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Oh No They Didn't! - LiveJournal.com

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    Beyoncé's new album, which has zoomed to the top of the Billboard sales charts, appears to also be popular on the file sharing charts as well -- with nearly a quarter million copies pirated within the first week of its Dec. 13 debut, according to Musicmetric.

    Had those copies been purchased, the album would have grossed another $3.8 million in sales at $15.99 per album. While it's certain that piracy eats into music revenue, it's difficult, if not impossible, to know what percentage of those illegal downloads would have displaced purchases, since not everyone who pirated a free copy would have bought the album if it weren't available via file sharing sites.

    Nevertheless, the singer's self-titled album has been a red hot performer, having sold 991,000 copies in its first 10 days, placing it on top of the Billboard 200 chart for two straight weeks.

    As of Dec. 18, Beyoncé’s entire music catalog was shared more than 2 million times over file sharing sites that leverage the BitTorrent download protocol during 2013 -- 239,131 of those were shares of her new self-titled album, according to music data analyst Musicmetric.

    In addition, the December album release on iTunes spurred file sharers' interest in Beyoncé’s earlier repertoire, resulting in a spike in downloads of her other albums as well. Downloads of previous releases peaked on Dec. 15 at 11,588 downloads that day -- more than five times the number of downloads the day before the new album's release.

    While these figures could be viewed as lost sales, they can also be seen as an opportunity to gather insight, said Musicmetric's Chief Executive Gregory Mead.

    "The usefulness of BitTorrent data is that it allows record labels to have an incredibly detailed insight into where their artists are popular – right down to the town," Mead said. "Although the file-sharing numbers may be high, it will be possible to translate many of these into buyers."

    -----
    Source

    tl;dr - There are 200,000+ people I need to report to the FBI.

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    Courtney Love is still due for a solo record and memoir, slated for release in the new year, but a new tweet and photo of her and co-founder of Hole suggests the band may not be "dead", as Courtney proclaimed a year ago.






    This reunion is unexpected, given the bad blood between the two as of late. Courtney last mentioned Eric in July of this year, stating “I would take Melissa back in a second but I’ll never take Eric back. He took 74 guitars from my storage, 18 of them were Kurt’s they’re left handed.”

    Courtney may had their reconciliation in mind when she posted on her Facebook page yesterday: ''I think at nearly 50 the basis of any relationship should be restraint and pragmatism before the big dramatic tsunami -- shit I wish I knew this at 20, and to become best friends and to make sure your exes dont all hate you. its important to leave romances nicely -- and its 2014 so im letting alot of grudges just go, i dont have time . . . none of it matters -- thank you dave navvaroo [Dave Navarro] and peter mensch.''

    Courtney - who has a 21-year-old daughter Frances Bean - believes by ridding herself of negative energy and hateful feelings next year will prove to be far more successful for her both financially and romantically. She added in her post: ''So to everyone take my advice, lose the grudges and grudge matches. First of all youll make a lot more money if that doesnt incentivise you, youll just be happier and get kissed more.''



    Source 12. 3.

    ONTD, which Hole record do you stan for: Live Through This or Celebrity Skin??


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    In honor of Alan Turing’s historic Royal Pardon on Tuesday, Black Bear Pictures has released the first official image of Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game.”

    Showing his personal enthusiasm for the project, producer Teddy Schwarzman sent the still himself as an early Christmas gift rather than a PR firm.

    Cumberbatch stars as codebreaker and mathematician Turing, who was prosecuted for being homosexual and eventually committed suicide via cyanide poisoning.

    Keira Knightley co-stars alongside Matthew Goode, Mark Strong and Charles Dance. Morten Tyldum (“Headhunters”) directed from Graham Moore’s script, which topped the 2011 Black List.

    In addition to producers Teddy Schwarzman, Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky, the project boasts a top notch below-the-line team including Oscar-winning editor William Goldenberg (“Argo”), composer Clint Mansell (“Black Swan”), cinematographer Oscar Faura (“The Impossible”) and production designer Maria Djurkovic (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”).

