Sunday, June 1, 2008

Latest Entertainment & Social News-1st June 2008

Neurologist, choir explorsic's healing power

By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press Writer Sat May 31, 9:17 AM ET

NEW YORK - Noted neurologist Oliver Sacks has found common ground with the pastor of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church:

Both men believe in the healing power of music.

Sacks, the best-selling author of "Awakenings" and "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," was to share the church stage Saturday with the famed gospel choir as part of the inaugural World Science Festival, a five-day celebration of science taking place in New York this week.

"It should be an exciting and unusual event," Sacks said in an interview this week.

"I will talk about the therapeutic and beneficent power of music as a physician, and then their wonderful choir will perform. ... And the audience will make what they can of it."

Sacks' most recent book is "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain," which examines the relationship between music and the brain, including its healing effect on people suffering from such diseases as Tourette's syndrome, Parkinson's, autism and Alzheimer's.

"Even with advanced dementia, when powers of memory and language are lost, people will respond to music," he said.

A Baptist church is an unusual venue for Sacks, a professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center who was brought up Jewish but is not a religious believer.

But the central role of music in church makes Abyssinian a good place to discuss the myriad ways that music affects the human brain, said Sacks, who was played by Robin Williams in the movie version of "Awakenings."

Abyssinian's pastor, the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, said the choir is looking forward to performing with Sacks.

He noted that music plays a central role in the healing power of prayer.

"What we have been studying ... is that when you pray, there's actually a physiological change in the body," he said.

"Music is very much a part of this.

There are certain notes that generate in the human body a kind of peacefulness."

Abyssinian was founded by Ethiopian sea traders in 1808 and is celebrating its bicentennial.

It is a popular destination for European tourists who line up around the block in Harlem for Sunday services.

The event there is one of two Sacks is participating in during the World Science Festival.

The other focuses on vision and the brain.

The festival was conceived by Columbia University physicist Brian Greene and his wife Tracy Day, a broadcast journalist.

"Our intent is to help shift the public perception of science, so that people realize that science is as important as art, literature, film, theater," Greene said.

Panelists include Nobel laureates as well as actors, dancers, philosophers and science journalists.
Greene said he hopes the festival will spread to other cities.



British pensioners who cannot afford to heat their homes.

European hauliers and fishermen whose livelihoods are under threat.

Palestinians forced to fill up their cars with olive oil.

Americans asked to go down to a four-day work week

All around the world, in a multitude of ways, the soaring price of oil is hurting rich and poor alike.

For the lucky ones, it is simply a matter of changing their lifestyle.

But those most vulnerable to the price of oil have been driven on to the streets in angry protests, which raises a fundamental question:

What can we do to survive in a world where a barrel of oil costs $127 (£64)?


***The Lakers; Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Jordan Farmar, Luke Walton, etc., celebrated getting into the NBA finals via their victory over San Antonio at Michael Sutton's Goa Restaurant in Hollywood after the final game.

***Skinny "America's Next Top Model" Jaslene Gonzalez at the drive-through at McDonald's in Southampton at 4 a.m. after partying at Pink Elephant in NYC.

***Newest "American Idol" winner David Cook enjoying the perks of his newfound fame by being chauffeured to Upper East Side eatery Southern Hospitality in NYC in a Cadillac Escalade.

***Ben Silverman and Ryan Seacrest discussing NBC's new show "The Philanthropist" with producer Charlie Corwin at Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole, Tuscany.

***Shaq O'Neal struggling to get into a bathroom stall at Islero on the Upper East Side of NYC, where he was watching a Lakers game with a dashing mystery date.


Over 300 winners of the Grammy Award along with approximately 284,000 other "influencers."


In advertising these days, the brass ring goes to those who can measure everything -- how many people see a particular advertisement, when they see it, who they are.

All of that is easy on the Internet, and getting easier in television and print.

Billboards are a different story.

For the most part, they are still a relic of old-world media, and the best guesses about viewership numbers come from foot traffic counts or highway reports, neither of which guarantees that the people passing by were really looking at the billboard, or that they were the ones sought out.


***Trying to pick up Jenna Jameson is risky.

In "This Is Gonna Hurt," a new memoir by Jameson's boyfriend, former Ultimate Fighting champ Tito Ortiz, the porn queen reveals:

"Criss Angel came up and started hitting on me.

