Wednesday, August 02, 2017

A Perfectly Cromulent Word

It will be a while before yer actual Jodie Whittaker's first series of Doctor Who launches on the BBC. Jodie will, of course, make her debut as the next Doctor in the closing moments of this year's Christmas special - Twice Upon A Time - but the eleventh post-2005 series of the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama will go into production around the same time and will be broadcast 'in late 2018.' Chris Chibnall is about to replace the outgoing Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) as series showrunner and all-round Big Cheese, with The Moff his very self hinting at series eleven's likely premiere date in the latest issue of the Doctor Who Magazine. The Moff explained that he had agreed to remain with Doctor Who until production on the Christmas 2017 episode ended to ensure Chibnall's availability. 'The alternative might have been to have had no Doctor Who at all between Christmas 2015 and the autumn of 2018,' he said. This future potential timeline for the series fits in with what was first rumoured in February, though at the time the BBC would not officially comment on a reported autumn 2018 launch for Chibnall's first batch of episodes.
American Gods' second series, seemingly, will not be its last, but there is no indication yet when it will actually be broadcast. Producers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green's adaptation of the classic Neil Gaiman novel has been a big hit for US channel Starz and Amazon Prime Video in the UK this year, earning an early second series order. The series was a hot topic of conversation during Starz's presentation at the TCA press tour last Friday, where network executive Chris Albrecht said that he is betting on 'many more years' of American Gods. 'We are certainly on-board for as long as the show makes sense for Starz and we don't see any end in sight,' Albrecht told reporters. 'It's a difficult show to do, a lot of people to wrangle, so I can't tell you exactly when the next season is going to be on the air. We're actively pursuing making sure we get it as soon as possible.' American Gods is certainly not an easy drama to produce, with its wealth of fantastical creatures and a war between Earth's Old and New Gods. While it is not clear when series two will be completed, Fuller and Green have hinted that it will have 'a much darker tone.' The production team are also planning on a faster pace for what is expected to be a larger episode order than the first series' eight.
American Gods has been roundly praised for its diverse casting, though Bryan Fuller insists that it 'shouldn't be that big a deal.' Ahead of its DVD/Blu-ray release, Fuller said that his show was 'merely following the guideline' set out in Neil Gaiman's source novel. 'I think it was important for all of us involved in this show to represent the characters as they were written in the book, because Neil took such time and interest in being very specific with these cultures and being very true to the mythologies that he was basing these characters on,' Fuller said. 'So, we didn't feel it was our path or responsibility to deviate from the inclusivity of those characters. What was gratifying for us as white men working in the television industry is we are empathetic to the needs of inclusivity and representation on any public forum, so we were very happy to stay true to the different cultures and races represented and be accurate to them as we would in the casting process.' Fuller said it was 'fascinating to have absolutely no resistance to that instinct because everybody was approaching the novel and the adaption with the same dedication to authenticity. We've often been lauded for casting a non-white person who is a non-white character, whereas we think that's just what you should do and we shouldn't necessarily be celebrated for that because it is simply following the instructions,' Fuller added. He also revealed that Ian McShane was not originally considered for the role of Wednesday, explaining: 'We had gone through quite an extensive casting process in looking for who Mister Wednesday should be and we had talked about Ian McShane playing Czernobog. Michael worked with Ian McShane on the wonderful show Kings and when Michael reached out to Ian to say, "What do you think about playing Czernobog?," Ian was like, "Well it's a very nice role, but I'd rather play Mister Wednesday!" And we thought, "Okay!"'
Finally, after eleven episodes, Audrey Horne is extremely back in Twin Peaks. And lo, the Interweb verily exploded at such news and many people did, you know, come. As you can see evidence of here and here and here and here and here. Fine episode, too (as, to be fair, most of them have been so far). And, this blogger was pleased to discover that his suspicions from earlier in the series - that the key might end up being, you know, The Key - look to have been at east partly correct. Keith Telly Topping likes it when that happens, dear blog reader. It makes him feel like a God.
Reviews of the latest episode of Game Of Thrones can be found here and here and here and here. And probably lots of other places as well, but those four were the first ones this blogger spotted.
Game Of Thrones series seven will boast the longest episode yet – an eighty one-minute finale in a few weeks time. But, even that could be overshadowed by what series eight is reported to contain. HBO executive Casey Bloys, speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour, wasn't ruling out having two-hour episodes during the final series of the popular adult fantasy drama. With the scripts for series eight already written, the producers and HBO are currently working out how and when they are going to shoot it. 'I imagine [the episodes will] be longer but I'm not sure [how long],' Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter. 'We haven't had that discussion yet because I don't know how long the episodes are going to be. Two hours per episode seems like it would be excessive, but it's a great show, so who knows?'
HBO has been the focus of 'a major cyber-incident' reportedly involving hackers leaking forthcoming episodes and scripts of Game Of Thrones. Which, led some cock-splash of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star to write a piece of pure clickbait, Game Of Thrones Is In Jeopardy As HBO Is Target Of Major Hack. Exactly how Game Of Thrones is 'in jeopardy', 'Gruniad staff' did not explain.
According to Entertainment Weekly, those responsible for the hacking have already shared data online from other shows as well, including Ballers and Room 104 and have threatened that more is to come. 'HBO recently experienced a cyber-incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information,' a company statement read. 'We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.' In an e-mail to employees, HBO's chairman, Richard Piepler, described the attack as 'disruptive, unsettling, and disturbing.' The specifics of what hackers have taken have yet to be officially revealed, but the amount of material stolen is believed to total one-and-a-half terabytes. Or, shitloads, in other words. Reporters at various media outlets received an anonymous e-mail on Sunday allegedly from the hackers which read: 'Hi to all mankind. The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening. What's its name? Oh, I forget to tell. Its HBO and Game Of Thrones! You are lucky to be the first pioneers to witness and download the leak. Enjoy it and spread the words. Whoever spreads well, we will have an interview with him. HBO is falling.' The attack is the latest in a number of hacks aimed at major Hollywood companies following Disney being threatened with the early release of Pirates Of The Caribbean 5. In April, Netflix was targeted with the leak of a new season of Orange Is the New Black.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is reportedly extremely suing his former manager for fraud. The forty seven-year-old actor, who plays Jaime Lannister on Game Of Thrones (you knew that, right?) has claimed he was 'tricked' into signing a deal that paid his former manager Jill Littman ten per cent commission on all his earnings after he was no longer signed to her agency, Impression Entertainment. According to the documents obtained by editors at TMZ, the actor did not want anything more than a verbal agreement but Littman had insisted it was 'mandatory' for him to sign a contract to enable the agency to 'file the paperwork' for his work visa.
If you thought you'd have to wait until 28 September for Gotham's return for a much-anticipated fourth series - because, that was the date speculated by various media outlets - then, it would seems FOX have had the last laugh. This week they have announced that series four will premiere a week earlier. Gotham will return in the US on Thursday 21 September. After Gotham's series three finale saw the beginnings of Bruce Wayne becoming The Batman, the first trailer for series four, which debuted at Comic-Con earlier this month, showed young Bruce embrace his destiny as a superhero. The new season will also see iconic the Batman villain Scarecrow make his comeback following his first appearance back in series one. This time it looks like his experimental fear toxin is going to mess with everyone in Gotham City in a big way.
