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Happy Birthday, Jack Nicholson! His 10 Best Movie Roles

Wed, 4/22/2015 12:33 PM

Happy birthday, Jack Nicholson! The iconic actor turns 78 today.

Born in 1937, Nicholson grew up in Neptune City, New Jersey. He made his acting debut in the 1958 teen drama Cry Baby Killer, and went on to appear in a series of films with the same producer, Roger Corman, including The Little Shop of Horrors and The Terror.

He got his first big acting break in the 1969 counterculture film Easy Rider, which earned him his first Oscar nomination, and he went on to star in a number of iconic films, including Five Easy Pieces and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

With 12 Oscar nominations and three wins, Nicholson is the most-nominated male actor in Academy Award history.

Launch the gallery to see 10 of Nicholson’s best films.

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Categories: Entertainment

Are Topps First Pitch Baseball Cards a Boon or an Embarrassing Blunder?

Wed, 4/22/2015 11:34 AM

As a lifelong baseball card collector, I’ve had some enviable cards in my hand. From classics like Mickey Mantle and Pete Rose to newer cards like Randy Johnson and Mike Piazza, I enjoy a wide array of teams, players and years. I even relish the occasional offbeat card from a player who burned bright then fizzled out (John Rocker, anyone?). But the recent 2015 First Pitch series from Topps is perhaps too far into left field (no pun intended).

In February, Topps released 15 cards commemorating first pitches. First, there’s the indisputable truth that most first pitches are less than impressive. But how many celebrities, politicians and other public figures have thrown better than a dud?

President William Howard Taft threw out the first-ever ceremonial pitch in 1910. He threw from the stands, not the mound, so that one is hard to gauge! Two of the unarguably best celebrity first pitches came from President George Bush (the younger) and Matthew McConaughey.  There have been some that were entertaining like the flip-flop throw of a Cirque de Soleil performer at a 2011 Padres game. That historic pitch has garnered more than two million views on ESPN’s YouTube channel.

But by and large, the most a public figure can hope for with a first pitch foray is that they’re solidly mediocre. They are not so laughably bad that they become a national joke, or even worthy of playing for a basement team. But now, with Topps’ recent First Pitch Series, celebs may find their discomfiture permanently memorialized, should anyone care to purchase it. Here’s a rundown of the 15 card series and the quality of the pitch captured:

  • Jack White (Detroit Tigers) – The White Stripes lead singer tossed in a bouncer to Santa Claus with little fanfare and didn’t seem bothered by his poor showing.
  • McKayla Maroney (Boston White Sox) – The powerhouse Olympian gymnast stuck to her strong suit and did a couple of flips before lobbing a 10 footer.
  • Eddie Vedder (Chicago Cubs) – Pearl Jam front man Vedder threw a cutter, but at least he got it to the plate without a running start.
  • Biz Markie (Oakland Athletics) – Markie may be a legendary beat boxer but he couldn’t even get close to the batter’s box when he tossed his sad pitch.
  • Agnes McKee (San Diego Padres) – No one can criticize the 105 year old for teetering on her walker and tossing an underhander. McKee also grabbed a beer at the game.
  • Austin Mahone (Atlanta Braves) – Teen singing sensation Mahone gets props for getting thousands of screaming teen girls to watch a ball game.
  • Jermaine Jones (LA Dodgers) – Soccer star Jones did a nice turn with one high and outside pitch then a soccer style kick neatly blocked by catcher AJ Ellis.
  • Tom Willis (Kansas City Royals) – Willis has no arms but a ton of heart and has thrown out more than 22 first pitches at different MLB games.
  • Graham Elliot (Chicago Cubs) – There’s virtually no video of MasterChef Elliot’s first pitch to be found, so the slimmed down chef escaped ignominy.
  • Tom Morello (Chicago Cubs) – Rage Against the Machine’s Morello often rages against hometown Cubs when they’re losing, but his first pitch is impossible to find online.
  • Macklemore (Seattle Mariners) – The Thrift Shop singer actually brought a little game. His pitch wasn’t fast but it went squarely over home plate.
  • Suzy (LA Dodgers) – The petite South Korean singer of Miss A fame walked nearly halfway to home to toss her high lob but looked adorable in her home run gear.
  • 50 Cent (NY Mets) – Let’s face it, centenarian Agnes had a better showing than 50, but at least he laughed off how badly he blew his ceremonial toss.
  • Meb Keflezighi (Boston Red Sox) – The Boston Marathon winner showed he wasn’t a one trick pony when he lobbed a slow strike over home plate.

This strange cast of characters has me wondering how Topps curated this collection. It also raises the question of whether issuing celebrity cards cheapens the glory of being captured in cardboard for legitimate athletes. Little League players can now get their team pictures in the form of a custom baseball card so it’s less of a unique thrill perhaps than it once was.

In the early 1990s, sales of baseball cards topped $1.5 billion. Two decades on and sales had dropped to less than $200 million. With digital being the new standard, it’s easy (yet painful) to envision a future where the latest players earn their stripes on an e-card while physical cards become a collectible relic like movie lobby cards of eras gone by.

