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Updated: 1 hour 37 min ago

Jadium – October 4

Sun, 10/4/2015 12:00 AM

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Categories: Entertainment

Nexus4 – October 4

Sun, 10/4/2015 12:00 AM

Nexus4 #112
To solve online, click the link below the puzzle.

How to play
The next Nexus4 will be posted 10/10

Solve online (thanks to J. Eric Ivancich)

View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Categories: Entertainment

Numbrix 9 – October 4

Sat, 10/3/2015 8:00 PM
Categories: Entertainment

Jay Leno Takes the Rides of His Life on New CNBC Show

Sat, 10/3/2015 1:31 PM

Mind Your Body with Stephanie Stephens features celebrities age 45+ who share their latest projects, healthy living secrets and more.


We are so used to seeing Tonight Show host Jay Leno delivering a classic monologue. And yes, we miss him in that legendary role, but great news! Now he’s hosting a totally different kind of show on CNBC beginning Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. On Jay Leno’s Garage, better get ready for “anything that rolls, explodes or make noise,” as we follow Jay and his passion.

Doing great television is nothing new for Jay, whose online, Emmy-winning YouTube channel of the same name has nearly 2 million views—the show is based on this standout series. The multiple-award-winning Leno is one smart man, and he’s especially recognized as an expert in this niche. Maybe you’re not a classic car buff, but you can appreciate them. Chances are you’ll enjoy Jay and his guests as much as the vehicles, as he takes us to the intersection of “horsepower and humanity” during eight fascinating episodes.

Jay’s Friends in Car Places

Also the show’s executive producer, Jay, now 65, invites famous personalities including Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Tim Allen and Francis Ford Coppola to share their love of cars. They don’t have to be on a sound stage talking about their latest showbiz’ project and that helps bring their guard down, Jay says. The relaxed atmosphere encourages stimulating conversation to “just roll.”

The show celebrates “the people behind the wheel who provide the real stories.” It’s so well-researched and written, and the production values are very high—as you’d expect. You already know Jay’s Big Dog Garage holds one of this country’s most extensive collections of cars and motorcycles. A top-notch staff helps keep the vehicles in tip-top shape, repairing, restoring and customizing as needed.

Try this link on for size as you buckle up with Jay in his Tank Car, for a 360-degree virtual experience. And here’s a cool sneak peak at the series.

During this interview, I asked Jay how he stays focused and healthy, and of course, the answer will make you smile, in classic Leno style.

Enjoy this fun new show, and you might make a place in your garage for a classic car!

Stephanie Stephens is certain that at age 45+, the best time of our lives is now! So what are we waiting for? She writes, produces, and hosts her multimedia channel, Mind Your Body TV,  featuring timely health and lifestyle blogs, podcasts, and videos—also seen on YouTube and syndicated by AOL/On.

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Categories: Entertainment

Honk If You Don’t Like Honking

Sat, 10/3/2015 5:00 AM

Anonymous in Scarsdale, New York, writes:

A next-door neighbor comes out of his house to go to work, gets in his car, and as he’s driving away, he honks the horn! He presumably said goodbye to his family just a minute or two before he left, so why “say” goodbye again by honking? It’s ridiculous. What’s more, he often honks very early in the morning. I have been awakened by this honking a couple of times, and my husband says he’s been awakened “at least a dozen” times by this rude, inconsiderate person. What is your opinion of these honking goodbyes?

Marilyn responds:

This fellow just isn’t thinking! I suggest that you write him a pleasant note, asking him if he could please switch to honking “hello” to his family when he gets home from work because you and your husband already have an alarm clock!

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Categories: Entertainment

Celebrity Breast Cancer Survivors

Sat, 10/3/2015 1:00 AM

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’re highlighting celebrity breast cancer survivors who won the battles against breast cancer and  continue to use their fame to raise awareness and inspire women  everywhere.

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Categories: Entertainment

Jadium – October 3

Sat, 10/3/2015 12:00 AM

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View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Categories: Entertainment

Nexus4 – October 3

Sat, 10/3/2015 12:00 AM

Nexus4 #111
To solve online, click the link below the puzzle.

How to play
The next Nexus4 will be posted 10/4

Solve online (thanks to J. Eric Ivancich)

View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Categories: Entertainment

Numbrix 9 – October 3

Fri, 10/2/2015 8:00 PM
Categories: Entertainment

Showbiz Analysis with The Nanny’s Fran Drescher

Fri, 10/2/2015 2:03 PM

I’ve always thought of Fran Drescher as a whirlwind of creativity and positivity. The creator, writer, executive producer, and star of the popular ‘90s sitcom The Nanny, has been a creative force in entertainment. But these days, she is also a powerful force for positive change in health care behavior and illness prevention. As a fan and health care professional, I was especially thrilled to catch up with the busy actress and advocate for my podcast Whine At 9 to discuss her non-profit Cancer Schmancer and Women’s Health Summit 2015.

