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Meet Lana Wachowski: Matrix Director Finishes Transgender Transition

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Celebrity Gossip

via Larry Wachowski Transgender: ‘Matrix’ Director Reveals Transition To Lana Wachowski (VIDEO).

The director of “The Matrix” and the highly-anticipated film “Cloud Atlas” has become the first major Hollywood director to publicly come out as transgender.

Lana Wachowski revealed she has transitioned while promoting her new film, the New York Post reported.

Lana has been transitioning for years now, the Post also reported. This new clip for “Cloud Atlas,” starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, appears to be her first public appearance since transitioning.

In the trailer, Lana introduces the film with her brother, Andy Wachowski, and director Tom Tykwer.

“Hi, I’m Lana,” she says with her hair styled in pink dreadlocks.

Lana’s personal life has been a source of headline fodder for years now.



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VIDEO: 7 Minutes of Terror

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 - by Charlie Martin
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‘It’s Better to Be Single Than in a Strained Relationship, Probably Because of the Stress Toll…’

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 - by Helen Smith

I was reading an article on the 7 health risks for men over 40 and one of them was “being single”:

Numerous surveys have shown that married men, especially men in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, are healthier and have lower death rates than those who never married or who are divorced or widowed. Never-married men are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, for example. After 50, divorced men’s health deteriorates rapidly compared to married men’s, found a RAND Center for the Study of Aging report.

What’s the magic in the ring? The social connectedness of marriage may lower stress levels and depression, which lead to chronic illness. (Women tend to have more social ties outside of marriage.)

Oops: Unmarried men generally have poorer health habits, too — they drink more, eat worse, get less medical care, and engage in more risky behaviors (think drugs and promiscuous sex). Exception: It’s better to be single than in a strained relationship, probably because of the stress toll, say researchers in Student BMJ.

Maybe the older men who stayed married had wives who didn’t cause as much stress, hence the better health. The thing is, as marriage becomes more stressful for younger men, is it better to stay single for your health?

Another thought: Men are living longer than ever and marrying less and less often, is there a connection?

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Kristen Stewart Cheats, Millennial Women Weep

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 - by Hannah Sternberg

Don’t let this post lead you to believe I care about Kristen Stewart. When I told a friend that my editor had asked me to write about Kristen Stewart, that otherwise well-spoken girl’s response was:

what the what the

“what are you going to write about Kristen Stewart?!  That she’s a dumb ho who inexplicably cheated on EDWARD CULLEN and is one of the biggest paparazzi magnets ever — how did she think she wouldn’t get caught in public with a MARRIED MAN?  HO.  And, she aint even that pretty.  BURN.”

I do care what people think of Kristen Stewart. Because it’s funny as hell. And my absolutely scientific survey of the girls gathered at my friend’s house to watch the Olympics last night proves, beyond any possibility of a doubt, that even the most pop-culturally unplugged female has an opinion on Kristen Stewart’s infidelity. My boyfriend adds, “Even I heard about that. Don’t you go quotin’ me.”

And then there’s my fellow PJM blogger Leslie Loftis, who writes about Stewart’s infidelity as a sign of the times – yet another young woman persuaded by others that she shouldn’t settle down too young, even if she’s met the “perfect guy.”

I won’t pretend to know anything about Kristen or her relationship with these two men – I don’t know what life was like in private moments between her and Robert Pattinson, and whether he was the perfect guy he seemed in public; whether Kristen was feeling vulnerable when she cheated, or if she just recklessly did something selfish as so many people our age do. Who knows if he wanted her more than she wanted him and she didn’t know how to extricate herself without hurting him so she waited too long and then did something dumb; after all, it’s not an unusual story for people their age — they just happen to be celebrities so we pay attention.

As stated already, I don’t care. But other people’s opinions on the scandal fascinate me. Because that’s the sign of the times cultural commentators are seeking in the tea leaves of celebrites’ lives. So what’s there to find?

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7 Great Quotes About Life from Legendary Football Coaches

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 - by John Hawkins

Bear Bryant

1) One of the most harmful myths spread by movies is that it’s the person who wants it more who finds a way to win when the chips are down. That’s actually very misleading. Heart might give you an edge versus an equally matched opponent, but preparation mows down heart 99 times out of 100. It’s not who wants it more in the moment; it’s wanting it bad enough to put in work day after day, week after week, and year after year until you make yourself into a formidable opponent. Don’t bet on heart; bet on the one who’s out there busting his behind to get better when there’s no cheering crowd to spur him on.