    Black Bear Pictures and Bristol Automotive produced the film, which is currently in post-production. StudioCanal is distributing “The Imitation Game” in the U.K., and producers have not yet sought U.S. distribution, though it is expected to be a hot acquisition title given the film’s awards prospects.

    Jack English took the photograph, which comes courtesy of Black Bear Pictures.

    Source

    Hmmm, this does sound promising. I'm still confused by my feelings for this man. Help me, please?

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    That last outfit is tragic.

    lollolx2

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    When you are the star of a reality television show, it is pointless to try to lie your way out of things, because your entire life is videotaped and the truth will come out sooner or later. Teen Mom 2’s Jenelle Evans still hasn’t seemed to have learned that lesson though.

    When Jenelle Evans confirmed she was indeed pregnant a few weeks ago, she faced a ton of backlash from Teen Mom fans, who didn’t think she was suitable to be a mother (considering her Mom Barbara has custody of her first son Jace the accusations have merit). Less than two days after her pregnancy was confirmed a source close to the star told Radar Online that Jenelle was drinking heavily in Philadelphia on October 18th. Jenelle attempted to shoot down the rumors that she was drinking while pregnant, but not too many people bought it. She claimed she didn’t know she was pregnant until after her trip to Philadelphia, and that she hasn’t drank or done any drugs since she found out she was pregnant.

    We didn’t buy Jenelle’s claims though. And, now we have proof that she was drinking after she found out she was pregnant. MTV released another preview of Teen Mom 2 Season 5 (which is set to air in January 2013) and in the clip Jenelle is showing her friend Tori a positive pregnancy test. The things is, in the clip Tori’s hair is dyed an obnoxious bright red. Jenelle and Tori both posted pictures of Tori’s hair the day that Jenelle helped her dye it, which was September 28th. By the middle of October Tori’s hair had already faded to a light orange color in her Twitter photos. Tori and Jenelle obviously shot the positive pregnancy test scene at the beginning of October, BEFORE Jenelle’s infamous drinking bender in Philadelphia. This proves that Jenelle had knowledge of her positive pregnancy test well before she was drinking heavily in Philly on October 18th.

    Jenelle Evans was fully aware of her pregnancy when she got wasted in October. Shame on her!

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    And no one is surprised.

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    beygag

    It’s been quite the week for entertainment industry creeps. R. Kelly, a platinum-selling R&B artist who has been accused of raping dozens of teenage girls, is creeping back up the charts with his new album, Black Panties. And Terry Richardson, an in-demand photographer and director who has been accused of sexually harassing models, has wielded his creep cam for three of the year’s most talked-about music videos: Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” Beyoncé’s “XO,” and—in a great moment of creep synergy—the forthcoming R. Kelly–Lady Gaga duet, “Do What U Want.” Cue the calls for reining pop stars to stop doing business with alleged sexual offenders. “Beyoncé should not have hired Richardson,” The Gloss weighed in. “It takes away from the message of empowerment that she so effectively spreads, and endorses a man who has made his career crossing lines (running right past them, really).”

    That sounds nice, but here is when our pop idols will stop working with creeps:

    When the creep dies.
    When the creep is imprisoned.
    When the creep stops making lots and lots and lots of money.

    When we talk about the R. Kelly Problem (or the Chris Brown Problem, the Roman Polanski Problem, the Woody Allen Problem, the Josh Brolin Problem, or the Charlie Sheen Problem), we talk about whether we can separate the artist’s biography from his work, but we rarely talk about whether we can separate the artist from his industry. Why would Beyoncé, proud feminist, work with Richardson, confirmed creep? Why would Gaga, proud feminist, work with Kelly, perennial suspected teen rapist? They all have one thing in common: They are bankable stars in the music industry. Beyoncé's and Gaga’s feminism are undoubtedly important to many of their consumers, but the record industry doesn’t care about promoting women or ending child rape unless that message is selling this year. It simply requires its stars to keep making money and keep working with other people who do. Artists who hope to remain relevant in that industry would be wise to spread the lucrative message of empowerment while overlooking the powerful creeps in their midst. The fact that Kelly teamed up with Gaga to release a song in which she sings, “You can't stop my voice 'cause you don't own my life”—feminist!—“but do what you want with my body”—creepy!—shows how slipshod this construction often is.

