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Don't Let Others' Expectations Limit You! (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 23:02:06 -0500)

On Sunday last week, after a wonderful screening of Back on Board: Greg Louganis, I had an opportunity to indulge my other passion, acting! We had a wonderful backers' reading of Spring at the Willowbrook Inn. It was great to play with the amazingly talented actors Sean McDermott, Justin Lore, and Jason Patrick Sands under the guidance and direction of Scott Wojcik. Spring at the Willowbrook Inn is a lovely play written by Jonathan Van Dyke and Douglas C. Evans. It's a sweet, touching love story spanning from the late 1960s, addressing the pain of the mores of the time (real and imagined), to today, where marriage equality is a reality. It was quite the emotional journey.

I know for many it was quite a jump to see me go from Olympic diver to actor, and yes, I have seen many an eye roll -- "Oh, not another one!" -- but performing is where it all began for me. I was on stage by the time I was 3, singing and tap dancing. I have quite a number of acting credits to my name, mostly theater -- Cinderella, Jeffrey, Nunsense A-Men, and Dan Butler's one-man show The Only thing Worse You Could Have Told Me... -- but some film: Touch Me, Watercolors, Saber Dance, and the soon-to-be-released Entourage: The Movie.

The point I'm trying to get at is this: Don't give up on your dreams! Do what you love! I will continue to engage in activism for human rights and HIV education and awareness, and I will continue pursuing my passion for the sports of diving and dog agility. Speaking of the latter, I have the lofty goal of making it onto a team competing in the World Agility Championships with my next puppy -- whenever that might be, as I know the commitment that entails. In preparation, I'm doing my homework by following my mentor in the sport of dog agility, Susan Garrett.

We often impose limitations on ourselves based on the influence of others. Listen to your heart and follows your dreams. As I have said in the past, if you reach for the stars and don't encounter a few clouds, you aren't reaching high enough! Go for it! Don't limit yourself. Follow your heart and your passions. The ones who love you will support you unconditionally; anyone who doesn't support you doesn't really love you.

Greg Louganis

Why Interstellar Should Be Taken Seriously -- Very Seriously (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 20:06:33 -0500)

A few of my closest friends are physicists. In fact, when I went to see Interstellar, I made sure one of them was at my side. My physicist pal and I loved the movie, and to us (especially the physicist) the physics of the story were merely a layman's version of the real thing, but that was the right way to do it. A third member of our viewing party, a girl whose interests could be described as more spiritual than scientific (not that the two are mutually exclusive), utterly despised it. What I couldn't figure out, despite her attempts to explain, was why. I kept coming back to the conclusion that it was because she didn't understand it, but the reality is that plenty of people -- very intelligent people -- don't fully understand the physics behind Interstellar, but its ratings would suggest that they don't mind the confusion.

The truth, though, is that she just wasn't interested.

Many people just aren't interested in space.

Too many.

NASA accounts for only 0.58 percent of our annual budget, yet the average American believes we are spending too much on space exploration and research. Compare that with the only 37 percent of Americans who believe that our $1.2-trillion annual defense budget is too high.

To those who have seen the movie, the condition of our planet during that film seems like a realistic preview of the disasters that climate change will bring, and spending more money on our military isn't going to stop those disasters. In fact, a larger military is more likely to lead to the deadly wars described in the movie and add to the carbon buildup that is almost exclusively responsible for climate change. Climate change is here and will only get worse over our lifetime. Widespread natural disasters, famine, and probably wars will all soon be part of the reality of our survival on this planet unless we do something just as drastic as the Armageddon that we've caused.

Is NASA going to save us by taking us all to a different planet? Not likely, though colonizing other planets actually isn't entirely outside the realm of possibility, especially with Mars and Europa literally on the horizon. But what most people don't realize about NASA is how many incredible inventions have emerged as mere byproducts of their space-faring missions -- like microwaves and duct tape.

After talking to a few people about the movie, it occurred to me that not only do many people not fully understand the physics of space travel, but they hold the physics portrayed in the movie to be closer to fantasy than to science. This is indubitably not the case. Interstellar is one of the most scientifically accurate science-fiction movies ever made. To those who doubt my authority, the producers of Interstellar hired a physicist from Cal Tech to check and double-check their physics throughout the movie.

Interstellar is not just a movie but a warning, one that should be taken very seriously. The Dust Bowl-esque apocalypse that is portrayed in the movie puts climate change in a perspective that even its diehard deniers can understand, and the social statement of portraying NASA as a secret organization under a society that believes the Moon landing was faked highlights how foolish our public opinion on space spending is. We need to fund NASA more, not less. With $1.2 trillion for just one year, NASA could put colonies on the Moon, Mars, and Europa in our lifetimes, and we'd get to reap the benefits of every piece of technology that is yielded as a result.