It makes sense that Topps is looking to keep themselves relevant and profitable by branching out. But are celebrity cards the way to accomplish this? Are First Pitch cards the MLB equivalent of the participation trophy? And even if these character cards bolster flagging sales, is it worth the cost to the cult of cardboard? Or will Topps turn off their core audience with this blatant profit-seeking device? What’s next – Kollectible Kardashian Kards?

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Categories: Entertainment

Jadium – April 22

Wed, 4/22/2015 6:00 AM

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09 __ __ __ __ __ __ __ 73
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__ __ __ 16 47 __ __ __ __

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Categories: Entertainment

Air Freshener That Has Worn Out Its Welcome

Wed, 4/22/2015 5:00 AM

Karen Collett in Bountiful, Utah, writes:

I unplugged all of the scented oil air fresheners in my house a couple of weeks ago, but I can still smell it! What does this mean? Will it ever go away?

Marilyn responds:

It will go away eventually, but depending on how many air fresheners you were using, it may take weeks. And even after it seems to be gone, you may still notice it when you come home after being away for a few hours. Unlike water, oil doesn’t evaporate, and it clings to most surfaces it touches, such as walls, flooring, carpeting, and furniture. So you’ll probably be stuck with the scent until it degrades from contact with the air over time. 

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Categories: Entertainment

Numbrix 9 – April 22

Tue, 4/21/2015 8:00 PM
Categories: Entertainment

Kate’s Most-Stunning Maternity Fashions

Tue, 4/21/2015 7:46 PM

As the world waits with baited breath for the arrival of Royal Baby No. 2, we’re taking a stroll through Duchess Catherine’s elegant maternity attire. Whether she’s wearing high-end fashion, discount duds or classic pieces recycled from her first pregnancy, Kate Middleton continues to show the world that she’s the queen of maternity fashion.

Which dress or coat do you like the best? Tell us in the comments below!

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Categories: Entertainment

The Daily Cute: Happy Earth Day!

Tue, 4/21/2015 5:08 PM

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Take a walk outside, breathe in deeply, go for a swim, or heck, go roll around in some grass! Launch the gallery to see a few animals enjoying the great outdoors.

Click here to see “Rhinoceroseseseses!” and check back every weekday for a new Daily Cute!

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Categories: Entertainment

‘Full House’ Fans Rejoice! Netflix Orders Revival Series

Tue, 4/21/2015 12:35 PM

“You got it, dude!” John Stamos confirmed on Monday that Netflix officially ordered 13 episodes of the spinoff series, set to premiere in 2016.

A one-hour premier episode will begin as a reunion. Subsequent episodes of the new show, cleverly titled “Fuller House,” will follow a recently widowed D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure) as she experiences the joys and obstacles of raising her two sons, 12-year-old J.D., 7-year-old Max and an expectant third child. Following the original series plotline, the show would not be complete without a group effort. D.J.’s younger sister, Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), who is now an aspiring musician and her quirky best friend, Kimmy Gibler (Andrea Barber), who is now a single mother to a teenage daughter, Ramona, pitch in to care for the young boys. Also, John Stamos will resume his previous role as the dreamy Uncle Jesse.

There is also talk of enlisting former cast members Bob Saget, Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Oslen, Lori Loughlin and Dave Coulier for guest appearances.

Undoubtedly, the show will be full of easily relatable moments and life lessons, bringing the characters to life for a new generation. Just as the original series theme song says, we are thrilled about the return of this “familiar friend.”

Here’s what a few former cast members are saying:

Yep. It’s OFFICIAL!! #FullerHouse will be coming to @netflix in 2016!! @candacecbure @andreabarber @JohnStamos I’m so excited!!!

— Jodie Sweetin (@JodieTweetin) April 21, 2015

The rumors are TRUE! The Full House sequel #FullerHouse is coming to @Netflix !! Not sure if that was the best or worst kept secret-

— Candace Cameron Bure (@candacecbure) April 21, 2015

Guess it’s time to change my bio! #FullerHouse @netflix #itsofficial pic.twitter.com/6aVC6bPV26

— Andrea Barber (@andreabarber) April 21, 2015

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Categories: Entertainment

Voice Artist Tom Kenny on Being SpongeBob SquarePants

Tue, 4/21/2015 11:57 AM

When Tom Kenny was growing up as one of five kids in East Syracuse, New York, he never dreamed that he would end up providing the voice for one of the most famous and recognizable cartoon characters in the last 20 years—SpongeBob SquarePants.

Prior to becoming the voice for SpongeBob, though, Kenny was expecting, for a number of years at least, to make his career as a stand-up comedian. Which is ironic because he says, “I was too shy to be the class clown. I was the class clown’s writer.”

“I always characterize it as the shy show-off,” explains Kenny. “I was always funny to a select group of friends, but I wasn’t like the class clown with the lampshade on my head.”

No, that would have been Kenny’s best friend, the man whom you know today as Bobcat Goldthwait. They were both bad at sports and good at being funny. That’s probably one reason why they’re still friends to this day.

For about eight years, Kenny made his living performing stand-up comedy around the country. “I enjoyed it while I was doing it. The road comic thing was fun,” says Kenny. He admits, though, that he didn’t think he quite had the personality type that flourishes at it.

That’s where the voices come in.

