Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for the ‘Popular Culture’ Category

Carrie Fisher to return as Leia in new Star Wars film

Posted by Anonymous on March 6, 2013

20130306-131920.jpgCarrie Fisher to return as Leia in new Star Wars films
4 hrs ago from CNET
The actress says she’ll reprise the galactic role that made her famous.

The Force seems to be growing stronger with the upcoming new Star Wars films.

Actress Carrier Fisher will return to a galaxy far, far away to play the role of Princess Leia in the next Star Wars movie.

In an interview with Palm Beach Illustrated, Fisher gave a simple “Yes” when asked to confirm whether she’ll reprise the role of Princess Leia.

So what will the princess be like in the new saga?

From Fisher’s wry point of view, Leia would be elderly and living in an intergalactic old folks’ home but still sporting the same infamous hairdo from the first film and the bikini from the third one.

“The bagel buns and the bikini, because probably she has sundowners syndrome,” Fisher said. “At sundown, she thinks that she’s 20-something. And she puts it on and gets institutionalized.”

That vision may not quite jibe with what director J.J. Abrams has in mind, so the actress added that she thinks Leia would “be just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for the big battle.”

Rumors have popped up that Harrison Ford will also return to the Star Wars universe to reprise the role of Han Solo. And what of Luke himself?

Mark Hamil said last month that George Lucas has spoken to the main cast to see if they’d want to reprise their roles. Hamil also revealed that Lucas would not recast any of the roles and would simply write out the character of any actor who declined to return.

The new Star Wars saga is due to soar into theaters in 2015. Lucasfilm owner Disney is reportedly prepping a series of standalone films to focus on individual characters along with a whole new trilogy.

Awesome. I had a crush on her back in the day.

Posted in Popular Culture, Science Fiction | Leave a Comment »

Watch the 2013 Oscars Free on the Internet

Posted by Anonymous on February 25, 2013

This wasn’t easy to find, but here’s a working stream of ABC which is broadcasting the Oscars tonight:  http://ufreetv.com/abc.html


Posted in Popular Culture | Leave a Comment »

Congressman says ‘Lincoln’ depicts Connecticut vote erroneously

Posted by Anonymous on February 7, 2013

Watching the movie “Lincoln” on Saturday, Rep. Joe Courtney was perplexed during the climactic scene.

Two of his predecessors from nearly 150 years ago, lawmakers representing the state of Connecticut in 1865, are seen voting against the constitutional amendment to end slavery.

Courtney asked the Congressional Research Service for the records, and sure enough, all four representatives from Connecticut voted yes on the 13th amendment.

But in the film, we see the fictional lawmakers Augustus Benjamin and Arthur Bentleigh of Connecticut each vote “Nay.”

“I could not believe my own eyes and ears,” Courtney said. In a letter of protest to director Steven Spielberg, he said that although he thinks overall the film is tremendous and compelling, “placing the State of Connecticut on the wrong side of the historic and divisive fight over slavery is a distortion of easily verifiable facts.”

He suggested the movie be changed before it is released on DVD on February 26th.

Historian Christian McWhirter, a researcher with the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, supported the congressman’s objection.

“It seems like such an unnecessary error,” he said. Nevertheless, he added, “it shouldn’t overshadow the fact that overall, this is a very strong and accurate portrayal of what actually happened.”

Going through the movie script vote by vote, CNN found that the important details are correct. By the narrowest of margins, after a breathless and unpredictable roll call, the amendment passes, with most Republicans in favor but many Democrats opposed.

Six of the lawmakers in the film actually existed and cast real votes, while the rest are apparently fictitious. No other vote discrepancies were found in the scene. …

via Congressman says ‘Lincoln’ depicts Connecticut vote erroneously – CNN.com.

Posted in History, Politics, Popular Culture | Leave a Comment »

Original Batmobile sold for $4.2m at US auction

Posted by Anonymous on January 21, 2013

The Batmobile used by actor Adam West in the original TV series of Batman has sold for $4.2m (£2.6m) at a US auction.