HBO has officially confirmed Westworld's return and showed off a trailer at Comic-Con – but series two won't be hitting our screens until next spring, according to Screen Rant. Series two of the hit SF drama is already in production. It was recently revealed that Jimmi Simpson will be returning to, hopefully, answer some of those as-yet-unanswered questions. 'There [are] a few more questions that they're gonna answer for us as far as exactly how that transition occurred and what it felt like to him and other people,' Simpson explained. Luke Hemsworth is also set to return for series two as MIA Head of Security, Ashley Stubbs.
Craig Ferguson is to return to Scottish TV for the first time in twenty years with an appearance on Still Game. The Glasgow-born comedian presented The Late Late Show for more than a decade, becoming one of the highest paid chat show hosts in America. Ferguson said that he had been sent a Still Game script by the show's creators Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill. He called it 'hilarious' and said that he was 'delighted' to be part of the show. The fifty five-year-old, who continues to present US game shows, told The Sunday Times Scotland: 'My ambitions are more about doing stuff that's fun so my first television work in Scotland in twenty five years is later this year and it's because Ford and Greg sent me a script for Still Game and I'm going to do an episode because it's just hilarious.' He added: 'I'm not allowed to tell you what I'm doing, I'm not allowed to tell anybody and of course I understand that, but it is so funny. I loved Chewin' The Fat and I love Still Game, so I'm delighted to be part of that.' Before moving to the US, Ferguson appeared in British TV shows such as One Foot In The Grave in the 1990s. (Before that, of course, he was a quite brilliant stand-up and before that, he was in The Dreamboys with yer actual Peter Capaldi. You knew all that, right?) Craig also acted in a number of US comedies before winning the host role on The Late Late Show. He stepped down at the end of 2014, with that odious glake James Corden taking over the role. Still Game is returning to the BBC later this year, with filming under way at its Dumbarton studio and locations around Glasgow.
'Friends' of Princess Diana - for, apparently, she had one or two - have 'urged' Channel Four not to broadcast allegedly 'controversial' video tapes of her talking about her troubled marriage. Channel Four, of course, will take about as much notice of these 'friends' as they do of people who whinge about the latest plotline in Hollyoakes. The documentary, Diana: In Her Own Words, is due to be broadcast ahead of the twentieth anniversary of her death. The tapes, recorded by her speech coach, have never been seen in the UK. Channel Four said that they 'provide a unique insight' - but Diana's 'close friend', Rosa Monckton (no, me neither) said they were 'a betrayal' of the late princess's privacy. Although one could argue that, given the fact she's been dead for twenty years, she might not be all that bothered about such trivia. Monckton is writing to the broadcaster to ask them not to broadcast the tapes. She told the Gruniad Morning Star: 'This doesn't belong in the public domain.' The footage was recorded by Peter Settelen, who was hired by the Princess between 1992 and 1993 to help with her public speaking voice. She was filmed at Kensington Palace and is seen talking about her marriage to the Prince of Wales, their sex life and how she 'confronted' him about his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall. Former royal spokesman Dickie Arbiter told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme that Channel Four was 'laughing all the way to the bank.' He said: 'These tapes were recorded in private as part of a training session. Anything done behind closed doors remains private.' Royal biographer Penny Junor added: 'I think it is quite obscene that they are showing this - and immoral, frankly. When she made them the marriage had just come to an end, they had broken up - she was in a very bad way.' The princess 'never intended these tapes to be heard by any living soul,' she added, describing the broadcast as 'exploitation.' The tapes were returned to Settelen in 2004 after a dispute with Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, who claimed that they belonged to him. They had initially been held by Scotland Yard after being seized in 2001 in a raid on the home of former royal butler Paul Burrell. Excerpts were broadcast in the US in 2004 after being sold to American broadcaster NBC. The BBC was reportedly planning to show the tapes as part of a documentary in 2007, the year of the tenth anniversary of Diana's death, but scrapped the project. Marcus Rutherford, Settelen's lawyer, defended their broadcast. He told 5Live: 'The claim to privacy actually fails because the police looked at them, the Spencer family looked at them, Paul Burrell look at them presumably and so what was private to Peter as much as to Diana was actually lost in the process. I don't think it's right to say that now, twenty years later after her death, they remain private any more.' He added that Diana was separating from her husband at the time and 'wanted the world to know what she was going through.' Channel Four's deputy chief creative officer, Ralph Lee, described the tapes as an 'amazing historical document' which 'allows us to create a new portrait of Diana.' He told the BBC News website that 'twenty years is a significant amount of time for something like this to now come to light and be aired.' A Channel Four spokesman said that the subjects covered in the tapes were 'a matter of public record and provide a unique insight into the preparations Diana undertook to gain a public voice and tell her own personal story.'
The boyfriend of fashion designer Gianni Versace has described a forthcoming TV drama depicting the Versace's murder as 'ridiculous.' Antonio D'Amico was Versace's partner for fifteen years. He found the designer after he was shot in Miami in 1997. D'Amico said an early image from FX's American Crime Story, which shows the reaction of his character - played by Ricky Martin - was wrong. 'The picture of Ricky Martin holding the body in his arms is ridiculous.' The fifty eight-year-old told the Observer that he had not been consulted for the series, which will be titled American Crime Story: The Assassination Of Gianni Versace. He compared the photo to Michelangelo's Pieta, which depicts the body of Jesus in the arms of his mother after the crucifixion. 'Maybe it's the director's poetic licence, but that is not how I reacted,' D'Amico said. He explained that, in reality, he ran out to find Versace on the steps of his Miami mansion but was soon dragged away from the scene. He said: 'I saw Gianni lying on the steps, with blood around him. At that point, everything went dark. I was pulled away, I didn't see any more.' But D'Amico said he 'wouldn't mind' if Ricky Martin got in touch so he could offer him some insight into his former partner's life. 'It's getting to know the small things about a relationship. For example, Gianni was so ordered and focused at work but in his private life everything was disorganised,' he told the paper. 'He'd leave the bathroom in a mess. At a certain point I said, "Enough!" And when it came to cooking, he didn't even know how to [boil] an egg.' Versace, who was fifty when he died, was shot by Andrew Cunanan, who had murdered at least four other people in a three-month killing spree. The body of Cunanan was found eight days later in a Miami houseboat following a huge manhunt. He had shot himself in the head with the gun he used to kill Versace.
The BBC has announced a new TV cookery competition with Mary Berry as the lead judge. Britain's Best Cook will be broadcast on BBC1 and will also feature Claudia Winkleman. The BBC said that ten contestants will compete across eight episodes, serving meals that 'reflect both the modern and classic dishes of British home cooking.' Berry said: 'I am never more at home than when I have my judging hat on.' She continued: 'This series is going to encourage proper home cooking, which I have always championed and I cannot wait to start. Claudia, for me, is the icing on the cake.' The eighty two-year-old will be joined by a second judge - though their identity hasn't yet been revealed. Claudia Whatsherface said: 'I am over the moon to be part of this show. I am slightly obsessed with Mary so will follow her around with my own moussaka for most of the filming. Apologies in advance.' Berry left The Great British Bake Off last year, when it was announced that the programme would move from the BBC to Channel Four.
