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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    Maggie Q To Play Famous Chinese Pirate Ching Shih

    Maggie Q, best known as the star of Nikita, will be taking on a role from pirate history.

    She has been cast as famous Chinese pirate Ching Shih for an upcoming limited series titled Red Flag.

    Red Flag is set in the early 1800s and follows Ching Shih, a beautiful young Chinese prostitute who goes on to become one of the most powerful pirates in history, and the head of the most successful crime syndicate in China.

    Ching controlled over 100,000 sailors and 1500-plus vessels, all of which she used to terrorize and rule the South China Sea, conquering the Imperial Chinese navy, the Portuguese navy, and the British navy.

    “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to share Ching Shih’s real-life story with audiences that are both familiar and unfamiliar with her prominent history,” Maggie Q said.

    Maggie Q will be seen in Divergent, as well as A Conspiracy on Jekyll Island.


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    Leonardo DiCaprio poses for a picture with Tom Hanks in the green room at the 2014 Ace Eddie Awards held at Paramount Studios on Friday evening (February 7) in Hollywood.

    The two Oscar nominated actors presented awards that evening. Leo handed out the Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic) prize to Chris Rouse for Captain Phillips, while Tom honored his Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass with the Ace Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year award.

    Also pictured at the event was Leo‘s The Wolf of Wall Street co-star Jonah Hill.



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    The U.S. government will recognize same-sex marriages as equal to traditional marriages in all federal matters, including in U.S. courts, bankruptcies, prison visits and survivor benefits, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Saturday.

    The expansion of such federal recognition will include 34 states where same-sex marriage isn't legal, but the new federal benefits being extended to those states will apply only where the U.S. government has jurisdiction, Holder said.

    For example, a same-sex couple legally married in Massachusetts can now have their federal bankruptcy proceeding recognized in Alabama, even though it doesn't allow same-sex marriages. In the past, the U.S. government could challenge the couple's joint bankruptcy because Alabama doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.

    Holder's announcement was revealed in an advance copy of a speech he will deliver at the Human Rights Campaign's New York City gala Saturday night.

    Holder plans to announce that the Justice Department will issue a memo Monday that recognizes same-sex marriages "to the greatest extent possible under the law."

    The move affects how millions of Americans interact with their federal government, including bankruptcy cases, prison visitation rights, survivor benefits for police officers and firefighters killed on the job, and the legal right to refuse to testify to incriminate a spouse.

    The Human Rights Campaign, an advocate of gay rights, lauded Holder for his support of same sex marriage in a recent speech to the Swedish parliament.

    In an excerpt of his speech provided in advance, Holder compared his work for the gay rights cause to the 1960s civil rights struggle and then- Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's support for equality.

    "This means that, in every courthouse, in every proceeding, and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States -- they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law," Holder said of his initiative.

    Under the new policy, the Justice Department will recognize that same-sex spouses of individuals involved in civil and criminal cases should have the same legal rights as all other married couples -- including the right to decline to give testimony that might incriminate their spouses.

    Also, the government won't contest same-sex married couples their rights in states where previously prosecutors could argue that the marriage is not recognized in the state where the couple lives, Holder said.

    Couples in same-sex marriages will be allowed to file for bankruptcy as a couple. This ensures alimony and domestic support debts aren't discharged in bankruptcy cases. Federal inmates with same-sex spouses will now have full visitation, compassionate release and other benefits.

    The Justice Department's policy change will extend benefits to same-sex couples who benefit from federal programs such as the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, Radiation Exposure Compensation program and to the families of police officers and firefighters who receive benefits from the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program.

    "Just like during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the stakes involved in this generation's struggle for LGBT equality could not be higher," Holder said. "As attorney general, I will not let this Department be simply a bystander during this important moment in history."

    In a statement, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said that "this landmark announcement will change the lives of countless committed gay and lesbian couples for the better.

    "While the immediate effect of these policy decisions is that all married gay couples will be treated equally under the law, the long-term effects are more profound. Today, our nation moves closer toward its ideals of equality and fairness for all," Griffin said.


    FUCK YEAH, WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE. Martinis made of conservatives tears are on me tonight!

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    By now, you've likely heard the rumors: Bruce Jenner is in the process of getting a sex change. Though that claim has been denied by pretty much every party involved, that didn't stop Jimmy Kimmel from poking fun at it on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

    Using the new Facebook look back video feature introduced to honor the social networking site's 10th anniversary, Kimmel "made" one for Jenner that starts back in 2004 "when you were a man." Fast forward to 2014: Apparently Jenner's "Yeah, I'm rockin' a bob, so what?""status" got 68 likes. As for "And yes, I'm a full A cup now #blessed," only 35 likes. Sorry Jenner.

    The funny video ends with a surprise flash forward in time that won't be spoiled here, but needless to say the Kardashian family likely won't be laughing too hard over this one.


