Saturday, October 30, 2010

DAMON AND DOUGLAS FOR LIBERACE BIO

 

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Michael Douglas and Matt Damon are still set to play Liberace and his assistant-lover Scott Thorsen in a new biopic to be directed by Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh, according to People magazine.

Douglas will portray the legendary entertainer, and Damon will take on the role of Thorsen, Liberace's assistant and boyfriend, whose 1982 palimony suit for $110 million outed the flamboyant piano man. The project has been in doubt due to Douglas's recent diagnosis with throat cancer, but Soderbergh revealed during an interview at the Deauville Film Festival that the film is definitely on track.

"We've already done some costume and wardrobe tests on Michael, and they're very, very, very good," Soderbergh said. "I swear to you, Michael amazed me. He crushed it."

Soderbergh also said the film's budget will allow for re-creations of Liberace's lavish stage shows, which often involved elaborate stunts such as flying to the stage or driving to his piano bench in a Rolls-Royce.

JAMES MCARTHUR PASSES

 

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Stage and screen actor James MacArthur, who played Danny Williams in the original version of television's "Hawaii Five-0," died Thursday at age 72.

MacArthur's agent, Richard Lewis, said the actor died in Florida of "natural causes," but no direct cause was specified.

In a career that spanned more than four decades, MacArthur was most recognized for his role as Detective Danny "Danno" Williams on "Hawaii Five-0," which aired from 1968 to 1980. Episodes often ended with detective Steve McGarret, the lead character, uttering what became a pop culture catch phrase: "Book 'em, Danno."

Jack Lord, who starred as McGarret, died in 1998.

"Hawaii Five-O," one of the longest running crime shows in TV history with 278 episodes, was shot on location in the Hawaiian islands. It was the first Hawaii-based national TV series.

The drama has been remade by CBS with a new cast this season.

MacArthur, born Dec. 8, 1937, seemed destined to become an actor. He was the adopted son of playwright Charles MacArthur and Helen Hayes, an award-winning actress often referred to as "First Lady of the American Theatre." Silent film star Lillian Gish was his godmother.

"They did teach me a lot about the theatre just through my life with them," he said of his parents in a 1957 interview in Teen Life magazine. "They never pushed me in any direction. Any major decision has always been my own to make."

James MacArthur made his stage debut at age 8 in a summer stock production of "The Corn is Green."

His breakout role was in the 1957 "Climax!" television series production of "The Young Stranger," in which he starred as the 17-year-old son of a movie executive who has a run-in with the law.

He entered Harvard that same year, but dropped out in his sophomore year to pursue an acting career.

As a young actor, MacArthur appeared in the Walt Disney movies "Kidnapped," ''Third Man on the Mountain," ''Swiss Family Robinson" and "The Light in the Forest."

He also had roles in "The Interns, "Spencer's Mountain," ''Battle of the Bulge" and "Hang 'Em High," as well as many guest roles on TV series such as "Gunsmoke."

He performed in many stage plays, including the lead role of Hildy Johnson in a 1981 production of "The Front Page," which was co-written by his father in the late 1920s, at the Stanford Community Theatre in Palo Alto, Calif.

His live acting career won him the 1961 Theatre World Award for best new actor for his performance in "Invitation to a March."

MacArthur said that one of his favorite "Hawaii Five-O" episodes was a 1975 segment called "Retire in Sunny Hawaii Forever" because it marked one of the rare times that he worked on screen with his mother. Hayes played Danno's Aunt Clara, who visits Hawaii and helps the detectives solve a murder.

Asked by the Hawaii Star Bulletin newspaper in 2003 about his fondest memories about working on "Hawaii Five-O," MacArthur replied: "Living in Hawaii."

2008 PICTURES

 

2008 was an eventful year to say the least – it is difficult to sum up the thousands of stories in just a handful of photographs. To try and tell a story of 2008 in photographs would take hundreds. It’s not the story of 2008, it’s certainly not all stories, but as a collection it does show a good portion of what life has been like over the 12 months. This is a multi-entry story, 120 photographs over three days.

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama waves to the crowd at a rally in the rain at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008.

02_17240063 A general view shows a “solucar” solar park in Sanlucar La Mayor, near Seville, Spain on November 6, 2008. The solar thermal power plant uses mirrors to concentrate the sun’s rays onto the top of a 100 meter (300 foot) tower where it produces steam to drive a turbine, producing electricity.