Better battery technology, solar technology, nuclear fusion, quantum-entangled communication and processing, artificial intelligence, cryogenic sleep, medical advancement, and many more breakthroughs we can't even imagine -- this is just a taste of what we could have in our lifetime if we funded NASA just a little bit more than we do today. The full $1.2 trillion is not even necessary. Ask most scientists and they'll tell you that we are trapped by the paradox of our own economy. We have the intellectual and physical resources necessary to solve climate change, global hunger, and most disease and travel anywhere in the Solar System we want, but we don't have the economic resources. The reason this is a paradox is that the economy is entirely man-made. In essence, we are needlessly restricting our own progress, but that is just the way our world works right now. So fund NASA! We are only now beginning to realize the trouble we are in when we should be desperately searching for solutions. Funding NASA will bring not only the necessary advancements that could save our planet but advancements that will improve the quality of life for everyone (again, like microwaves).

The one shining light, despite the lack of public space funding, is SpaceX. Opinions on the merits of space exploration turning into a private industry are mixed, but the social benefits are still present. The company's founder, Elon Musk, announced that SpaceX would be designing a fleet of low-orbit satellites to bring wi-fi to the entire planet. Take that promise as a taste of the real-world benefits of funding modern space travel beyond just saving our lives. Who wouldn't want worldwide free wifi?!

Fund NASA, invest in SpaceX, write your congressperson, and vote. Space travel isn't just cool. It isn't just something to do because we can. If Interstellar has anything to teach us, it's that space travel can save our species. The truth is we might need saving very soon.

Roseanne Barr Posts Photo Of Bloodied Face, Jokes About 'Tussle' With Bill Cosby (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:02:47 -0500)

Roseanne Barr knows how to stir up controversy.

The New York Daily News reports that on Wednesday the 62-year-old tweeted a photo of her swollen, bloodied face with the caption, "Got in a tussle w bill cosby. U shoyld see that mfer," before quickly deleting the tweet.


A few minutes later she re-posted the photo and said she was just kidding about her comment about Cosby:

Got a chemical peel to look more sexier. Joked about tussling cosby pic.twitter.com/2tiRMy3WEj

— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) November 26, 2014

Cosby, 77, has, of course, been making headlines now that more than a dozen women have publicly accused him of sexual assault.

When asked for her opinion on the allegations last week, she told the Daily News, "I don’t wanna get sued or have [Cosby] send anyone to beat me up, but I think it’s obvious: 13 to 1." (Since speaking to the paper on Nov. 21, six more women have come forward with allegations against Cosby).

Barr, who has been closely following the allegations against Cosby, frequently retweeting various articles on the scandal, also previously tweeted:

maybe Woody Allen or Roman Polanski could b persuaded2 write a part4 Bill Cosby in 1 of their new movies? #comebackVehicle #packagingTalent

— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) November 19, 2014

it might be time for #billCosby to condemn the state of Israel so he can get back into the good graces of Hollywood!

— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) November 19, 2014

Here's Everything Expiring From Netflix On Dec. 1 (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:29:16 -0500)

The beginning of a new month might mean that a handful of new movies and TV shows are coming to Netflix, but sadly there are even more expiring on Dec. 1. While you're digesting Thanksgiving feasts this weekend, drag the family to the TV and start watching these movies before they're gone for good. Because if you don't rewatch "Uptown Girls," "Spice World" or "Dirty Dancing" while you can, we bet you'll regret it.

Expiring on Dec. 1:

"'night, Mother" (1986)
"1941" (1979)
"An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982)
"The Apostle" (1997)
"Assassination" (1987)
"Audrey Rose" (1977)
"The Believers" (1987)
"Better than Chocolate" (1999)
"The Big Hit" (1998)
"The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings" (1976)
"Blood & Chocolate" (2007)
"Body Count" (1998)
"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" (2008)
"Bushwhacked" (1995)
"Chaplin" (1992)
"Cheech & Chong: Get Out of My Room" (1985)
"The Choirboys" (1977)
"The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County" (1970)
"Coffee and Cigarettes" (2003)
"The Cold Light of Day" (1996)
"The Colombian Connection" (2011)
"The Constant Gardener" (2005)
"Corpo Celeste" (2011)
"Count Yorga, Vampire" (1970)
"Cry-Baby" (1990)
"D2: The Might Ducks" (1994)
"Dirty Dancing" (1987)
"Dirty Dancing: Havana Night" (2004)
"Dororo" (2008)
"Double Indemnity" (1944)
"En la Cama" (2005)
"Event Horizon" (1997)
"Eye for an Eye" (1996)
"Fairy Tale: A True Story" (1997)
"First Knight" (1995)
"Five Easy Pieces" (1970)
"Flight of the Intruder" (1991)
"Foreign Student" (1994)
"Free Men" (2011)
"Funny Lady" (1975)
"The Ghost and Mrs Muir" (1947)
"The Girl from Petrovka" (1974)
"Going All the Way" (1997)
"Going Berserk" (1983)
"The Great Waldo Pepper" (1975)
"Holiday Favorites: Vol. 1-5" (1952 - 1954)
"House of Voices" (2004)
"How to Frame a Figg" (1971)
"I'm Not Rappaport" (1996)
"Imagining Argentina" (2003)
"Invaders from Mars" (1986)
"Ishtar" (1987)
"Joe Gould's Secret" (2000)
"Joe Kidd" (1972)
"Johnny Mnemonic" (1995)
"Killer at Large" (2008)
"King of the Hill" (1993)
"Lonely Hearts" (2006)
"Loser" (2000)
"Magic Trip" (2011)
"Magicians" (2007)
"The Man Who Cried" (2001)
"Mission Impossible III" (2006)
"Minnie and Moskowitz" (1971)
"Monkey Shines" (1988)
"Mr. Mom" (1983)
"A Murder of Crows" (1999)
"Night of the Creeps" (1986)
"Opal Dream" (2006)
"The Other Side of the Mountain" (1975)
"The Other Side of the Mountain, Part 2" (1978)
"Our City Dreams (2008)
"Pandaemonium" (2000)
"The Paper Chase" (1973)
"Paper Soldiers" (2002)
"Paradise Alley" (1978)
"The Parole Officer" (2001)
"The Pirates of Penzance" (1983)
"Prairie Love" (2011)
"The Presidio" (1988)
"The Promise" (1979)
"The Proposition" (1998)
"Ram Dass: Fierce Grace" (2001)
"Reds" (1981)
"Restless City" (2011)
"The Return of Count Yorga" (1971)
"RoboCop 2" (1990)
"School Ties" (1992)
"The Sci-Fi Boys" (2006)
"The Serpent and the Rainbow" (1988)
"Set Up" (2011)"
"Spice World" (1998)
"Star Trek: Generations" (1994)
"Steel Magnolias" (2012)
"Summer Rental" (1985)
"Swashbuckler" (1976)
"The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999)
"They Might Be Giants" (1971)
"The Untouchables" (1987)
"Thursday" (1998)
"Uptown Girls" (2003)
"The Vampire Lovers" (1970)
"Walker" (1987)
"W.C. Fields and Me" (1976)
"Year of the Horse: Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live" (1997)
"Young Sherlock Holmes" (1985)

Wu-Tang Clan Respond To Police Shootings On New Track, 'A Better Tomorrow' (LISTEN) (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:08:21 -0500)

In light of the recent grand jury decision in Ferguson and the ongoing string of protests in America, Wu-Tang Clan has released the title track from their forthcoming Dec. 2 album “A Better Tomorrow.”

The introspective track, which samples Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ timeless classic, “Wake Up Everybody,” finds the Staten Island MCs addressing an array of social issues including education, reparations, and seeking justice for police shootings.

As Raekwon raps;

“We want justice. Police supposed to protect and serve. And then they shoot us down like wild animals, the nerve of those cold hearted killers with blue suits slaying our black youth. The earth cries from all the blood that’s being spilled. We need a solution fast.”

Check out Wu Tang Clan’s new track, “A Better Tomorrow” below.

The Duggars Just Ruined Thanksgiving (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:53:29 -0500)

At first glance, this little holiday video from Josh Duggar and his family has all the potential in the world to be nice.

Taylor Swift, Chris Pratt, Drake & Everything We're Thankful For In Pop Culture This Year (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:40:40 -0500)


Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the past year and give thanks to all that was good. It's no different in the entertainment world, where your trusty HuffPost Entertainment editors have compiled a list of random, excellent and bizarre pop culture moments from 2014 that we simply couldn't live without. Happy Thanksgiving!

Taylor Swift's "1989"

taylor swift 1989

What else is there to be thankful for in entertainment besides the greatest pop album of the year? Taylor Swift took a trip back to the '80s, cut her last ties to country and released "1989," a non-stop, synth-heavy party. The record still has everything we love about Swift's earlier albums -- honest, interesting lyrics, grandiose hooks and a special brand of bizarre -- but is a segue into a new era of Swift. Sure, there are a few duds (cough "Shake It Off"), but hits like "Style" and "Blank Space" will undoubtedly have longevity. I plan on playing it on loop at my family Thanksgiving, though I dread the moment I'll have to tell my mom, "It's not 'Starbucks lovers.'" -- Jessica Goodman

All The Haters


This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all the haters out there doing their thing. If not for the people who proclaim they don't care about various celebrities, only to later spout off venom about those same celebrities, there are so many stories that would not have been written. (And if you think about it, the haters basically inspired the majority of Taylor Swift's "1989," so without all that negativity, she could be without a platinum-selling album. So I'm thankful for that.) To everyone who took time out of their day to dig deep and embrace their negativity, so a celebrity could respond to it, thus ensuring prolonged relevance: thank you. After all, it's not the fans, but the haters who really keep these people famous. -- Stephanie Marcus