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Peter Jackson Milking It: Prepare for 3 Hobbit Films

Monday, July 30th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle News

via Peter Jackson Making 3 Hobbit Films Whether We Like It Or Not | The Mary Sue.

We don’t have a whole lot to go on right now but it’s been confirmed that Jackson and New Line are going ahead with a third Hobbit movie.

When the rumors first started, Jackson didn’t exactly deny the possibility of a third movie but said, “We are also using extensive parts of the appendices which were published at the end of Return of the King. This is not just The Hobbit— it’s The Hobbit set in a much greater context of events taking place throughout Middle-earth during this period. The material is so rich. In fact only this last week or two, we’ve been talking to the studio about allowing us to shoot some additional material next year, to fully complete the story.” But an unnamed studio representative said the plan was always for two.

At Comic-Con, Jackson wasn’t sure what the new shoots would be for though he theorized it could be for extended editions of the two films. And the very last we heard was that he was talking to New Line about stretching into a third film which, no duh, the studio said yes to.

Here’s what Jackson had to say on his Facebook page:

It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie – and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’

 

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A Week After Losing 6-Year-Old in Aurora Shooting, Her Wounded Mother Miscarries

Monday, July 30th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle News

via Double Tragedy for Colorado Shooting Victim: Pregnant Mom Miscarries Days After Her 6-Year-Old Dies | Parenting – Yahoo! Shine.

A week after losing her 6-year-old daughter, Veronica, in the horrific Aurora movie massacre, Ashley Moser suffered a second tragedy.

Colorado suspect charged with multiple murder counts

The 25-year-old mom, who was critically wounded when a gunman opened fire at a Colorado Dark Knight Rises premiere, suffered a miscarriage as a result of her injuries this past weekend.

”Ashley Moser is recovering from an additional surgery she had this morning,” read a statement from the Aurora Medical Center, where she’s been receiving treatment. ”Tragically, the extreme trauma she sustained also caused a miscarriage.”

After being shot in the abdomen and neck, Moser was in critical condition. Her family waited to share the devastating news about her daughter Veronica, the youngest fatality in the shooting, until Moser’s condition improved last week. But by this weekend, it was confirmed Moser had also lost the fetus she’d been carrying for eight weeks as a result of her injuries.

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My Take On The Dark Knight Rises

Monday, July 30th, 2012 - by Andrew Klavan

My reaction to the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s excellent Dark Knight trilogy is in the Wall Street Journal today:

Murder is the opposite of art: destructive, impoverishing, nihilistic. To discuss the act of a killer as if it had some relevance to a work of culture is to usher the age-old enemy of mankind into one of his citadels. So I will pass over the massacre in an Aurora, Colo., theater in a silence respectful toward its victims.

But the film that was playing in that theater—”The Dark Knight Rises”—deserves to be loudly celebrated as a masterful and stunningly honest work of Western popular culture.

The movie is a bold apologia for free-market capitalism; a graphic depiction of the tyranny and violence inherent in every radical leftist movement from the French Revolution to Occupy Wall Street; and a tribute to those who find redemption in the harsh circumstances of their lives rather than allow those circumstances to mire them in resentment.

You can read the rest here.

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Cross-Posted from Klavan on the Culture

Related at PJ Lifestyle:

6 Punches Director Zach Snyder Must Land in Man of Steel

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6 Punches Director Zack Snyder Must Land in Man of Steel

Monday, July 30th, 2012 - by Walter Hudson

In the 2004 film Finding Neverland, playwright J.M. Barrie is depicted seeding orphaned children throughout the opening-night audience of Peter Pan. He does this to break the ice for the surrounding adults, gambling that the children’s earnest reactions will suspend disbelief in grown-ups.

I was reminded of Barrie’s strategy upon watching the teaser trailer for Man of Steel, which was attached to the recent release of The Dark Knight Rises. For those not expecting it, the teaser plays its subject close to the chest. Shots of rural America are interposed with footage of a black-bearded, blue-eyed migrant worker hitching rides between jobs. Visually, all is ordinary, even a bit mundane. Only the voice-over hints at something special about this man. In the version I saw (there are two making the rounds), Kevin Costner speaks of a moral choice ahead and states that this man, his son, will undoubtedly change the world.

