Dunton couple who claimed to be broke ran up £1million in fraudulent debt spent it on Bentleys

Jeremy Palmer, 53, and his wife Dawn, 50, from Dunton near Basildon in Essex managed to obtain a credit card in the name of an unwitting relative to rack up debt between 2002 and 2008.

Neil Diamond returns to roots on new album

He hasn't stopped writing songs since he first picked up a guitar in the 1950s. The singer, known for his stadium-sized anthems, released his 32nd album earlier this week. Diamond speaks to Anthony Mason about why he has to keep making music.

Police take 3 weeks to evict squatters from stroke victim’s house

Great-grandmother Megan Wilkinson's home was left empty in in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, when she went into care, and so her family decided to let it out to help pay her medical bills. 

Everton fans left shaken in Lille as police use tear gas to break up clashes with rival supporters

ASHLEY CLEMENTS IN LILLE: Riot police resorted to using tear gas against Everton fans on Thursday afternoon after a second bout of trouble in Lille's city centre, with reports of rubber bullets being fired. 

Coroner halts inquest into death of missing student – because his iPhone was STILL working despite ‘his body being in lake for three weeks’ 

The body of Matthew Jordan, a student from Middlesbrough, was found in Lake Windermere, three weeks after he went missing, but it has emerged his iPhone was still working.

Man arrested at gunpoint after he came ‘just steps’ away from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as he lay a wreath at Ottawa War Memorial 

Police arrested a man at gunpoint just steps from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday, underscoring tensions in the capital Ottawa the day after attack.

Fish brutally stabbed with Swiss Army Knife sparks outrage 

Animal rights activists in Switzerland have vowed to find 'an animal torturer' who embedded a knife into the back of a fresh water trout who was swimming in the lake 30 miles south of Bern.

Reverend Howard Curtis charged with sex offences

Reverend Howard Curtis, 71, a former senior minister at the Coulsdon Christian Fellowship, in Croydon, south London, was arrested in July last year over the alleged assaults.

Thugs who pushed a blind and deaf man onto a busy railway track and punched him in the face as he tried to climb back onto the station platform jailed 

Daniel Webster, 23, and Niall Martin, 24, attacked a a 31-year-old, who is blind and deaf, at Chelmsford Station, Essex, throwing him and his brother on to the tracks before punching them.

Traffic wardens handing out tickets to Wolverhampton city centre bus drivers

Bus drivers in Wolverhampton are being fined for stopping at bus stops. Drivers say they have to park to swap and they are being penalised, while wardens say they are there for too long.

How Russian Marina Granovskaia has risen to become Roman Abramovich’s closest adviser

Behind the scenes Chelsea FC's discreet Marina Granovskaia has long been one of the most powerful women in football. 

Netflix Will Premiere New Original Series ‘Bloodline’ Next Year

Netflix will launch a new original series in March 2015, the streaming leader announced Thursday.

Pantera’s Singer, Phil Anselmo, Teaches Comedian Dave Hill How To METAL

Listen, if you want to be the "most badass metal motherf--ker of all time," who are you gonna go to?

Comedian Dave Hill wanted to be the most metal he could possibly be, so naturally he tracked down the lead singer of one of the greatest metal bands of all time: Phil Anselmo of Pantera.

In this first episode, watch Dave seek out the guidance of Anselmo and become a pupil in the ways of the most earth-shaking, ear-piercing, head-slamming metal that exists.

And when you've finished that, check out episode two, "The Awakening," in which they eat a metal breakfast that most bands could never handle.

Maymo And Penny Are The Best Trick-Or-Treating Beagles On The Internet

Lemon beagle Maymo and sister Penny are back on the trick-or-treat trail, dazzling us with an array of costumes.

But the "tricks" they receive for all their Halloween toil and trouble include nunchucks and a photo of Richard Simmons.

Better luck next year, cutie pies.

H/T Laughing Squid

Watch the official “Avengers: Age of Ultron” trailer

Marvel unveils a heart-pounding look at the latest "Avengers" film early after the teaser footage leaked online

Palestinian kills baby at Jerusalem station in ‘terrorist attack’

A Palestinian motorist with a history of anti-Israel violence slammed his car into a crowded train station in Jerusalem, killing a three-month-old baby girl and wounding eight people in 'terror attack.'

Mark Ramprakash ex-wife ‘slashed brother’s arm with a broken glass’

Vandana Bhatt, who split from the Strictly Come Dancing winner in 2010, bit down on a tumbler and slashed her brother's arm with the broken shards at her home in Watford, St Albans Magistrates heard.

The MovieFilm Podcast: The <i>Avengers 2</i> Trailer is Here!

For this week's show, we start things out by discussing HBO new a la carte online plans, as well as the new Simpsons World app that offers every episode from that show's multi-decade history. After that, listen to my interview with up-and-coming actress Mikaela Hoover, who appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy last summer, and has a new webseries entitled Zombie Basement on the way.

From there, it's on to headlines: The hot trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron just dropped, and we unpack it, as well as the news that Robert Downey Jr. signing to appear in more Marvel films, DC's overloaded slate of superhero movies, and Johnny Depp's questionable costume choice for the upcoming Into the Woods. After that it's the main event, with the guys explaining why they liked -- but didn't love -- the new Brad Pitt starrer Fury.

Of course, there's plenty more than that, and you can listen to it all below! Be sure to go to

Joss Stone joins soldiers at Cenotaph vigil for launch of this year’s Poppy Appeal

The soul singer was among the first to take part in 'The Watch' in central London this morning and will be joined by members of the public and the British Armed Forces throughout the day.

BBC’s Michael Buerk apologises for ‘clumsy’ description of Ched Evans’ rape

The BBC veteran's comments sparked outrage, with one group saying they were 'deeply offensive' to women who had suffered sexual violence. 

CND VINYLUX Gilded Dreams for Holiday 2014

CND VINYLUX Gilded Dreams Collection via @chalkboardnailsCND's newest release is their Gilded Dreams collection, a trio of three holiday-appropriate shades that are described as "Marie Antoinette meets Cinderella." My swatches show the VINYLUX shades, a gel-lacquer hybrid system (including topcoat) that claims week-long chip free wear. The holiday release also includes matching Shellac shades, as well as Additives and new holiday Scentsations lotions.

Chiffon Twirl

Jai Falconer who beat up his own pensioner mother jailed

Jai Falconer, from Stoke-on-Trent. has been jailed for six years for the brutal attack on his pensioner mother Joyce, 69, in his childhood home.

​Why You Should Schedule Time to Let Your Mind Wander

​Why You Should Schedule Time to Let Your Mind Wander

Blocks are the worst enemy of any creative worker. German psychologist Wolfgang K

iOS 8.1, Banksy, Peyton Manning, DeMarco Murray, Colt McCoy, …

iOS 8.1 Banksy Peyton Manning DeMarco Murray Colt McCoy Saints Notre Dame Football Hannah Graham Joanne Borgella Seattle Seahawks Percy Harvin Fury Ron Klain Brett Rossi Ronda Kamihira The Book Of Life Hunter Biden Bermuda SF Giants Patriots

Google aims to revamp email with new Inbox app

Engineers at Google believe email is outdated and has not evolved to reflect our changing needs. Now Google is trying to make email more efficient with a new app called "Inbox." NewYorker.com editor Nicholas Thompson joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss how his test run went with the new program.

