Seth’s Favorite Jokes of the Week: GoT Series Finale, Mark Zuckerberg’s Birthday

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Dave Chappelle To Receive Mark Twain Humor Award

WASHINGTON (AP) — Comedian Dave Chappelle has been chosen to receive this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The 45-year-old Chappelle shot to international stardom through his Comedy Central program, “Chappelle’s Show,” which gleefully skewered racial stereotypes and hot-button societal issues. He later made headlines for walking away from a lucrative contract over creative differences.

Chappelle attended Washington’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and his first hourlong comedy special was filmed in the nation’s capital.

Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter called Chappelle “a hometown hero” and said his social commentary and body of work embody Twain’s statement that “against the assault of humor, nothing can stand.”

Chappelle will be presented with the award in a star-studded ceremony on Oct. 29. The ceremony will be broadcast on television on Jan. 6, 2020.

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The Cold Case That Haunted Author Mark Bowden for Decades

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

One was in fifth grade, the other seventh. Katherine Lyon and her older sister Sheila made the honor roll, kept spare change in piggy banks, and tacked posters of Kenny Loggins and John Denver to their bedroom walls. In the last week of March 1975, they vanished from a mall in Wheaton, Maryland, just north of Washington. Their disappearance transfixed the public and puzzled police. Weeks passed, and as it grew less likely that their daughters would be coming home, John and Mary Lyon grieved and wondered.

Mark Bowden, a rookie reporter with the Baltimore News-American, spent much of that spring writing about the missing Lyon girls. When the investigation came to a standstill, he and his colleagues moved on to the next story. He’s since published several nonfiction bestsellers, including Black Hawk Down and Hue 1968. The Lyon story has always bugged him, though. In 2015, the case resurfaced in the pages of the Washington Post, which reported that investigators in Maryland appeared to be closing in on a culprit. Bowden felt compelled to find out what was going on. “A story like that doesn’t really ever leave you,” he told me in a recent interview.

The result of his curiosity is The Last Stone, a gripping new book that seeks to differentiate itself amidst a surplus of true-crime titles, documentaries, and podcasts. Drawing on a deep cache of question-and-answer sessions between Montgomery County, Maryland. police and one of their chief suspects in the girls’ disappearance, Bowden gives us an eerily intimate look at what it can take to crack a cold case. It’s not the first time he has written about the interrogation of reputed criminals and terrorists. This time, though, he had access to dozens of hours of videotaped conversations.

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Trump taps Mark Morgan, former Obama official who supports border wall, to head ICE

Morgan had been the top official at Customs and Border Protection in the Obama administration, but has been outspoken in favor of Trump’s signature proposal for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
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Peter Mayhew dead – Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill lead tributes to Chewbacca actor after Star Wars icon passes away

HARRISON Ford and Mark Hamill have led the tributes to Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew after he died aged 74.

The 7ft 3in actor, who played the iconic Wookiee in five Star Wars movies, passed away “with his family by his side” on Tuesday.

Harrison Ford, who portrayed Han Solo in the franchise, paid a heartbreaking tribute to his co-star Peter Mayhew
AP:Associated Press

Harrison Ford, who portrayed Han Solo in the franchise, paid a heartbreaking tribute to his co-star Peter Mayhew[/caption]

Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the iconic film series, remembered his co-star as the “gentlest of giants”.

He tweeted: “A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile and a loyal friend who I loved dearly.

“I’m grateful for the memories we shared and I’m a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken.”

Harrison Ford, who portrayed Han Solo in the franchise, paid a heartbreaking tribute to his Millennium Falcon co-pilot, saying: “I loved him”.

“Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character,” he said.

“These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca.

“We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience.

“Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them.

“I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend.”

Fellow co-star Billy Dee Williams, who played Lando Calrissian in Star Wars, tweeted: “Much more than Chewie to me.

“My heart hurts…I will miss you my dear friend…thanks for the great memories! #RIPPeterMayhew #StarWars.”

George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, also paid tribute.

In a statement, he said: “Peter was a wonderful man. He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature – and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend, and I’m saddened by his passing.”

Peter Mayhew, the man behind the famed Chewbacca voice in Star Wars, has died at 74
Reuters
The actor died at his North Texas home surrounded by his family
Reuters

Mayhew’s family has not revealed what the cause of his death was.

