Archive for June 28th, 2011
Simon Brint, one half of comedy musical duo Raw Sex, has died at the age of 61.
Brint’s agent, Maureen Vincent, confirmed the news after Lenny Henry reported his friend’s death on his Twitter account.
Henry wrote: “My good friend Simon Brint passed away. Rest in peace Simon – we love you very much.”
Brint and Rowland Rivron’s spoof act Raw Sex went on to become the house band for French and Saunders on their TV show.
During the comedy series, French and Saunders and the duo performed skits as Abba and the Pet Shop Boys.
But they were best known for being amateurish and shambolic with Ken (Brint) on keyboards and slobby, often drunken Duane (Rivron) on bongos.
Brint was also a composer. He wrote music for small screen shows including The Monarch of the Glen, Coupling, Stella Street, The Mary Whitehouse Experience and The Lenny Henry Show.
He also wrote the theme tune and incidental music for long-running LWT drama London’s Burning.
Brint, who lived in Somerset, also arranged several versions of the Blue Peter theme tune.
He was also a member of a band alongside Adrian Edmondson, Phill Jupitus and Neil Innes.
Charlie Sheen sitcom death: Writers plan to kill off Charlie Harper in Two and a Half Men series premier.
Charlie Sheen’s character on the lucrative CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men will reportedly be killed off at the start of the show’s upcoming season.
TMZ reports that show creator Chuck Lorre has been weighing various scenarios to bring about the demise of Charlie Harper, the freewheeling Malibu bachelor Sheen portrayed on the program until earlier this year. The show has already signed Ashton Kutcher to replace Sheen as the face of the series.
Lorre reportedly considered an opening scene during next season’s premier in which the audience learns that Sheen’s character drove his car off a cliff. The plot twist would follow Sheen’s real life: In the past four months, two of Sheen’s cars have been found, unoccupied, at the bottom a ravine off Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills.
The death of Charlie Harper, however, doesn’t appear to be an end to Sheen’s sitcom career. The troubled actor has indicated that he plans to continue a career in entertainment, despite a series of rambling media interviews in March that raised questions about whether he had fully recovered from a long history of substance abuse.
Sheen has teamed up with Lionsgate Television to star in a new, racier sitcom, according to celebrity news site RadarOnline. According the report, several networks and cable channels are in a bidding war for the show’s rights, with TBS emerging as the frontrunner.
Under the terms of the deal, Radar reports, Lionsgate would produce a guaranteed ten episodes, with the option to make as many as 90 more if the show performed well in the ratings.
WASHINGTON — An asteroid that is coming within cosmic kissing distance of Earth is going to be a little late for its date with our planet. But there is still no chance it will hit Earth.
New observations now have astronomers saying the asteroid, called 2011 MD, will not swing close by Earth until 1 p.m. ET Monday, about three and-a-half hours later than they first thought. It will not come as close either. It will come about 7,600 miles near Earth, 100 miles farther than first forecast.
Of the more than 8,000 Near-Earth objects that have been discovered to date, around 1,236 have been designated as potentially hazardous asteroids. This latest asteroid was discovered last week by telescopes in New Mexico. Though it will come close to our planet, it’s not a distance record holder. Earlier this year, a tiny asteroid flew by even closer – within 3,400 miles. Scientists say asteroids this size sail past Earth every six years.
File this one in the “hard to believe, but it’s true” folder.
Delta Air Lines is currently working on adding Saudi Arabian Airlines to its SkyTeam of partnering companies, which already includes (amongst others) such foreign airlines as Aeroflot, AeroMexico, AirEuropa, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern, Kenya Airways, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines. As a routine matter – and an obviously necessary one at that, any airline is required to comply with all applicable laws in every country in which it does business, and indeed to enforce those laws in granting passage to its customers on travel to those countries. Should a passenger arrive at his foreign destination without the proper documentation (such as a valid passport and visa), that passenger may not merely be denied entry but Delta itself may be fined or even, ultimately, forbidden from doing business there. Thus Delta (like other airlines) takes upon itself the responsibility of ensuring that every boarding passenger is in full compliance with the laws of the country of destination.
All that is well and good, except for one thing in this case: the Saudi Arabian government prohibits entry into the country for those who hold Israeli passports, those whose passports have an Israeli arrival or departure stamp, or those who were born in Israel. Delta’s partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines will thus put it in the unenviable position of respecting and enforcing these restrictions, and thus discriminating against anyone brazen enough to have traveled to or from Israel, whatever the occasion.