2014 American Music Awards performers announced

A few breakthrough newcomers will take the stage at next month's AMAs

Europeans were lactose intolerant 5,000 years AFTER adopting farming

Researchers at University College Dublin made the discovery after looked at ancient DNA extracted from the petrus bone (pictured) of 13 individuals buried at archaeological sites in the Great Hungarian Plain.

Microsoft to kill its free Xbox Music streaming service

The free service will be retired on December 1 as Microsoft decides to focus on its subscription plan alone.

The world’s most well-travelled nations revealed: Finns and Americans holiday 7.5 times a year… but Brits only take three trips

British travellers didn't even make it in to the top 10 for number of holidays taken, but Scandinavia, the US, Hong Kong and New Zealand all splash out on multiple trips each year.

You can now pay for a Hailo cab without cash even if you hailed on the street

Cab app Hailo has hit the road to take on Uber with new features after quitting the US earlier this month.

​Elizabeth Pena’s cause of death revealed

There's more information about the death of the 55-year-old "Modern Family" actress

Jimmy Carr’s Oscar Pistorius joke shocks Q Awards 2014 audience

The 42-year-old presented the Best Act In The World Today award to rock band Kasabian but not before joking about the heartbreaking death of Reeva Steenkamp. 

Company Finds Out The Hard Way It’s Illegal To Pay $1.21 An Hour In America

This takes egregiously low wages to a whole new level.

A Silicon Valley company that digitizes images said Thursday that an "administrative error" led to it paying workers flown in from India just $1.21 an hour to work 120-hour weeks installing computers in the company's headquarters.

Electronics For Imaging said it paid the workers $40,000 in back wages and overtime and a $3,500 fine after the U.S. Department of Labor investigated the payroll violation, NBC News reported.

In a statement, the company said it didn't realize it was illegal to pay workers temporarily in the United States the same wages they earn in their home countries. The $1.21 was equivalent to what the employees made in Indian rupees.

“We unintentionally overlooked laws that require even foreign employees to be paid based on local U.S. standards,” the company said in a statement.

The company blamed an “administrative error” and said it took steps to ensure it would not occur again.

David Lindsay, a spokesman for the company, told The Huffington Post the labor violation occurred last year, and that the back wages, overtime and fine had already been paid.

Electronics For Imaging earned a total net income of $109.11 million last year, up from $83.27 million in 2012. The stock price has climbed steadily over the last five years:

electronics in imaging

A Labor Department spokeswoman did not return a call requesting comment.

It’s iPad launch week, but the iPhone still dominates

The new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 are overshadowed by continued demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

US airstrikes have killed 464 ISIS fighters and 57 others in Syria, report claims

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a total of 553 people have been killed in bombing raids since September 23 - 32 of them civilians, including six children and five women.

Peek Inside ‘Into The Woods’ With Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, And More | Inside Movies | EW.com

What’s that? You wish for even more inside dish from the most anticipated movie musical of the year? Wish: granted.

Black flag of ISIS flies over Kobane streets away from Kurdish stronghold

The group's black jihadist flag could clearly still be seen inside city, raised over a multi-storey building just a few hundred feet away from the yellow, triangular flag of the Kurdish forces.

Apple eyes 25 more stores in China

CEO Tim Cook says the company plans to open 25 retail stores in China over next two years, according to an interview posted on Chinese web portal Sina.com.

Bette Midler Covers TLC’s ‘Waterfalls,’ Melts Hearts

Bette Midler's cover of "Waterfalls" is here! Debuting through The Advocate, the song is the latest release from Midler's forthcoming collection of covers, "It's the Girls."

Out Nov. 4, the album features 15 songs made famous by some of the best female voices of all time: The Supremes, the Ronettes, The Chordettes and, of course, TLC.

Twerking boob model says she was ‘bored’ when she made the video

Sara X Mills filmed a video of herself synchronizing her chest to Mozart. The model was suspected of faking the clip using clear strings, but has since revealed silicone implants are the key to her success.

Innovative Jams for the Internet Age: Crater Is the Next Band You Need to Know

Seattle, a city that's been situated at the epicenter of music history on more than one occasion, is yet again home to one of the most remarkable new acts in America -- but don't expect a grunge or indie rock revival. Crater, the brainchild of Ceci Gomez and Kessiah Gordon, uses genre as a palette rather than a boundary, existing at the confluence of a considerable swirl of traditions, somewhere between Industrial and Dance, FKA twigs and Pharmakon, Grimes and Hole.

To say that 2014 has been a banner year for Crater would ignore the fact that the band has only really existed in the public space in 2014. They've released just four singles, and already they've garnered the attention of media and musicians alike, most notably Canada's TR/ST, who brought Crater along for their North American tour this fall.

I met up with Ceci and Kessiah before their show at The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, where we talked about their history as friends and as a band, the landscape of contemporary music, and their hopes for their upcoming debut:

Jesse Damiani: How'd you guys get started?

Ceci Gomez: Kessiah and I have been friends for a really long time, we went to college together. The funny thing is we lived together in college, but we actually didn't form a band together until after school. She somehow convinced me to move to Seattle, I started working on some stuff, and then -- she was on tour with another band and she came back and she was like, "I really just want to be in band again," so I said, "Well, we should totally just do this together."

Kessiah Gordon: That's the Sparknotes version.

JD: Any anecdotes along the way?

KG: We've done a lot together over the course of the 7 years of our friendship. We drove across the country together; we've worked on a tour together--

CG: We worked at an ice cream shop together this summer.

KG: So, as far as testing the limits of our friendship, I feel like, at this point we're kind of in it for the long haul. Can't get rid of her. She's my platonic wife.

CG: It's pretty awesome.

JD: And you guys are living together now, how does that influence your creative process?

CG: Well, it makes us kind of lazy, to some extent [laughs]. I'll make music in my room and be like, "Oh, Kess, you should come listen to this and add a drum part," and she'll be like, "Uh, okay," and then she'll walk over in her sweatpants and grab the computer and lay in bed and write a drum beat over it--

KG: That's not always how it goes [laughs]. A lot of the time the music stems from us lying on each other's beds waiting patiently because computer-based music is much different than constructing songs in a physical studio space where you have a kit, guitar, and full band. The way Ceci and I have been writing is that she'll generally construct the foundation of a song on her computer and then I'll come in and add my own production ideas to it, which is strange also because in the past we've been in full-piece rock bands, and hadn't really explored computer-based music until a little bit later down the line.

JD: How do you guys feel about that transition from live instrumentation to computer-based music?

CG: We've both been writing music for a really long time, since we were teenagers. I used to play music with my guitar and just sing, and there came a point where it felt like I hit a wall, and that I need to re-orient the way I wrote music. I started learning how to use Pro Tools first, which I actually never use now, and then Logic, which I really like, and now Ableton, which is super fluid for me to write music in. Instead of writing a song as an A-B-A, you know, a formal song structure, I think of it more as a sonic landscape, so I'll write a vibe. Then there'll be a drum beat or a synth pad, and then what I do is layer hundreds of things on top of each other, and then from there, pare it down and find the structure afterwards.

KG: [to Ceci] Yeah, I think the kind of music you've been writing suits your personality a little bit more, as opposed to writing a song on the guitar and doing the A-B structure. Ceci's thought process is a little more chaotic, and beautiful in that sense. I feel like the way she constructs songs now on the computer reflects what's actually going on in her head, which is very layered and confusing. My songwriting process is a little bit more formal, I still like writing songs a certain way, and this project has been really challenging for me -- rewarding but challenging -- because I'm still finding a way to work around Ceci's way of writing songs on the computer. It's been really fun.