The car was bought by Rick Champagne, a logistics company owner from Phoenix, Arizona.

The 56-year-old, who was just 10 when the high-camp TV series began in 1966, said it “was a dream come true”.

The Batmobile design was based on a 1955 Lincoln Futura, a concept car built in Italy by the Ford Motor Company.

It was the first time that car had come up for public sale since it was bought in 1965 by car-customiser George Barris for a nominal fee of $1.

Barris then spent $15,000 (roughly £5,370 at the time) to transform it into the famous superhero vehicle, over a period of 15 days.


It had a V-8 engine, arguably one of the first in-car phones, and parachutes, which were deployed to help Batman turn sharp corners.

Mr Barris told reporters at the auction: “The car had to be a star on its own. And it became one.”

Since the show was cancelled in 1968, he has toured the Batmobile and was eventually housed in a private showroom in California. …

via BBC News – Original Batmobile sold for $4.2m at US auction.

Posted in Popular Culture | 3 Comments »

Dear Abby columnist dead at 94

Posted by Anonymous on January 17, 2013

Pauline Friedman Phillips who, under the name Abigail Van Buren, wrote the long-running “Dear Abby” advice column followed by millions of newspaper readers throughout the world, has died. She was 94.
Publicist Gene Willis of Universal Uclick said Phillips died Wednesday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Phillips’ column competed for decades with the advice column of Ann Landers, written by her twin sister, Esther Friedman Lederer. Their relationship was stormy in their early adult years, but later they regained the close relationship they had growing up in Sioux City, Iowa.

Phillips admitted that her advice changed over the years. When she started writing the column, she was reluctant to advocate divorce:
“I always thought that marriage should be forever,” she explained. “I found out through my readers that sometimes the best thing they can do is part. If a man or woman is a constant cheater, the situation can be intolerable. Especially if they have children. When kids see parents fighting, or even sniping at each other, I think it is terribly damaging.”

She willingly expressed views that she realized would bring protests. In a 1998 interview she remarked: “Whenever I say a kind word about gays, I hear from people, and some of them are damn mad. People throw Leviticus, Deuteronomy and other parts of the Bible to me. It doesn’t bother me. I’ve always been compassionate toward gay people.”

If the letters sounded suicidal, she took a personal approach: “I’ll call them. I say, ‘This is Abby. How are you feeling? You sounded awfully low.’ And they say, ‘You’re calling me?’ After they start talking, you can suggest that they get professional help.”

Asked about Viagra, she replied: “It’s wonderful. Men who can’t perform feel less than manly, and Viagra takes them right off the spot.”

About working mothers: “I think it’s good to have a woman work if she wants to and doesn’t leave her children unattended — if she has a reliable person to care for them. Kids still need someone to watch them until they are mature enough to make responsible decisions.”

One trend Phillips adamantly opposed: children having sex as early as 12 years old.b”Kids grow up awfully fast these days,” she said. “You should try to have a good relationship with your kids, no matter what they do.”

The woman known to the world as Ann Landers died in June 2002. Later that year, the family revealed that Phillips had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. By then Phillips’ daughter, Jeanne Phillips, who had helped her mother with the Dear Abby column for years, was its sole author.

Pauline Esther Friedman, known as Popo, was born on Independence Day 1918 in Sioux City, Iowa, 17 minutes after her identical twin, Esther Pauline (Eppie.). Their father was a well-off owner of a movie theater chain. Their mother took care of the home. Both were immigrants from Russia who had fled their native land in 1905 because of the persecution of Jews.

“My parents came with nothing. They all came with nothing,” Phillips said in a 1986 Associated Press interview. She recalled that her parents always remembered seeing the Statue of Liberty: “It’s amazing the impact the lady of the harbor had on them. They always held her dear, all their lives.”
The twins spent their growing-up years together. They dressed alike, they both played the violin, they wrote gossip columns for their high school and college newspapers. They attended Morningside College in Sioux Falls. Two days before their 21st birthday, they had a double wedding. Pauline married Morton Phillips, a businessman, Esther married Jules Lederer, a business executive and later founder of Budget Rent-a-Car. The twins’ lives diverged as they followed their husbands to different cities.