    That’s not to say that the stars are collaborating with creeps out of calculated greed. In the entertainment industry, it’s practically a requirement. Think about how hard it is to avoid consuming media that has been touched by a creep, suspected or confirmed. You can’t quote Annie Hall, listen to “Ignition (Remix),” dance to Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake,” watch Steelers football, read GQ, wear the clothes of H&M, download BEYONCÉ, watch The Pianist or 12 Years a Slave, or click on this viral wedding video. No matter your pop culture preferences, creeps abound. Still, creep avoidance presents a relatively simple monetary calculation for consumers. If you do reject investing in a piece of media because of its creep association, you get to make a morally righteous move and save yourself some cash. But if you’re a star who refuses to work with a creep, you risk bringing criticism onto yourself from industry executives, other artists, and their fans, while potentially missing out on a lot of money and maybe even compromising your career.

    Star-led boycotts of industry creeps are rare. When you are a young R&B star and people ask if you’ll work with Chris Brown, you say yes. Consider what happens when a star makes even a light criticism of her collaborators: In 2007, Knocked Up star Katherine Heigl said she thought the movie was “a little sexist,” and Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen were still bitching about it two years later. “I didn't slip and I was doing fucking interviews all day too,” Rogen said. “I didn't say shit.” Heigl is still considered difficult to work with. And what got Charlie Sheen fired from Two and a Half Men? It wasn’t his history of allegedly beating, strangling, threatening, and (only once!) shooting women. It was the fact that he made anti-semitic and otherwise insulting remarks about series creator Chuck Lorre and began turning in a generally unfilmable performance—in other words, it wasn't his major moral transgressions. It was that he directly crossed someone who makes money while diminishing his capability to make money himself.

    Of course, for some stars, selective condemnation is easy and can in fact help boost their brand in their particular market. “There's still a sense that being down with the predatory behavior of guys makes you chill, a girl with a sense of humor, a girl who can hang,” Lena Dunham wrote this week of the public endorsement of Kelly, after his long history of sexual assault accusations resurfaced. That’s easy for Dunham to say—it’s unlikely that any collaboration was ever in the cards for those two. (For the record, I have also made the difficult decision to decline to work with Kelly.) Dunham has, however, been photographed by Richardson; he is a hipster staple and also her friend. (this hypocritical twat, I stg)

    In some cases, stars can actually help secure their foothold in the entertainment industry by enthusiastically working with creeps, thereby boosting the industry’s investment in both themselves and the offender. Since Brown beat, choked, bit, and threatened Rihanna with death, she's recorded three collaborations with him, including “Nobody’s Business,” a track about how her ongoing relationship with Brown is a private matter. When asked why she started working with Brown again, Rihanna said, “The hottest R&B artist out right now is Chris Brown.” A song like “Nobody’s Business” is, in fact, big business for the record industry, which can continue to promote Brown with Rihanna’s apparent endorsement. “Historically this is an industry that has shunned nothing, save red ink,” Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote at the time. “And it is powered by the sort of people whose talent are regularly transfigured into moral virtue.”

    Making money affords these creeps the power to abuse, and making more money washes away their sins. In 2002, Kelly and Jay Z teamed up to release an album, The Best of Both Worlds. Then, the sexual assault allegations against Kelly broke, he was indicted on child pornography–related charges, the planned promotional tour was scrapped, and Jay Z distanced himself from Kelly. He didn’t do it to avoid being associated with an accused rapist; he did it to avoid being associated with a suddenly nonbankable star. After Kelly went on to put out two successful solo albums, Jay Z reignited the collaboration for 2004’s Unfinished Business. Kelly was still in and out of court, fighting the same charges. Now, Kelly is passing that message down to future generations of creeps. “I’ve got the utmost respect for Chris Brown,” Kelly said in 2011. “My hat goes off to him. Because why? He got in the studio, he did what he was supposed to do, and he bounced back like a round ball.”