It is only after that subdued montage, when our interest is piqued regarding how this seemingly ordinary person could change anything, that we get a brief glimpse of something up in the sky, a caped figure propelled without effort, zipping through the clouds at such speed that he leaves behind a sonic boom. Then, we behold the iconic S shield.

It was at that moment during my viewing that a young child among the audience gasped and cheered.

Superman!

I doubt he was a J.M. Barrie plant, but the moment played as he would have intended. The whole audience took that kid’s glee as permission to get excited. After the Dark Knight legend ends, the Man of Steel’s begins.

The grounded portrayal evident in the teaser offers hope that this on-screen iteration of Superman will depart significantly from the increasingly cartoonish super-powered soap operas of the past thirty years. Lending credence to that hope is a familiar creative team. Christopher Nolan, who directed the Dark Knight trilogy, is producing Man of Steel. He also came up with the story, which was put to script by Dark Knight scribe David S. Goyer. Direction is provided by Watchman and 300 auteur Zach Snyder.

Assuming Nolan can tame Snyder’s often chaotic visual style, it seems likely that Man of Steel will revitalize the Superman mythos for a generation that’s never been properly introduced. Sure, there was Superman Returns a couple years ago, and the adventures of a young Clark Kent in television’s Smallville. But neither of those efforts effectively captured the essence of the character or his world.

Those of us with young children today grew up with the films of the late ’70s and ’80s. For us, Superman was and shall in spirit remain Christopher Reeve. The earnest humanity he brought to Clark Kent was eclipsed only by his steadfast portrayal of Superman.

Richard Donnor, director of the 1978 original, famously sought verisimilitude.

You will believe a man can fly.

So read the teaser poster. And we did believe. The film is still regarded as one of the best in the genre. But it was not without flaws, and things have slid downhill since.

Superman II was only partially shot by Donnor. It was finished by and credited to Richard Lester, who added heavy camp reminiscent of super hero parodies like the ’60s Batman television series. Though much of Donnor’s verisimilitude endured in the final cut, it was wholly absent from the absurd entries which followed. Reeve remained impeccable as Superman, but could not overcome his increasingly ludicrous surroundings.

After Donnor and Reeve, Kent and his alter-ego retreated to the small screen in various iterations until 2006’s Superman Returns. Coming off the success of the X-Men franchise, and in light of vocal reverence for Richard Donnor, it seemed the Superman property was in good hands under director Bryan Singer. Alas, what emerged in theaters was a super disappointment for reasons we shall explore.

In order to set things right, and restore Superman’s verisimilitude, there are several things next year’s reboot must do. The fact that Nolan and company are proceeding as though no previous films exist provides an opportunity to recast the godfather of all superheroes in an image long lost. Here are six punches director Zach Snyder must land in Man of Steel.

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Why Male Doctors Make More than Female Doctors

Sunday, July 29th, 2012 - by Helen Smith

A reader sent me a link (thanks!) to this article on the pay gap betweeen male and female doctors and after doing a study, the authors reached the following conclusion:

Male doctor earns more per hour relative to the male PA than the female doctor earns relative to the female PA. However, a big part of the difference comes from an hours gap. The vast majority of male doctors under the age of 55 work substantially more than the standard 40 hour work week. In contrast, most female doctors work between 2 to 10 hours fewer than this per week.

It’s hard to compare wages when one group (men) are working more than 40 hours a week and another group (women) are working 2-10 hours less than 40 hours per week. Warren Farrell has been making this point for years.

Why is this so hard for feminists to understand, unless they want something for nothing? Oh, never mind.

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Super Mario In Post-It Note Form Running Around the Room

Sunday, July 29th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Humor
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Hat tip: The Mary Sue

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More on Video Games at PJ Lifestyle:

Bryan Preston: On Atari’s 40th Birthday: The 10 Greatest Atari 2600 Games

Walter Hudson: Will the Xbox 360 Be Banned in America?