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    NBC Stream:
    CBC Stream:
    Non-NBC stream (diff events may be going on)

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    Rihanna and Drake sparked speculation once again that they may be dating after leaving a West Hollywood nightclub together on Friday evening. The singers were spotted leaving Hooray Henry's, on Beverly Boulevard, seconds apart from each other, but were spotted stepping into the same taxi. Both were dressed in stylish, modest ensembles while huge bodyguards escorted them to the car.


    src | 2 | 3

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    Eager to showcase their controversial film, the stars of "Nymphomaniac" headed to the 64th Berlin International Film Festival on Sunday (February 9).

    Looking chic in all black, Uma Thurman wore a sweater, pants, and boots while costar Christian Slater opted for a gray sweater, black jacket, and blue jeans.

    Nearby, the eccentric Shia LaBeouf looked like he was plucked from a crowd of tourists in an NYPD hoodie, tan jacket, and dirty baseball cap.


    Hitting theaters on March 21st, the Lars von Trier film follows a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.

    SOURCE 1 + 2 + 3

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    It’s an incredible 30 years since the undisputed Queen of Pop had her very first Top 10 hit with Holiday. To celebrate Madonna’s three decades of Official Charts supremacy, we count down her 13 Number 1s and reveal the biggest selling of them all…

    11. American Pie (2000)

    A long, long time ago… well, 1972 to be exact, Don McLean had a hit with the classic American Pie, which was so long it took up two sides of a 7” single (ask your mum). Madonna, for reasons that are unclear, decided to cover the song, but to make it all fit nicely onto one CD (ask your older sister) she edited the track considerably. Then-collaborator William Orbit added his signature swooshes and even Rupert Everett, Madonna’s co-star from movie The Next Best Thing, popped in to lay down some backing vocals and appear in the video.

    WHO DID IT BEAT? American Pie knocked All Saints’ Pure Shores – another William Orbit production – off the top spot and left N Sync settling for Number 3 with Bye Bye Bye. Madonna would later go on to team up with N Sync's Justin Timberlake on another Number 1…
    CHART FACT: Don McLean’s version only got to Number 2.
    SALES: 390,000

    7. Vogue (1990)

    Perhaps one of Madonna’s signature tunes, she has learned to love again this massive hit from 1990, last performing it at her Superbowl Halftime Show in 2012. Vogue came seemingly out of nowhere after Madonna’s Like A Prayer album ended. Madonna was said to be in her ‘imperial phase’ – she was just about the hugest star on the planet and was set to bare all in fly-on-the-wall movie about her Blond Ambition tour and star in movie Dick Tracy with then-boyfriend Warren Beatty. Soundtracking Madonna’s year of excess, Vogue was sophisticated, slowed-down house dripping in glamour. Featuring a rap that namedropped a host of ‘40s screen legends, Madonna’s place among them in the A-list was quickly secured.

    WHO DID IT BEAT? Madonna Vogued her way to Number 1 at the expense of Snap’s The Power, which ran out of batteries and slid to runner-up spot after two weeks.
    CHART FACT: Vogue was the 8th best selling single of 1990 and spent four weeks at Number 1 in April.
    SALES: 515,000
    EXTRA CHART FACT: If Beautiful Stranger had been a Number 1, it would have placed here on her sales countdown – 530,000 copies sold.

    6. True Blue (1986)

    Madonna’s third Number 1 was also the third single from the album it gave its name. True Blue was a huge success and its ‘60s-throwback title track saw Madonna at her most demure – something we wouldn’t see again for quite a while. Written for her then-husband Sean Penn, Madonna seems to have airbrushed True Blue out of history – she hasn’t performed it since 1987.

    WHO DID IT BEAT? Five Star’s Rain Or Shine had to settle for second place that week, while the Communards’ Don’t Leave Me This Way fell from the top to Number 3.
    SALES: 540,000

    5. Frozen (1998)

    Returning to pop after a few years off starring in Evita and having her daughter Lourdes, the Madonna of 1997 was her most unusual reinvention yet. Part-Earth mother, part-trance goth and looking a bit like a witch (in the best possible way), Madonna released Frozen, a traditional Madge ballad with a twist, as the lead single from comeback album Ray of Light.

    WHO DID IT BEAT? Frozen knocked Cornershop’s Brimful Of Asha off Number 1, and kept My Heart Will Go On at Number 2 for another week.
    CHART FACT: Frozen was Madonna’s first Number 1 for eight years.
    SALES: 545,000

    1. Into The Groove (1985)

    “And you can dance… for inspiration…” So the biggest selling Madonna number one is the song that kicked off that impressive 13-strong run of chart-toppers. Released almost as an afterthought, Into The Groove was taken from the soundtrack of Madge’s first movie hit (and, er, last for quite for a while). Despite not having a proper video, and only being a B-side in the USA, Into The Groove is a Madonna classic that almost everyone knows the words to. Its success was perhaps helped by the fact that a) it didn’t appear on Madonna’s Like A Virgin album until a hasty reissue once it hit Number 1 and b) Madonna was at the very height of her early popularity and c) it was amazing. Into The Groove spent pretty much all of August 1985 at Number 1 and was knocked off the top by UB40 and Chrissie Hynde’s cover of the Sonny & Cher classic I Got You Babe.