Rogelio De La Vega On "Jane the Virgin"

jane the virgin

"Jane the Virgin" is by far the best new show of the fall, but it's hard to choose what's greatest about it. Is it the show's witty narration? Is it the winning array of characters? Sure, all of that is wonderful, but I can't lie: Rogelio De La Vega has stolen my heart. He's the famous telenovela star who turned out to be Jane's father, and Jaime Camil, the actor who plays him, manages a neat trick: He makes Rogelio's arrogance hilarious, but he also makes viewers care about his heartfelt desire to build a relationship with his newly discovered daughter. This fizzy, sweet show is a nearly perfect confection, and Rogelio is the cherry on top. -- Maureen Ryan

Shondaland Thursdays

scandal abc

Thank you, thank you, thank you, world, for Shondaland Thursdays. Rhimes' "Greys Anatomy" and "Scandal" have for years featured racially diverse casts and some of the most compelling depictions of female friendships and same-sex relationships to ever hit prime time. Newcomer "How To Get Away With Murder" doesn't shy away from the sex either and -- in what might be the most arresting two minutes of TV this season -- took on the Western beauty myth to perfection. Refreshingly, the shows never present these components as fodder for "Very Special Episodes," but just as the reality that they are. If only for three hours each week, Rhimes makes sure network television is the right side of history. -- Lily Karlin

Dragons. Just Dragons

From “Game of Thrones” to “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” the best thing about this year has definitely been dragons. Dragons just make everything instantly better, and Hollywood should take note. For example, just look at Zac Efron’s critically panned “That Awkward Moment.” You know the most awkward moment of all? No dragons. Or take into account box office flop “A Million Ways To Die In The West.” Clearly, one of the ways to die was boredom from the lack of dragons. Now, with Smaug’s upcoming appearance in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” it’s clear that, for dragons, 2014 is the one year to rule them all. -- Bill Bradley

"Tuesday" by ILOVEMAKONNEN (feat. Drake)

As a weekend editor here at HuffPost Entertainment, I know the importance of a good weeknight turn-up. This year, I'm thankful that two men who go by the names Drake and I Love Makonnen (yes, his stage name is a complete sentence) gave me a club anthem for this very purpose. In 2011, Drake reminded us all that we only live once. And in 2014, he taught us that you really don't have to wait for the weekend to rage. You can make the club go up any night you choose, if you put your mind to it. Tuesday is the new Saturday. Thank you, Drake. -- Lauren Zupkus

All Mindy Kaling Everything


While everyone wants to talk about Mindy Kaling's size, skin color and gender, Mindy Kaling wants to talk business. The brilliant writer and actress rose from "The Office" to her own Fox series, now in its third season. She created it from scratch, reviving the rom-com in the process. She produces. She acts. She's writing her second book. She is ridiculously funny. Why would we ever want to talk about her size, skin color and gender? This year, I am thankful for the fierce, painfully self-aware and unapologetic wonder that is Mindy Kaling. May we all find out inner Beyonce Pad-Thai. -- Liat Kornowski

Seth & Blair Got Married

adam brody leighton meester

After hearing about their engagement announcement, it was my 2014 resolution to attend the wedding of Seth Cohen and Blair Waldorf. Unfortunately, I never received an invite. (That oversight prevented me from shouting, "California, here she comes!" as the future Mrs. Cohen walked down the aisle.) Crestfallen, I went to the mirror and looked into the eyes of Sandy Cohen, his face emblazoned on my t-shirt. He seemed to suggest I get a bagel. "Spotted: Lonely boy eating a bagel in Brooklyn. Did his wedding invite get scooped out of the mail? XNoXNo," I thought. Or something like that (after all, I'm not Gossip Girl). I can only hope Captain Oats didn't suffer a similar fate. -- Todd Van Luling

The Best Ice Bucket Challenge

This year -- like every other year -- I am thankful for Hollywood's most lovable, down-to-earth couple: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. These two make me smile with their "just like us" attitude, proving every day that although they're A-list stars, they're also people who are focused on their marriage and raising their three children. But what solidified their ranking on my "most thankful for" list was their charming ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video, which gave fans a glimpse into their seemingly-perfect personal life. In the video, after Jen pours the ice water on Ben's head, he pushes her into the pool as their kids squeal with delight. I meaaaaaannnnn??? This adorable moment cemented Bennifer 2.0's status in my eyes, although I'm not going to lie, it was hard for me to put Chris Hemsworth's Sexiest Man Alive crowning at my No. 2 spot. Hey, priorities, amiright? -- Leigh Blickley