 

03_astronauAstronaut Karen Nyberg, STS-124 mission specialist, looks through a window in the newly installed Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station while Space Shuttle Discovery is docked with the station on June 10th, 2008.

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In this March 11, 2008 photo, a boy plays soccer at La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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A Kosovo Albanian man in the Kosovo town of Stimlje, south of the capital Pristina, tries to rescue his horse after it veered off the road and fell into a river March 26, 2008.

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Staff stand in a meeting room at the Lehman Brothers offices in the financial district of Canary Wharf in London September 11, 2008. Lehman Brothers eventually filed for bankruptcy – the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history – and was delisted from the NYSE, and later liquidated.

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A U.S. Marine with a ground combat element assigned to Delta Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Task Force Mechanized, Multi-National Force – West walks through the Hatra Ruins in the Jazeerah Desert in Iraq on July 20, 2008. The task force is conducting disruption operations in the area to deny the enemy sanctuary and prevent foreign fighters from accessing the area.

08_sapphire A young sapphire miner holds on tight to a rope as he is lowered into a deep hole in the ground in a field in Anzanakaro near Ilakaka, Madagascar on September 14, 2008. Local miners and many of their family members work deep narrow holes where they scrape gravel and sand in search of sapphires.

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Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama (lower right) waves as he arrives at a rally of 100,000 supporters in St. Louis, Mo., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008.

10_17351787 In this April 30, 2008 photo, a young Iraqi boy poses for a photo after graduating from kindergarten in Baghdad, Iraq.

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Most of the homes in the Oakridge mobile home park, which reportedly had 600-800 homes, lie in ruins after burning in the Sylmar Fire on November 15, 2008 in Sylmar, California. The fire began last night and was fuelled to more than 2,600 acres by strong erratic winds in excess of 70 miles per hour which kept fire fighting aircraft grounded in the morning.

12_17072039 The bodies of two Palestinian militants lay near their mortar launcher after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza November 16, 2008. They had been firing mortar rounds into a neighbouring Israeli neighbourhood. An Israeli air strike killed four Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Sunday and two rockets fired from the Hamas-controlled territory hit Israel as a five-month-old ceasefire continued to unravel.

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Mateja Robnik of Slovenia negotiates a track of the women’s giant slalom FIS World Cup event in Maribor, Slovenia January 12, 2008.

14_17218837 A military helicopter transporting soldiers and engineers prepares to land near the Tangjiashan quake lake area at earthquake-hit Beichuan, Sichuan province, China on May 27, 2008. China had evacuated more than 150,000 people living below a swollen lake formed by this month’s devastating earthquake amid fears it could burst and trigger massive flooding, state media said on Wednesday.

15_mumbaiat21-year-old Ajmal Kasab, one of ten terrorists who attacked Mumbai, India on November 26th, 2008 walks through the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station, carrying weapons and duffel bags of ammunition. Kasab and his cohorts – all from Pakistan – killed over 170 people over the course of three days, until all except Kasab were killed by Indian forces.

16_17252285A competitor dives from the 14 meter-high bridge over Drina river during annual high diving competition in Bosnian town of Visegrad July 12, 2008.

17_17217515Men are caught in a dust storm while playing cricket at a playground in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 31, 2008

18_congoidp Internally Displaced People leave Kibati heading north from the city to their villages, Kibumba and Rugari, north of the provincial capital of Goma, Congo, on November 2, 2008. Several thousand people displaced in the fighting between rebels and government troops in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo began returning home Sunday as a ceasefire held, an AFP correspondent on the scene reported.

19_beichan2An earthquake survivor tries to figure out where his home used to be at the Donghekou Earthquake Relics Park, which covers one town and five villages including Donghekou Village, on November 11, 2008 in Qingchuan County of Sichuan Province, China. The park, which is the first memorial site after the massive Wenchuan Earthquake, was opened to the public on November 12, 2008.

20_motogpmcCasey Stoner of Australia and the Ducati Team in action on a wet track, during a practice run for the Australian MotoGP at the Phillip Island Circuit on October 3, 2008 in Phillip Island, Australia.