JD: Can you share more about what's been challenging?

KG: I'm the same way as Ceci; I always like playing really loud guitar. It's been hard because we've struggled finding practice spaces in Seattle. At first we tried writing music in our duplex...but our neighbor wasn't particularly happy about me blasting electric guitar with delay effects at late hours of the night. So that was challenging. That's how I've always written. Sometimes it's hard just having headphones on and focusing on a screen, and not being able to do much more than that; you're within this tiny world, working with sounds that are imported onto the computer. I know if we had the resources and the rehearsal space it would sound great, but right now we're figuring it out within what we have, working with what we've got.

JD: Do you find that within that process the songs you write have shifted or evolved, that the thematic content and structures become more coherent? More varied? How does Crater Song #1 compare to Crater Song #20?

CG: We feel like they're so different; they've evolved so much. We actually went through and listened to all the songs right before we left for tour, and we found that we were more drawn to the newer songs because when I first started writing them, I was doing it by myself; what I thought was going to be a solo project ended up being a project with my best friend, which is way better. I have another person to help me flesh things out. Kess is really good at finding drum loops that sound really good. She does monitors for bands so she knows the EQs, you know, and everything that needs to happen to start to sound better.

KG: My role is the more fine-tooth-comb stuff.

CG: And now when we'll write a song it's funny because I'll write a section and Kess'll be like, "That doesn't sound like a Crater song," but then I'm like, "What is a Crater song?" and then it's this whole existential crisis. I'm never gonna stop writing, and I don't want to pigeonhole ourselves either; it's so early.

KG: We just want to work with whatever comes out and then dissect and pick apart later, not restrict ourselves in any way musically.

JD: You mentioned existential crises, and that definitely comes through in the music. When you're approaching that space from a creative viewpoint, what's that landscape like?

KG: Being 25. I think that's just it; being our age, graduating from college and not knowing what you're doing, and how that manifests itself in the creative process, because life after college can be chaotic. A lot of what I'm going through is just about not choosing a traditional path post-graduation, and strictly focusing on music -- because that's all I want to be doing with my life right now -- and making the appropriate sacrifices to make sure I stay on that course.

CG: From a musical perspective, being 25, I have listened to so much music in my life, I realize now. And when I listen to music I'm like, "Would I want to make something like that?" So I'm getting all these inspirations from so many different directions and sometimes I don't know how to place them, and what ends up happening is total chaos in my brain. And things don't make sense most of the time. But then when they do it's amazing. I'll hear a song I wrote six months ago and be like, "What?" I still like it; I'm just very confused by it. It was just a feeling, and sometimes when I write a song it'll be based on a word, or a phrase, or a sample I find online, of like, a cat crying or something, and a song will evolve from that feeling.

KG: If you look on Ceci's computer, she has a folder called, "Black Hole," where she just compiles the weirdest shit. I can't even go in there. I think sometimes I'm having an existential crisis, but like -- [to Ceci] not to say that you're crazy -- everything about Ceci is beautifully messy. Her creative process, the way she looks at the world. And I, as her best friend, am still picking through it, and trying to figure out how she functions. I kind of enjoy not knowing. And every now and again I'll look through that folder and I'll freak myself out. It's just random images, loops, crazy shit.

JD: Do you think constructing this music with software on computers creates a platform where you guys can best engage?

CG: To some extent; I never really thought of it that way.

KG: Technology's supposed to be this rigid structure -- thematically when I think of technology and computers, it's supposed to be this really efficient way of working -- but then Ceci will come in and add all of her images into the folder on a computer and that will attack that idea of balance. It's interesting thinking about it that way.

JD: What are some of those creative pieces you're plucking from? Influences, inspirations, triggers, etc.

CG: Well, we listened to Bjork for six hours in the van yesterday. We both love Bjork and Radiohead. I know it might sound cliché to say we love Radiohead, but we love Radiohead. We both listen to a lot of grunge; Kess grew up in Seattle so she's a big Pearl Jam fan. Wipers, Bleeding Harvey, Slint; we love Garbage, Hole--

KG: Alanis Morissette -- even Top 40, we love Top 40. It's all mixed together.

CG: I also really love techno and avant-garde electronic. I've been listening to a lot of Holden recently, Oneohtrix Point Never, and weird synth stuff. Giorgio Moroder--

KG: Something that's been really nice about this thing is that I like to think that I listen to a lot of music, but just in starting this band with Ceci and her forcing me to listen to this other music, it's completely changed my perspective, she's exposed me to a lot more sounds and different genres.

JD: Yeah, your music seems to be a big swirl of a lot of different genres. What are your thoughts on genre and categorization; how do you think people should talk about genre, particularly in relation to your work?

CG: I mean, it's important when you're categorizing things, like in iTunes, or with hashtags (which are super important these days). A lot of people discover music on platforms like Soundcloud just by searching a hashtag, which wasn't relevant to me until I started working with other bands -- I had worked in music management previously -- and metadata is super important in a way I'd never expected. It's kind of annoying trying to say that you're a particular kind of artist because you're limiting yourself.

KG: Broad categories are fine, but genre is tricky because over the course of time and music history, it's difficult to just call one sound, like, "Rock," "Hip Hop," or "Pop;" everything's so hybrid now, and you start sub-categorizing things, and it just gets messy. I don't like the idea of limiting yourself and saying you're one particular sound because then people have this expectation that that's what it's going to be like for the rest of your career, and you might disappoint them. Radiohead's a great example of a band that's subverted and destabilized that idea; you listen to early records and it's rock, you listen to later records and it's so weird and crazy. I like the idea of challenging genre, but it's okay that it exists.

JD: It seems like the Seattle community has been really supportive of Crater. How do you see local music scenes functioning in the Internet age?

CG: Local music scenes will never cease to exist because people exist in real life. Speaking for Seattle, I think it has a super strong music scene, and having social media is helpful for getting people to those events, unfortunately; I don't know when things are happening a lot of the time if I don't get a Facebook invite for something, which is kind of sad, but...

KG: What's interesting about Seattle is a lot of the time people will be able to figure out what events are happening based on the posters that are plastered everywhere in Central Capitol Hill, and you don't get that in New York City because it's illegal to do that. So, from a regional standpoint, Seattle is special because it still has this element of non-digital distribution of information.

JD: So, you're in the process of putting together the debut album. How's that going?

CG: We have a lot of songs, but we're still a baby band; we've only released four songs so far. We still have a long ways to go before we're done with it, and we'd like to go back into a real studio to re-check guitars and vocals. We like the aspect that parts of it sound like it was made in the bedroom, but we also have a bigger vision for the record, and want to it sound really epic as well.

KG: We also want to find the right home for that record. Right now we're doing everything for the most part pretty independently -- we did release three of our singles through a subsidiary of another label -- but, as of now, we're just focusing on playing, touring, and perfecting our live set. We want to be a really great live band, and that comes before putting out this record.

After Ottawa Shootings, Shep Smith Urges Public Not To ‘Give In’ To Panic

Fox News' Shepard Smith delivered a monologue about Wednesday's shootings in Ottawa, urging people not to "give in" to panic when these types of attacks occur.

Smith first spoke of the inevitability of these types of attacks, saying:

"Our authorities warn us, at some point, somebody -- some lone wolf, somebody who’s mad at somebody, somebody who’s following some radical, ridiculous ideology -- will walk into a shopping mall or into a train station or something that is not tightly secured and start firing away."