    Perhaps someday, the collective outrage of consumers will be compelling enough to make a creep collaboration a serious liability for a star. But until then, creeps will continue to creep.“As much as I love Beyoncé (which is A LOT) I wouldn't have bought her album if I knew I was putting money in Terry Richardson's pocket,” one fan wrote on Twitter this week. But how many among us would actually shun Beyoncé in order to punish Richardson? Not enough to make the calculation relevant.

    Source

    I love Bey's album but this shit is depressing.

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    Ever wondered what a Christmas movie directed by Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese or Baz Luhrmann would look like? So have the folks who work at the production company Fourgrounds Media. They envisioned how all their favorite auteurs would film Christmas morning, and compiled a series of vignettes into one clever mash-up. Each scene captures the aesthetics of some of the world’s most iconic directors, from Woody Allen to Stanley Kubrick to Lars von Trier. There’s even a nod to Michael Moore, who we see flinging muckraking questions at Santa Claus.

    The video provides a pretty comprehensive array of viewpoints, but we wouldn’t have minded seeing Christmas morning through the eyes of Sofia Coppola, Quentin Tarantino or even John Hughes.

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    everyone's crazy, russell brand is there and they perform little me @ 3:20
    src

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    Scooter Braun Projects deny that singer is quitting his music career
    Justin Bieber is not retiring, according to representatives from the entertainment company he works with.

    Earlier this week (December 25), the singer appeared to confirm that he was leaving his recording career behind via Twitter. Bieber, who had previously hinted that he was considering quitting the music industry, wrote:

    My beloved beliebers I'm officially retiring

    He went on to say that he would never leave his fans and wished them a happy Christmas, stating: "The media talks a lot about me.They make a up a lot of lies and want me to fail but I'm never leaving you, being a belieber is a lifestyle... Be kind loving to each other, forgive each other as god forgave us through Christ Merry Christmas IM HERE FOREVER".

    However, according to the Wall Street Journal, the COO of Scooter Braun Projects, Scott Manson, has claimed that the singer is "100 percent" not retiring. Meanwhile, GM Allison Kaye added: "Justin is a hard working 19-year-old who would prefer that his recent fundraising work in the Philippines and the considerable amount raised for the cause be the media’s focus more than the recent reporting on him retiring.

    "Regarding his recent tweeting about his 'retirement' Justin felt that this was the best way to respond to the latest in a long line of inaccurate or wildly exaggerated media reports about him. He chose to channel his frustration into playing along with this baseless rumor and even used 'beloved' to tip off his core fans that it wasn't real.

    She added: "But within 20 minutes, Justin realized that fans were confused by the media reports and clarified that he was kidding. This wasn't a planned stunt, it was just another day in the life of living under the microscope. Justin loves his fans and understands that this scrutiny comes along with his success and the interest in him from fans and media."

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    Britney Spears blew everyone away during her Vegas debut last night ... everyone, but Katy Perry.

    Katy was front and center for the "Piece of Me" show -- rubbing elbows with Miley Cyrus and Adam Lambert -- and while Miley danced her ass off, Katy couldn't seem less interested.

    True enough ... Britney's no John Mayer, but come on Katy -- she's a much better dancer than him.

    As they say ... you can please some of the people all of the time ...

    VIDEO

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    “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” James Thurber’s classic 1939 short story, is a tribute to the sometimes unsettling power of the human imagination. It’s also very, very funny and, alongside a number of other Thurber gems — “The Catbird Seat,” “The Night the Bed Fell,” “If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox” — remains an indispensable example of the uniquely American, mid-20th-century humor that found its highest expression in the pages of the New Yorker.

    The most recent movie adaptation of the Mitty story stars Ben Stiller in the titular role as the archetypal nebbish who retreats into an intensely vivid fantasy world in times of stress. (The first film version of Mitty, starring Danny Kaye, was released in 1947.) In this rendition of the tale, Stiller plays a photo editor at LIFE magazine — still publishing, thanks to the magic of the movies, four decades after it shuttered in 1972 — and much of the film is set in the meticulously recreated offices of the storied weekly. In those offices, meanwhile, hang poster-sized versions of LIFE magazine covers through the years.