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A young man with an arrow in his head arrives at hospital following ethnic clashes in the town of Nakuru in the Rift Valley area January 26, 2008. Kenyans in the Rift Valley town of Nakuru feared more violence on Saturday after a disputed election triggered pitched battles between ethnic gangs that killed at least a dozen people

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A man’s hand drips blood as he stands in front of riot policemen during a demonstration in Athens, part of a days-long series of demonstrations throughout Greece on December 9, 2008.

23_jmccain2 Republican presidential candidate John McCain makes his acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008.

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Duncan Zuur of the Netherlands rides a wakeboard across flooded Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy as the recent “acqua alta” (high water) reached a depth of 1.56 meters (5 ft, 1 in.) on December 2, 2008.

25_17250877 Soldiers maintain order amongst stranded passengers outside a railway station in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, February 3, 2008. A stampede at Guangzhou railway station killed one person when frustrated passengers rushed to board trains after days of cancellations because of fierce cold and snow, police confirmed on Sunday.

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An indigenous woman holds her child while trying to resist the advance of Amazonas state policemen who were expelling the woman and some 200 other members of the Landless Movement from a privately-owned tract of land on the outskirts of Manaus, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon March 11, 2008. The landless peasants tried in vain to resist the eviction with bows and arrows against police using tear gas and trained dogs, and were evicted from the land.enc09_approach

This sequence of 12 frames was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft over a span of about 45 minutes on March 12, 2008. In that brief time, Cassini covered almost 40,000 kilometers in its approach to a flyby  encounter with Enceladus, one of the moons of Saturn. The overexposure and smearing of the images gives a hint of the raw speed involved – 14.4 km/sec (or 32,211 mph). Shortly after this sequence, at its closest, Cassini approached within 52 km (32.3 miles) of the surface of Enceladus.

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A firefighting airplane drops water on the burning Turkish ship Undadriyatik in the waters near town of Rovinj, Croatia in the northern Adriatic Sea on Feb. 6, 2008.

29_korengalA U.S. Army helicopter gunner, his helmet face painted as a skull, awaits soldiers to board his Chinook transport helicopter October 30, 2008 for transport out of the Korengal Valley of eastern Afghanistan. Taliban insurgents had attacked a nearby U.S. Army outpost, and the Americans responded with machine guns, mortars and helicopter gunships.

30_17222175Thousands of black clad Israeli Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of Arieh Levish Teitelbaum, one of the Israeli victims of the Mumbai attacks, on December 2, 2008 in Jerusalem. Wailing and chanting psalms, thousands of people bid a final farewell today to the six Jews killed in last week’s bloody Mumbai attacks and whose bodies were flown to Israel for burial.

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Pakistani men try to rescue a donkey buried during an earthquake in Ziarat, about 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Quetta, Pakistan on October 30th, 2008. Rescue workers searched through the rubble of villages destroyed by a powerful earthquake in southwestern Pakistan that killed at least 215 people.

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The Chinese Shenzhou-7 manned spaceship, the Long-March II-F rocket and the escape tower are transferred to the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu province, China on September 20, 2008. Taikonaut Zhai Zhigang performed China’s first-ever spacewalk on the successful mission.

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An Indian policeman holds a shield against stone-throwing Kashmiri Muslim protesters in Srinagar September 9, 2008. More than two dozen people including 10 policemen were injured in Kashmir on Tuesday when police clashed with hundreds of stone-throwing demonstrators in fresh protests against Indian rule in the area.

34_17250831 People drop lines in holes on a frozen river at an event to fish trout in Hwacheon, South Korea, about 20 km (12 miles) south of the demilitarised zone separating two Koreas, northeast of Seoul January 13, 2008. More than 1,000,000 people attend at the annual ice festival which lasts for three weeks in January.

35_nachtweyA patient with advanced pulmonary TB in a tuberculosis hospital in Mumbai, India receives a daily injection as well as oxygen. Photojournalist James Nachtwey brought us (through photography) a story this year of a new, dangerous type of tuberculosis called Extreme Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis, or XDR-TB. Tuberculosis is both preventable and curable, but inadequate treatment has been driving the emergence of XDR-TB, especially in developing nations. For more information about XDR-TB, please visit xdrtb.org.