As an actress, Fran Drescher has had plenty of fulfilling roles in film, television and theater, but perhaps her most challenging role to date, has been off camera as she works to promote the health and well-being of others via the non-profit organization she founded following her own personal battle with cancer.

Explains Drescher, “I am a cancer survivor — 15 years well. I had uterine cancer. [It] took me 2 years and 8 doctors to get a proper diagnosis. And by the grace of God, I was still in Stage 1. So I really feel like I got famous, I got cancer and I lived to talk about it. So I started talking. And I felt, in the beginning, sort of bitter and betrayed by my body, and betrayed by the medical community. And I didn’t know how to leverage what was happening to me and climb out of this pit that I was sinking into. And so I— one day, said, ‘I’m gonna write a book about what happened to me, so what happened to me doesn’t happen to other people.’ And that became the New York Times bestseller Cancer Schmancer.”

During her book tour, Drescher quickly found herself flooded by fans who shared similarly challenging health stories. It was at that point, that she knew her work would go beyond the book. “I realized that the book was not the end, but just the beginning of what was to become a life mission,” she says. Today, Drescher spends much of her time working to bring about positive changes in cancer prevention and detection. “The book Cancer Schmancer morphed into the movement — the Cancer Schmancer movement — where people can reach me and I can connect with them,” notes Drescher. “And we can begin to form a group of like-minded thinkers who wanted to, not only insure that every person gets diagnosed in Stage 1 when it’s most curable— catch it on arrival 95% survival, but also to transform from being a patient into a medical consumer, to know what the early morning whispers are of the cancers that may affect you, to know what tests are available— because they may not even be on the menu at the doctor’s office.” Cancer Schmancer also focuses on getting care and education to underserved populations.

“We hold all the cards,” says Drescher, who believes it is time we all start making healthier choices in our lives and live a preventative lifestyle. And she’s marched into some high-powered offices in Washington to get some much needed attention for these important health issues. Is there a little bit of nanny Fran Fine in Fran Drescher? “I was once coined as being a ‘Russell’ because I have the comic timing of Ros [Rosalind] Russell, the curves of Jane Russell, and the tenacity of a Jack Russell. Having said that, in the vein of Fran Fine, I did march myself into every one of those Senate offices in Manolo Blahniks and a tight skirt,” chuckles Drescher with her signature laugh. “So, you know, I play all the cards I’ve been blessed with. And that’s my brain, my body — you need to get people’s attention however you can. While she knows how to grab a guy’s attention, Drescher’s mission to help women is obvious and respected. “I’m a woman’s woman. I am never threatening to women, because I have my sister’s back over and over again. So you know, I just walk that razor’s edge and get stuff done.” This month, she’s out to prove it again via Cancer Schmancer’s Fran Drescher’s Women’s Health Summit 2015. The day-long Los Angeles conference is designed to share empowering information with women and will feature expert speakers and recognize honorees Barbara Boxer and Rosie O’Donnell for their contributions to women’s health and awareness. “I’m absolutely thrilled to see this organization mature to a place where we can do something like this,” notes Drescher.

photo courtesy of CancerSchmancer.org Fran Drescher and Hillary Rodham Clinton (photo courtesy of CancerSchmancer.org)

Somehow, in between it all, Fran Drescher, also has some entertainment plans in motion. After the Health Summit wraps, she plans to get back to her writing. I have an idea for a new television series….I have a movie I’d like to direct on my bucket list.” I hesitate to ask, but know that her fans will never forgive me (heck, I wouldn’t forgive myself) if I don’t ask the burning question– Will there ever be a Nanny reunion? Drescher doesn’t skip a beat. “You know, for years I said ‘no’, now I don’t know. Who knows? Maybe. Could be. I like moving forward. And it’s such a classic. And it’s still on the air. But you know, I love the people that were in it. I loved the series. I’m very grateful for all the opportunities that it’s afforded me. And I just keep on venturing into uncharted waters. And I think that’s what helps me to grow and learn and remain, you know, interesting to myself and my friends, and hopefully to my fans.” I have to agree. I think Nanny Fine would too.

Listen to Nancy’s interview with Fran Drescher on iTunes, WhineAt9.com, or Stitcher Radio.