    WHO DID SHE BEAT? Until Madonna came along throwing her pop weight around, Eurythmics were enjoying their first ever Number 1 with There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart). It lasted at the top for just one week.
    CHART FACT: Holiday was rereleased in July 1985 and peaked at Number 2, sitting right behind Into The Groove for one week. Into The Groove is also Madonna’s best-selling single in the UK, spending 12 weeks in the Top 40, and selling…
    SALES: 870,000


    ONTD what's your favorite Madonna Number 1?

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    'I could imagine we'll come back and do Sherlock fairly often for many years,' says showrunner.

    Sherlock boss Steven Moffat believes new episodes of the hit BBC drama series will continue to be produced on a regular basis for years to come.

    And although the 54-year-old admits he will eventually leave his showrunner role on Doctor Who, he cannot foresee an end to his involvement on Sherlock because it "doesn't swamp his schedule".

    Speaking to Assignment X, Moffat is reported as saying: "Eventually, I'll stop doing Doctor Who because it stops me doing anything else.

    "But Sherlock doesn't swamp my schedule."

    He continued: "I could imagine we'll come back and do Sherlock fairly often for many years, rather than very often for a few years."

    It is believed fans will now have to wait until 2015 for the next episode of the detective drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, with Moffat previously saying that discussions were ongoing about filming dates.


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    Sometimes I need to be reminded that I pay way too much attention to the movies coming out in theaters. As we left a recent family screening of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s amazing The LEGO Movie (which finally opens in theaters everywhere), I joked to my wife about the voices of a couple of superheroes in the film, and the meta nod it made to Lord and Miller’s Jump Street reboot. As it turns out, she didn’t recognize either of the voices, so the joke kind of flew right over her head.

    Part of the fun of an animated movie – particularly one stuffed to the gills with major characters – is trying to place the celebrity voice who’s supporting a cartoon character on screen. Anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to LEGO Movie marketing knows that Chris Pratt of Parks and Rec voices Emmet, the main LEGO man in the movie. Will Arnett’s obviously the gravel-voiced Batman, and Will Ferrell voices Lord Business. But which other pop-culture staples can be heard throughout The LEGO Movie?

    If you don’t want to be spoiled on a few of the surprises waiting for you in LEGO, bookmark this feature and come back after you’ve enjoyed the film. However, if you want to impress your family by pointing out these bits of vocal trivia, dig right in!

    Bad Cop/Good Cop
    There’s a point late in The LEGO Movie when the schizophrenic Good Cop/Bad Cop stats singing "Danny Boy," which should be a dead giveaway that this ruthless enforcer for Lord Business is played by Ireland’s own, Liam Neeson. Because his LEGO role demands that he fluctuate between sweetness and evil as he wrestles with his inner demons, Neeson’s allowed to channel his inner Oskar Schindler, as well as his Ra’s al Ghul. Just don’t show either of those films to your children as a LEGO Movie follow up. Not until they are much older.

    Wonder Woman
    So much for Marvel loyalty. Wonder Woman, in The LEGO Movie, is voiced by the lovely Cobie Smulders… who many of you might know as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill from the Avengers movie and Marvel’s own Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show (where she occasionally appears). She also has a recognizable voice because millions tune in to her weekly sitcom How I Met Your Mother, where she plays Robin. So while Gal Gadot of the Fast & Furious franchise is actually schedule to step into Wonder Woman’s invisible jet for Zack Snyder’s pending Batman-Superman movie, Smulders gets the nod from Lord and Miller. Let’s hope that doesn’t create a rift over at Marvel as they gear up for The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

    Shaquille O’Neal
    Former Los Angeles Laker great Shaquille O’Neal earns the distinct pleasure of being the only person in The LEGO Movie who voices himself. That’s how famous Shaq is. There’s an actual LEGO of him, in a Lakers jersey, and Lord and Miller put him in the film. This isn’t the best photo of him, and he appears to be holding a pizza (for reasons I can’t remember… there’s a lot of stuff happening on screen in this movie!) But when you hear LEGO Shaq speak, it isn’t someone doing an impersonation. It’s the real deal.

    Move over, Henry Cavill. When Lord and Miller needed an actor to lend his voice to the Man of Steel, they chose none other than… Magic Mike? Sure, Channing Tatum probably ranks as a superhero in the eyes of several female readers. But there’s a deeper connection going on with this casting. Tatum, of course, plays Jenko in both Jump Street movies, which were directed by LEGO helmers Lord and Miller. So this team is quickly becoming the Scorsese-DeNiro of absurd-humor movies. It also helps explain our next voice casting.