My Boyfriend's Parents' HBO GO Password

tony soprano

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my boyfriend's parents' HBO GO password. Without being given SallyKat82 (the password created in homage to their dead cat), I would not have been able to binge watch the "Sopranos" or "The Comeback" on the elliptical. I would have to just wait for E! to air weird marathons of "Sex and the City" (seriously, one time they did a "Miranda and Steve" one). Most of the time the only thing on is really old episodes of the Kardashians, and who can burn more than 300 calories watching that? So, thank you, boyfriend's parents and also Sally the dead cat (RIP). My calves would be slightly less defined without you. -- Lauren Duca

Instagram's Best Star

fat jew

While the name of this Instagram star may be rather offensive, it merely serves as a disclaimer for the type of photos he's become known for posting. The Fat Jew, whose real name is Josh Ostrovsky, is a 30-year-old Instagram sensation who posts some of the funniest, most random photos that will make any stoner or culturally-aware viewer laugh to tears. His regrams, paired with hilarious captions (take this one for instance) some of which he apparently gets paid up to $2,500 for, range from the silliest fails to relatable mom texts to some of the finest cultural criticism. This year, I'm thankful for Fat Jew because without him I (likely) would never have known about the Jewish Steve Carrell/Ryan Gosling mash-up. I never would have been so intimidated by a carrot. I also probably never would have found joy without seeing this photo. Thank you, Fat Jew.-- Erin Whitney

Music's Risk Takers

run the jewels

I am thankful for artists like Beck, who continue to write amazing music after two decades and inspires other artists to become exceptional singer-songwriters like himself. I am thankful for artists like Polyenso, who not only constantly challenge themselves to grow their musical abilities and redefine their art with each release, but also push the collective musical sphere to be more innovative. I am thankful for artists like Run The Jewels, whose words constantly spread socio-political messages that force humanity to reexamine itself, sharing their personal shortcomings and heartbreaks when few others will. -- Ryan Kristobak

The Comeback Of "The Comeback"

the comeback

Resurrecting short-lived shows is in vogue right now, but it's especially thrilling to see "The Comeback" return a whopping nine years after its premature departure. HBO axed the single-season comedy in 2005, but the fame-chasing Valerie Cherish and her hapless attempts at a career renaissance gained a defining cult audience in the years that followed. Little has changed almost a decade later, including Lisa Kudrow's idiosyncratic brilliance. If anything, the show's meta reflections on the state of reality television, ephemeral fame and Hollywood misogyny feel even timelier. So far we've seen an Andy Cohen cameo, Academy Award envy and a fake Seth Rogen blow job -- and that's only three episodes in. We're cringing along the way, and then demanding instant repeats so as to catch the show's sharp nuances. As it turns out, we really do want to see that. -- Matthew Jacobs

Steve Carell's Nose

foxcatcher trailer

"Foxcatcher" is not a feel-good movie, and that's shocking because it stars Channing Tatum. It's creepy, tragic, eerie and mostly true. Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Tatum's performances are some of the best we've seen all year, as they draw us into the world of elite wrestling, expansive mansions and the complex splintering of ego, identity and masculinity. But there is one true star of "Foxcatcher" and that is Carell's prosthetic nose. It's the only thing you can look at when he's on screen (runner up: his tiny teeth) and the watershed moment where we actually get to watch Brick from "Anchorman" snort a mess of cocaine through a giant nose while on a helicopter wins for the most important scene of the year in cinema. -- Sasha Bronner

Chris Pratt Is Our New Movie Star

Whoever decided Chris Pratt should be a gigantic movie star deserves a medal. Pratt was everywhere in 2014, starring in "The LEGO Movie" and "Guardians of the Galaxy," rapping, doing the ice bucket challenge, rapping again and just basically being the best. (He even rode a motorcycle with raptors.) "Attitude is contagious," Pratt told HuffPost Entertainment in an interview this past summer. We're glad his is so awesome. -- Christopher Rosen

Keira Knightley Knows 'The Imitation Game' Has 'A Lot Of Inaccuracies' (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:08:01 -0500)

Few fact-based dramas escape criticism of historical inaccuracy, and "The Imitation Game" is no exception. Based on the life of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), the mathematician who broke the Nazi's Enigma Code during World War II, effectively changing the course of the war, "The Imitation Game" has been under fire since June for its depiction of Turing's homosexuality and his relationship with Joan Clarke. But Keira Knightley, who plays Clarke -- Turing's fiancée and fellow code-breaker -- in the film, has had no shame in admitting to the various discrepancies between real life and the finished feature.

