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A list of well known and famous people who have and had speech disorders

 

 Stuttering, also known as stammering in the United Kingdom, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases, and involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the stutterer is unable to produce sounds.

Stuttering is generally not a problem with the physical production of speech sounds or putting thoughts into words. Despite popular perceptions to the contrary, stuttering does not affect and has no bearing on intelligence.

The disorder is also variable, which means that in certain situations, such as talking on the telephone, the stuttering might be more severe or less, depending on the anxiety level connected with that activity.

The severity of a stutter is often not constant even for severe stutterers. Stutterers commonly report dramatically increased fluency when talking in unison with another speaker, copying another’s speech, whispering, singing, and acting or when talking to pets, young children, or themselves.

In rare cases, stuttering may be acquired in adulthood as the result of a neurological event such as a head injury, tumour, stroke or drug abuse/misuse.

List of famous and well known people with speech differences:

  

Bruce Willis – Walter Bruce Willis (born March 19, 1955) is a German-born American actor and singer. He came to fame in the late 1980s and has since retained a career as both a Hollywood leading man and a supporting actor. Being the leading actor in some of the greatest action movies Bruce Willis has had stuttering problems throughout his youth and was always scared it would affect his acting career. Fortunately he successfully grew out of it not too much from a therapist but from being an actor, it actually removed his speech disorder.

  

Tiger Woods – Tiger Woods (born Eldrick Tiger Woods, December 30, 1975) is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Tiger Woods had stuttering problems at childhood but he got past it through hard work and practice. He admitted doing everything possible to conquer his speech disorder including talking to his dog until he would fall asleep. He did have a lot of help from his family, especially his mother. He then became one of the most successful golfers the world has ever known.

  

Julia Roberts – Academy Award-winning actress. Julia Fiona Roberts (born October 28, 1967) is an Academy Award winning American film actress and former fashion model. Roberts has become the highest paid actress in the world, topping the annual power list of top earning female stars for four consecutive years (2002-2005). Julia Roberts admitted the fact that she stuttered when she was younger without ever going into much detail, but she now speaks fluidly and is a respected actress.

  

Robert Merrill – Merrill was born Morris (Moishe) Miller in Brooklyn, New York, to shoe salesman Abraham Miller, originally Milstein, and his wife Lillian, nee Balaban. Relatively late in his singing career, Merrill also became known for singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Yankee Stadium. The opera show “La Traviata” inspired Robert to become an opera singer, this meant fighting his stuttering problems. He found that while he was singing his speech disorder would go away.

  

Mel Tillis – (born Lonnie Melvin Tillis August 8, 1932) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and received the lifetime achievement award in 2007. He has also been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Tillis and his band, the Statesiders, released such hits as “I Ain’t Never,” “Good Woman Blues,” and “I Believe in You.” His stutter developed during his childhood, a result of a bout of malaria.

  

Anthony Quinn – (April 21, 1915 – June 3, 2001) Anthony Quinn launched his career by making several movies in 1936, the older he got the more successful his movies turned to be. He has taken many macho roles and has played in movies of all sorts. In most cases he was an actor with authority, a soldier, or mafia member. Anthony Quinn was not only a good actor but he was especially into art too, he often worked on paintings and sculptures finding his inspiration from the most simple things.

  

Jermain Taylor – (born August 11, 1978) Since early in his professional career, Taylor had been touted by many as being the heir apparent to middleweight king Bernard Hopkins. Taylor dominated all of his opponents at the beginning of his career, scoring wins over respectable fighters such as Raul Marquez and William Joppy. Jermain Taylor struggles with stuttering, mainly when he gets nervous, such as when doing numerous interviews as a boxing champion.

  

Bill Walton – (born November 5, 1952) Walton led the NBA in both rebounds per game and blocked shots per game in 1976-77, and was selected to the NBA All-Star Game but did not participate due to an injury. His ankle problems became so severe years later that he had both his ankles surgically fused. His saga of injury and failed rehabs was connected to the use of pain killers by the doctor who was assigned to his case. Walton has had a life long problem with his speech and communication skills.

  

Rubin Carter – Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (born May 6, 1937) Rubin Carter was a professional boxer who was involved in controversial murder case. For many years he fought for freedom and continued to claim his innocence. Many people still believe that Carter was innocent while other have the certitude that he was guilty all along. During his time in prison, Carter wrote his autobiography The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender to #45472, which was published in 1974. He maintained his innocence, and won increasing public support for a retrial or pardon. Rubin Carter has had stuttering problems since youth but it has been the least of his problems until his old age.

  

John Melendez – (born October 4, 1965) John Melendez is an American radio and television personality, which is by itself unique cosidering the fact that Melendez has had a life long stuttering problem. He became involved with the Howard Stern show and used his stuttering problems as an advantage, celebrities did not want to look bad by refusing to be interviewed by a stutterer. His stuttering and bad pronunciations of words became popular to the public and many found it funny to listen to. A good example of what this sometimes did is in the case where he would pronounce Nicholas Cage as “Niggaless Cage” or his wife Suzanna being pronounced “Suzanner”.

  

Jimmy Stewart – James Maitland Stewart (20 May 1908 – 2 July 1997), popularly known as Jimmy Stewart especially in the United States, was an iconic, Academy Award-winning American film and stage actor. Throughout his seven decades in Hollywood, Stewart featured in classics such as The Philadelphia Story, Harvey, It’s a Wonderful Life, Rear Window, Rope, and Vertigo. His stuttered speech, long legs and clumsy hands seemed to give his characters a familiar quality with which most Americans could easily identify. Jimmy Stewart, whose shy stutter and range of classic film roles made him the most loved and admired of all American actors. He died aged 89 having suffered from a variety of illnesses in the past decade, and had rarely ventured into public since the 1994 death of his wife, Gloria.

  

Eric Roberts – Eric Anthony Roberts (born on April 18, 1956, in Biloxi, Mississippi) is an Academy Award-nominated American film and stage actor. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1985 for his role as the escaped convict Buck in the film Runaway Train. In 1987, he won the Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut performance in Burn This. His sisters Julia Roberts and Lisa Roberts Gillan are also actors. Eric recently revealed he still suffers occasional stuttering relapses, most notably on a late night talk show. He said, “I got on a stuttering jag and the audience got uncomfortable and started laughing. I stayed relaxed, but I didn’t have the presence of mind, until afterwards, to acknowledge the stutter and put the audience at ease.”

  

Tom Sizemore – Thomas Edward Sizemore, Jr. (born September 29, 1964) is a Golden Globe-nominated American film and television actor. He is known for his supporting performances in several Hollywood films. One of Sizemore’s early film roles was in Oliver Stone’s Born on the Fourth of July in 1989. He has also appeared in films such as Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, True Romance, and Natural Born Killers. Sizemore continued to play leading and character parts in many films, notably Saving Private Ryan, HBO’s Witness Protection, Red Planet, Pearl Harbor, Devil in a Blue Dress, and Black Hawk Down.

  

Bill Withers – (born July 4, 1938 in Slab Fork, West Virginia) is an American singer-songwriter who performed and recorded from the late 1960s until the mid 1980s. Some of his best-known songs are “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Use Me,” “Lovely Day,” “Lean on Me”, “Grandma’s Hands” and “Just the Two of Us”. Withers signed with Columbia Records in 1975. His first release with the label was Making Music, Making Friends, which had the single She’s Lonely and was featured in the movie Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Withers dropped out of school after the ninth grade and spent nine years in the Navy, where he underwent speech therapy to overcome a stuttering problem.

  

Shane Yellowbird – A Canadian country music singer/songwriter from Hobbema, Alberta. In 2007, Yellowbird was named the Aboriginal Entertainer of the Year at the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards, Chevy Trucks Rising Star of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards, and had one of the 10 most played country music songs of the year in Canada. Born with a severe stuttering problem, he began seeing a speech therapist who suggested that he sing his sentences to help him speak clearly. The technique proved successful and also instilled a budding love of music in Yellowbird.