Andrew Klavan: With Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Video Games Edge Closer to Movie Territory

Jeremac: 5 Video Games You Loved as a Kid But Will Hate If You’re Dumb Enough to Play As an Adult

Dave Swindle: Why I Stopped Playing Video Games

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Jazz and Cocktails

Saturday, July 28th, 2012 - by Stephen Green
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Poncho Sanchez requires a mojito, natch. This track from Conga Blue one of my favorites, but he may never make a better album than Afro-Caribbean Fantasy. Really, both of them belong in your collection.

While you play the song and maybe pull up Amazon, let’s make a mojito.

You’ll need:

Several mint leaves
One sprig of mint
The juice of one-half lime
2 ounces of your favorite light rum
1 tablespoon sugar
Club soda
Ice

Put the leaves, lime juice, and sugar in the bottom of a highball glass, then muddle it. Fill the glass halfway with ice, add the rum, and stir quickly. Fill the glass the rest of the way with ice, then top off with club soda. Give it one last stir, and garnish with the sprig.

Here’s the one I just made.

Cheers.

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What Kristen Stewart’s Betrayal Means for Robert Pattinson

Saturday, July 28th, 2012 - by Leslie Loftis

Yesterday, the news of Robsten’s implosion rocked some areas of the web. I commented that the cause of the implosion, Kristen Stewart’s infidelity, was not the result of anything wrong in her and Robert Pattinson’s relationship, but fueled by cultural dictates proclaiming that our early 20s are too soon to settle down. In short, our modern norms create the very immaturity that culture uses as evidence of immaturity. Yesterday, I discussed how that that happens for women. Today, I want to look at what this dynamic does to men.

It turns them into the hardened misogynists we are trying to eradicate.

Every man who does not start out as the sex-seeking, alpha male jerk has a girl in his past who did the “I’m not ready for a commitment,” also known as the “it’s not you, it’s me,” breakup. Well, every man might be an exaggeration, but not by much. These young men loved their girlfriends, offered them their strength, support, and protection — all things that many women claim to want in a husband and father in about 10-15 years. In short, these young men make themselves vulnerable to women, but the women aren’t ready yet, often because we tell them they aren’t ready yet. Whether these young and naive women unceremoniously dump their dedicated beau or humiliate him through cuckoldry, he walks away devastated. He trusted and was betrayed.

Typically, two things happen simultaneously, one internal and one cultural. Internally, the young men retreat into themselves. Having made themselves so vulnerable, they vow to not make that mistake again. Culturally, we often tell a man to get over a girl by sleeping with every willing girl he can find. To see how fun that might be, go watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall, specifically the post breakup sex montage, including such passionate moments as “Are you crying?” “Hi,” and “I think I have an STD.”

Notice, that this is the only point that what we tell young women and what we tell young men, syncs. First the men are ready for commitment but the women aren’t. Later, when the women are ready, the men aren’t. In the middle, we tell the young women to get experience, that is sleep around, and tell young men to drown their heartache in lots of sex. This is why 20somethings spend so much time rutting about. They don’t have out of control libidos so much as we tell them to sleep around–and here is the best part. We tell them this so they can make better choices when the time is right. It doesn’t work out that way.

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Defensive Medicine Kills

Friday, July 27th, 2012 - by Dr. Peter Weiss

 

Have you ever had a headache? Have you ever had diarrhea? Have you ever taken aspirin?

If so, you may be entitled to compensation for complications from taking aspirin. Call us now. We don’t get paid until you do, and then we take 40%. Why risk your hard-earned money on work? Come roll the dice. It’s free. It’s America.

Okay, maybe I got a little carried away there, but not by much. Late night TV ads now solicit “clients” who have had “complications” from some sort of medical treatment. Never mind that “complications” does not equal malpractice. Life is a complication. Malpractice is supposed to be just that, not maloccurrence.

This problematic scenario forces physicians to practice defensive medicine. This has nothing to do with what’s the best medicine, only with what trial lawyers have forced us to do. Defensive medicine has become “standard of care.”

The true cost of defensive medicine is hard to pinpoint. Estimates range from between 10% and 25% of every health care dollar spent. Many of us believe it may even be higher.

Defensive medicine not only costs us a hell of a lot of money, it may also kill us! Doctors call for more than 62 million CAT scans annually in the USA. According to a 2007 New England Journal of Medicine article, one-third were probably unnecessary. Again, many physicians feel that may be an underestimate.