The Fox host then urged viewers not to "freak out" when these events occur, emphasizing that to give in to hysteria would detract from being a "free people."

"And on that day, at that time, we as a collective being must not give in," Smith said. "On that day, we don’t have to change everything about our lives, we don’t have to add things that make us not a free people ... if we want to have a free nation, there’s give and there’s bend. If you see something, say something, but beyond that don’t freak out when it happens. Easier said than done, isn’t it?"

For Smith's full monologue, watch the segment above.

H/T Mediaite

North Korea becomes first to close its borders because of Ebola

All foreign tourists will be banned from entering North Korea from tomorrow in an attempt to stop the Ebola virus from reaching the country.

Daughter of Christian woman on death row in Pakistan reveals her hell at hands of religious fanatics 

Asia Bibi has been sentenced to hang in Pakistan after she was accused of making disparaging remarks about the prophet Mohammed during an argument.

Alice Gross family release new photographs as they say goodbye at funeral today

Mourners lined the streets of west London as the funeral cortege for the murdered 14-year-old passed by the clock tower near her home in Hanwell where flowers have been laid in her memory.

Get a ‘Lord of the Rings’ game bundle for $9.99

One does not simply buy four games and two DLC packs for a mere 10 dollars. Or does one? (Hint: one does.)

The Best Worst Product Reviews on Amazon

The Best Worst Product Reviews on Amazon

Last week, we asked you to hunt down some of the most absurd, least helpful, and (consequently) absolutely wonderful product reviews that Amazon has to offer. And we are proud to say that you, dear readers, delivered in droves.


The Brain is a Monster [Comic]


I hate it when my brain does that…

[Source: The Awkward Yeti]

Urijah Faber Says He Doesn’t Feel Slighted By Being On Free Preliminary Card, Says He Requested It

In a recent press conference in Rio de Janeiro ahead of UFC 179, Urijah Faber also addressed his upcoming match against Francisco Rivera that is slated to be on the preliminary card at UFC 181 and how he doesn’t feel offended by where he was placed on the card.

“I think people also don’t understand how the Pay-Per-View works,” Faber said. “Everyone thinks it is a big deal to be on the PPV… it’s only a big deal to be on the PPV if you’re getting paid extra to be on the Pay-Per-View. For me, it makes more sense to be where everyone gets to watch you for free and so I asked specifically the last fight to be in the main card on the free card because it got over a million views and that’s why I asked specifically to be on there. Undercard is one thing. It doesn’t make anymore money for me to be on a Pay-Per-View unless I am getting a piece of that Pay-Per-View. For me, the free TV card is the best.”

These 6 Creepy, Abandoned Islands Are Definitely NOT Suitable For Your Vacation

Don’t let Hawaii or Tahiti fool you: islands are scary. For every tropical paradise, there’s some Shutter Island or Island of Dr. Thoreau -- from which there is no escape but a long (shark infested?) swim.

But fiction can’t compete with the world’s real island nightmares. We partnered with the History Channel’s “The Curse of Oak Island,” where six treasure hunters have lost their lives, to bring you tales of island mystery, madness and murder. Catch “The Curse of Oak Island” season premiere on Nov. 4 at 9/8c.

These Creepy, Abandoned Islands Are Definitely Not Suitable For Your Honeymoonby HuffingtonPost.

Why is the Sun Yellow and the Sky Blue? [Science Video]

Nope, the sky is NOT really blue, and this interesting video from MinutePhysics will explain you exactly why.


Supernatural Spoilers: Crowley Through Identity Crisis After Split With Dean, Charlie Set To Return

Lots of Supernatural info today…

Now that Crowley and Dean’s friendship appears to be over, it appears the King of Hell will be the one who will suffer the residual effect.

“The journey’s a little different than last year,” Mark Sheppard told TVLine.com. “Last year, the human element was the problem. I still think there’s a residual issue there. [Now] Crowley’s re-evaluating his position as King of Hell and his friendship with Dean. But I know there’s a lot of affection there between the two of them, whether Dean agrees to it or not.”

In addition, Felicia Day is ready to return to the series. The show’s executive producer, Robert Singer said that the Charlie that we used to know is gone.

“[It will be] a Charlie we haven’t seen before,” Singer said.

The actress herself admitted that her character “…comes back from Oz, and her experiences there have changed her.”

Android Wear Gains GPS, Music Storage, and a Sony Smartwatch

Android Wear Gains GPS, Music Storage, and a Sony Smartwatch

In its first big update to Android Wear, Google is giving its wearables OS independence.

The post Android Wear Gains GPS, Music Storage, and a Sony Smartwatch appeared first on WIRED.

Charlie Preps You for Events by Briefing You on Who You’ll Meet

Charlie Preps You for Events by Briefing You on Who You'll Meet

Web: Whether you're meeting with a company bigwig or attending a conference full of strangers, it helps to know a little about the people you're going to interact with. Charlie hooks into your calendar and makes sure you're primed for every meeting with detailed information on the people attending.


Ike Barinholtz Weighs In On The ‘Mindy Project’ Anal Sex Episode

It was the booty call heard 'round the world. On the October 7 episode of "The Mindy Project" ("I Slipped"), Danny tried to get some action from his girlfriend Mindy’s back section, marking network comedy’s first attempt to talk about anal sex.

Couple allowed to jointly adopt girl despite separating and living apart

The couple, who were married for several years before splitting, have been allowed to adopt the young girl after the High Court in London heard how she already viewed them both as her 'parents'.

Prince Charles pays tribute to ‘marvellous’ Lynda Bellingham after 2million people tune in to her final Loose Women

The Prince of Wales said he was 'greatly saddened' by her death from cancer this week, praising her 'tireless' work for other people, including campaigning for older people to find jobs.

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo reality show’s future in doubt after Mama June starts ‘dating’ convicted child sex offender who ‘molested her relative’ 

Mama June is dating Mark McDaniel (pictured), who was recently released from prison after serving 10 years for aggravated child molestation and is a registered sex offender in the state of Georgia.

Alvin Stardust dead aged 72 weeks before first album in 30 years

Alvin Stardust's death comes just weeks before he was meant to release his first studio album in 30 years.

Tina O’Brien announces plans to reprise role as Sarah-Louise on Coronation Street

Just days after announcing the the birth of her baby boy, she's also sharing some exciting news with Coronation Street fans.

Pregnant female form captured in series of photographs by Sandi Ford

The celebratory pictures show off the curves and glowing skin of confident ladies up to 36 weeks pregnant who have all been photographed naked.

Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent to stand down over profits fall

Chairman Sir Richard Broadbent quit this morning after the most disastrous six months in the supermarket's 95-year history.

Coleen Rooney shows off her curves in bright green bikini as she enjoys yet another beach day in Barbados

It is clear that spending her days on idyllic beaches isn’t going to bore Coleen Rooney anytime soon as she was pictured enjoying a day out in the sun with her son, Klay.

10 Ways to Improve Health Based on the Latest Non-Invasive Neurotechnologies

Last month I had the fortune to join over 1,900 pioneers from 90 countries at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Tianjin, China, to discuss how innovation can improve the state of the world.

Throughout hundreds of panels, workshops, private meetings and social gatherings, we examined how to deal with climate change, how to invest in public infrastructure, how to better regulate financial services, and dozens of other pressing topics. In addressing these issues, everyone -- independent of nationality or discipline - brought to the table our most precious asset: the amazing Human Brain.

