Prince has died at 57 #RIP

Legendary pop star Prince has reportedly died at his studio in Minnesota, days after his private jet was forced to make an emergency landing due to the singer’s ill health. Minnesota police sparked speculation about the Purple Rain artist’s passing, tweeting that it was investigating a death at his Paisley Park estate.

Read more: Prince has died at 57 #RIP

Open Letter to @haberdasherytc via @marilonunez9 #TheatreMatters #LatAm #arts

Dear Members of the Haberdashery Theatre Company,

My name is Marilo Nuñez. I am an actor, producer, playwright and director from Ontario. I am writing to tell you why I think casting non-Latino/a actors in the roles of the three Latino/a characters in your production of Motherfucker With The Hat is doing more harm than good, to our theatre(s) and to our community. More harm than you may realize.

Firstly, you deny trained, professional Latino/a actors from performing in plays that feature Latino/a characters in the leading roles. Plays in this country usually do not feature “people like us” in main roles, and therefore opportunities to play leading characters are few and far between.

Secondly, what kind of example are you setting for younger generations of Latino/a artists who may be thinking about entering the theatre/film industry? That it is okay for non-Latino/a actors to portray Latino/a characters? You are inadvertently saying that Latino actors aren’t good enough, talented enough, or big enough names to be able to portray these characters.

We are living in a time in history where you can no longer ignore that there is a huge inequity in the theatre and film industry in this country. Canada’s colonial past can no longer be ignored and the number of people from other parts of the world is rapidly becoming the majority. We are still invisible, no longer the minority, but invisible nonetheless. Your actions definitely underline this invisibility. Just so you are aware, we, as actors of “colour” are never given the equal opportunities to be on Canadian stages as white actors and we are constantly relegated to playing secondary and mostly stereotypical characters. This practice does not make for an impressive example for young artists who want a chance to become actors in this country.

Read more: Open Letter to @haberdasherytc via @marilonunez9 #TheatreMatters #LatAm #arts

Tidal may be a revolution – for the rich recording artists #music #tidal #endthesuffering

Artists including Beyonce, Daft Punk, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Kanye West and Madonna recently joined Jay Z in New York to launch Tidal, his artist-owned streaming service.

Their two targets, poor audio fidelity and a loss of artist control, indicate a dissatisfaction with the way that consumers are treating music. The Tidal revolution hopes to convince consumers that music and creativity can be better in the age of digital streaming. Yet within a day of the announcement there has already been significant backlash.

The internet is awash with scepticism of Tidal’s revolutionary claims. Though judgement should be reserved for a year or two, first impressions don’t look good. For many music fans, Tidal presents an elitist call to reverse the more democratic music revolution of the early 2000s.

Whilst Tidal’s website places focus on music fidelity, its publicity has veered more towards a story of revolutionary social justice for the arts. Tidal is framed as streaming service owned by artists. Their videos subtly rail against the use of their music as something to encourage advertising revenue or the sale of a new gadget. This publicity implies that consumers are getting music wrong. They’re listening at too low a quality, they’re paying too low a price and they’re consuming in spaces owned by the wrong people. As a result the “sanctity” of music has been lost and creativity is under threat. 

Read more: Tidal may be a revolution – for the rich recording artists #music #tidal #endthesuffering

University lecturer plays students X-rated video of herself #art #sex

University drama students were stunned when their lecturer played them an X-rated video of performance theatre - showing her vagina. Lauren Barri-Holstein screened a clip of her production Splat!, which features graphic female nudity.

As part of the introductory presentation to her Theatre and its Others module at Queen Mary University of London, the actress and PhD student showed first-year students the explicit material.

The graphic clip was described by Ms Barri-Holstein as "feminist performance art concerned with the female body".

Read more: University lecturer plays students X-rated video of herself #art #sex

Longest Movie Ever Made Offers 72-Minute Trailer #movies

Most movies run somewhere between 1 ½ to 2 hours long. And most often, their concepts and content are sold to us in trailers that are 1 ½ to 2 minutes long. Let's say you made a movie that's projected running time is estimated to be 720 hours how could you possibly be expected to boil down the details of your opus in so few minutes? This may well have been the thought process behind the trailer above, which clocks in at 1 hour and 12 minutes. For a trailer.