From the time he was a little kid, Kenny was aware of the voice artists of the time—Mel Blanc, June Foray, Stan Freberg, and the like. When animation exploded in the 1980s, and there were a lot more cartoons looking for voice artists, Kenny got involved. While he had a few animation gigs beforehand, his first series was “Rocko’s Modern Life” for Nickelodeon. “I was recommended for it by Carlos Alazraqui, who was also a Bay Area stand-up comic like me and wound up being the voice of Rocko,” says Kenny. Joe Murray, the show’s creator, chose Kenny to be on it.

Another guy working on “Rocko’s Modern Life” was Steve Hillenburg. Kenny says that Hillenburg was also just getting his feet wet in the animation business. And a few years later, he would go on to create a character that would change Kenny’s life: SpongeBob SquarePants.

Even though Kenny is the voice of SpongeBob (and the voice of Gary the Snail on the show), he still provides voices for a number of other series. Earlier this year, his daily schedule was as follows: Monday, “Miles from Tomorrowland” for Disney; Tuesday, “Adventure Time,” for Cartoon Network; Wednesday, SpongeBob SquarePants, and “The Fresh Beat Band,” both for Nickelodeon; Thursday, “Uncle Grandpa” for Cartoon Network and “Brickleberry” for Comedy Central.

“That’s just a very typical week for me,” quips Kenny. He also provides voices for his characters’ products like talking toys and for video games as well. “I was so busy working, I didn’t realize how prolific I am.” Kenny also does serious work such as voicing a commercial for Honda.

“I get to do SpongeBob, the biggest cartoon in the world, and then I can do these other kinds of weird, oddball things. Some of them become big and popular, and some of them won’t. But there’s always something new to do,” says Kenny. He’s also gotten to voice some iconic characters he remembers from growing up such as Bullwinkle, Elroy Jetson, and Rabbit in “Winnie the Pooh.”

One thing that Kenny loves about being a voice artist is that folks usually don’t recognize him. “The fact that you can be a part of the pop culture fabric, but invisible is great,” says Kenny. “You can be ubiquitous and invisible at the same time, which really is the best of both worlds, certainly for me. It’s like you get to be in shows that are popular and big and have a lot of viewers and a fan base, but your life belongs to you. When you’re out walking around in the world, your life belongs to you.”

“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” is scheduled to be released on DVD and Blu-ray June 2, 2015.

 

Michele “Wojo” Wojciechowski is the award-winning author of the humor book Next Time I Move, They’ll Carry Me Out in a Box, writer of the award-winning humor column, Wojo’s World®, and a not-yet award-winning stand-up comic. Like Kenny, Wojo has been so busy writing that she didn’t realize how prolific she is. For more Wojo and lots of funny stuff, check out her website at www.wojosworld.com.

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Categories: Entertainment

The Stars Dance Toward a Double Elimination on DWTS: Which Two Couples Are Going Home?

Tue, 4/21/2015 10:31 AM

Not ones to drop the (inflatable beach) ball on the opportunity to have a theme night, Dancing With the Stars took a cue from college students all over the country and had its first Spring Break week.

This week also marked the mid-way point in the competition with the always exciting team dances. And while sometimes the team scores can shake up the leader board, with both teams in a dead heat, the standings remained the same . With the exception of singer Riker Lynch pulling ahead with a 37 out of 40 for the week, the rest of the pack was pretty tight — only a six point spread separated second place from last. That will make it all the harder to say goodbye to not one but two stars during next week’s elimination.

Keep reading to see how your favorite pairs did and tell us — which two couples do you think are headed home?

Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvinsev: 29 Eliminated

Their rehearsal package showed promise, but did the performance match the hype? LaBelle and Chivinsev’s quickstep was lively and full of spring break fun — even when the singer accidentally kicked off one of her shoes. The judges were in awe of the pair’s obvious energy. Head judge Len Goodman said their routine was “cool by the pool” and noted that “no one will give us more fun or entertainment than you just did.” Carrie Ann Inaba called LaBelle “the most consistent performer” week to week and thought she was “effervescent in her quickstep.”

Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough: 34
For a white-hot tango that was fast and furious and, to the viewers’ eyes, looked pretty impressive, the judges sure picked it apart. Julianne Hough commented on the pair’s partnership, saying she wants to see them connect better together, noting a “disconnect between your bodies.” Goodman thought the routine was too fast and had too much rotation and Inaba critiqued Liukin’s mindset while at the same time commending her for having an “insane” quality of movement. Bruno Tonioli was the only judge to give a completely positive review, telling the Olympic gold medalist “you are an amazing dancer.”

Willow Shields and Mark Ballas: 34
The Hunger Games star turned up the sass for her spring break-themed salsa and the judges ate it up! While she looked a little timid and unsure during some of the lifts and quicker footwork, the judges didn’t seem to notice and instead focused on her energy and maturity on the dance floor. Tonioli said “I love the way your performances are always 100%” and Inaba praised Ballas for giving them a “well evolved routine.” Goodman and Julianne Hough also loved the dance, but commented on Shields’s leg extension — both want to see “a little more snap” in her legs.

Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson: 28
After falling to the bottom of the leader board last week, Herjavec sprang back with a lively jive dance. The judges were quick to note that it was better than last week’s quickstep, but still had some critiques for the business shark. Inaba said that Herjavec “didn’t miss a step,” but noted that he “just didn’t do [them] at the right time.” Goodman and Hough praised the difficulty of Johnson’s choreography and Herjavec’s willingness to learn it. Tonioli compared Herjavec to a “frisky pony” and told him he needs to stay on the same track as Johnson and “keep on time.”

Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess: 29
After some criticism from the judges last week about their foxtrot not having enough ballroom content, Burgess and Galloway rebounded with a rumba they hoped would please the judges. Before the music rolled, the rehearsal package put Galloway in a weird mindset that, he thought, affected their routine. The judges on the other hand, were happy with the way the pair read each other and worked with each other in the ballroom. Goodman said their performance “was like a conversation — it had that lovely action and reaction.” Hough praised Galloway’s hip action, calling it “fantastic,” but was able to give him some homework, asking that he follow his movements all the way through his arm and hand.

Rumer Willis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 32
Willis and Chmerkovskiy brought the heat with a “Bootylicious” spring break  jazz dance. Most of the judges, however, weren’t thrilled with the direction the choreography took. Hough was “underwhelmed” after the pair’s previous performances and wanted to see more because she sees so much potential from them. Inaba thought the routine was “powerful and strong” but it also felt “disjointed.” And Goodman thought it was too “raunchy.” But Tonioli disagreed with all of them and was impressed with their ability to “take an iconic number and give it [their] own imprint.”

Chris Soules and Witney Carson: 31
Time for Soules to show some grace under pressure! The former Bachelor tackled a Viennese waltz and showed how much his hard work has paid off. He and Carson took Hough’s critiques from last week to heart and really worked on his musicality. Inaba noted how all of the women in the audience were completely smitten with his dance — herself included! Tonioli called Soules’ performance a “spring awakening,” and Hough couldn’t have been prouder that the pair took her suggestion and saw the results. Goodman, on the other hand, appreciated “the romance of the whole affair,” but noticed that Soules lost his footwork when he had to focus on staying in frame.

Riker Lynch and Allison Holker: 37
For all of the behind-the-scenes drama seen in the rehearsal package, their samba didn’t seem to suffer. In fact, it didn’t matter at all since they ended up at the top of the leader board! Inaba said their routine and Lynch’s moves made her want to be a teeny bopper again. Goodman liked the enthusiasm, but only to a point, remarking, “It was good — I can’t say it was great.” Hough loved the routine, but found some technique to comment on. Tonioli praised Lynch’s “individual touches” and called his style “the future of dance.”

Team YOLO: 39
Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough, Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess, Willow Shields and Mark Ballas, Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson
The first group number was a spring break success! Goodman said “from the first solo through the last one it was tight, together and terrific.” Hough was “super impressed” with Herjavec and Johnson and really loved the whole routine. Tonioli called the performance “absolutely superb,” and Inaba says “you guys killed it — that’s the spring break I want to have!”

Team Trouble: 39
Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy, Riker Lynch and Allison Holker, Chris Soules and Witney Carson, Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvinsev
As if you could possibly top Team YOLO, Team Trouble came out and caused “Trouble” for the other team, tying their score. Hough thought “every single little vignette was so right on and unique.” Tonioli said the routine was “so cleverly put together” and noted that this is Soules’s “breakthrough night.” Goodman found himself smiling throughout the whole performance and called it “so much fun.”

Next week there will be a double elimination based on tonight’s performances. Who do you think will go home?

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Categories: Entertainment

Connie Chats with Daniel Lissing – Part 1

Mon, 4/20/2015 2:51 PM

American fans may know Daniel Lissing as Navy Seal James King from the short-lived ABC series, Last Resort with Andre Braugher and Robert Patrick. (“That was a great show. Really good fun,” Lissing says.) Most of his newfound fans know him from Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart, in which Lissing stars as Mountie Jack Thornton.

Daniel co-wrote and starred in a short film called “The Answers” which won the Best Live Action Short Film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival earlier this year.

Congrats on “The Answers.” Will you be entering the film in more festivals?

We got into the Florida Film Festival, Omaha Film Festival, San Luis Obispo Film Festival. We’re on the short list for three others at the moment, that are quite big ones. Still waiting to hear on about twenty others. We just came back from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival which we won best live action short film, which was my first time as a producer [with co-producer Michael Goode] and as a filmmaker. We’re one for one so far! So we’re off to a pretty good start.

How did you get involved with that project?

I just wanted to make something of my own, you know? I worked with Michael Goode back in 2009. We had done a short film together where I was the actor and he was the director. We got on well and I always remember that being the one of the first acting jobs I did. I walked off set and (thought), “Oh, yeah, I’m going to be actor – for the rest of my life.” That was the kind of moment. I attribute that to the great creative process and collaboration that I had with Michael on that set.

I always said to him – he’s an American guy – “When I’m in the States working, we will work together again. We’ll do something.” So we stayed in touch, we were mates. The opportunity arose where we were both in L.A. I wasn’t on a show. We literally sat down and two hours later we hashed out this idea and it evolved from there.

© 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter (© 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter)

Is the idea to expand it into a feature-length film?

Yeah. We’re currently working on a feature script. I had originally made it to be a short film but there’s kind of a lot of buzz around the short so we decided to give it a crack and expand the story, change the storytelling style.