  

Rowan Atkinson – (born 6 January 1955) Rowan is an English comedian, writer and actor famous for his British roles in the television series Mr.Bean and Blackadder. He has been listed as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. Rowan’s first Mr.Bean television appearence was in1990 on New Years Day in a half hour special for Thames Television. His strong talent in facial expressions has made him capable of doing visually based comedies with little or no dialogue, he has sometimes been called “the man with the rubber face”. Atkinson had a stutter as a child and had problems with the letter B. He oversomes it through over-articulation which he turned into a comic device.

  

Sam Neill – (born 14 September 1947) Sam Neill is a New Zealand television and film actor most renown for his role as Alan Grant in the hit movie Jurassic Park. After working at the New Zealand National film unit as an actor and director he was given a role in the Australian classic film Sleeping Dogs. Neil was eventually suppose to play a role in the movie Lord of the Rings by peter jackson but had to turn the offer down due to his immediate business with the Jurassic Park III movie. As a child, Sam had a stutter which he worked very hard to control. In a rare instance, you may still make this stutter out in some of his movies.

  

Samuel L. Jackson – (born December 21, 1948) Samuel L. Jackson is an American academy award winning actor and is well known for many of his movies. He is mostly involved in serious roles where his character is both strong and intelligent. Most of his career’s success began with Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction movie, from there most of his movies were instantly a hit and only a few of his performances were not well known or liked by the public. Whenever this would happend he would always regain the spotlight with more successful projects. As a boy, he was afflicted with a debilitating stutter, and Jackson initially took up acting only at the urging of his speech therapist.

Winston Churchill – Churchill described himself as having a “speech impediment”, which he consistently worked to overcome. After many years, he finally stated, “My impediment is no hindrance.” Although the Stuttering Foundation of America has claimed that Churchill stammered, the Churchill Centre has concluded that he lisped. Churchill’s impediment may also have been cluttering, which would fit more with his lack of attention to unimportant details and his very secure ego. According to several sources Winston Churchill was not dyslexic and had no learning disability whatsoever.

Aristotle – (384 BC – 322 BC) Aristotle was a Greek philosopher writing on many different subjects including zoology, biology, ethics, government, politics, physics, metaphysics, music, poetry and theater. He was also a great teacher for Alexander the Great. Aristotle was one of the first to point out that epilepsy and genius were often closely connected. Aristotle had an inaccurate conception of the cause of stuttering. He thought it was caused by a malfunctioning tongue.

Charles Darwin – 1809-1882 Naturalist, author; OCD and stutter. Darwin’s many lifelong and serious illnesses have been the subject of much speculation and study for over a century. Darwin stated that his health problems began as early as 1825 when he was only sixteen years old, and became incapacitating around age 28. The exact nature of Darwin’s illness or illnesses remain mysterious at this time.

Sir Isaac Newton – (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) A very important scientist who is responsibe for founding the three laws of motion along with studies concerning Universal Gravitation. He studied many scientific disciplines but mainly stayed inside the field of mechanics. It is said that Newton had mainly discovered gravity by examining a falling apple, that would have been one of the major reasons for him to start his researches in the subject. Was thought by many a product of psychosis but he may just have been in his right mind. Isaac Newton once asked that the windows of Parliament be closed so the public wouldn’t hear his stuttering.

Theodore Roosevelt – 26th President of the U.S. (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) Roosevelt was a soldier , historian, explorer, naturalist, author, and Governor of New York later becoming the President of the United States at the age of 42 years old. He was well known for having a vast range of objectives and achievements, all with an energetic determination and a hard ”cowboy” persona. He was subject to epileptic seizures, his eyesight was bad, and he also suffered from asthma, but was still a man of courage and strength appreciated by many.

Moses – According to the Bible, Moses had a speech impediment. When God told Moses to free the Israelites (Jews) from slavery in Egypt, Moses replied, “But my Lord, never in my life have I been a man of eloquence, either before or since you have spoken to your servant. I am a slow speaker and not able to speak well” (Exodus 4:10). In Koran, 20:26-29 Moses said “Lord, open my breast, and do Thou ease for me my task, Unloose the knot upon my tongue, that they may understand my words.” The analogy of a knot upon his tongue refers to his stuttering.

Nicholas Brendon – (born April 12, 1971, as Nicholas Brendon Schultz in Los Angeles, California), is an actor best known for his character Xander Harris in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). At the age of 20 he decided to try his hand at acting to help him overcome his stuttering problem but gave it up after two years because, “I couldn’t stand the politics in Hollywood.” Brendon’s role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Xander Harris, was initially that of the occasional comic relief and plucky sidekick to the lead female characters, but after the earlier seasons less comedic lines were given to the part. When the series ended in 2003, Brendon joined the cast of a new Fox sitcom, Kitchen Confidential. Brendon has played a major part in the Stuttering Foundation of America. He was the first person to serve the role of honorary chairperson of the Stuttering Foundation of America’s Stuttering Awareness Week for three consecutive years, from 2000-2003.

Alan Turing – (23 June 1912-7 June 1954) was an English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer. Turing is often considered to be the father of modern computer science. Turing provided an influential formalisation of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine. With the Turing test, he made a significant and characteristically provocative contribution to the debate regarding artificial intelligence: whether it will ever be possible to say that a machine is conscious and can think.

Adrian Peterson – (born March 21, 1985) Adrian is a professional American football running back for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). Coming into the league, he was known as a tall, upright runner possessing an ultra-rare combination of speed, strength, agility, size, and vision, along with a highly aggressive attitude towards contact.  When he was thirteen years old his father was sentenced to ten years in prison for money laundering in connection with illegal drugs. Nelson Peterson served nearly eight years of his prison sentence and was released in October 2006. His brother was hit and killed by a drunk driver while riding his bicycle as a kid. His stepbrother, Chris Paris, was shot and killed in Houston, Texas, one day before Adrian’s participation in the 2007 NFL Scouting Combine.

Washington Irving – (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author of the early 19th century. Best known for his short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle”. His historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th century Spain dealing with subjects such as Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra. Irving also served as the U.S. minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846.

Thomas Jefferson – (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states’ rights and a strictly limited federal government. A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

Demosthenes – (384-322 BC) was a prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of ancient Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by studying the speeches of previous great orators. The first time Demosthenes made a speech in the public assembly was a disaster. Discouraged, he was fortunate to run into an actor who helped show him what he needed to do to make his speeches compelling. To perfect the technique, he set up a routine, which he followed for months until he had mastered oratory.

Chris Trapper – Chris Trapper is a musician based in Boston, Massachusetts who is most known as the lead singer of the band, The Push Stars. With The Push Stars, Trapper wrote material for four studio albums and three self-produced discs. Several of his songs have been picked up for major motion picture soundtracks including There’s Something About Mary and Say It Isn’t So and for television shows such as Pepper Dennis, ER, and Malcolm in the Middle.

Henry Rogers – (January 29, 1840 – May 19, 1909) was a United States capitalist, businessman, industrialist, financier, and philanthropist. In 1861, 21-year-old Henry pooled his savings of approximately US$600 with a friend, Charles P. Ellis. They set out to western Pennsylvania and its newly discovered oil fields. Borrowing another US$600, the young partners began a small refinery at McClintocksville near Oil City. They named their new enterprise Wamsutta Oil Refinery. Rogers and Ellis and their tiny refinery made US$30,000 their first year. This amount was more than three entire whaling ship trips from back home could hope to earn during an average voyage of more than a year’s duration.

Cotton Mather – (February 12, 1663 – February 13, 1728) Cotton Mather was a socially and politically influential New England Puritan minister, prolific author, and pamphleteer. Cotton Mather was the son of influential minister Increase Mather. He is often remembered for his connection to the Salem witch trials. Author of more than 450 books and pamphlets, Cotton Mather’s ubiquitous literary works made him one of the most influential religious leaders in America. Mather set the nation’s “moral tone,” and sounded the call for second and third generation Puritans, whose parents had left England for the New England colonies of North America to return to the theological roots of Puritanism.