Here comes the real kicker. The radiation dose from a single CAT scan is 500 times that of a plain chest X-ray.

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Will Ferrell Vs Zach Galifianakis

Friday, July 27th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Vs.

Who is the real king of comedy today? Has Galifianakis taken the top spot that Ferrell once dominated? Or is there someone else who’s funnier than them both?

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Related at PJ Lifestyle:

Kathy Shaidle: That’s Not Funny: The 5 Biggest Comedy Taboos

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VIDEO: The Most Annoying Couple On the Planet Plans the Wedding from Hell

Friday, July 27th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Humor

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The Ensuckification of Facebook Continues

Friday, July 27th, 2012 - by Stephen Green

It’s official: Facebook is forcing us all to switch our profiles to the new “Timeline” format, whether we want it or not. I can assure you that, empirically, it sucks.

Back when I was studying journalism, rather than making fun of journalists, they taught us that a newspaper or magazine layout should follow a Z pattern. A reader’s eyes quite naturally start at the top left corner, scan right, zip down and to the left, then right again — so your layout should work with human nature to make the sale.

They taught us to put the newest and most important information — the item that would get readers to spend a quarter — on the top left corner. (A quarter? Yeah, I was learning this a long time ago. But it’s a timeless lesson.) If the big item was big enough, give it the whole top line of the Z. The second biggest story follows on the next part of the Z, followed by the third, and then the fourth — if there’s room for four. Three, they told us, was more or less ideal. Too much information, and the reader loses focus before he ponies up the 25¢.

Here’s the layout for Timeline.

What dominates the top third of the screen? Static information. Your name, your banner (I don’t have a banner yet, so just a headshot), and some personal data like job and where you went to school. You know, stuff that doesn’t change very much, or at all. In other words, the first thing a visitor to your profile sees is a bunch of crap they already know. And lots of people are putting up big, busy banners which dominate your eyeballs. Timeline isn’t as bad as MySpace, but only because Facebook doesn’t let you use a zillion different fonts or animated GIFs. But let’s keep that quiet, before Zuckerberg gets any more bright ideas.

The next place your eyeballs travel is to the status update box. That’s fine for you, lousy for visitors. After that, something called “Activity.” Well, I know who I just friended, and you’re probably not all that interested. So… why the prominence?

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No One Is Ever ‘Just Kidding’

Friday, July 27th, 2012 - by Kathy Shaidle

 

I guess if I wanted to be totally pompous, I could call them the Upani-Shaidles.

But I don’t, so I’ll refer to them instead as Kathy’s Rules For Life (which barely sounds much better).

We all have a set of expressions we carry around like a mental Swiss Army Knife – handy, almost foolproof “tools” we use to cut through BS and navigate our surroundings.

Expressions like “Go with your gut” or “What would Ferris do?”

The one’s that saved me untold hours of confusion is “No one is ever just kidding.”

My husband hates it.

He grew up in a big family of brothers. Teasing was the lingua franca.

I’m the only child of two only children who watched The Boy in the Plastic Bubble and envied John Travolta.

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Kristen Stewart’s Hard Fall: Cheating on Boyfriend Robert Pattinson with a Married Man

Thursday, July 26th, 2012 - by Leslie Loftis

Today the Hollywood-gossip and 20-something-fan-girl sets are reeling over revelations that Kristen Stewart cheated on longtime boyfriend Robert Pattinson with the married director of her latest movie Snow White and the Huntsman. There are many snarky comments about how Stewart was so bold as to cheat on one of the most sought-after hunks in Hollywood. The fans and gossips are combing through old interviews and appearances looking for explanations. The whys won’t be found in such details — they’re in our society, in what we teach young women and men about love and commitment.

These days, we tell teens that their 20s are for living their life, doing their own thing, experimenting, experiencing. So if a girl meets Mr. Wonderful in her early 20s, when things turn to serious talks about marriage and children, she freaks out. Her friends, her sisters, sometimes her mother — they have told her it is too soon. If she goes so far as to get engaged, we women stage interventions. Granted, sometimes marriage is too soon. Other times the couple isn’t a good match. But we don’t typically weigh the relationships with a little discounting of the judgment of a younger woman. We take her youth as the decisive factor.