Let’s talk When Calls the Heart! Can you tell me what Jack’s going to be up to this season?

I can tell you certain things… I’ll give you a hint. There’s a lot of romance.

With…? [laughs]

[laughs] A girl named Elizabeth Thatcher, I don’t know if you’ve heard of her?

Jack, at the start of the season, is in a place where he’s falling in love with Coal Valley. He’s falling in love with Elizabeth Thatcher, but saying that doesn’t mean they’re meant to be together. She comes from a very different world than he does and there are elements that can potentially keep them apart. He ends up going to Hamilton in the first episode, which is where she is from – from a very prominent family there – and sees the other side of the coin – how she lives. He’s confronted with the harsh truth that he is, in society’s eyes, below her. In his own eyes, no, because he doesn’t look at the world that way.

Also, there is a childhood friend of Elizabeth’s that comes into the picture. He’s a real nice guy and from the right stable, so to speak, from the right class and is crazy about Elizabeth too. Jack’s not having any of that!

Who influenced you to go into acting?

I grew up loving film and television. Film, in particular. I would never feel as inspired – it’s sort of the same for music with me as well, but I never got the same kind of feeling with music as I did with watching film. I felt inspired. The way different genres would make me emote as a human being. I wanted to be part of that world. I had my favorite actors growing up, I still do now. I would get turned on by great performances. It’s something that always interested me and excited me.

So who are some of your favorite actors?

I really love Daniel Day-Lewis. I think he’s the best. I like Sam Rockwell at the moment. I like Tom Cruise. I like Christian Bale. I think Bradley Cooper’s doing great work these days. These kind of leading men. I could go on. Daniel Craig in the Bond films – that’s the dream role. I have a lot of favorite female actors as well, but as a male actor I grab my influences from strong male characters.

What would you be doing if you weren’t acting?

I’d probably be playing music.

Was music first or acting?

Music was first. I taught myself to play guitar and sing. I ended up writing a lot of music and had a band and was playing in bars and pubs all around Sydney, going on tour. I played with some pretty big bands in Australia. I played for the [Australian] troops overseas in a couple of locations. We’d be lying in the jungle listening to mortar shells go off and machine gun fire in the hills above and we’d put a concert on around the bonfire that night, which was an interesting experience, for sure. That kind of stuff was a great eye-opening experience, as well, to see different sides of life. [Lissing was formally recognized for his peacekeeping efforts by the Australian Defense Force.] I’d either be playing music or I’d be a travel writer because I travel all the time. I don’t stop. If I’m not working, I’m traveling somewhere for sure.

Where do you want to go that you haven’t been?

I haven’t been to India yet. I’m going to Antarctica at the end of this year or the end of next year when it’s summertime in the southern hemisphere. My cousin and I are going for three weeks to live in an igloo and brave the cold.

Do you have any desire to direct?

I was actually talking about this today. No. I don’t have any desire to direct at this stage in my career. My main focus is my acting and a secondary focus is producing and writing. I’m working on a pilot, a web series, a feature. I like to keep busy. I see my future as one of those actors who produces his own stuff… down the line, but you never know!

This is a question from an eight-year old fan: What was your favorite subject in school?

Is lunchtime a subject? To tell you the truth I really loved the sciences. So I loved biology. I was never very good at math. I didn’t particularly enjoy the creative arts program at the school I went to. I did a little bit of drama at school, I just didn’t like it. Maybe it was the girls playing silly games or the theory behind it all. I really liked learning about biology and chemistry. As I’ve gotten older, that sort of spilled over into astrophysics. I love theories of the universe and things on a molecular level and how things work, the origins of life. All this kind of stuff is interesting to me.

Part 2 of the question from an eight-year old fan: What is your favorite episode so far?

Funny you should say that. We’re shooting Episode 7 and 8 right now. I have to say, from my point of view, they’re my favorite episodes. They’re really well written, good structure through the two episodes. There’s some new characters, new elements that come in. Everyone knows this show now, at this point in time, so we’ve stopped a lot of the exposition and we’re into the story a lot more. We’re deep into it, we’re really getting to the heart of things. It’s really interesting stuff. I’m really enjoying it.

The show films two episodes simultaneously. Season 2 of When Calls the Heart premieres Saturday, April 25th, 8/7c.

Look for Part II of my interview with Daniel Lissing soon.

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Categories: Entertainment

Survivor Contestant Joe Anglim: ‘Holy Moley, Here I Am!’

Mon, 4/20/2015 10:51 AM

Once upon a time in Africa, a wise man with a big bad boil on his neck said, “If you’re gonna run in front of the pack on a white horse, you’re gonna be shot at!”

Big Tom Buchanan was talking about his friend and competitor Lex van den Berghe, but the Survivor: Africa contestant may as well have been looking into the future and describing Survivor: Worlds Apart‘s Joe Anglim, the latest player eliminated from the current season.

Anglim, a jewelry designer from Arizona described by many Survivor fans as Ozzy Lusth meets Malcolm Freberg (more on that later), was the alpha member of an outnumbered alliance, and easily the fiercest competitor on the beach, what with three of three individual challenge wins under his belt. As soon as he lost his fourth opportunity to keep the winning streak alive, his number was up.