Find out more about CancerSchmancer.org and Fran Drescher’s Women’s Health Summit 2015 here.

Nancy Berk, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, author, comic and entertainment analyst. The host of the showbiz podcast Whine At 9, Nancy digs a little deeper as she chats with fascinating celebrities and industry insiders. Her book College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get into a Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind can be seen in the feature film Admission starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.


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Categories: Entertainment

REVIEW: Matt Damon Transfixes as Marooned Astronaut in The Martian

Fri, 10/2/2015 1:48 PM

The Martian
Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Directed by Ridley Scott
Rated PG-13
Release date October 2, 2015

Super-smart, sharp-witted, funny, dramatic and moving, The Martian is a gripping, gorgeous, geeky, high-tech, big-screen adventure-survival yarn that will leave you cheering.When a brutal, blinding surface dust storm causes a group of scientist-astronauts to abort their Martian expedition after only a few sols (days, or solar cycles), one of them gets left behind, lost and believed to certainly be dead. But after the Ares III blasts off and heads for home and the Red Planet dust clears, botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) revives, wounded but very much alive.

More: Does Matt Damon Want to Go into Space?

NASA and his crewmates have no idea he survived. He has to find some way to let them know, some way to stay alive, and some way to keep his hopes from fading—knowing that it could take years for another mission to mobilize and reach him.

What to do, what to do?

“In the face of overwhelming odds, I’m gonna have to science the s— out of this,” Watney says into a camera, in the video log he begins filming as a high-tech diary.

It’s not a spoiler to tell you that Watney “sciences” how to grow his own food, rig up a communication device, make water and generate heat from radioactive material. One of the coolest things about The Martian is the way it makes knowledge hip and cool, how Watney’s process of discovery and learning and figuring things out are integral parts of its plot line.

Back on Earth, the world becomes transfixed with the man marooned on Mars. NASA officials (Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean) race to figure out how to reach Watney before he runs out of time and resources. America’s competitors in the space race on the other side of the world, the Chinese, offer their top-secret technology to help. And once Watney’s crew mates (Jessica Chastain, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Aksel Hennie, Sebastian Stan) find out they’ve accidentally left him behind, they’re willing to spring into action, even if it means staying in space for another year or longer.

Director Ridley Scott is no stranger to space or the future, from Blade Runner and Alien to Prometheus. But there are no bioengineered androids, ancient astro-gods or acid-drooling space creatures anywhere to be found in The Martian—just real people, working together, using their heads, solving problems, focused on one man 50 million miles away and united in a single goal: to “bring him home.”

And despite its big ensemble cast, gorgeous special-effect space shots and marvelous, desolate red-orange Martian landscapes, this is Damon’s show. He is The Martian, and he sells every minute of it in a bravura, mostly solo performance that radiates humanity and humor, and shows the amazing, odds-defying things that science—and brainwork, and dedication and teamwork—can do.


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Categories: Entertainment

Don’t Miss Miley Cyrus and Jimmy Fallon’s Emotional Interview

Fri, 10/2/2015 12:30 PM

Last night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Miley Cyrus joined Jimmy to talk about hosting the Saturday Night Live season premiere, her thoughts on Leonardo DiCaprio’s pot-smoking etiquette and Kanye West’s possible run for presidency.

In the midst of all this, Jimmy challenged Miley to a recurring sketch called “Emotional Interview,” where emotions are dictated to the guest (and Jimmy) and they must have a conversation accordingly.

From defensive to fake polite to one-upmanship, the two do their best not to laugh. Jimmy, however, breaks first, during a portion where he has to call Miley “Morley.”

Check out the laughs below…

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Categories: Entertainment

5 Reasons You Can’t Miss Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable World Tour

Fri, 10/2/2015 12:14 PM

Janet Jackson’s first studio album in nearly a decade, Unbreakable, drops today. The album isn’t just the long-awaited return of Miss Jackson, it’s also her highly anticipated re-teaming with longtime collaborators/producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. And if you’re thinking about seeing Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable World Tour, stop thinking and get moving. Tickets have been selling out across the country, and with good reason. The pop diva is back after a four-year hiatus and she’s bringing it just as hard as ever. Here are five reasons why you can’t miss her latest tour.

More: 5 Reasons to Get Excited About Janet Jackson’s New Album

The Dancing

Did you think taking a touring break would slow Janet down? Please. Jackson, 49, proves time and again that she still has the moves. Big numbers like “Rhythm Nation” and “If” will have you dancing along from your seat. (Plus her DJ keeps the crowd on its feet, even orchestrating a dance party before the start of the show.) And if watching Janet perform her signature moves isn’t enough, her dancers bring the house down with new choreography during set breaks. Keep an eye out for the two adorable tween dancers whose moves will inspire you to go back to dance school.