    Green Lantern
    There’s a funny "bromance" undercutting the scenes between Superman and Green Lantern in The LEGO Movie, which will make more sense once you realize that Lantern, in this film, is played by Jonah Hill. Yes, Tatum’s Jump Street partner also tries to be Superman’s bestie on screen here. And if these jokes are your cup of tea, you might as well get in line for 22 Jump Street, which has Hill and Tatum heading to college for more crime-fighting shenanigans.

    SOURCE (Warning: there are some spoilers in this list)
    I saw this movie yesterday and I loved it, now I can't stop listening Batman's theme. DARKNESS. NO PARENTS.

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    Gary Oldman told The Mail on Sunday's Event magazine: ‘Dave just shot me an email, out of the blue, saying,Do you want to come and play a priest for a day?” It was all done for a sandwich and a bottle of pop. We actually shot it in a place that’s about ten minutes from my house. There was no money in it. I didn’t even know that Marion was going to be in it until the day before, because he kept it all under the radar. People can make what they want of it, that’s the point of a video like that. He’s an artist, he makes you think. I was thrilled when he released the new album last year. I was talking on the phone to him and he said, “I don’t know about touring. I have no great desire to get out thereagain at the moment.” And I said, “But you’re writing again?” And he said he was. I think we’ll probably see him again. He’s planning something.’

    'It was bloody good fun to see Dave. I've known him for years but we had lost touch a bit. Now we’ve reconnected. A friend of mine had been in a play and I went backstage after the performance and Dave walked in. We got talking, then we all went to dinner and by the time we got to cigarettes and coffee, as you did in those days, we did the chair-swapping and I got chatting with him. We got on really well. He comes from the same part of the world as I do. I didn’t want anything from him, he didn’t want anything from me.'

    At the time of their meeting in 1988, Bowie had long been a superstar; Oldman had earned a Bafta nomination for the critically acclaimed film about Joe Orton, Prick Up Your Ears, but had yet to cement his reputation as one of Britain’s finest actors. Dave said, “This is where I’m staying, under this name, give me a call,” ’ says Oldman. ‘Which I didn’t do!’ He laughs. But then a couple of months later he called me. He was taking a break and doing some writing on Mustique, where he had a house at that time. He said, “Come over, I’ve got a spare room.” My son Alfie was only five months old at that time, but we went. And it was fantastic. Dave is a really nice guy. I see him less as “David Bowie” and more as Dave from Brixton and I’m Gary from New Cross. I was a fan of his music and I still am. We’re just mates.’

    source, source2

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    Game of Thrones Season 4 Spoilers: Sansa Becomes a "Powerhouse Character"— Exclusive

    The fact that Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) made it to Game of Thrones Season 4 in one piece is basically a miracle. Naive and timid, Sansa spent three seasons as the pawn in other people's games. But when Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Sophie Turner at the Christian Siriano Fall/Winter 2014 Collection show during New York Fashion Week, she promised that things are about to change for her character in a big way.

    "There's a kind of big evolution [for Sansa in Season 4]," Sophie dished. "She begins to kind of manipulate the people who have done wrong to her in her past. She becomes a powerhouse character but in a very subtle way. It's really good."

    Is Sophie excited about the new direction Sansa has taken? Of course! "I feel like I've been waiting for a moment where I can manipulate the people that have come before me, so it was like I had been waiting for it for so long. It was a release."

    As for the season on a whole, Sophie promise "shocking stuff" and "more deaths, of course, because it's Game of Thrones."

    Since we were at fashion week, we couldn't resist asking which Game of Thrones cast member has the best fashion sense when they're walking around the real world instead of Westeros. When we talked to Maisie Williams (Arya), she singled out Sophie, explaining that her on-screen sis "looks awesome all the time. She's got it right." Sophie returned the compliment, picking Maisie as the best off-screen dresser.

    It sounds like both Stark girls are getting more dangerous this season, but in real life, they're clearly just as sweet as ever!

    Game of Thrones Season 4 Spoilers: Maisie Williams on Arya's "Scarier" Side — Exclusive

    Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) has been a Game of Thrones fan favorite since the moment the rambunctious tomboy showed off her proficiency with weapons at Winterfell, and over the first three seasons she's continued to win hearts with her quips and sword skills. Now, you need to prepare to see the beloved character take a darker turn in Season 4 .

    Wetpaint Entertainment had a chance to catch up with Maisie Williams at the Christian Siriano Fall/Winter 2014 Collection fashion show at New York Fashion Week, and the young star dished about what we can expect from Arya when HBO's fantasy epic returns in April.