During stimulating and captivating sessions we explored the new frontiers in neuroscience. A prominent focus was around how emerging neurotechnologies, such as those enabled by the White House BRAIN Initiative, will help detect and record brain activity in unprecedented detail and, therefore, revolutionize our knowledge of the brain and the mind.

In parallel, high-ranking government officials and health experts convened to brainstorm about how to "maximize healthy life years." The conversation revolved around physical health and promoting positive lifestyles, but was largely silent on the subjects of cognitive or emotional health. The brain, that key asset everyone needs to learn, problem-solve and make good-decisions, and the associated cognitive neurosciences where so much progress has occurred over the last two decades, are still largely absent from the health agenda.

What if existing brain research and non-invasive neurotechnologies can be applied to improve public health and well-being? How can we begin building better bridges between existing science and technologies and the real-world health challenges we're facing?

Good news is that a transformation is already underway, albeit under the radar. As William Gibson eloquently said, "The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed." Indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions world­wide are expected to spend over $1.3 bil­lion in 2014 in web-based, mobile and biometrics-based solu­tions to assess and enhance brain func­tion. Growth is poised to con­tinue, fueled by emerg­ing mobile and non-invasive neu­rotech­nolo­gies, and by con­sumer and patient demands for self-driven, proac­tive brain care. For exam­ple, 83% of sur­veyed early-adopters agree that "adults of all ages should take charge of their own brain fit­ness, with­out wait­ing for their doc­tors to tell them to" and "would per­son­ally take a brief assess­ment every year as an annual men­tal check-up."

These are 10 priorities to consider, if we want to improve health & well-being based on the latest neuroscience and non-invasive neurotechnology:
Transform the mental health framework, from a constellation of diagnoses such as anxiety, depression, ADHD...to the identification and strengthening of the specific brain circuits ("cells that fire together wire together") that may be deficient. This is what the Research Domain Criteria framework, put forth by the National Institute of Mental Health, is starting to do.
Bring meditative practices to the mainstream, via school-based and corporate programs, and leveraging relatively-inexpensive biometric systems
Coopt pervasive activities, such as playing videogames...but in a way that ensures they have a beneficial effect, such as with cognitive training games specifically designed to prolong cognitive vitality as we age
Offer web-based psychotherapies as first-line interventions for depression and anxiety (and probably insomnia), as recommended by the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
Monitor the negative cognitive and emotional side-effects from a variety of medical interventions, to ensure unintentional effects from the cure are not more afflictive than the treated person's original condition. Given that the US Food and Drug Administration just cleared an innovative mobile brain health assessment, what prevents wider use of baseline assessments and active monitoring of cognition as an individual begins a particular treatment program or medication?
Combine pharmacological interventions (bottom-up) with cognitive training (top-down) such as the CogniFit - Bayer partnership for patients with Multiple Sclerosis
Update regulatory frameworks to facilitate safe adoption of consumer-facing neurotechnologies. Start-up Thync just raised $13 million to market transcranial stimulation in 2015, helping users "alter their state of mind." That's not a medical claim per se...but does the technology need to be regulated as a medical device?
Invest more research dollars to fine-tune brain stimulation methods, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, to enable truly personalized medicine.
Adopt big data research models, such as the newly-announced UCSF Brain Health Registry, to leapfrog the existing small clinical trial model and move us closer towards delivering personalized, integrated brain care.
And, last but certainly not least, promote physical exercise and bilingual education in our schools, and reduce drop-out rates. Improving and enriching our schools is perhaps the most pow­er­ful social intervention (and the original non-invasive neurotechnology) to build­ lifelong brain reserve and delay problems brought by cognitive aging and dementia.

If we want every citizen to adopt more positive lifestyles, especially as we face longer and more demanding lives, it is imperative that we better empower and equip ourselves with the right cognitive and emotional resources and tools. Initiatives such as those above are a significant start to view and treat the human brain as an asset to invest in across the entire human lifespan, and to truly maximize years of healthy, functional and meaningful living.

Let's strengthen existing bridges -- and build needed new ones -- to improve our collective health and well-being.

-- Alvaro Fernandez, named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum , is the Producer of the 2014 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (October 28-30th, 2014), designed to discuss these priorities, and many more.

Kim Jong Un allegedly executed six officials in North Korea

The officials – including the commanding officer of North Korea’s air force and the minister of posts and telecommunications - have not been present at a series of important events in recent months.

Staffordshire Police pays £7.5k to worker whose headset was too loud

Staffordshire Police paid out a total of £134,000 to 27 regular officers and PCSOs between 2009 and the end of last year, a total blasted by retired policeman Ray Egan, 75, as 'embarrassing'.

Great Wine for Under $20, From Charles Smith

If you're looking for a good bottle of wine to bring to a friend's party, but don't want to break the bank, wine expert Charles Smith suggests shopping for wines made in Washington, which are inexpensive but also high quality. If the host of your party prefers white wine, a bottle of "Kung-Fu Girl" Riesling will only set you back $12. For a great value red wine, bring along a bottle of "The Velvet Devil" Merlot.

For more tips from Charles on all things wine, view the slideshow below:

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David Beckham carries Harper’s milk bottle and treats his sons to sports gear

The 39-year-old sportsman was pictured treating his young troop to some new equipment at an extreme sports shop in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Derek Evans’ identity stolen by troll who conned people

Derek Evans, 57, from Cowbridge in south Wales, was shocked to discover he had posted news of his best friend Leighton John's death on Facebook, devastating family members.

Tulisa Contostavlos dismisses I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here rumours

The 26-year-old singer is on the verge of releasing new single Living Without You, but reports of an imminent visit to the Australian jungle have cast a long shadow over the infectious track.

Melissa Rivers ‘will sue’ clinic where mother Joan went into cardiac arrest

The late comic died on September 4 in New York City, a week after she went into cardiac and respiratory arrest in the middle of a routine throat surgery.

Mary Did Not Have a Great “Day of the Girl Child”

Mary, a ten-year-old in northern Uganda, was not aware the International Day of the Girl Child was on October 11th. At the time, she was being held by a man who raped her for three days. The man is still at large, but Mary -- not her real name -- is in hospital, facing months of medical treatment to repair her body. We can only guess how long she will be mentally scarred by her experience.

Mary's ordeal reflects the low status of woman and girls in many traditional societies, and the powerlessness of children, as perceived by those who abuse them with impunity. You may not wish to read what follows, because some of it is equally unpleasant, although there is a hopeful ending. However, we owe it to millions of girls around the world to consider them for at least as long as it takes to read this blog.

The International Day of the Girl Child is on a par with the worthy treaties some world leaders sign and then fail to implement. 190 governments have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Children. Yet, each year three million girls in Africa alone are subject to female genital mutilation, also known as female genital cutting. Girls as young as six endure this in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, as well as Malaysia and Indonesia.

If the girl doesn't bleed to death from the unsterilized blade, used without anaesthetic, an infection may kill her when local custom dictates that goat manure is put on her wounds, or she is stitched together with thorns.

If the girl survives the ceremony, joining the 125 million females worldwide who have been cut, she may experience pain and infection for the rest of her life. She will certainly have a much higher risk of dying during pregnancy and child birth than an uncut girl.

According to the Orchid Project, she will be 70 percent more likely to haemorrhage after giving birth. Intercourse and even urinating may be painful throughout life. She will also be more susceptible to fistula.