But Joe didn’t go down without a fight. In his final hours, he constructed a fake immunity necklace and attempted to buy himself another three days in the game. The plan didn’t work, but he earns an A for effort. Really, was there anything Joe could have done to keep surviving, short of extending his winning streak? Probably not; as Big Tom said, the one riding ahead of the pack is always the first to get shot at — and there are only so many bullets you can dodge if you’re not Keanu Reeves.

I spoke with the so-called “Joey Amazing” (or “Average Joe,” as he calls himself) about his time in the game, his lifelong Survivor fandom, where things went wrong for him earlier in the season, why he didn’t make his fake idol sooner, and those constant comparisons to Malcolm and Ozzy.

Joe, it’s not that I took pleasure out of this, but watching you cry on your way out of the game in your Ponderosa video was kind of amazing, only because it showed how much you cared about being out there.

Yeah, I cared. I cared. [Sighs] I love this game, man. It’s been a part of my life forever.

Where does your Survivor experience begin? When did you start watching the show, and how did you go from fan to player?

I remember seeing the preview for Survivor when I was 11 years old. My mom and dad, we recorded it on a VHS tape. I’ll never forget it. I just fell in love with everything about it. For me when I was that young, it was more about the challenges, playing these cool games and battling each other. As I got older and I understood the strategy and the social dynamics, and as the game evolved and became… you know, insane… I just fell in love with the game. I think I was 14 when I looked over at my parents and said, “You will see me on this show one day.” We would talk through strategy and what I would do in scenarios. I never watched the show as a fan. I watched the show as a player. I just wanted to play.

When I was in college, a friend of mine put me in contact with somebody in casting. I’d made videos, but was never happy with them and felt like I encompassed everything about myself. Sure enough, I sat down, went through everything, my home videos and photos, got it all together and sent it in. One and done, man. I went through the process, interviews, paperwork — and holy moley, here I am!

A big theme of the early episodes this season with Max and Shirin, and even Shirin now, was about how Survivor fans turned Survivor players can almost geek out too much and wreck their game. How did you rein it in?

I did yoga! [Laughs] I just knew going into the game that was going to be part of it. I needed to harness all of that excitement and energy and bring it to the challenges. I had to use that adrenaline… kind of like how Jeff did his little hands [dance] with Shirin: “Lock it up! Bottle it up!” It was like that.

I went to this really calm state of mind. I prayed a lot. I learned to harness it. Trust me, on the inside, I was giddy as a schoolgirl seeing Jeff, being on the mat… the most adrenaline I’ve ever had in my life, hands down. It was fun. I was a sponge to it. I tried to remember as much as I could. But at the same time, you had to focus and try to lock it up and play with some players.

When you’re focusing, when you’re meditating, when you’re trying to visualize what you want out of this game… what are you seeing? What’s the picture? What are you locking in on?

All of the relationships with everybody. Feeling the vibe. For me, I’m at a disadvantage, because I know everyone’s out to get me. My focus then became, “All right. You’re going into this challenge today.” Treemail gives you an indication of what the challenge might be, so I’m going through my head of every single possible challenge. Approach the challenge and put the positive mental thought in my head of, “I’m going to win this today,” regardless of outcome. If you can see it, you can manifest it. Really and truly. You just go to a happy place. I’d think about my family and friends and everyone back home. My motivation… yeah. It was good stuff.

You mention how everyone was out to get you. When I spoke with Max Dawson after he came out of the game, he joked about how he and Tyler were so worried about you that they could visualize you painting the merge flag some day — which you ended up doing! At what point was it clear to you that there was no more hiding for you? When did you realize you were sticking out from the pack?

First challenge, brother. I tried to place myself… I said, “Vince, you do the locks. We’ll kill the middle part. Jenn, you got the puzzle.” I knew the puzzle. I knew if we got to that point, as a fan, I understand how the puzzle works. I’m very visual. I’m an artist, I see things. It was unfortunate that I ended up being the main pony in that first race. I painted [the target] on day one. As soon as it was over, I remember going, “Damn it. Why did I just do that?” But at the same time I was like, “Man, I smoked that puzzle!” [Laughs] Everyone at home is going to eat that up when we’re sitting at home, watching. I’m going to play it up like I lost the first challenge and all of that. It’s so fun.

I don’t know if it was in your head at all before you went out there, thinking about pulling some punches for these challenges. But is that option off the table, after a performance like your fist challenge?

Yeah, that option was definitely off the table. And the problem, too, is the only time you get to interact with the other tribes in the first half of the game is at challenges. The only thing you get to see is from that. You’re watching everybody. You’re seeing, “Who is strategizing? Who is taking the lead? Who looks like a physical threat? Who is a threat? Who’s good at puzzles? Who’s not?” Everyone’s making their own observations naturally. I was target number one on my own tribe. It was what it was.

Really, you felt like you were target number one on No Collar?

You know, from the Vince side of it… I know we were butting heads. I remember feeling it, feeling a little uneasy. I hunted, I got crab for everybody, I overexerted myself at camp, doing too much. I put myself into a provider role, so I never thought I was really in danger. But there’s still that little bit of thinking, “I have seen some crazy things in Survivor when people think you’re a threat.” Just look at Vince. He wanted me out. He was like, “Joe’s a threat. He’s helping us now, but maybe we should just blindside him now.”

