Photo Of The Day


Frank Sinatra Has a Cold

In the winter of 1965,?writer Gay Talese arrived in Los Angeles with an assignment from Esquire to profile Frank Sinatra. The legendary singer was approaching fifty, under the weather, out of sorts, and unwilling to be interviewed. So Talese remained in L.A., hoping Sinatra might recover and reconsider, and he began talking to many of the people around Sinatra — his friends, his associates, his family, his countless hangers-on — and observing the man himself wherever he could. The result, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” ran in April 1966 and became one of the most celebrated magazine stories ever published, a pioneering example of what came to be called New Journalism, a work of rigorously faithful fact enlivened with the kind of vivid storytelling that had previously been reserved for fiction. The piece conjures a deeply rich portrait of one of the era’s most guarded figures and tells a larger story about entertainment, celebrity, and America itself.

FRANK SINATRA,?holding a glass of bourbon in one hand and a cigarette in the other, stood in a dark corner of the bar between two attractive but fading blondes who sat waiting for him to say something. But he said nothing; he had been silent during much of the evening, except now in this private club in Beverly Hills he seemed even more distant, staring out through the smoke and semidarkness into a large room beyond the bar where dozens of young couples sat huddled around small tables or twisted in the center of the floor to the clamorous clang of folk-rock music blaring from the stereo. The two blondes knew, as did Sinatra’s four male friends who stood nearby, that it was a bad idea to force conversation upon him when he was in this mood of sullen silence, a mood that had hardly been uncommon during this first week of November, a month before his fiftieth birthday.

Read more »

Internet killed the Broadcast TV star

Teena Harris likes to have a movie night with her family once a week, so they can enjoy watching TV together for a change.

“What I’ve found is that now everybody has a device, you’re not sitting down like you used to,” says the 47-year-old marketing manager and mother of three.

Back in the old days – well, a year ago, actually – she says the St Heliers family used to gather in front of their 42-inch TV in the lounge and fight over which channel to watch.

“Last year we’d all sit down and watch My Kitchen Rules, but now we don’t.”

The Harris family are at the leading edge of a TV-watching revolution in New Zealand and around the world. A few years ago they watched free-to-air channels and Sky. Three months ago they dropped Sky because they weren’t watching it enough to justify the cost. The family has subscribed to Netflix, the US internet-based giant which started in New Zealand in March, and their viewing habits have almost totally switched to commercial-free online viewing.

Teena streams an episode of Netflix on the TV at night after coming home from work and doing dinner and the evening chores. Her husband Craig likes movies and documentaries and dips back into free-to-air to catch the late news.

Their 14-year-old son Sam has moved off the big screen altogether, watching action dramas like Homeland on his iPad. Daughters Sally, 12, and Molly, 9, follow the same teen dramas like Pretty Little Liars on Netflix that they used to watch on Sky’s Disney Channel.

“It’s changed from watching what’s served to you on traditional TV to going and picking what you want to watch,” says Craig. Read more »

Photo Of The Day

A lion rides in the sidecar during a performance of The Wall of Death carnival attraction at Revere Beach, Massachusetts in 1929

A lion rides in the sidecar during a performance of The Wall of Death carnival attraction at Revere Beach, Massachusetts in 1929


Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photographer: Mary Ellen Mark

Photographer: Mary Ellen Mark



This is why John Key is the most popular PM in history


John Key loves to be himself. It is a major reason why people warm to him and he continues to be our most popular PM in history.

He simply enjoys be him and it shows.

First there was planking, then Gangnam Style, now… derp-face.

Prime Minister John Key’s latest attempt to win the youth vote included?pulling the silly expression with students at Victoria University.

He was encouraged by students?to make a “derp-face”?- defined at KnowYourMeme.com as “an expression sometimes used online to signify stupidity”.

Pictures of Mr Key clowning were shared on Twitter as he hosted the National Party stall at the university’s Orientation Week this morning. ? Read more »

The good news keeps on rolling, this time it is tourism

Thjs news won;t make the Labour party party happy as they want to trash talk the New Zealand economy, and john Key.

He is the tourism minister so can rightly claim this piece of good news.

A record 2.7 million overseas visitors touched down in New Zealand last year, providing a shot in the arm for retailers, tourism operators, the hospitality industry and the economy.

Tourism New Zealand estimates the extra 114,112 holiday makers last year from abroad spent $365 million.

In addition to a bumper year, December also recorded the highest number of arrivals in any month with 381,000 clearing immigration controls.

Tourism NZ chief executive Kevin Bowler says the growth for the year was driven by traditional long-stay markets and the biggest source of tourists – Australia.? Read more »

Winston says to embrace viral hits

Winston Peters says we should be embracing viral hits as ‘cultural ambassadors’.

I’d like to see Winston do Gangnam Style, wouldn’t you?

The Herald reports.

Winston Peters says we need to use the success of Kiwis like Lorde and Sir Peter Jackson as part of our foreign policy to promote our image abroad.

Speaking at a conference on cultural diplomacy in Berlin, Germany, yesterday, the New Zealand First leader said today’s digital environment meant the biggest contribution to cultural diplomacy would be made outside “official” channels.

“The recent impact of the Gangnam Style – something like riding a horse without the horse – raced across the world from South Korea,” he said, referring to the internet sensation turned international hit by musician Psy.? Read more »

It’s not just Len that is a dodgy rooting ratbag

Ratbags never like seeing the results of their handy work in the press…including Gwyneth Paltrow

Hollywood A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow apparently doesn?t subscribe to the believe that all press is good press, as the actress is likely furious that?Vanity Fair?is going ahead with a planned feature about her months after she sent an email to her famous friends imploring them to ignore calls from the magazine.

?She sort of forced my hand,??VF?editor-in-chief Graydon Carter?told The Times of London of Paltrow?s email. ?We started a story on her. We have a very good writer and it?ll run.?? Read more »

And Labour attacked the PM for appearing on Letterman…

The Labour party scoffed when John Key appeared on Letterman…and now it looks like it is paying off because David Letterman wants to come to New Zealand…with John Travolta.

What do you do if you get to hang out with a pilot who owns a fleet of private jets?

You ask them if they could give you a lift to the furthest away country you can think of.

When US talk show host David Letterman had actor John Travolta in his studio, he casually inquired for a ride to New Zealand.

During the Late Show interview, Travolta not only agreed to give him a lift he also offered to wine and dine Letterman all the way to Godzone on one of his planes. ? Read more »

Massive increase in tourism

Despite Kelly’s best attempts to destroy the Hobbits and Peters’ continual poisonous rhetoric towards the Chinese, tourism continues to boom in both of those sectors.

Imagine what a Convention Centre will do.

Tourism New Zealand says a new trend in visitor arrivals is now?apparent, with the latest total annual international arrival figures in?growth for the first time since the Rugby World Cup 2011.

International visitor arrivals are up 0.5% year-on-year and 8.7%?for the month ? making it the highest ever result for a May month.

The increase in arrivals translates to an extra 224,480 stay days for?the month.

Justin Watson, Tourism New Zealand?s acting Chief Executive?says; ?When we look at the first five months of 2013 we see a?considerable upwards shift in arrivals – with total arrivals up 5.8%?against the same period last year and holiday arrivals up 9.4%.?? Read more »