A former Sunday Times columnist 'will not write again' for the newspaper after one of his articles was branded 'anti-Semitic' and 'disgraceful.' In the piece, Kevin Myers suggested that BBC presenters Claudia Whatsherface and Vanessa Feltz earned high salaries because they are Jewish. Editor Martin Ivens said that the piece, which appeared in the Irish Sunday Times edition and online, should not have been published. No shit? Ivens has also apologised personally to the two ladies in question. A News UK spokesman said that the column included 'unacceptable comments both to Jewish people and to women in the workplace.' A - presumably grovelling - apology will also be printed in next week's print edition of the paper. The column, titled Sorry, ladies - equal pay has to be earned, follows criticism by the usual assortment of right-wing scum with a sick agenda smeared all over their collective mush of the BBC, after it was revealed two-thirds of its highest paid on-screen talent earning more than one hundred and fifty thousand knicker are male. Commenting that two of the best-paid presenters, Whatsherface and Feltz, were Jewish, Myers wrote: 'Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity.' In the article, Myers also argued that male presenters may earn more because they 'work harder, get sick less frequently and seldom get pregnant.' It was taken down following anger on social media and a formal complaint from the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism to the press regulator Ipso. The campaign said the removal of the article and apology from editors within hours was 'proof that the decision to include the column was irrefutably wrong.' Ivens offered the paper's 'sincere apology, both for the remarks and the error of judgement that led to publication.' Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of The Sunday Times Ireland, said that he took 'full responsibility,' adding: 'This newspaper abhors anti-Semitism and did not intend to cause offence to Jewish people.' In 2009, Myers wrote a column for the Irish Independent newspaper in which he appeared to deny that the Holocaust happened. It was removed following the criticism of his latest article.
Paul Allott, the Sky commentator and former England seam bowler, is poised to become Lancashire’s new director of cricket. The sixty-year-old, who played for Lancashire from 1978 to 1992 and won thirteen test caps, is understood to have reached agreement for the role and is expected to leave Sky, where he has worked as a pundit, analyst and presenter of Cricket Writers On TV for the past two decades. Allott is already a prominent figure at Old Trafford, where he sits on the board and was instrumental in overseeing the appointment of Glen Chapple as head coach when the club's previous director of cricket, Ashley Giles, returned to Warwickshire last winter. Speaking at the time, Allott said that the club would 'take time to consider' whether to create an additional director of cricket role but added that his preference was for one that did not directly run the first team but instead took an over-arching view of the county's cricket operations. This was the case under Giles's predecessor, Mike Watkinson, who worked above the former England coach Peter Moores when the club last won the County Championship in 2011.
Following landing the showrunner role on the HBO adaptation of Gillian Flynn's debut novel Sharp Objects, former Buffy The Vampire Slayer writer Martin Noxon secured a deal with Netflix to write and direct an original TV movie, To The Bone, based on her own personal struggles with anorexia and starring Lily Collins. While To The Bone divided critics and eating disorder specialists when it was published, it seems that Noxon will explore similar themes in her forthcoming series Dietland, as it has been picked up for a ten-episode series by AMC. Based on Sarai Walker's 2015 book, Dietland follows the adventures of an overweight advice letter ghostwriter called Plum who is recruited by a secret political movement - who may or may not have ties with a vigilante feminist movement called Jennifer – whose guerrilla tactics include throwing rapists from varying heights to their deaths. The TV rights were bought by Noxon and her team and, after a fierce bidding war which included HBO and Netflix, it found a home at AMC. 'This series, populated by unforgettable characters and unique storytelling approaches, will focus a wickedly entertaining lens on issues as diverse and divisive as dieting, dating, beauty and the many societal expectations that continue to dominate our culture and consciousness,' AMC president Charlie Collier said. 'We are so proud to be working with Marti, her team and Skydance on this topical, funny, relevant and poignant story.'
Little more than a week after he was named the new White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci has been extremely removed from the position. The former Wall Street financier had drawn harsh and widespread criticism after calling a reporter to give a profanity-laced tirade against several of his own White House colleagues. President and hairdo Donald Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus and official spokesman, Sean Spicer, both left their posts after Scaramucci's appointment. Incoming chief of staff John Kelly, sworn in on Monday, reportedly sacked Scaramucci as one of his first tasks in the job. The President was reported to be 'unhappy with Scaramucci's performance,' the White House confirmed. Trump's spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said that the president thought Scaramucci's comments to the reporter 'were inappropriate for a person in that position.' And, by Hell, when Donald Trump considers something you've said to be 'inappropriate' you know you've really screwed -up. According to reports, the President opted to remove Scaramucci from his job on Monday following Scaramucci's foul-mouthed tirades against Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon. Scaramucci accused Priebus - a Republican Party stalwart - of leaking to the press. He also phoned a reporter to unleash a profanity-filled rant against Priebus, whom he called 'a paranoid schizophrenic.' Scaramucci arrived as the communications director 21 July. This blogger reckons that Scaramucci will now have time to, you know, Do The Fandango since he's got little else on his plate at the moment. Yes, we will that one go.
Prince Charles, Prince William and -soon-to-be-former - Prime Minister, Theresa May, were among those who paid tribute to soldiers who fought at Passchendaele, in Belgium on the one hundredth anniversary of the battle. Some four thousand relatives attended the ceremony at Tyne Cot cemetery in Ypres. In the three months of fighting in 2017, half-a-million Allied and German soldiers were killed, wounded or went missing. This blogger's grandfather, Sapper George Lamb of the Royal Engineers served as Passchendaele as a motorcycle dispatch rider whilst his older brother, this blogger's great uncle Bob, died at the earlier First Battle of Ypres in 1915. Prince Charles addressed the service, saying: 'We remember it not only for the rain that fell, the mud that weighed down the living and swallowed the dead, but also for the courage and bravery of the men who fought here.' The conflict - officially known as the Third Battle of Ypres - was fought from 31 July 1917 until November that year. It was not only infamous for the number of casualties - and the sheer pointlessness of the confrontation which achieved none of its initial objectives and ended in stalemate - but also, the mud. Many of those who died drowned in the thick quagmire, caused by weeks of relentless rain. Descendants secured tickets to the event at the cemetery in a ballot run by the government. Former England rugby captain Lewis Moody visited Tyne Cot to pay tribute to his mother's great uncle, who is commemorated there. The thirty nine-year-old told the BBC News Channel it was so 'hugely moving' that he broke down in tears when he found his relative Ernest Lovejoy's spot. 'The brutality and the blood and the sacrifice that happened here is replaced with beauty, serenity, peace and calm,' he said. Asked about the desire of young men wanting to sign up, Moody said you just 'could not comprehend it now.' Bill Rhodes, whose great great uncle, William, died one hundred years ago on the first day of the battle, said it was 'very important' for him to be at the ceremony. 'I don't think anyone can actually appreciate how horrific it was,' he told the BBC. 'I think the conditions were unbelievable and looking at what the guys had to fight in, the rain, the mud. It is a very nice July day, but one hundred years ago it was very different.' During the service, military personnel and descendants read out letters and diaries from soldiers who fought at Passchendaele. An account by Private Bert Ferns, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, who fought in the battle, was read by Fusilier Shaun Mclorie. He said: 'I staggered up the hill and then dropped over the slope into a sort of gully. It was here that I froze and became very frightened because a big shell had just burst and blown a group of lads to bits; there were bits of men all over the place, a terrible sight, men just blown to nothing. I just stood there. It was still and misty and I could taste their blood in the air.' The ceremony ended with a fly past by the Belgian air force in a formation that paid tribute to the fallen.