Clara Barton – (December 25, 1821 – April 12, 1912) was a pioneer American teacher, nurse, and humanitarian. She has been described as having a “strong and independent spirit” and is best remembered for organizing the American Red Cross. In April 1862, after the First Battle of Bull Run, Barton established an agency to obtain and distribute supplies to wounded soldiers. She was given a pass by General William Hammond to ride in army ambulances to provide comfort to the soldiers and nurse them back to health and lobbied the U.S. Army bureaucracy, at first without success, to bring her own medical supplies to the battlefields. Finally, in July 1862, she obtained permission to travel behind the lines, eventually reaching some of the grimmest battlefields of the war and serving during the sieges of Petersburg.

 

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

International forces hit Gadhafi positions in Libya

Britain's Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft prepares for take off

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi promised a “long war” to the international coalition enforcing a UN-mandated no-fly zone over Libya. The US fired cruise missile and French warplanes fired against Libyan forces.

 

Britain, France and the United States continued to attack Libyan military forces on Sunday, angering Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who said the Mediterranean had been turned into a “battlefield.”

In a televised address on Sunday, Gadhafi said all Libyans were armed and prepared for a “long war” to defeat forces attacking his country.

“All the Libyan people are united,” he said. “You will not advance, you will not step on this land. We promise you a long, drawn-out war with no limits. We are prepared. This is a very happy moment we are living.”

He went on to compare the leaders of the Britain, France and United States to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, adding that the Western leaders would fall as “all tyrants fall under the pressure of the populist masses.”

Attacks underway

The US launched cruise missile attacks against targets mainly along the Libyan coast on Saturday, Vice Admiral William Gortney told a press conference in Washington.

“Earlier this afternoon over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from both US and British ships and submarines struck more than 20 integrated air defense systems and other air defense facilities ashore,” Gortney said on Saturday.

French fighter planes were the first to hit targetsIn Tripoli, explosions were reported. Libyan TV claimed the “crusader” airplanes hit civilian areas.

In a brief statement, Gadhafi said the Mediterranean had been turned into a “battlefield” by the coalition action. He added that arms depots were being opened up so that people could defend the country. Shortly after the speech, Libyan state television carried a message stating that Libya would cease to cooperate with Europe on efforts to control illegal immigration.

Head of the Libyan parliament Abul Qasim al-Zuai condemned the attacks as “barbaric aggression.”

Earlier Saturday, French fighter planes were the first to fire shots, attacking targets around the embattled city of Benghazi. A rebel fighter plane shot down over the city on Saturday was reported to have been hit by the rebels themselves.

The French warplanes destroyed several tanks and armored vehicles that were threatening the civilian population, the French military said.

The decision to begin military action was made in response to Gadhafi’s continued attacks against rebel-held Benghazi, despite promising a ceasefire, and in defiance of a United Nations no-fly zone imposed on Thursday.

‘The time for action has come’

Sarkozy hosted the meeting in Paris“As of now, our aircraft are preventing planes from attacking the town,” Sarkozy said Saturday after an emergency meeting of world leaders in Paris.

Sarkozy condemned the “murderous madness” of Gadhafi, and but then addressed the Libyan leader directly, saying that “the door of diplomacy will be reopened when you stop the aggression.”

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said British forces were in action over Libya. He said, “the time for action has come. Colonel Gadhafi has made this happen.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was more circumspect about military intervention. “Germany had concerns about part of the UN resolution,” she said. “But now it has been passed we want it to be implemented successfully.”

“We are united that the war must be ended. The resolution must be pushed through,” Merkel told reporters. “We will not take part in the action in military terms. We will take on additional responsibilities in Afghanistan.” Such a move would free up NATO forces to go into Libya.

International coalition

Qatar and several European nations, including Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway, on Saturday confirmed their will to take part in a UN-sanctioned military intervention in Libya, a diplomat said.

A rebel plane, reportedly shot down by rebels themselves, exploded as it hit the groundFrance and Britain have been leading calls and plans for attacks on Gadhafi’s forces to prevent attacks on rebels.

Canada has also said it will send several fighter jets to take part.

Greece has made the island of Crete available, and Italy has offered the use of its military bases for UN-backed forces enforcing the no-fly zone.

The US Navy has prepared three submarines with Tomahawk missiles and two Navy ships to participate in operations against Libya. The US is also preparing planes for action.

Spain will provide six aircraft, a frigate and a submarine in the effort to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya.

Norway, Denmark and Belgium are also sending warplanes.

Qatar has said it will contribute to the no-fly zone, but has not given any details. The United Arab Emirates has also said it would participate.

Earlier on Saturday, French warplanes took off from their base at Saint-Dizier in eastern France to conduct reconnaissance flights over Libyan territory.

 

March 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radiation poses health risk in Japan after two new blasts

A man is checked for radioactivity

Radiation poses health risk in Japan after two new blasts

Increased radiation levels are causing concern in Japan after further explosions in nuclear reactor facilities. Unstable weather patterns are making forecasting difficult, but radioactivity seems to be approaching Tokyo.

 

Radioactivity levels increased rapidly in Japan on Tuesday as two new explosions hit reactors at the country’s earthquake-damaged Fukushima nuclear power complex, the third and fourth blasts since Saturday.

 

“There is no doubt that unlike in the past, the figures are the level at which human health can be affected,” said chief government spokesman Yukio Edano.

 

Edano said that radiation levels on Tuesday morning were 30 millisieverts between the Number 2 and Number 3 reactors, 400 millisieverts near the Number 3 and 100 millisieverts near Number 4.

 

A single dose of 1,000 millisieverts – or one sievert – causes temporary radiation sickness, such as nausea and vomiting. A dose of five sieverts is enough to kill about half of those people exposed to it within a month.

 

Radiation levels were recorded at 40 times normal levels in Saitama, near the capital Tokyo, while “minute levels” of radiation were detected in the capital, according to Kyodo news agency, quoting the metropolitan government.

 

Radioactivity levels in Tokyo have already risen

Two new explosions

Between 6:00 a.m. (2100 GMT Monday) and 6:15 a.m. an explosion hit the Number 2 reactor of Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, a Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) spokesman said. By 8:31 a.m., radiation levels there had exceeded eight times the legal limit for exposure in one year.

 

In a televised address, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan told the nation there had “been a fire at the Number 4 reactor” and that radiation levels in the surrounding area had “heightened significantly.”

 

Kan implored people within 30 kilometers (18 miles) of the site to remain indoors and urged them not to panic.

 

“We are making every effort to prevent the leak from spreading,” he said. “I know that people are very worried but I would like to ask you to act calmly.”

 

The fire has reportedly been extinguished since the prime minister’s announcement, according to Japanese media, but the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, said later that it had been told by Japan that a spent fuel storage pond at the reactor was on fire and that radioactivity had been released into the atmosphere.

 

Four explosions have hit Fukushima’s reactors

 

The French embassy in Tokyo has warned that low-level radioactive winds could reach the capital within 10 hours.

 

The head of France’s nuclear safety authority, Andre-Claude Lacoste, said Japanese officials had briefed him, saying the concrete vessel around the Number 2 reactor at Fukushima was no longer sealed.

 

Lacoste also said that the Fukushima accident now rated a six on the international seven-point scale of severity, up from four, putting it second to the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine and ahead of Three Mile Island in the US state of Pennsylvania as the world’s worst nuclear accidents.

Travel warning

Airlines from Asia and Europe announced on Tuesday that flights to Tokyo will be halted amid fears that radiation will reach the capital.

Deutsche Lufthansa said planes will be diverted to the Japanese cities of Nagoya and Osaka, hundreds of kilometers west of the capital.

A spokesman for the airline said that the diversion could last until the weekend, adding that flights which returned from Tokyo on Monday had been checked for radioactivity and no traces were found.

