celebrity in the conservative Roman Catholic country, making news headlines and appearing on talk shows since she made her unusual donation to the televised charity event, which runs for 27 hours starting on Friday evening.

"I've already auctioned off the 27 hours of love," Maria Carolina told Reuters on Wednesday, saying she had raised about $4,000. "One of my clients already paid. It seemed like a good deed to him."

Adult prostitution is legal in Chile. Chile's two-day Telethon fundraiser is endorsed by television stars and aims to raise funds for poor, disabled children.

Speaking about Maria Carolina's unusual donation, campaign organizer Mario Kreutzberger said he would not encourage "immoral" activities, but said he would accept her pledge.

"Everyone can do what they want, but if someone tells me that they'll do something immoral ... I'm not going to encourage it," Kreutzberger, who as "Don Francisco" hosts the long-running "Sabado Gigante" program on the U.S. Spanish-language Univision network, told local media.

But Maria Carolina, who advertises her services on the Internet, defended her money-raising scheme.

"There are people who are going to be donating money that's a lot more questionable than mine," she said. "The only thing I did was publicize it."

(Reporting by Antonio de la Jara; writing by Lisa Yulkowski; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


"Herbie Hancock's Rockit in Visa TV spot"

It seems as though folks my age have taken over the empire at this point. On the heels of the Visa Card ad which featured Soul Sonic Force's "Looking For The Perfect Beat" last year, comes their latest TV ad which uses Herbie Hancock's B-Boy anthem "Rockit".

While I tend to dislike such tracks being used for corporate ads, I guess it's a good thing that a new generation of kids will discover Herbie's landmark recording.

In 1983 "Rockit" was way ahead of it's time. The track inspired millions to start DJ'ing after hearing Grandmaster D.S.T.'s signature scratching - DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, and DJ Qbert - just to name a few.


Enjoy the Visa Card TV ad below, along with the original groundbreaking video for "Rockit" - directed by the legendary dynamic duo of Godley & Creme. - Ace:)



"Rolling Stone lends its name to CD compilations"

Rolling Stone magazine has ventured into the exclusives debate by partnering with Somerset Entertainment and allowing its brand name to be used in connection with a series of music compilations sold exclusively at Best Buy beginning in December.

Titles range from "The Pioneers of Rock & Roll" and "80s Metal Rock" to "The Psychedelic Sounds of the 60s" and "90s R&B."

Each title comes with an offer for 12 free issues and a vintage Rolling Stone cover collage within the liner notes. Somerset, a specialty label involved in putting together premium music CDs, created the compilations after consulting with the magazine's editors.

source - Reuters/Billboard


"Iran targets 'obscene' Rap music"

from the bbc
 
The Iranian government has announced a campaign against rap music which it considers obscene.

The Ministry for Culture and Islamic Guidance said illegal studios would be closed and rap singers "confronted".

An official condemned rappers for using very vulgar words, but it was not clear if the whole genre was being banned.

Rap music in Farsi is increasingly popular among young men in Tehran, with lyrics covering political, social and sexual themes.

Iranians wanting to record an album or stage a concert need to get official permission.

Some songs are approved by the ministry, but most are circulated through a growing underground market for rap.

The culture ministry official, Mohammad Dashtgoli, was quoted by the official Irna news agency as saying he wanted to "find a solution" to internet distribution of the music.

Iranian rappers are inspired by the Iranian exile community in Los Angeles - one of the main centres of American rap.

Young Iranian singers are trying to replicate the accents and subject material used by many US artists.

"Decadence" targeted

The campaign is the latest attempt by the Iranian authorities to stop Western values gaining ground at the expense of traditional Islamic morality, correspondents say.

Earlier this month Iranian newspapers printed a list of vices that the police would target, including "decadent" films, drugs and alcohol.

But their main focus appears to be women wearing make-up and using hats instead of headscarves.

In the last six months, tens of thousands of women have been warned or arrested because of their clothes.

The Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has publicly backed the police action.

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Barbie Girls MP3 player"

from stuff.co.nz - by mike marshall

Just when you thought the MP3 player market couldn't get any more saturated in comes Mattel with a great idea - take one of biggest selling toys of the last 50 years and turn it into an MP3 player.

The Barbie Girl MP3 player is 11.5cm sized plastic doll which can plug directly into any computer by taking off the dolls shoes to reveal a USB plug.

It has 512MB of storage space but this can be expanded using a MiniSD card slot.

The Barbie Girl MP3 player comes complete with head phones with 3 different sized ear plugs so you can get a good fit, which can often be difficult for children.

It also has a docking station to recharge the lithium polymer battery and allow for the easy upload of music, a belt clip, plus a small range of clothing and accessories which can be clipped on and removed to personalise it.

On top of you also get access to the Barbiegirls.com online world which can be explored and customised and used to chat and play with other Barbie owners world wide.

My 6-year-old daughter loved the Barbie Girl MP3, despite the fact she already owned a pink IPOD shuffle, she found it easy to use and loved that she could adjust the clothing and accessories. Battery life (rated at 10 hours between charges) didn't seem to be an issue as she listened to the High School Musical sound track over and over again, with out a recharge.

Overall the unit is a good easy to use, stable MP3 player which looks like it can take the knocks a young girl might throw at it.

The one aspect I didn't like about this player was the lack of the ability to set a maximum volume level, like you can with other MP3 players.

As this player is designed with children in mind, I was highly disappointed that this function wasn't included.

Other than that for a 512MB MP3 player the unit is a tad on the large size and the sound quality wasn't as good as similar priced MP3 players, but then again other players can't double as dolls as well.

It plays MP3s, WMAs and copy-protected WMAs. Windows only.


"Items from Vandross estate will be sold"

from yahoo.com - by By JANET FRANKSTON LORIN

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. (AP) - From a Picasso charcoal drawing to diamond watches, mink coats and crystal vases, Luther Vandross lived large.