In so doing, we create the very immaturity we use as evidence of their immaturity.

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Why Organic Food is Overrated

Thursday, July 26th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Health

via Organic Is Overrated | Hoover Institution.

The critics of genetic engineering in agriculture—also known as “genetic modification” (GM) or gene-splicing—for decades have relied upon and promulgated The Big Lie: that food from genetically engineered crops is untested, unsafe, unwanted, and unneeded. All of these assertions, made by radical anti-technology organizations such as the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Environmental Defense, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Center for Food Safety, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Greenpeace are demonstrably false.

The benefits of genetically engineered crops are proven. According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, from 1996 to 2010, the use of modern genetic engineering technology increased crop production and value by $78 billion; it obviated the need to apply of 443 million kg of pesticide active ingredients to crops; in 2010 alone, it reduced CO2 emissions by 19 billion kg, the equivalent of taking approximately 9 million cars off the road; it conserved biodiversity by saving 91 million hectares of land; and it helped alleviate poverty by increasing the agricultural productivity and food security of 15 million small farmers who are some of the poorest people in the world.

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Aurora Shooting Victim: The First Thing I Want to Say to Him is ‘I Forgive You,’ and the Next is, ‘Can I Pray for You?’

Thursday, July 26th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Yahoo News with a wonderful story today:

It would be understandable for the victims of the Colorado theater shooting and their families to want to seek retribution.

But Pierce O’Farrill, a 28-year-old who was shot three times, says he has forgiven James Holmes, the suspected shooter in last week’s Aurora, Colo., massacre.

“Of course, I forgive him with all my heart,” O’Farrill told reporters shortly before his release from the Univ. of Colorado Hospital on Wednesday. “When I saw him in his hearing, I felt nothing but sorrow for him–he’s just a lost soul right now.”

O’Farrill–a staffer at the Denver Rescue Mission, a Christian charity organization that helps “people at their physical and spiritual points of need, with the goal of returning them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens”–told the Denver Post he would eventually like to meet Holmes.

“I want to see him sometime,” O’Farrill, one of 58 people wounded in the shooting, said. “The first thing I want to say to him is ‘I forgive you,’ and the next is, ‘Can I pray for you?’”

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Image courtesy shutterstock /  wongwean

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Tasty Food to Celebrate American Freedom in the South of France

Thursday, July 26th, 2012 - by Clarice Feldman

See Part 1: How I Learned to Bake French Bread in the South of France

And Part II: How to Shop for Wine in the South of France

The Tradition

For as long as Leslie Barr and Richard Perle have vacationed in Southern France they have tried to entertain their friends and neighbors with an authentic, American-style cookout.

At first their house — built by my old friend Jackie for some of her staff — featured a kitchen the size of a walk-in closet. With the kitchen in the house much expanded, the cookout became a summer feature in the area. In recent years they stayed for most of the summer, not just August, and scheduled the event for the Fourth of July, transforming it into an Independence Day celebration.

The biggest challenge: the logistics of acquiring the necessary foodstuffs and decorations down there. However the menu changes, the basics remain the same: Hebrew National hot dogs, grilled hamburgers, and — an addition by Leslie’s mother of blessed memory — chocolate chip cookies.

At first, friends in Frankfurt stopped at the commissary for what was needed. More recently, the necessaries have arrived packed in our suitcases. This year Sheral Schowe (our wine guide from part II) brought red, white, and blue balloons, paper plates, napkins, and tablecloths. Richard supplied the hot dogs and held his breath while his luggage temporarily disappeared at Charles de Gaulle.

As scary: the fact that the suitcase we brought contained the chocolate chips and didn’t arrive until the night of July 3, a day after Leslie — who’d been stuck in Chevy Chase’s power outage with their dog — arrived to lend a hand.

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Yes, the Three-Breasted Woman Will Make Her Triumphant Return in Total Recall Remake

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 - by Rick Moran

There were many questions about the Total Recall remake that fans were anxious to have answered.

1. Will Colin Farrell speak with an Austrian accent?

2. Kate Beckinsale vs. Sharon Stone: Who would you rather wake up next to?

3. Will the three-breasted prostitute from the original version make an appearance in the remake?

Thankfully, Farrell decided against using an Austrian accent. As for question #2, are you nuts? Does it really matter?