    "We've seen this kind of fun loving Arya who says it as it is and makes jokes, but this year she's starting to change and we're starting to see different sides to her," Maisie explained. "I don't know how people are going to react. They might love it, they might hate it, but I think she's becoming a lot more powerful in this world where women are getting bashed aside."

    So, when Maisie says "more powerful," what does she mean? While she wouldn't spill specifics, she did hint that playing Arya this season was "more of a challenge" than in the past, because while tapping into Arya's sarcastic side came naturally — "that's kind of my go-to thing when I get nervous anyway!"— this season she had to channel a "scarier" side of the character that's "very different."

    Arya's not the only thing that's changed this season. "There's not a big finale," Maisie added. "There's things dripped throughout, so it's not just leading up to the ending. There's other little twists in between." But don't worry, she's confident fans will "really, really like it."

    While dress-hating Arya would probably fall asleep at a fashion show, Maisie also gushed that she's been having a blast at her first fashion week. "It's been amazing!" she told us. "I enjoyed it so much. I love the music. Christian [Siriano] as a person is absolutely hilarious and I love, love his clothes so I'm just thrilled to be here."

    Part of me doesn't trust what Sophie is saying just because she's known for talking around storylines so as not to spoil. But given where it's headed, the manipulation bit is interesting.

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    Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria is hoping to push the plight of farm laborers to the top of the U.S. policy agenda with the release of Food Chains, an activist documentary that she executive produced and which has its world premiere Monday as part of the Berlin Film Festival's Culinary Cinema sidebar. The film, directed by Sanjay Rawal, follows a group of tomato pickers in Florida - the Coalition of Immokalee Workers - who take on the $4 trillion global supermarket industry.

    Despite her glam image, Longoria has been an outspoken advocate for farm workers rights for many years. “Long before I was famous,” the actress told THR. She has spoken to Congress and campaigned for fair work legislation for U.S. farmworkers. Longoria also produced the 2011 documentary Harvest, which looks at the fate of the hundreds of thousands of children that work as migrant laborers in the U.S. food industry. “There's more interest in food than ever before. Everyone is about organic and local and 'I don't eat Gluten.' but no thought is put to the people who pick the food that feeds us all.” Visit Films is handling worldwide sales of Food Chains and is presenting the documentary to buyers at Berlin's European Film Market.

    Food Chains Teaser from Sanjay Rawal on Vimeo.

    Sources: 12

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  • 02/09/14--14:18: Tom Hiddleston on Top Gear
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    "Do I look like a Kelsey to you?" -HilaryDuff

    Hilary Duff, Mike Comrie, and Luca Cruz Comrie on the set of Younger in Manhattan, New York.

    More pictures on set of Younger, with Sutton Foster

    With Fans

    New Instagrams


    I still think they are the cutest family TBH. Plus she looks more gorgeous than ever.

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    Fox News' idea for a debate on whether Disney should create a plus-size princess centered around the notion that such a princess might encourage obesity.

    On February 6, Fox News' Fox & Friends discussed a petition for Disney to create a plus-size Disney princess. High school student Jewel Moore, who started the petition, envisions that such a princess would be a role model for "women who struggle with confidence and need a positivie [sic] plus-size character in the media."

    Fox took the story and used it to entertain the notion that a plus-size Disney princess might encourage obesity and diabetes.

    Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked, "Move over Cinderella. Disney under pressure to create a plus-size princess. Should they? We're going to debate that," before inviting on Emme, a plus-size supermodel, and Meme Roth, a self-described obesity expert. Roth declared that such a Disney princess would "glorify obesity." She speculated as to whether the teen petitioning Disney is obese and argued that "If you're going to do a storyline with obesity, then you need to do Princess Diabetes, Princess Cancer, Princess Fertility Problems." To Roth, the petition was "like mob mentality." When Hasselbeck asked, "Is plus-size fat?" Roth responded, "It's unhealthy. If you like cancer and diabetes, if you want fertility problems, then plus-size is beautiful."

    Fox treated Roth's invective as credible. As she ranted against Emme, a proponent of the petition, an on-screen graphic wondered, "Who's right?"

    Presenting Roth as an expert on body-image issues and entertaining her vitriolic remarks is merely a continuation of Fox & Friends' complicity with body-shaming.

    The program has previously given a fitness model and mother who shamed other mothers about their bodies a platform to unapologetically defend her position.

    It is unclear why Fox presented Roth as qualified to speak on the plus-size Disney princess issue -- she does not appear to have degrees in the nutrition or medical field, but instead is known for body-shaming through her National Action Against Obesity website and personal blog which carries the tag-line "MeMe Roth: Reporting From FATOPOLIS." She has compared obese people to sex criminals and advocated for nutrition plans that sound a lot like anorexia.


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    “Ugh I don’t know, let’s just go to dumb Starbucks.” If you’re like us, you’ve probably uttered something similar to this at some point in your coffee searches.