He played Chewbacca in Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), Revenge Of The Sith (2005) and The Force Awakens (2005).

During filming of The Force Awakens Mayhew shared his role with Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo.

His family said: “Peter was the man behind the mask of Chewbacca in the original Star Wars triology, episode 3 of the prequels and the New Triology.

“He fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“He also consulted on The Last Jedi in an attempt to teach his successor.

“He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films from his knock kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth.

Harrison Ford paid a heartbreaking tribute to his Millennium Falcon co-pilot, saying: 'I loved him'
Alamy

Harrison Ford paid a heartbreaking tribute to his Millennium Falcon co-pilot, saying: ‘I loved him’[/caption]

“But, to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in the film.”

Mayhew got the role in the original Star Wars film after creator George Lucas needed a tall actor to play hairy alien Chewbacca.

David Prowse, who was 6ft 6ins, was originally in the frame but chose instead to play Darth Vader.

Lucas discovered Mayhew, who was chosen purely for his height.

Mayhew, from Surrey, was born with Marfan syndrome – a connective tissue disease that caused his great height.

He had undergone spinal surgery last July to try and improve his mobility.

Mayhew was much loved on the Star Wars convention circuit and wrote two books “Growing Up Giant” and “My Favourite Giant”.

‘GENTLE GIANT’

A statement said: “We are so very sad to have to inform you all that Peter Mayhew who was Chewbacca in the Star Wars films passed away last night at his home in Texas.

“Peter was a real gentle giant and a very quiet, shy and beautiful person! A one-off!

“The Chewbacca role was more Peter playing himself on screen and the question of how much of Peter is Chewie and how much of Chewie is Peter will never be worked out as they really were one and the same.

“Peter loved playing Chewbacca as he could put away his shyness and become a roaring Wookiee when he needed to be.”


He used his fame to support charitable work, ultimately setting up the Peter Mayhew Foundation to support a variety of causes.

That work will continue under the leadership of his wife, Angie.

Mayhew is also survived by his three children.

A memorial service for family and friends is planned for June 29, and a memorial for fans will take place in December at EmpireConLA.

His family said: “As he grew older he continued to ‘soldier on’ as he put it and was completely in his element around fans and supporters.

“He grew great strength from the energy of his family, friends and the fans he knew and loved.”

The Star Wars actor was famed for playing Chewbacca
Crispin Rodwell – The Sun Dublin
The actor played Chewbacca in five Star Wars movie
Getty Images – Getty
Peter Mayhew, the actor who played the furry co-pilot Chewbacca in several ‘Star Wars’ movies, has died
EPA
Mayhew played Wookiee warrior Chewbacca in the original trilogy
Getty – Contributor
Mayhew, who was 7ft 3ins and British, played Wookiee warrior Chewbacca in five Star Wars movies
Alamy

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Mark Medoff, ‘Children of a Lesser God’ Playwright, Dies at 79

Mark Medoff, the playwright who wrote Tony Award-winning play “Children of a Lesser God,” died Tuesday in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 79. His daughter Jessica Medoff Bunchman posted news of his death on Facebook, and the Las Cruces Sun-News attributed the cause to cancer. “Children of a Lesser God” starred John Rubinstein and Phyllis Frelich […]

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US measles cases hit highest mark in 25 years

U.S. measles cases have climbed to their highest level in 25 years, largely because misinformation is turning parents against vaccines
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Man Or Cyborg? ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Passes $1 Million Mark

NEW YORK (AP) — There’s no truth to the rumor that James Holzhauer is a cyborg created to be the perfect “Jeopardy!” contestant.

But given how he’s made a level of excellence rarely seen on the television quiz show appear almost mundane, it sometimes seems that way. Holzhauer eclipsed the $ 1 million mark in winnings Tuesday on his 14th appearance. Not only has he won $ 131,127 to shatter the program’s previous one-day record of $ 77,000, he already has the top five one-day scores in the history of a game that has aired regularly since 1984.

The professional gambler from Las Vegas is quick on his feet and quick with the buzzer, displays an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and — true to his profession — is cold-blooded in his willingness to risk big sums of money.

The show’s most hallowed records, set in 2004 when Ken Jennings won 74 games in a row and earned more than $ 2.5 million, seem like a plausible goal.

