Thursday, September 27, 2007

Phil Spector trial - hung jury

It's hard to believe, but the jury on the Phil Spector trial have been unable to reach a decision. According to BBC news, "The jurors said they were split 10 to two in favour of convicting Mr Spector. The judge in Los Angeles discharged the jury after 12 days of deliberation. Prosecutors want a retrial." Continue reading.

A man/woman should be considered and treated as innocent until proven guilty, I whole heartedly agree with that. And having kept up with this case, Spector is, in my estimation, guilty as sin. I hope to god justice prevails for that poor woman, unlike in the O.J case.

In other news:

Picture c/o:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Things that go bump in the night

Picture c/o Daily Mail

Friday, September 21, 2007

Will it blend? - Chuck Norris

Our favourite, 'Will it Blend?' guy, Tom Dickson is back. This time it's to see if Chuck Norris really is the baddest ass on the block. If you can't see the clip, click here.

Other stuff that's going on:

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How to commit media suicide

(Image removed at request of owner)

Forgive me for doing another Jodie Marsh post, but I just couldn't resist. In last week's issue of OK! magazine, they not only ran Jodie Marsh's wedding pictures, but also an interview with her.

During her MTV show she slagged off OK! magazine saying, among other things, that she wasn't interested in them covering her wedding because all they had in their issues was stuff on Jordan and Posh - or it might have been Jordan and Kerry Katona. Now although this was a reaction to the fact that OK! wasn't in fact interested in covering her wedding, it still gave me a little glimmer of respect for Jodie. Selling your wedding pictures to a publication is tacky tacky tacky. If you were using the money to donate to a good cause like the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, Cancer Research, or something along those lines, it would be forgivable, but generally, it's just in very bad taste. Yes that means you too Catherine Zeta Jones!

Anyhoo, my little glimmer of respect was short-lived, because she folded, and I think OK! was in fact the only magazine to cover it. But not before they go their own back for her biting comments. Accompanying the photo spread this is what they had to say:

Many of you devoted readers know we prize ourselves on working with only the nicest people in showbiz. So when we heard Jodie Marsh make some rather nasty comments about OK! magazine on her MTV show, 'Who'll take her up the aisle?', we agreed that she would never appear in our pages again. But then, as we're suckers for a good wedding - and also because we thought you would love the chance to gawp at what could quite possibly have been the tackiest wedding ever - we bit our lip and decided to give Jodie one last chance.
Let me just stop here for a second. Imagine you sell the rights to your wedding pictures and they feature them with an article saying, 'because we thought you would love the chance to gawp at what could quite possibly have been the tackiest wedding ever.' Need I say more?

They went on to state:

But before we agreed to join her and fiance Matt Peacock on their wedding day at her parents' Essex home, we made sure Jodie made a grovelling apology to us and any of OK!'s loyal readers that she may have offended ...
"I owe OK! a massive apology," she bravely admitted. "When I called you a load of old s**t, I was having a really bad day. I was under so much pressure filming that when I heard OK! didn't want to get involved in my wedding, it was like: 'Oh f**k off, then!' I really am sorry, OK!, I won't ever make that mistake again."
Considering how blatant it is that OK! wasn't interested to begin with, I wonder if they even got paid for the spread? And which self-respecting person would agree to feature their wedding photos in a publication after being so publicly rejected like that? I have a sneaking suspicion it may have been a case of last-minute begging and pleading on the part of Jodie's camp to get coverage into the media, and I imagine at this point the fee was negligible if it existed at all. Man, I can just see Jordan rolling on the floor laughing.

On a separate note, later in the interview Jodie tells all of us just what her and Matt get up to in the bedroom, because naturally we are very interested:

OK!: You sound a bit of a wild thing between the sheets - is Matt man enough for you?

JM: Oh God, yeah. We are like animals together! I feel sorry for anyone who stays in a room next to us because we are so noisy. Right now we're into experimenting with violence and asphyxiation, so we are very naughty!

Yes, because promoting sexual violence and asphyxiation is such a good idea considering how many women are the unwilling recipients of this sort of thing. I wonder what The Metropolitan Police's domestic violence department would have to say about it?

God love her. If nothing else, she gives bloggers like me something to write about on a slow news day.

Source & Photo: OK Magazine, issue 589 - September 18 2007.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday night yada

I've had some good traffic on here lately, not least of all thanks to people looking for information on Jodie Marsh's wedding, YouTube footage of Rachel Lester (that really scary and fowl mouthed young woman on The X Factor), and last but certainly not least, stuff about hairy armpits. The last is by far the most popular, and put it this way, there are a frightening amount of people looking for information on hairy armpits.