    The covers are stirring, iconic — and, for the most part, they’re fake.

    Or rather, the majority of the LIFE covers one sees in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty were never covers at all. The pictures on the covers in this gallery, for example — the launch of Apollo 11; Jayne Mansfield luxuriating in a swimming pool; a theater audience watching the first-ever 3-D feature-length film — are, indisputably, classic LIFE images. But none of them ever graced the cover of LIFE magazine.

    “When we were selecting photos for the LIFE covers in Walter Mitty,” says Jeff Mann, the production designer on the film, “we focused on pictures that would serve the story we were telling, but that would also capture the diversity of what LIFE covered in its prime. We worked really, really hard to select photos that were novel, naïve — in the best possible way — and that featured significant twentieth-century people, places and events.”

    In the end, Mann says, he and his team — and Stiller, who is a photography aficionado himself — felt that the photos they chose to use as covers, from the literally millions of pictures in LIFE’s archive, had to somehow “convey the influence of LIFE magazine, while at the same time helping to move our story along. It was a fabulous problem, and one we had a lot of fun working to solve.”

    Here, then, are a number of LIFE covers that never were — including several that, in light of how wonderful they look, perhaps should have been covers, after all:








    The rest of the covers are at the source.

    Mods: Fixed the cut

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    (...in terms of popularity)

    Doctor Who to Sherlock: TV franchises now have such devoted followings that casual viewers are alienated





    The first three minutes of Sherlock were, I will grant you, a pretty ingenious way of answering the question everyone was asking. A prosthetic mask, a bungee cord, a Hollywood snog, and then, just as gullible audience members like me were beginning to howl with indignation at the anticlimactic absurdity of it all, a sharp tug on the rug under our feet: of course the explanation of the great detective’s death wouldn’t be so lame. Of course we were in safer hands than that.

    But by the end, my admiration had faded a little. As the in-jokes piled up and the winks got ever slyer, I had begun to lose the thread. Above all, my assumption that the show would generously gather me up and take me along for the ride had been exposed as a delusion. By the time Holmes gave his own (also dubious) explanation of his feat, my question had changed. It was no longer how he had convinced the world of his demise. It was, why did he bother, again?

    The problem is not that all this is too complicated. I don’t mind complicated. The problem is that it builds its drama on an assumption that you are intimately familiar with the circumstances of Sherlock’s apparent suicide, and Moriarty’s fiendish scheme to make it inevitable. Now, I loved that story, but I also watched it two years ago. And without remembering it in detail, I felt quite adrift. I suppose I should have rewatched it – but that’s a bit much, isn’t it? That suggests to casual, or even semi-professional, viewers that their attention is not enough. They must also do homework.

    I’m so tired of this tendency. Because it’s not confined to Sherlock. It’s familiar to anyone who has happened upon Doctor Who and found themselves immediately alienated by the expected grasp of the show’s mythology; you’ll know it if you’ve seen Harry Potter or Twilight on the telly over Christmas, and felt the creators’ total disdain for the basic principle that a piece of fiction should function as an entity in and of itself, no matter the scale of the franchise of which it forms a part. Hell, even The Hobbit – originally one quite short novel – has been torn into three sections that I am loathe to call movies, since none of them can really tell a story on its own.

    My own nadir came with the new Hunger Games instalment that came out last month. What is a tribute? I whispered to my long-suffering companion, finding myself whipped into a fury by an ending so inconclusive that it was quite plain that the filmmakers’ plot was no more sophisticated than to force you to shell out another £13 for closure next time. I have chosen, instead, to view the whole thing as an ambiguous exercise in postmodernism. For me, Katniss will forever be on the cusp of a revolution.

    It didn’t used to be this way. But as franchises proliferate, the creators have discovered their devoted fans are so expert – and so bankable – that the concerns of the casual viewer can be dispensed with altogether. Indeed, there is a variety of fandom that spits on this complaint, and on any sort of criticism at all. The mark of a devotee is uncritical studiousness, and a moralistic pleasure in the idea that the joy to be derived from a story is in direct correlation to the work you are willing to put in.