“James is just a perfect ‘Jeopardy!’ machine,” Jennings told The Associated Press this week.

Like most of the game’s best players, he did his share of studying in advance, finding that books geared to young people were a good way to learn about unfamiliar topics. He built a replica of the show’s buzzer and practiced while playing along on TV, standing in his living room like he has to do now in front of a podium. Holzhauer says he rarely guesses — he doesn’t like those odds — but seems never to have forgotten a fact.

“My goal was just to be less nervous than the other players,” he said. “Whenever I felt overwhelmed, I snapped my fingers three times and pictured a fun snow festival with my daughter.”

He did have one audacious goal: to honor his daughter by winning $ 110,914 in a single episode, since her birthday was Nov. 9, 2014. He accomplished that on his fourth show.

His strategy is to begin games with the highest-value clues, hoping to quickly build winnings and land on the one “Daily Double” in the first round. When he does, he usually bets everything, punctuating it with a motion that makes it seem like he’s pushing in all his chips. If he’s wrong, there’s enough time to earn more money. But he’s rarely wrong.

The two “Daily Doubles” in the game’s second round are also coveted. He doesn’t bet everything then, but he puts a lot on the line.

Holzhauer said show host Alex Trebek once told him that he doesn’t gamble because he could win $ 1,000 and not care, but that losing $ 20 annoys him.

“I’m not surprised that most contestants don’t gamble the way I do,” he said. “Loss aversion is a very real factor.”

The Final Jeopardy round gives him one more chance to place a big bet. On the show that aired April 17, Holzhauer bet $ 60,000 on the category of 20th Century literary figures. The clue was: His first name refers to the ancient district in which you’d find the Greek capital; his surname is a bird.

He correctly answered: Who is Atticus Finch?

“Most ‘Jeopardy!’ players never think about maximizing winnings,” Jennings said. “I never did. I just wanted to survive the game and get to play again. But he’s a sports bettor. Maximizing winnings is everything to him. I wouldn’t have the stomach to bet $ 60,000 on a Final Jeopardy clue. What if you get that wrong, and you have to come back in five minutes and play another game knowing that you just blew a year’s salary on a single trivia question? Psychologically, I doubt that I could have rattled off a long streak doing that. But James just seems to be made for those dangerous plays. He’s a cool customer.”

Jennings can envision future players trying to imitate Holzhauer’s strategy of building up big winnings fast. But in a lesser player, that could be disastrous.

“I’m not sure I can really bet any more boldly than I have already,” Holzhauer said. “I can keep my foot on the accelerator, though.”

For a show with a long history, his single-day achievements beg for some perspective. Consider it this way: It’s like a young Major League baseball player hitting 95 home runs in a season (the record is 73 by Barry Bonds), then following it up with a couple of seasons in the 80s.

Holzhauer often watches with friends as his streak plays out on weekday evenings (shows are taped well in advance). “People seem to think it is really cool to watch someone on TV while you’re sitting next to them,” he said.

He hopes his celebrity stays low-key. He gets recognized in public now but said most people are respectful, save one fan “who got a little too handsy with my bicep” at a hockey game.

With his style of play, Holzhauer considers Jennings’ earnings record a more achievable goal than the 74-game winning streak. Given the show’s schedule, which includes tournaments and reruns, fans wouldn’t know until September if he approaches the standard of consecutive shows. Since the show’s ratings are already spiking, producers won’t mind if he sticks around.

“I’ve been waiting 15 years for someone to make a run at me, and it’s finally happening,” Jennings said. “The closer he gets to the cash and game records, the closer I will be watching. I’m rooting for the guy.”

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FTC eyes personal punishment for Mark Zuckerberg over privacy

The Federal Trade Commission is mulling ways to hold Mark Zuckerberg personally responsible for Facebook’s privacy lapses, including fines that would ding the CEO’s own wallet, according to a new report. The watchdog, which started probing Facebook last year over data breaches tied to the 2016 presidential election, is looking at the 34-year-old billionaire’s past…
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Disney has a ‘major advantage’ as the streaming war heats up, says RBC’s Mark Mahaney

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Is ‘Green Book’ a Rescue Fantasy? Mark Twain Might Disagree

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Despite the Golden Globe and Producers Guild of America awards that it has won, Peter Farrelly’s hit film Green Book is facing political trouble that seems sure to increase by the time of the Academy Awards on February 24. An army of critics has come to see Green Book as perpetuating a dated, racial liberalism that does more harm than good.