Tomorrow I'm 27 weeks pregnant, and starting my third trimester. For those of you not in the know, that's the final part of your pregnancy. The last three months that you get really really big, really really uncomfortable, and your breasts start resembling zeppelins as opposed to something that would fit into delicate lacy items from La Perla. I realise this is going to be scary for everyone involved, and I think it's worth warning friends that public appearances are probably going to be scarce. That's unless there's a Halloween party.

There are a few interesting things in the news at the moment, or rather, things that appeal to my morbid curiosity:
On a final note, I thought I'd do a Google search on hairy armpits to find out what all the fuss is. Strangely, there do seem to be men out there that are big fans, and this is what some of them have to say.

Different strokes and all that.

Jodie Marsh wedding pictures

(Images removed at request of owner)

Due to popular demand - and no I'm not kidding, I've had like a gazillion hits looking for these - here are Jodie Marsh and Matt Peacock's wedding photos. Click to enlarge.

These are from OK Magazine, issue 589 - September 18 2007.

A little love goes a long way

According to the Daily Mail:

"This 12-week-old macaque - who was abandoned by his mother - was close to death when it was rescued on Neilingding Island, in Goangdong Province. After being taken to an animal hospital his health began to improve but he seemed spiritless - until he developed a friendship with a white pigeon.
The blossoming relationship helped to revive the macaque who has developed a new lease of life, say staff at the sanctuary. Now the unlikely duo are never far from each other's side."

I love this story. It just goes to show the power of companionship and affection, possible between even the most different of species.

I think there's a lesson here.

Source and picture: Daily Mail

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Teach your children well

This attractive ensemble, known as 'The Logan Six,' were arrested in the USA for their involvement in the week long kidnapping, sexual assault, and torture of a black woman. The details are simply horrendous, so I won't go into it here, but she survived. You can check out the full story here, or if you want all the graphic details, Smoking Gun has those here. Not for the feint hearted.

Like Dlisted, I was hesitant to write about this, because I don't want to give these evil people any more publicity. But I feel compelled to report it because I have such a deep seated disgust and all-encompassing feeling of outrage when it comes to racism, and I think it's important that people know just how dangerous it can be. Also, how often do we see cases like this where self-confessed racists rape and sexually assault members of the race they supposedly hate? Not unlike very verbal anti-gay hate campaigners that get caught in gay scandals themselves.

And then people wonder how and why something like the holocaust, or the ongoing atrocities in Darfur could happen. It starts on a smaller scale with ignorant, intolerant, evil people like this, that's how.

Photo and source: Dlisted

Things to do on a sunny afternoon

I took these photos in the aquarium at the London Zoo last week. I put my little digital Canon IXUS 40 onto the 'Aquarium' setting, turned off the flash, held my hands very still, and aiming at a fixed point snapped when something came into view. I'm delighted with the results.

These photos are all completely unretouched and have not been cropped either - which gives you an idea of the incredible natural colours, and admittedly, good lighting within the tanks. The aquarium building looks a bit shabby and not terribly impressive on the outside, but it's worth going in to see if you are at the zoo, especially if, like me, you enjoy taking photos.

See the full collection of photos here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The growing strangeness that is the Madeleine McCann case

I haven't been following this case as closely as I probably should. I think since I fell pregnant I've been avoiding reading or exposing myself to upsetting things, especially something like this concerning a child.

Recently, however, it's been hard to avoid since the McCann's were named official suspects by the Portuguese police, and the papers and internet are full of it. Today I read on the Daily Mail website that 'Substantial quantities of Madeleine McCann's hair were found in the boot of her parents' hire car,' and 'The dramatic new evidence adds further pressure on Kate and Gerry McCann, who may now face charges over the death of the missing four-year-old in days.'

It's hard to believe that two people that have been so very public, on a global scale even, about their grief may have been involved in the abduction and possible death of their daughter. Furthermore it's a though most of us don't even want to entertain the thought - it honestly seems inconceivable, possibly because the alternative is too horrible to imagine.

This reminds me a lot of the unresolved JonBenet Ramsey case, where the little beauty queen was found dead in the basement of her parents home. They were a well-to-do all American family, and despite both parents being long-standing suspects and targets of what some feel was a frenzied media 'witch-hunt', many people equally found the likelihood of their involvement hard to believe.

Why would two parents take the life of such a small innocent child? What could possibly have motivated them to do that? The assumption, often incorrect, is that children are only battered and killed in homes where money is short, parents have problems with alcohol and drugs, or have reduced mental capacity. So why would a couple of well-educated, financially sound, professional people be involved in their daughter's death?