Several countries, including Germany, have issued warnings against travel to the country. The German Foreign Ministry website states that “non-essential travel to Japan is inadvisable.”

Japanese markets reacted to the increased concern on Tuesday with the Nikkei Index plunging some 13 percent. The steep decline in share prices over the last two days has wiped some $720 billion (517 billion euros) off the market.

 

Ongoing crisis

There have been a total of four explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power complex in northeastern Japan since it was damaged in Friday’s massive earthquake and tsunami. The most recent were blasts at reactors Number 2 and 4 earlier on Tuesday.

 

Millions are without running water and electricity

A hydrogen blast at the plant’s Number 3 reactor on Monday followed a Saturday blast at reactor Number 1.

 

Authorities had previously been trying to prevent meltdowns in the Fukishima complex’s nuclear reactors by flooding the chambers with sea water to cool down the reactors.

 

Experts say Japan’s current nuclear disaster is the world’s worst since the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown in Ukraine.

 

Meanwhile, the full extent of the damage from the 9.0-scale earthquake and the resulting tsunami that destroyed the northeastern Miyagi prefecture were still becoming clear. Officials say at least 10,000 people were killed as a result of the quake, the world’s fourth most powerful since 1900.

 

Officials also say they believe tens of thousands remain missing. About 850,000 homes in northern Japan remained without electricity Tuesday in near-freezing weather, according to Tohuku Electric Power Co. According to Tokyo, at least 1.5 million homes are without running water.

 

March 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stroke Survivors with Irregular Heartbeat May Have Higher Risk of Dementia

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Stroke survivors who have an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation may be at higher risk of developing dementia than stroke survivors who do not have the heart condition, according to research published in the March 8, 2011, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Atrial fibrillation affects more than two million Americans, and it is more common as people age. About 15 percent of strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation. The heart’s two upper chambers do not beat effectively in the condition, resulting in an irregular heart rhythm.

The research analyzed all of the available studies where people with atrial fibrillation were compared to people without atrial fibrillation and followed to determine who developed dementia over time.

A total of 15 studies were analyzed, with 46,637 participants with an average age of 72. The research found that stroke survivors with atrial fibrillation were 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia than stroke survivors who did not have the heart condition. About 25 percent of patients with stroke and atrial fibrillation were found to have developed dementia during follow-up.

“These results may help us identify potential treatments that could help delay or even prevent the onset of dementia,” said study author Phyo Kyaw Myint, MD, of the University of East Anglia in Norfolk, U.K. “Options could include more rigorous management of cardiovascular risk factors or of atrial fibrillation, particularly in stroke patients.”

Myint noted that the research on whether people who have atrial fibrillation but have not had a stroke have any greater risk of dementia was not conclusive.

 

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,500 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visithttp://www.aan.com.

 

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top 10 New Rap Albums – March 2011

This month sees the arrival of two eagerly anticipated rap CDsLasers and Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang. What’s more, Big Sean finally gets famous while Curren$y revs up the engine on his Jet-rap assault.

10. Reks – ‘Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme’

© Brick/Showoff Records

Believe it or not, the self-named Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme is REKS’ third album. He dropped his first disc, Along Came The Chosen, in 2001. He was a green-eyed 18-year old back then. Now older and wiser, REKS seeks to make his name known with the arrival ofR.E.K.S.. Production lineup includes top shottas like DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Hi-Tek, Alchemist, Nottz, Sha Money XL, Sean C & LV, Fizzy Womack and Statik Selektah.

Release Date: March 8, 2011

9. CunninLynguists – ‘Oneirology’

© Bad Taste/RBC

Kentucky-based trio CunningLynguists serves up more of its signature cornbread-and-greens rap. Oneirology, the group’s 5th LP, features newcomers Big K.R.I.T. and Freddie Gibbs.

Release Date: March 22, 2011

8. Zion I & The Grouch – ‘Heroes in the Healing of the Nation’

© HBD

West Coast hip-hop veterans Zion I & The Grouch dazzled with their first collaborative LP, Heroes In The City of Dope. The trio returns for its follow-up album Heroes In The Healing of The Nation. Amp Live handles production on the sophomore disc, with Eligh contributing one track. The album also plays host to a bevy of guests, including Freeway, Mystic, Fashawn, Eligh, and Casual.

Release Date: March 22, 2011

7. Big Sean – ‘Finally Famous’

© Def Jam

Big Sean’s journey to his debut has been a long and rewarding one. He met Kanye in 2005, signed to G.O.O.D Music in 2007. Sean also increased his visibility by gracing several GOOD Friday songs. He won’t be waiting in Ye’s wings for much longer, as his Finally FamousLP finally drops this month.

Release Date: March 29, 2011

6. Curren$y – ‘Muscle Car Chronicles’

© BluROC

Muscle Car Chronicles finds Curren$y rhyming over live instrumentation courtesy of folk artist Sean O’Connell, as well as drumming by The Mars Volta’s own Thomas Pridgen. The New Orleans MC is planning an assault of music this year. FollowingMuscle Car Chronicles, Spitta will also release Pilot Talk III and the Alchemist-produced Covert Coup EP this year. Covert Coup hits iTunes on April 19th, just in time for Smoker Nation to mark 4/20 holiday.

Release Date: March 15, 2011

5. Travis Barker – ‘Give the Drummer Some’

© Interscope

Your favorite rapper’s other favorite drummer makes his hip-hop debut with Give the Drummer Some. Barker’s rap cronies gave him plenty, with Game, Swizz Beats, Lil Wayne, and Rick Ross all lending rhymes to the lead single “Can A Drummer Get Some.” The album also includes guest turns from the Cool Kids, RZA, Raekwon, Kurupt and the Clipse.

Release Date: March 15, 2011

4. Pharoahe Monch – ‘W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)’

The oft-delayed Pharoahe Monch album gets its day in the sun this month. W.A.R. will be issued on Monchichi’s own label also named (yup, you guessed it) W.A.R. Media in association with Duck Down Music.

Release Date: March 22, 2011

3. Wiz Khalifa – ‘Rolling Papers’

Wiz Khalifa - Rolling Papers© Atlantic
The title alludes to more than just his fondness of Mary Jane. “It’s bigger than that,” Wiz told a gang of fans on UStream. The album’s title refers to his success in securing a release from former label Warner Bros. “I sort of got my ‘rolling papers’… and I was able to leave and I was able to do my thing,” adds Mr. “Black & Yellow.”Rolling Papers features Rick Ross, Too $hort, Snoop Dogg and Curren$y.Release Date: March 29, 2011

2. Raekwon – ‘Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang’

Raekwon - Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang© Ice Water

You may be forgiven for thinking that the Chef emptied the pantry on Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2Shaolin vs Wu-Tang finds Raekwon whipping up more treats for Wu fiends. Rae also sprinkled some exotic ingredients to spice things up. If he strikes the perfect balance between that good ol’ Wu sound and the not-so-Wu sound, Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang should score him some new converts.

Release Date: March 8, 2011

1. Lupe Fiasco – ‘Lasers’

Lupe Fiasco - Lasers© Atlantic

Lupe has been looking outside his window for inspiration lately. Lasers sports collaborations with new allies Trey Songz, Skylar Grey (“Words I Never Said”), and MDMA. It’s available in three packages: standard, deluxe, and premium. Deluxe includes a Lasers t-shirt, pre-release MP3 downloads of “The Show Goes On” and “Words I Never Said,” and, of course, the Lasers CD. The premium package gets you the disc, the shirt, the MP3s, a sew-on patch, and a lithograph all for a measly $50.

