Hollywood

Photo Of The Day

A scan showing no activity in the right parietal and occipital regions of Simon Lewis's brain. Were you to meet the upbeat, affable Lewis, you wouldn't know there's a high-tech device helping to move his left foot smoothly, or that he's "technically unsighted" (his computer has an extra-sharp monitor so that he can see it), or that he lives in "flat time" — past, present and future all seem much the same to him.

A scan showing no activity in the right parietal and occipital regions of Simon Lewis’s brain. Were you to meet the upbeat, affable Lewis, you wouldn’t know there’s a high-tech device helping to move his left foot smoothly, or that he’s “technically unsighted” (his computer has an extra-sharp monitor so that he can see it), or that he lives in “flat time” — past, present and future all seem much the same to him.

The Man with the Missing Brain

The Story of a Horrific Accident and the Life that Followed it…

 If Simon Lewis’ life was a movie, it would seem far too fantastical to be true. In the early 1990s, Lewis was a rising producer in Hollywood, fresh off the success of “Look Who’s Talking,” the  John Travolta-starring comedy about a talking baby that ended up being one of the top-grossing movies of 1989. Then, Lewis’ career came to a sudden end, after a car accident killed his wife, mangled Lewis’ body and obliterated a large part of his brain. Against all odds, Lewis survived, and over the course of the past couple of decades, he has largely recovered from near-total memory loss.

In 1994, he and his wife went to dinner to celebrate their new car, and they’re driving when a van blows through a stop sign in a residential street at 75 mph. Their car flies through the air, slams into a tree and lands in a garden. Simon’s wife was killed instantly, and Simon broke everything you could break and lost a third of one of his brain hemispheres. He spent the next decade and a half recovering one piece of surgery after another

“Are you ready for our drive then?” Simon Lewis, comes hobbling into his parents’ living room in Sherman Oaks, a suburb of the San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles. An Englishman by birth, his public-school accent remains unsullied by nearly 40 years in the United States. “Brave man!” he chuckles.

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Photo Of The Day

Elizabeth Short was known by various names: "Betty" (or "Bette"), "Beth" and, at least to some of her friends, "The Black Dahlia."

Elizabeth Short was known by various names: “Betty” (or “Bette”), “Beth” and, at least to some of her friends, “The Black Dahlia.”

She Was A Good Girl

She Was A Good Girl!

Phoebe Short

After identifying the remains of her daughter, Elizabeth (“Betty”) Short

Los Angeles, California

Jan. 15, 1947: The mutilated remains of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short are found in Los Angeles. Her murder remains unsolved.

There’s never been a shortage of suspects in the Black Dahlia murder — but police have never been able to pin the crime on any of them.

After the mutilated body of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short — cut in half at the waist and drained of blood — was found in a vacant Los Angeles lot on this day, Jan. 15, in 1947, dozens of people confessed to killing the woman who newspapers dubbed “the Black Dahlia.”

It became the most sensational murder story in a city rife with sensational murders, and fame-seekers all over town wanted to play a part. Over the years, the number of people claiming responsibility grew to hundreds, most of whom detectives ruled out almost immediately.

One promising admission came a few weeks after the murder, from an Army corporal who said he had been drinking with Short in San Francisco a few days before her body was discovered — then blacked out, with no memory of his activity until he came to again in a cab outside New York’s Penn Station. (Short, an aspiring movie star, had a fondness for servicemen, according to The Black Dahlia, the James Ellroy novel based on her murder.)

Asked if he thought he had committed the murder, the corporal said yes, and became a prime suspect until evidence emerged that he had actually been on his military base the day of Short’s death.

Then there was the woman who became convinced — in 1991, after therapy chipped away at 40-year-old repressed memories — that her late father was the murderer. Police dug up the yard of her childhood home, where she believed they’d find his weapons or the remains of other victims. They did find a rusty knife, farm tools, and costume jewelry — but no evidence to tie him to the Black Dahlia case or any other murders.

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Photo Of The Day

Time Magazine Cover: July 28, 1947. Hedda Hopper is the handsome, headlong gossip whose syndicated column, usually titled "Hollywood," written in prose of an inspired spasticity, daily gives her millions of readers the illusion that they have been behind the sets, the bushes and deep into some of Hollywood's better bed-&-bathrooms...

Time Magazine Cover: July 28, 1947.
Hedda Hopper is the handsome, headlong gossip whose syndicated column, usually titled “Hollywood,” written in prose of an inspired spasticity, daily gives her millions of readers the illusion that they have been behind the sets, the bushes and deep into some of Hollywood’s better bed-&-bathrooms…

Duchess of Dish

 “Two of the cruellest, most primitive punishments our town deals out to those who fall from favour are the empty mailbox and the silent telephone.”

Those are words spoken by Hedda Hopper, popular gossip columnist during Hollywood’s golden age.

Hedda was “a sartorial extremist, preening in headgear that varied from cabbage rose confections to plumed saucerlike contraptions that seemed poised for flight.” Her hats were “garnished with toy horns, Eiffel Towers and Easter eggs … So outré were her hats that they were spoofed on the cover of Time, in an illustration portraying her with a telephone, a microphone and a typewriter perched atop her curls. Those hats, and a wardrobe of mostly pink and lavender suits, riveted Westchester housewives, young Hollywood hopefuls” and studio heads alike.

