July 2007 Archives

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Rocker Pete Doherty has poured his heart out to UK tabloid The Mirror in a desperate attempt to win back model Kate Moss. The duo split earlier this month when Kate dumped Doherty after reports of the rocker’s infidelity surfaced.


"There's been this lockdown and I can't get hold of her. This is the only way I can get through,” Doherty, who recently left rehab, explains to Mirror readers. "I can't properly describe my feelings for Kate they are too strong. It's why I write songs."


It seems Moss can’t let go either, since Doherty claims the Rimmel cosmetics model drunk-dialed him just two days ago and crooned Moon River down the phone. But despite their obvious love connection, would getting back together be the best thing for the troubled couple? I asked my psychic pal, Stargazing celeb watcher Tanya for her thoughts.


“I believe that Pete loves Kate to death, and vice versa,” says Tanya. “I feel like this is a good match, but Kate can't lose her life while trying to stop Pete from giving away his. Pete needs to look at losing Kate for what it is: the loss of life. Indulging in drugs and promiscuity is his non-way of dealing with his issues. He doesn't equate these 'outlets' with life endangerment. However, when Kate pulled away, he now sees his own mortality. In a sense, I feel, as strange it may sound, that with Kate in his life, he'll actually live longer. Without Kate, I don't feel he'll survive for more than 2 years from now, if that long.”

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New research has found that a low to moderate intake of caffeine beverages along with exercise may help prevent sun damage and skin cancer. In a study conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, UVB-exposed mice that ran on a running wheel and drank caffeinated water showed a 400% increase in apoptosis, a mechanism in which UVB-damaged cells commit suicide rather than progressing to possible pre-cancerous stages. Control groups of caffeine drinking-only and exercise-only mice showed an increase in apoptosis of 95% and 120% respectively.


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An earlier study at the same university, published in 2002, found that when caffeine was applied topically to the skin of mice it had similar cancer fighting properties. Cancerous tumors were reduced by a dramatic 72%, while benign tumors decreased by 44%. It should be noted the study only related to squamous-cell carcinomas and not the more deadly melanoma.


While more research is needed to see whether these results will translate from mice to humans, caffeine is the new it ingredient in beauty products such as Bliss Spa’s Love Handler. Though the caffeine-rich formula wasn’t tested for any cancer fighting properties, in clinical studies it did have other benefits. It was shown to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and bloating in the abdominal area, in a significant proportion of those tested. So drink up, slap it on, and don’t forget to exercise too.


Love Handler costs $36 for an 8 oz bottle and can be found at your nearest Bliss Spa or online at Blissworld.

Law Romances Diaz

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Jude Law is reportedly crossing the Atlantic to wine and dine co-star Cameron Diaz. “Jude plans to take her on a series of dinner dates this week and just spend some time hanging out," a source told the UK’s News of The World. It seems life is imitating art for the pair who reportedly fell for each other on the set of the romantic comedy Holiday, which also starred Kate Winslet and Jack Black.


“He's charismatic, fun, open and charming. It's very easy to fall in love with him,” Diaz is quoted as saying on the subject of Law during junkets to promote the film, which hit theatres in December of last year. Since then, Diaz has split with longtime boyfriend Justin Timberlake, and Law has put his on/off relationship with actress Sienna Miller firmly in the off position.


But with Diaz and Law both still getting over long term romances, I asked Daily Mantra’s resident psychic Tanya what she thought of the couple’s prospects. “I don't feel longevity here. I'm feeling a mutual attraction and some fun times,” says Tanya. “I am not feeling a long-lived, happily-ever-after relationship between these two – nor am I feeling that they want that.”

Rub Out War

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A zoo in the UK has found an ingenious solution to stop war from breaking out amongst its population of meerkats: It hides their scent with Vicks VapoRub.
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Staff at Paultons Park Zoo in Yorkshire, England, were concerned that fights may break out when it introduced three new animals to the pair they already had in residence.


"It is normally extremely difficult to integrate new meerkats into an existing group - their usual instinct is to try to attack any newcomers,” livestock manager Geoff Masson explained to the UK’s Daily Mail. Thanks to Vicks VapoRub, the animals are living in peace and harmony. If only it had the same effect on humans

Trekking Under The Influence

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Details of the 11th Star Trek movie were announced yesterday by producer / director J.J. Abrams (whose credits include Armageddon and Mission Impossible III) in a presentation at Comic-Con in San Diego, CA. The film, to be released in Dec 2008, will star Zachary Quinto (Heroes) as the young Spock in this Star Wars-style prequel. Leonard Nimoy has also signed on to reprise his role.


One can only speculate if the fledgling Star Trek Federation, as featured in the new film, will allow their astronauts to fly drunk like NASA appears to have. In a recently released report, NASA confirmed it allowed un-named astronauts to fly under the influence of alcohol on two separate occasions, despite the fact that safety concerns were raised by fellow crew and medical experts.

Are Your Friends Making You Fat?

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An obesity study, which looked at data from more than 12,000 individuals who were observed repeatedly between 1971 and 2003, has come up with some rather puzzling results. Researchers at the Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego, found that having overweight friends and family increases an individual’s risk of becoming overweight too, making obesity, in effect, socially contagious.


The risk of becoming obese increased by a massive 57% if a friend was obese, but interestingly only increased by 37% if a spouse was. In cases of siblings, the rate of increase was 40%. According to scientists, these results could not be solely attributed to similarities in lifestyle, since the effect occurred even in friends who weren’t geographically close.


They speculate that perhaps peoples' ideas of what they deem acceptable for their own body image change as their friends and family get larger. "People come to think that it is OK to be bigger since those around them are bigger, and this sensibility spreads," co-author Professor Nicholas Christakis, explained to the BBC. Perhaps we should all consider eating more healthily, not just for selfish reasons but for the sake of our friends.

The Not-So-Grim Reaper

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Oscar the 2-year old cat has an uncanny ability to predict death. The feline has forecast the final hours at least 25 patients at the dementia unit of the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, where he resides. Not known as a friendly cat, Oscar will pace the wards looking for patients whose time is near, curling up beside them and providing comfort as they die.


Staff at the dementia unit, who adopted Oscar as a kitten, soon noticed the cat's remarkable predictive abilities, calling families and priests when Oscar settled next to the patients in order to administer his own kind of last rites.


"He doesn't make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die," said Dr. David Dosa, who works at the hospital and wrote a story in the New England Journal of Medicine profiling a day in the life of Oscar. "Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one."

What's The Time Hey Buddy

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The latest internet sensation doesn't even have a computer. He's a homeless man called Gordon who resides on the streets of Bournemouth, England. The 78-year old's uncanny ability to pluck the correct time out of thin air, without any mechanical or digital aid, has made him a hit with locals. Now the white bearded elder has found international stardom, thanks to a Facebook appreciation group set up by Gordon's number one fan Chris Kimber, a 24 year-old student.

"He can tell the time even though he doesn't have a watch," Chris told the UK's Daily Mail. "Some people think it's because he always listens to the football on a portable radio - other's joke that he's got superpowers."

The football-mad, time-telling elder, who wanders the streets sporting a parka jacket and multiple football scarves, is such a legend in his home town that his local soccer club AFC Bournmouth let him in for free. Now, thanks to the Facebook site, he has over 9,000 friends from all over the globe who swap photos and tales, raising the modest man and his mysterious talent to mythological proportions.

All I can say is I'd much rather bump into Gordon, than his fellow internet star Paris Hilton. At least Gordon's famous for doing something useful - and being a friendly, lovable character to boot.

Psychic Princess

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Princess Märtha Louise of Norway has revealed she has psychic powers on the website for a new alternative therapy centre she co-founded with business partner Elisabeth Samnoy. The Astarte Education center (named after an ancient Middle Eastern goddess) aims to teach students to "create miracles" by communicating with angels, which their website explains are "forces that surround us and who are a resource and help in all aspects of our lives."


"I've always been interested in alternative forms of treatment," says Martha in a statement. The Princess says she first realized she had clairvoyant powers while working with horses as a child. "I later came to understand the value of this enormous gift and would like to share it with others."


A certified physiotherapist, Märtha dropped Her Royal Highness title in 2002, choosing to lead a normal life and pay taxes. She moved to New York with her husband in 2004 and published a children's book. In 2005, she caused further controversy, when she chose a home birth for her second child. After redefining her royal duties again in 2006, she retains patronage roles with six health related foundations.

Stripping Down Barriers

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Risqué comedienne Margaret Cho has announced plans to take her Sensuous Women burlesque show to New York for a limited four week, off-Broadway run, which begins on October 6th. The always outspoken funnywomen, who began her career at 16 supporting Jerry Seinfeld, hopes the evening of song, dance and laughs will raise awareness and understanding for the numerous body issues that haunted her past.

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“I have suffered from eating disorders and a horrendously distorted body image for my entire life, and I think the biggest reason is a lack of images of real women’s bodies,” explains Cho. “We are force-fed a steady diet of unattainable ideals, a tyranny of slenderness and youth, goals we can’t even aspire to, they are so far out of reach. When we see dancers who enjoy their bodies, who are sexy and having fun, it gives us permission to enjoy our bodies and to enjoy ourselves in the process. We are presented with a new ideal, not one that is about dieting ourselves down to a smaller size, but expanding our notion of what is beautiful and to allow ourselves to be included there too.”


Tickets for the show can be purchased in advance at: The Zipper Factory
If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, help can be found at the NEDA website.


Top: Margaret photographed by Austin Young; Right: Nicole backstage with Margaret at The Greek Theatre, June 2007

UFOs Return To The Forbidden Planet

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UFOs were sighted by over 100 people in the sky above William Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England on Saturday July 21st. A total of five bright objects were spotted in the sky at approximately 10 pm. Multiple witnesses at a local bar claimed they hovered for about 15 minutes before disappearing.


Tom Hawkes recounted the incident to his local paper, The Herald. “I just saw this light appear, then three others. Everyone said, ‘What’s that?’ Then a fifth one moved in, quite fast. I have no idea what they could have been. Maybe someone else can offer an explanation. There were so many people around who must have all seen it, most people near us were watching them.” Hawkes, along with numerous other customers at the Stratford pub the One Elm, caught the phenomenon on his video camera phone.


The local Birmingham Air Traffic Control office reported no unusual activity that night. Meanwhile a spokesman for Britain’s Ministry of Defense told the Daily Mail, “We believe that rational explanations such as aircraft lights or natural phenomena could be found if resources were diverted for this purpose but its not the function of the MoD to provide this kind of aerial identification service." Perhaps the aliens just came to pay homage to the visionary behind the Forbidden Planet sci-fi flick, which was based on Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.

Sexual Provocation

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Following the commerce with a conscience example of their mother, Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, daughters Sam and Justine started their own two-store empire of luxury erotic emporiums called Coco de Mer. The siblings keenly follow their mom’s philosophy, trying to ethically source as many of their wares as possible for their London and Los Angeles boutiques. Products, such as their trademark silk blindfold embroidered with the provocative mantra “Freedom is deciding whose slave you want to be,” are dedicated to the celebration of sexual pleasure, empowerment, dignity and discovery.


One of the store's hottest products is a pheromone enhancer by Escentric Molecules, which they exclusively distribute in the US. It comes in two blends. The first, Molecule 01, is an almost aroma-free “aura” entirely based on a perfumers ingredient called Iso E Super. The synthetic liquid is said to work with your body’s heat and unique natural chemistry to bring out a subtle yet powerful scent about 15 minutes after it is first applied. The second concoction, Escentric 01, is a 65% blend of Iso E Super mixed with pink pepper, lime and incense for a hybrid experience.

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Fans of the fragrance include Elton John, Dita von Teese and Kate Moss. According to Andrea Ferrante, the supervisor of the West Hollywood store, the product definitely works. “People never approach me in bars,” say Andrea, “but people have followed me when I wear this.”

Art Spice

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Hollywood’s elite turned out on Sunday night to greet David and Victoria Beckham at a swish party thrown by fellow power couples Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and Will Smith and spouse Jada Pinkett-Smith. The event took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Geffen Contemporary Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles where the exhibition Wack! Art and The Feminist Revolution, which officially closed on July 16th, was still on display. According to the UK’s Daily Mail, Victoria Beckham, who championed her own brand of girl-powered feminism with fellow suffragettes The Spice Girls, toured the exhibition with her husband, paying particular attention to a video installation by Yoko Ono.


The exhibition brings together work from 119 artists from 21 countries and aims to give viewers an understanding of how the feminist movement fundamentally changed the way we see and understand art. For those of us unable to catch a private viewing à la the Beckhams, the exhibition will be touring, stopping off at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. (September 21–December 16, 2007) and P.S.1 MOMA in Long Island City, NY (Winter 2008), heading North of the border for the intervening summer of 2008, where it’ll be residing at the Vancouver Art Gallery in British Columbia.


Image: Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Abakan Red, 1969, sisal and mixed media, courtesy of the National Museum in Wroclaw. Photo courtesy of Magdalena Abakanowicz.

Homer Erotic

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America’s favorite underachiever Homer J. Simpson has incurred the wrath of Pagans with his latest publicity stunt to promote his upcoming movie, which hits theaters on Friday. A donut-wielding likeness of Homer has been painted on a hillside in Dorset, England, next to the sacred site of the Cerne Abbas Giant, a 17th century fertility symbol. The 180 foot ancient earthwork, which was created by cutting a twelve-inch wide trench in the hillside to expose the chalk beneath, features a prominent phallus, inside the boundaries of which, according to tradition, childless couples would make love in the hopes of boosting their chances of conceiving. The less well-endowed hillside image of Homer more modestly sports Y-fronts; one can only speculate as to what might befall couples that copulate in that specific region of the British countryside.


However this is no laughing matter according to local Pagans, who have been wishing for rain since the biodegradable painted image appeared. Indeed speculation of rain rituals caused the Pagan Federation to issue a denial on their website. “There are particularly no plans for a rain dance,” a spokesperson stated, blaming “a spectacular piece of misquoting by the tabloids” for the speculation. “That is not to say that we condone the use of scheduled ancient monuments and SSSIs for such stunts.” Fortunately such rituals, involving heather, fern, broom (a gorse-type plant) and rice, will most likely not be needed since Britain is currently experiencing one of the wettest summers on record.