Fans of the legendary singer, who died in 2005 at 54, will have a chance to bid on more than 1,000 items that offer a glimpse into his superstar existence.

On Dec. 5-6, his estate will auction just about everything: his handwritten lyrics to "Love Forgot"; the army green thermoses from which he sipped hot tea during his concerts; designer loafers and boots; Lalique crystal vases, glasses and doorknobs.

The items come from his former homes in Beverly Hills, Calif.; Greenwich, Conn.; and New York City and from his tours.

Fans have an expectation of how stars live, and Vandross' items won't disappoint, said Max Szadek, his personal assistant for 13 years.

"This mink-lined chair symbolized the lap of luxury that Luther lived in and just how a star, a world-class entertainer, kind of lived it out in his private life, too," Szadek said as he walked through 13,000 square feet of items displayed at an auction house in a suburban office park.

Szadek said fans will see many items that Vandross brought with him on tours, from the banal to the bling — like a silver Piaget diamond-encrusted watch, a silver diamond-encrusted tennis bracelet and a 4-carat diamond ring.

The touring and music memorabilia on sale span his career, with a record from David Bowie's "Young American," on which Vandross sang background, to a double platinum certification of "Dance With My Father," Szadek said.

The collection is valued between $600,000 and $800,000, said John Nye, whose Morris Plains, N.J.-based auction house, Dawson & Nye, is handling the sale.

___

Auction house:

dawsonandnye.com


"Bracelet Found in Chicken After 25 Years"

FAIRMONT, Minn. (AP) — It won't fit him anymore, but a Massachusetts man has his metal identity bracelet back after it was found inside a chicken gizzard in this southern Minnesota city — more than 25 years after he lost it in his grandfather's barn.

Aaron Giles, 31, of Gloucester, Mass., lived in Fairmont as a child and played hide-and-seek and other games with his brothers in their grandfather's barn near Sherburn.

"I would spend most of my time out at his farm and that's the only place I can think of that I would have lost it," Giles said Thursday, adding that he thinks it was lost when he was 4 or 5 years old.

The barn was dismantled a few years ago, and the materials were used to construct another barn in rural Elmore, about 45 miles away, he said. Giles thinks his bracelet was imbedded in the barn materials when they were moved.

Workers at Olson Locker in Fairmont were cutting the meat of chickens that came from an Elmore farm when one of them, Brittany McDonald, came across a shiny object in a chicken gizzard. McDonald, whose grandfather owns the locker, saw Aaron's name, address and phone number engraved on it.

"It's the strangest story that I have ever heard in the meat locker business," said Mark Olson, McDonald's grandfather. "I've heard of livestock swallowing unusual objects, but this situation stands out."

Olson was able to track down Giles' father, Doug, who had moved to Arizona. Giles says he received his old bracelet in September.

"It was in pretty immaculate shape. Everything was working on it, and all the engravings on it were still legible," Giles said. "It was quite the surprise."

Giles said he expects the bracelet to stay in his family for many years to come. "I have no plans on trying to lose it again," he said.

Information from: Sentinel, http://www.fairmontsentinel.com


"EMI looking to slash funding for RIAA, IFPI"

from arstechnica.com - by Eric Bangeman

One of the Big Four labels is apparently unhappy with its return on investment when it comes to funding industry trade groups such as the IFPI and RIAA. British label EMI, which was recently purchased by a private equity fund, is reportedly considering a significant cut to the amount of money it provides the trade groups on an annual basis.

According to figures seen by Reuters, each of the Big Four contributes approximately $132.3 million to fund the operations of the IFPI, RIAA, and other national recording industry trade groups. That money is used in part to fund the industry's antipiracy efforts—including the close to 30,000 file-sharing lawsuits filed by the record labels in the US alone.

The IFPI confirmed to Reuters that it was working through its annual budget-setting process, and "as one would expect in this market, there is a focus on efficiencies and savings." The IFPI wouldn't provide any details beyond that to Reuters, and neither it nor the RIAA has responded to Ars Technica's requests for comment.

With music revenues dropping with no end in sight, despite the increased popularity of online sales, all of the Big Four labels are being faced with tough budget choices. The industry has been quick to lay the blame for its tough economic times squarely at the feet of pirates, but there are other factors at work too. The industry's glacial adaptation to changing consumer expectations around how and where they listen to music has done a lot to hurt the labels, and consumers are less willing to buy CDs now that they can cherry pick their favorite tracks from the iTunes Store. Even retailers are crying out for an end to DRM.

Giving the music industry credit where credit is due, the labels have made some progress in the past year, especially when it comes to realizing how much consumers detest DRM. But one of the chief activities of the RIAA is coordinating the Big Four labels' legal campaign, and those thousands of lawsuits have done nothing but generate ill will from record fans, while costing the labels millions of dollars and doing little (if anything) to actually reduce the amount of file-sharing going on.

In fact, the RIAA freely admits that the legal campaign is a real money pit, and EMI's new ownership may be very leery of continuing to pour money down that particular rat hole. Should the other labels follow suit—and there's no indication that they will—it would, at the very least, force the RIAA to reexamine its commitment to its legal strategy.

"Happy Birthday Billy Idol"

Happy 52nd Birthday to Mr. William Michael Albert Broad aka Billy Idol - born November 30th, 1955.

This man's been rockin' for 3+ decades now, and he's still goin' strong. Many of his chunes are included in the soundtrack of my life, and millions of other's lives all across the globe.

Enjoy a pretty damn solid unplugged'esque performance of "Eyes Without a Face" below - my personal favorite Billy Idol track. - Ace:)

*Steve Stevens on Guitar!*


Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Man tries to open account with a 1 meeelion dollar bill"

from aol

Alexander D. Smith was charged with disorderly conduct and forgery after walking into a Clearwater, S.C., bank Nov. 26 and allegedly trying to open an account with this fake $1 million bill.

"After fire, Looney Tunes record store is back"

from newsday.com - by

Plummeting CD sales, digital piracy, big-box stores with impossibly low prices - for more than 30 years, the family-owned record store Looney Tunes in West Babylon survived them all.

