The Lycos 50 Blog: News from the Pop Culture Fast Lane
Thursday, 1 May 2008
David Blaine Sets New World Record!
Magician David Blaine appeared live on The Oprah Winfrey Show April 30 to set a new world record, holding his breath for 17 minutes and 4 seconds! Before Blaine entered the water-filled sphere, he inhaled pure oxygen through a mask to saturate his blood with oxygen and flush out carbon dioxide. The Guinness Book of World Records states 30 minutes of ‘oxygen hyperventilation’ are allowed under the guidelines. During the suspense Oprah was very nervous as she fidgeted in her chair, “I'll be glad when it's over. I don't like suspense,” Oprah told the audience during a commercial break. The previous record for holding one’s breath was 16 minutes and 32 seconds, set on Feb. 10 by Peter Colat in Switzerland. Blaine appeared relaxed after the feat and said the record was “a life long dream.”
Austrian Women Held Hostage By Her Father for 24 Years!
According to reports an Austrian woman by the name of Elisabeth F. was imprisoned and raped for 24 years by her own father, Josef F. The woman gave birth to seven children by her father. Three of the children, now aged 5, 18 and 19, lived in the dungeon with Elisabeth and had never seen the light of day until the eldest was recently taken to the hospital because of a severe illness.
According to Elisabeth, Josef had lured her into the basement of the family home in Amstetten, Austria, on August 24th, 1984, and supposedly drugged and handcuffed her before locking her up in the dungeon. A police spokesman said she was “psychologically extremely disturbed,” but her version of events was “completely believable” Elisabeth's disappearance in 1984 was treated as a teenage runaway case.
We recently got the chance to talk to the voice of the original “Speed Racer” (and lyricist for the original “Speed Racer” theme song) Peter Fernandez about his history with the “Speed Racer” franchise and some of the most memorable moments of his career. Fernandez is playing Spritle in “Speed Racer: The Next Generation,” a new animated half hour TV series that will air on the Nicktoons Network.He also makes an appearance in the live action film that hits theatres on May 9 (which is extremely cool-looking, we might add).
So, you were just at ComicCon.What is it like interacting with “Speed Racer” fans? Well its always hectic at ComicCon.I signed some new manga books that just came out.All of the fans are great – a few years ago in California, I met a man who said that he was inspired by “Speed Racer.”I asked him what he was doing and he was a design engineer for the Ford Motor Company.I’ve had a couple of helicopter pilots who have said the same thing.I had a man whose adult son who cried the whole time he talked to me!
Tell us about “Speed Racer: the Next Generation.”It takes place 35 years or so after the original series.I play the part of Spritle, Speed’s son.He doesn’t know where his father is.He was the little kid in the original series, and now he’s the 40 year old headmaster of a driving school.
Did they keep your theme song?They do a new one that’s sort of similar, but not as catchy. (laughs)
How did you feel about being approached by Warner Bros. for the live action movie?I was thrilled to be asked.They kept pretty close to the original characters.John Goodman, my goodness, he looks just like Pops.The Wachowski brothers [the writers and directors of “Speed Racer”] said that when they were kids, they were big fans and would run home from school to catch “Speed Racer,” so they tried to keep close to the original.
“Speed Racer” was probably the first successful anime franchise in the US.What do you think was appealing to US audiences?One aspect is that all kids play with cars.And here’s a show that’s all about cars.It was the first series, one of the few ever, that had family values in it.It was centered around a family that was involved in every part of the story.
Do you prefer working in television, film, or radio?Radio.First of all, you can do anything in radio.The set [of the story] is in everyone’s mind.It’s a different set for everyone listening.You can do anything with your voice.There were marvelous scripts [for radio] that were adapted into films and plays and other such things.
Do you prefer acting or writing?I used to prefer writing, but now I’m kind of torn.Writing is harder than acting.They are both challenging in different ways.Being a writer, you also get to direct.
What were some of the biggest challenges or most memorable moments of your career?One of the biggest challenges to any actor is keeping working.You go on many auditions, you’re lucky to get a job.I’ve had some marvelous experiences in the business.I was in a play when I was 14 years old for President Roosevelt’s birthday.Afterwards, we had dinner at the White House.He wanted us to sit at his table.I was lucky enough to sit across from President Roosevelt!
Biggest Baby in the World?
The Singh Family of Meerut, India may have the biggest baby in the world. At just 10 months old their son, Karan is 3 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 49 lbs. and eating 20 times a day. His parents, both doctors, are not surprised Karan is so large; his mother, Svetlana, is one of the tallest women in Asia, measuring 7 feet 2 inches tall and his father, Sanjay, measures nearly 6 feet 6 inches. “People who don't know us stare, but Karan always wins them around with his smile,” says Svetlana Singh.
These stars live in solar powered houses, drive eco-friendly cars, buy organic food and time their showers. Here are some green celebrities (just to name a few) in honor of Earth Day.
Leonardo DiCaprio has been quite public about his opinion of environmental issues. He went as far as to encourage fellow celebrities to arrive at the 2007 Oscars in hybrid vehicles. In 2008, DiCaprio will release a documentary on global warming called “The 11th Hour.”
The band members of ‘Green Day’ (how appropriate) support the Natural Resources Defense Council: The mother of all green organizations. Worth magazine named the NRDC one of America's 100 best charities, and the New York Times called it, “One of the nation's most powerful environmental groups.”
The Stop Global Warming Campus Tour, which features a 90-minute performance by Sheryl Crow, ended on Earth Day in Washington D.C where Crow and her crew planned to lobby the U.S Congress.
Actress (and public vegetarian) Alicia Silverstone has always advocated for animals and support groups such as PETA. Silverstone has also has a completely eco-friendly home and spoke to InStyle magazine about the going-green process.