    Well, now you can go to a real place called Dumb Starbucks in Los Feliz, which opened Friday, KPCC reports. The store at 1802 Hillhurst Ave. uses the Starbucks corporate logo and looks nearly identical to a real Starbucks, with “dumb” versions of its menu items.

    Dumb Starbucks was open Saturday with steady business, according to KPCC.
    The store even offers an FAQ, although notably missing is what the hell this thing actually is.



    It's not even funny though


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    NEW YORK — Lupita Nyong'o does not so much walk into a room as glide through it (op: fuck yah she does; glides all the way into my heart).

    The 30-year-old actress, who recently rocketed to fame for her portrayal of a physically and sexually abused plantation worker in the film 12 Years a Slave — a role that has earned her Screen Actors Guild and Critics Choice awards this year, as well as an Oscar nomination — is easily the most elegant creature in a high-end Midtown hotel bar. Chatting with her over morning tea, a less graceful mortal may find herself fighting the urge to check if there's a stain on her own shirt, or lint on her pants.

    It's not just Nyong'o's delicately sculpted face, or her much-celebrated sartorial style, which has been lighting up red carpets. She is dressed pretty casually today, in jeans and a simple black top accessorized with a textured gray scarf. Still, there is a sense of almost aristocratic refinement about her. Nyong'o speaks softly and with perfect diction; she has the posture and poise of a trained dancer (which she is not, she says) and the preternatural composure of a Zen master, even when she giggles.

    None of which should be surprising, given Nyong'o's lineage and training. The daughter of a prominent Kenyan politician, currently a senator for one of its 47 counties, Nyong'o first auditioned for Slave while preparing to graduate from the prestigious Yale School of Drama. Prior to that, she earned a degree in film and African studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., and collected diverse credits, ranging from production runner on the 2005 film The Constant Gardener to director of the 2009 video documentary In My Genes to star of the Kenyan TV mini-series Shuga.

    Slave, which director Steve McQueen and screenwriter John Ridley adapted from Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir of having been kidnapped as a free black man in New York and forced into slavery down South, marks Nyong'o's feature-film debut as an actress. "My manager had gotten the script for another client, Garret Dillahunt," who also appears in the movie as a white field worker. "She saw this role, Patsey, and thought I'd be good for it," says Nyong'o.

    What followed was a series of "very intense, very challenging" auditions, as anyone who has seen Slave — up for a total of nine Academy Awards, including best film — might expect. Patsey is the property and obsession of a sadistic plantation owner, played by Michael Fassbender, and is consequently loathed by his jealous wife (Sarah Paulson). Over the course of the movie, Nyong'o's character is raped, cut, humiliated and, in an especially harrowing scene, whipped to within an inch of her life

    "I knew it was going to be emotionally grueling," Nyong'o says. "Of course, you never really know what you're in for until you're actually in it. But I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to work on this meaty material, and to have been part of something so powerful and meaningful."

    McQueen was as instantly taken with Nyong'o as he was with Fassbender, who also starred in the director's 2011 feature Shame, on their first meeting. "I've been very fortunate in my life to have worked with two actors with that sense of hunger and rawness," says McQueen. "(Nyong'o) has that quality of openness and nakedness; she studies who we are as humans, and can grapple with anything that involves."

    Lupita Nyong'o landed her role in '12 Years a Slave' as she graduated from the Yale School of Drama. Nyong'o had suffered for her art, or at least in it, before. At 14, she made her professional debut as the doomed heroine of Romeo and Juliet in a production by the Nairobi-based repertory company Phoenix Players. Her roles at drama school included the unfortunate Sonya in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, in a staging directed by Ron Van Lieu, the noted chair of Yale's acting department.

    Theater had played a large role in Nyong'o's youth in Kenya. "My father used to act in high school. He was in a production of Othello; I don't know who he played, but it wasn't Othello. He would talk about it, though, and read Shakespeare to me." Nyong'o's mother, currently the managing director of the Africa Cancer Foundation and her own communications company, was also "something of a thespian. We always went to the theater."

    Nyong'o describes her whole family — which includes an older sister and four younger siblings, among them a baby brother attending college in Florida — as "very artistic." One aunt, who worked as an animator, "also acted in repertory theater, and she would organize all the kids into performing whenever we had get-togethers."

    Still, acting "wasn't something I saw as an exclusive career path. The industry," in Kenya, "barely existed." In her family's circles, "it was something you did after work, an extracurricular thing. We had lots of politicians and humanitarians and artists around, and performance and storytelling were just very much part of our lives."

    Before attending Yale, Nyong'o says, she acted purely "out of instinct. But instincts can be unreliable — sometimes you're feeling that hunch, sometimes you're not. I went (to Yale) to develop technique, something I could count on more than just my whims."