And yes, the reboot of the iconic 1990 actioneer will feature perhaps the most interesting character from the original; a mutant with three breasts who comes on to Arnold Schwarzenegger at a sleazy bar on Mars. At the recently completed Comic-Con in San Diego, actress Kaitlyn Leeb caused a sensation when she walked around the convention sporting her barely concealed triple mammaries.

“You’re gonna wish you had three hands,” Leeb’s character purrs to Colin Farrell’s Quaid/Hauser in the Total Recall trailer as she opens her shirt. The same character (played by Lycia Naff) caused a sensation in the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, but thanks to a Comic Con appearance and the internet, Leeb has gone global.

Leeb is back home in Toronto after a stint in Calgary where she’s working on season six of CBC’s family drama Heartland, playing veterinary assistant Cassandra.

She made an appearance at Comic Con in San Diego with Total Recall castmates Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel last weekend, stealing their thunder with a skimpy costume that revealed the realistic-looking prosthetic trio.

“Total Three-Call,” trumpeted London tabloid the Sun, while photos from the event flooded the web and were published around the world.

“It’s a tough industry and I’ve worked very hard for it,” said Leeb, who was also an amateur figure skater before starting to work as an actress. “It feels amazing that you’re recognized. It’s surreal, the past couple of days. It’s all new and exciting.”

But while “it’s cool to be in this situation,” Leeb stresses she can’t take all the credit. “All three of them are not mine,” she said.

I predict that “You’re gonna wish you had three hands” will become as famous a film quote as Roy Schieder’s warning to Quint after the shark nearly took his hand off in Jaws, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

Director Len Wiseman has an impressive track record, having directed Beckinsale in the first two Underworld flicks (he produced the final two installments), while also helming the fourth film in the Die Hard franchise, Live Free and Die Hard. All were blockbusters and there’s no reason to believe that TR will be any different.

Colin Farrell might not have Arnold’s muscles, but he appears athletic enough to carry off the role of Douglas Quade. Both Beckinsale, who plays Quade’s wife Lori, and Jessica Biel, who plays the sultry resistance leader Melina, are the action heroines of their generation — strong, beautiful women who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. The last trailer for the film reveals a much different landscape than the sterile atmosphere in the original:

The biggest problem the film will have is common to all remakes; everyone knows the ending. The big surprises in the original won’t be a surprise to those who have seen the 1990 version, but because of the near cult status of the Schwarzenegger version, fans will no doubt accept that fact and enjoy the ride regardless.

As summer escapism, it doesn’t appear to get much better.

Total Recall opens nationwide on August 3.

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Whatever Happened to T.E.D. Klein?

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 - by Andrew Klavan

Back in the 1980′s, when I was a starving young writer, there was a magazine called Twilight Zone, after the old Rod Serling TV Show. It had cheesy covers and a lot of shudder-making TZ fanboy stuff. But it also had a monthly selection of some of the best new and old fantasy/horror fiction available. (I first read Stephen King’s terrifying “The Raft” in TZ, though it may have been a reprint, I don’t know.) The magazine was edited by a guy named T.E.D. Klein.

I went in to the magazine offices once, looking for work. T.E.D. himself came out and sat with me in the lobby and spoke with me. He seemed a shy, intellectual type, five or ten years older than me. He was very kind and took a good deal of time with a dude who had literally walked in off the streets of Manhattan. I didn’t get a job, but I always appreciated his decency.

Klein went on to write several well-regarded horror stories of his own and a well-regarded novel called The Ceremonies, which came out around 1985. One of his spooky stories, The Events at Poroth Farm, is included in the American Library’s 2-volume anthology of Fantastic Tales edited by Peter Straub. I reread the story over the past weekend. It’s wonderful and scary as hell. (The pamphlet at the link costs over 200 bucks! but you can get the story in the H.P. Lovecraft mega-pack for .99 cents at the I-reader store.)

Klein was rumored to have another novel in the works but it never showed up. In fact, he wrote very little else after the ’80′s, as far as I can see. His Wikipedia entry says he suffered from writer’s block. He seems to still be alive. Does anyone know what he’s doing these days?

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Cross-posted from Klavan on the Culture

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