"As far as her relationship with Alan, they were engaged. They were great, great friends. She was at the center of the breaking of the Enigma Code," Knightley told HuffPost Entertainment during an interview in October. Yet the actress admitted flat out that things had to be changed for various reasons. "There are a lot of inaccuracies in the film as to life. What was actually said, and the reasons that they actually got engaged, I think are slightly different than the film,"

Knightley, 29, said that the focus of "The Imitation Game" was the story behind cracking the code, not just the history of Clarke and Turing's relationship. "If you’re making a film just about that period and just about the reasons he asked her to marry him," Knightley said, "then I think you can really go into the truth of it. But unfortunately you’ve got two and a half hours and what you're doing is trying to tell a bigger story, so you have to pick and choose. I think what we’re trying to get to is the essence of what it was. And at that time with Alan, to my knowledge, he didn’t have another affair, or an affair actually, with a man. His big friendship was with a woman and he did ask her to marry him."

imitation knightley

The dramatic license extended to Clarke's backstory as well. The film shows her arriving at Bletchley Park, the location of the British government's code-breaking operation, after solving a crossword puzzle to pass Turing's test. Instead, Clarke's Oxford professor helped push her into the program (though the government did recruit people at the time using crossword puzzles).

Another liberty is taken with Clarke's parents, who are shown objecting to her work at Bletchley Park since the government school mostly employed men. "The whole thing with the family isn’t, to my knowledge, true," Knightley said. "It was sort of put there to show what she was up against as far as society goes."

But that struggle was inherent in Clarke's story already: "They ended up putting her in as a linguist even though she didn’t speak any other language in order to try and get her a bit more money," Knightley said. "I think that's fascinating because that's still the center of the feminist movement today: a place at the table and equal pay. And we're talking about the 1940s, and now it's 2014 and obviously women's rights are better, but not best."

And yet while many of the facts about Turing and Clarke were massaged for "The Imitation Game," Knightley -- who has made her fair share of historical dramas in the past, including "The Duchess" and "A Dangerous Method" -- doesn't really mind the variations. "In all of these stories, often truth in filmmaking, it’s not a documentary," she said. "It is a drama, so ultimately you have to go for the drama."

Which is what "The Imitation Game" tries to accomplish, enlightening audiences on the story of the so-called father of theoretical computer science above all else. As Knightley said, the film emphasizes aspects of Turing's life related to the breaking of the Enigma cipher as "the most extraordinary thing that he did."

"The Imitation Game" opens Nov. 28.

Creed's Scott Stapp Denies Drug Rumors, Says He's Broke And Living At A Holiday Inn (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:48:16 -0500)

Creed frontman Scott Stapp posted a 15-minute video to his Facebook page Wednesday, addressing rumors about his drug use, claiming he's broke and living at a Holiday Inn.

The 41-year-old said he's under "some kind of pretty vicious attack," and revealed that rumors that he's using drugs again prompted him to get blood and urine tests as proof of his sobriety.

Stapp said "all hell began to break loose" eight weeks ago when he began an audit of his record company and personal finances.

"During the course of that audit a lot of things were uncovered. A lot of money was stolen from me or royalties not paid," he said. "There’s people who have taken advantage and stolen money from me, and they’re trying to discredit me, slander me, and I’ve even been threatened that if I went public like I’m doing right now, that any impropriety I’ve done in the past, that these individuals can get their hands to humiliate and embarrass me and try to ruin my credibility.”

Last week, the singer's wife of eight years, Jaclyn Stapp, filed for divorce and asked for full custody of their two children. In divorce papers, she claimed that the singer's drug use made him a "paranoid shell who has threatened to kill himself and harm his family," according to the Miami Herald.

Also included in the documents were texts allegedly from Stapp that read, "Florida is not safe. Biological weapons on the way. U have to leave with kids and meet me in Atlanta," and "I’m coming to get you Satan and children. No mercy. You know how this ends. God created you and now God is ending you.”

In the video, Stapp also discussed the state of his personal finances, revealing he's broke.

"All of a sudden the IRS has frozen my bank accounts two or three times to leave me completely penniless. I don’t even understand that and why this is all happening at the same time. When I called to find out why they said, ‘Oh, we had an address mix up. It was a clerical error. So we’ll return your funds in nine to 10 months,'" he said. "I don’t understand how that’s fair in America.”

Post by Scott Stapp.

'Serial' Is Renewed For Season 2 (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:44:59 -0500)

There won't be a new episode of "Serial" released on Thanksgiving, but fans of the show have something else to be thankful for: a second season. Producers of the podcast announced on Wednesday that the future of the long-form series had secured by listener donations and sponsorship deals.

Last week, we asked people who’ve been listening to Serial to chip in if they wanted a second season. "This American Life" funded the bulk of Season One, but for Serial to continue, it needs to pay for itself. Today, we have good news: between the money you donated and sponsorship, we’ll be able to make a second season. We don’t know yet what the story will be or exactly when we’ll be airing Season Two, but we’ll be working on it as soon as this season ends.

Thanks so much to everyone who gave.

- the Staff of Serial

Executive produced by Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, and hosted by Koenig, the first season of "Serial" has focused on the death of Hae Min Lee, a Baltimore teenager who was killed in 1999. Lee's ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was convicted of her murder and is currently serving out a life sentence. Syed maintains his innocence. Since "Serial" debuted in October, it has become the biggest podcast in the world, with more than 5 million streams and downloads on iTunes during the last two months.