Release Date: March 8, 2011

 

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Alex Pettyfer as Number Four in 'I Am Number Four'Alex Pettyfer as Number Four in ‘I Am Number Four’

© DreamWorks Pictures

 

British actor Alex Pettyfer stars as Number Four, one of nine aliens hiding out on earth following the destruction of their planet by their mortal enemies (the Mogadorians), in I Am Number Four. Accompanied by his friend/mentor Henri (Timothy Olyphant), Number Four moves around the US trying to keep one step ahead of the Mogadorians who have tracked the escapees to earth. After one narrow escape, Number Four (who changes his name to John Smith to blend in) and Henri wind up in small town in Ohio.

 

John’s supposed to keep a low profile, but for the first time in his life he finds himself really connecting with a member of the opposite sex. Falling in love with Sarah (played by Dianna Agron), a pretty and popular student at his new school, puts John at risk as his alien powers are growing and he’s next on the Mogadorians hit list (they have to kill each of the nine in order and Numbers One through Three are now dead). Complicating matters is a smart, geeky alien-obsessed student named Sam (Callan McAuliffe) who knows there’s something different about John…

When Pettyfer sat down with a group of journalists to discuss I Am Number Four at the film’s LA press day, his arm was covered in tattoos. Before getting into the nitty gritty of the making of the first film of what could possibly be a franchise for DreamWorks Pictures, Pettyfer explained the tattoos and how he’s been trying to get rid of them.

Alex Pettyfer I Am Number Four Interview

Are the tattoos on your arm permanent?Alex Pettyfer: “No, it isn’t. It was for a movie I finished two days ago, and I apologize for not taking it off. I was in the shower yesterday morning before I did press, scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing. I was like, ‘Why is this thing not coming off?’ And then as you see, I’ve tried to attack it again this morning.”

What is it a tattoo of?

Alex Pettyfer: “It’s kind of tribal. It symbolizes everyone I killed.”

They’re from Now – can you say who you playing in that?

Alex Pettyfer: “I just play the leader of a gang. I’m just not a very nice man.”

So you’re killing people because they can’t grow too old, right?

Alex Pettyfer: “Yeah, we stop at the age of 25. There’s no such thing as money. Currency is time. When we’re 25, we’ve all got clocks on our arms and we buy and sell things with time, and time is always ticking down for us. So when we hit 25, we only have a year to live. There’s people that are millionairians and there’s people who live by 23 hours. It’s a very original script, and I’m very, very proud to be a part of it.”

Are you a sci-fi fan?

Alex Pettyfer: “Am I a sci-fi fan? I don’t categorize movies, which is weird. I just look for great stories. I Am Number Four is a great story about a guy, I think, he trying to find his destiny and trying to figure out who he is and his identity. And so I think that’s what was so compelling about the script, apart from D.J. [Caruso, the director] as well. I don’t really look for a script and go, ‘I need to do a thriller, so I’m going to do this.’ I just read scripts and look for the best possible story.”

What did D.J. Caruso put you through physically on the set? How much did you have to do?

Alex Pettyfer: “I did everything, and I did two months training beforehand. D.J. is a very hands-on director and is literally by your side every minute. He creates these phenomenal sets and kind of phenomenal situations and sticks you plunk in the middle, and you kind of don’t really realize that you’re in a movie anymore. You go, ‘Oh, sh-t! I better run for my life.’”

Did you get any injuries?

Alex Pettyfer: “I didn’t because we had a phenomenal stunt team. Brad Allan choreographed everything so well. He’s a zen genius. We had great people around us. I think the third act in the last 45 minutes of the movie is all down to D.J. creating this amazing world.”

John Smith is bonded forever supposedly with ‘Sarah’ [played by Dianna Agron] but he runs off with hot Number Six [Teresa Palmer]. Have you heard if anything might happen between Number Four and Number Six in the sequel?

Alex Pettyfer: [Laughing] “I think he should hit his head and get amnesia and just wake up with Six.”

So you don’t have any inkling of what’s going to happen if there’s a sequel?

Alex Pettyfer: “I will tell you a big secret. You’re the first to find out. Sam [Callan McAuliffe] ends up with Six. He gets out that little cafeteria knife, and oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yea. Two Aussies in one room, making love.”

Are you ready for more of these films?

Alex Pettyfer: “Yeah. Hopefully people will enjoy the movie as much as we enjoyed making it and, hopefully, we will get an opportunity to make a second one.”

Why was Teresa Palmer the only person you picked on during filming? We asked everyone else after she said you played a practical joke on her, and it seems she was your only target.

Alex Pettyfer: “She’s an Australian woman. [Laughing] I don’t know.”

So there’s this report on the internet that your mom and Channing Tatum’s mom are best friends…

Alex Pettyfer: “Oh, wow. Do you know who is my best friend? Paul Newman. In my mind Paul Newman is my best friend. My best friend with Paul Newman is so true…so is the Channing Tatum thing. There’s no connection [to Channing Tatum], sorry.”

But your mom is a model?

Alex Pettyfer: “No, my mom is an interior decorator.”

Where are all these stories on the internet coming from? So tell us the true story.

Alex Pettyfer: “In the beginning there were two people. [laughing]”

Your mom was never a model or TV presenter?

Alex Pettyfer: “I think she wishes. I think my dad wishes he was an actor. My dad is a builder and my mom is an interior decorator.”

But you were a model?

Alex Pettyfer: “I did a gig for Burberry once and it was a great experience. But no, I’m not a model. I want to be a model, it’s a lot easier than acting.”

How did you get into acting?

Alex Pettyfer: “I was at school. I had a big crush on a girl and I joined the media class because she was in it. I realized that I was two years younger than her and I wasn’t in the same class as her, and was stuck with it. I had to do it. I went on this school trip and I didn’t really care about acting or about media. I wanted to be a racing driver. I went to go to the toilet and walked into this auditioning room where Stephen Fry was and he must have taken a fancy. Him and the producer stuck me in this small TV movie called Tom Brown’s Schooldays, which was a great experience. I loved every second and realized that as long as this journey was going to go forward, I was going to go with it cause who doesn’t like playing dress up?”

How important is the music to this film?

Alex Pettyfer: “Is the music not amazing in this movie? It’s unreal. I watched the movie and I never realized how much music affects how you feel in that moment until I watched a D.J. Caruso movie.”

Can you talk about the dog in I Am Number Four? Were there several of them?

Alex Pettyfer: “It was five dogs. The main dog was called Scout. He’s an amazing dog. I tried to steal him.”

What do you hope people will take from this movie?

Alex Pettyfer: “Stand and fight for what you believe in.”

It was reported Clint Culpepper at Screen Gems said that he doesn’t want to go ahead with the Mortal Instruments film unless you sign on for the male lead. What’s it like for you to hear something like that? Are you close to signing on or is it something you’re interested in?

Alex Pettyfer: “He said he won’t do it [without me]? When did he say that?”

In mid-January it was reported he said that. Is that something you want to do?

Alex Pettyfer: “I’m a big fan of the books and I’m just trying to figure out what I’m doing next.”

 

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inside ‘Hall Pass’ with Writer/Directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly

Jenna Fischer, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, and Christina Applegate in Hall PassJenna Fischer, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, and Christina Applegate in ‘Hall Pass.’

© New Line Cinema

Bobby and Peter Farrelly – the filmmaking brothers behind Dumb and DumberKingpin, and There’s Something About Mary – are back with another R-rated comedy, Hall Pass, starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, and Christina Applegate. Wilson and Sudeikis star as happily married men/BFFs who can’t seem to help but gawk whenever a pretty woman walks by. Their wives, played by Fischer and Applegate, decide enough is enough and issue the men a week-long ‘hall pass’. So, what’s a hall pass? It’s basically a week’s vacation from being married. The guys can do whatever they want, with whoever they want, and they won’t get in trouble. It’s one week off with no questions asked. What could go wrong?

Together for a press conference in LA in support of the New Line Cinema film, the cast and writer/directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly explained why hall pass may be a great idea for a comedy but a not-so-great idea to put into practice.

Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly Hall Pass Press Conference

How did your involvement with Hall Pass come about?