Over the summer, however, the store finally seemed to meet its end. During the early morning hours of Aug. 30, a faulty extension cord caused a neon sign in the storefront window to catch fire. By the time the blaze was over, little of the store was left but a blackened hull, melted CDs and hunks of charred wood that once were autographed guitars.

The news came as a shock to music fans across Long Island, but then came another stunner: Looney Tunes planned to reopen.


More space, lower prices

In fact, the store is expanding. At noon Saturday, the store will unveil racks crammed with 30 percent more discs, a bigger selection of vinyl, a 16-foot stage and six high-tech listening stations with 400 discs in each. Other details include a lounge area with leather couches, blown-glass lighting fixtures and new Pergo floors. And in a counterintuitive move, the new Looney Tunes is lowering its prices - all single discs will be priced at either $9.99 or $13.99 - and offering a generous return policy of 50 percent store credit on any disc, even if opened.

All in all, this wouldn't seem like a great time to expand a record store, let alone slash prices and encourage returns. Sales of physical CDs have been down nearly every year since 2000, including last year's whopping 12.8 percent slide from 2005. By contrast, digital sales were up nearly 60 percent last year. And illegal downloading is still on the rise.

"I don't care," Karl Groeger Jr., who co-owns the store and is using a combination of insurance money, bank loans and donations from local supporters to reopen, said on a recent afternoon. He had just spent the morning directing construction workers and breathing in the sawdusty air of the unfinished store. "If I drive the store into the ground myself, that I can live with. What I can't live with is a faulty extension cord driving me out of business."

About 15 years ago, Groeger, now 38, and his brother Jamie, 35, took over Looney Tunes from their father, who started the business in 1971. "Since I was born, I wanted to run that store," Groeger said. He began working there at the age of 6, bagging records during Christmastime. In fifth grade, he announced on career day that he would grow up to be a music retailer. The following year he sold bootleg Led Zeppelin cassettes out of his locker. While majoring in business at Rochester Institute of Technology, he managed a nearby record store - the only other job he's held.

Initially, Groeger took a fairly ruthless approach to the business, guarding his strategies closely and hoping for competitors to fail. "My motive was to crush every store on Long Island," he said. "When somebody went under, I was like, 'Yes!'"


And stores did go under, leaving only a handful of mom-and-pops on Long Island. That's due partly to big-box behemoths such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy that sell CDs for prices lower than most independents can afford. It's a tactic that has devalued CDs in customers' minds, said Bob Stanford, who's been running Soundtraks in Huntington since 1985. "The consumer thinks that a CD should be 10 bucks," he said. "I can't sell anything for 10 bucks, and I would not be in business if I were."

Shifting strategies

The changing nature of music retailing has led many stores to shift strategies. At Whirlin' Disc Records, a Farmingdale store that specializes in vinyl doo-wop and oldies records, husband-and-wife owners Steve and Vicki Blitenthal are focusing on the Internet, partly because of the empty storefronts in the area that have reduced walk-in traffic. In 1995, the couple spent three months cataloging their inventory for Internet orders, which now account for about half the store's sales.

"We've had customers from just about every state, plus England, France, Germany," Vicki Blitenthal said. "They Google the song, they get our name and they come to the Web site."

These days, with even big music retailers like Tower Records gone and chains like Sam Goody and FYE scaling back, Groeger has found himself feeling rather lonely. "It used to be every independent record store against each other," Groeger said. "Now it's every independent record store against Best Buy." Around 2001, Looney Tunes joined the Coalition of Independent Music Stores, or CIMS, a trade organization formed in 1995 that claims 59 member stores in 21 states.

The day after Looney Tunes burned, CIMS issued a press release about the news and encouraged donations of inventory and merchandise to help restock the store. And as Groeger planned the rebuilding, he asked other record-store owners for advice and found them happy to share. One store owner even measured his CD racks so Groeger could reproduce them exactly. "It's like a brotherhood," he said.

Local bands also stepped up to help the store. One of the first donations to come in was a gold plaque of the album "Deja Entendu" from the Merrick-based band Brand New. And Joe McCaffrey of Nightmare of You has promised to deliver a Gibson guitar autographed by the band.

"Whether it's selling records or playing music or just talking about it, it should be based in a community," McCaffrey said. When Nightmare of You celebrated the release of its first album with a show at the now-defunct club The Downtown in Farmingdale, he recalled, Looney Tunes set up a booth in the venue to help sell the disc. "They've always supported local music."

Groeger said he plans to expand his selection of local discs - "any local band that has a CD, we want to carry it" - and plans to tape every in-store concert. He's also considering starting a label to sign local acts.

His only worry: His new place might actually be too nice. "I'm afraid people will look at the store and go, 'Ugh, it looks like a Border's,'" he said. "They've got to know we're the same people at Looney Tunes."

WHEN&WHERE: Looney Tunes, opening Saturday, at 31 Brookvale Ave., West Babylon, 631-587-7722, looneytunescds.com.

"Dogs Taught to Use Computers in Austrian Study"

from livescience.com via foxnews.com

They sport bejeweled chokers, lavish in bubble baths at spas and have their own leather-bag chauffeurs. And now our almost-like-human dogs might also try their paws at computers.

Four dogs strutted their stuff recently by using touch-screen computers to classify color photographs for a study of animal cognition.

"Using touch-screen computers with dogs opens up a whole world of possibilities on how to test the cognitive abilities of dogs by basically completely controlling any influence from the owner or experimenter," the University of Vienna, Austria, researchers write in the most recent online issue of the journal Animal Cognition.


Getting inside the brains of our canine pets has been frustrating for researchers, because a foolproof method for testing dog smarts has remained elusive.

Until now, methods relied on the dog's owner or an experimenter to cue the animal, a variable that could influence the results.

