Wednesday, 23 July 2014

TOWIE hunk took to Instagram with a series of snaps from his latest holiday in Ibiza.

Tom Pearce is seriously enjoying the windswept look [Instagram]
Tom Pearce is seriously enjoying the windswept look [Instagram]

Earlier today the TOWIE hunk took to Instagram with a series of snaps from his latest holiday in Ibiza.

As if Marbella wasn't enough, James Argent's pal made sure he had extra time out from filming to enjoy a lads holiday.

And judging by these photos the Essex boy had a whale of a time – soaking up the sun on a yacht.

The TOWIE star's boys holiday turned out slightly different... [Instagram]

The TOWIE star's boys holiday turned out slightly different... [Instagram]

Tom also jumped at the chance to show off his tanned and toned six pack whilst making the most of his drama-free getaway compared to Marbella.

But what first looked like a lads holiday then seemed to involve a lot more bikinis than Grace Andrews might have hoped.

"Team Photo @ Blue Marlin Ibiza," the cheeky chap added.

Just adding to the TOWIE drama, eh Tom.

James Argent's pal seemed to be having a lonesome party on the yacht [Instagram]
James Argent's pal seemed to be having a lonesome party on the yacht [Instagram]

Six Russian oligarchs – possibly including Putin himself – are building a €19 million mansion inside the walls of one of the world’s most exclusive residential estate – Marbella’s own Zagaleta.


Six Russian oligarchs – possibly including Putin himself – are building a €19 million mansion inside the walls of one of the world’s most exclusive residential estate – Marbella’s own Zagaleta. Putin is rumoured to have visited the area a number of times over the last few years. Marbella town hall statistics revealed that there has been a significant increase in Russian expats and holidaymakers over the last year. In that time, two Russian magazines and a radio station have opened, as well as various businesses entirely geared towards the Russian enclave.

Spanish economic recovery in danger as Europe considers Russia action

Spain’s already fragile economy could be teetering on the brink as the EU decides whether to impose sanctions against Russia. A crackdown on Russian investment and assets in Europe would badly hit Spain, which has seen a large influx of Russian capital over the last few years. It comes after the UK government openly accused Russia of arming and supporting the Ukrainian rebels who shot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet last week, killing 295 people. Britain is now pushing for EU sanctions to freeze the assets of Putin’s wealthy group of ‘cronies’ – many of whom have financial connections with the Costa del Sol – unless Putin cooperates with a Flight MH17 probe. But Spain is joined by Italy, Finland and France in its reluctance to impose strong sanctions – in part because of strong economic ties with the country.

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich says reading an interview in which Noel talked about quitting drugs is what made him give up taking cocaine.

Ulrich says in the interview with the mrror that he was using cocaine up to around ten years ago but, when reading about Gallagher's own experiences with the drug, decided he wanted to stop."I loved the social elements of cocaine. I loved the danger of it," he said. "Then, about 10 years ago, I read an interview with Noel Gallagher, in which he said, 'I just stopped doing cocaine'. I thought that was really cool. It felt so fresh, so honest, so pure - I love that side of him. I've never had an addictive personality, so I woke up one day and said, 'Enough'."In fact, Ulrich says he only began taking cocaine in order to be able to drink more with his bandmates. "In the early days, I'd always get drunk way faster than the other guys," said Ulrich. "I realised that if there was a little bit of cocaine involved I could stay up longer, instead of ending up face down in the corner, passed out three hours before the party ended."

Guadalhorce valley The beautifully scenic Guadalhorce valley in Spain is an area full of stunning natural views.

Guadalhorce valley The beautifully scenic Guadalhorce valley in Spain is an area full of stunning natural views. Lying within easy reach of key Spanish cities such as Malaga, and easily accessible from the nearby Costa del Sol airport, Guadalhorce is enjoying a renaissance in popularity, as investors purchase second homes in the area. Guadalhorce valley is also located ideally closely to market towns including Coin and Alhaurin el Grande, making it an ideal option for visitors and residents who enjoy the quiet and picturesque valley life, but who sometimes like to sample the more vibrant side of Spain’s culture. Increasing interest In recent years, Marbella has become Spain’s go-to place for property investment, with the Costa del Sol resort enjoying an unprecedented rise in popularity amongst the rich and famous. Whilst considerably helping an ailing global property market, this proved to be a difficult period for the more sedate and understated side of the Spanish economy, with Guadalhorce valley amongst the areas suffering. But now, Guadalhorce is enjoying its own rise and recovery, with investors from the UK, Belgium and Holland taking interest in properties that are reasonably priced between £150,000 and £200,000. Providing a much more authentic taste of Spanish lifestyle than the more party-orientated resorts such as Marbella, Guadalhorce is becoming ever more popular.