Green Book tells the story of the 1962 trip through the Jim Crow South taken by an African-American musician Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and his white driver, Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), a bouncer at the Copacabana night club, who has time on his hands because the Copacabana has been closed for renovations.

In Green Book, Don Shirley is the one with money and education, but it is Tony with his muscle and smarts who is the hero of the movie. Tony saves Don from beatings at the hands of bigots and corrupt Southern police, and it is this emphasis on Tony that has led critics of the film to see Green Book as a lopsided tale of black-white relations.

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Events across Germany mark a century of Bauhaus architecture and design

Hundreds of events across Germany this year will celebrate the 100th birthday of the Bauhaus movement, whose “form follows function” aesthetic spread around the world, shaping modern architecture and design.


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Browns Hosts Dinner to Mark Fantastic Man’s Book About Men’s Dressing

LIGHT FANTASTIC: What’s the opposite of hi-tech? The new book by Fantastic Man magazine, “What Men Wear and Why.” A soft cover printed on recycled paper, it includes lots of charming interviews with men about how they dress themselves every day. The interviews are long — no social media-sized commentary here — and, crucially, there are no illustrations or images. Readers — refreshingly — are forced to use their mind’s eye.
Browns hosted a cocktail and dinner on Saturday night during Paris Men’s Fashion Week to mark the book’s publication, and its collaboration with Fantastic Man. The retailer has given over the windows of its store on South Molton Street to different quotes and themes from the book. The event took place at Brasserie Vaudeville, across from the Bourse, with guests including Stefano Pilati, Martine Rose, Liam Hodges, Raf Simons, Benjamin Alexander Huseby, Serhat Isik, Lucie and Luke Meier, Charles Jeffrey and Lou Dalton.

The scene at the dinner 
Stephane Feugere/WWD

Pilati was looking natty in a white, illustrated Comme des Garcons shirt and a jacket of his own design, part of his newest clothing drop, set for Feb. 7. He said there’s a lot more tailoring in the upcoming delivery, and smiled as

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Pitti Immagine to Mark 30th Anniversary With Dedicated Stamp

PITTI’S STAMP: Pitti Immagine, the organizer behind the Pitti Uomo men’s wear trade show, is marking its 30th anniversary this year and to celebrate the milestone, Italy’s minister of economic development will issue a dedicated commemorative stamp.
Created by designer Italo Lupi, the stamp bears the black writing “Pitti Immagine 30 Anni [30 Years]” against a gray background and is crossed by colorful lines reminiscent of stitching and seams.
The stamp will be presented at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday during the inauguration event of the 95th edition of Pitti Uomo — the first day the stamp will be authorized for use. Pitti Uomo will run Jan. 8 to 11.
“Thirty years ago, the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana started using the Pitti Immagine name … We wanted to remember this anniversary with an official event and nothing is more official than a stamp, a paper rectangle treasuring a discreet fascination and aura as something linked to history, even in the era of non-material communication and liquid society,” said Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of Pitti Immagine.
Flanking the issue of the commemorative stamp, Pitti will also mount “The Fashion Mailbox” exhibition, exploring the relationship between fashion and stamps from the 19th century

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Hedge-fund veteran Mark Yusko is predicting a ‘dreadful bear market’ in 2019

There will be a lot of 'spiky' rallies in next year's bear market, with the end ultimately being 'a bad place.'
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Robinhood’s 3 percent interest claim misses the mark

Yes — a checking account that gives you 3 percent interest is probably too good to be true. Robinhood — a popular investing app backed by some of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious investors — announced Thursday it would hold consumers’ cash in insured checking and savings accounts that yielded a 3 percent interest rate —…
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President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he's picked Gen Mark Milley to be the nation's next top military adviser.
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Mark Ronson on Miley, Lady Gaga and reaching wedding status

Shades on, the recognisable quiff a little less coiffed than usual but still present, Mark Ronson is sitting in the library room of a central London hotel, speaking to Sky News amid a whirlwind of promotion for his latest single.
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Call collect: artist Mark Vessey’s new non-traditional portrait of Norman Cook

The Brighton-based photographer and the international DJ have collaborated on a limited edition artwork.

Back in 2015, the Barbican gallery in London hosted an exhibition titled Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist As Collector, the premise of which was looking at the personal objects and ideas accumulated by contemporary artists, and how they were used by to inspire their work. Artists’ archives were laid bare for us to see, giving us an idea of the motifs and influences of the likes of Andy Warhol, Sol Le Witt, Damien Hirst and Peter Blake. Seen together, and in isolation, the exhibition was eye-opening. Unlikely objects gave us the opportunity to view a highly personal (and in some cases impersonal) side to some of the art world’s most famous figures. Something that occurred to me before I met Brighton-based photographer Mark Vessey for a chat about his upcoming print release at artrepublic – a limited edition collaboration with local (and global) legend Fatboy Slim/ Norman Cook. The link between Vessey and this past exhibition is pretty direct: the local artist’s work has a very clear focus on collections. You could say he is a collector of collections.

'Norman' limited edition print by Mark Vessey ‘Norman’ limited edition print by Mark Vessey

From his first stack, taking Attitude magazine as its subject matter, through The Face, Vogue and Playboy to Penguin books, Absolut vodka and Chanel perfume, Vessey has explored the ideas and aesthetics created by combining thoughtfully curated and carefully grouped objects. There is nothing accidental about these stacks and arrangements – they are all purposeful, considered, layered. But this latest collection is a slight sideways step from previous works. Because, while all his works have been based around an individual’s unique collection, this one feels more personal; very much like a portrait in fact. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that the figure at its heart is very well known. Rather than an anonymous (to us, at least) collector, this latest exclusive print offers an insight into DJ and producer Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim, via his archive of vinyl. We wanted to know more about Vessey’s latest project, which launches at the Brighton gallery on 28 November, so we tracked him down between shoots to ask him a few questions.

 

Mark, your work is all about collections – it’s the thread running through your work…

After I finished university, I photographed my collection of Attitude magazine – it felt like a timeline of my own history, coming out, and independence from home – and after that, people started suggesting projects. Like my dad’s friend sent his Playboy magazines to me from New York, then that led on to me shooting stacks of The Face, then Vogue, and then I decided to collect every edition of British Vogue where Kate Moss had been on the cover…

 

Those works seem to be more general, rather than about specific individuals. Can you tell us how this particular piece ‘Norman’ came about?

Basically, ever since I’ve been in Brighton I’ve had an interest in people’s collections. I have a hit list of people whose collections I want to shoot. There are always people that you’re drawn to, and Norman Cook was one of those people. I love music and how it ties into everything culturally, so the whole premise for this was to take a look at Norman’s influences and his collection. I asked him through Lawrence [Alkin, CEO of artrepublic] if he’d like to do a piece, and he came back and said yes. It was 20 years since the original release of ‘You’ve Come A Long Way Baby’ this year, but the collaboration wasn’t about that. It’s not about trying to hype my name up with someone else – this is very much my work. It just happened that the timing was right.

 

The image features a selection of vinyl from Norman Cook’s archive. How much input did he have in the records that are part of the stack?

I went to his house – initially I was going to photograph it there, but then I thought ‘you know what, this is going to be a nightmare’ so I asked him if he minded me taking the vinyl to my studio, shooting it there and then bringing it back, and he didn’t; he’s not precious, which I love. I’d asked him if he would select three boxes of vinyl, and he thought that was quite a lot. But then he spent about two hours going through it and, by the time we finished all the shelves, it was more or less three boxes. It was perfect. It was interesting because when Norman was choosing the records I was peering over his shoulder, going ‘I feel really out of control. Are you picking the right things?’. And Norman was saying ‘That’s the whole point of me picking them Mark!’.

 

Were you surprised by the selection?

It’s was quite an eclectic mix. It’s not just House music: there’s blues, Beastie Boys, The Clash, Donna Summer… It’s not one genre of music, and that’s why I find it interesting. It’s quite a curveball, because normally I shoot very specific groups of things.

 

But the photograph doesn’t show all three boxes that Norman selected, so how did you decide what made the cut? Were you looking at it in terms of the music itself or was it more about aesthetics?

After he gave me the vinyl, I sat there for a week! (A week and a half probably) I turned it into a drama because I’m so emotionally connected to what I’m doing. My friends were telling me to just get the vinyl out and start. When I did, I was looking at what the spines said, how they fit together, how the colour moves throughout the piece of work and then it kind of came together. So, there’s the original ‘You’ve Come A Long Way Baby’ that Norman mixed his version from. He did give me the original ‘Praise You’ but it had nothing on the spine, which was frustrating. I put it in, thinking ‘it needs to be in there’, but then rethought it because no one would know what it was. There are a couple of doubles in there… The Ultimate Breaks & Beats / Various Artists and Bob James. That’s because when Norman was selecting them he told me: ‘When I’ve put in two of them, it means when I was DJing I had them both spinning at the same time.’ I think it was important to respect details like that.

 

Were you tempted to swipe any of the vinyl that Norman selected for you?

I would love to have one of the Donna Summer records, or Prince… but I would never have taken them. My friends all wanted me to open up the boxes for them and play the records, but I wouldn’t let them near it – I don’t think Norman would have been precious about it, but for me, it’s just not respectful to do that.

 

Your typical subject matter – vinyl, books and magazines for example – are analogue products in an increasingly digital world. Norman, as Fatboy Slim, switched over to using digital technology for his DJ sets a few years back. How do you prefer to work?

All my stuff is shot on film, medium format film. I do use a digital camera for my commercial work, but for my artwork it’s all film-based, developed and then scanned. I have friends who have cameras and they treat them like these precious things; mine is pretty bashed around, but then it’s used. It’s such a big camera it makes the work feel really special, more considered; you have to compose it, so the image is not so throwaway.

 

You’re a big fan of documentaries – do you think your work is a form of documentary?  

I love documentaries. I realised recently that my prints are starting to talk to each other. I can have a shot of a stack of House music and one of The Face magazine, and culturally they are part of the same era and time. All of a sudden they are starting to communicate with each other. It’s a thread of our time. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but it’s all about tapping in to a period of time, or a magazine or movement and what it represented. It makes people see it in different way – like how Pop Art enlarges things and they take on a new meaning. An everyday object can be transformed into something that holds emotion; it stirs up memories. This print is kind of like a collision of sounds – it’s got blues, there’s funk in there, House. I suppose that’s what Norman created from. It’s part of his story. I love that they’re talking pieces.

 

Interview by Alanna Freeman

 

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The Winemakers and Champagne Houses Making Their Mark With U.S. Consumers Ahead of New Year’s Eve

Thanksgiving is all but a distant memory now. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, just fleeting moments as we make the usual motions through the holiday shopping season.

Amid all the consumerism is (sometimes) some yuletide fun, often shepherded by warm spirits, mulled wines, and–of course–bubbly bottles of Champagne.

Always an easy gift for a host or hostess at a holiday party, there are many new options for U.S. consumers to consider as a number of smaller (as well as familiar) French houses have started to bring their trademark sparkling wines across the Atlantic.

Champagne Pommery Blanc de BlancsChampagne Pommery

Champagne

Champagne Pommery: Newly released, the Pommery Blanc de Blancs is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, sourced from the northern terrain of the Montagne de Reims and the hills of Nogent l’Abbesse. According to the winemakers, this particular terroir combination lends a special springlike freshness to the cuv?e. The bubbly offers subtle floral notes of jasmine as well as acacia, linden, and citrus fruit, notably fresh apple and yellow grapefruit. SRP: $ 67.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte’s signature One Fo(u)r bottles

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte: Perhaps the most ready for your holiday f?tes that surely will end up on Instagram, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte has a number of options to wow guests, starting with pint-sized Champagne bottles. (Maybe a bit gauche, but then again, no glassware that needs to be cleaned. Just toss in the recycle bin after). The single-serve bottles, in either the traditional Brut R?serve or Brut Ros?, also come with–wait for it–a wrist strap for making it easy to carry around the party. (Certainly solves the problem of where to put your drink while trying to eat at a cocktail party.)

For something a little more serious, but no less fun, are the 2018 Limited-Edition Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte “Enchanted Meadow” bottle with an elaborate holiday wonderland-inspired exterior as well as the very high-end Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte’s Palmes d’Or, one of the house’s finest crus aged for at least six years to advance the delicate flavor. SRP: $ 13 for the Signature One Fo(u)r 87-milliliter bottles; $ 36 for the Enchanted Meadow; $ 136-$ 200 for the Palmes d’Or.

Mo?t & Chandon ChampagneMo?t & Chandon

Mo?t & Chandon: As one of the world’s largest wine producers, Mo?t & Chandon isn’t taking the holiday season off. The 149-year-old house is releasing a limited edition series of”Art-de-Vivre” bottles, featuring iconic Parisian elements such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre as well as images synonymous with the brand, like a champagne tower and the logo neck ties. SRP: $ 39.99 for the Mo?t Imp?rial Brut; $ 49.99 for the Mo?t Imp?rial Ros?; and $ 59.99 for the Mo?t Nectar Imp?rial Blanc, touted by the house to be “tropical, exciting, and daring” with flavors of pineapple and mango.

Luc Belaire
Luc Belaire Brut GoldLuc Belaire

Sparkling Wine

Luc Belaire: Crafted by a 5th- and 6th-generation father-and-son team at a 118-year-old house in Burgundy, Luc Belaire might not be able to implement the official “Champagne” label given its geographical location, but it does reside in the heart of one of the world’s most well-known and respected wine regions. Produced from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, Belaire Brut Gold is a versatile option as its winemakers tout it as ideal for pairing with nearly any menu. To get a better idea of what you’re working with, the Brut Gold, the latest addition to the Luc Belaire portfolio, sports a hint of stone fruits (pear and peach) and brioche with a dry finish. For the dosage, Luc Belaire uses organic sugar cane, which the company says offers more structure to the wine while leaning on a style popularized during the 1920s. SRP: $ 30-$ 35.

Frank Family NV Brut RoseFrank Family Vineyards

Frank Family Vineyards: For something also outside of the traditional Champagne region but inspired by the style all the same is Frank Family Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. The 2014 Sparkling Brut Ros?, a blend of 88% Pinot Noir grapes and 12% Chardonnay, is made in the traditional French method in which the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle. The wine is then rested on the spent yeast cells for two and a half years before disgorgement. Almost millennial pink to its core, the Brut Ros? will likely impress oenophiles of any age or experience with wine thanks to its balanced palate of summery, fruit flavors (namely strawberry sherbert, orange peel, and red cherry) with a number of toasty and creamy nuances. SRP: $ 55.

“Prosecco Pie” by Ruffino and the Little Pie CompanyThe Little Pie Company

Something Extra…

Prosecco Pie: Not everyone is a sparkling wine lover. But what if I told you that you could consume sparkling wine–namely a very familiar Italian varietal–in…pie form? For over 33 years, Manhattan’s The Little Pie has gained a cult following–including with some familiar names like Oprah and Sarah Jessica Parker. This holiday season, The Little Pie Company collaborated with Tuscan wine producer Ruffino to produce a seasonal pie inspired by the apple and citrus flavors in the Italian winemaker’s signature Prosecco. The real star here is the topping to the pie rather than the filling itself, with strands of salted caramel criss-crossing a bed of brown sugar and warm apples. The pies are available in 5-inch and 10-inch sizes–the former of which comes with, naturally, a mini bottle of Ruffino Prosecco. SRP: $ 9.50 for the 5-inch version and $ 45 for the full-sized pie, plus shipping for delivery nationwide.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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SNL’s Laura Ingraham Goes After Nancy Pelosi and Mark Zuckerberg

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Two weeks ago, Saturday Night Live kicked things off with a sketch featuring Kate McKinnon’s Laura Ingraham losing her mind over the migrant caravan inching its way toward the U.S.-Mexico border—and included a dig at its own Donald Trump, aka Alec Baldwin, over his recent parking-lot-brawl arrest.

On tonight’s SNL, McKinnon’s unhinged Fox News host welcomed her equally wacky colleague, Judge Jeanine Pirro, onto the program to rant about imaginary instances of “voter fraud,” before thanking her “few remaining sponsors,” including FASHIONCatheters and Reverend Whitaker’s Home Dog Baptism Kit—a nod to all the sponsors that left her show after she mocked a teenage school-shooting survivor.

After Judge Jeanine, Ingraham welcomed a guest who’s been under “intense scrutiny for letting Russians use his website to spread lies”—none other than Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Octavia Spencer Working With Mark Wahlberg to Transform Her Body

Octavia Spencer and Mark Wahlberg working out
Octavia Spencer and Mark Wahlberg Courtesy of Mark Wahlberg/Instagram

To be the best, you need help from the best — which is exactly why Octavia Spencer has recruited the help of her Instant Family costar, Mark Wahlberg, to help transform her body.

The Shack star, 46, has teamed up with the Mile 22 actor, 47, for a unique training partnership — and the results are already starting to show. Spencer has been documenting her workouts on Instagram and in a video she posted on October 28, she credits Wahlberg’s Performance Inspired supplements for the assistance in slimming down.

“I never go sleeveless. But here is what I want to show you. I’ve been working out for years and the cellulite on my arms has NEVER gone away. It’s melting away from my thighs, too!” she captioned the clip, which features her showing off her arms.“The changes I’ve made? @performinspired supplements. Combined with balancing nutrition and the right workouts the changes are amazing.”

The Boogie Nights alum can’t help but praise Spencer for her commitment and dedication in losing weight. “It’s 5:24, I’ve gotten hundreds of requests from very, very close and dear friends about coming over, working out with us and joining the 4 a.m. club,” Wahlberg says, referring to his early-bird workout group. Turning to the Oscar-winning actress, he gushed, “This one [was the] first one to show up, shows up at 3:30 and puts in the work with Brian like no one has ever seen. I am so impressed. Oh, wow … talk about an inspiration.”

“I really am so impressed, you know what? You are really an inspiration. Talking about everything she’s going to accomplish, she went out there and made it happen and this is just another extension of that,” he continued in the Instagram video, posted on September 24. “You are a true champion.”

To check out Spencer’s weight-loss transformation, follow her on Instagram here.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

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Mark Wahlberg Says ‘Instant Family’ Tickets Now on Sale

Mark Wahlberg Says 'Instant Family' Tickets Now on Sale

Inspired by the real-life experience of filmmaker Sean Anders, Instant Family follows what happens when a couple (Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne) seeks to expand their family. Suddenly they find themselves with not one, but three new children, with no clear idea on what they should be doing as instant parents.

In our exclusive video, Walhberg talks about his "amazing experience making a meaningful film." He also expresses his thanks to people who shared their own personal stories on…

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Big Wave Surf Film | White Rhino Starring Bruce Irons, Nathan Fletcher and Mark Healey

A parallel story from the big wave surfers and photographers who witnessed the largest surf ever seen. This story is based on one photographer’s journey to capture the wave of a lifetime. In pursuit, three epic swells hit the South Pacific shorelines, providing conditions only madmen could dream of. Hear the story behind these historical days from the men themselves who dared to challenge the ‘White Rhino’.

For more information on the film check out their website here.

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Tell Me More | Episode 15: Mark Sonnenblick, Sam Bolen on “Midnight at the Never Get”

Listen to the episode here: On this episode of BroadwayRadio’s “Tell Me More,” Matt Tamanini talks to to the writer and the star of the hit Off-Broadway show “Midnight at the Never Get” currently playing at St. Peter’s as part of the York Theatre Company’s season. The show features a book and read more
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BWW Review: Mark Sonnenblick’s Superb MIDNIGHT AT THE NEVER GET Mixes Song, Romance and Resistance

While it would be easy to exit the York Theatre these days having been absolutely swept away by Mark Sonnenblick’s wonderfully engaging and ear-tingling score for his new musical, MIDNIGHT AT THE NEVER GET – a sumptuous collection mixing beautiful melodies framing lyrical poetics with jaunty numbers loaded with snazzy jokes and unexpected rhymes – it’s the superb storytelling of his book, exploring issues of the 1960s gays rights movement in a universal manner that can apply to other civil rights battles, that makes the musical truly soar.
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‘Doctor Who’: The First Female Doctor Makes Her Mark (SPOILERS)

Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched the season premiere of “Doctor Who.” The moment the Doctor realizes that she is now a “she” goes by in the blink of an eye. Having fallen clear out of the sky and through the roof of a train under alien attack — and losing her trusty […]

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Country music stars like Jason Aldean, Jake Owen mark year anniversary of Las Vegas shooting

Country music stars took to social media Monday to honor the one-year anniversary of the Las Vegas mass shooting that claimed the lives of 58 fans who’d turned out to celebrate the annual Route 91 Harvest Festival.

Singer Jason Aldean was on stage closing down the festival when the perpetrator…

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