Friederike Range and colleagues turned to computers. In order to test whether dogs can visually categorize pictures, and transfer their knowledge to new situations, four dogs were shown landscape and dog photographs, and expected to make a selection on a computer touch-screen.

In the training phase the dogs were shown a landscape photo and dog photo simultaneously on a computer screen. When they nose-selected the dog, they received a treat.

To test whether the canines could transfer the learned info to a new situation, the researchers flashed onto the screens a different set of dog-landscape photographs. Sure enough, the four-legged subjects chose the dog photographs.

Then, the researchers added a twist: The dog pictures were pasted onto the landscape pictures used in the training phase.

In this test, the dogs had to choose between a dog-on-landscape image and a landscape-only photo. Good doggies: They aced the test, selecting the images that included dogs.

The results indicate, according to the authors, the dogs were able to form a concept of a "dog." Whether the dogs recognized the pup pictures as actual dogs, however, is an unknown.

"Stephen King ranks year's best music"

NEW YORK (AP) - Stephen King's taste in music is more eclectic than scary.

The best-selling author reveals his seven picks for the "best albums of the year" in Entertainment Weekly's Dec. 7 issue.

"In truth, your Uncle Stevie was disappointed with this year's new music, very disappointed indeed, and his year-end list reflects that," King writes. "I could only find seven albums I wanted to mention ..."

His No. 1 pick is Steve Earle's "Washington Square Serenade," followed by Wilco's "Sky Blue Sky," Mika's "Life in Cartoon Motion" and Lyle Lovett and His Large Band's "It's Not Big It's Large."

Of Lovett's album, King says: "This is a terrific Texas swing album, but of course not everybody likes Texas swing (or even knows what it is). What makes it special is Lovett's vermouth-dry vocals and his equally dry wit."

King's fifth choice is Ozzy Osbourne's "Black Rain" - "finest heavy metal record of the year; a true speaker-buster" - followed by John Fogerty's "Revival" and Southern Culture on the Skids' "Countrypolitan Favorites."


"Robber May Have To Give Up $1M Lottery Prize"

from thebostonchannel.com
 
Convicted Bank Robber Banned From Gambling
 
BOSTON -- A man who won $1 million on a lottery scratch ticket on Cape Cod may be asked to return the money because he is a convicted bank robber who was not allowed to gamble.

NewsCenter 5's Steve Lacy reported that Timothy Elliott bought a scratch ticket for the "$800 Million Spectacular" game at a Hyannis supermarket. As part of Elliott's probation, he was not allowed to play the lottery, but he collected the first of 20 annual $50,000 checks from the lottery on Monday.

Lottery officials said that they followed standard procedure, performing a financial check on Elliott before releasing his winnings.

"Any back taxes, if there are any liens against them, any judgments against them for back child support," said Dan Rosenfeld, of the Massachusetts Lottery. "It will be interesting to see how it turns out, and obviously, we will follow what the courts tell us to do."

At the store where the ticket was sold, customers were split as to whether he should be able to keep the money.

"I would say that he should keep it," said Alan Simoneaux , of Centerville. "It will probably keep him out of trouble."

"I think they should put him in jail," another person said.

Elliott is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 7 for violating his probation.

'SNL' Rehired Chevy Chase 'For Scale'

from foxnews.com - by roger friedman

Before the writer's strike, Chevy Chase's return to "Saturday Night Live" segment "Weekend Update" was supposed to be a recurring role.

"I met with Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers and they hired me," Chase told me on Tuesday. "I told them I'd love to come in and do occasional pieces about politics. They're paying me scale, which is more than I was making when I did the show originally," he laughed.

Chase says his first appearance got mucked up by two things.

"The writing wasn't so good," he said. Also, he was thrown by the audience giving him a standing ovation. "I didn't want to overshadow the new kids," he says. "I was shocked."

Chase has a lot of irons in the fire besides "SNL," including a two-episode guest shot on "Brothers and Sisters" playing Sally Field's first love.

"I'm out after that," he said. "My character's a Democrat and they're all Republicans. He can't take it."

Thursday night, Chase hosts the 10th annual Collaborating for a Cure Benefit at the 26th Street Armory in Murray Hill for the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. It's the second-biggest annual fundraiser in New York. Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh from the Eagles are performing. Lots of stars will show up.

But meantime, did you know that "West Side Story" composer Leonard Bernstein almost guest-hosted "SNL" in its first season?

"The idea of John [Belushi] and Danny [Aykroyd] coming out doing a number from that show cracked us up," Chevy recalls.

He and writer Tom Schiller were invited by Bernstein to the New York Philharmonic to discuss the idea. After the show they went to see the famous virtuoso with a penchant for young men backstage.

"He put his hand on my knee. When we were leaving, he kissed me full-on, on the lips. I wagged my finger at him and said, 'No, no, no.' And that was the last we ever heard from him."


"Missing student led double life as porn star: Zoey Zane"

By ROXANA HEGEMAN

EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) — A missing Kansas college student believed to be the victim of foul play apparently led a double life as an Internet porn star by the name of Zoey Zane.

Nude photos of 18-year-old Emily Sander appeared on a Zoey Zane Web site before she vanished, and investigators are looking into whether her modeling had anything to do with her disappearance last Friday.

"She enjoyed it. She is a young teenage girl and she wanted to be in the movies and enjoyed movies. She needed the extra money," Nikki Watson, a close friend of Sander's at Butler Community College, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "Nobody in El Dorado knew besides her close friends."

Sander's brother, Jacob Sander, confirmed that the nude woman pictured on the site is his sister.

El Dorado Police Chief Tom Boren said FBI and state experts on Internet crime have been called in.

"Investigators are aware that Miss Sander was apparently involved in a Web site situation," he said. "Allegations that this may factor into her disappearance are being thoroughly investigated."

Sander was last seen leaving a bar in El Dorado, about 30 miles from Wichita, with a man identified as Israel Mireles, 24, authorities said. Sander and Mireles had met that night at the bar, according to Watson.