Photo by Jeff Vinnick/CSE (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/CSE)

The Songs

Grab a pen and paper. (Seriously.) Now write down every single Janet Jackson song you love. Got it? Now compare that to the Unbreakable World Tour set list. They match up. Janet powers through more than 30 songs throughout the show, 95 percent of which you know even if you haven’t bought her new album. (But definitely buy her new album. Unbreakable is full of Janet-centric tracks that will have you grooving your way through traffic. See her first single: “No Sleeep.”) Want to hear ’80s Janet? She brings out “Nasty,” “Control” and “Pleasure Principle” to name just a few. Prefer your Janet from the ’90s? How about “Escapade,” “Alright” and “Together Again?” 2000s? “All For You” and “All Nite (Don’t Stop)” will make you happy. Seriously. Every song is something to sing (and dance) along to.

All Janet, All Night

Two words: No opener. Janet Jackson starts and ends this night, and she’s all you’ll need to see.

That Duet

While Janet stands alone as an artist and an icon, it’s hard not to think of her brother Michael while watching her perform. Not only does she share his genetic gift for technical performance, she radiates an undeniable energy from the stage out into the audience, just like the King of Pop. And as a nod to her late superstar brother, Janet performs their song, “Scream,” alongside a pre-recorded track of Michael’s voice. The song itself is a crowd-pleaser, but hearing the duo together again is enough to give even the casual concert-goer goose bumps.

The Crowd

Every age, race and personality is represented at the Unbreakable World Tour. The sweeping level of diversity is matched only by the crowd’s energy. It’s huge and joyful and palpable. Familial generations who share a love for the diva’s music. Couples who courted to her love songs. Friends who have been belting out “Black Cat” and “Miss You Much” since middle school. It’s a sight to see in itself, and a testament to Janet Jackson’s longevity and boundary-breaking career.

The Unbreakable World Tour continues through November 12, with additional dates expected to be announced. To find out when Janet is coming to your town, check out the official Janet Jackson site.


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Categories: Entertainment

Prince Harry on Marriage and How Princess Diana Inspired His Charity Work

Fri, 10/2/2015 11:27 AM

A royal wedding on the scale of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s in Westminster Abbey in 2011 is not on the horizon just yet for Prince Harry, it appears.

While taking part in the Walk of Britain in association with Walking with the Wounded, a charity of which he is patron and which supports wounded servicemen and women, Prince Harry was asked by a reporter whether he is thinking of settling down any time soon.

“No,” said the 31-year-old. “You know, at the end of the day, there’s a lot of things to get down before settling down.

“I’ve got another seven miles to walk now, which I’m not looking forward to,” Harry added jokingly, before realizing he actually had eight miles to go. He wasn’t about to let the point of the hike be forgotten, saying, “I think everyone looks forward to settling down, but in the meantime it’s work as usual, so let’s crack on.”

Harry has been an avid supporter of Walking with the Wounded in the past. In 2013 he joined injured veterans on a 200-mile trek to the South Pole. One of his team members said of him, “He was an asset to the team, he has a great sense of humor and more than pulled his weight. He coped with it very easily.”

The prince cites the late Princess Diana as an influence on his desire to carry out this kind of charity work. “It’s equally important, if not more so, to do stuff behind the scenes,” he said. “It’s something that our mother did a lot of and that’s the time you really get to learn, you get the experiences and you actually get the honest truth out of people.”

Expanding a little more on why he, his brother and sister-in-law do so much work with charities such as Walking with the Wounded, Harry said, “I think people relate to the enjoyment value that myself, William and Catherine have with these guys. There’s nothing worse than being involved with something you don’t have any passion about.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently raising awareness of charities that support people with mental health issues, and today it was revealed that the couple will attend an event on October 10 as part of World Mental Health Day.

They’ll meet volunteers with the mental health charity Mind and learn about how the campaign Time to Change will work to encourage people to speak out about mental health issues.

Mind’s CEO, Paul Farmer, said, “The duke and duchess are committed to raising awareness about the mental health problems faced by young people and we are grateful that they have chosen to champion Mind’s work. We hope it will inspire a new generation of young people to not be afraid or ashamed to talk about mental health problems.”

After returning to the public eye after a summer of maternity leave, Kate has recently paid a visit to the Anna Freud Centre in London, which supports children with mental health issues, and visited a women’s prison where she met inmates who have battled addictions to drugs and alcohol.