… Esther lived in Chicago, had a daughter, Margo, and in 1955 she applied for and was given the job of writing the advice column. She adopted the existing column’s name, Ann Landers.

Pauline, who had been working for philanthropies and the Democratic Party, followed her sister’s lead, though she insisted it wasn’t the reason for her decision. She arranged for an interview with an editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and presented sample columns, arguing that the paper’s lovelorn column was boring. The editors admired her breezy style, and she was hired.

Searching for a name for the column, Pauline chose Abigail from the Bible and Van Buren from the eighth American president. Within a year she signed a 10-year contract with the McNaught Syndicate, which spread her column across the country.
“I was cocky,” she admitted in 1998. “My contemporaries would come to me for advice. I got that from my mother: the ability to listen and to help other people with their problems. I also got Daddy’s sense of humor.”

Pauline applied for the advice column without notifying her sister, and that reportedly resulted in bad feelings. For a long time they did not speak to each other, but their differences were patched up. In June 2001, the twins, 83, attended the 90th birthday party in Omaha, Neb., of their sister Helen Brodkey.

The advice business extended to the second generation of the Friedmans. Phillips had announced in 2000 that her daughter would share her byline. Her sister’s daughter, Margo Howard, wrote an advice column for the online magazine Slate.

Aside from the Dear Abby column, which appeared in 1,000 newspapers as far off as Brazil and Thailand, Phillips conducted a radio version of “Dear Abby” from 1963 to 1975 and wrote best-selling books about her life and advice….

Back when we had things called “Newspaper” these columns were a window into people’s biggest problems.

Now, of course, there are apps where you can read people’s problems in real time from around the world.

Posted in History, Popular Culture | Leave a Comment »

The FBI’s secret file on Marilyn Monroe: intimate details kept

Posted by Anonymous on December 30, 2012

A classified file released by the FBI shows how the agency tracked Marilyn Monroe’s suspected ties to communism in 1956.

The agency documented an anonymous phone call to the New York Daily News that year warning that playwright Arthur Miller was a communist and Monroe had ‘drifted into the communist orbit’ after her marriage to him earlier that year.

The file is just one piece of the puzzle about what the FBI knew about the actress when she died in August 1962.

The Associated Press waging an ongoing campaign to have more of the FBI documents released by the agency, coinciding with the 50th anniversary Monroe’s death.

The redacted document reveals that on July 11, 1956, the agency got a tip that an anonymous male caller phoned the Daily News to report that the actress’s company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, was ‘filled with communists’ and that money from the company was being used to finance communist activities.

The caller said Miller’s marriage to Monroe during a Jewish ceremony less than a months earlier was a ‘coverup.’

Miller, the man said, ‘was still a member of the CP (communist party) and was their cultural front man.’

The FBI has long made portions of its documents about Monroe public, but most of them are heavily redacted. Surveillance: This FBI file documented an anonymous call to the New York Daily News. It's unknown how the agency found out about it

However, the FBI claims it has lost its files on the actress and cannot release them.

Finding out precisely when the records were moved – as the FBI says has happened – required the filing of yet another, still-pending Freedom of Information Act request.

The most recent version of the files is publicly available on the bureau’s website, The Vault, which periodically posts FBI records on celebrities, government officials, spies and criminals.

The AP appealed the FBI’s continued censorship of its Monroe files, noting the agency has not given ‘any legal or factual analysis of the foreseeable harm that might result from the release of the full records.’ …

via DailyMail

Posted in History, Politics, Popular Culture | Leave a Comment »

Justin Bieber murder plot documented by New Mexico court

Posted by Anonymous on December 13, 2012

An imprisoned man whose infatuation with Justin Bieber included a tattoo of the pop star on his leg has told investigators in New Mexico he hatched a plot to kill him.