After Mireles did not show up Saturday at his job at an Italian restaurant, his employer went to the motel room where he was staying.

"His motel room was found to appear in great disarray, and a large quantity of blood was found in the room," Boren said. "Bed clothing was found to be missing. The police were called."

A nationwide manhunt was under way for Mireles and his 16-year-old girlfriend. A rental car he had been driving turned up Tuesday in Texas, where he had family. Those relatives have been interviewed, El Dorado Detective Justin Phillips said, but he declined to say whether they had seen Mireles or knew where he was.

On Tuesday, authorities released a photo of a white bedspread with a floral design and asked for the public's help in locating it. Divers searched a reservoir near El Dorado on Wednesday.

"Our hopes kind of diminish each day we don't hear from her," the police chief said.

Sander recently signed a contract for the pornographic work on the Web site, and told her parents about it on Thanksgiving, Watson said. Her boyfriend broke up with her because he did not approve, Watson said.

"What you are telling me now is things we have never been told or heard," said Sander's grandmother, Shirley Sander. "I don't know what to say. We have never heard anything like this, and truthfully, I don't believe it."

The Web site had some 30,000 subscribers who paid $39.95 a month to visit the site, said David Thomas, the site's designer, who works for a Florida-based videography and photography business. The free teaser pictures of Sander and other women are very tame compared with the videos and pictures that come with subscription to the site, he said.

"She actually was one of the highest-climbing Web sites I had ever seen," Thomas said. "It was amazing; it was incredible."

The site's owner lives in Florida. Its administrator did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Under Sander's contract with the Wichita-based company that hired her, she would be paid 45 percent of subscription revenues, Thomas said.

But Sander initially got just 5 percent of monthly revenues, with the rest going into an escrow account to be paid after she fulfilled the contract. Thomas said that is how contracts are enforced in the pornography industry.

"Money is the lure," Thomas said.

Watson said she does not believe Sander's pornography work had anything to do with the disappearance.

"Nobody even knew about this until one of our close friends came out and told everybody because Emily did not want anybody to know," Watson said.

The brown-haired, blue-eyed Sander was last seen wearing low-rider jeans and a "Don't Mess With Texas" T-shirt. She has tattoos and body piercings.


"Warner Music Group signs partnership with Frank Sinatra's family"

from cnnmoney.com - by casey logan
 
BOSTON, Nov. 28, 2007 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) -- Warner Music Group (NYSE:WMG) Corp. said Wednesday it signed a partnership with the family of Frank Sinatra to integrate content, rights management and the preservation of Frank Sinatra's work under a single entity.

The partnership will operate under the name Frank Sinatra Enterprises.

The entity will administer all licenses for the use of Sinatra's name and likeness, Warner Music said.

Shares of the New York-based music company closed Tuesday at $6.89.
 

"Christina Aguilera gets naked for Marie Claire"

from access hollywood via msnbc.com

NEW YORK - Christina Aguilera has stripped down to bare her pregnant body for the January 2008 issue of Marie Claire magazine.

The pop singer, who waited months before finally confirming her baby news in early November, spoke to the magazine about why she kept her news private for so long.

"Because I hadn't said anything, people thought I was trying to keep it this big, bad secret, and that's not the case at all," Aguilera told Marie Claire. "I just wasn't commenting. I'm not being like, 'Hey, everybody, I'm pregnant!' I'm not that girl."

Aguilera told the magazine she was planning to try for a baby with husband, record executive Jordan Bratman, after her "Back To Basics" concert trek, but she got pregnant quicker than she expected.

"We were planning on starting to try after the tour. And so, I had gone off the Pill to prepare my body, because I didn't know how much time it would take. You've heard it takes some time — except with Power Egg and Super Sperm here," she laughed. "I'm like, 'Oh, my God, can you believe it just happened?'"

The singer reckons she conceived during a stop in Georgetown.

As a result of the intricate contraptions that were part of her stage set up on tour, Aguilera said she had to take extra precautions once she learned she was expecting, including wearing a heart monitor.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Terror Suspects Disguised as Bride, Groom"

from aol.com

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Nov. 27) -- Soldiers manning a checkpoint near Baghdad stopped a wedding convoy to find that the purported bride and groom were wanted terror suspects, an Iraqi Defense Ministry official said Monday.

The army set up the checkpoint last week in the Taji area, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Baghdad.

The soldiers became suspicious of the convoy because its members -- save the "bride" -- were all male and because one of the cars in the convoy did not heed orders to stop, the official said.

Also, soldiers said, the people in the car seemed nervous and the groom refused to lift his bride's veil when soldiers asked him to, according to the official.

Soldiers ordered everyone out of the car, the official said.

Upon inspecting the convoy, soldiers found a stubbly-faced man, Haider al-Bahadli, decked out in a white bride's dress and veil.

Bahadli was wanted on terror-related charges, as was his groom, Abbas al-Dobbi, the official said.

Two other terror-related suspects were detained as well.

"McDonald's workers attacked by Cross-Dressers"

from foxnews.com

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A troublesome trio of transvestites allegedly laid siege to a Memphis McDonald's restaurant Sunday night, sparking a brawl with the restaurant's crew, according to reports.

Police said they were working on a more detailed description of three men dressed in drag who came into a McDonald's restaurant and started swinging.

Restaurant employee Martez Brisco was working the drive-through window when he reportedly got into an argument with the suspects. When Brisco ignored them tapping at the window, they came in.

"They come to the window, 'Tap, tap, tap.' I'm still ignoring them," Brisco told WMC-TV. "I guess that just pissed them off worser."

The transvestites allegedly struck the manager with a tire iron, and when he swung back, the drag queens took off their stiletto boots, removed their earrings and prepared to attack. The manager, Albert Bolton, was covered with scratch marks after suspects clawed him with their fingernails.

Bolton grabbed a pot of scalding french-fry grease and hurled it at his attackers. One of the cross-dressers then smacked Bolton with a wet floor sign, sending him to the hospital in an ambulance, WMC-TV reported.


