Zhang Ziyi sexy beach photo scandal

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

The pictures have spread like wildfire on the Chinese internet becoming the first sex photo-gate of 2009. After few hours, search (in Chinese) for the terms "Zhang Ziyi sex-photo-gate" on Baidu or Google China returned more than 100 000 results.


Actress/Singer Jessica Alba was reportedly spotted at Miami beach with her unknow boyfriend. Jessica was wearing her sexy see through two pieces bikini swimsuit. The paparazzis took some close up shots of the love birds playing beach ball in the shallow water. Jessica Alba had a nip slip when a strong wave current washed off her binkini bra top. Jessica's boyfriend came to her rescue in the water. The couple kissed and cuddled up together. Unaware of the existence of the paparazzis, after a short while of steamy kisses, Jessica and her boyfriend got extremely horny and engaged in public sex in the ocean salt water... The paparazzis quietly snaped these pictures while Jessica was having intercourse with her boyfriend in a standing position!


An autopsy has ruled out foul play in the death of Japanese porn star-turned author and TV commentator Ai Iijima, but done nothing to quell speculation about how she did die.

Found in her apartment in Tokyo's Shibuya district on Christmas Eve, it has taken the Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office more than six weeks to conclude that Iijima, 36, died of pneumonia.

But few believe that is the full story.

Iijima was an outspoken AIDS activist in a country where stars are generally unwilling to involve themselves in causes that could associate them with an issue or incite a whispering campaign. Commentators have now linked her death to the disease.

"No-one will ever be able to say she had the disease, but she never stated it clearly and that gave her authority," said Toshiko Marks, a professor of multicultural understanding at Shumei University.

Her AIDS campaigning began in 2000, around the time she released the book "Platonic Sex", which sold more than 2 million copies and been turned into a television drama and movie.

In the book she detailed being raped in her teens, having an abortion and running away from home. To survive, she worked as a hostess and drifted into the porn industry, quickly rising to be one of the best-known stars, appearing in more than 100 titles.

Iijima used that exposure - and her refreshing frankness - to move to daytime talk shows.

Iijima kept up a blog, even after her retirement from the media world in 2006. She used it to reveal her health problems and tabloids reported she was suffering from mild neurosis, cystitis and kidney complaints.

But musing on her blog kept coming back to AIDS.

In a post dated December 2nd, 2007, she wrote, "Today, someone is dying from AIDS. Every day, the number of people infected is increasing.

"My first test took a lot of courage and was very frightening until the result came back. I still remember being worried," she wrote. "For the people who are important in your life, you should take the test."

According to the Japan HIV Centre, around 15,000 Japanese have tested positive for the illness - but as many as four times that number are unaware they have the disease.

A memorial service for Iijima is scheduled for March 1, with all donations going to the Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention.


British actress Lucy Gordon found dead

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

Cause appears to be suicide; 28-year-old had role in ‘Spider-Man 3’

PARIS - British actress Lucy Gordon, who appeared in “Spider-Man 3,” was found dead in her Paris apartment after apparently committing suicide, French police said Thursday. She was 28.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death, though it appeared to be a suicide, said an official with the Paris police headquarters. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of police agency policy, gave no details.

Gordon, who would have turned 29 on Friday, appeared in a dozen films, including as reporter Jennifer Dugan in “Spider-Man 3.” She portrays British singer and actress Jane Birkin in an upcoming biopic about Serge Gainsbourg.

Gordon’s father said the death was a “complete shock.”

Speaking from the family’s home in Oxford, Richard Gordon told Britain’s Press Association that his daughter was “a natural actress all her life, since she was about 2.”

“She’s always loved being on stage and in front of the camera and she has kept all her naturalness and charm all the way through. She has been the most beautiful daughter. We are obviously devastated.”

He said she loved her latest role, in the Gainsbourg film, and thought the cast was “wonderfully creative and supportive.”

He added that his daughter spent much of her childhood and her summer vacations in France and was bilingual. She recently moved to Paris after living in New York.

Gordon’s agents did not return phone calls seeking comment Thursday.


Porn films are no longer a career-killer

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

Appearances by porn performers in mainstream movies usually fall into one of three categories: one-shots (like “Behind the Green Door” star Marilyn Chambers, who starred in David Cronenberg’s “Rabid” before returning almost exclusively to adult fare), stunt-casting (for instance, porn veteran Nina Hartley’s turn in “Boogie Nights,” a movie about the golden age of adult film) or random cameos (gay icon Steve Hammond’s wordless appearance as a personal trainer on the run from a nuclear holocaust in “Miracle Mile”).

While director Steven Soderbergh has been getting lots of publicity for his new film “The Girlfriend Experience” thanks to his casting of 21-year-old porn starlet Sasha Grey in the lead role, it’s too early to tell whether this role will mark Grey’s first of many mainstream projects or not.

What is clear, however, is that in an era when stars like Paris Hilton and Colin Farrell can emerge unscathed from the emergence of secret sex videos — to say nothing of all those next-door neighbors posting their naughty shenanigans on Web sites like XTube — working in porn no longer means that you can’t still aim for a career in mainstream movies and television.

Traci Lords, for instance, has turned up everywhere from John Waters comedies to episodes of “Gilmore Girls,” while Ron Jeremy has become a near-ubiquitous figure in film (especially schlocky straight-to-DVD fare) and TV.

And then there’s actor Dylan Vox: After a successful career in gay porn under the name “Brad Benton,” he’s managed to find work on the campy cable horror soap “The Lair” and in various independent feature films.

“I think people get hung up on where you came from as opposed to where you’re going,” notes Vox, 30, about his unusual entrée into show business. “Elisabeth Hasselbeck was on ‘Survivor,’ and like it or not, she actually has something to say, and it’s been intriguing for people to watch, but they never would have hired her for ‘The View’ if she hadn’t been on ‘Survivor’ first. The industry wasn’t open to her.”

Better than waiting tables
For Vox, entering the world of adult entertainment wasn’t originally part of the Atlanta native’s game plan. But in 2001, when Vox was juggling competitive figure-skating alongside studying for an MBA, the prospect seemed much more attractive, not to mention more lucrative, than waiting tables. Falcon Studios, generally considered the MGM of gay adult moviemakers because of their big budgets and glossy production values, happened to be making a film in Colorado, where Vox was attending school and training on the ice.

In a scenario out of “42nd Street,” one of the performers dropped out, and Vox was approached in a bar by the president of the company to take his place. “And at that time, they actually paid,” recalls Vox, “because the movies were a big deal. Now there’s so much internet and all that stuff, and everybody’s a dime a dozen.”

So he said yes, and for five years, “Brad Benton” won GayVN awards (the adult film industry’s analog to the Oscars) and traveled between Colorado and L.A. to make gay porn. It was an experience that wound up giving Vox his first connections to mainstream show business: “The people behind the scenes were in the industry, they were editors and filmmakers. I remember I did one (film) and one of the sound guys worked on ‘Will & Grace,’ and this was just something he was doing while they were on hiatus, it was just a paycheck for him.”

When the time came for Vox to move to Los Angeles to try to break into more mainstream avenues of acting, he discovered that there were plenty of parallels between erotic filmmaking and the tamer kind. It was only later that he realized, looking back on his first porn shoot, “It was pretty much like any other set — you walk on, and there’s craft services, people were doing makeup and taking care of you, and a lot of sitting around. It was making a movie.” He pauses and chuckles. “With penetration.”

And the lessons he learned making titles like “Blades” (which allowed him to show off his skating prowess alongside the standard porn skill set) and “Camp Freshmen” carried over as well.

“If you’re willing to work, people like to work with you,” says Vox, who continues to pay his dues waiting tables and acting in L.A. stage productions between film and TV gigs. “(Production can be) a very lazy environment, and it’s very easy to say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to do that.’ I work really hard when I’m on set, I put in a lot of time and effort — it’s not just about showing up. People want to see that you’re professional and that you know your lines. I think a lot of it is just about being nice to people. I was successful as an adult actor not because I’m the most beautiful person on the planet but because people liked me, they liked working with me, I was excited to be there and I took every job seriously. A little bit of hard work goes a really long way in Los Angeles, no matter what you’re doing.”

Following in the footsteps of Sasha Grey
The publicity surrounding Sasha Grey’s recent venture beyond porn only confirms Vox’s belief that his past career can only help him as an actor. “Do I think it was really brave for Steven Soderbergh to hire an adult actress to play a prostitute in an indie film? No. But do I think people will go see it because he did? Yes. So from a business standpoint, it’s brilliant.”

As Vox often tells casting directors, “I have a following — it may not be a conventional following, but I have one.”

With two seasons of “The Lair” behind him and two new movies — the comedy “Homewrecker” and the psychological thriller “Pornography” (“Love the movie, hate the title,” says Vox) — hitting the festival circuit this summer, the adult film biz isn’t Vox’s favorite topic, but he acknowledges that people will always be curious about it. “If you go on IMDB, they have all my mainstream stuff and all my other films on the same page,” notes Vox. “And at first I was all, ‘Why did they do that?’ But then I later figured, ‘Well, I did it all. I can’t really say that I didn’t do it.’” He laughs, adding, “Plus, it gives me a really large body of work.”

The idea that anyone might be scandalized, in Vox’s eyes, only calls up society’s hypocrisy when it comes to issues surrounding sexuality. “Winona Ryder shoplifted, and she still gets cast,” Vox notes, going on to name various other working performers guilty of everything from bad parenting to vehicular homicide. “I’ve never done anything bad or anything illegal, so that moral high horse amuses me. I’ll never understand why people in this country are so hung up on sex, whereas drugs and violence, they’ll let it slide.”

For someone just three years out of the adult industry, Vox — who just finished shooting the creature feature “Megaconda” opposite Hollywood veteran Stella Stevens — is still just getting started as an actor, but he’s optimistic about his prospects. “I’m running the same race that everyone else in Hollywood is running, I’m just doing it with one shoe off. Everybody roots for the underdog, so hopefully audiences can root for me to succeed at this.”


KFC: Grilled chicken promotion issues worth it

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

Offering of free meal proved so popular chain had to issue rain checks

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Combine Oprah Winfrey's endorsement with a chicken giveaway and what do you get?

For KFC, the result was an avalanche of attention, some positive, some negative, for its national rollout of Kentucky Grilled Chicken. The frenzy briefly overwhelmed the chain, which promised free-meal rain checks for customers who couldn't redeem their online coupons, first posted May 2, because stores ran out of the meals or stopped honoring the offer because customer traffic threatened to get out of hand.

KFC now sees the promotional roller-coaster as a blessing."The critical thing for us was to get people to eat the chicken, whatever it took," KFC President Roger Eaton said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Overall sales are up since the chain famous for fried chicken rolled out its long-tested grilled version April 19 in hopes of luring health-conscious customers and reviving lackluster U.S. sales. The company says it's encouraged by steady sales of the new meal since the launch, indicating customers are coming back to have it again.

KFC, a subsidiary of Louisville-based Yum Brands Inc., won't reveal sales numbers since the grilled chicken rollout, but Eaton called the early results "transformational" for a brand that has struggled with its heritage of fried food in the U.S., even while expanding rapidly overseas, especially in China.

"Clearly, we're bringing in a lot of new customers," Eaton said. "We're exciting a lot of people about the brand who haven't been excited about the brand before. And that's really helping the business grow."

The chain already plans to expand its grilled chicken lineup.

When coupons for free grilled-chicken meals were posted on Oprah.com, the TV talk show's Web site, the resulting rush lasted days and snarled service in some stores — and traffic on nearby roads. And some customers were angered when they got a rain check instead of a meal. But the campaign was a "net positive" for KFC because its restaurants were packed and the buzz was palpable, said Larry Miller, a restaurant analyst with RBC Capital Markets.

"If you had a choice, you'd choose that and apologize to your consumers and make it up to them," he said.

Miller said grilled chicken could change KFC's future.

"If it has long legs, it's certainly going to help them open up another line of business," he said.

The rain checks KFC started offering after Winfrey promoted the meal giveaway will be mailed out in coming weeks and will include a free soft drink as a bonus. Before the giveaway was temporarily suspended, KFC had dished up 4 1/2 million free meals, Eaton said.

The cost "outweighed all the challenges we've had by a mile," he said.

Pete Wasilevich, a KFC franchisee since 1983 in the Midwest, said grilled chicken sales have beat his expectations, and thinks the product has staying power.

"This one far exceeds any product launch we've ever had from the standpoint of meeting a pent-up need and demand," said Wasilevich, who owns 10 restaurants in Wisconsin and Illinois and has a stake in 38 Ohio stores.

Wasilevich said grilled chicken is outselling Original Recipe fried chicken at some of his stores.

The grilled chicken is appealing to health-conscious customers like Art Maurer and his girlfriend, Rita Chippetta. The Kenosha, Wis., couple used to indulge in KFC fried chicken about twice a year.

They recently bought eight pieces of grilled chicken, then returned two days later for more.

"It's definitely about time," Maurer said of the grilled product.


Hollywood sex: What's hot or not?

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

In the movies, orgasms happen in 3 seconds and no one slips in the shower

Thank God for movie sex scenes. They’ve been turning the world on since the silent film days, like when Rudolph Valentino let his hand brush Vilma Bánky’s boob in 1926’s “Son of the Sheik.” But the trick is to never compare your own sex life with the perfectly choreographed, perfectly lit, perfectly satisfying ones served up by Hollywood. As two “experts” who’ve spent nine years writing about sex, you’d think we’d know that. And yet just the other night, Em re-rented “Sin City” with her husband and couldn’t help but notice that during the infamous lasso-dance scene, he was edge-of-his-seat rapt and white-knuckling the remote. Was he wishing she had Jessica Alba’s moves — or at least her thighs? No matter what kind of lovin’ you’re getting at home, Hollywood sex can seem like the bitchy sorority sister who’s always one-upping you.

So just for fun — and to make ourselves feel better — we enlisted the help of our friends to figure out the greatest myths propagated by cinema sex, and why the real thing can be a lot more satisfying.

Hollywood sex myth #1:
Women can orgasm in three seconds flat.
Plenty of movies perpetuate this lie, but our friend Jenna, 35, was particularly annoyed by the bathroom quickie in 2006’s “Catch & Release” (Timothy Olyphant does one of the caterers at his buddy’s wake while the widow, Jennifer Garner, hides behind the shower curtain). “He rams away at her against the sink and she comes just like that,” says Jenna. “Yeah, right!”

Where’s the slow build? Where’s the foreplay? Where’s the … clitoris? Most women can’t orgasm from penetration alone, nor can they come in mere seconds. “It did happen once for me, but I’ve been sexually active for more than 21 years,” says Kelly, 39. “In real life women just aren’t ready to have sex in two minutes — but it’s no wonder some guys are confused as to why it takes us so long.”

It’s enough to give a woman a complex: “The only way I’ve ever been able to orgasm is by pressing up against my boyfriend’s wristbone,” admits Julie, 26. “I used to feel like I was cheating my partner out of being with someone who could have a ‘proper’ orgasm. But I realized that most guys think it’s sexy to watch a woman come — no matter how she does it.”

Hollywood sex myth #2:
Inside each one of us is a pro stripper just waiting to get out.

There was a time, a decade or so back, when it was considered a risky career move for an actress to strip on camera —think of the woman who made the trend hot, Demi Moore in “Striptease.” But which young female star today hasn’t lived out the stripper fantasy? Natalie Portman in “Closer,” Elisha Cuthbert in “The Girl Next Door,” Rose McGowan in “Grindhouse,” Lindsay Lohan in “I Know Who Killed Me.” “Do you know how many Hollywood striptease scenes my boyfriend has downloaded from YouTube?” says Anna, 30. “How am I supposed to compete with that?!”

But let’s pause for a moment to consider just what it took to pull off these “spontaneous” moves. “Three hours of pole-dancing [lessons] and [I’m] bruised everywhere ... like a walking black-and-blue mark,” quipped Lindsay Lohan.

You are, of course, perfectly within your rights to never do a striptease in your life, but if you’re one of those overachieving types who just have to try, take it from three Playboy bunnies we interviewed in L.A.: (1) Nobody looks sexy taking off jeans while standing up. In fact, any kind of pants are almost impossible to strip out of. It has to be a skirt or a dress! (2) Practice with your song beforehand. (3) Wear a few layers and lots of buttons so you’re not done in five seconds. (4) Heels make you look sexy no matter what. (5) Swinging your hips while unbuttoning slooowly is the only move you really need.

Hollywood sex myth #3:
Fooling around in awkward places is so much sexier!
Out there in Hollywoodland, no one ever gets chilly in the rain (“The Notebook,”“Match Point”); no one gets uncomfortable on the piano (“Pretty Woman”) or the staircase (“A History of Violence,” the remake of “The Thomas Crown Affair”) or by the train tracks (“Notes on a Scandal”); and no one gets a urinary tract infection from getting down in the pool or hot tub without waterproof lube (“Wild Things”). Back here in real life, however, few women have the focus to coax out an orgasm when they’re miles away from a warm bed (or at least a sofa). Says Janice, 34: “One time I tried doing it with my boyfriend against a tree on the way home from a bar. Maybe I’d been watching too many movies, but I’d been feeling like our sex life was pretty staid. Well, doing it against the scratchy bark felt urgent and sexy for about three seconds, and then all I could think about was how much it hurt and whether we were going to get busted by a passing car.” If you insist on doing it in the rain or between stops on an empty train, here’s a tip: Start the foreplay at home so you’re both raring to go once you’re in position. Also, wear a skirt with no undies for easy, instant access — and quick covering up if you do get caught in the headlights.

Hollywood sex myth #4:
Everyone comes together, every time.
If you’ve seen the show “Californication,” you’ve probably noticed that David Duchovny’s drunken layabout character, who barely lifts a finger in bed, can still pull a simultaneous orgasm out of the bag with his one-night stands. Ditto McNulty with his attorney booty call on “The Wire.” Hollywood directors, it seems, would like you to believe that having simultaneous orgasms is simply a matter of timing, kind of like catching a bus. But in real life, rarely does the same thing do it for both parties. “This annoyed me on the show ‘Tell Me You Love Me,’ ” says Emily, 38. “The young couple, Hugo and Jamie, come together every single time, even when they have a quickie in the car!” That said, the sex-heavy HBO show redeemed itself in the season finale. “My boyfriend and I were watching that mutual masturbation scene between the sexless couple where they each have a hand down their own pants and are grinding up against each other,” says our friend Kat, 29. “I looked at my boyfriend and said, ‘Now that would work!’ just as he said to me, ‘Now that’s hot!’ ”

Hollywood sex myth #5:
No one ever pauses to put on a condom, even with one-night stands.
Think about it: When have you ever seen an on-screen couple discuss condoms before jumping into bed together? “Knocked Up” is the only film we can think of where the existence of condoms is even acknowledged (if not put to use — oh well!). In most movies characters have sex with no protection, sometimes barely knowing each other’s names — and it happens in everything from fluffy romances like “Love Actually” to suspense flicks like “Femme Fatale” and “The Departed” (he was in the mob, and she still didn’t use a condom!). Says Claire, 22: “If they ever showed someone like Eva Mendes suggesting protection, maybe I’d find it a little less awkward to pull it off myself.”

Hollywood sex myth #6:
Everyone looks really pretty during sex!
The warmly lit love scenes in chick flicks like “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Holiday” and on teen TV shows like “The O.C.” are particularly at fault here. But even in the famously raw sex scene from “Monster’s Ball,” Halle Berry’s hair didn’t frizz a bit, and she just happened to be wearing a nice thong. “Come on!” says Katherine, 36, a stay-at-home mom in Atlanta. “Half the time you’re lying around in sweats, and it just happens. And during? My neck gets red splotches, my legs and armpits usually need shaving, and I am sure my facial expression looks as constipated as my husband’s does.” Which is not to say that she doesn’t find this hot — in fact, what Hollywood often misses out on is that moments like these are when we can feel the most intense personal connections. Explains Katherine: “No matter how stressed we are before sex, during it he just looks like a 16-year-old boy, so excited to be getting lucky, which makes me feel like a raunchy high school prom queen, adding to the cheap thrills!” With sex like that, who cares about razor stubble?


Spread Heads for a Sickening Summer Cookout

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

Vile, gross, repulsive, crass -- choose whatever adjective you like to describe Spread Heads condiment dispensers; it'll be just the reasonyour kids go gaga for the things.

Mustard Marvin (left) and Ketchup Charlie (right) twist onto their namesake condiment bottles, ready to hwarf out the burger toppings with every squeeze. They're normally $4.99 each, but during Spread Heads' Summer Cookout Special, you can pick up the set for $7.98 at Spread Heads. Happy eating!


Her Current Gig: No-nonsense resistance fighter pilot Blair Williams in Terminator Salvation

You Know This Face Because: The take-your-breath-away-beautiful Bloodgood has cameo’d in TV shows including Burn Notice, Journeyman, Monk and CSI. She also had a spot in Win a Date With Tad Hamilton where she was billed as “gorgeous woman.” (Naturally.) Ask Robert De Niro, too, whom she wooed in an elevator in What Just Happened. The action-savvy Bloodgood also helped bring teenage boy fantasies to life playing Det. Maya Sunee in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.

Why So Fresh? Terminator Salvation, the latest installment of the perpetually massive Terminator franchise, puts Bloodgood alongside stars like Sam Worthington and the rogue prince of action heroes Christian Bale. In other words, this flick is big time, and should up Bloodgood's movie stardom, too.

In Her Own Words: On her Terminator role, Bloodgood tells 1up.com, “The thing about Blair that I really liked is that she is also an idealist. She understands that the world is not what it was, but she’s not going to lose hope, she’s not going to use humanity, and she is, in a way trying to instill a sense of that in John Connor because she believes in him in a way that he doesn’t believe in himself yet, and both the movie and the videogame is about the becoming of John Connor."

Why We Love Her: This former Laker girl is an exotic beauty of Irish, Korean and Dutch ancestry, but she doesn’t get by on vapid hot chick roles. Instead, she’s played detectives, cops, videogame characters -- plus, a Viking looker in the Pathfinder movie. Yep, that's range.

What’s Next: Bloodgood plays the lead role in the film Bedrooms, which will be released later this year.


Paris Goes on Love Escape

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

To hide from all cameras, Paris Hilton opted to relax with her new boyfriend Doug Reinhardt a little bit far from Los Angeles.

The couple jetted out from LAX On March 9th and was seen arriving at Miami on the 10th morning.

By the afternoon, the newest hollywood couple was photographed having a fun time at the beach.

Yeah miss Hilton, there ARE paparazzi’s in Hawaii too


Kelli Finglass

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

PHOTO! Here is the beautiful Kelli Finglass, Dallas Cheerleaders director, who is interviewing new cheerleaders for the team. Kelli Finglass offers insight into the positions that are a dream for any cheerleader. And the qualifications are much harder than you think.

To start, there is an audition test. The cheerleading test was recently given to ink a potential spot on the new 2009-2010 squad that includes roughly 100 questions on the NFL and the Cowboys (both team and cheerleaders).

That will reduce the potentials to 45 for the training camp, and thereafter reduced to 36, she tells the Dallas Morning News.

“We’re obviously looking for dynamic performers, but there’s so much involved in this job that has nothing to do with dance. That’s why we have to take a more wide-ranging approach in the audition.”

She herself filled the position for five years in the 1980s.


On a routine expedition, Ranger Rick Marshall(Spencer Milligan) and his kids Will and Holly (Wesley Eure and Kathy Coleman) met the greatest earthquake ever known. High on the rapids, it struck their raft and plunged them down a thousand feet below to the “Land of the Lost.” Take a journey back in time with the Marshall family through this incredible world of breathtaking wonder. Only in the “Land of the Lost” will you battle dinosaurs one day and encounter beings from other dimensions the next. The Pylons, the Pakuni, evil energy storms … all are part of the awesome television adventure created by legendary producers Sid and Marty Krofft.

Relive your favorite Saturday morning thrillsas you rediscover all 43 action-packed original episodes of Land of the Lost: The Complete Series and get $7.50 in Hollywood Movie Money(TM) to see the all-new Land of the Lost movie starring Will Ferrell in theaters June 5.

Fans can own the entire series collectible limited-edition lunchbox featuring retro artwork from the celebrated 1970s television series for the ultimate experience.


Now Grow Veggies in Your Bras, Briefs!

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

Visitors at this year's
Chelsea Flower Show were asked by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to donate their unwanted underwear for its summer Grow Your Own campaign at Hampton Court Palace.

The clean unwanted bras, briefs and boxer shorts donated would be used in display of how to grow your own fruit and vegetables in unwanted underwear.

The donated underwear will now be used, alongside stock contributed by Marks and Spencer, in a 'good life' display at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, from 7-12 July.

Georgie Webb, of the RHS, said that old undies could be used like hanging baskets where people have little space.

"Due to their conical shape, bras are ideal containers for turning into hanging baskets, and if you sew two together, you have what is best described as a 'hanging bra-sket'," the Telegraph quoted Webb as saying.

"Once filled with compost you can grow salad leaves, herbs, alpine strawberries and even tumbling cherry tomatoes in them; the bigger the bra the more you can grow.

"But the serious message behind the 'bra-skets' is that you do not need a lot of space or even a lot of money to start growing your own food - just a bit of imagination," Webb added.

The 'good life' display is part of a wider campaign by the RHS to encourage more people to grow their own fruit and vegetables.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and civic organisation, including the National Trust, have also called for more people to grow their own food in order to improve healthy eating and tackle climate change by reducing food miles.



Leggy models shared the catwalk with a porcupine, a python and a yak on Sunday at a fashion show to raise public awareness of animal welfare and Saint Petersburg's zoo.

About a dozen animals in all, some on leashes, others in the models' arms, strutted their stuff for the zoo, one of the oldest in Europe but hard-pressed for funds.

"Casting the models was not easy," Tatiana Fedorishenko, the zoo's deputy director, told AFP, referring to the human kind. "The animals in the show are tame, but the models have to be without fear, and comfortable with them."

"It was hard," confided one of the models, Natasha. "My fox was always trying to run away. I had trouble finishing my walk."

The show was the idea of fashion designers in Russia's second city, in solidarity with the 410 species and 2,000 animals at the zoo in Alexander Park that was founded in 1865.

"I'm taking part because of my compassion for animals," said designer Vladislav Aksyonov. "I am flatly opposed to the use of natural fur and I also want to help our zoo."



Two Japanese schoolgirls who have caught swine flu had attended a mock conference in New York reportedly joined by 2,300 students from around the world, officials said Thursday.

The girls, both aged 16, tested positive for the A(H1N1) virus Wednesday, becoming the first known cases in the greater Tokyo area, officials said.

They were diagnosed after returning Tuesday from a week-long visit to New York where they took part in what Japanese media described as a United Nations-style conference with 2,300 international students held May 14-16.

The World Federation of United Nations Associations on its website listed the 10th annual Model UN conference in New York for those dates, where over 2,300 students were invited to discuss a variety of international issues.

Pupils from five other Japanese schools also attended the event, but officials said none of them have been reported to be sick.

One of the infected girls lives in Hachioji, western Tokyo, and the other in Kawasaki City, just south of the capital. They attend the same school in Kawasaki.

The number of confirmed swine flu cases in Japan had reached 276 by noon Thursday, according to the health ministry. There have been no fatalities from the virus in Japan and most cases have been mild.



Watch out Vanessa Hudgens – Zac Efron thinks that Japanese girls are “the prettiest in the world”. Japanese girls “are the prettiest in the world”, says Zac Efron

Zac turned on the charm as he joined a crowd of 200 lucky competition-winners to attend a screening of the Hollywood heart-throb’s latest movie, 17 Again at the Shinjuku Piccadilly theatre, in Tokyo.

The 21-year-old actor greeted the group of girls in Japanese, saying: “Konichiwa!”
Asked if he liked the local ladies, Zac replied: “Absolutely, I’m here with the prettiest girls in the world.”

In a hilarious moment, Zac then converted the group into instant basketball fans. The High School Musical star asked the crowd whether they were fans of the NBA and basketball – to which the group went wild, screaming their agreement before they had even heard his question from the on-hand Japanese translator!

U agree ?


For the Memorial Flag Day holiday, I offer a little refresher on how to fly the flag properly. The rules are spelled out in the U.S. Flag Code, and you can learn more from the Betsy Ross home page.

On Memorial Flag Day, you're supposed to fly the flag at half-staff until noon. To do that properly, raise the flag swiftly all the way up to the top of the flag pole, then lower it slowly to the halfway point. After noon, return the flag to the top of the pole.

You may fly the flag in the rain if it is made of all-weather material.

You should not fly the flag after dark unless there is a light shining on it.

If you hang a flag horizontally from the front of your home, the stars should be at the top, left, as you view the flag from the street.

Do you fly the flag at home on Memorial Day or other days?


Sly Stone steps up for daughter

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN)
-- Stories about Sly Stone usually start with the word "reclusive."

Don't call him that anymore, because the superstar who blended funk, rock, soul and psychedelic sounds in the 1960s and '70s before disappearing from the scene in the '80s is not in hiding, his youngest daughter said.

Stone's media shyness in recent decades earned him a comparison to the late billionaire recluse Howard Hughes, but he's just been living his life and making his music out of the glare of great expectations that superstars suffer.

"It's not like he wasn't making music," said Novena Carmel, his 27-year-old daughter. "He was enjoying his life and riding motorcycles, one of his passions."

Now 66, Sly Stone is talking to interviewers again and sometimes taking the stage at Los Angeles clubs with Novena and her group, BabyStone.

"She is the force that keeps him straight," said Anthony Valadez, a disc jockey with Los Angeles radio station KCRW. "I think it's her energy and their bond that is so sacred that keeps him in line. That's what brings Sly out."

The Sly and the Family Stone founder gave a rare interview to KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic." Though it airs Monday, the interview was taped days ahead -- given Stone's 40-year reputation for not showing up for concerts and interviews.

Sly Stone -- who was Sylvester Stewart before changing his name as a radio DJ -- didn't reminisce in the interview about past troubles. Interviewer Chris Douridas kept the conversation about the music.

He said he was a child, performing in his family's gospel group, The Stewart Four, when he first realized the power music has over people. It happened as he sang "On the Battlefield" during a Sam Cooke show at the Oakland Auditorium when he was 4.

"Towards the end of the song, people starting running down the aisle and I didn't know what was going on," he said. "I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know they were just happy. So, I turned around and ran, and I've been running ever since."

Stone now says he didn't know then where he was heading.

"Where I was is where I was," he said.

Stone wrote his first hit song for someone else. Bobby Freeman made "Come On and Swim" a Top 10 pop hit in summer 1964.

When he formed Sly and the Family Stone in 1966, the mix of race and gender was unusual for its time.

"It was on purpose -- that's what I intended to do," Stone said.

He recruited two white musicians -- drummer Greg Errico and saxophonist Jerry Martini. Though African-American women were mostly used as backup singers back then, Cynthia Robinson played the trumpet.

Larry Graham's revolutionary style of "slapping" his electric bass guitar strings added to the Family Stone's groundbreaking sound.

The songs appealed to white and blacks equally and regularly topped both the pop and R&B charts.

Stone's lyrics often carried dual meanings.

"Hot Fun in the Summertime" -- released in summer 1969 -- might be a tribute to the fun of summer days to one listener, while another might see satire about the summertime race riots of the late '60s.

Stone set the stage for other superstars to follow, but the band dissolved after one hot decade and success became as elusive as Stone.

Novena may understand her dad better than anyone these days. She's lured him back to the stage for several performances, which she avoids calling concerts. With those, "people expect certain things," such as wanting performers to be what they were 30 years ago, she said.

Instead, it's the "Sly Stone Variety Show," which allows her father "to do whatever he wants to do in the moment."

"It's very wild, in the sense that they have the Sly Stone trivia game onstage with diehard fans," said Anthony Valadez, who has been to several.

The show format is designed "for him to connect with people and people to connect with him," his daughter said.

Novena also knows to not plan too far ahead with her dad, so he doesn't have time to back out.

"If it's done quickly, then it works," she said. "But if he has a tour, then there's a lot of expectations that you have to meet for everybody to be happy."

"My dad would be like, 'I wanna do a show as soon as possible,'" she said. That gives her just about a week to get the show together and promote it.

P-funk architect George Clinton and actor-comedian Eddie Murphy showed up for the last one, which was a sold-out celebration of Stone's 66th birthday.

One indication that Stone has changed his no-show habit, which marred his reputation in younger days, is he actually arrives for shows early, Valadez said.

"Coming early to these gigs, you watch Sly and his affection for his daughter and it's evidence he would do anything for her," he said.


Now and Then (film)

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

Now and Then is a 1995 film directed by Lesli Linka Glatter and starring Demi Moore, Melanie Griffith, Rosie O'Donnell and Rita Wilson. It was filmed largely in Louisville, Kentucky and Statesboro, Georgia, highlighting the downtown area.


Four 12-year-old friends made a pact to be there for one another, which is why the now-adult Sam, Roberta, Teeny, and Chrissy find themselves returning to their hometown of Shelby, Indiana to reunite. Most of the film, however, is a flashback to the summer of 1970, in which the four 12-year-old girls (played by Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, Gaby Hoffmann and Ashleigh Aston Moore) have a seemingly carefree summer, full of bike-riding, midnight seances, saving up money for a treehouse, and truth-or-dare. However, this is the summer that they learned painful realizations about life and growing up—lessons which simultaneously bring the girls closer as well as grant them their independence.

Character Profiles

"Sam" Albertson

Sam (Gaby Hoffman/Demi Moore) narrates the frame story of the film. Sam believes in the paranormal and leads the seances in the graveyard. Her home life is shaken during that summer as her father leaves and her parents get a divorce (which was particularly shocking in 1970). As an adult, Sam is a popular science fiction author who has issues committing in relationships. At 12, Sam was the most invested in the mystery of "Dear Johnny," the ghost that the girls believe they have resurrected from the grave. She alone learns the truth behind his story, and hears some valuable advice that later, as an adult, helps her to come to terms with her current struggles in life.

Roberta Martin

Roberta (Christina Ricci/Rosie O'Donnell) is the only girl in her house, after mother died in a car accident when she was 4 years old. As a result, Roberta is a tomboy who has issues with femininity and tapes her breasts, plays sports, and won't hesitate to get into a fight with a boy. Roberta struggles to come to terms with death in general and the circumstances of her mother's death in particular. Roberta leads the girls in their rivalry with the Wormer brothers, but ends up sharing a first kiss with Scott Wormer (Devon Sawa). As an adult, Roberta is a doctor (an obstetrician), and "lives in sin with her boyfriend."

Chrissy DeWitt

Chrissy (Ashleigh Aston Moore/Rita Wilson) grows up under the care of an overbearing, fastidious mother who shelters her. Chrissy's naivete, particularly towards all things sexual, is often laughed at by her friends. When Chrissy asks her mother what sex is, she becomes incredibly uncomfortable and compares it to gardening, which confuses Chrissy and leads to an adulthood obsession with gardening. Chrissy is the "good girl," who chastises the other girls for cussing (both as a child and an adult). She closely keeps track of the "treehouse money," and is always the reluctant party of the others' schemes. However, she is fiercely loyal, and when Roberta pulls a stunt of faking her own death, Chrissy rushes to perform mouth-to-mouth. Upon learning that she was faking it, Chrissy punches Roberta and yells at her, "Don't ever do that to me again!" As an adult, Chrissy marries the nerdy Morton Williams and lives with him in her mother's old house in Shelby, complete with the girls' old treehouse in the backyard. It is the birth of her first child which brings Sam, Roberta, and Teeny back to their hometown.

Tina "Teeny" Tercell

Tina (Thora Birch/Melanie Griffith) lives with her rich country-club parents who are rarely around, which according to Sam's narration is "typical upbringing for actors and pathological liars." Tina loves glamor, and likes to dress up, play with makeup, and watch the movies at the drive-in screen that she can see from her roof. She demonstrates the most interest in boys and sexuality of all the girls, and flirts and expresses a desire for bigger breasts. (As an adult, she gets breast implants.) She goes through multiple marriages and becomes a wealthy actress, arriving in Shelby via limousine (which is later co-opted for transporting Chrissy to the hospital when she goes into labor).


The film was released on October 20, 1995 and was a commercial success.[citation needed] This film is based on the town of Winchester, Indiana and mentions many sights and sounds around this Midwestern city. The city council and many city leaders suppressed the inclusion of the name of Winchester in the film for fear it may have an adverse impact on the city.[citation needed] Shelby, Indiana is a real town in Indiana, but is located in the Northwest part of the state.



Kris Alingod - AHN Contributor

Washington, D.C. (AHN) - President Barack Obama joins thousands of Americans in commemorating Memorial Day on Monday by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington. The nation pays tribute to its fallen heroes as it seeks to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Obama, who spent Memorial Day weekend at Camp David with his family, will lead the traditional ceremony at Arlington at about 10:30 am. He will return to Camp David and spends a quiet day with First Lady Michelle Obama and their two daughters before returning to the White House later in the evening.

The President had honored veterans and servicemen and women in his weekly address on Saturday.

"Our fighting men and women - and the military families who love them - embody what is best in America. And we have a responsibility to serve all of them as well as they serve all of us," he said. "Yet, all too often in recent years and decades, we, as a nation, have failed to live up to that responsibility. We have failed to give them the support they need or pay them the respect they deserve. That is a betrayal of the sacred trust that America has with all who wear - and all who have worn - the proud uniform of our country."

"That is why we are building a 21st century Department of Veterans Affairs with the largest single-year funding increase in three decades... That is why, this week, I signed a bill that will eliminate some of the waste and inefficiency in our defense projects - reform that will better protect our nation, better protect our troops," he added.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has issued a statement urging constituents to "take a moment to remember the extraordinary sacrifices of so many Americans who fought for their flag and their country." He added, "We should be honored to share this land with such brave heroes."

Over the weekend, Defense Sec. Robert Gates spoke before West Point Graduates, praising them for their courage.

"You made your decision to serve knowing not only that America was at war ... but that this war would be bloody, difficult, of indefinite length and uncertain outcome," he said. "In doing so, you showed courage, commitment, and patriotism of the highest order."

Gates also spoke about leadership, saying, "Treating soldiers decently also extends to making sure that they, and their families, are properly taken care of - body, mind, and soul."

More than 100,000 are expected to attend Memorial Day activities at the 128 Veterans Affairs national cemeteries across the nation to pay tribute to the 1 million Americans who have died during wars. The programs began over the weekend and include color guards, bands and choir performances.

At the most active VA natioal cemetery, in Riverside, California, volunteers have been reading aloud since Armed Forces Day a week ago, the names of more than 150,000 veterans buried there.

The Obama administration is currently pursuing a new Afghan strategy that includes sending 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. The new troops will train Afghan Security Forces following a shift in the U.S. mission to training and increasing the size of the Afghan Army to 134,000 and the police force to 82,000 by 2011.

Iraq, meanwhile, has been taking an increasingly larger share for its security from American forces. The President announced in February that U.S. combat troops will all be pulled out from the nation by August next year but a residual force of 35,000 to 50,000 troops will remain to help in the transition until 2011.


Regional Roundup for Monday, May 25 editions

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

Mark Norris

Heavy traffic expected

for Yankees day game

The Texas Rangers and Arlington police have put additional measures into place for the heavy traffic expected for today's sellout game against the New York Yankees.

Rangers Ballpark parking lots will open early at 9 a.m., with gates opening at 10 a.m. for the 1:05 p.m. game.

The Interstate 30 HOV lane will be open westbound from Dallas beginning at 10 a.m. to ease traffic into Arlington. Beginning at 3 p.m., the HOV lane will be open eastbound into Dallas to help move postgame traffic.

Rangers officials suggest fans avoid using Green Oaks Boulevard west of State Highway 360, Randol Mill Road between Highway 360 and Great Southwest Parkway, and Collins Street between Lamar Boulevard and Copeland Road due to heavy construction.

In addition to the Rangers game, Six Flags and Hurricane Harbor will also be open Memorial Day, adding to the potential traffic headaches in the area.

Mark Norris

Drugs found in house

after man fatally shot

A 41-year-old Dallas man was fatally shot Saturday night at what police believe to be a drug house.

Michael Ray Jackson was shot in the head about 6:40 p.m. inside a home in the 2300 block of Village Way, near East Kiest Boulevard and Sunnyvale Street, according to a Dallas police report.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. A large amount of drugs was found in the house, police said.

No arrests had been made by late Sunday.

Scott Goldstein


Today in France - May 25

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday May 25, 2009
PARIS - Start of second preparatory meeting for the Major
Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (to May 26) -- the second
of a series of talks about cutting emissions proposed by U.S.
President Obama to be attended by environment ministers.
ABU DHABI, UAE - Start of official visit by President
Nicolas Sarkozy (to May 26).
PARIS - Auction of BTF treasury bills (1250 GMT).
PARIS - Seven prominent members of the Church of Scientology
and the group's two main branches in France go on trial accused
of fraud. (to June 17)
PARIS - Belongings of France's Marcel Marceau, one of the
world's most famous mimes, go on auction.


Today in History - May 25

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

Today is Monday, May 25, the 145th day of 2009. There are 220 days left in the year. This is the Memorial Day observance.

Today's Highlights in History:

On May 25, 1979, 273 people died when an American Airlines DC-10 crashed on takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare airport. Six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared while on his way to a school bus stop in lower Manhattan; his fate has never been determined.

On this date:

In 1787, the Constitutional Convention began meeting in Philadelphia after enough delegates had shown up for a quorum.

In 1810, Argentina began its revolt against Spanish rule.

In 1895, playwright Oscar Wilde was convicted of a morals charge in London; he was sentenced to two years in prison.

In 1916, the Chicago Tribune published an interview with Henry Ford in which the American industrialist was quoted as saying, "History is more or less bunk."

In 1935, Babe Ruth hit the 714th and final home run of his career, for the Boston Braves, in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 1946, Transjordan (now Jordan) became a kingdom as it proclaimed its new monarch, Abdullah I.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy, addressing Congress, called on the nation to work toward putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

In 1968, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis was dedicated by Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Interior Secretary Stewart Udall.

In 1969, the motion picture "Midnight Cowboy," starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight, opened in New York.

In 1986, an estimated 7 million Americans participated in "Hands Across America," forming a line across the country to raise money for the nation's hungry and homeless.

Ten years ago: A bipartisan congressional report said China's two-decade effort to steal U.S. weapons technology continued well into the Clinton administration; President Bill Clinton responded that his administration was already "moving aggressively to tighten security."

Five years ago: The Boston Archdiocese said it would close 65 of 357 parishes, an offshoot of the clergy sex abuse scandal. Peace activist David Dellinger, one of the "Chicago Seven" defendants, died in Montpelier, Vt., at age 88. Publisher Roger W. Straus Jr. died in New York at age 87.

One year ago: A tornado tore through Parkersburg, Iowa, killing eight people. NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander arrived to begin searching for water on the Red Planet. Seven crashes and spinouts marred the first Indianapolis 500 since the two warring open-wheel series (CART and IRL) came together under the IndyCar banner; Scott Dixon stayed ahead of the trouble to win the race. The French film "The Class" won top honors at the Cannes Film Festival. J.R. Simplot, Idaho's billionaire potato king, died in Boise at age 99.

Today's Birthdays: Lyricist Hal David is 88. Former White House news secretary Ron Nessen is 75. Country singer-songwriter Tom T. Hall is 73. Actor Sir Ian McKellen is 70. Actress Dixie Carter is 70. Country singer Jessi Colter is 66. Actress-singer Leslie Uggams is 66. Movie director and Muppeteer Frank Oz is 65. Actress Karen Valentine is 62. Rock singer Klaus Meine (The Scorpions) is 61. Actress Patti D'Arbanville is 58. Actress Connie Sellecca is 54. Rock singer-musician Paul Weller is 51. Actor-comedian Mike Myers is 46. Actor Matt Borlenghi is 42. Actor Joseph Reitman is 41. Rock musician Glen Drover is 40. Actress Anne Heche is 40. Actresses Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush ("Little House on the Prairie") are 39. Actor-comedian Jamie Kennedy is 39. Actor Justin Henry is 38. Rapper Daz Dillinger is 36. Actress Molly Sims is 36. Singer Lauryn Hill is 34. Actor Cillian Murphy is 33. Actor Ethan Suplee is 33. Rock musician Todd Whitener is 31. Actor Corbin Allred is 30. San Diego Padres pitcher Chris Young is 30. San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman is 25. Actress-singer Lauren Frost is 24.


After the attack in the Vienna temple (actually a dera of the Sach Khand group), there are news confirmations that Sant Rama Nand has passed away from his injuries, while the Dera head Niranjan Das is in stable condition.

There are also reports of violence in Punjab. IBN live reports the death of 2 people in the Doaba region and also one should note that it seems that the army has been called in to parts of Punjab.

One person was killed and four others were injured as Army jawans opened fire in Lambra village, 30 kms from Jalandhar. Another person was killed after the police opened fire on protesters at Jalandhar Cantonment railway station.

Although caste consciousness has long plagued the community, despite the clarion call from our Gurus, those that ideologically joined the movement forged a true brotherhood (Singhs) and sisterhood (Kaurs) (for anecdotes, see Fighting for Faith and Nation) that went beyond caste.

However, there were still those vestiges in rural Sikh society that downplayed the heroic role of the Sikh Dalits (or as Guru Gobind Singh once said, Rangretas). The Indian State (represented by KPS Gill) completely tried to negate the role of the wider Sikh community and label the movement as only an intra-Jat Sikh affair. The reason for this is completely understandable on the side of the Indian State. The revolutionary potential of Sikh Dalits could shake all of South Asia. The Gurus understood this and thus channeled the rebellious spirit of the downtrodden into a Gurmat-based revolution. What is truly a travesty is that the Indian State’s story of downplaying the contributions of other groups within the Sikh Qaum has largely been bought by the Sikhs themselves. Many Sikhs even view the movement as some Jat movement, thus losing its revolutionary nature and becoming nothing more than a peasant uprising.

Since the 1990s, various Deras have been successful at dividing the Sikhs amongst castes. If Dera Sach Khand is successful, the Sikhs should not point the finger at none other than themselves. True, that others may play roles and others may have interests, but if I can borrow a term from another religious group – the “original sin” lies with us. Giani Dit Singh was a shining beacon of the Singh Sabha movement. The Singh Sabha’s success and in some way that of the Sikh Revolution, in general, lied in its ability to end caste-consciousness and forge a community of true brothers and sisters. In so many ways the Singh Sabha is attacked today by many different sides, but they are blind to its truly revolutionary nature. If Sikhs take up the call of equality again, then as a community we have a future. I strongly urge for Sikhs to join their brothers and sisters at Bhagat Ravi Das Sabhas, other “caste Gurdwaras”, etc. and begin the conversations for us all to begin a new revolutionary movement in Sikhi. If this conversation can begin in the face of this tragedy, then maybe as a Qaum we can all be better.