Too many nations ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Children also turn a blind eye to the 15 million girls each year - some as young as 5 - forced into early marriage before their little bodies are physically ready for intercourse. Hence 70,000 girls die in labor annually. In Niger, for instance, 75 percent of females are married while they are girls; 72 percent in Chad and 71 percent in Mali.

It is no coincidence that countries where these traditions thrive score appallingly on the UN's index of human development. Girls forced into marriage have little schooling or knowledge of health or other life skills. Their ignorance perpetuates the cycle of illness and poverty that blight so many parts of the world, especially in rural areas.

These harmful practices are defended as traditions constituting cultural identity. Yet, the same leaders who denounce Westerners for questioning these dangerous traditions are also keen to adopt Western inventions like mobile phones, SUVs and online pornography when it suits them.

Thankfully, innovative groups like the Orchid Project's partner in West Africa, Tostan, make progress by working "with the grain." Many people don't realize some traditions are damaging to health. Once the health implications are explained as part of general education about health and well-being, attitudes may change.

However, the message must come from a trusted local person, rather than an exotic import. In addition, in less individualistic societies than in the West, change must involve everyone in the village through a process of consensus. Girls in one village are cut to make them marriageable to men in the next village: hence both villages must pledge to give up cutting.

At my own charity, Network for Africa, we have found that working with the grain, using trusted local messengers like male medical students, and appealing to men's self-interest, removes layers of distrust and resistance. For instance, a man may allow his wife to space her pregnancies if he is persuaded that a well-fed, healthy, educated child is more likely to provide for him in his old age than one of twelve siblings who are under-nourished, uneducated and often succumb to illness.

There are also ways to improve the lives of girls, such as providing working women with child care so older daughters are not kept home from school to care for siblings. Latrines at school and sanitary towels also make it more likely girls will attend.

When governments take seriously the U.N. conventions they sign but fail to enforce, the journey will become that much easier. Then the International Day of the Girl Child will be worth celebrating.

Bewitching Salem: The Halloween Capital has varied attractions

French PM positions himself for a challenge to President Francois Hollande

In an interview with an influential news weekly, Manuel Valls, pictured with President Hollande, accused the French left of being 'backward looking' and attached to a 'bygone' past.

Melanie Griffith displays her slim figure before her workout

She has a figure most women her age would kill for. 

What I Do When I Feel Self-Conscious

By Christine Hassler, Life Coach for GalTime.com

Ever have those moments in life where you feel awkward? Or times when you are with a group of new people or an event full of strangers and you feel totally self-conscious? I think most of us, other than you uber-extroverts, occasionally have these kind of moments. In fact, I just had one this past weekend so I wanted to share my tips for moving beyond it...

I attended an event with about 150 other innovators, entrepreneurs and really cool people. There were not many people I knew there, but I love hanging with a like-minded crowd and making new friends. I had a blast and loved spending four days laptop free, yet there was one moment when an old feeling of self-consciousness crept up on me

What happened was one day when everyone was hanging out at a lake house, most of the new friends I had made scattered off to do other activities and I found myself alone. This used to be a huge trigger for me and I would find ways to avoid the situation completely by making myself invisible (go to the bathroom), or by making myself seem otherwise engaged (get out my phone to distract myself even if I didn't have any emails or texts to read).

Because I really do not want to be invisible or distracted and I naturally skew more toward being an introvert, I have had to learn ways to overcome self-consciousness in order to fully engage in group situations. Here is my strategy that I offer to you:

Acknowledge and accept the tender feeling of insecurity. Make it OK to feel it instead of shaming yourself. Understanding that the feeling is just a result of an old or inaccurate story and gently work with your internal storyteller to create a new one.
Realize that everyone is not as concerned about you as you are. In our most self-conscious moments, we feel like everyone is looking at us and judging us. This is not true. The truth is we are the only ones obsessed with what we are doing. Everyone else is usually concerned about themselves and really are not even noticing you! When you remind yourself of this, it relieves a lot of pressure.
Take a step out of your comfort zone -- you are feeling self-conscious anyway so what do you have lose?!? Go up to a group of people and introduce yourself or position yourself in the room where you are not hiding. I went to the very center of the deck where everyone was hanging out and sat in an empty chair.
Have an open body position and center yourself. We tend to close off when feeling alone or insecure which detracts people from approaching us. Uncross your arms and legs, stand or sit in a receptive position. Breath into your center (which is about three inches below your navel) to ground your energy and get it out of your head - and smile!
Shift your focus to others. The most effective strategy to not listen to your own negative self-talk is to observe others. Enjoy some people watching and if you want to take it up a notch, be a light worker. By that I mean send loving energy like a white beam of light from your heart to people. Breathe and just radiate a loving presence to the environment around you.

I assure you if you practice these five steps that not only will you feel less self-conscious and more relaxed, you will naturally draw others toward you. In my case, after about five minutes of sitting alone in that chair on the deck focusing on gratitude, centering myself, and sending Light to the beautiful land and all the people, I had two people come and sit on either side of me (and the one on my left happened to be a cute guy -- bonus!).

We all get self-consciousness and find ourselves in situations where we wish we had a lifeline to grab onto -- those of you who refuse to go to any social situation or networking event alone know what I mean. But sometimes the best thing we can do for our growth is to put ourselves in situations that are a bit uncomfortable and approach them differently.

People want to meet you and get to know you. You belong! Stop taking yourself out and missing out just because you are a little self-conscious. Others are much kinder and welcoming than we project them to be. Open your mind and your heart.



Need more GalTime?

Help, I'm a Worrier!
Caving In to Food Cravings? Blame Your Brain!
8 Steps to Attract Positive Energy into Your Life
Using Insecurity As A Tool For Growth

Jenson Button and his fiancée Jessica Michibata frolic on Hawaiian beach holiday

Formula One driver Jenson Button and Jessica Michibata looked like a newly loved-up couple as they frolicked in the ocean while on their Hawaiian getaway.

Staffie dog Ziggy found dumped in Peterborough woodland with a crossbow bolt through his head

Two-year-old Ziggy was found in woods near Wansford in Peterborough by passers-by with the 20-inch arrow pierced through his skull, which vets believe had been there for at least two days.  

<i>Class Dismissed</i>: New Indie Documentary On Home Education Receiving Amazing Audience Response

Jeremy and dustinA new independent film, now showing in select theaters on the West Coast and making its way to the Midwest and East Coast in November, is currently screening to sold out audiences. Class Dismissed explores the fast growing movement in the U.S. toward home education and learning outside of the traditional confines of a classroom. Produced by 3StoryFilms, the movie follows a homeschooling family from LA who decide to take their two children out of school to pursue learning in a completely different way.

I recently spoke to the film's director and co-producer Jeremy Stuart. Stuart, who produced the film with Dustin Woodard, is himself a homeschooling dad. He talked about the surprising response to the film and what he hopes audiences, viewers, and critics will take away from seeing it:

How did you arrive at the decision to create a documentary about learning outside the classroom?

As my own family began our journey into the world of home education, it became clear to me from the response we got from friends and strangers alike, that many people, despite being dissatisfied with the current educational model, felt they had no choice about their children's education. They weren't aware that they had options and if they did, they had no idea how to begin. Also at that time, there were a couple of documentaries about education that were making the rounds, Waiting for Superman, and Race to Nowhere, both of which I'd seen and both of which I'd been disappointed in for their failure to present alternatives to conventional schooling.