But if this isn’t problematic enough for you, consider a few other implications. Saudi Arabia is, as is well-known, a country in which Islamic law is rigidly enforced, and there are a number of aspects of these laws which will now fall into Delta’s purview to respect and enforce. Although you are permitted to practice your own religion privately there, the public practice of any religion other than Islam is illegal; this means you can bring a Bible into the country but you better not bring more than one, or any quantity of religious literature, lest you be thought to be proselytizing. Homosexual behavior and adultery are illegal and can carry the death penalty. And in general, women, think twice about traveling there: women visitors are required to be met by an appropriate male sponsor, if you are married to a Saudi man (even if you are an American citizen) you will require his explicit permission to leave the country, if you are unmarried you will require the permission of your father or male guardian, and if you have a child you will not be able to leave the country with him or her without the father’s written agreement.
In this age of multiculturalism and relativism and tolerance, all that is well and good, perhaps; let the Saudis discriminate as they please. But what is troubling is that a large American corporation such as Delta, for the sake of its profits, would be willing to endorse these restrictions.
Think about what this means.
If you have been to Israel, Delta must now refuse you passage on flights to Saudi Arabia. They will have to pat you down and remove any excessive quantity of non-Muslim religious literature. You better not act too obviously gay, or express affection for your same-sex partner, lest you be removed from the plane. And, ladies, be sure to bring your permission slip from your guardian.
It’s understandable that an airline must comply with the laws of the countries in which it does business.
But what is not understandable is that an airline would voluntarily choose to do business with countries which discriminate in the ways mentioned above – particularly when the laws of the country from which Delta does business in many contexts prohibit discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender.
Several months ago, my friend Anna called to complain about her boyfriend of eight months. Bombarded by media warnings about the female biological clock, he wanted to make sure that Anna was fit for childbearing before the relationship moved forward. He had taken her to a fertility clinic where a reproductive endocrinologist drew blood to check her ovarian reserve and injected radioactive iodine into her uterus to ensure that her fallopian tubes were clear.
Anna is 32. Her boyfriend is 52.
Anna’s boyfriend was right to be concerned. As women increasingly pursue careers and take advantage of fertility treatments to postpone childbirth into their 30s and 40s, they do place their offspring at risk for countless disorders and diseases. This occurs, however, not because of the woman’s age but because women in their 30s, like Anna, tend to couple off with older men. And when it comes to fathering healthy children, older men, it turns out, are just as much at the mercy of their biological clocks as women.
Before the Tour de France begins this weekend, before the cameras follow all those seemingly virile athletes, let us consider another sort of role model on two wheels.
Robert Brown is an officer in the Seattle Police Department’s bicycle patrol, which lacks the sleek machines and tight jerseys of the Tour de France. But Mr. Brown has something that could be more important to both male and female cyclists: a no-nose saddle.
Like most cyclists, Mr. Brown at first didn’t see any need to switch from the traditional saddle on the mountain bike he’d been riding full time for five years on the force. When researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and Safety offered new noseless saddles intended to prevent erectile dysfunction, he quickly told his supervisor, “No problems here!”
In theory, the GOP is so committed to resisting tax hikes because it’s so committed to creating jobs. “The fact is you can’t tax the very people that we expect to invest in the economy and create jobs,” says Speaker John Boehner. But Michael Linden’s chart comparing average annual job creation at different marginal tax rates begs to differ:
An Ohio woman attempted to fight off police trying to remove her from her car by spraying them with her breast milk, authorities said.
Stephanie Robinette got into a fight with her husband while attending a wedding at the Bridgewater Banquet & Conference Center in the city of Delaware on Saturday, WBNS 10 News reported.
Her husband told police his 30-year-old wife struck him several times, then locked herself in their vehicle.
“When deputies attempted to remove Robinette from the vehicle, she advised the deputies that she was a breast-feeding mother,” said Sheriff Walter L. Davis III.
We’ve confirmed the rumors of Myspace layoffs with our own inside source; From what I’m hearing the company expects to lay off at least 150 of its around 400 employees tomorrow (37.5% of its staff). According to the source, another group of around 150 employees will be put on a transition plan, where they will still be laid off but can work with pay for a few weeks while they search for another job.
Myspace cut around 47% of its staff back in January and these new layoffs come as Myspace is preparing itself for a sale, which we’re hearing will be signed tomorrow and announced on Friday. While there are multiple rumors circling regarding who exactly will be buying the beleaguered social network, the names being tossed around include a bidding group fronted by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, Buzzmedia, and even LivingSocial.
In any case this is turning out to be a banner week for Myspace, which closes its fiscal year on Wednesday. I’ve emailed Myspace PR for comment, and will update this post when they get back to me.