    It is, I would suggest, no coincidence that these stories – marvellous though they can be – are all fantasies of one sort or another, essentially childish things. Because they appeal to us as infants, they are able to command the kind of uncritical adulation that a toddler reserves for its parents. Why did you have to fake your death, Sherlock? Why should I care? And the paternal answer comes: because I said so.

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    Alicia Keys, we hardly knew ye as Blackberry's "creative director." The singer and the smartphone maker are parting ways after just one year.

    BlackBerry bestowed Keys with the creative director title in January 2013, at a big launch of the company's new BlackBerry 10 operating system. But on Thursday, the company said it had "completed our year-long collaboration" with Keys.

    BlackBerry declined to comment specifically as to why the relationship came to an end. Her stint officially wraps up on January 31.

    Lately it's become popular for tech companies to sign on celebrities as "creative directors," which some see as glorified spokespeople. Lady Gaga holds the position at Polaroid, while will.i.am holds that title at Intel.

    In addition to the BlackBerry 10 launch, Keys also backed company initiatives including the "Keep Moving Project," in which the singer invited fans to send photos of themselves to be used in one of her music videos. BlackBerry also highlighted Keys' work with the BlackBerry Scholars Program, a scholarship for women studying science, technology, engineering and math.

    But Keys made few public appearances beyond those initiatives, and the struggling BlackBerry got into even more trouble as the year wore on.

    BlackBerry 10 phones sold poorly, and the company was forced to take a nearly $1 billion writedown on unsold devices in September. That same month, the company announced it would cut 4,500 jobs -- or 40% of its workforce -- and that it would seek a buyer to take it private. But in November BlackBerry abandoned its plans to sell the company and ousted CEO Thorsten Heins.

    With such serious issues at hand, BlackBerry seemed to have little need for a celebrity creative director.

    Keys herself landed in hot water after sending a tweet from an iPhone instead of a BlackBerry just days after her appointment to creative director; she later said her account was hacked.


    Blackberry should call it a day, they dun goofed


    Source

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    Pablo Schreiber's yoga instructor wife Jessica filed for legal separation shortly before Christmas citing irreconcilable differences.

    Pablo, who plays the corrupt drug-peddling fellatio-soliciting correctional officer George Mendez on "Orange Is the New Black", married Jessica in 2007. They have two sons, a 5-year-old and a 22-month-old.

    Jessica is demanding full physical custody of the children, and she wants Pablo to pay her spousal support. She also wants the judge to reject any bid he might make for spousal support. Nonetheless, Jessica says she's open to giving Pablo visitation and she's willing to share legal custody.

    Even though it's separation, it sounds like divorce is on the horizon. Check out his tweet a few weeks back.



    SOURCE

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    Britney Spears's has left some of her most ardent fans disappointed after the star allegedly spent just 'three seconds' with them at an expensive meet and greet.

    Fans of the Toxic singer reportedly paid $2,500 for a VIP Meet-And-Greet session during the star's Las Vegas residency, but according to RadarOnline.com, they were granted a window of just three seconds for a photo op before being moved on.

    A source told Radar: 'Fans were told before the meet-and-greet that they were not to hug or touch Britney without her permission and they weren’t allowed to bring her any gifts.
    'And then once they finally got to meet her it was like smile, take a photo, goodbye. Each person literally got like 3-seconds with her.'

    While the price of the meet and greet included a front-row seat to Spears’ Piece of Me show in Sin City, and a bagful of Britney merchandise, the real draw for paying such a hefty price was the chance to actually meet the singer.
    And it seems her fans expectations were somewhat inflated - along with the ticket price.

    'Fans were anticipating a flashy meet-and-greet with Britney but instead it was just awkward and uncomfortable.'
    'She barely spoke. She just smiled and nodded and said ‘thank-you’ a lot,' the source added.
    Meanwhile Britney's boyfriend David Lucado joined her onstage at her New Year's Eve - albeit
    walking around on all fours.
    The 32-year-old singer dragged her other half up for her Freakshow track at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

    Source

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    Fans of Michael Schumacher are converging on a French hospital to mark the injured F1 legend's 45th birthday.