    She also learned flexibility, an asset that surely came in handy when filming her next role: a first-class flight attendant in the action thriller Non-Stop, which teams with her Liam Neeson and Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery, and arrives in theaters Feb. 28. Set on a flight from New York to London, it casts Neeson as an air marshal who receives a text message from a passenger threatening to kill another passenger unless he has $150 million transferred to an offshore account.

    The shoot "was as different as it could be" from that for Slave: "One was in a studio, the other on location; one mainly indoors, the other mainly outdoors; one very fluid, the other very technical. It's been an incredible introduction to this world of film, and I've had masters to learn from, and very generous human beings."

    As her profile has risen, Nyong'o has also been initiated into a different, albeit related, world: that of fashion. Posing in an assortment of stunning frocks in vivid hues, the actress has been a regular on Harper's Bazaar's Derek Blasberg's Best-Dressed List since early fall, says Joyann King, director of digital marketing for Harper's.

    "(Nyong'o)'s able to wear fashion without it wearing her," says King, who cites the actress's fondness for a "bevy of primary colors" and her "genuine smile" as consistent standouts on red carpets, and praises her championing of different designers. It was announced recently that Nyong'o and Elizabeth Olsen will represent Miu Miu in the Prada-spawned brand's 2014 spring campaign.

    "It has been a very steep learning curve," says Nyong'o, who insists that she is the unlikeliest of style icons. "I never purchased (fashion) magazines, was never really aware of the industry. I just liked to wear what I liked to wear, you know? So it's been a total surprise — but a welcome one, the way I've been embraced."

    She credits her "amazing stylist," Micaela Erlanger, who has also garnered attention for her work with Dockery. "Micaela's able to take my taste and translate it," says Nyong'o, who describes that taste as both "classic and modern — sophisticated but with a sense of humor."

    Nyong'o adds she is "learning to appreciate that fashion is art. I know it is, because art is moving, and a few weeks ago, I put on a dress and, for the first time, it moved me to tears. I actually panicked for a moment! It was a couture gown, and I just imagined the number of hands that had put all these beads into place, and it made me cry." (Nyong'o won't say who the designer is.)

    "I always love to learn new things," Nyong'o says. "That's the reason I like being an actor. I want to have a varied human experience, to do things outside of my comfort zone. I want to be uncomfortable — acting is uncomfortable. I'm interested in doing things that terrify me."

    Nyong'o isn't yet sure what her next adventure will be. "I have some things that I'm reading," she allows, and she also plans to revisit the stage at some point. "The muscles you flex in theater are muscles that you really need. I must always find a way to get back there. It's irreplaceable."

    Moving around for different projects likely won't be an issue for Nyong'o, who notes, "I'm so far away from home that I don't really feel rooted anywhere. Home is where my family is." She does speak fondly of her current base, Brooklyn, where she enjoys "an occasional dose of night life," but says her busy awards-season schedule hasn't allowed much time for making new friends. (Asked if she's dating anyone, Nyong'o laughs and says, "I plead the Fifth.")

    The awards ceremonies themselves have been daunting. "I've been lucky, because my category"— supporting actress — "usually comes up pretty quickly. But it's a very odd feeling; it would be one thing to know you're going to win and prepare for that, but it's another to know that maybe you'll win. It's a wonder I've been able to keep everything in my stomach."

    Still, Nyong'o says she's not nervous about Oscars night — for which she hasn't yet picked an outfit, she insists.

    "I'm just excited that I've been nominated, and that I get to go," she says. "Every step along the way has been a bonus, and this is the ultimate bonus. And what it means is that this film is being seen, and celebrated. That's the biggest gift, and the most exciting thing of all."
    All pics taken from different photoshoots

    Interview @ USA Today (Source)

    Please Queen Lupita, let the rumors about you & Jared not be true. He's not worthy of your beauty and intelligence. And it probably Hurts like Satan.

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    Day 0

    Australian aerial skier Dave Morris poses on the Olympic Rings in the Athletes Village ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor. (Al Bello/Getty)

    Jo Alexander Koppang from Norway during a luge training session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Centre on February 7, 2014 in Sochi. (Julian Finney/Getty)

    Canadian Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes gains speed to jump during the Men's Normal Hill Individual training ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Centre in Sochi, Russia. (Al Bello/Getty)

    Switzerland's Simon Ammann soars through the air during the men's ski jumping individual normal hill training event of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center in Rosa Khutor (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

    Athletes from South Korea and an athlete from China (top) warm up during a training session at the Adler Arena ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. (Marko Djurica/Reuters)

    Alex Bilodeau practices during the Moguls official training session ahead of the the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 7, 2014 in Sochi. (Cameron Spencer/Getty)

    A rider practices during training for Ski Slopestyle at the Extreme Park at Rosa Khutor Mountain ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics (Al Bello/Getty)

    Day 1

    Switzerland's Gregory Carigiet stares down the track at the start of a run in the men's singles luge competition on Saturday at the Sochi Olympics. (Murad Sezer/Reuters)