An air ambulance and rescue personnel called out to help a mountain climber in Sweden discovered when they arrived that the only thing the woman was suffering from was tiredness. The alarm was raised by the woman and her husband from an area near a hill cottage in Jokkmokk. According to information given to the police, the woman 'had problems walking' and was unable to get down from the mountain. An air ambulance and mountain rescue workers were sent to the scene but, when they arrived they discovered that she was simply a bit knackers and looking for a ride down. As tiredness is not generally considered a life-threatening condition by the mountain rescue service, the couple were offered the choice of trying to get down from the mountain themselves, or to pay for the helicopter journey. The chose the latter. This isn't the first time something similar has happened, according to local police. 'Mountain rescue should be for when there is a danger to life or health. That's when you should help people down, but if you have food and a roof over your head, maybe it's better to wait a bit until you're feeling a bit stronger,' police press officer Marie Andersson told local newspaper Norrbottens-Kuriren. According to radio station P4 Norrbotten, the couple ultimately opted to pay the thirty thousand Kronor fee for the helicopter ride.
Satan is a big fan of anal sex, according to an American Christian radio host Linda Harvey. How, exactly, Harvey knows this unless she's actually experienced the Devil's own bumming technique at first hand, she did not reveal. Though, it would be fascinating to get an answer to that one. Harvey, the founder of anti-LGBT Christian group Mission America, made the claim in an article for World Net Daily according to Pink News. She warned: 'Anal sex is demonic. There's no other way to understand it. Using the anus as a substitute vagina is a desire from the pit of hell.' Whether those who have, in the past, taken it up the Gary Glitter but regretted it would, potentially, be saved from The, if you will, Bottomless Pit come Armagiddeon Time, Harvey didn't say. But, since she appears to be the big-brained expert on the Hellish consequences of up-the-bum malarkey, someone should probably ask her.
On a somewhat related theme, for thousands of years, the pentagram - a five-sided figure shaped like a star - has been used by a number of religions and cultures and has a myriad of different meanings. But recently, the symbol has become closely associated with wiccans and satanism. So, when one Twitter user noticed that many Outback Steakhouse Restaurants seem to dot America's cities in the pattern of the nefarious five-sided star, it sparked some concern across Twitter. Twitter now being, of course, The Sole Arbiter Of The Worth of All Things, as we all know. This mem seems to have been started by a Twitter user - who is, obviously, not mental or anything even remotely like it - on Thursday, who shared four screenshots showing Outback locations in New York, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Atlanta - all of which seemed to form pentagrams around the cities according to media reports. Eventually, Outback tweeted a map of its own; but, instead replaced the pentagram with a Bloomin' Onion, the chain's famous appetiser.
An incredulous Geoffrey Boycott reacted angrily to news from Test Match Special colleague Jonathan Agnew that his famous one hundredth hundred, scored at Headingley in 1977, might be in doubt. Although all was not as it seemed. It's great to see that, even after sixty years, TMS still has the ability to make the listener laugh.
Blunderland FC have confirmed that Darron Gibson will face an internal disciplinary process after he was filmed appearing to criticise team-mates after Saturday's five-nil friendly loss to Glasgow Celtic. Midfielder Gibson has been at The Mackems since joining from Everton in January, making twelve appearances. 'Darron Gibson has not conducted himself in a manner befitting Sunderland AFC,' a club statement said. 'We will initiate our internal disciplinary process.' The statement added: 'Darron has apologised this morning.' In the video, which was filmed in a bar by supporters and then posted on social media, the Republic of Ireland international described the team as 'shit.' Which, some might consider as falling under the banner of 'fair comment' given the way in which they were relegated from the Premier League to the Championship last season. Gibson also claimed that certain team-mates 'did not care' about playing for Blunderland, but maintained that he was committed to the club and the Stadium Of Plight faithful.
Each year, the football close season usually sees one or two rule tweaks initiated; for example to kick-offs, offsides, red cards or other disciplinary matters. However, the rule-makers have seen fit to tamper with penalty shoot-outs this year, meaning that EFL competitions (including the League Cup and the Checkatrade Trophy) will feature the co-called 'ABBA format.' Well, that's the name of the game, they reckon. What this means, in essence, is that after the first kick of a shoot-out is taken, the next two will taken by the other team and then two by the first team, and so on - much like a tie-break in tennis. So, teams finally facing their Waterloo, will no doubt be sending out an S.O.S to those members of their squad who are willing for the manager to, if you will, take a change on me. And, obviously, the winner takes it all. (Any dear blog readers who are getting sick of this joke, please raise you hand.) Of course, if the visitors win, they'll be head over heels. (Okay, you can all put your hands down now, thanks.) Whether the sudden death rule after five penalties still applies isn't entirely clear at this time but, for some reason, the FA Cup will still employ the old ABAB system, where teams take penalties in turns. And, the competitions' victors can look forward to money, money, money. What?
Jupiter, fifth planet from the sun, gas giant and subject of the Juno mission, is huge. It's so huge, in fact, that it does not actually orbit the Sun. With two-and-a-half times the mass of all the other planets in the solar system combined, Jupiter is big enough that the centre of gravity between Jupiter and the Sun doesn't reside inside the sun; rather, it is at a point in space just above the Sun's surface. When a small object orbits a bigger object in space, the less massive one doesn't really travel in a perfect circle around the larger one - just about all orbits are elliptical. Rather, both objects orbit a combined centre of gravity. In situations we're familiar with - like Earth orbiting the much-larger Sun - the centre of gravity resides so close to the centre of the larger object that the impact of this phenomenon is negligible. The bigger object doesn't appear to move and the smaller one draws a near-circle around it. But, reality is always more complicated. For example when the International Space Station orbits the Earth, both the Earth and the space station orbit their combined centre of gravity. That centre of gravity is so absurdly close to the centre of the Earth that the planet's motion around the point is impossible to spot and the ISS describes a near-perfect circle around the planet. The same truth holds when most planets orbit the Sun as Sol is simply so much vastly larger than Earth, Venus, Mercury, Mars or even Saturn, Uranus and Neptune that their centres of mass with the Sun all lie deep within the star itself. Not so with Jupiter, however. The gas giant is so big in relation to the other planets, that its centre of mass, or barycentre, actually lies 1.07 solar radii from the middle of the Sun - seven per cent of a Sun-radius above the Sun's surface. Thous, both the Sun and Jupiter orbit around that point in space. Jupiter is still only a fraction of the Sun's size, of course. But next time someone asks you for a crazy space fact you'll know: Jupiter is so massive that, strictly speaking, it doesn't orbit the Sun.
A team of astronomers believe they have spotted the first moon outside our solar system. Phys.org reports that the team lead by Doctor David Kipping, assistant professor of astronomy at Columbia University, has spotted what may be the first evidence of a satellite orbiting an exoplanet. By harnessing data from the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers have identified an exomoon candidate, called Kepler-1625b. 'It would be a pretty big deal if this exomoon candidate turns out to be real, because it would be the first of its kind and moons stand to tell us quite a bit about our solar system and other star systems,' Alex Teachey, a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow at Columbia University, who participated in the research, told FOX News. 'This could provide vital clues about how star systems form and evolve,' he added. Kepler-1625b, which is orbiting the star Kepler-1625, is approximately four thousand light years away from Earth, according to the report. The BBC News website reports that the exomoon may have the size and mass of Neptune and is circling a planet about the size of Jupiter, but with ten times the mass. 'It it turns out to be, as we've suspected, a massive Jupiter-like planet with a moon roughly the size of Neptune, it's very strange and not like anything astronomers have expected to exist out there,' Teachey told FOX News. 'That might tell you there's really some strange stuff going on elsewhere, not at all like what we see in our neighbourhood.' The astronomer adds that scientists need to do a lot more research on the possible exomoon. 'Of course, its strangeness is reason enough to pause and say, "is this for real?" And believe me, we've asked ourselves that quite a bit,' he added. 'So we just want to be as clear as possible that, while we think this candidate is worthy of follow-up with Hubble, there's still a chance we end up seeing nothing when we observe it in October. We'll just have to wait and see.'