The Film Stage tipped us to the trailer for Ambience, an experimental film that is the brainchild of Anders Weberg. The Swedish artist claims to be a very prolific director, reporting on the trailer's Vimeo page that he has made 300 films. However, he will bring his career as a moviemaker to a close with his 30-day long Ambience.

Read more: Longest Movie Ever Made Offers 72-Minute Trailer #movies

Mystery Of How The Egyptians Moved Pyramid Stones Solved #pyramids

Ancient Egyptians had to pull massive statues and pyramid stones weighing 2.5 tons on large sleds across the desert -- without any modern mechanical device. Now, new research shows how adding a small amount of water to sand significantly reduces the sliding friction -- a clever trick that allowed the Egyptians to cut the number of workers needed by half.

To make a good sandcastle, you don’t use dry sand. By adding water, the grains stick to each other, and your castle holds its shape. Same thing with sand transportation: Adding water reduces the sliding friction of any object moving over the sand. With the right amount of dampness, water droplets bind the sand grains together.

An international team led by Daniel Bonn from the University of Amsterdam tested the sliding friction of dry and wet sand by pulling a weighted sled across the surface in a tray. With dry sand, a heap would form in front of the sled, hindering its movement. And as they added water, both the force needed to pull the sled and the amount of friction decreased. As the water made the sand more rigid, the heaps got smaller and smaller until there was no obstacle forming in front of the moving sled.

Read more: Mystery Of How The Egyptians Moved Pyramid Stones Solved #pyramids

Toronto culture curator, Massoud Abbasi, launches his first novel, Seeker of Horizons #iran #toronto

Entrepreneur, philanthropist and now first-time author, Toronto’s Massoud Abbasi launches his first novel,Seeker of Horizons.

This semi-autobiographical work of fiction is based on a true story and depicts the struggle and perseverance of the author’s family, in particular his father, an Iranian journalist, as they fled war-torn Iran for Turkey in 1987 and finally Canada in 1989. This poignant story is a portrait of the tribulations of many immigrant families and their fight to maintain their identity and dignity within the greater struggle for hope and a better future.

The former Bay Street finance professional was inspired by the recent loss of his father last year and pays tribute to the sacrifices he made for his family.

Like so many who have had rough and turbulent childhoods, I have put on a mask to fit in and look normal for years. The moment I laid my father to rest I was overcome by a need to share his story, and mine. I wanted to reveal the incredible truth and remove the façade that many of us wear all our lives, to our detriment,’ says Massoud Abbasi.

Read more: Toronto culture curator, Massoud Abbasi, launches his first novel, Seeker of Horizons #iran #toronto

Don Cheadle Turns to Crowdfunding for Miles Davis Movie #crowdfunding #milesdavis

Don Cheadle has become the latest filmmaker to launch a crowdfunding campaign, seeking to raise $325,000 to support his Miles Davis biopic “Miles Ahead.”

Kristen Bell, Zach Braff and Spike Lee have all used Kickstarter campaigns to raise funds for their films, with Bell’s “Veronica Mars” setting a record at $5.7 million in donations.

“Most studios don’t make these kinds of movies anymore, so we are doing it independently,” Cheadle said. “I’m personally putting a big chunk of money into our budget as well as putting all my fees back in. But the extra money we hope to raise on Indiegogo will help us recreate the multiple time periods we’re dealing with and with the logistics of incorporating all the music.”

“Miles Ahead” marks Cheadle’s directorial debut. It had been called “Kill the Trumpet Player” when it was being sold to international territories at the American Film Market last year.

The Indiegogo campaign raised $11,535 — or 4% of its goal — as of 3 p.m. Wednesday with a July 10 deadline. Premiums offered include an array of posters, limited edition Miles Davis artwork, a coffee table book of Miles’ artwork signed by Don Cheadle, set visits and screenings. The top incentive is a $15,000 package that includes a visit to the Cincinnati set and an associate producer credit.