Before driving off, the three attackers smashed the drive-through window.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

"Nas' controversial LP bumped to February: Black History Month"

from mtv.com

Rapper tells MTV News that song recently leaked online will not be on upcoming album.

So far there's been a lot of talk about Nas' controversially titled new LP, Nigger, but no music. The man — and the album's title — has caused incitement and excitement without the public hearing a single note or rap.

Nas had originally planned to put the project out next month, but according to his camp, the album has been pushed to February: Black History Month. Nas told MTV News the first single will drop sometime in January.

And over the weekend, a snippet of what was labeled a new Nas record called "What It Is" leaked to the Net.

"Racist neighbors flinchin'," he rhymes. "They don't know if I'mma rob them/ Or if I'm Russell Simmons/ They thought it was me, just like Mike Bivens/ They pray for my downfall like the mom of Robin Givens."

Nas' camp said the MC is still working out the album's final track list. On Monday afternoon (November 26), Nas himself clarified to MTV News that "What It Is" will definitely not be on the album. Those are vocals that were leaked and added onto a random beat.

"I never rhymed to that beat," he said.

Atlanta's DJ Toomp (T.I., Ludacris) and longtime Nas collaborator Salaam Remi have already contributed tracks, in addition to a slew of new producers. Diddy and his new Hitmen are also scheduled to come onboard before production closes in the next week or so.

While community leaders such as the Reverend Al Sharpton have spoken out against Nas' use of the N-word, the wordsmith has gained a swell of support from his peers — including Alicia Keys, Method Man, LL Cool J and even Def Jam founder Russell Simmons — as well as current label head L.A. Reid.

"The Colour of Sound"

Spiffy youtube video made by youtuber Wojszyca. Have a look. - Ace:)

"Happy Birthday Jimi Hendrix"

Happy Birthday to Johnny Allen Hendrix aka Jimi Hendrix - born on November 27th, 1942.

This man was COLOSSAL! I'm gonna rock some Jimi chunes today for sure. Thanks for the music Jimi! - Ace:)

Monday, November 26, 2007

"John Lennon video collection to be released digitally"


iTunes drops the 'John Lennon Video Album' next month

A digital collection of John Lennon music videos is set to be released next month via US iTunes.

The'John Lennon Video Album' is due out December 4 and features 21 videos including 'Imagine', 'Working Class Hero' and 'Give Peace A Chance', many of which have never before been released in a digital format.

The collection can be purchased by buying an iTunes Digital Release Card at Starbucks locations throughout the US and redeeming it via US iTunes online.

'John Lennon Video Album' tracklisting is:

'Imagine'
'Woman'
'Watching The Wheels'
'Mind Games'
'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)'
'Whatever Gets You Thru The Night'
'(Just Like) Starting Over'
'#9 Dream'
'Give Peace A Chance'
'Beautiful Boy'
'Jealous Guy'
'Nobody Told Me'
'Cold Turkey'
'Power To The People'
'Working Class Hero'
'Love'
'Mother'
'Borrowed Time'
'Slippin' And Slidin'
'Stand By Me'


***from nme.com***


"Jackson 5 could tour in 2008"

from the bbc

The Jackson Five are to reunite for a tour, with Michael Jackson set to take part, brother Jermaine has said.

He told BBC 6 Music that concert dates have been discussed and could take place "sometime in 2008".

"Michael will be involved," the singer and guitarist confirmed. "We feel we have to do it one more time. We owe that to the fans and to the public. "

The group last toured as The Jacksons - with six members - in support of the Victory album in 1984.

Lead singer Michael, who had already released the million-selling Thriller album, was reportedly reluctant to go on the road with his brothers.

He told the audience on the last night of the tour that he was leaving the group.

They released one more album, 1989's 2300 Jackson Street, before formally disbanding in 1990.

Rumours of a reunion have circulated for years, and Jermaine confirmed that the project was delayed by Michael's trial for child abuse in 2005.

"There's been so much going on, getting over all the hurdles that we all were faced with during Michael's trial," he told the station's The Music Week programme.

"But we are stronger than ever. I'm gonna say thank you, thank you, thank you so much to all the fans and the supporters of my family all over Europe, all over the UK especially, who came out to show their love and their support."

New material

Jermaine, who sang lead vocals for the band until his younger brother took over, added that Michael would definitely be part of the reunion.

"He has to be," he said. "He is a Jackson."

"He was at the meetings. Michael will be involved."

The star also hinted at new material, saying that the band was "in the studio at the moment".

The Jacksons - featuring brothers Tito, Marlon, Jackie, Jermaine, Michael and Randy, found fame in the 1970s with hits such as I Want You Back, ABC and Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) and Can You Feel It.

Michael's success eclipsed that of his brothers in the 1980s, while sister Janet also rose to prominence - racking up seven US top ten singles from her Rhythm Nation 1814 album.

In the UK, Jermaine Jackson was seen as a contestant on this year's Celebrity Big Brother.

"Sudan teacher arrested over teddy bear"

from the bbc - by Amber Henshaw, BBC News, Sudan

A 54 year old British primary school teacher has been arrested in Sudan accused of insulting Islam's prophet by allowing her class of 7 year olds to name a teddy bear Mohammed. Gillian Gibbons could face several months in jail if she's convicted of blasphemy under Sudanese law.

Gillian Gibbons' colleagues at Unity High School in the Sudanese capital said they feared for her safety. They said there were reports that young men had already started gathering outside the Khartoum police station where she's being held.

The 54 year old primary teacher was arrested at her house in the school compound on Sunday afternoon. State media said she was being charged with blasphemy after allowing her class of 6 and 7 year olds to choose their favourite name for a teddy bear they were using as part of a school project. The pupils voted to call the cuddly toy Mohammed.

The school said Miss Gibbons had been following a British educational course designed to teach the children about animals and their habitats. She was taken into custody after complaints to the Ministry of Education.