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Categories: Entertainment

The Daily Cute: Leaves Your Troubles Behind

Fri, 10/2/2015 10:17 AM

There’s something comforting about leaves. We like seeing them change color on trees as adults and we loved jumping into a big pile of them and creating a cozy little fort for ourselves as kids. Animals feel the same way, so launch the gallery to see some adorable animals reliving your childhood. And have a great weekend!

Click here to see “Out of Their Gourds” and check back every weekday for a new Daily Cute! If you would like to submit cute photos which you took, please send them to DailyCuteParade@gmail.com. You will be credited if they’re used in a future Daily Cute.

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Categories: Entertainment

REVIEW: Tense, Thought-provoking Sicario is Gripping, Gut-punch Thriller

Fri, 10/2/2015 10:06 AM

Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin & Benicio Del Toro
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Rated R
Release date September 18, 2015

A gauzy curtain wafts in the breeze early in Sicario, a gripping, gut-punch thriller about America’s “war on drugs” along our southern border.

The swath of fabric is a membrane-thin divider, its shape is constantly shifting, offering little protection from what’s on the other side, and you can’t really see clearly through it—great metaphors for everything that happens in French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s visceral, thought-provoking saga about an idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) who joins a task force to track down a brutal Mexican drug lord.

After informing us in the opening that its title is a Mexican word for “hit man,” taken from a term for zealots in ancient Jerusalem who hunted and killed Romans that invaded their homeland, Sicario starts with a bang—literally. An armored vehicle explodes through a brick wall, and things don’t soften up for the next two hours.

After Blunt’s Agent Macer leads a raid on a suburban home just outside of Phoenix that turns out to be a house of horrors connected to a Mexican drug kingpin, she’s all aboard to help a governmental black-ops cowboy (Josh Brolin) and his even shadier partner, Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), shut him down.

There’s more to the mission than that, as Macer—and viewers—finds out. Like Blunt’s assignment, and the war on drugs itself, nothing in Sicario moves in a clean, straight line, nothing is really as it appears to be, and no one can really be trusted—or can they?

Director Villeneuve likes working taut, tough and raw; his previous films include the brutal revenge thriller Prisoners (2013), with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, and the Oscar-nominated mystery drama Incendies (2010). Here he steers his outstanding cast through a murky maze of escalating tension, ratcheting suspense and ghastly acts of violence. Quickly, Macer’s moral compass starts to spin out of control; she can’t sort good guys from bad, tell right from wrong, or even keep track of which side of which line she’s on.

Blunt is phenomenal, charging through the movie as the audience surrogate, making us feel every nuance of Macer’s journey from determination to disillusion. In a performance that seethes with mystery and menace, Del Toro speaks volumes with simmering silences—and can inflict pain with only his finger. As the gum-smacking, flip-flop-wearing special operative, Brolin may not always play by the rules, but he sure knows how to “stir the pot that causes criminals to react.”

Sicario has an all-star team behind the scenes, too. Veteran cinematographer Roger Deakins gives everything his meticulous master’s touch, and a haunting soundtrack by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson pumps, prods and pushes the drama along like a throbbing electronic heartbeat. In a movie where almost everything stands out, several scenes stand out more, including a freeway traffic jam that erupts in a lethal shootout, and a gripping “night-vision” blackout raid on a desolate desert tunnel used by the cartel. It’s terrific, first-class filmmaking.

How far is too far to go to fight a war that may never be won? Sicario doesn’t have an easy answer, but it sure makes you think hard about the question.

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Categories: Entertainment

Making Great Shows Happen: Dawn Parouse Olmstead at Universal Cable Productions

Fri, 10/2/2015 9:52 AM

Mind Your Body with Stephanie Stephens features celebrities and high achievers age 45+ who share their latest projects, healthy living secrets and more.

Today, we’re going behind the scenes of what you watch. The process of creating and producing a hit show is not for the faint of heart. It’s a full-time job that Dawn Parouse Olmstead does without blinking. As executive vice president, development for Universal Cable Productions or UCP, she oversees development of scripted series across the broad NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment portfolio—and for external and streaming networks such as Hulu, which are shaking things up in media right now.

Unless you work in the business, you might not know Dawn, but you do know her work, accomplished at the highest levels—and titles—of production. Those shows include ABC’s The Whispers, Bravo’s Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Fox’s Prison Break, Tru Calling and Point Pleasant. She also produced for Saturday Night Live and The Jon Stewart Show.

Her name is on MTV’s Fear and Cannonball Run 2001, as well as on shows including The Lottery, The Rockford Files and The Tiger Woods Story. She produced movies such as Black Christmas, The Experiment and the award-winning documentary, The Living Museum.