    Ferrari clubs from France and Italy are gathering outside his hospital in the city of Grenoble.

    On Thursday Schumacher's family thanked fans for their "great support" and described the German as a "fighter".

    The most successful Formula 1 driver in history is in a medically induced coma after suffering head injuries while skiing in the French Alps on Sunday.

    He remains in a stable but critical condition, his manager has said. Supporters plan to hold a one-minute silence outside the hospital.


    Dressed in red, the colour of Ferrari's famous racing cars, some fans waved flags and sang Happy Birthday to Michael Schumacher as they arrived or brought him cards to mark the day he turns 45.

    Others were more sombre. One woman cried as she shared her memories of the most successful F1 star of all time and said she was still in shock following his accident.

    David Cacciatore and his 12-year-old son Samuel brought a birthday card for Schumacher

    Many spoke of the irony that a driver who regularly risked his life on the race track ended up so severely injured on a family skiing holiday.

    Their presence will be an ongoing comfort to the star's family who remain by his bedside and have already thanked fans around the world for their many messages of support.

    The German champion, who retired in 2012, had been skiing off-piste when he fell and hit his head. His helmet cracked on impact after hitting a rock.

    Ferrari - the racing team with which Schumacher had 72 of his 91 F1 wins - said in a statement that it wanted to send him very special wishes for his birthday as he tackled "the most important fight of his life".

    Schumacher's wife Corinna and family have thanked fans for their support

    Doctors confirmed on Tuesday that Schumacher had shown signs of improvement, but was still "not out of danger".

    They ruled out giving a prognosis for his condition in the coming days and months.

    But it is medically possible for someone to spend several weeks in an induced coma and fully recover from it.

    Spokesman Renato Bisignani said people were being encouraged to dress in red and bring flags, as "a sign of closeness to Michael Schumacher, done in a very respectful way". But the spokesman insisted that the event was not about promoting the Ferrari brand or its clients.

    "We will make sure we remain sensitive at this difficult time," he said.

    Michael Schumacher retired from F1 for a second time in 2012. He won seven world championships and secured 91 race victories during his 19-year career. The driver won two titles with Benetton, in 1994 and 1995, before switching to Ferrari in 1996 and going on to win five straight titles from 2000. He retired in 2006 but made a comeback in F1 with Mercedes in 2010.

    After three seasons which yielded just one podium finish, he quit the sport at the end of last year.


    Fans blast Hamilton's 'bad taste' ski photos

    Lewis Hamilton came under fire yesterday for posting photographs of his ski holiday online while Michael Schumacher lay fighting for his life in a coma.

    The British Formula One driver uploaded pictures of his Christmas break on the slopes within days of Schumacher’s horrific ski accident in the French Alps.

    Displayed via his Instagram account, the images show Hamilton, 28, smiling as he skis cross-country with one of his beloved pet dogs in his rucksack.

    He was criticised on Twitter for not wearing a helmet and for his ‘insensitive’ timing.
    In another photograph he is  seen wearing a helmet as he stands on the piste with his younger brother Nick, 21, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

    On social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram, some  users said the photographs were in ‘bad taste’.


    Comments included ‘Shame on you’ and ‘very insensitive given a certain ex race driver’s current condition in hospital’.

    Another wrote: ‘He really should think a little and take these down before it harms his good name.’

    However, the majority of comments were supportive of the Stevenage-born racing driver.


    One user wrote: ‘He has only posted one photo of him skiing and in that he had a helmet on. The other photos are of him hiking or cross-country skiing or walking. Is everyone to stop posting photos of snowy vistas or skis full stop? Grow up please.’

    Another said: ‘He’s walking on snow. Not skiing. The others are cross-country which is like walking on snow too. Michael’s injury is awful but that shouldn’t stop anyone else enjoying the snow.’

    Others explained that helmets are not usually worn for the activity. ‘Cross-country skiing is like “going for a walk” and you do not wear a helmet. Even not in competition,’ one wrote.


    Earlier in the week, Hamilton posted a get well message for Schumacher on Twitter, whom doctors yesterday described as being in a stable condition.