Was there another way to go with Vince? Once Will flipped on No Collar at the merge, did any part of you wish that Vince was still around instead?

You went through every single scenario, every single decision. If I’d had it my way, I would have liked it to have been myself, Vince, and the girls. Unfortunately, Vince was just playing too hard, too fast. He wanted to make a move, and there’s only six people. He was rubbing people the wrong way. We had to get rid of him for the sake of sanity versus sacrificing for the sake of strength. Who knows? Maybe if we keep Vince, we don’t suck at challenges, and I establish more trust, and I don’t have Will flipping at the merge. Still, knowing what I know, I think Vince would have already flipped.

Before the game began, just on looking at your bio, seeing that you’re a jewelry designer, I said to myself, “Okay, so this guy is going to make a fake idol. This is a thing that is going to happen. It’s inevitable.” Did you come into the game knowing that you were going to make a fake idol at some point — and if so, why not make it earlier?

Yeah, I knew since forever that I would make a fake idol. If I ever got on Survivor, I was going to make a fake idol; that was happening. I didn’t really have the tools to do it in the first half of the game. In the second half, I was so preoccupied on strategy that I didn’t really think about it. Once the merge happened, and I got the reward clue, I was being watched like a hawk. I never had time. Literally everywhere I went, I was either followed by Dan, Sierra, Mike, Tyler… someone had eyes on me all the time. I never had the opportunity to go work on it. I knew I was going to make it, I knew I needed to make it, but I couldn’t get away from them — until the eleventh hour. I whipped up something just to show to them. If I’d had more time, maybe I could’ve made something better. But… I thought it looked okay?

It looked great! It wasn’t a Bob Crowley, but it was very good!

No, it was not a Bob. Bob’s the man, he’s the master. But it was okay. If it would’ve worked, it would’ve been even better.

You didn’t want to give the idol to Mike before Tribal Council; you wanted to give it to him the next day. We didn’t get to see how it wound up in his hands before Tribal Council. He ends up flashing the idol before everyone votes. Can you talk me through your side of the play, and your interpretation of Mike’s side of the play?

I was pulling for straws at this point. I made the idol, I flashed it to Carolyn, Will, Shirin, just real quick to say, “Look what I’m playing tonight.” They saw a little corner sticking out. And then I went and had a conversation with Mike. I said, “Here’s the deal. If you vote me out? Awesome. Well, I have this idol I’ll play tonight, and I’ll still be here tomorrow. But if you vote me out the next time, they are coming after you. Let’s use this idol for both of us. Let’s work together and go to the end. I’ll give you my idol. I don’t want to waste it. I know you’re splitting the vote. I know what’s going on.” I was just playing it like I really had an idol. Mike’s a smart player. He’s seen fake idols. He knows the game. But he still wasn’t sure. I think I made him think about it, or else he wouldn’t have asked Jeff if it was real. Tough play. Maybe if I give it to Rodney, it’s a different Tribal Council.

Doesn’t help that Mike already had an idol, and knew what it looked like.

That definitely doesn’t help. But I already assumed Mike had the blue idol from the original three tribes. Everyone was looking for an idol at some point, they probably found it, and now we have a merge idol. That was my thinking. I didn’t know that Mike had it for certain.

Mike gets the blue idol. Is that the idol you had the clue for, or is there another idol floating around out there at the point you’re voted out?

The clue was for the blue idol. That’s how Mike knew, or at least when he went through the check list in his head of, “Is this real or not?” The clue led him to the blue one, so if I had the clue and I had this one, then it’s probably [not real]. But maybe there’s another one out there. Look at Tony’s season. How many crazy idols popped up out of nowhere? Hard to say. But I made him think about it, at least for a second.

A lot of onlookers, myself included, have been describing you as an Ozzy/Malcolm hybrid. Is that an annoying comparison? Is it fun?

It’s funny, because I put that in my bio. [Laughs] It asked, “Who are you going to play the game like?”

Well, look. You own a mirror, Joe.

I mean, I look like the guys. But as far as… I mean, I’m honored. What a freaking cool compliment. Guys I looked up to. These guys are awesome. It’s cool. It’s still surreal. I don’t think this has even hit me yet. I’m Average Joe, you know? It’s cool. I’m honored.

Josh Wigler is a writer, editor and podcaster who has been published by MTV News, New York Magazine, Comic Book Resources, Digital Trends and more. He is the co-author of The Evolution of Strategy: 30 Seasons of Survivor, an audiobook chronicling the reality TV show’s transformation. Josh hosts podcasts about film and television on PostShowRecaps.com

PREVIOUSLY ON SURVIVOR
Hali Ford: ‘It Was Just Divine’
Kelly Remington: “We Loved Hard, We Laughed Hard, We Fought Hard”
— Joaquin Souberbielle: ‘The Bromance Is Real’
— Max Dawson Exit Interview: “I’m A Bit Of A Monster, What Can I Say?”
— Lindsey Cascaddan Exit Interview: “You Can’t Fix Stupid”
— Nina Poersch Exit Interview: “My Experience Out There Was Supreme”
— Vince Sly Exit Interview: “All I Wanted Was Control And Power”
— So Kim Exit Interview: “I Missed The Suit Memo!”
— Jeff Probst Digs Deep Into Survivor: Worlds Apart, The 30th Season Of The Hit Reality Series
— Jeff Probst Names His Top Ten Survivor Winners Of All Time

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Categories: Entertainment

Jadium – April 20

Mon, 4/20/2015 6:00 AM

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Categories: Entertainment

A Reader’s Experience with Musical Ear

Mon, 4/20/2015 5:00 AM

P. Harrell in Suffolk, Virginia, writes:

Thank you for publishing the letter about “musical ear.” (March 1, 2015) I, too, have this experience daily, and the songs are sometimes ones I haven’t heard since I was a young woman. At first it was an annoyance, but now it’s a running joke with my husband of 52 years, who’ll say, “What song are we playing today?” We’ve even laughed and agreed that our brains are so overloaded with lyrics from music we’ve heard through the years that it’s spitting them out randomly. I also have bilateral hearing loss, so I fit the description of those who experience this phenomenon. Thank you for putting a name to it and relieving me of the worry that this is an early sign of dementia. My husband and I read your column regularly, and I want you to know that the wide variety of answers you give are appreciated. We’re bound to recognize ourselves once in a while.

Recent numbers: “The Hallelujah Chorus” (from “Messiah”), “Sails,” “Feeling Good,” “I’m Puny, Short and Little, But I’m Loud” (recently deceased Jimmie Dickens), “You’re Mean to Me” (from an old Doris Day movie), “That’s America to Me” (Frank Sinatra), “The Big Hurt, “Dust in the Wind,” “I’m My Own Grandpa” (this goes waaaay back), “Just When I Need Him Most” (hymn), “No Moon at All” (Les Paul and Mary Ford), “The Little Blue Man.” What a variety–what’s next?

Marilyn responds:

You’re very welcome! Other readers also wrote letters of gratitude, some with suggestions for alleviating the problem. Stay tuned.

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Categories: Entertainment

Setting the Stage: The 12 Most Memorable Quotes from ‘Pitch Perfect’

Mon, 4/20/2015 12:55 AM

Beca, Aubrey, Fat Amy (or should we say, Fat Patricia) and the rest of the Barden Bellas return May 15 for round two in the upcoming musical comedy Pitch Perfect 2. Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp and Rebel Wilson revisit the struggles, heartaches and humor as Barden University’s all-female a cappella group attempts to stumble their way back to the top. Let’s reminisce on some favorite moments from the a capella ensemble’s rough start in Pitch Perfect. Not surprisingly, the list is packed full of Fat Amy one-liners. Perhaps the new movie will bring back horizontal running, aca-huddles and Aguilerian tunes. For now, these quotes will have to satisfy your toner.

Aubrey: What are you doing?
Fat Amy: Horizontal running.

Beca: You have a little something behind your ear.
Fat Amy: Leave it. It fuels my hate fire.

Lilly: I set fires to feel joy.

Fat Amy: Yeah, don’t put me down for cardio.

Aubrey: Chloe, your voice didn’t sound Aguilerian at all!

Fat Amy: I’m gonna kill him! I’m gonna finish him like a cheesecake!

Fat Amy: I’m just gonna pump and dump.

Cynthia Rose: I have a confession to make.
Fat Amy: We all know where this is going. Lesbi-honest.

Fat Amy: Even though some of you are pretty thin, you all have fat hearts, and that’s what matters.

Bumper: I have a feeling we should kiss. Is that a good feeling or an incorrect feeling?
Fat Amy: Well…sometimes I have the feeling I can do crystal meth, but then I think, ‘Mmm… better not.’

Fat Amy: You guys are gonna get pitch-slapped so hard, your man boobs are gonna concave.

Aubrey: I know you have a toner for Jesse.
Beca: A what?
Aubrey: A toner. A musical boner. I saw it on Hood Night. It’s distracting.

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Categories: Entertainment

Numbrix 9 – April 20

Sun, 4/19/2015 8:00 PM
Categories: Entertainment

Jadium – April 19

Sun, 4/19/2015 6:00 AM

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Categories: Entertainment

Paying with a Gift Card

Sun, 4/19/2015 5:00 AM

A friend paid our dinner check with a gift card she got from a credit-card company as a bonus after she charged a certain dollar amount. She said the gift card was free, as she doesn’t pay a fee for her credit card. Also, she always pays in full, so she doesn’t incur interest costs. If the gift card was free, who really picked up the check?

—Loree Pons, Menifee, Calif.

If the gift card was a surprise to your friend, I think the credit card company treated her to a dinner, and she treated you to one. (She could have used the gift card for two dinners for herself.) But if she knew about a bonus structure ahead of time, she earned the gift card by using that particular credit card instead of a different one. This means she paid for her own dinner and yours, too. Either way, your friend treated you.

 

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Categories: Entertainment

Nexus4 – April 19

Sun, 4/19/2015 12:01 AM

Nexus4 #36
To solve online, click the link below the puzzle.

How to play
The next Nexus4 will be posted 4/21

 


Solve online (thanks to J. Eric Ivancich)

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Categories: Entertainment

Numbrix 9 – April 19

Sat, 4/18/2015 8:00 PM
Categories: Entertainment
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