Head to the podcast website for more on the show. New episodes of "Serial" are available on Thursdays.

6-Year-Old Dances To Michael Jackson's 'Smooth Criminal,' Brings The House Down (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:23:21 -0500)

This boy is smooth.

Six-year-old Willie Osborn decided to channel Michael Jackson during an elementary school talent show. Dancing to Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," his performance -- and his outfit -- were spot-on.

The video was uploaded to YouTube Wednesday, but it isn't the first time Willie's wowed crowds with his dancing. He previously made headlines with "Smooth Criminal" when he performed the routine -- complete with backup dancers -- at a talent show in Indiana.

H/T Tastefully Offensive

Why You Should Care That Tim Cook and Michael Sam Are Gay (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:13:37 -0500)

Have you heard the news that Apple CEO Tim Cook is gay? Are you thinking, "OK, was anybody asking?" or perhaps more pointedly, "Who gives a flying fuck?"? Then this blog post is for you!

First, I have two guesses about who you are:

  1. You are not gay.

  2. You have not dealt with scores of people assuming that you, a straight person, are gay.

How could I be so presumptuous? Actually, it's easy:

  1. If you were gay, you would understand the importance of coming out.

  2. If you were straight but people were constantly assuming that you were gay, you would understand the importance of coming out.

I'm being snarky, I know. It's just that I get frustrated when I hear people criticize public figures for making announcements about their sexuality with sentiments akin to "I didn't ask, and I don't care." There was a whole lot of this when Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL, came out prior to draft day.

To be fair, the media made a ridiculous spectacle out of this story. Even I got tired of hearing about whether he would get chosen by a team and what that might or might not reveal about the NFL, but that was the media's doing, not Sam's.

Which brings me to the reason I get so frustrated with people who feel that Sam and Cook didn't need to make announcements about their sexuality. You see, there's this thing that happens to gay folks who don't fit the general stereotypes (i.e., the shaved-headed butch for women, and the dramatic, gesture-prone hairstylist or interior designer with a propensity for lilting Ss for men.) The thing that happens is that people assume we're straight. I know because it happens to me, and I am neither particularly butch nor girly.

Which leads to my next question : If it happens to me, how often do you think it would've happened to a guy like Michael Sam? I can tell you how often: all the time. And each time it happened, Sam would've had to make a split-second decision to either correct the inaccuracy or keep quiet. My friend's wife, who is a very feminine, Hilary Swank-looking lesbian, has to make this decision when her real-estate clients see the rock on her ring finger and assume that she has a husband at home. If she chooses to correct them, she might lose their business or face hostility, but if she chooses to keep quiet, things can get tricky.

Tricky how, you might ask? Well, imagine that you are conversing with someone and the person assumes that you live in a box. You do not, in fact, live in a box. You live in a house, but you don't correct the person because, well, there are lots of people who don't look kindly on houses, and besides, you had this same conversation yesterday with someone else, and you just don't feel like doing it today. The next thing you know, the person begins asking you questions about the box you supposedly live in: Where did you get it? How do you like it? How long have you lived there? Do you and the box want to have kids? (OK, that last one only makes sense if the box is a husband, which it is in this analogy.)

So, while it may be true that you personally never asked whether Michael Sam was gay, the odds are that most people who looked at him would've assumed he was straight, which means that his options were to either come out or to live with droves of people presuming his heterosexuality. Can you imagine how many questions he'd have to answer about his box?


When I came out to my mother many years ago, she struggled with the news for a time. She was afraid for me, afraid of what I might face if I lived openly. At one point she told me that I ought to keep the details of my "personal life" to myself. My sexuality was my business, nobody else's, she said.

In response, I asked her when was the last time she'd casually mentioned my father in a conversation. She did it all the time. "Nick and I went to the movies this weekend," she might tell a co-worker on a Monday morning. Did she realize that she was talking about "her sexuality" every time she mentioned her husband? Of course not, because she was merely talking about her life, which is, like, a thing that people do, in case you hadn't noticed.

In a perfect world, we wouldn't need labels -- straight, gay, bi, queer, trans -- at all. Instead, people would just be people, but that's not reality. We live in a world where individuals size each other up and make assumptions. As long as this continues, coming out is going to remain a necessity, especially for public figures.

If you yearn for the time where people announce that they are gay and no media outlet is interested in running the story because, yawn, who cares, guess what: You're not alone. Plenty of gay people yearn for that time too. Michael Sam and Tim Cook probably yearn for that time. I know I do, but we aren't there yet.

Pharrell Williams' Remarks About Michael Brown's 'Bully-ish' Behavior Surface (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:58:42 -0500)

Pharrell Williams' comments about Michael Brown's "bully-ish" behavior have surfaced following a grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of the 18-year-old.