Bobby Farrelly: “The original script was written by Pete Jones and when we saw it, we thought, ‘Wow, that’s a good idea for a movie. Hall Pass – a married guy gets a week off.’ Pete had written a really, really good script and from there we all kind of hopped in.”

Peter Farrelly: “It was hysterical. It was very funny, you laughed out loud ten or 12 times and we just thought this is something we’d like to get involved in. And then it was a long, long process rewriting with him because it is a real balancing act to make this movie work.”

“You know, one of the early problems with the movie was that the guys got the hall pass in the beginning and the women just bit their fingernails and waited, like, ‘Oh, I wonder what’s going on? What are they doing?’ And that didn’t work. I remember, and I apologize for repeating this, but my wife read it and she said, ‘I hate these f–king women.’ I was like, ‘Why?’ She said, ‘Because if you get a hall pass, I’m getting a f–king hall pass. This is bullsh-t!’ [She was] literally angry with me. So we’re like, ‘Okay, calm down.’ And we rethought it.”

Were you surprised this movie ends up being very pro-relationship and monogamy considering your character is the inciter?

Jason Sudeikis: “Was I surprised? No, I read the script. But before then, no. As I was reading it, I would say not necessarily surprised. I was hoping that that’s the lesson that would be potentially learned because I do believe in the idea of love and marriage and monogamy.”

Owen Wilson: “Valentine’s Day.”

Jason Sudeikis: “But I was happy that it happened, and I like that the question will probably be bandied about. I feel like just the commercial alone probably causes some sofa discussion or pillow talk between couples of just like, ‘Would you do that? Would you ever? Honey, what would you do if I gave you that?’ And I think it could go either way, guys or gals, like the movie allows itself to do. I like that it posed that question because I think marriage is in an interesting place with a high divorce rate and people talking about the sanctity of gay marriage and all this rampant cheating going on with Tiger Woods and the internet and Chris Lees of the world, the senator – or whatever the hell he does for a living. I like that it posed that question and it doesn’t necessarily answer it. It only answers it for the characters involved.”

For the Farrellys, do you look back on the gross-out scenes from past movies and wonder how you can beat that – as you did with one scene in particular in this?

 

Peter Farrelly: “We don’t really do that. Actually, we’re not bashful about doing that, but that’s not our goal. At first we try just to create a character and a concept that we like so much that we can hang all our gags on. And in fact, something like that – that was the last thing we put in the entire script, really. We were just about to start shooting…”

Owen Wilson: “It wasn’t in the original script that I saw.”

Peter Farrelly: “No, we didn’t want to scare Owen away. At the very end, right before we started shooting, we sat down and we said, ‘Let’s go through this one more time and see if there’s some opportunities for jokes where there’s not anything now.’ And one of the writers had had an experience similar to this…I won’t get into who…and it just cracked us up, so we just decided to try for it.”

Bobby Farrelly: “Definitely, our wives play a big part in it, because they’re the first people who read it. And they’re very honest with us. So after that, the studio certainly is always thinking about the audience. They want to make sure it’s not gonna be, you know, just for the guys and not for the girls. But I would give most of the credit to our wives.”

Peter Farrelly: “[…]We were curious and we wanted to get women’s input. This is a guy concept, but the women win. Ultimately, it’s a chick flick. I mean, they win across the board. They get to do more than the guys do on the hall pass, and the guys come back humbled and trying to please them. And they have no repercussions from it, except for the immediate ones that they suffered along the way. But it has to be that way. This movie, for it to work, women had to really go for it.”

Owen, you just said it is a chick flick.

Owen Wilson: “Yeah. You would often say that to me that we’re making Mystic Pizza here. It beats the Traveling Sisterhood and Ya-Ya.”

Do you have to explain to the audience what a hall pass or fake chow is?

Owen Wilson: “I think hall pass people know. Fake chow I hadn’t heard before.”

Do you prefer movies with ensembles?

Owen Wilson: “It’s not necessarily like a plan. I think that maybe from growing up with brothers and those kind of buddy comedies I kind of relate to those, a lot of the humor in that. Maybe it’s just what I’ve responded to.”

Was there anything you read in the script that worried you?

Owen Wilson: “I think it more was, I’ve kind of known you guys for a little bit but obviously had never worked together, so it more kind of I always felt comfortable that we were kind of on the same wavelength sense of humor-wise. So I didn’t have that fear like, ‘Oh, these guys are going to be thinking something’s funny that I don’t think is funny.’ I didn’t really have that kind of fear that sometimes you have, like, ‘Geez, is this guy going to be on the same page with you?’ But then it always is kind of everybody has a different way of working. You’re kind of particular the way you direct. That was very specific with the way you kind of hear things. I like that.”

Jason Sudeikis: “I think I only heard a couple days before we shot the scene in the bathroom with the gal with the stomach trouble that it was just passing gas, and then they did a polish, a script polish, a little find and replace, remove ‘fart’ and put ‘shit sprayed on a bathroom wall.’ Spoilers! That was a surprise to me and I don’t think it was done for my benefit, but it was a shock. It wasn’t there when I initially had the script read to me.”

Jenna Fischer: “Well, my character didn’t have to do anything too crazy so there was nothing that took me by surprise. In general, when you’re a little kid and you daydream about what moviemaking must be like, what you’re daydreaming about is a Farrelly Brothers movie. Their set is so fun and so easy. It made me feel like how I’d always wanted to feel on a movie set, so it was just a total pleasure. And, luckily, I didn’t have to do anything too insane. So I think I got just the absolute best kind of experience.”

Owen Wilson: “There were more wrap parties on this movie than normal movies.”

Jenna Fischer: “It’s like a weekly wrap party.”

Jason Sudeikis: “On set gambling. More games were invented. You could have your own Olympics with the sh*t you guys do, with the birthday contest.”

Jenna Fischer: “There’s a dice game also with the giant dice that you found. Remember that giant dice game?”

Jason Sudeikis: “And it would be ridiculous stuff. There was the scene we shot outside, there was a basketball court. We had a basketball. ‘No, we’re not going to use the basketball. We’re going to use a football to try to throw a football into the basketball hoop.’ It’s like, ‘What the hell is going on here?”

Owen Wilson: “That kept us going for a while. I forgot about that one.”

Jason Sudeikis: “That’s where I made most of my money back.”

Owen, after becoming a father, did you have any moment where you realized you’ve grown up?

Owen Wilson: “Yeah, I think that definitely my character kind of has that, when he’s towards the end of the movie where he’s looking at the wedding picture and says to Richard Jenkins, realizes how special that was and what a good thing he has. Then Richard Jenkins remembers something else from the photo but, yeah, I guess that is kind of a little bit of the arc of my character, that he realizes what he has.”

Is there any real life merit to a hall pass?

Jenna Fischer: “It’s a horrible idea. Are you kidding? It’s a wonderful premise for a film; it’s a horrible practical idea in your life. Don’t do it!”

Owen Wilson: “All the guys are kind of just [nodding]. ‘Yeah, yeah, I agree.'”

Jason Sudeikis: “But it doesn’t have to be a week. It could be like four hours. It could be two days. Baby steps.”

Besides Applebee’s and Chili’s, where would you recommend someone go on a hall pass?

Owen Wilson: “Olive Garden.”

Jason Sudeikis: “Chuck-E-Cheese.”

Jenna Fischer: “Go to Bed Bath & Beyond. For real, there’s a ton of women there. Bed Bath & Beyond, Target. Go where women go. We’re all there. Cosmetics counter. The MAC counter at the mall. Whole Foods. The slutty women are at Whole Foods.”

Jason Sudeikis: “At the olive bar.”

Jenna Fischer: “The progressive liberal ladies.”

Owen Wilson: “The more wholesome ones go to Trader Joe’s.”

Jason Sudeikis: “Bring deodorant though, huh?”

What about to pick up dudes?

 

Owen Wilson: “Golf course.”

Jason Sudeikis: “Yeah, golf course. Strip clubs.”