36_booklite Images of books on shelves are seen projected on the walls of the Tower of David in Jerusalem’s Old City – part of a show called “Or Shalem, Jerusalem Lights the Night”, staged by a group called Skertzò on October 7, 2008. The Tower of David is a massive citadel that, over the centuries, has served as a fortress, military barracks and cannon position. These days, the Tower serves as a popular tourist site.

37_rairraceAustrian pilot Hannes Arch flies during the Red Bull Air Race World Series, with the Hungarian Parliament Building in the background, in Budapest, Hungary on August 20, 2008.

38_17250511The moon and stars light up Mount Everest, also known as Qomolangma, as seen from near Everest Base Camp in the Tibet Autonomous Region April 29, 2008.

39_17210275 U.S. President George W. Bush walks back to the Oval Office after making remarks at the White House in Washington March 13, 2008.

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A spectator raises her fist in celebration seconds after it was announced that Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008

HASSLEHOFF TO PLAY “CAPTAIN HOOK”

 

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David Hasselhoff is following in the footsteps of his former "Baywatch" co-star Pamela Anderson by signing up to appear in a traditional Christmas pantomime in London. Anderson performed as Genie of the Lamp in "Aladdin" over the 2009 festive season and she is set to return to Britain for a second stint onstage in December.

And now her former colleague Hasselhoff is following suit - he has agreed to play notorious villain Captain Hook in a revival of "Peter Pan" at the New Wimbledon Theatre, the same venue where Anderson made her pantomime debut last year.

Hasselhoff says, "Peter Pan is a show that has always been close to my heart, as my first theatre role was playing Lost Boy Nibs when I was a child. I am so delighted to be asked to join this British tradition. I know all about pantomime as some of my good friends have already appeared in previous productions."

Hasselhoff's run begins on December 10.

DEADLY SEA CREATURES

 

The deadliest (and easy to miss) critters lurk in dark silence, ready to strike with either the barest of warnings or none at all – and with absolutely fatal venom.

1. The Cone Snail: can kill you in less than 4 minutes

Say, for instance, you happen to be happily walking through the low surf merrily picking up and discarding shells, looking for just the right one to decorate your desk back at the office.

With no warning at all, however, you feel a sharp sting from one of those pretty shells — a sting that quickly flares into a crawling agony. With that quick sting, the cone snail‘s barbed spear has insidiously injected you with one of the most potent neurotoxins in existence.

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2. Poison Arrow Frog: Lethal Touch

2345324565 That frog over there, for instance: that tiny, brilliantly coloured tree frog. Doesn’t he look like some kind of Faberge ornament, there against that vermilion leaf? Wouldn’t such a natural jewel look just gorgeous in a terrarium back home?

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Pick him and you’ll be dead in a matter of minutes. One second frolicking in the undergrowth, the next spasming and foaming on the jungle floor. No stinger, no bite, no venom: just the shimmering slime covering his brilliant body.

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“They are the only animal in the world known to be able to kill a human by touch alone. They can jump as far as 2 inches.”

3. The lazy clown of the insect world.

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The adult moth is just a moth, but the hairs of the caterpillar are juicy with nasty stuff, so nasty that dozens of people die every year from just touching them. By the way, it’s not a good way to go, either: their venom is a extremely powerful anticoagulant, death happening as the blood itself breaks down. Not fun. Very not fun.

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4. Beaked Sea Snake

Another creature of nightmares that doesn’t come with a theme song is a strange import to the world aquatica. When you think snake you usually think of dry land. But if you go paddling around the Persian Gulf (or coastal islands of India) keep a wary eye out for the gently undulating wave of Enhydrina Schistosa.

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5. Stone Fish waits for you to step on it

But it’s not time to leave the sea quite yet. There are two nasty things in the blue depths you should spend many a sleepless night frightened of. For the big one you’ll have to wait a bit, for the one right below it in terrifying lethality you just have to watch your step when you’re walking along the bottom of the ocean.

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6. Box Jellyfish should really be called the “coffin” jellyfish

Chironex fleckeri: a tiny jellyfish found off the coast of Australia and southeastern Asia. Only about sixteen inches long, it has four eye-clusters with twenty-four eyes, its tentacles carry thousands of nematocysts, microscopic stingers activated not by ill-will but by a simple brush against shell, or skin. Do this and they fire, injecting anyone and anything with the most powerful neurotoxin known.

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