Edward Norton not only comes for a family of environmentalists, he even has his own nonprofit called BP Solar Neighbors. This particular nonprofit helps celebrities and others interested in buying solar power systems for their homes.
Salma Hayek, along with actor Jake Gyllenhaal, generated international buzz when they visited an indigenous Inuit community to reveal the imminent threat of how global warming is causing snowmelt.
Kylie Minogue is the celebrity face for H&M's new swimwear line which gives proceeds to the WaterAid foundation, helping to deliver clean water and spread hygiene education.
In 1992, MTV created The Real World, widely understood to be the beginning of reality television in the U.S. Now embarking on the 20th season of The Real World, can you believe it? Which MTV’s Real World was your first? Each show introduces a cast of seven strangers and films their every move, only airing the fun, juicy, interesting parts. The Real World casts chose to be on the show for the experience and not so much exposure. Early cast members didn’t consider becoming major TV stars, they were interested in living in a decked-out house, meeting people from different walks of life and using the vehicle to promote their causes. In more recent seasons, cast members have “Hollywood dreams” and most move into the entertainment world once the show has concluded.
In 1991 Jonathan Murray and the late Mary-Ellis Bunim were working on a scripted soap opera for MTV, which would feature unknown actors living together. The fledgling network quickly realized that the budget for such a show would be more than they could handle, and prepared to cancel the project. Murray and Bunim then shared an idea they were working on for Fox called "American Families," a documentary-style program inspired by the 1973 PBS film, "An American Family," which followed the trials and tribulations of the Loud family. With an estimated budget of $87,000, MTV signed off.
This April brings a rain of good movies that you must go see!
These movies will inspire you after you watch the epic challenges that these new characters will face.If this grabs your attention, you should look into Tuya’s Marriage, a film about a Mongolian girl who struggles to support herself and her family because her husband cannot.To do so, she must go against tradition, divorce and remarry. Tuya must find a new husband to support her, take care of the poor children and meager land, and maybe even her crippled, suicidal ex.
If foreign films aren’t exactly for you, then check out this American thriller, The Life Before Her Eyes.Actress Uma Thurman (Batman & Robin, Bee Movie) plays the part of a housewife who lost her best friend to a school shooting fifteen years ago.In the present, the woman struggles against taunting memories of the shooting.In the past, she faces tension with her best friend up until the killing.As the story unfolds, deeper secrets are revealed.
Turning the page to love stories, U, Me Aur Hum is a tale that encompasses the very meaning of romance.When Ajay sees the beautiful Pia for the first time, he instantly falls for her.He must work overtime to win over coy Pia, but when he finally does, the couple jumps into marriage.This movie challenges the very essence of love and its existence within a marriage, working to overcome obstacles that threaten their relationship.They find that even when they fall, they’re cushioned by friendship and devotion, making their marriage something out of the ordinary.
If crime is what you crave, check out Pathology, starring Milo Ventimiglia (Rocky Balboa, “Gilmore Girls”) as Harvard graduate, Ted Gray.As Ted moves up the chain and becomes an intern, his reputation as the best grows.He is invited to become part of an elite group devoted to pathology.He soon finds that the group is devoted to more than pathology, but to creating the perfect murder, one that an expert pathologist could not solve.Ted must stay one step ahead of his crazed group of friends before he becomes the next victim in their game.
Immelman had goose bumps, Snedeker had tears, and Woods had too many strokes in PGA golf’s first major tournament of the season.
The 72nd Masters teed off with golfing great Arnold Palmer taking to the tee for the ceremonial opening drive in deep fog and finished in clear victory for a little known South African by the name of Trevor Immelman.
Immelman beat out Tiger Woods by 3 strokes, to win his first major tournament and the Green Jacket.The ferocious course in Augusta, Georgia was able to tame many brand name golfers including Sergio Garcia,Vijay Singh, and Phil Mickelson but it truly broke the spirit of local favorite Brandt Snedeker who fell from contention after shooting a final round 77 finishing in a tie for 3rd.Just days after declaring himself fully capable of winning all 4 major tournaments, Tiger failed to hit key shots and made many un-Tiger like mistakes to land in second place.
And if, by chance, you didn’t have a particular interest in golf lets talk cash money.In the 4-day tournament Trevor Immelman won $1,350,000, Tiger Woods won $810,00, and Brendt Snedeker took home a mere $435,000.The guy in last place,Sandy Lyle, shot 14 strokes over par and still took home $24,750, not bad for a 4-day workweek.
Transsexual Thomas Beatie, 34, a pregnant man who used to be a woman is due to give birth on July 3. The Hawaiian ex-lesbian kept his reproductive organs and when his current wife Nancy found out she could not conceive, he stepped in. Beatie decided to stop his bimonthly hormone injections and had his first period in eight years. After one year and nine doctors, he was able to get pregnant using frozen donor sperm. In an interview with The Advocate, Beatie states, "Receptionists have laughed at us. Friends and family have been unsupportive; most of Nancy's family doesn't even know I'm transgender.” Others turned them away or referred them to a psychologist. Despite all the difficulties, the couple is happy to be expecting their first child, a daughter, in July
Saxophonist Jason Rae, 31, husband of popular soul singer, Corinne Bailey Rae, was found on Saturday afternoon in Leeds England according to the BBC. There are reports of an accidental overdose; however a postmortem exam was inconclusive. Results of the toxicology report are still on the way. Bailey Rae, 29 and her husband met at a jazz club in Leeds and were married in 2001.
Bailey Rae's record label offered condolences to the singer in a statement released Sunday, saying, "EMI Records would like to offer its sincere condolences to Corinne Bailey Rae and the Rae family at this tragic time. We ask that the media respects Corinne's privacy and that of her entire family."