Read more: Don Cheadle Turns to Crowdfunding for Miles Davis Movie #crowdfunding #milesdavis

Embrace your inner superhero all Victoria Day Long Weekend! @superfancomicon

SuperFanComicCon launches this weekend and it will be an event you won’t want to miss as celebrities from all around the world come together to participate in special panels and autograph signings for the hardcore fandom community.

This brand new event will provide fans with a new means to celebrate their passions and embrace their personalities as fans, geeks, nerds, cosplayers, video gamers, wrestling fans Special attractions of the ComicCon include celebrity photo ops and autographing, Smash Wrestling show, cosplay costume contest, illustration panels, Batman and his Batmobile, superhero themed yoga classes, body art painting, the 501st Star Wars Brigade Legion, arcade games zone, and more!

Read more: Embrace your inner superhero all Victoria Day Long Weekend! @superfancomicon

DJ E-Z Rock of 'It Takes Two' Fame Dead at 46

Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock released their first single, "DJ Interview," in 1986, but the 46-year-old Bryce cemented himself into the hip-hop canon with 1988's iconic track "It Takes Two." Produced by Teddy Riley and built around a vocal sample from Lyn Collins' 1972 hit "Think (About It)," the song blended hip-hop with house music and became a nationwide hit, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Songs chart and helping to lift rap into the pop consciousness. The track would later be sampled by Snoop Dogg, Gang Starr, Girl Talk and South Korean girl group 2NE1, among many others, and has long become a pop culture staple, appearing in everything from the soundtrack to the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to a scene in Sandra Bullock's 2009 romantic comedy The Proposal.

Read more: DJ E-Z Rock of 'It Takes Two' Fame Dead at 46

A teenager became so obsessed with taking the perfect selfie he tried to kill himself when he failed to do it. #selfie

Danny Bowman, 19, spent 10 HOURS a day taking up to 200 snaps of himself on his iPhone.

He dropped out of school, didn’t leave his house in six months, lost two stone trying to make himself look better for the camera and became aggressive with his parents when they tried to stop him.

Finally, in a drastic attempt to escape his obsession, Danny took an overdose – but was saved by his mum Penny.

Now the lad, believed to be Britain’s first selfie addict, is battling back towards a normal life after intensive hospital therapy to treat his technology addiction, OCD and Body Dysmorphic Disorder – an excessive anxiety about personal appearance.

Danny says: “I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realised I couldn’t I wanted to die. I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life.”

But Danny is not some bizarre one-off case in a world where smartphone and social media obsession is spiralling upwards. The top psychiatrist at the clinic where Danny was treated revealed ­addiction to taking selfies is becoming so widespread it is now is a recognised mental illness.

“Danny’s case is particularly extreme,” said Dr David Veal who’s clinic has weaned the teen off his iPhone. “But this is a serious problem. It’s not a vanity issue. It’s a mental health one which has an extremely high suicide rate.”

Read more: A teenager became so obsessed with taking the perfect selfie he tried to kill himself when he...

6 British stereotypes about Americans

Most Brits have this image of what they think is a typical American: a flag-waving patriot with a burger in one hand and a gun in the other. It’s not far off to say that Homer Simpson and Stan Smith are our stereotypes of the ‘typical American.’

Here’s one British expat’s perspective on the reality of America, in comparison to the common stereotypes:

All Americans love McDonald’s.

Reality: We Brits mostly think of America as fast-food-centric. It’s true that chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s line most streets, but I’ve found American cuisine to be some of the most diverse and delicious around. From glammed-up gourmet burgers, to Mexican, Cuban, Lebanese, Thai, and many more, America offers wonderful foods from all over the globe.

That’s not even to mention the diversity of traditional ‘American’ foods, which differ in each and every state. From gumbo and jambalaya in the South, to seafood and chowder in the North, and many other specialties in between, American cuisine goes far beyond McDonald’s. Besides, doesn’t England have a McDonald’s on every corner too?

Read more: 6 British stereotypes about Americans

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