Unity High School's director, Robert Bulos, insisted that the teacher had made an innocent mistake but he said he was concerned it could have serious consequences. As a result the school has decided to close until January. British Embassy officials in Khartoum are visiting Gillian Gibbons in custody.


"Quiet Riot lead singer found dead"

from reuters via msnbc.com

Kevin Dubrow found in Vegas home; band rose to fame in early 1980s

LOS ANGELES - Kevin DuBrow, lead singer of the popular 1980s heavy metal band Quiet Riot, has been found dead from unknown causes at his home in Las Vegas, authorities said on Monday.

DuBrow, 52, was found dead at about 5:20 p.m. on Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Clark County Coroner's Office said. She said an autopsy would be conducted to determine the cause of death.

"I can't even find the words to say," Quiet Riot bandmate Frankie Banali said on his Web site. "Please respect my privacy as I mourn the passing and honor the memory of my dearest friend, Kevin DuBrow."

Quiet Riot, which was founded in the mid-1970s, topped the Billboard charts in 1983 with the album "Metal Health," spurred on by the massive hit single "Cum on Feel the Noize."

The band has since endured break-ups and personnel changes but released a new album in 2006 and continued to tour sporadically.


"DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist Join for 'Hard Sell' Tour"

from pitchforkmedia.com

Ever hear Brainfreeze? It was a mostly seamless, ultra-rare hour-long mix DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist crafted "live" around the turn of the millennium from their untold wealth of funk and soul vinyl. And it was amazing, a proto-Night Ripper all-jam-fricassee with a killer long-term memory.

They did it again (to slightly less revelatory effect) a few years later with Product Placement, but it's been a while. Still-- even after the recent, reasonably lackluster Outsider/Audience's Listening LPs Shadow and Chemist have respectively released on their own-- crate diggers the world over should unite for the joint tour these two old pals will embark on in the coming spring.

The tour kicks off January 18 in Austin, and each performance will be an "expanded" version of the "Hard Sell" show the two put on a bit earlier this year. Sounds like a pretty easy sell to me, fellas. Full dates after the jump.

Shadow/Chemist:

01-18 Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
01-19 Dallas, TX - House of Blues
01-21 Atlanta, GA - The Loft at Center Stage
01-23 Baltimore, MD - Sonar
01-24 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
01-25 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
01-26 New York, NY - Irving Plaza
01-27 New York, NY - Irving Plaza
01-29 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
01-30 Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix Concert Theatre
01-31 Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
02-01 Chicago, IL - Park West
02-04 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
02-05 Kansas City, MO - Harrah's Casino
02-07 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
02-10 Seattle, WA - Showbox
02-11 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
02-14 Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
02-15 Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern

"Hayden Panettiere GQ Magazine's Obsession of the Year"

from foxnews.com

"Heroes" starlet Hayden Panettiere is GQ magazine's Obsession of the Year — and while she poses in sexy underwear and a hula hoop and a see-through nightie in the mag's upcoming issue, she insists she's one of the "boring girls."

"You can't schedule rehab for me. And I don't think you can schedule any DUIs," Panettiere told the magazine. "I think I'm going to be one of those boring girls."

For a boring girl, Panettiere is pretty racy, saying she doesn't mind rumors that she's interested in women and naming her favorite beautiful actresses.

"You want to make me a lesbian? That's totally fine with me," she said.

"We could do a love affair with Angelina [Jolie]. ... There are so many beautiful girls. Charlize Theron. Oh, my God. Kate Beckinsale is gorgeous. Jessica Alba."

The tabloid target also mocks rumors linking her to a string of boyfriends, including castmate Milo Ventimiglia and actor B.J. Novak from "The Office."

"Well, now that I'm single, it's like I'm dating every male I'm standing next to," she said.

Earlier this month, Panettiere's dolphin-saving mission led to a warrant for her arrest in Japan.

Panettiere was part of a convoy of activists from the U.S. and Australia who on Oct. 30 paddled out on surfboards to protest the annual slaughter of dolphins and whales by Japanese fisherman.

"I get into trouble on my own time, when nobody's looking," Panettiere told GQ. "Not bad trouble, though — good trouble."


"Paul McCartney Recording New Album With His Son"


from gigiwise.com

James continues his family heritage...

Sir Paul McCartney has revealed that he is recording an album with his son which looks set to be released in 2008.

McCartney's son James has previously appeared on two of his father's solo albums but is now keen to launch his own solo career.

Speaking about the project Sir Paul said: "I'm actually doing some recording with my son. We're just looking at the idea of him making an album.

"He's doing it all. He's writing it all, laying it all. It's sensational. But there's nothing set yet. We don't know if it'll work.

"The plan is for me to just do some recording with him, and it's really exciting. I'm really loving it."

James follows in a long line of Beatles offspring ploughing their own musical furrow with Ringo's son Zak playing drums for Oasis and The Who while Sean Lennon has released several solo albums.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

"NYC eateries groove with help from iPod DJs"

from itworld.com - by Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service, New York Bureau

A few years ago, Kavi Ohri's friends knew him not as the guy who brought the party, but the guy who brought the party music.

Whenever he was invited to a soiree at a friend's house, Ohri, general manager of multimedia production company Decon Media, would arrive not only with a bottle of wine, but with an Apple iPod full of music to set the right mood for that evening's festivities.

The former record-label A&R representative, who characterizes himself as someone "who always made mix tapes for friends," found his passion for turning his pals on to new tunes was a marketable skill. Eventually, some restaurateur friends of Ohri's asked him if he would mind programming iPods with music for their eateries, and a new business was born.

Savvy entrepreneurs have found a way to capitalize on the iPod by providing customized playlists to hip businesses that want to project a certain ambience to their clientele. Ohri's and his partner Emily Pritchard's New York music-consulting service is one of several that have sprouted up in the last few years that provide custom iPod playlists tailored to the vibe a business wants to exude.