In a cover story interview for the November issue of Ebony magazine -- conducted weeks before the decision -- Williams broached the topic of Ferguson, telling the publication's Kenya Hunt: “I don’t talk about race since it takes a very open mind to hear my view, because my view is the sky view. But I’m very troubled by what happened in Ferguson, Mo.”

In the interview, published on Ebony's website Nov. 13, Hunt asked if the singer had seen the surveillance video allegedly showing Brown stealing cigarillos from a local convenience story and pushing a store employee.

"It looked very bully-ish; that in itself I had a problem with," he said. "Not with the kid, but with whatever happened in his life for him to arrive at a place where that behavior is OK. Why aren’t we talking about that?"

Hunt aligned Williams' remarks with Bill Cosby's sentiments about black society, publicized in a 2004 speech at an NAACP event. Williams agreed:

And I agree with him. When Cosby said it back then, I understood; I got it. Listen, we have to look at ourselves and take action for ourselves. Cosby can talk that talk because he created Fat Albert, he tried to buy NBC, he portrayed a doctor on The Cosby Show and had all of us wearing Coogi sweaters. You’ve got to respect him. I believe that Ferguson officer should be punished and serve time. He used excessive force on a human being who was merely a child. He was a baby, man. The boy was walking in the middle of the street when the police supposedly told him to “get the f--k on the sidewalk.” If you don’t listen to that, after just having pushed a storeowner, you’re asking for trouble. But you’re not asking to be killed. Some of these youth feel hunted and preyed upon, and that’s why that officer needs to be punished.

The "Happy" singer went on to acknowledge the harm of police militarization and omnipresent racism in America, saying: "The hangover from Ferguson is going to be a long one, worse than Trayvon Martin," he said.

After the grand jury reached its decision Monday, Williams' quotes were highlighted in articles published by blogs like The Root and Madame Noire. Some, including Jezebel's Madeleine Davies, criticized the celebrity:
Pharrell has every right to his opinion and it would be fucking insane and wrong for me to try to inform or correct his version of the black experience. That said, after seeing Darren Wilson go unpunished for what he did to Brown (which is something that, in all fairness, Pharrell didn't know was going to happen at the time of his interview), we should probably be spending more time critiquing the American white supremacist culture where it's okay to shoot an unarmed teenager for allegedly stealing cigarillos than we spend critiquing why Michael Brown stole those cigarillos in the first place.

This is not the first time Williams' comments about race have landed in the headlines. In April, Williams made waves discussing his "New Black" theory during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

"The New Black doesn't blame other races for our issues," he said at the time. "The New Black dreams and [realizes] that it's not pigmentation: it's a mentality and it's either going to work for you or it's going to work against you. And you've got to pick the side you're going to be on."

For his part, Williams expressed sadness over the grand jury's decision in a tweet Monday night.

I'm heartbroken over the news of no indictment in Ferguson. Let's all pray for peace.

— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) November 25, 2014

5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Leaving The House On Black Friday (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:53:53 -0500)

Black Friday could easily be renamed "It-Seemed-Like-A-Good-Idea-At-The-Time-Friday," because that's the general consensus after you return from your marathon shopping with a sprained ankle, a flatscreen tv and about a fifth less of your dignity. This year, we're here to help with some proactive damage control. Ask yourself these five questions before you head out on Black Friday:

Are you still drunk?


If you had a couple of glasses of wine at dinner, spiked a cup of coffee with a splash of Bailey's, did some Wild Turkey shots in the garage with your cool uncle, and THEN decided you really want to check out the sales at Kohl's -- and see if your high school ex still works there -- congratulations, you're still drunk. But you should probably just sleep this one off.

Have you often fantasized about starting a fight in a Best Buy?

black friday best buy

Hm, you might want to talk to somebody about that.

Are you a sadistic monster who wants to force #AlexFromTarget to cut his Thanksgiving dinner short so you can score a TV for half off?

Looking forward to hanging with the fam on thanksgiving :)

— Alex Lee (@acl163) November 25, 2014

Favorite thanksgiving food is rolls what's yours?

— Alex Lee (@acl163) November 25, 2014

Hasn't the poor kid been through enough? Let him eat some rolls!

Do you feel like you can't avoid it because it's "family tradition" to go shopping on Black Friday?


Tradition is great and all, but have you heard of Cyber Monday?

Are you so desperate to escape your crazy family that waking up at 5 a.m. to go to Kmart seems like a valid option?


Okay. We get that. Permission granted.

'Troop Beverly Hills' Is Coming To Netflix, What A Thrill (Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:47:55 -0500)

Good news for all you Wilderness Girls -- "Troop Beverly Hills" is available to stream on Netflix starting Dec. 1.

What a thrill, right?

The film celebrated its 25th anniversary this past May, and we still can't get enough of Phyllis Nefler's (Shelley Long) amazing outfits, nor is there such a thing as listening to "Cookie Time" too many times.