Audiences see you as a party animal but in this movie you’re different. Did you enjoy it?

Owen Wilson: “I did. I think that one of the things that you guys had in mind when you talked about me playing the character was having a real look for the guy. I remember my older brother, who’s actually in the movie, coming to Atlanta where we filmed and just seeing me in my wardrobe and he just went, ‘You look so bad.’ Just putting on the clothes just made you feel like, ‘God, I’ve got no game.’ You really don’t feel, when you’ve got pleated jeans and kind of orthopedic type shoes, you don’t feel very sexy.”

How much improvisation went into shooting?

 

Owen Wilson: “I think there’s always, everybody was really comfortable trying to come up with stuff but it seemed like when I read the script I just thought it was really funny. That was always sort of… It’s nice when you’re working on something that you don’t feel like you’re having to change and try to come up with something. This we always had a good base and then from there you could kind of [improvise].”

Jason Sudeikis: “A real place – it came from a real place. You improvise what you know.”

If you could, what person would you use your hall pass on?

Jason Sudeikis: “1967 Raquel Welch? Can I use it that extensively? Can I use a time machine? Who am I kidding? I would take 1997 Raquel Welch. Who am I kidding? I’d take 2007. Not today though. Not now. Disrespectful. I’d take Helen Mirren now.”

Jenna?

Jenna Fischer: “I’m a newlywed. I don’t want a hall pass right now. I got nothing. I’m sorry. It’s true.”

Jason Sudeikis: “I’d use mine with Lee then.”

Jenna Fischer: “That would be not uncomfortable at all. That would be great.”

Jason Sudeikis: “That’s her husband.”

What’s happening with The Three Stooges?

Bobby Farrelly: “We’ve been working on it for about 10 years maybe longer. We finally just got it into pre-production. We are going to shoot it a little later this spring. Right now we’re diligently casting it, trying to figure out who the right guys are for it. It’s not an easy job because even great actors might struggle with those particular roles. We’re looking at everyone and we’ll probably have it cast in about a month or so. But we are going to make it and we’re very excited about it.”

Is that a passion project? Did they have a big influence on you?

Peter Farrelly: “No question, they had a big influence on us. We grew up watching them. We’d come home from school and watch them on TV and we’d laugh. These are guys from the 1930s and 1940s, and we just felt like that type of slapstick humor that they did was very timeless and funny, and we want to try to recreate it.”

Jason, was there a point on SNL you decided to start doing movies? How are you choosing?

Jason Sudeikis: “The decision came once people asked if I wanted to be in them, truth be told. Then the decision usually comes from being really fortunate to work with a lot of great people at SNL, continuing that streak of luck hopefully and work with more fun people, this table being one of them. Then Horrible Bosses, a lot of awesome fun people that I knew before working with them and working with them just became that much easier.”

What do you get to play in Horrible Bosses?

Jason Sudeikis: “I play a wonderful employee of one of the horrible bosses, one of the murderous employees. Yeah, specifically? His name’s Kurt. I’m an employee of Colin Farrelland I want to kill him.”

 

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

All About Probiotics and Weight Loss

A type of “friendly bacteria” sold in supplement form, probiotics are sometimes marketed as natural weight loss aids. By consuming these live microorganisms, proponents claim, overweight people can correct bacterial imbalances thought to contribute to weight gain. While few studies have tested this theory, some research suggests that probiotics may help support weight loss.

The Science Behind Probiotics and Weight Loss

To date, there is very limited evidence of probiotics’ effectiveness in weight loss. The available research includes a 2010 study (published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition), which tested the anti-obesity effects of a probiotic strain called Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 (LG2055). Every day for 12 weeks, 87 study participants drank about seven ounces of an LG2055-enhanced fermented milk or a fermented milk free of LG2055. Compared to the control group, those who consumed the LG2055-enhanced fermented milk showed a greater reduction in body weight and belly fat.

In another 2010 study (published in the journal Microbiology), scientists discovered that a specially-engineered strain of probiotics helped influence metabolism and beneficially alter body fat composition in a group of mice. Designed specifically for the study, the Lactobacillus strain contained conjugated linoleic acid (a fatty acid previously found to decrease body fat in humans). According to the study’s authors, these findings suggest that specialized probiotics may play a role in obesity prevention.

Probiotics may also promote weight loss in gastric bypass surgery patients, according to a 2009 study from the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. For the study, 44 obese people who had recently undergone gastric bypass surgery were assigned to either a control group or to treatment with a supplement containing probiotics. Both groups also received standard care, nutritional counseling, and the support of weight-loss study groups, in addition to consuming yogurt (a natural source of probiotics). After three months, the probiotics group had experienced significantly greater weight loss compared to the control group.

Are Probiotics Safe for Weight Loss?

While supplements containing probiotics seem to be safe for short-term use, some people may experience side effects (such as gas and bloating). To increase your intake of probiotics without using supplements, look to naturally probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and miso.

Should You Use Probiotics for Weight Loss?

Due to the lack of supporting research, probiotics cannot currently be recommended for weight loss. However, some studies show that probiotics may help with other health conditions (including diarrheairritable bowel syndromeeczema, and gastrointestinal upset associated with use of antibiotics). If you’re considering the use of probiotics for weight loss (or any other health purposes), consult a health professional for help.

Sources:

Kadooka Y, Sato M, Imaizumi K, Ogawa A, Ikuyama K, Akai Y, Okano M, Kagoshima M, Tsuchida T. “Regulation of abdominal adiposity by probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055) in adults with obese tendencies in a randomized controlled trial.” Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun;64(6):636-43.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. “An Introduction to Probiotics [NCCAM Health Information“. NCCAM Publication No. D345. August 2008.

Rosberg-Cody E, Stanton C, O’Mahony L, Wall R, Shanahan F, Quigley E, Fitzgerald G, Ross P. “Recombinant lactobacilli expressing linoleic acid isomerase can modulate the fatty acid composition of host adipose tissue in mice.” Microbiology. 2010 Dec 22.

Woodard GA, Encarnacion B, Downey JR, Peraza J, Chong K, Hernandez-Boussard T, Morton JM. “Probiotics improve outcomes after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery: a prospective randomized trial.” J Gastrointest Surg. 2009 Jul;13(7):1198-204.

 

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Music for Sleep

Music-assisted relaxation may improve sleep quality, according to a report published in theJournal of Advanced Nursing in 2009. The report’s authors analyzed five clinical trials (with a total of 170 participants) and found that music had a moderate effect on the sleep quality of patients with sleep complaints.

Other research indicates that listening to music may help lengthen sleep duration, shorten the time it takes to fall asleep, reduce the number of nighttime awakenings, and enhance daytime functioning in people with sleep problems. Furthermore, a 2005 study from the Journal of Advanced Nursing suggests that music might have a cumulative effect on sleep, with improvements in sleep quality increasing over time.

How to Use Music for Sleep

When selecting music for sleep, soft music with slow rhythms might be your best choice. Some research shows that listening to relaxing classical music before bed might be particularly effective in improving sleep. In addition, using relaxation techniques (such as yoga and hypnosis) may augment the sleep-promoting effects of soothing music.

Learn more about using music for health purposes.

Should You Use Music for Sleep Problems?

Listening to relaxing music can be a safe, easy, and low-cost way to improve your sleep quality. But since sleep disorders may cause fatigue, intensify anxiety, increase sensitivity to pain, trigger inflammation, and raise depression risk, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing chronic sleep disruption. In some cases, it may be necessary to combine alternative approaches like music with more conventional therapies in treatment of sleep problems.

Sources:

de Niet G, Tiemens B, Lendemeijer B, Hutschemaekers G. “Music-assisted relaxation to improve sleep quality: meta-analysis.” J Adv Nurs. 2009 Jul;65(7):1356-64.

Harmat L, Takács J, Bódizs R. “Music improves sleep quality in students.” J Adv Nurs. 2008 May;62(3):327-35.