Mayor and politician Arenas at La Sala Banus

Marbella’s illustrious Mayor, Maria Angeles Muñoz graced La Sala Banús with her presence on Saturday 19th July when the resort’s first lady enjoyed lunch on the terrace with Javier Arenas, the well-known Spanish politician, currently National Vice Secretary for territorial affairs for the Partido Popular, and formerly President of the party in Andalucía from 2004-2012. In the middle of a promotional campaign to create awareness among the population of residential tourists in Marbella about the advantages of registering at the Town Hall, the Mayor was campaigning from a large mobile office stationed opposite La Sala Banús at the entrance to the bustling Saturday market. The Town Hall are aiming to increase the number of people officially registered as resident in Marbella from 145,000 to 150,000 over the summer months and are outlining the benefits in terms of increased funding for Marbella from central government which translates to better services for the resort. At La Sala Banús, the Mayor, Mr. Arenas and a group of friends sampled an appetising array of La Sala signature dishes including Calamari, Mini Hamburgers, Duck Spring Rolls, Butterfly Shrimps and Pasta Vongole. The Mayor’s party enjoyed lunch on the terrace, one of eight available areas for dining at La Sala Banús.

Desperate Housewives star, Eva Longoria, was in Marbella, holidaying with family.

Desperate Housewives star, Eva Longoria, was in Marbella, holidaying with family. To celebrate her mother’s 70th birthday, Eva took her, Ella Eva Mireles, to a local spa. However, there was a lot more than rest and relaxation on the agenda for driven Longoria.

She organised and attended two events in the area in aid of a variety of charities. The first was on Saturday, a golf tournament benefiting Global Gift, an organisation that brings different influential people and organisations together for charitable causes. The event was held at the glamorous La Quinta club.

Then on Sunday night, Longoria attended the Global Gift gala in aid of Global Gift, the Eva Longoria Foundation and the Bertin Osborne Foundation. The event attracted many wealthy guests who paid €500 each for a seat.

The star’s foundation, helps deprived women and children in the US-Latino community by giving education and opportunities, whereas, the Bertin Osborne Foundation aids children who suffer from cerebral palsy.

Global Gift is now planning on distributing the money raised to five different organisations in Marbella, according toFox News Latino.

The sponsors took care of all the event’s expenses, so the money raised went in total to good causes.

“In other galas, in the end, you have to pay all the organisational costs and the money raised ends up going for the party,” explained Global Gift founder Maria Bravo. 

Luckily, this wasn’t the case because Iberia Airlines covered the celebrities’ journeys, the chef, Martin Berasategui, took care of the dinner and the Don Pepe Hotel supplied accommodation.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

During experiments on the axons of the Woods Hole squid (loligo pealei), we tested our cockroach leg stimulus protocol on the squid's chromatophores.


 The results were both interesting and beautiful. The video is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the caudal fin of the squid. We used a suction electrode to stimulate the fin nerve. Chromatophores are pigmeted cells that come in 3 colors: Brown, Red, and Yellow. Each chromatophore is lined with up to 16 muscles that contract to reveal their color.

Paloma T. Gonzalez-Bellido of Roger Hanlon's Lab in the Marine Resource Center of the Marine Biological Labs helped us with the preparation. You can read their latest paper at:


Monday, 20 August 2012

Hollywood director Tony Scott jumps to death from bridge

The BBC's Peter Bowes: ''This death is a great shock to Hollywood''

Hollywood director Tony Scott, famous for films including Top Gun, has died after jumping from a bridge in Los Angeles, authorities have said.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's office said Scott's death was being investigated as a suicide.

British-born Scott, brother of Alien director Ridley, shot to fame in the 1980s with a string of action films.

The 68-year-old's films included Crimson Tide, Days of Thunder and True Romance.

He also directed Enemy of the State and Beverly Hills Cop II.

"I can confirm that Tony Scott has passed away. The family asks that their privacy is respected at this time," Scott's spokesman, Simon Halls, said in a statement.

The coroner said Scott jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge, which spans San Pedro and Terminal Island in Los Angeles.

Lt Joe Bale, from the coroner's office, said the director was seen parking his car and jumping into the water at about 12:30 (19:30 GMT) on Sunday.

His body was recovered from the harbour less than three hours later. A note was found in his car and another in his office, but it is not clear what they contained.

Continue reading the main story


Director Tony Scott speaks onstage before the screening of 'Top Gun' on May 17, 2010
  • The Hunger (1983)
  • Top Gun (1986)
  • Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)
  • Days of Thunder (1990)
  • True Romance (1993)
  • Enemy of the State (1998)

"We will go where the facts take us. We have no reason to believe it was not a suicide," Lt Bale told the BBC.

He said a post-mortem had not yet been performed.

Fellow director Ron Howard said on Twitter: "No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day."

Sin City director Robert Rodriguez tweeted: "Damn. Great knowing you, buddy. Thanks for the inspiration, advice, encouragement, and the decades of great entertainment."

Duncan Jones, director of Source Code and Moon, said: "Just heard about Tony Scott news. Horrible... Tony was a truly lovely man who took me under his wing & ignited my passion to make films."

Actor Elijah Wood added on Twitter: "Awful news about Tony Scott. Rest in peace."

Stephen Fry wrote: "Deeply saddened to hear the news about Tony Scott. A fine film-maker and the most charming, modest man."

Actors James Corden and Martha Plimpton also paid tribute.

Scott, born in North Shields in north-east England, was famous for his fast-paced blockbusters, and carved out a distinctive style to his films using fast editing and digital effects.

He made a number of films with actor Denzel Washington, including Man on Fire and most recently Unstoppable. More recently, he had been producing for television - including hit legal drama The Good Wife on CBS - as well as films.

He produced brother Ridley Scott's recent sci-fi blockbuster Prometheus and was also due to work on the sequel.

At the time of his death, he was rumoured to be working with Tom Cruise on a sequel to Top Gun.

He had recently completed filming on Out of the Furnace, a drama he was producing about an ex-convict starring Christian Bale. The movie is due to come out next year.

He was married three times and had twin sons with his third wife, Donna Wilson.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

London's secret music venue and their livestream act


With an invite-only door policy and super secret location, Boiler Room is London's most exclusive music venue. But elitism isn't the premise for its clandestine nature—in fact, anyone with an Internet connection can easily join in the fun. Using a simple webcam, the crew behind Boiler Room livestreams each set for the world to see free of charge, and each month more than a million viewers tune in to see performances by artists like James Blake, The xx, Roots Manuva, Neon Indian, Juan Maclean and more.


We recently chilled out to the smooth sounds of Brooklyn's How To Dress Well before rocking out to revered musician Matthew Dear, who brought down the house with an intense 40-minute DJ set. Keep an eye out for our interview with Dear, but for now you can get a little more insight into the underground music scene's most talked about livestream show by checking out our interview with assistant musical programmer and Boiler Room host Nic Tasker.

How important is it for Boiler Room to remain secret, at least in its location?

That is quite an important aspect of it, purely because it means when you do shows you don't get a lot of groupies, pretty much everyone in the room is either a friend of ours or one of the artist's. It helps to create a more relaxed atmosphere for the artist and I think they feel less pressure. They're also just able to chill out and be themselves more rather than having people being like, "Hi can I get your autograph?" If the artists are relaxed usually you get the best music.

It seems like there is more interaction among the crowd than at a typical venue, is that intentional?

It's definitely a social place. All the people that come down, most of them we know and they're all our friends. So they come down, hang, have a drink and just chill out, basically. From our very set-up, we do it with a webcam, we're not a highly professional organization but I think that's kind of the charm of it. The main thing is people come down with the right attitude.

How much of the show is prescribed?

I guess that depends on the artist. We never say anything. Literally, whatever they want to do—we're kind of the platform for them to do whatever they want, so if Matthew Dear wants to come and play an hour of noise with no beats, he can do that. That's fine with us, and I think that's why artists like coming to play for us. We're not like a club where you have to make people dance, we don't give a shit if people dance. It's nice if they do and it makes it more fun, but some nights you just get people appreciating the music, which is equally fun.

Is there a particular kind of artist you guys look for and ask to come perform?

No, not particularly, it's just whatever we're feeling. Thristian [Boiler Room's co-founder] has the main say on musical direction, but it's a massive team effort. In London there's five of us, New York there's two, LA there's one and Berlin there's two.

Tonight you had different set-ups for each artist, do you tailor their positioning in the room to their style?

It definitely depends on the act and what kind of music they do. With live bands we found what works nicely is having them opposite each other because it's like they're in rehearsal, like they're just jamming. Which is again trying to give them that chilled out feel that they're just at home jamming and there happens to be a camera there. For some of our shows we've had over 100,000 viewers. When you think of those numbers it's quite scary, but when you're in the room and it's all friends it creates that vibe that people don't mind. You can imagine if you had all those people in front of you it would be a very different situation.

Have you ever thought of Boiler Room as an East London version of Soul Train?

It's never crossed my mind like that, but I can see why you think that. I like to think of us as the new music broadcaster, kind of the new MTV, but obviously we operate in the underground scene mainly. But I like to think that what we do is as revolutionary as what they were doing. We're always growing into something new.

What's up next for Boiler Room?

We have had visual people in doing 3D mapping, and that's something we're looking forward to progressing—doing more with the visuals. We've got the upstairs as well, we're starting to do breakfast shows with some high profile DJs, we're going to be doing that regularly. Each will have an individual format. The next step is progressing the US shows, we're alternating weekly between New York and LA, so the next step is to take Boiler Room to America

Monday, 13 August 2012

Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap presents a groundbreaking developmental road map to guide readers away from their co-dependent behaviors and toward a life of wholeness and fulfillment.

Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap presents a groundbreaking developmental road map to guide readers away from their co-dependent behaviors and toward a life of wholeness and fulfillment.UK Citizens

This is the book that offers a different perspective on codependency and is strongly recommended by Dream Warrior Recovery as part of a solution based recovery. This bestselling book, now in a revised edition, radically challenges the prevailing medical definition of co-dependency as a permanent, progressive, and incurable addiction. Rather, the authors identify it as the result of developmental traumas that interfered with the infant-parent bonding relationship during the first year of life.US Citizens

Drawing on decades of clinical experience, Barry and Janae Weinhold correlate the developmental causes of co-dependency with relationship problems later in life, such as establishing and maintaining boundaries, clinging and dependent behaviors, people pleasing, and difficulty achieving success in the world. Then they focus on healing co-dependency, providing compelling case histories and practical activities to help readers heal early trauma and transform themselves and their primary relationships.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Vintage Ads Most Disturbing Household Products


All of the following ads are real and unaltered, so don't blame us. We weren't there when they were made, and in some cases the entire insane thought process that went into creating them has been lost to history. Maybe they made perfect sense at the time?

Maybe. But it's really hard to see how even our parents and grandparents didn't get nightmares from ...

#13. Three-Legged Dingo Boots

The Message:

Here are some boots that you should buy, because famous people wear them. Three of them.

The Horror:

Wait, what?

Yes, amazingly, the fact that this ad stars a pre-murder O.J. Simpson is the second-creepiest thing about it. And you can squint and try to read the text all you want -- it makes no reference whatsoever to the fact that their spokesperson has three legs. There's no cute slogan like "Boots so comfortable, you'll wish you had another foot!" Nope. It's like some guy in the art department just said, "Eh, I don't like how you can't really see the chair, let's just add another leg to fill that space."

We know what you're thinking: "Cracked, this is obviously a subtle 'big dick' joke. 'Third leg?' Get it?" But, no, it turns out this was a whole campaign they did with various celebrities, some of whom are women:

Like, uh ... this famous lady right here.

But O.J. seems to be the most frequent star of the "Third Leg" campaign, which apparently lasted for years. Note how his afro shrinks as he gets more comfortable with his new appendage:

The picture in that third ad would have been perfect for the cover of his book.

Please don't blame us for the inevitable nightmare in which O.J. is running after you, in the dark, those three boots pounding down the pavement after you with a noise like a wounded horse.

#12. Lord West Suits Will Impress Your 7-Year-Old Date
"I like my women like I like my code names: 007."

The Message:

Women of all ages dig men in tuxedos!

The Horror:

According to the text, this dinner suit is for "sophisticated traditionalists," a euphemism we weren't previously aware of for "child molesters." Because there's no other way to interpret this picture. That's not tenderness on their faces. That's hunger. If you told us that they're a father and daughter, that would only make it creepier.

And it turns out that this is only the worst example in a whole series of ads associating little girls with selling tuxedos.

The style is best described as Godfather meets Lolita.

Can you imagine the pitch meeting that led to this campaign? Picture Don Draper from Mad Men standing before his clients, selling them on this idea:

"Class. Elegance. Making out with little girls. These are the values your company represents."

"Did ... did you say 'making out with little girls,' Don?"

"Yes," replied Don with perfect confidence.

"OK, just making sure."

Sitting at the end of the table, Peggy looks at Don and smiles. He did it again.

#11. Man in Tuxedo Carefully Considers Naked Child
"Told you it was bigger. Now pay up."

The Message:

Regular soap sinks in the bathtub, causing children to take longer in washing themselves and their fathers to get angry and spank them. Prevent child abuse by buying Ivory Soap -- it floats.

The Horror:

OK, they're clearly just fucking with us at this point. Remove the text and the message becomes clear: "In the old days, child predators used to dress way better than they do now." But let's put the pedophilia overtones aside for the moment and examine the text.

Was the elaborate scenario described under the picture (involving childhoods ruined by non-floating soap) really such a common problem in the '20s, or was this based on the painful personal experiences of whoever commissioned this ad? We're betting on the latter option. Note that the father's body language doesn't say "I'm going to spank you" -- he's clearly pondering which part of the kid's body to break first.

"Maybe the 28th trimester isn't too late for an abortion."

#10. "Are You Sure I'll Still Be a Virgin?"
"If you didn't think band camp counted, I don't see why you'd think this would."

The Message:

Don't worry, teens, you can use Tampax tampons without losing your virginity.

The Horror:

Be honest: How many of you looked at this picture and immediately recognized it as a Tampax ad? And how many looked at it and thought it depicted a teenage girl being sexually propositioned? It's not just us, is it?

This ad would have looked 90 percent less sordid if both people involved were clearly visible. Instead, the second teenager is for some reason sitting on the floor of the porch with her back to us, so we can't see how young, or scared, she is. But, of course, all of that is purely from our own depraved imagination. The real ad is simply about two teenagers debating whether or not inserting a tampon counts as sex.

#9. Escaped Convicts Love Revell Authentic Model Kits
"Is this the new plan, boss?"
"I've spent all day plotting against Superman; this is 'Lex Time'."

The Message:

Hey kids! Check out these sweet model kits!

The Horror:

There's only one possible scenario in which this picture could have come to exist: The photographers were getting ready to shoot this ad when they realized that the boy who was supposed to be holding up the models in the picture never showed up for work. Panicking, the man from the ad agency looked around the studio.

"Dmitri, can you come here for a second?" he said to the guy who fixes the lighting. "Stand here and hold this model. Yes, that's great. You'll play the boy in this ad."

"But sir," said the photographer, "Dmitri was just released from jail. In fact, he's still wearing the prison jumpsuit."

"No, no, he's perfect. Look at him. Look at that childlike innocence in his face."

"Could you open the top button maybe, show a little chest hair?"


#8. Our Competitors = Surgical Ass Torture
"Don't worry, sir, the gloves are just to establish atmosphere."

The Message:

Using cheap toilet paper can lead to medical complications.

The Horror:

... which in turn can lead to rubber-gloved hands inserting clamps in your anus. Better play it safe and go with Scott Tissues.

This attempt to traumatize customers into buying their product with threats of anal torture was part of a whole marketing campaign created during the Great Depression in which Scott Tissues' slogan went from "Wipe your butt with us" to "Wipe your butt with us, or die in a world of asshole pain."

Of course, it was all bullshit: There's no such thing as "toilet tissue illness," it was just a thing they made up to convince people to keep buying tissues at a time when they were lucky enough if they had a toilet.

#7. "Before You Scold Me, Mom ... Maybe You'd Better Light Up a Marlboro"

The Message:

Before you beat your baby for stealing your favorite hat, have a cigarette and relax yourself. Then beat the baby.

The Horror:

How many times did this months-old child have to be punched before it learned to pick up the Marlboros and offer them to mommy to calm her down? If that's not the saddest thing you've imagined all week, you're dead inside. This is actually one in a series of ads from the '50s, back when Marlboro was targeting mommies instead of rugged cowboys. Sometimes the babies actually seem to be guilting their moms into smoking more.
"You turned me into an addict when I was a fetus, now deal with it."

Oddly enough, the version of this ad aimed at fathers doesn't involve scolding, but a pompous baby in a basket defending daddy's rather feminine cigarette tastes (note the reference to "beauty tips" at the bottom).
This is the kind of debate babies have all the time.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Brad Pitt is reportedly utilising his free time to plan his wedding with Angelina Jolie.

Brad Pitt busy planning wedding

The 48-year-old has taken charge of preparations for the wedding that is expected to take place end of September. He has flown in a team of builders to renovate the home he shares with Jolie in southern France.

"Angelina isn`t so bothered about when they tie the knot, it`s Brad who is piling on the pressure," a website has quoted a source as saying.

"He wants the main house to be finished when the event takes place, even though the close friends and relatives who are invited aren`t the types to care. He wants everything to be absolutely perfect," the source added.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

yellow jacket stun gun case for iphone

yellow jacket is a case that transforms the iPhone 4 & 4S into that 650,000-volt stun gun you've always needed.

scheduled to hit the US market in fall 2012 the case is advertised as being able to 
easily stop an aggressive male attacker, and ready for use in less than two seconds. 
its designer seth froom, a former military policeman came up with the product after 
being robbed in his home at gunpoint.

what is the demand for such a hostile product you might ask? well, yellow jacket 
has managed to receive over 100,000 USD worth of backing on the crowd-funding 
website indiegogo which means that there must be quite a few people out there 
who feel the need to transform their phone into a weapon.

detail of the stun gun nodes 

the iPhone's designers could never have conceived half of the the weird and wonderful accessories 
that have been designed for use with the iPhone since its launch, but even in the name of self defense 
a stun gun seems a bit much, doesn't it?

Sunday, 15 July 2012

National Front, French Far Right, To File Complaint Against Madonna

France's far-right National Front said Sunday that it plans to sue Madonna after the singer showed a video at a Paris concert that contained an image of the party's leader with a swastika on her forehead. The video has been shown at other concerts on the singer's tour, and the party has expressed its outrage before, warning that it would take action if the video were shown in France. On Saturday night, Madonna played it at the Stade de France. National Front spokesman Alain Vizier said Sunday that the party would file a complaint in French court next week for "insults." Party leader Marine Le Pen is briefly pictured in the video during a montage in which famous faces – or parts of faces – morph one into the next. Soon after Le Pen's face flashes up, Madonna's face follows with Hitler's mustache. Le Pen, who inherited control of the party from her father, Jean-Marie, has tried to shed the National Front's image as racist and anti-Semitic, especially during her recent failed bid for president. But she has maintained a hard line on immigrants, saying France has too many and criticizing many Muslims, in particular, for insufficiently assimilating into French culture. Meanwhile, anti-racism group SOS Racisme expressed its support for Madonna on Sunday, commending her for her "resolutely anti-racist and feminist discourse."

JASON KIDD ARRESTED for DWI After Single-Car Accident

0715_Jason-Kidd_gettyNBA star Jason Kidd was arrested for DWI this morning in New York ... Southampton Police tell TMZ ... after Kidd allegedly crashed his car into a telephone pole. 

Kidd was the lone passenger in the accident, which police say happened around 1:56 AM. Police at the scene described Kidd as "being intoxicated."

He was taken to a local hospital to treat minor injuries. After being released from the hospital, he was transported to the local police station for processing.

Cops say the all-star point guard was then arraigned on a misdemeanor DWI charge in Southampton Town Justice Court and later released on his own recognizance.

Kidd won an NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 ... but signed a three-year, $9.5 million deal with the Knicks on July 5.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Seemingly at peace with himself now, Sir Elton John is lucky he's still standing after a past marked by drug addiction, debauchery and recklessness during the early days of AIDS.

 	Elton John performs at ‘The Million Dollar Piano’ in Las Vegas last September.


Elton John performs at ‘The Million Dollar Piano’ in Las Vegas last September.

"I wasted such a big part of my life, when this epidemic was beginning to happen in the early 1980s," John tells NBC "Today" host Matt Lauer in a two part interview set to air July 17 and 18.

Says John, " I was a drug addict and self-absorbed. You know, I was having people die right, left, and center around me, friends. And yet, I didn't stop the life that I had, which is the terrible thing about addiction. It's that, you know, it's that bad of a disease… I was consumed by cocaine, booze, and who knows what else. I apparently never got the memo that the Me generation had ended."

This confession comes in advance of John's first memoir, "Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS." In the interview at John's London area home, the award winning musician also admits he feels "guilty" about his past, which included struggles with bulimia and alcoholism.

The pair also discuss John's coming out as a homosexual, which the singer doesn't think impacted his career negatively overall, though he does recall a brief period when, "In America, people burned my records for a second and radio stations didn't play me."

Though John seems to have kicked drug addiction, there's one thing he hasn't had enough of yet: children. In 2010 John and his civil law partner David Furnish's son Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John was born to a surrogate mother on Christmas Day.

"I'd love to have more children," John tells Lauer. John tried to adopt a child from a Ukraine AIDS orphanage in 2009, but was denied because of age and marital status. Still he says, " I want [Zachary]to have a brother or a sister to go to school with him. And so that he can have someone to play with."

John concedes his son will face challenges growing up the child of a famous person and not having a mom, but he and Furnish seem ready for life's next challenge.

"It's going to be heartbreaking for him to grow up and realize he hasn't got a mummy. But he's so happy," says John. " I've never seen a more contented child. And you have never seen two more contented people as David and I."

Friday, 13 July 2012

Tattoos are permanent reminders of temporary feelings

'It's wisest to pick someone whom you cannot break up with or divorce.' Photograph: Gary Powell/Getty Images

Tattoos are permanent reminders of temporary feelings – at least if you believe the report in Thursday's Daily Mail, which looked at "embarrassing" matching couple tattoos – designs that complement or complete each other across two, romantically involved bodies.

Yet there are millions of people who feel no embarrassment about the tattoos they share with their friends, lovers and even exes. Moreover, as with most perceived "new trends" in tattooing, this practice is one with a history far older than the current generation; it's a phenomenon that provides both an insight into human beings' fundamental relationships with their own bodies and the bodies and lives of those close to them.


Tattoos have been used as markers of association for probably as long as human beings have walked the earth, to mark tribal affiliations, regimental membership in the military, membership of fraternal orders such as the masons or US college Greek letter groups, and to signify gang membership.

The most common of these types of affiliative tattoos, though, is marking an attachment to a loved one. There's an old adage in tattooed circles that suggests getting your lover's name tattooed on you is a sure kiss of death for that relationship, and it's an old gag too: Norman Rockwell's famous 1944 Saturday Evening Post cover painting, The Tattooist, shows a salty sailor in the tattooist's chair, having yet another name added to an arm already full of the crossed-out names of past paramours. Even earlier, a cartoon in Punch from 1916 shows a "fickle young thing" – a well-turned-out young woman, as it happens – revisiting her tattooist to seek an amendment to the ornamental crest tattoo on her arm as she has, euphemistically, "exchanged into another regiment".


None of this seems to have affected the long-standing popularity of having names or symbols tattooed to commemorate couples' love and bond. Magazines in the 1920s reported the latest fad for newlyweds was getting matching tattooed wedding rings; preserved tattooed skins in the Wellcome Collection from the late 19th century feature names and portraits of lovers; studies of tattoos in the American navy in the 18th century reveal a large percentage of seamen of the period bore tattoos of the names of women; even Christian pilgrims in the 16th century were recorded to have borne the names of their wives on their skins, as tokens or identificatory marks; and records attest to romantic tattooing even in ancient Rome – St Basil the Great (329-380) is said to have condemned the tattooing of a lover's name that he observed on someone's hand. While I'd certainly never advocate getting a permanent mark of your relationship too hastily, it does seem that the instinct to inscribe a permanent token transcends the ages. Caveat amator.


Single tattoos that span multiple bodies appear to be a more recent phenomenon, however. In 1977, New York-based tattoo artist Spider Webb undertook what was probably the first conceptual art project to use tattooing, in a piece called X-1000, in which he tattooed single, small Xs on to 999 individuals, and, as a culmination, one large X on the final, 1,000th skin, conceived as one contiguous work. This tattoo, potentially spanning thousands of miles at any one time, was, Webb said, "the largest tattoo ever done at any point in history". In 2000, as the culmination to a performance art project begun in 1998 designed to highlight the horrific lives and plights of the homeless and hungry in Mexico City, Santiago Sierra produced his piece 160cm Line Tattooed on Four People, a single black line tattooed across the backs of prostitutes in exchange for wraps of heroin, as a symbol of their desperation, interdependence, and utter powerlessness. Sierra would later remark: "You could make this tattooed line a kilometre long, using thousands and thousands of willing people." In 2003, author Shelley Jackson famously published her short story Skin on the bodies of 2095, one tattooed word per person. These tattoos bring together strangers in common cause.


My favourite set of matching tattoos, though, are probably the ongoing collection of work worn by twins Caleb and Jordan Kilby, tattooed with matching work by influential and extraordinarily talented New York-based artist Thomas Hooper. If you must get matching tattoos with someone, it's wisest to pick someone whom you cannot break up with or divorce, and to get the work carried out by a tattoo artist who will produce a piece of work that will stand the test of time on its own terms.

Latvian company creates leather bound Ferrari

Motors News

We're familiar with seeing tight leather on smoking hot women, and weird old men, but it's a first for us seeing a leather bound Ferrari F430.

There seems to be a lot of fuss over this leather bound Ferrari F430 in the UK with both The Sun and The Daily Mail reporting about it recently.

However, this isn’t a new car by any means as US motoring blog Jalopnikreported on the F430 way back in August last year. It’s a pretty cool, albeit manky, car so we thought we’d show you anyway.

It’s the work of a Latvian custom car company called Dartz who hit the headlines in 2009 when they created a $1.5 million ruby red SUV with whale foreskin-covered seats. Yes, foreskin…

Anyway, some high roller with more cash then sense decided it would be a great idea to cover his €170,000 Ferrari in dark leather.

The owner of Dartz, Leonard Yankelovich, said: "One of our very rich customers from the Cote d'Azur wanted a leather exterior and knew we could deliver.