Hollywood marriages, affairs, breakups, bad behaviour, and political leanings were her ammunition. Her gun was her syndicated column, which at its height reached some 35 million readers. If you didn’t take her call, you were dead. If you lied to her, you were dead. If you gave a good story to her rival Louella Parsons — you were dead.

Their views and news were often whimsical, wrong, or both, but a thing like that didn’t matter. In flat prose laced with gosh-golly enthusiasm they reported marriages and births that never happened. In the ’50s Louella assured everybody that Ronald Reagan was without political ambitions, and Hedda once soured on a young actress because she went to a wedding without a hat on. Large talents often made them cranky, and besides Liz they took on Welles, Brando, Garbo, Olivier, Chaplin, Hepburn and Bogart.

Even the Axis followed them: German propagandists during WWII showed photos of Hedda’s extravagant hats as examples of American decadence.

Louella’s columns were sprinkled with “swarthy Mexicans” and “pickaninnies,” and she once called Mussolini her favourite hero. Hedda decried racial intermixing, was a feverish Commie hunter and led the attack that drove Chaplin to Europe.

In their approach to life and work, which were essentially the same thing, they seemed variations on the same cartoon. They both swore like troopers, demanded and gave loyalty and feuded with each other, mostly because it was good for business. Hopper, who couldn’t type, dictated her column at the top of her lungs.

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Photo Of The Day

Photographer- Ralph Crane/Time Inc owned. Black cats and their owners in line for audition and casting for "Tales of Terror". Hollywood California

Photographer- Ralph Crane/Time Inc owned.
Black cats and their owners in line for audition and casting for “Tales of Terror”. Hollywood California

Black Cat Auditions

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Kim Dotcom’s “Big Reveal” involves Hollywood?

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The whole thing will just come to a point where they will “prove” John Key could conceivably have known about Kim Dotcom before he says he did.   As in, he had a clear opportunity to know.

Of course, having KDC mentioned and actually realising who it is, or how he fits in, before the whole story started to take off for real, is quite possible.   Read more »

Press Editorial on the farce that is Kim Dotcom

Memo to the Herald and TV3 there is a reason your audience alongside your credibility is shrinking…your audience are not as stupid as you think they are.

David “tainted” Fisher’s story proved there was no conspiracy despite him stretching credibility to breaking point. It also, if anything, undermines Dotcom’s claims that Key had heard of him prior to the raids, not that anyone really cares when he heard of him.

As the editorial points out if Key did a deal with Hollywood it would be much easier to extradite him if he hadn’t been granted residency.

Good to see the useless Grant Robertson on the news defying his leaders edict for a positive campaign and calling for John Key to come clean on what he knows. SInce he wants John Key to come clean, how about his boss tells us who his secret donors. It looks Labour want to continue to play gotcha politics, and the recent polls show Labour precisely how that is working out.

The Press editorial outlines the farce that is Kim Dotcom.

As if the saga of Kim Dotcom were not already absurd enough, this week it descended into a swirl of conspiracy theories that made it look like downright farce.

The theories are not necessarily compatible with each other or even internally consistent. Their main purpose is likely to turn out to be simply that they keep Dotcom’s name in the public eye.

Following them and attempting to disentangle them certainly adds to the stock of harmless public entertainment.

The theories have been fed by the release of email exchanges from Immigration New Zealand and the Security Intelligence Service about Dotcom’s application for permanent residency in New Zealand.

The application had been sent by INZ to the SIS for routine security and criminal checks. Dotcom was apparently anxious that permanent residency be granted so when he had not heard from INZ his agent had asked about it, prompting INZ to urge the SIS to hurry up with its report.

Many have leapt on an SIS officer’s off-hand suggestion in an email that “political pressure” was behind INZ’s interest in getting the SIS report.    Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Sofia Loren and Jayne Mansfield shot by Joe Shere at Romanoff’s in Beverly Hills, 1958.

Sofia Loren and Jayne Mansfield shot by Joe Shere at Romanoff’s in Beverly Hills, 1958.

That look Sofia gave to Jayne at Romanoff’s

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Photo Of the Day

Unknown source

Unknown source

Hangover Heaven

An ice cube mask made to cure hangovers 

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Sometimes we have to find the news, sometimes it finds us

They really are living in a rarefied atmosphere in Hollywood…

Come March 2, even Oscar “losers” will feel like winners when they tuck into their goodie bags on the limo ride home. According to US Weekly, those lucky enough to pick up a nomination but not lucky enough to score a statue will nab a gift bag worth a whopping $NZ96,000. But that’s not all.

Along with the $340 worth of pure organic maple syrup, salad dressings, an apron (yes, an apron!) and a special face-to-face meeting with Boyz II Men, female Oscar nominees will also receive a shot to the vagina.

Yep. A vagina shot.

(crickets chirping)  Read more »

There was this one time – at band camp – we learnt this awesome stuff