NASA is reportedly hiring a planetary protection officer. Which might sound like something out of Star Trek but it is, in fact, a proper - and very well paid - job. The role was created after the signing of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. Planetary protection officers are tasked with making sure humans don't contaminate planets, moons and other objects in space. They are also supposed to help prevent any alien microbes from spreading to Earth. US government scientists work hard to protect the public. Some study infectious diseases and effective treatments, others ensure that drugs, food, vehicles, or consumer products live up to their claims and don't harm anyone. But the concerns at NASA's headquarters are, quite literally, out of this world which is why the space agency now has a job opening for planetary protection officer. A position had a six-figure salary, from one hundred and twenty four thousand to one hundred and eighty seven thousand bucks per annum, plus 'benefits.' Which, presumably, means you can go for a ride in the Moon Buggy once a month. Whilst many space agencies hire planetary protection officers, they're often shared or part-time roles. In fact, only two such full-time roles exist in the world: one at NASA and the other at the European Space Agency. That's according to Catharine Conley, NASA's only planetary protection officer since 2014. Business Insider interviewed Conley most recently in March. 'This new job ad is a result of relocating the position I currently hold to the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, which is an independent technical authority within NASA,' Conley told Business Insider in an e-mail on Tuesday. The position was created after the US ratified the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, specifically to support Article IX of the document: 'States Parties to the Treaty shall pursue studies of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and conduct exploration of them so as to avoid their harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter and, where necessary, shall adopt appropriate measures for this purpose.' Part of the international agreement is that any space mission must have a less than one-in-ten thousand chance of contaminating an alien world. 'It's a moderate level,' Conley previously told Business Insider. 'It's not extremely careful, but it's not extremely lax.' That is why NASA's planetary protection officer occasionally gets to travel to space centres around the world and analyse planet-bound robots. The officer helps ensure that we humans don't accidentally contaminate a pristine world which a probe is landing on - or, more often, is flying by and photographing. For example, Congress and the President have given NASA the green light to explore Europa, the icy, ocean-hiding and potentially habitable moon of Jupiter. The goal of the initial $2.7 billion Europa Clipper mission is not to land on the moon, though, but to map its surface and look for clues about its hidden ocean and habitability. Still, there's a tiny chance the robot could crash-land - so someone like Conley comes in to mitigate the risks. Conversely, the officer helps ensure something from another world, most imminently Mars, doesn't contaminate Earth. The red planet is a frequent target for NASA because it is similar to Earth. It may have once been covered in water and able to support life, which is why many scientists are pushing hard for a Mars sample return mission, ostensibly to seek out signs of life. While the expectation is not to scoop up freeze-dried Martian microbes - only ancient, microscopic fossils - there is always the chance of contamination once those samples are in Earth labs. Planetary protection officer help establish the equipment, protocols and procedures to reduce such risks. 'The phrase that we use is "Break the chain of contact with Mars,"' Conley previously said. No one said that defending Earth from aliens is full of excitement and danger all the time, though - Conley said that a typical week mostly involved a lot of e-mails and reading studies, proposals and other materials. An out-of-this-world job like Conley's requires some equally extraordinary qualifications. A candidate must have at least one year's experience as a top-level civilian government employee, plus have 'advanced knowledge' of planetary protection and all this entails. The job also involves a lot of international coordination - space exploration is expensive and the costs are frequently shared by multiple nations - so NASA needs someone with 'demonstrated skills in diplomacy that resulted in win-win solutions during extremely difficult and complex multilateral discussions.' An advanced degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics should also be on your résumé. The job comes with a 'secret' security clearance and non US citizens are not eligible, due to an executive order signed by then President Gerald Ford in 1976. So, that's this blogger out. Pity, this blogger was about to send in his own application.
A music festival has been called off part way through due to safety concerns after heavy rain. Several acts at the Y Not event in Derbyshire had already been forced to cancel due to the conditions which, with waist-high mud, at times resembled Passchendaele. Of course, they had heavy metal in the First World War as well, though it was called shrapnel in those days. Organisers said that it had been 'an incredibly difficult decision' but the state of the ground and stages had forced them to abandon Sunday's event. Fans on social media were getting aal geet stroppy and discombobulated and demanded full and instant refunds, which organisers have promised to provide 'further information' about. Eventually. The news was announced via a statement on the festival website. Event director John Drape said he was 'gutted' at what had happened. 'We have meetings every six hours to discuss things like weather conditions and ground conditions. On Saturday night it became increasingly clear conditions were deteriorating and at midnight there was not one agency which felt it was safe to continue. Drape denied that festival organisers had been 'caught out,' claiming that they had spent thirty per cent more on infrastructure and had brought in eighty tonnes of woodchip to stabilise tracks. Heavy rain and wind on Friday night turned much of the site, near Matlock, to mud and stopped headliners The Vaccines (no, me neither) from performing. In a tweet, the band said that they were 'sorry sorry sorry' they could not take to the stage. The sold-out event had seen performances by Stereophonics and Jake Bugg rearranged, with some acts playing under gazebos on-stage to stay dry and avoid the chance of getting electrocuted. More rain overnight on Saturday made the site increasingly hazardous.
Former AC/DC frontman Wor Geet Canny Brian Johnson escaped unharmed after flipping his car at a celebrity motor race on Saturday. The sixty nine-year-old diminutive rocker and motorsport fanatic was participating in the Celebrity Challenge Trophy race at The Silverstone Classic Event in Northamptonshire when he flipped over his Austin A35. Wor Geet Canny Brian, thankfully, emerged unscathed from the accident, but was unable to start the race. Motorsport.com editor Nick DeGroot posted pictures of the incident on Twitter, in which Brian lost control of his car while cornering in treacherous wet conditions. Other 'stars' who raced in the event, which raised ten grand for the charity Prostate Cancer UK, included Take That-type person Howard Donald and Travis drummer Neil Primrose. Obviously some new use of the word 'star' that this blogger hadn't previously come across.