Court documents in a New Mexico district court say Dana Martin told investigators he persuaded a man he met in prison and the man’s nephew to kill Bieber, Bieber’s bodyguard and two others not connected to the pop star.

He told investigators that Mark Staake and Tanner Ruane headed east, planning to be near a Bieber concert scheduled in New York City. They missed a turn and crossed into Canada from Vermont. Staake was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Ruane was arrested later.

The two men face multiple charges stemming for the alleged plot. …


Posted in Music, Popular Culture, Strange | Leave a Comment »

Movie Review: Life of Pi

Posted by Anonymous on November 25, 2012

A boy on a shipwreck survives in a lifeboat. His family and everyone else on the cargo ship dies. He tells two different stories of how he survived. In one of them, bananas float in the ocean and he was trapped on a boat with a tiger. The visuals are great and the story pace much better than the book. I recommend this movie.

Posted in Popular Culture, Religion, Survival | 1 Comment »

SkyFall – Trailer

Posted by Anonymous on November 6, 2012

Posted in - Video, Popular Culture | Leave a Comment »

Sir Roger Moore: James Bond actor ‘beaten up by first two wives’

Posted by Anonymous on September 12, 2012

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02336/roger-moore-wife_2336844b.jpgIn a candid television interview, the 84 year-old claimed his first wife, Doorn Van Steyn, whom he married in 1946 aged 19, repeatedly punched and scratched him and also threw a teapot at him.

The ice skater, real name was Lucy Woodard who died in 2010, also left him with scars and also punched his doctor as he treated him for a slashed hand, he said.

The 007 legend also claimed that his second wife, Dorothy Squires – whom he married shortly after divorcing Van Steyn in 1953 – was also violent and attacked him after learning he had been unfaithful.

He told Piers Morgan’s ITV1 show Life Stories that during his marriage to Squires, whom he divorced in 1968, he also claimed she hit him over the head with a guitar.

In remarks released to newspapers ahead of its screening on Friday, he told the former newspaper editor about his first wife’s altercation with the doctor: “It made a change because normally she punched me.”

When asked if she physically abused him, he said: ”She would scratch me. She threw a pot of tea at me.

“I’d been sunbathing in the garden, I came up and I’d taken off my pants and I gave her some smart Alec answer and this teapot came hurtling at me. I said, ‘right, that’s it, I’m leaving’.

”She storms off out of the room and I hear the bath running. I thought, ‘What a cow, I’m leaving her and she’s having a bath’.”

Sir Roger, the longest running Bond, added: ”So I smashed the bathroom door open and she had all my clothes in the bath and said, ‘now leave me’. I waited for them to dry. The marriage was doomed.”

Speaking about Squires, who died in 1998 aged 83, he described one particular “confrontation”.

He said: “I remember, to avoid confrontation, I used to strum the guitar and one day I was sitting on the edge of the table strumming and she was ranting on about something and I wasn’t taking any notice.

”Next thing I know, it was like slow motion, I could feel the guitar coming out of my hands and I could see it up above my head and… bash, it came down. She ruined the guitar. She had a great temper.”

But the Welsh vocalist also attacked him after learning he was having an affair with Luisa Mattioli, a young Italian actress who he would marry in 1969.

He added: “Dorothy was not happy. She threw a brick through my window. She reached through the glass and grabbed my shirt and she cut her arms doing it.

“The police came and they said, ‘Madam, you’re bleeding’ and she said, ‘It’s my heart that’s bleeding’.

He divorced Mattioli, who he has three children with, in 1996 and is now happily married to Christina Tholstrup, a 71 year-old Danish-Swedish socialite he married in 2002.

He said: ”It’s a tranquil relationship, there are no arguments.” He also praised Daniel Craig, 42, as a “brilliant” Bond.

He once described his three former wives as “lovely ladies with bad taste in men”.

via Sir Roger Moore: James Bond actor ‘beaten up by first two wives’ – Telegraph.

Posted in Popular Culture | Leave a Comment »


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