    Hamilton said: ‘Mine & my family’s prayers & thoughts are with Michael & his family. I wish him a quick recovery. God Bless him. The Hamiltons.’

    Seven-time champion Schumacher, who turns 45 tomorrow, is fighting for his life in a Grenoble hospital after falling and hitting his head on a rock in the resort of Meribel on Sunday. He was airlifted from the ski run by a rescue helicopter, suffering from devastating brain injuries.

    Schumacher has since undergone two operations to relieve a blood clot and pressure on his brain.

    Sabine Kehm, the German sportsman’s manager, said yesterday: ‘Michael is monitored all the time, his condition was stable all night and this morning. It has not changed. It is too early to provide any further details.’

    Doctors have said the retired Formula One driver has showed signs of ‘slight improvement’, but remains in a critical condition.

    His family, including wife Corinna, 44, and their two children Gina-Marie, 16, and Mick, 14, have kept a vigil by his bedside since the accident.

    It is not known where Hamilton was on holiday, but he flew there in a private jet with his two pet bulldogs shortly before Christmas.

    People always say the first 48 hours are the most critical, so i hope he recovers. / Hamilton's haters can diaf. He might be reckless and a flop, but he isn't "insensitive".


    Source 1 (BBC) / Source 2 (Daily Fail)

    0 0



    Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas are kicking off 2014 with a show of family unity.

    "Happy New Year from Quebec, Canada... where it is minus 10F," Douglas, 69, wrote in a New Year's Day Facebook post accompanying a photo that appeared to be of the actor, Zeta-Jones, 44, and their kids Dylan, 13, and Carys, 10, posing triumphantly atop a ski slope.

    The picturesque resort town in Quebec has long been a Douglas family favorite. But in August, Douglas and the couple’s children vacationed there without Zeta-Jones, and soon after the pair announced they were spending time apart after 13 years of marriage.

    Still, there have been signs of a reconciliation, with Douglas remaining resolutely optimistic in his public comments on their marriage. In October, he told reporters, "things are great. Onward and upward."

    The holidays were a time of togetherness for the family. On Dec. 19 the couple lunched at Madonia Restaurant & Bar in Stamford, Conn., and on Dec. 22, Douglas, Zeta-Jones – both wearing their wedding rings – and their kids spent a day enjoying each other's company. Emerging from their Central Park West apartment, "they looked really happy," an observer tells PEOPLE. "They were smiling. The kids were having fun, enjoying spending time with their parents."After lunch at Orso, the family took in a matinee of Motown the Musical on Broadway before heading out for an evening show of The Hobbit.

    Despite their problems, a source close to Zeta-Jones told PEOPLE in September that the couple – who endured Douglas's 2010 cancer battle – were doing everything they could to save their marriage.

    "They're not giving up," said the source.

    SOURCE

    0 0

    50-cent

    A Manhattan judge says rapper 50 Cent can be sued for posting a sex tape to his web site featuring the former girlfriend of a rival.
    Judge Paul Wooten said there was compelling evidence that the reckless rapper’s posting of the X-rated video on his website — which receives millions of views — nearly drove Lastonia Leviston to suicide.
    The Queens-born rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, had argued that Leviston, who had a child with rival rapper Rick Ross, was bluffing that the publicity caused her major depression and anxiety because she was able to get her high school equivalency diploma and hold down two jobs after the 2009 posting.
    The video was picked up by multiple websites and viewed almost 4 million times.
    50 Cent allegedly bought the racy home video from Leviston’s former boyfriend Maurice Murray, even though she claims he promised to destroy the footage.
    The Florida woman’s diary “reveals that Leviston entertained suicidal ideation as a result of the release of the video tape, and that she was unable to function normally in her daily life,” Wooten wrote in his decision released Thursday.
    50 Cent even blurred out Leviston’s lover’s face, but left hers recognizable and edited his alter ego ‘Pimpin’ Curly’ into the video.
    He dubbed Leviston a “call girl” named Brooke in the spot. Leviston says in her 2010 suit that she was never a hooker.

    S O U R C E

    whatever


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