He was like, 'Hey, baby, want to go for a ride in my Lamborghini?'

I said I had my own Lamborghini and I walked away.

Later that night, he found out that I was dating Tito and he came over to apologize. . . .

He ended up calling Tito and leaving a message apologizing and asking for forgiveness.

People are so intimidated by [Tito], and he's real good about keeping the wolves away from my door."

***Ted Danson plays a corrupt billionaire on FX's "Damages," but in real life, the "Cheers" alum lobbies against negligent fishing, illegal oil dumping and toxic chemical plants in the name of ocean conservation.

Danson will be raising awareness for World Ocean Day at Rockefeller Center Wednesday at an event hosted by La Mer.



***There are 122 pebbles per square inch on a Spalding basketball.

***On November 29, 2000, Pope John Paul II was named an "Honorary Harlem Globetrotter

*** Basketball superstar Wilt Chamberlain holds 56 NBA records.

***Shaquille O'Neal's shoe size is 22.

***In the U.S., the sport that causes the most injuries among the age group of 15-24 is basketball.


"The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children." --King Edward VIII (1894-197

LBN-HISTORY: On May 31, 1977, the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, three years in the making, was completed.

LBN Reader Comment:

"Be confident. If you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will." S. Brady Sonoma, CA.


‘Lord of the Rings’ princess becomes new scream queen in Rogue Pictures slasher shot in South Carolina

By Cliff Broadway

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 5/30/08

– “Mentally I’m okay, but my body is just like a mess,” says ‘The Strangers’ star Liv Tyler.

“It’s really hard.

I’m covered with bruises on my feet.

I have all these burns and sores from running around barefoot in the whole movie.”

Stepping fully into Jamie Lee Curtis territory, the demure Liv Tyler stars in Rogue Pictures’ home invasion thriller ‘The Strangers’.

Tyler sees the appeal of horror-fests as cathartic cinema.

“Roller-coasters and movies are a different side of it,” says Tyler.

“For someone who loves horror movies, it will be very realistic, and scary, and shocking.”

“I’ve never pursued a part like this in my entire life,” says Tyler of her work.

“I put the script down, called my agent, and said, ‘I have to be in this movie.

I don’t know why, but I have to play this part!’”

“I was moved by how rare and detailed the relationship was between the couple,” says Tyler of the lovebirds portrayed by herself and Scott Speedman.

“The story is an unfolding of their relationship and the realization of how much they really do need and love each other.

Unfortunately, that happens as they’re about to die.”

Seeking romance and relaxation, the couple isolate themselves in a rustic country house.

Then, a grotesque trio of homicidal masked villains arrive.

Tyler gets to test the effectiveness of a good, sustained scream.

“You don’t always need words,” says Tyler.

“My throat’s a mess.”

Liv Tyler, the daughter of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, possesses a sultry alto voice.

The McDreamy-like Scott Speedman proves a good foil to Tyler in a film that requires the actors to share nearly every shot.

“I’ve never been in a film before where it was just me and another actor in every scene together,” says Tyler.

“He really encouraged me and really pushed me. And he’s been really incredibly generous and giving. It’s been really special in that way.”

Writer/director Bryan Bertino’s edgy script for ‘The Strangers’ captivated Tyler.

“He wrote this great story filled with a lot of depth,” says Tyler of first-time helmer Bertino.

“One of the greatest things a director can do for you is create a world for you that is very detailed and elaborate…filled with answers to all your questions.”

As the dominance of torture porn over the horror genre now wanes, filmmakers like Bertino can parlay more in atmospherics and suspense-building.

After the storm of success following her turn in Peter Jackson’s epic ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, Tyler’s next career move was wide open.

However, she took nearly two years off from making films to enjoy her new son, Milo William Langdon.

Now calling it quits with her husband of five years, Royston Langdon, the pair are now entangled in a reportedly messy divorce.

Expectations burn brightly that ‘The Strangers’ will be a newborn franchise like ‘Saw’, yet it remains to be seen if Tyler’s character will survive into future installments.

Not one to miss a passing green goliath, she has added her talents to help relaunch Marvel’s ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ coming to theatres in two weeks.

Here’s to the summer of Liv!

‘The Strangers’Rating: R for violence/terror and languageDistributor: Rogue PicturesRunning Time: 1 hr. 30 min.Release Date: May 30th, 2008 (USA)

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