The Ramseys fought to maintain their innocence, and according to the Crime Libary were finally vindicated when, '
An Atlanta judge and the Boulder district attorney agreed that the Ramseys may have be been right all along and that the weight of evidence supports the belief that an intruder was responsible for JonBenet's death.' Continue reading.

At present, droves of journalists are apparently camped aside the McCann's residence in
Rothley while they await further developments.

Read more here.

How cool would this be?

Using radar technology, Professor Stephen Harding, an archaeologist from the University of Nottingham, says he has found the outline of what he believes is a 1,000-year-old Viking longship. It's whereabouts? Under a pub car park in north-west England.

According to Yahoo

The ship was first uncovered in 1938 when the Railway Inn was demolished and rebuilt further away from the road, with the site of the old pub turned into a car park.

Workers unearthed part of an old clinker-built vessel but were told by the foreman to cover it over again to keep construction on course.

Harding said he believes it might be possible to access the vessel from the pub cellar, where the public could eventually view it. Continue reading

The Prof is presently trying to raise some cash for the dig.

Source and photo: Yahoo news

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Is Tara a dirty cow?

Alexy and Tara

There's a truly appalling TV show on here at the moment, called Dirty Cows. The premise being that 10 city girls go and live in the country and compete for the affections of a wealthy land-owning aristocrat. The girls have to do a number of dirty farm-related tasks, and the 'lucky' ones get asked on dates by Lexy so he can deem them worthy or not of his further affections. Each week one 'unlucky cow' gets voted out.

Tara Palmer Tomkinson, posh IT girl and TV personality presents the show.

The format isn't so different to similar reality-type shows done in America or Australia, and I find the premise of those equally disturbing. In this case it seems completely counter-productive to be looking for a lady, when competing for a man against other women is perhaps one of the most unladylike qualities a woman can present. Also, it turns my stomach to see this guy picking and choosing among these young women as though he were looking for a ripe piece of fruit.

I'm certainly not a raving feminist, but you don't have to be one to see that shows of this kind objectify people, and it's uncomfortable viewing. The title of the show 'Dirty Cows' is fitting, because the whole thing has a distinctly meat market feel to it, not unlike some city bars.

Anyway, as I hop off my moral high horse for a minute, according to the Daily Mail the real gossip circulating about this show, is that it looks like Tara, the shows' presenter, has reportedly been on a string of dates with the male 'prize', Alexy, herself.

According to the paper:
During the show - which is still being screened on Living - the contestants took part in such countryside tasks as fishing, sheep-shearing and making jam, with Alexy - the son of Belgian countess Pinkie Le Grelle - gradually whittling them down to his favourite. But, according to one contestant, they never stood a chance given the chemistry between 25-year-old Alexy and the troubled socialite.

Chantelle Minifee, 22, from Cardiff, said: "It was a bit ridiculous to be honest - from day one they were all over each other. "They held hands and kissed, cuddled and snuggled up.

"All you could hear was 'Alexy this . ..'and 'Alexy that . ..' from her - and when some of the girls confronted him he just laughed and tried to brush it off.

"It was an open secret on the set and all the production staff were talking about Tara and her relationship with Alexy.

"I went on the show hoping to find love but Tara had bagged the only man before I even arrived.

"Tara started off being really friendly to the girls but by the end she was very standoffish. Continue reading

Tara's spokeswoman has said: "Tara and Alexy are just good friends, there's nothing more to it than that," and a publicist from Living TV has also maintained, "As far as we are aware there was no romance between Alexy and Tara on the set of Dirty Cows."

Hmmm, no comment there about their romance off set.

Source and photo: Daily Mail

If they weren't famous

This is a small selection of a much vaster collection on the site Planet Hiltron - a place where no celebrity is safe from being 'normalised'. For those of you not yet familiar with this site, go and take a look. The photoshop work is really good, so good that when I was first emailed the tip, I thought some of them were genuine 'dodgy old photos' from the stars pasts.

A big thank you to the lovely Andrea for the tip.

All photos c/o planethiltron

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Author found guilty of murder he wrote about

In yet another unbelievable real-life story that mirrors television, a polish author, Krystian Bala, has been found guilty of the murder he described in his 2003 book "Amok."

According to The News of the World
In "Amok", Krystian Bala described in detail the brutal murder of a Polish businessman. He wrote of a dead body fished out of a river bearing the harrowing marks of torture - limbs distended, hands bound and tied to a noose around the neck.

In the novel, police investigators are left without any clue as to how the well-liked and successful professional came to such a grisly end.

In reality, however, police noticed the fictional crime had similarities with a case in 2000 when a body was fished out of the river Oder in the town of Wroclaw, near the German border.

Bala claimed he was framed to cover up for a "bungled" police investigation.

Continue reading

Men steal hearse (with dead body inside) for pub crawl

This story could be straight out of an episode of 'Six Feet Under', but instead its protagonists are a bunch of real-life South African crooks with really bad taste.

According to the BBC
Two South African men have been arrested in Soweto for allegedly going on a drinking spree in a stolen hearse with a body in the back, police say. The men were caught after the hearse ran out of petrol and they asked three women they had met at a drinking den to help push the hearse, local media say. The men told the women they were on their way to bury the body of a relative but the women told the police.
The hearse's driver, shocked at such an insensitive act said, "Going shebeen-hopping (informal make-shift bar) with a corpse takes the cake. What kind of people are these?"

The men remain in custody.

Things to do in prison or if you're bored

Albanian artist, Saimir Strati, has entered the Guiness Book of World Records for the second time with this horse mosaic, made up of 1.5 million toothpicks.

According to Yahoo News, Strati entered the Guinness Book for the first time in September 2006 after creating a portrait of Leonardo de Vinci out of 500,000 nails.

The horse mosaic took him 40 days to complete. Continue reading.

Photo c/o yahoo news

Robin Williams on Parkinson

These clips are about 7.30 mins long each, but very much worth a watch.

Part 1
If you can't see the clip, click here

Part 2
If you can't see the clip, click here

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Jodie Marsh gets married

(Image removed at request of owner)

So Jodie Marsh actually went through with it and got married to Matt Peacock on Sunday. I watched the taped episode, via MTV, yesterday. Pictures here.

The whole thing felt a bit sad really. Having watched the show progressively, it became clear that very few people wanted to be involved with it in terms of sponsorship. Also, they were unable to come up with a venue, so they landed up having it at Jodie's parent's home, which, to be fair, had a pretty large garden.

Finding a venue for a wedding in the UK in the summer, at such short notice, was always going to be a near-to-impossible task. These things are booked at the very least a year in advance. I think given half the chance, most women would love to get married on the sprawling grounds of their parents home - if they have sprawling grounds that is. However, this was not what Jodie wanted to begin with, and it was clearly a choice born out of necessity rather than preference.

As far as bagging loads of free stuff, from catering to photography etc, the fact of the matter is that people didn't want to be involved. This is judging by the episodes where her PA's called around trying to get freebies, and were repeatedly met with resounding 'no's. Similarly on the whole 'invite a celeb' front. One episode had a mortified PA saying to another, 'I'm not going to call Craig David!' as though he anticipated the excruciating exchange that would ensue, 'Jodie who?'

Seriously, I don't know what it is about 'celebs' of the Jodie Marsh variety. Is it because they surround themselves with 'yes' people? And/or perhaps they inhabit a very small microcosm, leading to big fish in a small pond delusions of grandeur syndrome? She was actually saying at one point, that in terms of it's media value and magnitude, her wedding was going to be as big as that of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles's. I kid you not.

To contextualise, not that I need to, the latter attracted crowds of 600,000 people cramming the streets of London, had a congregation of 3,500, and was watched globally by 750 million people on TV. On the day of Jodie's wedding, 100 people were 'meant' to attend, and when the presenter asked her PA where all the paparazzi were, he sheepishly replied something to the effect of, 'No paparazzi yet, they may still come.' According to MTV, Jodie was so paranoid about paparazzi intrusion (at one point even mentioning the threat of overhead helicopters!), she hired 40 security guards. Apparently only one photographer turned up.

Thinking she was this big star, that everyone would want to donate loads of free stuff for her wedding, that there would be HUGE media interest, and that she'd bag big celebs, backfired horribly, and resulted in her setting herself up massively. Instead she had a fairly low-key family wedding at home, which I think cost around 10k - no small amount mind you - but certainly not of the big expensive all singing all dancing celeb variety she wanted. And I have a sneaking suspicion that the money was either put up by MTV who shot the series, or came out of Jodie's own pocket. The overhwelming impression was that she had to settle, and it wasn't the wedding of her dreams. Which is sad.

Saying that, in tabloid interviews to follow, she'll no doubt backtrack and say she always wanted something more traditional, family-oriented, and low-key, and didn't want a massive media circus the likes of which Jordan (her nemesis) had. Remember, you read it here first.

Then there's her new husband Matt Peacock. The two fight like cats and dogs - I mean, really trivial stupid stuff the kind of which you have when you are a teenager and it's all about you. Oh yes, that's right, according to Jodie, it is all about her. One massive fight, that almost resulted in their wedding being called off (an occurrence that happened at least once every episode), happened because Matt didn't kiss her on demand while he was folding and putting his clothes away. Huge fight - huge. The rest are equally tedious and too numerous to mention, and indicative of one or two people with extremely low self-esteem, and who are severely emotionally immature.

There's no doubt they are definitely into each other in a physical sense, and I imagine that in the real world they'd date for a few months, get engaged, and then he'd do something to piss her off and she'd give him the boot, and then diss him on her blog. But, for the purposes of the show, the whole thing was rushed into marriage, and considering how many times they have already fallen out during filming, I'd say it would take a miracle for this marriage not be be annulled in the first year.

Saying all of this, I wish them both the best of luck.

On a final note, and this is my conscience talking, Jodie Marsh gets a lot of stick from the media and public, and this factor came up a lot on her show. She mentioned more than a few times, in a tearful state, how people hate her and say terrible things about her. However, as I'm always fond of saying, most dynamics are co-created, and she really does need to own the fact that she sets herself up for a lot of it.

Aside from the whole bizarre streetwalker/burlesque persona she has going, this series was a case in point of someone who has a very inflated and misguided sense of their celebrity status and importance, but lacks the means or talent to follow it through. The result is more often than not of the egg on your face variety, and when done so publicly, will undoubtedly invite it's share of public criticism. Live by the sword, die by the sword as they say.

Picture c/o OK Magazine, issue 589 - September 18 2007. More here

Monday, September 03, 2007

Monday update

There's not a lot going on at the moment to report. Poor Owen Wilson tried to top himself, which the blogosphere and tabloid magazines are having a feeding frenzy over. Personally I think he should be left well enough alone to try and heal. Having all this shit about your drug habits and life (true or not) splashed over the news at a time that you just tried to kill yourself, isn't exactly going to inspire anyone to get better and face the world again is it? Also, and I don't mean to trivialise or detract from the seriousness of other forms of attempted suicide, but when someone takes a razor to their wrists, that's usually not just a cry for help, but a pretty full-on statement that they want to die. I hope he gets better.

The anniversary of Princess Diana's death this weekend brought about the usual TV programmes - the same old documentary footage, the same old conspiracy theories. I used to have a huge crush on her - when I was five or six. I collected every and any picture I could get my hands on, and would literally scream if an item of her came on the TV. The point I'm trying to make here is that I was six, a small child. I seriously cannot comprehend people's, as in grown people's, continued obsession with her. Yes, I completely understand that she was an important, well-loved figure that did a lot of good work, and her death was an enormous tragedy. I too was shocked and incredibly saddened by news of it at the time. I also think it's good and fitting that she's remembered. But when you see these people - effectively strangers, ten years on, standing around the palace clutching a picture of her and ululating, it's just macabre. Let her rest in peace already and focus on your own life.

I'm 25 weeks pregnant today, and according to my consultant, our baby is going to do a lot of growing from this point onwards. That's great news in terms of her being healthy, not so great in terms of my physical discomfort which is also growing daily. Just the start of the many sacrifices you make as a mother, or so they tell me.

Picture c/o yahoo news

X Factor - It's About Time (they stopped crying)

I've kind of got into the X Factor this year, and we saw this clip on Saturday night.

Yes, I think Simon Cowell was unnecessarily harsh on these guys, a group calling themselves 'It's about time'. He didn't have to come up with the whole 'Stick to Christmas Carroll singing' jibe, and could just have said instead - 'I'm sorry, but you guys just don't have the right sound, look etc.' But to his credit, they were really awful.

It wasn't so much that the singing was out of tune, as it was lackluster and boring. Not to mention their total lack of charisma as performers. Also, and perhaps this sounds mean, but come on, you're trying to sell yourselves as a pop group and the bunch of them look like they tried to approximate what they thought a cool pop group looked like, and failed miserably. It kind of reminds me of the hairstyles my friends and I had back when we were 12 and thought we were way cool. And that was the 80's!

Also, though I'm sure it doesn't do any harm to do a bit of begging and pleading if you don't win the judges over immediately, there's such a thing as doing so with charm, humour, and grace. To burst into floods of hysterical tears and start guilt tripping the judges is poor form. It also reveals that you cannot deal with criticism or rejection, which is what forms a very big part of the show business industry. And no one wants to sign a basket case.

You have to laugh at Simon's irritated face while they are singing though - classic.

If you can't see the clip click here.