"It took three of my staff 16 working days to apply the leather and finish. He was more than happy when he picked it up."

He won’t be too happy when he scratches it though.

Is this the most expensive way to ruin a Ferrari?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A British photographer's adorable images of puppies, ducklings and even kittens in hammocks will brighten up any rainy day.

Master of cuteness Mark Taylor's images are in demand all over the world for the purr-fect way they capture a softer side to our best-loved animals.

His photographs are a legacy from his late mother Jane Burton who pioneered the style so familiar on calendars in offices and maths teacher classrooms everywhere.

Fosset the kitten with a yellow gosling: Photographer Mark Taylor is famous around the world for his cute shots of animals in unusual poses

Fosset the kitten with a yellow gosling: Photographer Mark Taylor is famous around the world for his cute shots of animals in unusual poses

Fosset cuddles up to his gosling friend: Mr Taylor's photographs are a legacy from his late mother Jane Burton who pioneered the style

Fosset cuddles up to his gosling friend: Mr Taylor's photographs are a legacy from his late mother Jane Burton who pioneered the style


Stanley the kitten with a duckling: Despite the menacing look in Stanley's eyes, Mr Taylor has never had any incidents where one subject ate another

Stanley the kitten with a duckling: Despite the menacing look in Stanley's eyes, Mr Taylor has never had any incidents where one subject ate another

Using a simple clean white background and some unusual animal pairings Mr Taylor's style has seen him make the cover of prestigious wildlife magazine National Geographic.

In this set of heart-warming images Mr Taylor shows why he's one of the best in his field tapping into that desire in us all to see something fluffy.



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From ducklings with puppies, to dogs with kittens and even rabbits Mark captures them all on camera as if they were the best and friends.

And thankfully so far he's had no case of any of them eating each other.

Hear me roar: Kittens Stanley and Fosset have a cuddle

Hear me roar: Kittens Stanley and Fosset have a cuddle


Guess who! Stanley holds his paws over Fosset's face as they play

Guess who! Stanley holds his paws over Fosset's face as they play


King of the castle: Stanley climbs on top of Fosset

King of the castle: Stanley climbs on top of Fosset


Not just for Christmas: Stanley and Fosset pose inside a gift box

Not just for Christmas: Stanley and Fosset pose inside a gift box

Touch: Stanley reaches out his paw for a fist bump
For me? Stanley poses with a flower

Touch on that: Stanley offers his paw for a fist bump. Right, he poses with a bright red flower


Oh you! Stanley gestures towards the camera as he lies in a hammock

Oh you! Stanley gestures towards the camera as he lies in a hammock


Time for a cat nap: Stanley and Fosset enjoy a snooze

Time for a cat nap: Stanley and Fosset enjoy a snooze

Keeping it in the family: Mr Taylor's daughter Siena, pictured with Stanley, helps to pose the animals for her father's photoshoots

Keeping it in the family: Mr Taylor's daughter Siena, pictured with Stanley, helps to pose the animals for her father's photo shoots

Mr Taylor, 47, creates his images all at his home studio Warren Photographic, in Guildford, Surrey.

His father Kim is a world-renowned wildlife photographer. His mother Jane, who died in 2007 after a brave battle against cancer, was one of the first to use a unique style now so well adopted by her son.

Mr Taylor, a father of one, said: 'There have been a few close shaves when we have put the different animals together, but we often "introduce" the animals to a rabbit in a cage first to gauge the reaction.

'If the dog starts licking its lips we know it might not work out well, and for example it's best not to put a Jack Russell next to a rabbit.

'I have helpers in the studio and some of the animals extras we have here, for example we have six rabbits, but others we have to bring in.

'The key to the photograph is making sure the animals are not doing anything they don't want to do because I think you can tell if they are not enjoying themselves.

'My mother was a pioneer if you like of this idea of using the clean white backgrounds and I like to think I am carrying on her legacy.'

You wanna start something? Stanley goes nose to nose with a Bichon Fris

You wanna start something? Stanley goes nose to nose with a Bichon Fris


My big mate: Stanley nuzzles up with Great Dane pup Tia

My big mate: Stanley nuzzles up with Great Dane pup Tia


Where u go? Stanley and Tia have a play

Where u go? Stanley and Tia have a play

Keeping it in the family Mr Taylor's daughter Siena, 10, is also on hand to pose up with the animals in the pictures.

Mr Taylor, who uses a Cannon 1DS Mark III camera, said that he felt his photographs were so popular because they tap into an desire in us all to relate to animals.

He said: 'I think the fascinating aspect of this type of photography is that it taps into something in us all that sees ourselves and human emotions in our pets and other animals.'


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