Why was nobody talking about alternatives? Why were people so willing to just go with convention despite it being so clearly broken?

Nicole Kidman at Shanghai Fashion Week event in black maxi-dress

She was in town to attend ‘China Fashion Chic’ and Nicole Kidman ensured she stuck to the brief as she put on an oriental inspired sartorial display.

Teresa and Joe Giudice ‘feeling pressure and resentment’ as prison time approaches 

Reality appears to have finally set in for Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe.

Chuck Todd Hopes The Media Has ‘Grown Up’ On Sexist Hillary Clinton Coverage

"Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd offered the media some words of advice for covering Hillary Clinton's potential presidential run this time around: Grow up.

In an interview with Media Matters, Todd told reporter Joe Strupp that he hopes the media will finally enter the 21st century and leave the sexism behind.

"I'd like to think that there isn't going to be sexist coverage," he said. "Like, good grief, we live in the 21st -- I can't even imagine it being treated differently anymore. I really think that -- I'd like to think the media's grown up about that."

For Todd -- who replaced David Gregory as host of "Meet the Press" last month and has himself been trying to update the Sunday morning talk show -- covering a female presidential candidate with respect and fairness is of the utmost importance.

"Maybe I'm wrong," he continued. "Now, that doesn't mean it may not get used as a political tactic one way or the other, just because that's politics sometimes? Identity politics can sometimes bring out the worst in people on the left and right."

The First Flying Wing Jet Could Have Won WWII for the Nazis

The First Flying Wing Jet Could Have Won WWII for the Nazis

The B-2 Spirit blew more than a few minds when it made its public debut in 1988. But America's flying wing was not the first of such aircraft. In fact, one such plane nearly darkened the skies over Washington at the end of WWII with a nuclear present from the Fuhrer.


Apple 1 Sells At Auction For $905,000

Dave Knott writes One of the few remaining examples of Apple Inc's first pre-assembled computer, the Apple 1, sold for $905,000 at an auction in New York on Wednesday. The final price outstrips expectations, as auction house Bonhams had said it expected to sell the machine, which was working as of September, for between $300,000 and $500,000. The buyer was The Henry Ford organization, which plans to display the computer in its museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Only 63 surviving authentic Apple 1's were listed in an Apple 1 Registry as of January out of the 200 that were built. The auctioned computer is thought to be one of the first batch of 50 Apple-1 machines assembled by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in Steve Job's family garage in Los Altos, California in the summer of 1976. It is also believed to be one of only 15 that still have functioning motherboards. That's a bit more beastly than the original price.

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Swiss zoo Langenberg Wildlife Park where you can EAT the animals

The Langenberg Wildlife Park near Zurich admits it does not have sufficient space for all its wild boar and deer, so the surplus exhibits are being served up at the visitor's restaurant.

Samsung’s new 20nm DDR4 clears the way for massive 128GB DIMMs

Samsung DDR4Samsung's new DDR4 memory is debuting on 20nm technology and targeting huge density improvements. The company claims it can build 128GB modules today -- a far cry from DDR3's current maximum of just 32GB.

London Zoo’s gorilla Zaire celebrates birthday with cake made by GBBO runner-up Richard

Zaire, London Zoo's giant gorilla, marked her milestone birthday in style with a cake made specially for her by the Great British Bake Off runner-up Richard Burr. 

This Husky Is Really Spooked By A Fake Rat

Halloween is nearly upon us, and the spirit of the scare is in everyone -- especially this husky dog.

Our canine friend is remarkably spooked by this fake rat decoration, circling it warily and barking up a storm.

But hey, we can't blame the pup for wanting to protect his home from things that go bump in the night -- even if they're plastic.

H/T Tastefully Offensive

“Avengers: Age Of Ultron” – ‘Ulysses Klaw’

IMDB - Found 15 minutes ago
... is reportedly playing Marvel Comics' 'Ulysses Klaw', arch-enemy of the 'Black Panther', from director Joss Whedon's upcoming Marvel Studios...

This Dog Honking A Car Horn Is The Cutest Case Of Road Rage We’ve Ever Seen

When we saw a seemingly annoyed boxer dog honking her owner's car horn back in March, we thought she was just a rare case of a perturbed puppy.

But now that we have stumbled upon yet another pooch laying on the horn, we are certain that this is what dogs do when they have absolutely no patience.

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With Inbox, Google dares to be different

The bold, new interface to Gmail likely will confuse and alienate a lot of people. But somebody needs to give us a better way to handle email overload.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Family Guy’

As Peter Griffin would say, this is "freakin' sweet."

"Family Guy" has been on a roller-coaster ride since the late '90s. The show started off with good ratings, was then dropped from Fox's fall lineup in 2002 and later came out on DVD and blew up. The series returned to Fox in 2004 and has been going strong ever since.

"Family Guy" has had a very twisty history, but there's still a lot about Seth MacFarlane's show that fans might not know. To remedy this situation, YouTube's Alltime10s gathered a bunch of these little-known facts and put them in a video you'll go giggity for.

"Family Guy" airs Sunday at 9:00 p.m. ET on Fox.

Is It Just Me or Does Renee Zellweger Look Exactly Same?

Life is unfair; it's so hard for older actresses in Hollywood to find good roles in the Transformers movies.

Actress Renee Zellweger turned a lot of heads recently when she appeared at a public event still looking much more attractive than New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. But what got people talking is how much her physical appearance has changed. Zellweger no longer looks like Bridget Jones. And her English accent has completely disappeared.

There are essays all over the Internet chastising the cruel comments that people are making about Renee Zellweger's drastically transformed appearance. I have not personally seen or heard these cruel comments. Actually, most of the words I've read are not judgmental, but are merely making note of how much Zellweger's face has changed. Renee Zellweger is a public figure. We've seen her in movies. She looks totally different now. Of course one is going to notice. To say that someone looks different is not mean-spirited or hurtful. It's like the time Bill O'Reilly entered the No Spin Zone wearing dreadlocks. Like I'm not going to point it out?

But I don't care that Renee Zellweger changed her look. This is America. You have the freedom to do anything you want... unless it involves your uterus, your health, your chemical balance, your property, your life, or bringing toothpaste on an airplane. Rather, I'm more interested in why Zellweger opted for such a drastic change.

Of course, the only people who truly know why Renee Zellweger changed her appearance are Zellweger herself, those close to her, and TMZ. But the perception is that she is attempting to look more attractive in order to stay relevant in Hollywood. As we all know, there are three kinds of people to whom show business is not kind: mimes, Pauly Shore, and aging women.

Nevertheless, I'm offended at being lumped in with Hollywood. In her essay The Way We're Talking About Renee Zellweger's Face Needs Some Major Work, Lauren Duca writes, "We push female celebrities to get work done and then criticize then for doing so." Who is we? Me and the producers of Entourage? Leonardo DiCaprio and I? I'm not part of Hollywood; most people aren't. And I've got a message for all you actresses out there. We are not pushing you to look younger. Hollywood is. And Hollywood is a moron.

I have no idea what Hollywood is telling actresses. But it's bad advice. Yes, there are a lot of gorgeous 20-year-old actresses with a job. But Jennifer Lawrence's career is the exception. Most of the young women who look like models are playing the dull girlfriends who disappear halfway through the movie. The women with the better, juicy roles tend to look like themselves and look their own age: Melissa McCarthy, Laura Linney, Marisa Tomei, Lena Dunham, Meryl Streep, Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials.

