British pop star Olly Murs has become "obsessed" with protecting his vocal cords after he lost his voice last year (14). The Heart Skips a Beat hitmaker feared his singing career was over when he suffered voice troubles in 2014, and he is now doing all he can to keep his most precious instrument in top condition.
Murs has embarked on a new exercise regime and plans to spend all of February (15) working with a vocal coach ahead of a planned tour in March (15).
He tells Britain's Event magazine, "My voice. I thought I lost it. It was horrible. I did spend a few days thinking it was never coming back, that I'd damaged it for good. I saw doctors, throat experts, and even when I knew it would come back, I worried how it would come back, and whether it would go again.
"When I could finally sing after a couple of days I was so relieved... Even now I'm worried about what's going to happen on my tour. All I know is that I'm doing everything I can to look after it... My resolution is to get fit and get through the year with my voice intact. I'm starting off with tons of running and sprinting, then spending from February with a vocal coach, doing special exercises, doing my special hums to warm myself up. I'll become the throat guru! I'm obsessed with anything to do with vocal cords."
Liam Neeson doctors his movie daughter Maggie Grace's dates and recently terrified her current boyfriend by insisting on a serious chat with him. The actress, who plays Neeson's daughter in the Taken films, admits it's great to have someone like the formidable actor looking out for her and reveals he recently left a hotel press junket for their latest film, Taken 3, to have a word with her man.
She says, "He's met a couple of dates in the past and now I'm seeing someone who's, like, the real deal and he had to clear it, so in the middle of a press junket he snuck upstairs and my boyfriend was working away on the computer and he hears this banging on the door and the doorbell repetitively ringing.
"He opens the door and, in his words, he (Neeson) was, like, seven-and-a-half-feet tall... He just froze and Liam, he said, sounded like (Transformers robots) a Decepticon and it was like, 'Son, we need to sit down and have a conversation... about your intentions'.
"Who wouldn't want Liam, freaking, Neeson to take that role... I want him to handle everything, like, if I get a parking ticket..., trouble with my agent."
And Grace reveals her movie dad helped her pull a prank on one ex shortly after he broke her heart: "There was this boy and I was a little bit heartbroken... and I was telling Liam about it... and he was like, 'This just can't be. We have to set this kid straight. What shall we do?' So we called him at his office.
"Imagine being a young guy and working at your office and all of a sudden getting a call on a blocked number, and you answer it and it's basically the 'I have a special set of skills' speech (from Taken).
"It kinda backfired, because I think a lot of people in his office came in on speakerphone because they thought he was gonna be killed... and they were like, 'Wow, that really sounds like Liam Neeson'."
Grace's ex eventually saw the funny side to the prank and even asked his former girlfriend for a copy of the phone threat, which the actress aired during an appearance on U.S. chat show Conan on Thursday night (08Jan15).
Russian actor Evgeniv Sapaev hacked off his own penis in a bid to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a woman.
The 38-year-old star, who appeared in Russian blockbuster Burnt by the Sun 2, was admitted to hospital in his hometown of Gorokhovets, Russia and doctors sealed the wound but could not reattach his genitals.
His neighbor Arkhip Tikhonov alerted the emergency services after he found the actor on his doorstep bleeding heavily.
He says, "He knocked on my door and when I answered. He looked like a ghost, he had lost so much blood. His face was deathly white and he had blood all over his hands. At first I thought he was preparing for a new role in a film or a play. But when he collapsed on the doorstep I saw he was holding his severed penis in his hand and realised something serious was up so I called an ambulance."
Sapaev says of his near-death experience, "Ever since childhood I felt that I wanted to be a woman. I tried four times in the past to carry out the operation on myself but always lost my nerve. But this time I was determined and after taking a load of painkillers I sliced it off with a sharp knife."
A spokesman for the hospital adds, "He had lost a lot of blood and he was lucky he didn't die."
Mick Hucknall's thyroid condition went undiagnosed for a decade because he mistook the symptoms for old age. The Simply Red star went public with his hypothyroidism diagnosis in February, 2013, and has now revealed he spent 10 years suffering symptoms such as crippling tiredness, aching joints and weight gain before doctors finally realised what was wrong.
He tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "I'm not fully recovered yet but it's not as bad as it was. It was undiagnosed for years and the specialist I saw told me I'd probably had it since 1993. I had no idea. I knew I had aching joints and was tired all the time and had weight gain. But I thought it was simply growing old... I had mood swings, aching joints, fatigue, lots of connecting things with that."
After his diagnosis, the British pop star decided to shun medication and instead treat his condition using diet changes and an overhaul of his lifestyle.
He adds, "I decided to recover very slowly by not taking the prescribed medication and doing it through diet alone. In addition to caffeine, I had to cut out cruciferous vegetables... and eat more fish. I also had to get more selenium in my diet and take various vitamin and mineral supplements. Maybe I'm being irresponsible but I always get nervous about going down the drug road now... The specialist just gave me the options. Medication would have got rid of it in about three months or I could change my diet and lifestyle. I would say I'm about 80 to 90 per cent recovered, but I still get these little glandular lumps on my neck now and then. But it is much, much improved. I feel in great shape."
The singer recently announced his band Simply Red is reuniting for a world tour next year (15).
British pop star Michelle Heaton is recovering after undergoing a hysterectomy in a bid to avoid ovarian cancer. The former Liberty X star discovered she has a mutated gene which means she has an 80 per cent chance of developing breast cancer and a thirty per cent chance of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Heaton had her breasts removed in 2012 but delayed her hysterectomy until after she and her husband, Hugh Hanley, had their second child, Aaron Jay, who was born seven months ago.
The couple also has two-year-old daughter, Faith, who has a 50 per cent chance of inheriting the mutated gene.
The star underwent the hysterectomy on 2 October (14) and branded it "tough, stressful, painful and emotional".
In her blog for Britain's OK! magazine, she writes, "Facing the fact I can never have children again was obviously the hardest part when I came round. But that's an emotion I actually got over more hastily than I thought I would. When I really look at my children, I see the reason I underwent this life-changing op (sic) and that's to be here for them and to hopefully eliminate the chance of them having to see their mum go through what my dad saw with his, and her with hers and so on. I'm happy to say I'm well on the road to recovery and even proud to say I'm back at work - not against doctors orders mind you. He's amazed at my recovery time - he called it crazy how active I am again. I call it Faith and AJ (Aaron Jay), and let's face it girls, my husband, who no matter how hard he tries, can't live without me."
Reese Witherspoon gave her teenage daughter Ava a first-hand look at the refugee crisis in Africa by taking her to the Kakuma Camp in Kenya after wrapping harrowing new movie A Good Lie. The actress, who plays a Kansas-based employment agency counsellor trying to help three Sudanese refugees, had to get special permission to take her kid to the camp, but she is glad she made the effort because it helped Ava understand how lucky she is not to live in a war zone.
Witherspoon tells WENN, "At the end of the film we got to go to the Kakuma Refugee Camp. Even though I didn't shoot any scenes there I wasn't ready to go home to my life. I really wanted to see what the experience was like, so I took my teenage daughter.
"She's a wonderful, socially-conscious girl. I was lucky they organised for her to be there because she is a little young to be on these trips. She didn't say a word the whole day and didn't talk about it until a couple of days later. It stayed with us for a long time after.
"I think the memories we saw of women giving birth on metal tables, babies her brother's age sitting on concrete slabs and sleeping with seven other brothers and sisters. It was very emotional seeing 250,000 displaced people sleeping on concrete slabs and the sprawl of 12 different languages being spoken and seven kinds of religions with very little healthcare and very little food.
"What was really amazing was the joy of these people to rise above and their determination to have a better life for their children. Their spirit was just incredible. They'd greet you with smiles and laughter and hugs. It just really brought it home to me that this is an opportunity to raise awareness but it's also an opportunity to create change. These are people who were at the top of their field; they're doctors, they're educators, they're community leaders and they've been displaced.
"It's been really educational for me to learn about refugees and their contributions to society and hopefully we can lift more of them up out of their situations."
Comedienne Joan Rivers' daughter Melissa is "keeping fingers crossed" in the hope her mum will make a full recovery after suffering a major health scare last week (28Aug14). The legendary funnywoman was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City after suffering cardiac and respiratory arrest during a routine throat surgery at a nearby clinic.
She was placed in a medically-induced coma, and reports surfaced on Saturday (30Aug14) that the 81 year old had been placed on life support.
Amid rumours suggesting doctors are slowly taking Rivers off life support on Sunday (31Aug14), her daughter Melissa gave a brief update on her mum's condition.
In a statement she says, "Thank you for your continued love and support. We are keeping our fingers crossed."
Among Rivers' hospital visitors over the weekend were the comic's close friend and frequent collaborator, Jay Redack, who tells the New York Daily News that he was completely shocked when he heard of his pal's sudden health crisis, just hours after he saw her on Wednesday night (27Aug14).
He said, "We talked about life, Melissa, boyfriends, tennis lessons, and talked about her act. Everything was going well for her."
There are times where directorial hiring feels like a good fit, but others where they feel like planetary alignment. After being considered for the position a couple of months back, Drew Goddard is in negotiations to both write and direct Sony's upcoming Amazing Spider-Man spin-off, Sinister Six. The titular group is a collective of Spider-Man's fiercest foes that team up after repeated attempts to foil the superhero by themselves prove futile. Goddard is an inspired choice for the director's chair. The filmmaker has made a career out of shaping and creating tons of memorable villains. His work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Lost has added texture and depth to those shows' bad guys, while his 2012 feature with fellow superhero helmer Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods, brought a cornucopia of awful monsters to theaters. Here's a list of some of the best villains Goddard had a hand in creating.
The Cloverfield Monster (Cloverfield)A seriously strange and unnerving creation, this freaky giant monster wrought terror on the streets of New York in Cloverfield. It gave the found footage film a terrifying legitimacy that it has seldom been able to attain since.
Anya (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)This quickwitted vengeance demon would rip out the heart of a unfaithful lover while talking his ear off. Like many of the Buffyverse's best villains, she becomes an official member of the Scoobies, but Anya was at her most enjoyable when she was the parton saint of bloody revenge. Goddard penned one of her best episodes, Season 7's "Selfless."
The First Evil (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)By Season 7, Buffy had pretty much run out of supernatural baddies to face off against, so the big bad in the show's final season was The First Evil, an ancient being comprised of all the evil in the world.
Caleb (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)Both charming and devilish, Caleb added some corporeal might to the First Evil's campaign to end the world. Nathan Fillion, always the jag.
Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)Spike was a swaggering, punk rock, bad boy vampire that spent the early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a recurring antagonist. Even though Spike does become a mostly good guy in the end, the Spike/Drusilla tag team from Seasons 2 and 3 is still the most terrifying duo in television history.
Dana the Vampire Slayer (Angel)In a Goddard-penned episode of Angel, a newly powered vampire slayer kills several people at a hospital before escaping. Dana probably blurs the line between victim and villain, considering she was tortured as a child and is mentally unstable, but great villains usually do.
Ben Linus (Lost)The sly and manipulative Ben Linus served as the primary antagonist in Lost for several seasons. His unerring devotion to the Island drove him to commit many cold-blooded actions across the show's run, but the character redeems himself (somewhat) towards the end. Goddard wrote Ben's first flashback episode, "The Man Behind the Curtain."
The Smoke Monster (Lost)This enigmatic plume of deadly black smoke that served as a constant threat to many of the survivors of Oceanic 815. It was later revealed to be the mystical Man in Black, a force of evil on the island.
Merman (The Cabin in the Woods)While mermaids are usually elegant redheaded beauties that sing show tunes and befriend high-strung Jamaican crabs, Mermen are horrid, disfigured creatures of the deep that murder with reckless abandon.
Angry Molesting Tree (The Cabin in the Woods)Probably the first living thing in history to be both and endangered plant species and a registered sex offender. This homage to a creature in the Evil Dead series is both silly and disturbing.
Zombie Redneck Torture Family (The Cabin in the Woods)The primary monster of Cabin in the Woods before the film flips the script into an all out monster bash, these creatures are suitably terrifying. Regular zombies are bad enough, but add on top of that a layer of backwoods ignorance and you've got yourself one doozy of a monster.
Unicorn (The Cabin in the Woods)So the horn on a unicorn's head is used to impale innocents. Makes sense, really.
Those Guys with Doll Masks (The Cabin in the Woods)These doll-faced humanoid creatures that pop out of an elevator don't have any claws, fangs, or any of the other standard horror movie staples, but they are probably the scariest monsters in the film.
Murdering Clown (The Cabin in the Woods)Our debilitating fear of clowns and bright colors were vindicated by the stab happy circus performer in Cabin in the Woods.
The Doctors (The Cabin in the Woods)Feeding off the fear that medical doctors are really sadistic maniacs with bone saws and slightly cold hands, 'The Doctors' from The Cabin in the Woods are the reason some of us haven't had a checkup since 2012. I'd rather just let this broken bone just sort itself out thank you very much.
Hell Lord (The Cabin in the Woods)With half a dozen buzz saw blades sticking out of his head, the Hell Lord is some serious nightmare fuel.
Klu Klux Klan (The Cabin in the Woods)Fictional monsters sure are terrible but really, racism is the real evil facing the world today.
The Killer Robot (The Cabin in the Woods)We'd like to think that the reason the show Robot Wars was canceled was because this mechanized monster became sentient and killed its creators.
The Office Drones (The Cabin in the Woods)With all their claws, tendrils, and unicorn horns, the creatures featured in The Cabin In The Woods are all deathly frightening, but the true monsters of the film are definitely the coffee-swilling desk jockeys that subject the unsuspecting teens to the deadly horror movie ritual. I hope giving up their souls were worth the sweet 401k plan.
Sigourney Weaver (The Cabin in the Woods)Shudder...
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Though the products tonight didn't seem that innovative, there were plenty of great zingers and jabs thrown throught the episode.
First in the Tank were Betsy Johnson and her brother Berry (Yes, Berry) Johnson, the entrepreneurs behind SwimZip - a clothing line of UV-protecting swim clothes for children. What made them stand apart though was the fact they had a zipper on the front. Though they had good numbers, the majority of the Sharks - Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Kevin O' Leary, and Robert Herjavec - bowed out quickly due to their being too early in their journey. The only one that believed was Lori Greiner. She offered the money that they needed but wanted 20%. Betsy was ready to jump on the deal, but Berry thought it was too much equity. Betsy got greedy and wanted $120,000 for the same equity, which almost killed the deal. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and they got the deal despite Berry's initial interference.
Update They updated Kimberly Nelson and her company Daisy Cakes, who had made a deal with Barbara Corcoran. They had hit a speed bump, losing cakes due to bad quality and lost $150,000. Corcoran moved them back to their initial home base and things looked on the upswing, since their sales looked to be in the $3 million range.
Phil Black, the entrepreneur behind Fit Deck, had a heck of a resume - he graduated from Yale, worked at Goldman Sachs and was a Navy SEAL. His product was a bunch of cards with different fitness exercises. Though he had made good sales, he was sinking too much money into it and none of the Sharks bit at his $300,000/20% valuation , though they did thank him for his service to his country. That was probably to keep him from possibly sneaking into their homes and exacting revenge. Hey, he was a SEAL, after all.
Daryl Stevenett, the third entrepreneur, was pitching the strangest thing I ever saw on the show, LifeCaps. He started off off by asking the Sharks if he looked well and mentally alert. He said he hadn't eaten any food for eight days. According to him three of his pills a day was enough to keep him healthy. Cuban called him what I was thinking - a snake-oil salesman. The guy could have been one of those traveling people in the early 1900s. The problems were numerous: he hadn't run any tests and there were no doctors backing it. Though he said it wasn't a diet aid.
Susan Petersen was the last entrepreneur in the Tank with her company Freshly Picked, which were high-end moccasins for kids. She regaled them with her story of how she took aluminum from old windows that her brother had taken and sold them for her first batch of leather. The company was quite profitable but Cuban, Herjavec and Greiner didn't see themselves fitting in her market. O'Leary offered her half of what she was seeking on the contingency that John joined in the deal. The FUBU founder kicked O'Leary to the curb and offered her $150,000 for 25%. Petersen, who had professed love to O'Leary before explaining that John was her dream investor. She wound up taking his deal and leaving on Cloud 9.
"Would you like to try it?" -- Stevenett asking the Sharks to sample his LifeCaps"Yes." -- Herjavec, apparently eager to put a untested pill in his mouth"ABSOLUTELY NOT!" -- Cuban, looking ready to tackle Herjavec if he even made a move to open a bottle
"Well, it's like bears. They hibernate. How come they don't die sleeping for seven months?" -- Stevenett"They buy LifeCaps?" -- O'Leary offering a new biological theory
"Barbara, can I explain one thing?" -- Stevenett to Greiner after she says she is out"I'm not Barbara. I'm Lori." -- Greiner, debunking Stevenett's claims that he still had mental acuity after not eating for eight days
"You're full of crap!" -- Cuban to Stevenett about his LifeCap claims"I have no crap in me. I haven't eaten in eight days." -- Stevenett's reply, making even Cuban laugh
"I get slimy thinking about him." -- Cuban was NOT a fan of Stevenett
"Kevin, your face is on my pillow at night. I love you!" -- Petersen to O'Leary"Keep that up and I'll drop the royalty rate!" -- O'Leary's reply
The second episode of True Detective delves even deeper into the lives and minds of our two main detectives, Cohle and Hart. The show opens with the detectives visiting Dora Lange's mother’s house. She is visibly suffering, blaming her headache and molded nails on the fact that she worked in a dry cleaners for years.
We see the juxtaposition between the two men, Cohle waking up alone in his apartment, Hart waking up next to his wife with his kids running into the room. In the car, where most conversations between Cohle and Hart seem to take place, Cohle reveals to Hart that he was married and they had a daughter. His daughter was killed in a car accident. Hart’s sympathy seems genuine.
We immediately see Hart in a bar, talking about the first time he had sex in his uniform, an encounter that ended with a finger up his bum. Than Mr. Family Man Hart calls his mistress on a payphone, heads to her house and we see her C-cup breasts and her entire lower half, while Hart’s shirt is never removed. He justifies his infidelity by saying “You gotta take your release where you find it or where it finds you. In the end, it’s good for the family.”
We call BS. And so does his wife, clearly upset at her parents' house and well into the family dinner later that night. We’d like to point out an event the show breezed over: Hart went upstairs to get his daughters for dinner and when they left the room, he noticed their dolls. A naked woman on the ground surrounded, closely, by 5 men, one bending over the woman. That’s all we're gonna say because that’s all we saw, but it definitely felt wrong.
When Cohle talks about the death of his daughter to the present-day detectives he tells them he feels spared; the doctors told him she didn’t feel a thing. “Isn’t that a beautiful way to go out, painlessly as a happy child … As for my daughter, she spared me the sin of being a father.”
We also see Cohle tell the detectives how he ended up working undercover for 4 years. He shot a man who injected his infant with crystal meth in the belief doing so would purify his child. Four years later, Cohle has hallucinations that stem from his 4-year undercover drug stint.
The case slowly reveals itself alongside the lives of the detectives. Cohle learns about ‘The Ranch’ from a prostitute he bought Quaaludes from. She says he seems dangerous. His reply: “Of course I’m dangerous. I’m the police. I can do terrible things to people, with impunity.” Which he proves when he beats the hell out of some men because they weren’t cooperating with him and Hart. They follow their leads to ‘The Ranch’ where they acquire Dora’s diary.
Back at the police station a task force is developed to take over the case, but Hart and Cohle are given the rest of the month before they officially hand the case over. Hart and Cohle follow their lead to a burned-out church with a painting of a woman with antlers, similar to Dora’s body. It would appear that someone is trying to cover their tracks.