What’s new

Dawn and UCP invite you to watch their mesmerizing Mr. Robot on USA Network, as one of the best-reviewed series this year. Note: The online review site, Rotten Tomatoes, loves this show starring Rami Malek and Christian Slater.

Over on Hulu, check out UCP’s Difficult People for its second season. The show is produced by comedy superstar Amy Poehler, and stars Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner.

When Dawn, 46, gets home, she has a willing ear. Her husband, Matt Olmstead, is also a writer and producer, and the two have five children.

I sat with Dawn during Fall Press Tour to find out just how she “does it all.” And believe me, she does.

First, what is UCP?

It’s a little engine that could inside a giant corporation. With media in so much transition, we’ve figured out how to change with the times as opposed to being a Titanic trying to miss the icebergs. I came because I loved what was happening here, where things were being done differently. We want to be the tastemakers and not the taste followers. We’ve sold to ABC, FX, MTV, Amazon and Hulu, plus a ton at our own networks. The bar is set higher here.

Where do you see the industry in five years or 10 years?

I think people will hear about content or see a billboard, and they’ll go search for it. It’s chaotic now, but some brand names will survive while others won’t. All that will matter is the individual shows and whether they are good. Mediocrity won’t be enough.

Do you feel women are treated differently in this business?

I don’t feel that I am. But it’s part of my Brooklyn attitude, where women have chutzpah. I try to hire women whenever I can, and I think we can handle and juggle a lot more. I know what I can handle: being a mom, producer and executive. I might say to an applicant, “So, you’re already doing all these things in your life and you still want this job—not because you need the money but because you find it interesting.” I think we women are awesome.

About being a mom…You have five children—one stepdaughter among them—ages 7 to 16. How does that impact your work?

Let women be moms, as long as they get the work done. Nothing makes me happier than going to a volleyball game with my daughters or football with my son. If I can’t do that, I’d rather go work at TGI Friday’s. I set boundaries and I make sure I do a really good job, so nobody questions whether I can do both.

Do you work all the time?

I get home earlier because I’m available all the time, but I don’t look at it as a burden, but a kind of gift. I can work sitting in the car watching soccer practice. The way we work today allows us to make choices.

I don’t talk about work when I’m home, and don’t bring that stress in. I try to be very compartmentalized. If something spills over and makes me upset, I try to really rectify it and be very clear.

What do you do to be healthy?

I run, do yoga and do stairs at UCP! We have a gym at home and I use this app, Handstand, and yoga instructors come to the house. The kids respect our time, and my husband and I send a good message about taking care of ourselves.

I tell the kids that I love what I do and that I hope that one day they will do that, too.

You’re on the go, to say the least. How do you eat now?

I used to be able to eat anything, but not now. I’m vain and I want to wear what I like so I’ll do the hard work. I drink one or two green juices a day, and I do eat gluten and sugar and dairy. I don’t eat desserts—I’d rather drink them and have learned how to make a skinny piña colada. I keep hard boiled eggs at home—and try to eat protein.

Dawn, you seem to be on a pretty even keel. True?

I don’t feel down, but I will feel mad. I’m problem-solving all the time. I do know I’d rather be poor than unhappy. If I feel mistreated I allow myself to remember that “you can always leave the same way you leave a marriage.” I could always go be a bartender somewhere.

I think when people are desperate to keep a job they start blurring boundaries and can be abused that way. My husband has said, “You don’t have to work if you don’t want to,” but I want to.

How should people pitch you at UCP?

We’ll listen as long as you have something really good. If you’re a really interesting filmmaker or TV maker, and you know it’s going to be an uphill battle, come to us with a solution. We’re open way more than anybody else is at this current time.

I’m looking forward to more of your creativity and woman-power, Dawn. Thank you.

Stephanie Stephens is certain that at age 45+, the best time of our lives is now! So what are we waiting for? She writes, produces, and hosts her multimedia channel, Mind Your Body TV,  featuring timely health and lifestyle blogs, podcasts, and videos—also seen on YouTube and syndicated by AOL/On.

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Categories: Entertainment

Is Masterpiece’s Indian Summers the New Downton Abbey?

Fri, 10/2/2015 8:43 AM

There is only one season left of Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey left to air here in the U.S., which will happen in January 2016. So what are fans of period dramas to do?

There is Poldark, which was wonderful with its sweeping vistas and romantic leading man (Aiden Turner), and if you are a fan of British TV and haven’t seen it, you should. But Masterpiece’s Indian Summers, which takes place in the 1930s in a hill village of India, has more in common with the hit PBS drama, despite being set in Asia. Think Downton Abbey meets The Jewel in the Crown.

For one thing, Indian Summers, currently airing on PBS, is about family — actually two in this case: The British Whelans and the Indian Dalals. And because of the era, there is the same Upstairs Downstairs feel to it, but with a fresh take.

“I think the tone of our show is darker and more complex,” Henry Lloyd-Hughes, who stars as the upper crust and political climber Ralph Whelan, tells Parade.com. “Also, it is a story about British India that is as much about the Indians as the Brits, which drew me in when I read the script.”

The 9-part series explores the interweaving characters caught up in the last days of the British empire, where the pervading sense is that everything is about to change, as the locals agitate for Indian independence.

Set in 1932 the town of Shimla, where the Brits come to escape the heat of summer, it is the story of Ralph Whelan, who is a dashing civil servant, private secretary to the viceroy, and of Aafrin (Nikesh Patel), a young Indian civil servant, who with his family also comes up to the mountaintop every summer.

“What’s great about the show is it’s not Brits bad, Indians good, everyone’s got shades of grey,” says Patel.

And Aafrin, reminiscent of Lady Mary and her forbidden night of passion on Season 1 of Downton, has an illicit love. In fact, as the season progresses, he falls in love with not one, but two women who are not approved by his family.

“Against his wishes, he is caught up in events,” says Patel. “Aafrin at the outset is not someone who wants to get his hands dirty with politics, with questions of who should be in power. He wants to go to work, get enough money to keep his family financially secure, and stay out of trouble. Unfortunately, that is not what happens and he gets pulled into questioning what he believes in.”

Through an act of heroism, Aafrin is drawn into Henry Whelan’s circle, which even as it elevates his possibilities in life, puts him in danger, as Henry is not necessarily the upright citizen he wants people to believe he is.

“I can’t give any spoilers away, but I would say it is an interesting question for viewers to ponder: Is he is who he says he is, or the devil that he is accused of being?,” Lloyd-Hughes says.

Another similarity between the two shows is the focus on a place. Downton Abbey uses Highclere Castle as its double and Indian Summer shoots at a UNESCO heritage site in Penang, Malaysia, with its stunning scenery and buildings with a colonial history.

“It is like a time capsule,” Lloyd-Hughes says. “You just point a camera at it and it looks right.”

Season 1 of Masterpiece’s Indian Summers airs Sunday nights on PBS. Season 2 is already in the works.


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Categories: Entertainment

23 Ways to Boost Your Brain

Fri, 10/2/2015 5:00 AM

Want a healthier, sharper, better-functioning brain? It’s easier than you think to achieve improved cognition and memory. “If you want to boost your brain, you have to focus your attention on good self-care,” says David Alter, Ph.D., co-author, with Henry Emmons, M.D., of Staying Sharp (Touchstone). “People fear Alzheimer’s and dementia, of course,” adds Emmons. “Yet there’s a lot we can all do to improve our brain health and lower our risk of these diseases too.”

Try these simple, science-based tips to power up your brain—they’re good for you, and lots of fun as well!