    Justine Dufour-Lapointe of Canada competes in the Ladies' Moguls Final 3 on day one of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

    Canada's Chloe Dufour-Lapointe performs a jump during the women's freestyle skiing moguls final competition at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. (Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters)

    Russia's Fedor Klimov and Russia's Ksenia Stolbova perform in the Figure Skating Pairs Team Free Program during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 8, 2014. (Photo by Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

    Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands competes during the Men's 5000m Speed Skating event during Day 1 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Antonin Thuillier/Pool/Getty Images)

    Marie-Michelle Gagnon takes part in a Women's Alpine Skiing Downhill training session in Sochi (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Image)

    Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek of Italy compete in the team pairs free skate figure skating competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Vadim Ghirda/AP)

    Aiko Uemura of Japan competes during Ladies' Moguls Final during day 1 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. (Getty Images/Ryan Pierse)

    Germany's Patrick Beckert pushes the limit during the men's 5,000-metre speed skating race Saturday at the Sochi Winter Olympics. (Antonin Thuillier/Pool/Getty Images)

    Canada's Melodie Daoust (right) vies with Switzerland's Laura Benz during the Women's Ice Hockey Group A Match during the Sochi Winter Olympics. (Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty Images)

    Mark McMorris soars during the men's slopestyle final Saturday at the Sochi Olympics in Russia. (Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

    Japan's Reruhi Shimizu soars through the air during his trial jump in the men's ski jumping individual normal hill qualification round event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. (Photo by Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

    Natalia Popova of Ukraine bends over backwards to compete during the figure skating team ladies' short program at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on Saturday. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

    Russia's Albert Demchenko posted a track record time in the first run at the Sanki Sliding Center on Saturday. (Lionel Bonaventure/Getty Images)

    Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria soars through the air during his trial jump in the men's ski jumping individual normal hill qualification round event on Saturday at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

    Day 2

    Anais Bescond collapses on the snow after crossing the finish line in the Women's 7.5 km Sprint during day two of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

    Silver medalist Peter Prevc of Slovenia competes in the Men's Ski Jumping Normal Hill Individual 1st Round during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014 in Rosa Khutor. (Photo by Peter Parks/AFP/Getty)

    Yuki Nakajima of Japan competes in the Women's 7.5 km Sprint during day two of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty)

    Felix Loch of Germany takes a turn on his final run during the men's singles luge final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. Loch won the gold medal. (Photo by Dita Alangkara/AP)

    Jessica Hammerl #4 of Germany and Olga Sosina #18 of Russia collide during the Women's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group B Game on day two of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Yuliya Skokova of Russia competes in the women's 3000 meters speed skating race during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 9, 2014. (Photo by Marko Djurica/Reuters)

    Russia's Elena Ilinykh and Russia's Nikita Katsalapov perform in the Figure Skating Team Ice Dance Free Dance during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014. (Photo by Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

    An athlete trains during Aerials practice during day two of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty)

    Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic (L) and Katarzyna Bachleda-Curus of Poland compete in the women's 3000 meters speed skating race during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 9, 2014. (Photo by Laszlo Balogh/Reuters)

    Russia's Albert Demchenko races in the Men's Luge final at the Sanki Sliding Center during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014. (Photo by Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

    Kevin Reynolds of Canada gestures after competing in the men's team free skate figure skating competition during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Vadim Ghirda/AP)

    Canada's Jill Officer takes part in a practice session at the Ice Cube curling centre during the 2014 Sochi winter olympics on February 9, 2014. (Photo by Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

    Norway's Tora Berger competes in the Women's Biathlon 7,5 km Sprint at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014. (Photo by Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty)

    Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic competes during the Women's 3000m Speed Skating event during day 2 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

    Japan's Tatsuki Machida performs in the Men's Figure Skating Team Free Program at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014. (Photo by Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

    Winner Jamie Anderson of the U.S. jumps during the women's snowboard slopestyle finals event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Rosa Khutor, February 9, 2014. (Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

    Slovakia's Anastasiya Kuzmina reacts as she wins gold in the Women's Biathlon 7,5 km Sprint during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014. (Photo by Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

    Irene Wust of the Netherlands skates to first place during the women's 3,000 metres speed skating race at the Adler Arena during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 9, 2014. (Phtoo by Marko Djurica/Reuters)

    Jason Brown of the U.S. performs in the Men's Figure Skating Team Free Program at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014. (Photo by Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images)

    Enni Rukajarvi of Finland performs a jump during the women's snowboard slopestyle finals event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Rosa Khutor, February 9, 2014. (Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

    Italy's Paul Bonifacio Parkinson performs in the Men's Figure Skating Team Free Program during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014. (Photo by Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty)

    David Poisson of France in action during the Alpine Skiing Men's Downhill on day 2 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)


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