The restaurant business is known to be merciless, and it's especially cutthroat in major American cities where the slightest misstep can make or break a new eatery. In culture-conscious cities like New York, the type of music any gourmet establishment plays is almost as important as its food when it comes to luring and retaining a hip, culinary-minded clientele who create buzz about a place.

The iPod has made the task of providing music far easier for the restaurateur, since they no longer have to worry about changing CDs or dealing with generic, piped-in music services that play the same songs over and over, boring customers and staff to tears. But it's still time-consuming and requires a lot of thought to come up with appropriate playlists that match the cuisine, decor and clientele that come in during different times of day.

Vicki Freeman, who co-owns three popular restaurants in New York -- Five Points, Cookshop and Provence -- said she used to provide the music herself, but it "took a million hours," so she eventually decided to outsource the task.

But choosing the right music is not something Freeman said should be left in the hands of anyone; to her, music is an integral part of providing the right atmosphere at a restaurant, and should be taken as seriously as the menu.

"If a restaurant is playing all Frank Sinatra, you feel like you're in an old-age home," she said. On the other hand, "if they're playing house music, you feel like you're in a club, and why would you want to be in a club [if you're having a meal]?" Freeman said. "But if they're playing something nice and sexy, that changes the whole mood."

Like Ohri, Jeremy Abrams, who also spent years in the professional music business, started his iPod programming company Audiostiles as a side project when friends began asking him to provide music for their businesses.

Three years ago, it became his full-time job, and Audiostiles has provided music for restaurants, gyms and hotels in New York and internationally. Audiostiles has as its clients the upscale Per Se and Bouchon restaurants in New York, Exhale spas in New York and Four Seasons hotels in the U.S. and overseas.

Providing a playlist for a gourmet restaurant is more than just having knowledge of and an ear for contemporary music. Ohri and Abrams both said they study the menus, design and customer patterns of a business, in addition to consulting with owners about their personal tastes, to come up with playlists that will work best.

Abrams especially likes to use his service to introduce customers to new music that might not be heard elsewhere as a way to help a business create a unique brand. "Like anything else, when art and commerce meet, it's having a good understanding of the creative, to want to be doing something different that people take notice to," he said.

One project Ohri and Pritchard are currently tackling requires them to use a combination of creative skills, not just their flair for finding music. Since last year, the two have been designing the music for a restaurant in New York that is changing its decor and menu four times a year to change with each calendar season, Ohri said.

The former Park Avenue Grill is currently called Park Avenue Autumn, but will shut down for two days before the winter season in the Northeastern U.S. begins in late December and reopen with a new menu, interior design and music as Park Avenue Winter.

For Park Avenue Summer, which opened in June, Ohri said he and Pritchard created a playlist that include a lot of Bossa Nova, reggae and salsa music, but "for autumn, we've toned it down a bit and made it warm and fuzzy, with soulful female vocals and electronic music," he said.

Ohri said the winter playlist will be "celebratory and little more elegant" and he's currently arranging a playlist of remixes of old jazz artists that sound more contemporary. Spring, which will open in March, will likely provide a "transitional" playlist that will segue gracefully from the elegance of winter and the playfulness of summer, he said.

One thing that will be left off the playlist for Park Avenue Winter? Traditional holiday tunes that become the omnipresent soundtrack of most restaurants and stores during the time before the Christmas holiday on Dec. 25, he said. "They didn't want to have music any other restaurant is playing," Ohri said. "Those are not part of their palette."

Elizabeth Montalbano is a senior writer for the IDG News Service.

"Jet Li sets record with $13 million paycheck"

from msnbc.com

Amount is the highest paid to an actor in a Chinese-language film

BEIJING - Chinese action star Jet Li is set to rake in 100 million yuan ($13 million) for his latest movie, a record for an actor in a Chinese-language film, state media reported on Sunday.

Nearly half of the $40 million budget for "The Warlords" went to the cast, among whom were Hong Kong heartthrob Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Beijing-based actress and director Xu Jinglei, in addition to Li.

"Without Jet Li, we would not dare to invest $40 million in a Chinese-language film," Xinhua news agency quoted director Peter Chan as saying. Li was a "guarantee" for global sales, Chan said.

Chinese-language movies have registered a string of hits in the past few years, from Ang Lee's martial arts tale "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," to Zhang Yimou's ancient history epic "Hero."

The earlier salary record was held by Li himself for his role in "Hero," for which he earned 70 million yuan.

Li, 44, a childhood martial arts champion, has also broken into English-language films, featuring in action pictures such as "Romeo Must Die" and "Lethal Weapon 4."

"The Warlords," a war epic based on a Qing Dynasty story, is slated for release in Asia in mid-December and in North America from next March.

"Surgeons Remove Ten-Pound Hairball From Teen Girl's Stomach"

from sky news

Surgeons removed a massive 10-pound hairball from the stomach of an 18-year-old girl suffering from a psychological condition in which she ate her own hair, according to a report in this week's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The teen went to her doctor after complaining of stomach pains and vomiting. She had also lost 40 pounds over a five-month period, according to a UPI report.

Doctors at Rush Medical Center in Chicago carried out a scan and were amazed to find the huge mass of hair blocking her entire stomach, according to NEJM.

The hairball measured 15 inches by 7 inches by 7 inches when it was removed.

Once the hairball was removed, the patient was discharged and given psychiatric help. A year later the teenager has gained 20 pounds and has stopped eating her hair, the journal said.


"Whitney Houston Books Comeback Concert"

from starpulse.com

Troubled singer Whitney Houston is planning a spectacular comeback concert in Malaysia next month. Houston is expected to preview songs from a long-awaited new album at the one-off performance in the capital Kuala Lumpur on December 1.

The 44-year-old's personal life and her battles with drugs and ex-husband Bobby Brown have made more headlines than her music in recent years.

But friends hope the new album will kickstart her career. Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am, Ne Yo, R Kelly and John Legend are all rumored to be working on the disc - her first effort in four years.