  1. Take a French class. Learning a second language can help your brain process information better and help you focus more sharply so you avoid distraction. It may even delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in some people, according to exciting new research from Singapore Management University. One easy way to parlez Francais (or any new language) is with an app. With Duolingo, Apple’s iPhone App of the Year in 2013, you can learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Swedish and several other languages.
  2. Write in red ink. A fascinating new study from the University of Regensburg in Germany found that the color red “binds” into our memory better than other colors—making it ideal for recalling what’s on your to-do list.
  3. Play ping-pong. Table tennis has long been lauded for its ability to improve attention and concentration. Japanese researchers also found that in players older than 50, ping-pong improved brain function by activating specific neurons, and showed promise in preventing dementia as well. (Plus, it’s lots of fun!)
  4. Close your eyes. Research from the University of Surrey in the U.K. found that closing your eyes while recalling an event could help you remember details 23 percent more accurately. How does it work? It’s thought that once visual distractions are removed, your brain focuses more efficiently.
  5. Brush your teeth with your other hand. Using your nondominant side to tackle a daily task or two is a great way to challenge your brain to act in new ways. If you’re a righty, switching to your left hand can sharpen your cognitive function by spurring your brain cells to produce growth-stimulating molecules.
  6. Lower blood sugar. Diabetes is a known risk factor for dementia, so work with your doctor on ways to minimize your risk factors. (A healthy blood sugar is less than 100 after fasting.) If you already have diabetes, controlling it will help prevent dementia.
  7. Do a daily meditation. In just eight weeks, a daily mindfulness break can improve connectivity throughout the brain network in 55- to 90-year-olds, according to ongoing research from Wake Forest University. What’s more, meditation may slow Alzheimer’s progression and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol within the brain.
  8. Eat avocado. “It contains medium-chain fatty acids, which increase your brainpower by reducing inflammation,” says Emmons.
  9. Consider a daily low-dose aspirin. An ongoing National Institutes of Health clinical trial is testing the theory that taking an aspirin could lower the risk of dementia. Talk to your doctor about whether this could be right, and safe, for you.
  10. Fall-proof your house. A Tufts University study found that even a single trauma to the brain may lead to Alzheimer’s. So nail down rugs, dry slippery floors promptly, make sure your stairs have sturdy handrails and avoid using step stools or ladders without someone spotting you. And wear the right shoes. How your shoes fit and the height of the heel can affect your balance, a big culprit in causing falls.
  11. Mind your Bs. B vitamins lower homocysteine (an amino acid), which is linked to dementia. You can find them in enriched bread, pasta, rice and cereal, plus poultry, beans, dark leafy veggies, papayas, oranges and cantaloupe.
  12. Shake your booty. A new study from the University of British Columbia finds that regular aerobic exercise can actually increase the size of your hippocampus—the part of your brain that helps you learn and remember. So whether it’s dancing, jumping on a trampoline or jogging, it’s good for your brain.
  13. Become a tourist in your own town. Seeing fresh sights can rewire your brain to use new parts of itself, therefore helping it to work better than ever. “Once a month, sit down with the community calendar section of your newspaper and choose an activity you’ve never tried before—see a new play, or go to the local art museum if you’ve never visited it,” says Alter. “New experiences allow the brain to flex like a new muscle.”
  14. Color. Thought you outgrew your crayons? Adults everywhere are rediscovering their artistic sides and snapping up adult coloring books. This new trend can ease stress as well as put you in a meditative frame of mind. Both of these benefits are great for the brain. (Here – have some free downloadable coloring pages.)
  15. Go fish. Eat your omega-3s (fatty acids found in salmon and other cold-water fish) or take a supplement. A new study from the University of Pittsburgh found eating any kind of baked or broiled fish once a week helped spur structural brain changes that boost memory.
  16. Enjoy a glass of red wine. Fresh research from Texas A & M University found that resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, improves memory, mood and learning capacity.
  17. Munch peanuts. This yummy snack is also packed with cognition-boosting resveratrol.
  18. Find your sleep sweet spot. “Getting good sleep is the best thing you can do for your brain long term,” Emmons stresses. “It improves your mood and clears out your mind.” The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of shut-eye per night for adults ages 18 to 64, and seven to eight hours for adults 65 and older.
  19. Start a Pinterest page. Thinking of learning to knit, growing roses or making your own wreath? There are pages and pages of projects on Pinterest.com, where people save creative ideas on virtual bulletin boards. Pursuing new ideas that interest you is a powerful way to exercise your brain. Curious folks have lower rates of dementia, says Alter.
  20. Surf the Internet. It’s not a waste of time—searching for info on the web actually improves the neural circuitry of your brain, keeping it healthy, according to research from UCLA.
  21. Don’t skip your morning coffee. A Johns Hopkins study found that regular consumption of 200 milligrams of caffeine—the amount in one strong cup of coffee—has a positive impact on how much you remember for a full 24 hours after drinking.
  22. Hang out with friends and family. Social connections benefit brain cell health, experts say. Have lunch with your friends, take your grandchildren trick-or-treating or go for a long walk with your partner.
  23. Look on the bright side. Make a point to regularly ask yourself, “What if everything went right instead of wrong?” Positive thinking can actually activate your brain’s physical ability to adapt and change. Former President Jimmy Carter, 91, who responded to his recent cancer diagnosis with “optimism, vitality and determination,” is a great example of this, Emmons says.
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Categories: Entertainment

How Not to Learn a Foreign Language

Fri, 10/2/2015 5:00 AM

Joan Blasi in Crystal River, Florida, writes:

As infants learn to speak the language they are surrounded by, if an adult is exposed to another language via TV or radio daily, will he or she be able to assimilate it?

Marilyn responds:

No, the process of learning a language requires interaction. One may start by streaming a foreign-language course or working with an instructional DVD, etc., but by merely listening to words being spoken (with no intent to teach the listener), one would not even grasp their meaning.


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Categories: Entertainment
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