Famous even before she gets to win 'Britain's Got Talent', Susan Boyle's performance of 'Memory' on Sunday, May 24 received a standing ovation.

When Simon Cowell stood up for on "", it was not the only one he would like to give out this year. The notoriously acid-tongue and blatant judge got up from his seat for Susan Boyle on another talent show he's judging "Britain's Got Talent" after the 47-year-old woman delivered her rendition of "Memory".

Boyle, whose first audition performance received millions of hits on YouTube, went through to the semi final round on Saturday, May 23 and amazed judges and audience once again on Sunday, May 24 with her performance of the Broadway piece. All the three judges, along with the in-studio audience gave her a standing ovation and rave applause after she finished.

Host Ant & Dec asked what she's feeling in the past few weeks with all the publicity in both U.K. and U.S., and she said "unbelievable". Further asked whether it added up pressure to the night's performance, Susan answered "What pressure? It was really good tonight, I really enjoyed it ... I'm very happy to be here and thank you all for your support."

Cowell then offered a word of apology to Susan. He said, "You know what, I just want to apologize because of the way we treated you before you sang the first time. You made me and everyone else look very stupid and I'm very happy for you, very proud for you."

After the Sunday round, Susan was declared one of the two contestants that have won a ticket to the finals. The live final will be held on Saturday, May 30.


Local running club races into 50th year

Posted by Cik Apple | Monday, May 25, 2009

The Rocky Mountain Road Runners honor stubborn loyalty with a tribute they call the Ric Robinette Resolute Road Runner Award. Robinette likes to call it the "get-a-life" award.

The recognition goes to runners who compete in every club race over a four-year period. Nobody is as resolute as Robinette, whose unbroken string of 272 races dates to October 1986.

"I have run with broken ribs, with broken arms," Robinette said after a recent 5-mile club race in Stapleton's Central Park that attracted more than 100 competitors. "It isn't always fun, and I didn't necessarily run that hard. But I was out there."

Robinette and his fellow Rocky Mountain Road Runners have run with a little extra bounce in their steps this spring preparing for Monday's 31st Bolder Boulder. The club is celebrating its 50th year, its origin predating the running boom by two decades.

"I love the club, I think it's awesome," said Tristan Mitchell, 23. "I brought my girlfriend into it, and she enjoys it. I try to get all my friends to come because there's such a wide range of abilities here."

The club was founded under the name Denver Track Club by Joe Arrazola in 1959, when adult runners were a lonesome breed. Shortly after the club's formation, it created a handicapped racing series as a scheme to attract the "average runner." The concept still is used today in the club's Trophy Series.

The club has weekly group runs in Washington Park and weekly track workouts at Heritage High School. It sponsors a popular marathon training series open to nonmembers, leading up to the fall marathon season. But it is the Trophy Series, also open to nonmembers, where the heart of the club beats.

"The neat thing about the staggered start is that everybody is finishing at the same time," said club member Dave Cunningham, 48. "You can be fast, you can be slow, there's going to be a group of people around you at the finish, spurring you to go even faster. There's always somebody ahead of you you're able to pass."

In the 1960s the club operated under both names — Denver Track Club and Rocky Mountain Road Runners — because of a rivalry between the Amateur Athletic Union and the Road Runners Club of America. It split into separate entities in 1971.

Soon the running boom arrived, fueled by Dr. Ken Cooper's 1968 book "Aerobics," Frank Shorter's Olympic marathon medals in 1972 and 1976, and Jim Fixx's "Complete Book of Running" in 1977. The Bolder Boulder was launched in 1979.

That same year the Boulder Road Runners incorporated, inspired by the two decades of success the Rocky Mountain Road Runners had already enjoyed.

"I thought a lot of their club," said Boulder Road Runners founder Rich Castro. "It was a catalyst of making me think in that direction. They were very influential in what we did."

Celebrating their 30th year, the Boulder Road Runners have different points of emphasis. They organize a summer All Comers track meet series at the University of Colorado track — biweekly in June, July and August — and stage a Labor Day 5K to benefit the CU track program.

The Boulder Road Runners regularly send large contingents to U.S. cross country championships. They also were instrumental in staging the highly successful 2007 U.S. Cross Country Championships at Flatirons Golf Course.

"We were the guys who were out there shoveling snow, clearing the track, manning the hospitality/warming tents," Castro said.

The Rocky Mountain Road Runners isn't as competitive, because the club actively caters to that "average runner," but some of them can really move. Mitchell will be in the Bolder Boulder's "A" wave Monday, having run the race last year in 36 minutes (5:47 per mile). Dave Cook, 43, ran the Boston Marathon last month in 2 hours, 57 minutes, 33 seconds. Two weeks later Cook was running the 5-mile Trophy Series race.

"The friendly competition is what I like most," Cook said. "A bunch of great guys. We train and hang out. The camaraderie is what I like."

Cunningham takes his running seriously enough to do the Wednesday night track workouts and "quite proudly" brings up the rear.

"We've got a really wide cross section of people," Cunningham said. "The core of the club is made up of folks who just enjoy running. Some are fast, some are slow. We're here because we like doing this and we like this group of people that supports running."

Cunningham's wife, Deb, is club president. Her favorite Trophy Series race is the one on a Friday night in August that precedes a pot luck barbecue.

"I tell my kids, even when you're an old person, even when you're a parent, you still need something to look forward to," said Deb Cunningham, 47. "I look forward to the races every month."

She can count on Robinette being there, keeping his streak alive and enjoying the company of the club he loves.

"We give everyone a fair chance," Robinette said. "I think that has brought a lot of people to this club and allowed them to stay."

Bolder Boulder 10K

When: Monday, regardless of weather.

Field: 53,000 expected to register. Last year, a record 54,040 registered and 48,955 finished.

Registration: Today at the expo on the courthouse lawn on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Race day from 5:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. near the start at 30th Street and Iris Avenue.

Cost: $50-$61 plus a $5 "procrastination fee" on race day.

Waves: This year's race will start in 83 waves. A qualifying time is necessary for the first 21 waves.

Start times: Pro wheelchair race, 6:55 a.m.

First citizens wave, 7 a.m.

Last citizens wave, 9:30 a.m.

Women's elite race, 11 a.m.

Men's elite race, 11:10 a.m.

Bus service: Regional service from 10 metro Denver park-n-Rides. Fares are $7 to $9.

Info: bolderboulder.com