The Lycos 50 Blog: News from the Pop Culture Fast Lane
Friday, 23 May 2008
Tragedy Strikes Christian Home
Tragedy struck the family home of Christian singer Curtis Chapman on May 22 when his 5-year-old daughter was struck by car and died. According to police reports, Maria Sue was playing in the driveway of the family’s home on when she was hit by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by her older brother. Maria Sue was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee where she passed away. Maria Sue was the youngest of three daughters Chapman and his wife adopted from China. The Chapman’s adopted Shaohannah in 2000, Stevey Joy in 2003, and Maria in 2004.
A large number of adoption groups gathered and prayed for Chapman and his family. The singer and his wife promote international adoption, but also have three biological children. The two founded “Shaohannah's Hope,” which is a foundation and ministry to financially assist thousands of couples in adoption. A memorial service for Maria Sue is set for May 24. The family released a statement requesting donations to The Shaohannah Hope Ministry in lieu of flowers.
On May 17 Senator Ted Kennedy, 76, was rushed to the emergency room due to stroke-like symptoms. The Senator was first admitted to Cape Cod Hospital, but was quickly transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital. On May 20 Kennedy was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, which had mimicked symptoms of a stroke but was in fact a seizure caused by the malignant growth in his brain.
“The Kennedy family has faced adversity more times in more instances with more courage and more determination and more grace than most families have to," said Senator John Kerry. “Every one of us knows what a big heart this fellow has. He's helped millions and millions of people — from the biggest of legislation on the floor to the most personal.”
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, starring Harrison Ford, world premiers on Sunday, May 18 at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Indiana Jones, who has not been seen in a screen adventure since 1989, is inspiring Jones-fever all over the world. The fourth generation Indiana Jones movie has been said to have started many years ago, starting on Oscar night in 1994, when Ford presented Steven Spielberg a statuette for Schindler’s List, he then, as they were walking to the press room, surprised him by telling him he wanted to revisit the character of Jones. It took until two years ago to sort it out and moving the story back 20 years in order to get the film finished and fans are thrilled. Check it out for yourself, in theaters May 22, 2008!
Michelle Duggar, 41, is due to give birth to her 18th child on New Year’s Day 2009. All the Duggar children’s name start with the letter J, the oldest child, Josh is 20 and the youngest, Jennifer is just 9 months. This fast growing family lives in Tontitown Arkansas in a 7,000-square-foot home where all the children are home schooled. Michelle Duggar has been pregnant for more than 11 years of her life and is now six weeks along with her latest bundle of joy. She and her husband Jim Bob Duggar says they will keep having children as long as God wills it.
The large family is currently in the process of filming another series for Discovery Health. The new show looks at life inside the Duggar home, where chores are assigned to each child. One episode of the new show involves a "jurisdiction swap," where the boys do chores traditionally assigned to the girls, and vice versa, Duggar said.The other Duggar children, in between Joshua and Jennifer, are Jana, 18; John-David, 18; Jill, 16; Jessa, 15; Jinger, 14; Joseph, 13; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 10; Jeremiah, 9; Jedidiah, 9; Jason, 7; James, 6; Justin, 5; Jackson, 3; and Johannah, 2. There are seven sisters, 10 brothers and two sets of twins.
Pictured Below: Duggar Family in front of thier 7,000 Sq Ft Home
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.