An investigation has revealed how councils are using 'unprecedently open-ended powers' in increasingly absurd ways. 'Busybody' councils have banned activities such as swearing, playing music and even lying down, according to The Manifesto Club's latest report into Public Spaces Protection Orders. The organisation has been monitoring the use of the powers since their introduction in 2014 under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act and published its first set of findings in February 2016. The orders can restrict any activity that is deemed to have 'a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality,' which The Manifesto Club describes as 'vague' and 'without legal precedent.' Anybody violating any of these orders is committing a criminal offence and could be fined one hundred smackers or prosecuted if they fail to pay. In the last sixteen months, it has led to the likes of Liverpool City Council banning 'face coverings' and Burnley Borough Council banning under-sixteens from going out after 11pm. Nineteen councils have banned or restricted 'begging,' meaning that homeless people can be fined; eighteen councils have banned 'loitering or standing around in groups' (quite right) and four councils have banned 'non-compliant' or 'anti-social' busking. So that's, presumably, buskers who have a repertoire of less that four songs. Or, most buskers, in other words. Whether whistling in a tuneless manner during the hours of darkness or looking at me in a funny way are also included on the list is not known. However, ten councils have passed new orders banning swearing, eleven councils have restricted cycling or skateboarding in public spaces and thirty councils have restricted dog walking. Six councils have passed PSPOs restricting charity collection in public spaces, four councils have banned people from sleeping in public places and two councils have banned 'feeding the birds.' But, the greatest number of new PSPOs (forty four councils) involved restrictions on public drinking. The Manifesto Club found that in the sixteen-month period between March 2016 and June 2017, one hundred and eighty nine new orders were issued in one hundred and seven councils. This is an increase on the one hundred and thirty PSPOs issued in seventy nine authorities in the first sixteen-month period recorded. Overall, one hundred and fifty two local authorities in England and Wales now have a PSPO in place, out of the three hundred and forty eight to whom this power is available, meaning forty four per cent of local authorities have used the power in some way since October 2014. The Manifesto Club, which has published Officious – Rise of the Busybody State, notes that there is no requirement for the council official to consult the public, or to have the order reviewed by democratically elected councillors.
An MP was left with facial injuries when he was hit in the face with a brick thrown by a motorcyclist. Labour's Steve McCabe said that two people were riding 'really recklessly' in Birmingham and he shouted at them to stop or he would call the pollis. The Birmingham Selly Oak MP, who said he had given a statement to police, stated he had 'a beautiful black eye' after being struck. On Monday evening he tweeted pictures of the two motorcyclists allegedly involved, both wearing helmets. McCabe told BBC West Midlands that he was out with Labour volunteers in the Yardley Wood area at the time of the incident. He said: 'We were just assembling at Greenford Road to go and do a spot of door-knocking when a couple of characters came down, riding really recklessly, dangerously, doing wheelies in the middle of the road. We've had umpteen complaints about this kind of dangerous behaviour and so I shouted at them to pack it in or I'd call the police.' McCabe claimed that he was 'pretty angry' and the left hand side of his face was 'very swollen.' He stated: 'I'm feeling a bit battered and bruised, but I think I'll live. I have to have some dental X-rays later, I expect. It could've been a lot worse. It could've been my eye.' McCabe had tweeted: 'Sure somebody recognises these two. All I need are names and addresses. Send them to me anonymously and I'll do the rest with the police.' West Midlands Police is investigating the incident and said that, although the injuries sustained were relatively minor, this kind of behaviour was 'not acceptable' and the matter was 'being dealt with seriously.' Particularly as the victim was an MP. If it had been an ordinary person, of course, they'd have been treating it very casually indeed.
A man has been charged by Australian police after allegedly breaking into a home, drinking the owner's champagne and then falling asleep in her bed. Police said that the thirty six-year-old man forced his way into the house in Esperance, Western Australia, around lunchtime on Friday. He fell asleep after drinking the resident's 'quite expensive' champagne, officers added. The owner returned home and, allegedly, found the naughty burglar in her bed. 'She used her great initiative and crept outside the house to phone police who attended and arrested the offender,' Senior Sergeant Richard Moore told the BBC. 'Police attended as soon as we got the call and located the person asleep.' The man was taken to hospital after being found to be 'very intoxicated,' Moore added. The man has been charged with burglary offences. And being a daft plank.
A hoard of Roman silver discovered by a teenage metal detectorist in his 'first proper find' is to go on display in Scotland. David Hall, from Livingston who is now sixteen, found the hacksilver in Fife when he was aged fourteen, in 2014. The silver was believed to have been used by Roman soldiers to bribe Picts while passing through Scotland. David said that he did not, initially, realise the importance of the find and is excited to see how it now looks. The Dairsie hoard dates to the late Third Century AD and is the earliest hacksilver from anywhere beyond the frontiers of the Roman Empire. The find has been hailed as 'internationally significant' and will go on show for the first time in a new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in October. David told BBC Scotland that he first got interested in metal detecting after watching an American TV programme. He then saved up and bought a 'low-end' detector. He had only been using it for a few months when he came across the silver. 'It was quite a boring day,' he said. 'I was at a rally with one hundred and three metal detectorists and we were looking in three fields and nothing had come up. All of a sudden I found a few bits of silver and I showed it to a friend who said it was Roman and after that we found another two hundred pieces on the first day.' Hacksilver consists of silver objects hacked into pieces to make raw bullion. Archaeologists think that the silver came to Fife as a gift or payment from the Roman world. The Romans could not just rely on the strength of their army - they also used diplomatic efforts to secure the empire's borders by buying off surrounding tribes. As well as being cut-up by the Romans, the hoard had also been shattered by ploughing. Curators have undertaken a daunting jigsaw puzzle, reconstructing four Roman vessels from more than three hundred fragments, as well as examining how they had been cut into packages of bullion. David said: 'This was really my first proper find. I didn't realise how important it was at first, but it's been really exciting to be able to come and see what National Museums' curators and conservators have been able to do to clean it up and to examine it to work out what it is. It looks really different now. It's great to have unearthed a piece of history and I'm looking forward to seeing it on display at the museum.' Doctor Fraser Hunter, principal curator at National Museums Scotland said: 'New archaeological evidence is rewriting our understanding of Roman frontier politics and silver was a key part of this It's a fascinatingly complex picture that shows interaction and realpolitik, with the Romans changing their approach to deal with different emerging problems, and local tribes taking advantage of Roman "gifts." The Dairsie hoard is internationally significant. It's the earliest evidence for a new phase of Roman policy in dealing with troublesome tribes, using bribes of silver bullion in the form of hacked silver vessels. It's been great to show David Hall, the finder, the next steps in translating a find like this from the field, through the laboratories and on to public display.
The actor and playwright Sam Shepard has died at the age of seventy three. Shepard wrote more than forty plays and won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for Buried Child in 1979. He went on to be nominated for the best supporting actor Oscar for 1983's The Right Stuff and starred in films like Black Hawk Down as well as co-writing 1984's cult classic Paris, Texas. He died at home in Kentucky on Thursday, his family have confirmed. Shepard's death came after he experienced complications from motor neurone disease. His first major acting role was in Terrence Malik's Days Of Heaven in 1978, in which he starred alongside Richard Gere. Other film credits include Steel Magnolias, The Pelican Brief, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and The Accidental Husband and the TV series Klondike. More recently, he was seen as Robert Rayburn in two series of Netflix thriller Bloodline. Shepard also appears in psychological thriller Never Here, which had its premiere last month. He was nominated for two other Pulitzers, for Broadway plays Fool For Love and True West. He was also nominated for two TONY Awards. His final play was A Particle Of Dread, which was first performed in Londonderry in 2013 as part of its year as UK City of Culture. And he wrote the screenplay for Robert Altman's big screen adaptation of his play Fool For Love. His novel, The One Inside, was published earlier this year. A spokesman said Shepard's family were with him when he died. Sam was born as Samuel Shepard Rogers III in November 1943, in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. His father was a teacher and farmer who served in the Army Air Forces as a bomber pilot during World War II; Sam characterised his father as 'a drinking man, a dedicated alcoholic.' Sam's mother, Jane, was a teacher and a native of Chicago. Shepard worked on the family ranch as a teenager. After graduating from Duarte High School in Los Angeles County in 1961, he briefly studied agriculture at nearby Mount San Antonio College, where he became enamoured of Samuel Beckett, jazz and abstract expressionism. Shepard soon dropped out of college to join a touring repertory group, The Bishop's Company. After securing a position as a busboy at The Village Gate upon arriving in New York, Shepard became involved in the Off-Broadway theatre scene in 1962 through Ralph Cook, the club's head waiter. At this time Steve Rogers adopted the professional name Sam Shepard. Although his plays would go on to be staged at several Off-Broadway venues, he was most closely connected with Cook's Theatre Genesis, housed at Saint Mark's Church in-the-Bowery in Manhattan's East Village. Most of his initial writing was for the stage; after winning six Obie Awards between 1966 and 1968, Shepard emerged as a viable screenwriter with Robert Frank's Me & My Brother (1968) and Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point (1970). When Shepard first arrived in New York, he roomed with Charlie Mingus Junior, a friend from his high school days and the son of jazz musician. Sam then lived with the actress Joyce Aaron. From 1969 to 1984, he was married to another actress, O-Lan Jones, with whom he has a son, Jesse Mojo Shepard (born in 1970). From 1970 to 1971, Shepard was involved in an extramarital affair with the poet and singer Patti Smith, who remained unaware of Shepard's identity as a multiple award-winning playwright until it was finally divulged to her by Jackie Curtis. According to Smith, 'Me and his wife still even liked each other. I mean, it wasn't like committing adultery in the suburbs or something.' After ending his relationship with Smith - though the pair remained friends - Shepard relocated with his wife and son to London in the early 1970s. Returning to America in 1975, he moved to the twenty-acre Flying Y Ranch in Mill Valley, California. Shepard accompanied Bob Dylan on The Rolling Thunder Revue of 1975 as the ostensible screenwriter of the surrealist Renaldo & Clara (1978) which emerged from the tour. His diary of the tour (Rolling Thunder Logbook) was published by Penguin Books in 1978. A decade later, Dylan and Shepard co-wrote the eleven-minute 'Brownsville Girl', included on Dylan's Knocked Out Loaded (1986). Shepard began his acting career in earnest when he was cast as the handsome land baron in Terrence Malick's Days Of Heaven (1978). This led to other important film roles, including that of Cal, Ellen Burstyn's love interest, in Resurrection (1980) and, most notably, his beautifully nuanced portrayal of the legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983). The latter performance earned Shepard an Academy Award nomination. Sam took the role despite having a longstanding aversion to flying. He allowed the real Chuck Yeager to take him up in a jet whilst when preparing for the role in an effort to conquering his fears. Shepard described his flying phobia as a source for a character in his 1966 play Icarus's Mother. He also went through an airliner crash in the film Voyager (1991). According to one account, he vowed never to fly again after a rough trip on an airliner coming back from Mexico in the 1960s. Shepard met Academy Award-winning actress Jessica Lange on the set of the film Frances, in which they were both acting. He moved in with her in 1983 and they were together for nearly thirty years before separating in 2009. They had two children, Hannah (born 1985) and Walker (born 1987). Sam's fifty-year friendship with Johnny Dark (the stepfather of O-Lan Jones) was the subject of the documentary Shepard & Dark (2013) by Treva Wurmfeld. A collection of Shepard and Dark's correspondence, Two Prospectors, was also published that year. Sam leaves three children, Jesse, Hannah and Walker Shepard and two sisters, Sandy and Roxanne Rogers.
The actress Jeanne Moreau, one of French cinema's biggest stars of the last sixty years, has died at the age of eighty nine. Moreau is probably best known for her role in Francois Truffaut's 1962 new wave film Jules Et Jim. She won a number of awards including the best actress prize at Cannes for Moderato Cantabile in 1960. She also worked with Orson Welles on several films and won the BAFTA for best foreign actress for Viva Maria! in 1967. Jeanne was found dead at her home in Paris, the district's mayor told the AFP news agency. Paying tribute, the French President Emmanuel Macron said Moreau had 'embodied cinema' and was 'a free spirit' who 'always rebelled against the established order.' Of the three most iconic French actresses of her generation - herself, Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot - Moreau was the one with the most on-screen authority. Post-war French cinema is unthinkable without her. So many key directors owe important, often breakthrough successes to Jeanne - Louis Malle's Lift To The Scaffold and The Lovers, Truffaut's Jules Et Jim and Jacques Demy's Bay Of Angels, for instance. Her famous sensual presence was backed up with formidable timing and technique, so much so that every major director wanted to work with her - Orson Welles, Michelangelo Antonioni, Joseph Losey and Luis Bunuel among them. She was, perhaps, the female equivalent of what Welles called 'a king actor' - someone who cannot help but be the centre of attention in everything they are in. Certainly, over time, she became almost everyone's idea of the ultimate magnetic French movie star. Moreau made her name in the 1950s with Fernand Ledoux in a 1951 production of Tartuffe. She was born in 1928, the daughter of a French restaurateur and a Tiller Girl dancer from Oldham. She pursued an acting career, despite her father's disapproval and got her break in Lift To The Scaffold, with its immaculate jazz score by Miles Davis, and The Lovers. Known for her husky tones, her other films included 1961's La Notte, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, Luis Bunuel's Diary Of A Chambermaid (1964) and Tony Richardson's Mademoiselle (1966). Welles, who worked with her on films including Chimes At Midnight and his adaptation of Kafka's The Trial, once described her as 'the greatest actress in the world.' She famously turned down Mike Nichols' invitation to play Mrs Robinson in The Graduate and, instead, reunited with Truffaut in The Bride Wore Black, an homage to Truffaut's hero, Alfred Hitchcock. She was also known for her singing voice and performed the refrain 'Le Tourbillon De La Vie' in Jules Et Jim. Moreau had a prolific career and continued acting into her eighties. In an interview with the New York Times in 1989, she said: 'I work more now because at this time of my life I am not disturbed from my aim by outside pressures such as family, passionate relationships, dealing with who am I - those complications when one is searching for one's self. I have no doubt who I am.' Her theatre career included a role in 1989 as a matchmaker in La Celestine, a Fifteenth Century Spanish play by De Fernando De Rojas. Moreau won one of France's highest acting honours, a Cesar for best actress, for The Old Lady Who Walked In The Sea in 1992. A feminist icon for many, the actress once declared: 'Physical beauty is a disgrace.'
Police in Ohio say two people have been arrested after a body was discovered inside a freezer. The body was reportedly found in a home in Campbell on Saturday, but police believe it had been moved from Youngstown. Investigators believe the body is female. A coroner is working to identify the remains and determine a cause of death. Arturo Novoa and Katrina Layton were extremely arrested over the weekend and are scheduled to be arraigned on Monday on charges including abuse of a corpse. They are currently being held at the Mahoning County jail. The home where the body was found is not owned by either suspect. According to Youngstown Police, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's office is working to determine the identity of the woman found in the freezer.
A notorious German neo-Nazi who spent fifteen months in jail for attacking a leading Green party politician is again in trouble, after shooting several squirrels in his garden, Bild reports. Neighbours in the town of Wandlitz, North of Berlin spotted Bendix-Jörg W. as he 'prowled through his garden' on Saturday morning carrying an air rifle, the tabloid reports. Then the self-confessed Neo-Nazi started shooting at the squirrels sitting in his trees. 'One animal hung in the tree after being hit,' one neighbour told tabloid BZ. 'Then it fell down and he shot it again. It was ice cold.' Squirrels tails pinned to a tree trunk as trophies also indicated that the extremist had killed several of the animals, which are protected under German law. Police counted three dead squirrels in the garden and confiscated the air rifle as well as other guns and ammunition. They are now investigating contraventions of weapons laws and of animal protection laws, according to Bild. Bendix-Jörg W. is known in Germany for attacking the veteran Green party MP Hans-Christian Ströbele with a metal bar shortly before a national erection in 2002. He was sentenced to fifteen months in The Big House for his crimes. According to BZ, the forty nine year old makes no secret of his Nazi sympathies. An SS flag emblazoned with a skull flies in his garden near a gallows with the inscription 'snitch's swing.'
An East Texas woman is behind bars after a night of reckless naughtiness and abandon in Central Texas. According to the Associated Press, Bridget Cast of Longview, was very arrested on Friday night near Normangee following a one-vehicle police chase. After being involved in the accident, the AP reports that troopers determined Cast had been driving drunk. Officials handcuffed her and placed in the front seat of a patrol car. That is when law enforcement claimed she managed to slip her arms from behind her back and drive away in the trooper's car while they were having a chat outside. The trooper then got into a sheriff deputy's unit and chased her for about three miles while firing shots at the vehicle, according to the AP. The trooper eventually caught up with Cast and was placed back in custody. No injuries were reported. Cast was booked into the Madison County jail for evading arrest, unauthorised use of a vehicle and driving while intoxicated.
Two sisters have reportedly been charged with child endangerment after having a knife fight in front of their children. Jordan and Chelsea Pedro are said to have gotten into the violent confrontation 'after a night of heavy drinking' in Albuquerque, a court heard. The pair continued drinking when they returned home where they became increasingly aggressive, according to court documents seen by KOAT News. At some point during the night, the pair wielded knives and stabbed one another in Jordan's place of residence though neither sister could recall exactly what the fight was about in the first place. Police officers who arrived at the scene said that the apartment was 'covered in blood.' Three children were found in the residence and one of them had blood on his face and behind his ears, though it did not belong to them. All three children, with the youngest aged five, were unharmed. The two sisters were charged with child abuse and hauled off to the county jail. Judge Christine Rodriguez said: 'The children were actually present during the altercation between the individuals. They were in the home while all of this was occurring. Based on the standard for probable cause, I do find that there is probable cause.'
And, there seems to be something of an epidemic of this sort of malarkey as twin sisters from Evans, Colorado could face criminal charges after their argument turned into a violent knife fight on Sunday evening. Mariah Leos and Amanda Canciamilla reportedly 'drew the attention of neighbours and law enforcement' with their shenanigans when their fight went from inside a house to the street. Evans Police Chief Rick Brandt said that the two had 'multiple cuts and minor stab wounds.' They were treated and released from the hospital on Monday, he added. 'The injuries appeared much worse than they turned out to be,' Brandt said. 'There were some head wounds and a lot of blood. The whole fight spilled out on the street.' According to Sergeant Brian Cobb, both the women are local residents. Leos was arrested on suspicion of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, child abuse and possession of a schedule II controlled substance. Canciamilla was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault and child abuse.
A Saudi woman who appeared in an online video wearing an 'indecent' skirt and crop top has been freed according to media reports. The woman, identified as Model Khulood, was released after she told investigators that the video was posted on social media without her knowledge. 'She was released without charge and the case has been closed by the prosecutor,' a statement from the Saudi centre for international communications said. A video of her on Snapchat strolling through an empty mudbrick village alleyway wearing a short skirt and a top that exposed her midriff provoked outraged commentary and calls for brutal and painful punishment from a variety of sexist wankers culminating in her arrest. Women in the ultra-conservative kingdom are bound by law to wear robes and a headscarf, are banned from driving and require consent of a male guardian for most legal actions. However, many people supported her, referring to a visit last month by Donald Trump whose wife, Melania, and daughter Ivanka were widely praised by Saudi commentators for their elegance despite eschewing veils and wearing stylish dresses. 'If she were a foreigner, they would sing about the beauty of her waist and the enchantment of her eyes. But because she is Saudi they are calling for her arrest,' one Fatima al-Issa tweeted. In a country in which debate is strictly policed and gender mixing is often illegal, social media is one of the few outlets for young Saudis to interact and comment on current affairs. Despite the outrage over the video, Saudis have easy access to racy imagery through the Internet and satellite channels.
Pub bosses have apologised after a group of trainee priests were refused entry to a Cardiff venue after a bouncer mistook them for a stag party in fancy dress. No, this isn't a rejected plotline from Father Ted. Honest. The seven Roman Catholic seminarians had reportedly gone to The City Arms to toast Father Peter McClaren's ordination when they were 'asked to move on.' But, assistant manager Matt Morgan said that they received a free round of drinks when the situation was explained. 'They were all dressed in their black and white clothes,' he said. Well, they would be, then being, you know, priests and all. 'The staff thought they were a stag. We do have quite a few issues on the weekends with parties wearing fancy dress so it is our policy to turn them away.' Father Michael Doyle, who knows the group, said the seven went to the pub in Quay Street to celebrate the ordination at Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint David in nearby Queen Street. He added that the pub was 'a favourite' of his colleagues including the Archbishop of Cardiff, George Stack. 'They arrived at The City Arms and they were dressed wearing the clerical collar,' he said. 'The doorman basically said something along the lines of, "sorry gents, we have a policy of no fancy dress and no stag dos."' The students had started to leave when they were approached by the bar manager. 'He basically said, "you're real, aren't you?,"' said Father Doyle. 'He invited them back in and when they walked back in the entire pub burst into a round of applause and they had a free round off The City Arms.' A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cardiff added: 'We'd like to thank The City Arms for being good sports through all of this and their kind gesture to our seminarians.'
EasyJet passengers were left stranded for two days on a Greek island after a relief flight was cancelled to protect a threatened turtle population. The flight from Zante to London Gatwick was cancelled on Sunday over 'technical issues,' which continued through Monday. The airline apologised but blamed the relief plane not reaching the airport on the island's night flight curfew. Night flights are prohibited on Zante as planes pass over a beach where loggerhead turtles nest. The curfew is in place on the island because the lights and noise can disturb the animals. About a quarter of passengers made it home on alternative flights, and the remaining passengers took off on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for EasyJet said: 'Engineers were immediately dispatched to Zante and believed that the technical issue was rectified [on Monday], however it then reoccurred before boarding which meant the flight could not operate. The safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority and we will only operate if it is safe to do so. We do all possible to try and minimise delays and as such planned to send a replacement aircraft. Unfortunately, due to the night curfew rule at the airport, we were unable to get the replacement aircraft into the airport [on Monday].' She added: 'Passengers have been provided with hotel accommodation and expenses in line with EU regulations and will also be entitled to compensation. We are very sorry for the delay and thank customers for their understanding.' The Turtles were also thanks and are now said to be happy together. Hey, come on, I'm working with limited material here ...
And finally, dear blog reader. Blimey, but Sir Chris has certainly changed a fair bit since he, you know, died.

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