Interestingly, when Renee Zellweger won an Academy Award, for Cold Mountain, she played an intentionally frumpy-looking farmhand from the 1860s. They had to make her less attractive for the role. And she was already 35 years old, which in Hollywood years made her 72.

Yes, audiences like to look at attractive women. But outside of Hollywood, we think that women in their thirties and their forties and, yes, even their fifties and sixties are pretty hot. I would still totally sleep with Florence Henderson... and I would very politely ask, beforehand, if she would let me call her "Mrs. Brady" while we were in bed.

We're all insecure about our appearance. And we all want to look our best. (For me, that means keeping the mullet, the twirly mustache, and the forehead tattoo.) But there's a difference between looking young and looking good. You don't have to look young to look good. Someone should tell this faceless mass of crap called "Hollywood" this fact. But in the meantime, regular people -- the ones who actually pay to watch movies and TV shows, or at least watch them for free online -- have a different perception of what it means to be physically attractive. We're surprisingly not that hard to please.

Of course, realistically, it is harder to stay attractive as you get older. Sofia Vergara and Halle Berry are of a species a few notches above normal human being. But for most people, exercise and moisturizers and even Botox can only do so much... though, and I'm just offering this as a helpful hint and you can take it or leave it, I've found that Botox is fantastic for getting chewing gum out of rugs. Nature is not accommodating. Along with alcohol, the sun, and dancing cheek-to-cheek with Keith Richards, the worst things for your skin are time and gravity.

Actually, not only do most people have nothing to do with the Hollywood scene, most of the actual movies and TV shows that get made are also of a separate entity from Hollywood. I'm pretty sure that the Hollywood in "Hollywood is pressuring women into..." refers to a useless group of seventy or eighty horrible publicists, leachy agents, shallow hangers-on, and, oh, the people who run the CW. But most of our entertainment consists not of youthful beauty, but of zombies and wacky families and mindless violence and sassy little kids. And there is still a place for older people. I mean, they're not going to stop making Marvel superhero movies for quite awhile, and we haven't even been introduced to most of the Avengers' mothers yet. The Hulk's mom has to be, what, like 60?

Hollywood is not an actual place anymore, or even an accurate way to describe the show business industry. Rather, it's an angry, absurd, misguided voice of hypocritical insanity. And it's not real life. In Hollywood, they might be trying to remake The Great Gatsby starring Suri Cruise. But in real life, even the real life of the films we stream, some of the characters have to be and look forty-five. They made a movie a few years ago where everyone was in their twenties. It was called In Time and it starred Justin Timberlake. According to the Internet Movie Database, it grossed less than it cost to make. Plus, it sucked.

My advice to actresses is this...

If it makes you feel good to alter your appearance, then do it. Life is short. Do whatever it takes to feel good about yourself... I mean, unless it involves murder or kidnapping. But if you're changing the way you look because you feel pressured by Hollywood, then get the hell out of Hollywood. Hollywood is leading you and your career astray. Move to New York City. They make movies there, too.

The Education of Everything

From early childhood through higher education and beyond, there is little debate that the iPad -- still less than five years old -- is transforming how we learn.

Yet the flipped classrooms, personalized learning programs and real-time student assessment tools that the iPad and similar devices enable are really just appetizers for what we should expect over the next half decade. Technological advancements involving connected objects and wearables (the so-called Internet of Things), along with hyper-personalization and an exponential increase in the volume and sophistication of digital content will transform all walks of life.

For education in particular, expect to see digital innovations that range from shoes that teach toddlers how to tie knots, to holograms of world class surgeons who explain state-of-the-art procedures to medical students.

For better and worse, connectivity is extending beyond the screen. Here are three ways that the Education of Everything will impact us in the months and years ahead.

Smart Toys and Early Childhood Learning
We've come a long way since the days of Teddy Ruxpin and the Speak and Spell. Today's connected toys weave technology like sensors, accelerometers and transmitters within building blocks. While smart toys like Stanford University-created Dr. Wagon are often cited as devices that teach kids elementary concepts behind computer programming, there is also a set of toys accessible to babies and toddlers that serve as physical extensions to iPads, iPhones and other touch screen devices.

Boulder, Colorado-based Seamless Toy Company has a series of toys in development called ATOMS that (among other things) latch onto and manipulate the movement of Legos. So with ATOMS, kids cannot only build a toy car with these components, but also steer it around the house with an iPhone-turned remote control. Investors in Seamless Toy Company include Bono and a number of former Apple executives.

Marketed to children as young as 18 months old, Tiggly Shapes are colorful blocks that can stick to an iPad screen. The toy not only offers a series of basic math and geometry games, but also teaches kids how to balance touch screen gestures with physical objects.

Contextual Common Core Training for K-12
One of the hallmarks of the Common Core State Standards calls for students to understand the context of the math and language problems they are asked to solve. While there is no shortage of textbooks, apps and videos created to teach students particular standards, many Common Core problems are not easily explained through just words and images on a page or a screen.

For Math Standards in particular, the emergence and increased availability of 3D Printers in the classroom will enable students learning about patterning and proportional relationships to literally mold and construct objects based on their vision and mathematical design. English students trying to master complex texts and learn skills to better retain what they read, see and hear will benefit from the recording and replay ability offered by tools like Google Glass.

Many of the skills tested by the Common Core Standards are foundational and will hopefully contribute to a student's ability to understand and eventually master emerging learning technologies like 3D Printing and Google Glass. It's all connected.

Spotify-zation of College Majors and Higher Education Curricula
Touchscreen technology is already giving teachers the ability to personalize lessons to individual students and assess retention immediately and over time. As these technologies become even more sophisticated and track student learning patterns, a logical next step is to provide personalized recommendations based on academic strengths and interests.

Most of us are already familiar with the algorithms used by companies like Spotify, Netflix and Amazon to recommend songs, movies or products based on previous use and the preferences we provide. This recommendation ability also applies to choosing electives, and eventually academic majors and potential graduate studies.

And if you don't like a given choice provided, you can always swype through to the next option.

Nida Naseer found dead in river after leaving her home barefoot in December

Nida Naseer vanished from her parents' house in Newport, South Wales, last December after an argument over 'cultural differences'.

Grey’s Anatomy Spoilers: Amelia’s Private Practice Substance Abuse Problems To Follow Her To Grey Sloan Memorial

It appears that Amelia won’t be able to run from her past.

Prior to its cancellation, on Private Practice, Derek’s little sister had a massive substance-abuse issue and now that she has made the move to Seattle, it appears her colleagues will get wind of her past skeletons. This will all boil over on the November 13 episode of Grey’s Anatomy.


​Learn to Clean and Distill Dirty Water for Tough Times

Survival skills can save your life in an emergency. Prepare yourself for not having access to clean water by learning to distill dirty water.


Ryanair may launch holiday brand within the next five years

Ryanair’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said it would be a ‘logical’ move for the Dublin-based carrier to expand into holiday packages in a bid to capture a larger share of the leisure market.

‘Fat people CAN’T take responsibility for their weight – there’s too much temptation,’ says obesity doctor

Dr Sally Norton, from Bristol, says sedentary jobs, poor quality food and daily stress means few of us have the time or energy to deal with our health in the remaining hours.

Petra Nemcova prepares to fly to America 

The 35-year-old slipped on a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses as she prepared to fly to America, wearing her caramel tresses up in a ponytail in order to let her cool accessory do the talking. 
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