Johnson JE. “The use of music to promote sleep in older women.” J Community Health Nurs. 2003 Spring;20(1):27-35.

Lai HL, Good M. “Music improves sleep quality in older adults.” J Adv Nurs. 2005 Feb;49(3):234-44.

 

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer Discuss ‘Beastly’

Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens in 'Beastly'Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens in ‘Beastly’

© CBS Films

 

It’s a tale as old as time, so says one version of the classicBeauty and the Beast story, but with Beastly things have been updated quite a bit for a younger audience. Vanessa Hudgens(of the High School Musical franchise) and Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) are both beauties in real life, but Beastly finds Pettyfer playing Kyle Kingson, a vain high school student so caught up in looks that he fails to see the inner beauty of those around him. After a particularly ugly verbal exchange with a witch (Mary-Kate Olsen), Kyle is cursed to spend his life as a disfigured, tattooed recluse. The only way to break the curse is to find someone who will say they love him by the end of one year, and because he hates himself this isn’t an easy task. Enter Lindy (Hudgens), a pretty but shy fellow student who winds up being forced into living with Kyle because her father’s in trouble with ruthless drug dealers. But will the ‘Beast’ be able to win over the his reluctant house guest before time runs out? I won’t spoil the ending in case you’ve been hiding under a rock all these years and haven’t heard the story before.

Together for a roundtable interview with journalists in Los Angeles to promote the romantic drama from CBS Films, Hudgens and Pettyfer talked about the moral of the story, working together, and the horrendous makeup process necessary to turn Pettyfer into a beast.

On getting into her character:

Vanessa Hudgens: “It’s really important to stand for what you believe in, and this message is definitely something that’s very strong and close to my heart. But I think the main thing always is to develop the character, develop a real person with depth and emotions, and to have it come from a personal place.”

On their initial interactions and working together on Beastly:

Vanessa Hudgens: “We met when we did a chemistry read, so it was for the movie. And it was really exciting because we both came in, we did a few scenes, and it was very creative. We kind of just played; it was a lot of fun. We talked about music.”

Alex Pettyfer: “I was very excited to see what Vanessa would do in this part. She’s done amazing.”

 

Would Kyle have eventually seen the error of his ways without the witch’s curse?

Alex Pettyfer: “I always believe what goes around comes around, so maybe. I mean different people have to learn different ways. Kyle just had to have all the ugliness inside fall outside to have him notice what was wrong.”

On being self-conscious as a teenager:

Vanessa Hudgens: “I grew up dancing a lot so I was very self-conscious of my, as I always called them, ‘tree trunk legs’ because I’m very muscular. When you’re dancing a lot every day, you become very muscular and I did not appreciate that at the time. But now I’ve learned to love them.”

Alex Pettyfer: “I think we’re all self-conscious at some point or another. I think it’s about growing up and becoming secure in yourself, and kind of pushing forward.”

Kyle tries to win Lindy over with gifts. What’s the best gift to get while being wooed?

Vanessa Hudgens: “Material things are fun, of course, but I love being outside. My friend took me on a camping trip and I thought that was just a lot of fun, creating new memories and being outside.”

On what traits she looks for in a man:

Vanessa Hudgens: “I think one really attractive thing to me is being present, not really worrying too much about the past or the future. Of course you can have dreams, but to just try to make the best out of each moment that you have.”

On comparisons between high school and the entertainment industry:

Vanessa Hudgens: “There are positive and negative experiences with everything that you endeavor, whether it’s the business or being in fashion. But it’s definitely…everything always has its cliques. I feel like there’s certain groups of people who hang out with other. But, I mean, it’s very exciting. The world is a lot bigger, it’s definitely a lot more cut-throat, but it’s really exciting. I think it’s just surrounding yourself with creative people and just staying true to what you are passionate about.”

On her own high school experiences:

Vanessa Hudgens: “I was home-schooled, so [I had] the comfort of my home and a lot of time with my mom. I had a really great time. Actually when I was going to home-school I was not too far away from Disneyland, so I would do a few hours of school and then go with my mom and my sister to Disneyland almost every day, which was a lot of fun.”

On which was more fun: doing the stunts or playing vulnerable:

Alex Pettyfer: “I think you just look to be challenged as an actor. I think that’s the most important thing. I mean, I guess I had fun doing both. It’s always fun to run around and blow up sh-t, as they say. But it’s also great to have this intimacy.”

On the biggest challenge of working on Beastly:

Alex Pettyfer: “I think the five and a half hours sitting in the chair every day. I find it hard enough to sit down for 20 minutes let alone that amount of time. So, yeah, the makeup.”

On why this Beast isn’t covered with fur:

Alex Pettyfer: “I think the thing with it, what I was explained was with fur it gets hot but you still have your skin. Whereas as I had this rubber mask…literally there was about 75 pieces that were put on and then they had to spray paint it, and then they had to like paint over it. So, basically, you’ve got a whole layer of glue. I shaved my head for the movie, so you basically have a whole layer of glue all over your head. It gets very claustrophobic because you touch yourself and you’re touching, essentially, silicon so you can’t feel your face. When you need to itch, you can’t itch. It’s a very disturbing feeling. I know it doesn’t sound that bad now, but when you have an itch underneath and you can’t scratch and you go like this [touching his face] and you can’t feel anything, it’s weird.”

On getting the right look for the Beast:

Alex Pettyfer: “We kind of went into Tony Goodwin’s shop. I sat there for like 16 hours and we went through it all and we decided, ‘I wish we had more tattoos,’ or ‘more of this and more of that.’ And we basically came up with this concept that everything that he thought was ugly on a person would come out in him. And so like in the beginning of the movie he sees Kendra has this tattoo on her face. He’s like, ‘Oh, you’re ugly. You have this tattoo.’ And then the pieces of glass in his cuts, because he’s a vain guy, you know, all the shards of the mirror that he smashes when he’s angry would be inserted into his skull. I found it very fascinating, the design of him.”

On relating to Lindy:

Vanessa Hudgens: “Me and Lindy are kind of different. Lindy is a girl who thinks it’s easier to go through life under the radar and slowly blossoms into her own person, which is really beautiful because she finds it kind of through love and helps him see the beauty within himself as well. But, yeah, I feel like we both end up as strong people who are, I guess, hopeless romantics.”

Do looks count?

Vanessa Hudgens: “To a certain extent. I think that true beauty is on the inside. It’s the way that someone carries themselves and what they’re passionate about and what they are like. I feel like if you can relate to someone and just have fun with them, that’s what really matters.”

On working with Mary-Kate Olsen:

Vanessa Hudgens: “I love her. I’ve loved her ever since I was a little girl, too. I was kind of intimidated by her because she’s been in this business for so long and she’s very, very smart with all the choices she’s made. I’ve just been such a big fan and she just was a really cool, laid-back chick. I was very pleasantly surprised.”

Alex Pettyfer: “I remember being 11 years of age, 12 years of age and then like, ‘Who’s your crush?’ ‘The Olsen twins,’ or something like that. And then you grow up and you’re 18 or 19, and you have this petite little lady come up and she’s so wise beyond her years. She is a presence, and so it was a great experience to work with her.”

Is it more difficult to play a jerk or vulnerable?

Alex Pettyfer: “I think it was harder to play vulnerable. I think anyone can have like a jerk easy. But I think to undergo that…I call it a surgery, because it was practically a surgery every day…and become someone else and look different – you feel the eyes on you – is a hard process.”

On acting underneath all that rubber and makeup:

Alex Pettyfer: “You know what was great is that all the prosthetics that were attached to my face all moved with my face. It was still me. But, I guess there were certain things. I had teeth in that restrained me from talking. It’s like I remember Heath Ledger said when he was doing Brokeback Mountain, he said he wanted to close his mouth. Like his mouth was like a fist because he had been through so much hurt. So it’s like little stuff like my mouth doesn’t open as much because he’s pained by how he looks.”

 

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment