Review of the Broadway Play “Gigi”: “Gigi” the movie musical graduates from film to making its Broadway debut.

A Review of "Gigi" on Broadway

From the allure of football jackets, chalkboards, High school seniors and movie musical sequels, Vanessa Hudgens has graduated from “High School Musical” to Broadway in “Gigi.”

The 1958 movie musical “Gigi” won nine Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Costume, and Best Original Song. In others words, this 21st Century Broadway production – with the same name and what it is based on – has a lot to live up to. The show is highly entertaining with Hudgens in the lead role of Gigi, but the show does not elevate itself from beyond “just entertaining.”

Watching Hudgens in “Gigi” is like witnessing a freshman student in college: she learns, grows, be a little boring, and then grows some more. Unfortunately she does not quite graduate, but lucky for her she has some college seniors showing her the ropes.

“Gigi” takes place in the world of La Belle Epoque Paris, France. In this city, fashion, glamour, love, lust and passion conquers all. In this romantic comedy, Gigi is a young woman who goes on a journey to “find her true self and her true love.”

The lives of the Parisians are filled with romance and love, but also scandal, gossip, pursuits of marriage, and money, prestige, and property are held in high regard. Hudgens’ Gigi dislikes and is rebellious towards this way of life.

When we first meet Gigi she comes out chirping lack of understanding and not wanting to pursue the same as the happy Parisians which is love, etc. By the end of Act 1 Hugdens becomes a sophomore. The role of Gigi is supposed to be memorable, fun, and charming, this one is not.

Hudgens’ Gigi is indeed finding herself as a young 16 year old lady. But she complains about “The Parisians” in song, what she is really doing is projecting her own issues onto the far more captivating Parisians who are carrying the show.

Broadway alums such as Honoré Lachaille played by Howard McGillin of Broadway’s “The Phantom of the Opera”, and sisters Mamtia (Victoria Clark) – who is Gigi’s grandmother – and Aunt Alicia (Justin Prescott) Gigi’s Aunt, gets the audience invested and entertained in Act 1.

The luxurious sets and costumes and songs sung by Honoré: “Opening,” and “Paris Is Paris Again,” makes the audience fall in love with Paris. As well as Mamita and Aunt Alicia’s musical number “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” intrigues everyone. And Mamita and Honoré nostalgic song “I Remember It Well” is funny and ever so wonderful.

Gigi could do more but fails to connect to the audience. Gigi’s soon-to-be suitor Gaston, played by another Broadway alum Corey Scott, does not do much to be likeable, he is a little annoying. However, Gigi and Gaston’s saving grace is “The Night They Invented Champagne”. That song makes you want the bubbly wine and fall in love with Paris once again.

By Act 2 the show picks up and the college seniors really take control of this slow moving production. Aunt Alicia reprises the song “Thank Heaven For Little Girls” with gusto; Mamita and Honoré makes us nostalgic once again with “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore”; and Gaston actually makes us fall in love with him by singing “Gigi.”

As Gaston and Gigi’s love seemingly blossoms after their trip to the seaside and as the Parisian debutante grows into a young lady, the sub-plots are far more interesting and entertaining. Aunt Alicia is all about the money and the future of her niece. The brilliant musical number “The Contract” between Alicia, Mamita, and Gaston’s lawyers is captivating and it is a battle over property, money, value and love.

By the end, Gaston and Gigi learn to love and accept each other. In Act 1 the pair were like brother and sister, by Act 2 there is a fondness and a growing love, not a burning one. That is to say that Paris is the city of love not friendships.

“Gigi” the play is entertaining and it does well in transporting us back into a time that Paris is for love. And “The Gossips” sung by the Parisians in both acts are well worth it. But Hudgens’ Gigi is not the star, the rest of the cast are. The college seniors do a lot to build up the junior college student, they – the Broadway alums – have graduated and are returning teachers.

Unfortunately, Gigi needs another year or more to graduate. Or, she needs winter, spring and summer classes to graduate in a hurry.

(Gigi the movie, Gigi on Broadway)

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A Spotlight on HIV and AIDS: The Way Forward in Three Parts, Part 1

image(Facebook/HIV Stops With Me: Health and Wellness Website.)

The impact of HIV and AIDS affects everyone globally. They are many factors that causes the rate of global infection such as poverty, lack of access to proper health care, gender imbalance, culture, lack of access to education, oppressive political governments, and high unemployment, just to name a few factors.

This is to say that HIV and AIDS is a developmental and social disease.

Most people all over the world have either met, have been affected, or became a person living with the disease. This is a discourse on the impact of HIV and AIDS, and how the newest information and knowledge about contracting the disease and its origins should be part of the everyday dialogue.

In the first part of a three-part series related to HIV and AIDS and the way forward, we will be discussing the scientific origins, as well as various modes of transmitting the disease now.

It has been over 30 years since the first suspected case of HIV and AIDS. And last year July marked the 20th anniversary of the International AIDS Conference held in Melbourne, Australia. Both of these are milestones for HIV and AIDS awareness, so as a result it has brought the struggle, causes, and fight against this global disease into everyone’s cultural life.

While the disease was arguably discovered during the 1980s, there is new evidence to suggest that it was born and made its way from the African continent to the rest of the world 60 years earlier. A study – that was led by researchers Oliver Pybus of Oxford University, and Philippe Lemey of the University of Leuven in Belgium – have determined that the global disease came from Kinshasa, which is now called the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the 1920s.

How did the disease move from person to person, and how did it spread from an almost remote region like Kinshasa at the time? It was animals, bartering, and trains. According to Pybus and Lemey’s study the HIV-1 virus was a chimpanzee virus. This type of HIV-1 virus came in several varieties and existed in various genetic groups that were rare. The rare grouping is known as group M.

The researchers came up with two useful consequences for the evolution of the HIV-1 virus’ group M. Firstly, a family tree indicated the rate of genetic change at a reasonably constant state when the various branches diverged. Secondly, the virus’ genotype varied from location to location depending on where it first came from. It was the change in location that allowed Pybus and Lemey to track the origin in detail.

Animals, a migrating population, trains, and changing times were the reasons for the mode of transmission and the spread of infection. The virus did indeed jump from primates to humans through blood from monkeys; and, the trading of goods and services (some of those goods would have been monkeys, its meat and skin), a migrating populace, and the expansion of the Belgian railways would have contributed to the spread.

Also, the introduction of sex workers would have contributed to the transmission rate and the expansion of the virus. According to the researchers, it is because of sex workers and their demand by the 1940s more one million had traveled through Kinshasa every year by way of the railways.

With the introduction of Haitian professionals who came to the Congo to help after that region’s independence, those professionals would have brought it back to their country and to the U.S. It was by 1981 that U.S. doctors started to realize the existence of HIV. It was only by the 1990s with the introduction of anti-retrovial therapy that slowed down the spread of the disease.

In the 21st Century the rate has stabilized, but it appears to be highest among young people between the ages of 13 to 24, according to the Center for Disease Control. And they are 60 percent of those young people who are not aware that they are infected. Those infected have been identified as gay or bisexual.

How the disease is transmitted is something as simple as monogamy, using condoms or not using them, and sexual positions. They are seven ways that one can get HIV.

1. Monogamy is not 100 percent fool proof. Most people enter into a monogamous relationship thinking that the other person has not slept around. Or, that on their wedding night they should not use condoms. It is a safer bet to get yourselves both tested before you consummate the relationship or use condoms.

2. Lack of condom use could break both hearts. While some might think that not using condoms ruins the intimacy, it is better to protect yourself. Whether one is having fun on their vacation with their significant other or having fun with some one else, it is best to protect yourself or insist that they use one.

3. Drugs and alcohol affects everything. If one adds or mixes drugs and alcohol to one intimate night it impairs their judgment and throws his or her libido out of whack. In other words, one who is trying to manage their sexual experience is not helping themselves or any one else by limiting their thinking.

4. Just because you don’t ask that does not mean he/she has to tell you. One assumes that if a person is HIV+ that they would share their health status. This is not so. If you want a safe sexual experience you should protect yourself.

5. Sexual positions is not a deterrent in contracting the disease. It has been perceived that contracting the virus is through anal sex, or “bottoming” for sex in between men. Some men who are “tops” or “givers” assume that they could not contract the virus. This is a common misconception. Whether the person is “giving” or receiving” they are both at risk for contracting the virus. Both should protect themselves.

6. The invincibility complex is not fool proof. Some people who use most precautions and slip up one or more times, some think that they are not high risk. The truth is everyone is at risk.

7. Intravenous drug use is back on the rise. In southwestern Indiana there is a growing concern for IV drug use. The drug of choice is prescription medication, a painkiller called Opana.

At the moment they are 26 confirmed cases of HIV linked to Opana injection usage and a few linked to sexual transmission. This is considered the largest HIV outbreak.

Karyn Hascal, president of the Healing Place in Louisville, stated that injectable drugs such as “prescription pills and narcotics” are being abused now as much as they were in past.

(Latin Post, The Advocate, USA Today)

Starbucks, “I will have a virtual office with my tall coffee please.”

Starbucks

It’s 6:30 a.m. and you are on your way to work, but you need your coffee pick-me-up from the local Starbucks in your work area. As usual the line snakes out the door from the cashier to the entrance. The seating areas are usually empty at this time, but there is a group of “youngish” people huddled in a corner on their computers, tablets or using the slice bread size smart-phones, and feverishly typing, reading, and filled with concentration on their task at hand.

This is the Starbucks of the future whether regular customers, new customers want to accept or adapt to it like a new flavored coffee. The international coffee chain was not like this before. With the dawn of the 21st century a “day at the office” has transformed itself into a virtual office with the coffee chain as the impromptu space.

A Starbucks virtual office is made up of a fully functioning table, working electrical outlet, a friendly barista, access to a bathroom, all of the aforementioned electrical devices; the freelance writer/reporter, the under-grad or grad student, older or retired professionals, small business owners, job recruiters, job interviewers, job seekers, people in between jobs, and free internet access.

Starbucks
Starbucks

Starbucks – the 44 year old international coffee chain – is loved by most for its ambiance, delicious coffees, teas, and various frappuccinos. It used to be known for a place where people met and greeted friends, blind dates, where longtime friends caught up on last month’s activities, the odd professional, and students studying on a caffeine based plan.

Now, the millennials, the baby-boomer generation, and those within and beyond the 18-49 age demographic are using the global caffeine chain for more; this more includes business meetings, job and perspective college interviews, and for writing the next great American Fiction or Non-Fiction novel. It is this working professional generation that has caused the quiet local coffee shop to become a bustling place for people to “make business” and study.

But has the global chain changed with this ideology? Slightly. It has transformed most of their chains into a more modern and homely decor. The caffeine king has partnered with Google to bring free “Google Starbucks” WiFi to all of its customers. In some chains there is more seating, in others they have cleverly created small areas. And in some chains they are more electrical outlets.

The history and main goal of Starbucks has changed since its beginnings in Seattle, Washington. The world’s largest coffee chain started in 1971, but within almost two decades the company grew rapidly. Between 1987 and 2007 the coffee giant opened two stores a day. In 1996, the chain opened its first store outside the U.S. and Canada in Tokyo, Japan. By 2009, they had opened 900 stores in the U.S.

To date, Starbucks has over 20,000 stores in 64 countries and territories, which includes over 12,000 in the U.S., with 1,716  stores in China, 1,330 stores in Canada; in Japan they are 1,079 stores, and in the U.K. they have 808 stores. The coffee giant however has had its troubling years in 2008 and 2009.

With the amount of stores that Starbucks has there is a growing caffeine fix, and this means more people are flocking to the chain. More customers means more demands on the stores, and therefore more traffic means more people wanting to utilize their services and all it offers.

With this generation of customers that want a virtual space with their latte, it also means there is competition between those who want to drink coffee, have discourse, etc. versus those who are making business at Starbucks outlets. How does one manage it?

Better still, how does Starbucks even compensate for this unknown battle? They don’t. On the Starbucks Facebook page they are very few images of people solely on their computers or tablets. They are however more images of people: families, couples, and friends drinking various coffee blends.

In other words, the coffee giant is still targeting and encouraging the other group to enjoy, meet and greet, and have an enjoyable “cup of joe.” But they are not whipping up the professionals to have their coffee and virtual office space too.

Starbucks has been able to maintain and successfully hold on to its main purpose: that is provide a space for people to have and enjoy coffee with friends, etc. The new virtual office space is only an annex that helps people like the budding professionals and grad students to do business and study respectively.

The real winner is…everyone, more so Starbucks. A great deal of other coffee outlets offer the same services, free WiFi, with a nice ambiance, and great seating areas, but some don’t offer great tasting coffee and only fair WiFi.

One can have his or her virtual office space with their coffee at any international chain that is Starbucks.

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI): Eddie Redmayne Trades In Astrophysicist Genius For Transgender Legend; Will Derek Zoolander Walk Down A Real Fashion Show? He Did

Photo Collage Maker_TjWfu5

The 87th Oscar winner for Best Actor, Eddie Redmayne, is playing another real life role, this time it is a Danish transgender. For Redmanyne this is not the first time that he is playing a gender bending role.

Sometimes when a pop-culture character pops up in the real world it can be either a disappointment or simply epic. In this case it was epic to see the characters from the popular film “Zoolander,” Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander and Owen Wilson as Hansel walk down the Paris, France fashion runway.

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) is a weekly snapshot of news, some politics, health and science, technology and entertainment items and happenings going on that you may have missed in the deluge of reporting that goes on in the oceans of the 24/7 news cycle. Chaka 2nd Opinion gives it to you.

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Redmayne is playing another real life role. Redmayne starred as Stephen Hawking, the genius astrophysicist in “The Theory of Everything,” and a singer in “Les Miserables” – not necessarily in that order, and the 31 year old British Oscar winner is not slowing down in his newest autobiographical role in “The Danish Girl.”

“The Danish Girl” tells the story of a transgender actor and artist Lili Elbe. Elbe will be played by Redmayne. Elbe, along with her wife Gerda, were both Danish artists. In 1882, Elbe was born a man and known as Einar Mogens Wegener. (You can see Redmayne in the above picture.)

Movie magic. Redmayne will be reuniting with his “Les Miserable” director Tom Hopper; and just like “The Theory of Everything” and “Les Mes,” “The Danish Girl” is based off an adaptation of a book with the same name.

Redmayne’s change from wearing a suit to a dress is not the first time he has done it. In 2002, Redmayne played Viola in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of “Twelfth Night,” (pictured below). Redmayne is as charming as he is in films as he appears in real life.

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From an upcoming Oscar worthy performance by Redmayne to something funny happening at the Paris, France fashion show, “Zoolander.” At the closing of the Valentino fashion show two middle-aged men walked the runway, it was none other than Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), and Hansel (Owen Wilson). Zoolander and Hansel are the larger than life characters from the pop-culture hit “Zoolander.”

When in Rome do as the Romans do. Valentino’s fashion house is based in Rome, Italy, this is where “Zoolander 2” is currently filming as well. The tie-in worked nicely.

When the two fashionably and “really, really, good looking people,” actor/models, walked the runway a lot of people stood up in appreciation. Zoolander wore night butterflies brocade suit with a hand-embroidered overcoat and creeper shoes. And Hansel wore a silk continent print pajama suit with double cashmere overcoat and open sneakers.

The comedy duo also shared some video of themselves talking to Anna Wintour, and also gave the release date for “Zoolander 2,” it is coming out on Feb. 12, 2016.

(BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times)

Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiiler), and Hansel (Owen  Wilson), at the Valentino Fashion Show.
Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiiler), and Hansel (Owen Wilson), at the Valentino Fashion Show.

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI): ‘I Loves Harpo,’ Oprah Winfrey Says Goodbye to HARPO Studios, ‘Westworld’ And Minority Report’ TV Shows And The Cast Have Been Revealed, No ‘Wonder Woman’ Poster Effect With The Reveal Of ‘Super Girl’ TV Series

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In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)

The Chicago journalist turned talk show host and entertainment and network maven, that is Oprah Winfrey, says goodbye to her entertainment company Harpo Studios after 26 years.

Two popular films, “Westworld” and “Minority Report,” have been green-lighted and are ready for their TV series debut; both film-to-TV show adaptations have a who’s who of film and TV A-list actresses and actors.

Do you remember the failed “Wonder Woman” series that did not air because of its horrendous promotional photo and audience reactions to it? Another DC comic book-to-TV adaptation has learned their lesson. The new CBS “Super Girl” TV series has revealed its first look photo, and it appears to be nothing like that “Wonder Woman” failed and now shelved reboot TV show.

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) is a weekly snapshot of news, some politics, health and science, technology and entertainment items and happenings going on that you may have missed in the deluge of reporting that goes on in the oceans of the 24/7 news cycle. Chaka 2nd Opinion gives it to you.

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(Facebook/Oprah Winfrey)

What does the end of Harpo Studios mean? Goodbye Chicago, hello Hollywood, and job losses.

Harpo Studios, which was based in Chicago, has been operating and producing more than 800 hours of original programming for nearly 30 years. But Winfrey released a statement and mentioned in a interview that it was time for the company to “look ahead.” All of Harpo Studios’ content and programming will move over to Winfrey’s channel OWN.

In ‘Oprah Winfrey’ fashion she is optimistic and inspiring about the move.

“[Chicago has] been everything for me. I’ve spent more hours in this building than I have any other building on Earth,” Winfrey said. The former daytime talk show Queen and now entertainment business woman also added that the neighborhood where Harpo resided was filled with “hoes [prostitutes] and rats,” but now it is a great property and area.

“The time had come to downsize this part of the business and to move forward,” Winfrey said, “It will be sad to say goodbye, but I look ahead with such a knowing that what the future holds is even more than I can see.”

Downsizing is an understatement. The closing of Harpo Studios translates to 200 people without jobs, but they will be employed with the company until December of this year. The Harpo Studios building was sold since last year to a developer for approximately $32 million.

Location, location, location perhaps does matter in this case. Harpo Studios will be transitioning into OWN studios in Los Angeles. OWN has recently relocated into a new studio in West Hollywood, California.

Harpo Studios will be missed in Chicago because it made the neighborhood. In 2011, the city named the street outside Harpo Studios “Oprah Winfrey Way.”

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(Facebook/HBO)

While Harpo Studios will be going to OWN network, two popular science-fiction films “Westworld” and “Minority Report” will be making their debuts in TV formats this fall. Both TV shows will have an all star cast.

“Westworld” is based on a 1973 movie with the same name that starred Yul Brynner and directed by Michael Crichton, the writer and co-director of TV and film projects such as “ER” and “Jurassic Park.”

In “Westworld” it was set as a futuristic holiday resort where one could live out his/her fantasies in worlds of the Wild West that is “Westworld,” Roman times in “Romanworld,” and dine with knights and lords in “Midevalworld.” In the film it focused on “Westworld.”

In the 1973 version the robots went haywire, in the upcoming HBO TV mini-series, the automatons will also go haywire but to the point that they will be unable to distinguish between their robotic and human consciousness.

The TV series will have an all star cast with Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood in the lead roles. Also in the all star cast are Jeffrey Wright (“The Hunger Games” trilogy and “Angles in America”), Miranda Otto (“The War of the Worlds” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy”), along with Thandie Newton (“Beloved,” NBC’s “The Slap”), James Marsden (“X-Men” trilogy), and Ed Harris (“Snowpiercer”), just to name a few.

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(Facebook/Minority Report)

Speaking of an all-star cast, the “Minority Report” TV series will also have some talented actresses and actors. In Fox’s “Minority Report” – which will be produced by Steven Spielberg’s company Amblin Entertainment – takes place ten years after the end of “precrime” and “precogs program” in Washington, DC.

One of the twin precogs played by Stark Sands (“Inside Llewyn Davis”), who will be doing double duty as the twins, will be working with Meagan Good (“Anchorman 2,” “Think Like A Man,” and “Deception”). Good’s character Lara Vega is a detective who attempts to help Sands’ Dash to use his abilities. Dash will be trying to adjust to a normal life, but he is haunted by visions of murder.

Also joining the cast is Wilmer Valderama (“That 70’s Show”), he will be playing Good’s partner of sorts as Will Blake. Good’s Lara is planning a transfer so Valderama’s character will be working with her until the transfer is complete. Lara and Will are not expected to get along.

In the role of Agatha, the strongest of the three precogs, it will be played by Lauren Reagan (” They, “Unbreakable” and “Dead Silence”). Also joining the cast is Daniel London who played Wally the Caretaker in the original movie.

From science-fiction to super “shero”, the first look photos of CBS’ “Super Girl” TV series have been released. Thank goodness these photos are nothing like the failed “Wonder Woman” reboot TV series photos.

“Super Girl,” the Kryptonian, will star Melissa Benoist (“Glee”) in the title role, along with Calista Flockhart (“Ally McBeal” and “Brothers and Sisters”), and Mehcad Brooks (” True Blood” and “Doll House”).

In the photos below, Benoist is in full costume as Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin; the super heroic costume was designed by Academy award winner of costume design Colleen Atwood (“Chicago” and “Memoirs of a Geisha,” just to name a few). Atwood has also designed costumes for “Arrow” and “The Flash.”

In creating the Super Girl costume, Atwood says she wanted it to be nostalgic but have a “street style.”

(The Grio, Huffington Post, Designtrend.com, Variety, Deadline.com, Comic book.com)

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In Case You Missed It: The Ups And Downs Of Three Female Celebrities, And A Head Transplant Might Be Sooner Than You Think

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)

Three A-list female celebrities: Halle Berry, Rosie O’Donnell, and Jennifer Lawrence, are either coming back to TV this summer, facing divorce, or trying to squash on-set fighting rumors respectively. And one surgeon has found a way to complete a head transplant, this will happen in a few years however.

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) is a weekly snapshot of news, some politics, health and science, technology and entertainment items and happenings going on that you may have missed in the deluge of reporting that goes on in the oceans of the 24/7 news cycle. Chaka 2nd Opinion gives it to you.

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CBS Extant

(Facebook/Extant)

The crazy sounding science of head transplant is tame compared to the lives of these A-list celebrities. Halle Berry is returning to this summer’s TV mini-series “Extant” on CBS. The return date for Season Two’s “Extant,” a science-fiction show, is July 1.

In case you did not know, the show was a hit for CBS, and the first season followed Berry’s Molly Woods, an International Space and Exploration Administration (ISEA) astronaut, returning back to Earth after a 13-month solo mission. Molly lived with her husband Dr. John Woods (Goran Visnjic) and robotic son Ethan (Pierce Gagnon) on the Blue planet.

But Molly came back to Earth with a surprise, she was pregnant with a space baby. Molly, along with her son and husband, had to fight and successfully stop alien spores from landing on Earth that would eventually take over the human race.

The Season One finale left audiences with Molly’s alien offspring getting picked up by strangers on the highway, while Ethan had sacrificed his physical form by uploading his consciousness onto the internet.

Season 2, along with the show will be going through a revamp: the story is expected to focus on Molly tracking down her alien son who is threatening the human race. Camryn Manheim, who played Molly’s doctor and friend, along with Visnjic’s John will be coming back in limited episodes.

And Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be joining the cast as a mysterious stranger who will be helping Molly to stop the offspring from destroying the human race.

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Rosie O'Donnell

(Facebook/Official Rosie O’Donnell)

From a dramatic syfy TV series starring Academy award winner Berry, to the drama of Rosie O’Donnell’s second divorce. O’Donnell is a former “The View” co-host and Daytime Emmy winner of “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” O’Donnell first came to the “The View” in September 2006, then left in April 2007. And then she returned yet again in 2014 only to leave in February 2015.

The reason for O’Donnell’s departure, as she pointed out on the popular gab fest talk show in 2015, that it was related to her ongoing divorce from second wife Michelle Rounds.

Rounds and O’Donnell married in 2012, but they have now officially divorced. The divorce papers cite “an irretrievably broken relationship” for the breakup. O’Donnell’s representative Cindi Berger stated that they had broken up since November of last year.

O’Donnell also added that her reason for leaving “The View,” besides the stress of her divorce, was that her health was at risk, and she was worried about looking after her five children, four of which are teenagers. From 2004 to 2007 O’Donnell was married to Kelli Carpenter.

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The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1

(Facebook/Official The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1)

From Berry’s impending battle with an alien and O’Donnell’s divorce conflict, to the Jennifer Lawrence so called drama happening between her and David O’Russell.

O’Russell who has worked with Lawrence on two films – “American Hustle” and “Silver Linings Playbook” – are working together once again in their new movie “Joy.” It has been reported that the pair did not have much happiness for each other because they got into a heated argument.

The whole incident has exploded into the ether of the internet to the point that Lawrence took to social media to squash the rumors of the squabble. Lawrence posted a statement on Facebook that the rumors are false:

“Hey guys! It’s Jen! I know I don’t go on here a lot because I can barely work email but there’s been a terrible rumor going around the last 24 hours so I wanted to clear it up.” The Oscar winning actress also added that she and O’Russell are close friends.

“David O. Russell is one of my closest friends and we have an amazing collaborative working relationship. I adore this man and he does not deserve this tabloid malarkey. This movie is going great and I’m having a blast making it!”

From female A-list celebrities to loosing your head. Don’t loose your head over this story.

A head transplant has already been done but on animals. One doctor is claiming that he has found a way to successfully do the procedure on humans.

Before the human head transplant procedure the animals paved the way. In the 1950s, a Russian transplant pioneer Vladimir Demikhov was able to graft the heads of dogs on other dogs. And in the 1970s, Dr. Robert White was able to remove a head from one monkey to the body of another monkey.

While those experiments lead to breakthroughs and what one doctor is proposing, the head transplant of the monkey was not at all 100 percent successful. White’s monkey did not survive past nine days because of transplant “immunorejection.”

“Immunorejection” or transplant rejection occurs when the grafted tissue is not accepted by the recipient’s immune system, and this therefore destroys the transplanted tissue.

Sergio Canavero, a surgeon and director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy, believes it could be done in humans. Canavero first proposed the idea in 2013. Canavero stated that with the techniques used in Demikhov and White’s experiments he can fix it.

For White’s monkey head transplant the spinal cord was not attached to the transplanted head, so the monkey was paralyzed from the neck down, and it also needed artificial respiratory assistance to breathe.

In Canavero’s study, published in Surgery Neurological International, he cites a four step process to the human head transplant procedure. Firstly, the transplant head and the donor’s body has to be cooled, kept cold, in order to prevent slow cell death.

Secondly, the neck of both would have to be cut and the major blood vessels linked to tubes to deliver chemicals and nutrients.

Thirdly, the spinal cords would have to be severed with a clean cut as much as possible. In order to join the spinal cords, the cut area has to be flushed out with polyethylene glycol, then followed by several hours of injections of the same; this type of aforementioned chemical causes the fat in the cell membranes to mesh.

Fourthly, the blood vessels, muscles and skin would then have to be sutured into the area; then the patient would be induced into a coma for several weeks so as to prevent the patient from moving. During the comatose process, electrodes would be made to stimulate the spine with electricity in order to strengthen the new nerve connections.

In case of rejection, the patient would be given anti-rejection immunosuppressants.

(CNET.com, Entertainment Weekly, New York Daily News, Fox News.)

In Case You Missed It: A Bruce Lee Biopic Is Coming, One Fashion Critic Leaves Fashion Police, Google Is A Lot Bigger Than You Imagine

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)

A Bruce Lee biopic appears to be coming together; a fashion critic from the uber popular E! Network show “Fashion Police” has called it quits; and Google’s scope and size is appearing to be much larger than you think, but some people are not happy.

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) is a weekly snapshot of news, some politics, health and science, technology and entertainment items and happenings going on that you may have missed in the deluge of reporting that goes on in the oceans of the 24/7 news cycle. Chaka 2nd Opinion gives it to you.

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee is considered by many to be the most influential martial artiste of all time. Lee – a Chinese action film star and Hong Kong American – is about to get his day in the sun thanks to his family. Lee’s daughter Shannon, along with the family’s entertainment company Bruce Lee Entertainment, is partnering with “Last Vegas” producer Lawrence Grey to bring the biopic to the big screen.

This next chapter for the legendary martial artist would be the first film based on his life. But they are other projects in the works surrounding the legend that are in development and have already been released.

There is a TV series coming that will be helmed by Justin Lin, the “Fast and Furious” director. There is also a reality show that will be launched in China, and it will be run by “John Wick” producers Keanu Reeves and Stephen Hamel of Company Films. Also, they are a set of novels based on writings by Lee, and most recently there has been the successful mobile video game launch titled “Bruce Lee: Enter the Game,” which is available on iTunes and Google Play.

Shannon Lee and Grey are very excited about the biopic project coming to fruition. There is still no word on who will be playing the martial arts legend, and the release date for the film has not been announced either. Also behind the project is Ben Everard and veteran producer Janet Yang.

Shannon was only four when her father died at the age of 32. Shannon attests that her father was more than just a martial artist, action film star and filmmaker. She suggests that he was a philosopher and great teacher.

Lee became a house hold name because of his popular films such as “Way of the Dragon,” “Enter the Dragon” and “The Green Hornet” TV series. And he has created the martial arts style of Jeet Kune Do.

E! Network's Fashion Police cast 2015
E! Network’s Fashion Police cast 2015

From nun-chucks and fast fists to fashion and insults, that is the controversial departure of Kelly Osbourne from E! Channel’s hit show “Fashion Police.” There was more drama going on after the 87th Oscars than there was on the night of it. The reason for Osbourne’s sudden departure stemmed from fellow co-host Giuliana Rancic’s comments about Zendaya’s hair at the Oscars’ red carpet event.

Rancic stated, about Zendaya’s hair, that “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil and weed.” Osbourne has vehemently denied that she made the “weed” comment. Days after Rancic’s comments the whole affair got out of control.

Osbourne then took to Twitter to rant about her disgust and disapproval of Rancic’s comments stating: @KellyOsbourne “I DID NOT MAKE THE WEED COMENT. I DO NOT CONDONE RACISM SO AS A RSULT OF THIS IM SEREIOULSY QUESTIONONIG STAYING ON THE SHOW!” This was only one of the comments that Osbourne made on Twitter.

During that time, Zendaya released a statement via her Instagram calling the veteran Fashion Police co-host comments “disrespectful,” and that the aforementioned racist remarks were “largely stereotypical” and “outrageously offensive.” Then Rancic apologized on E! News. And, Osbourne seemed satisfied by the whole ordeal calling Rancic’s apology, via Twitter, “it takes a strong woman to apologize and an even stronger woman to forgive.”

But the damage was done. By Friday the E! Network announced that Osbourne will be pursuing other opportunities. Osbourne has been on the series for five years.

Google
Google

From a round house kick and beaded gowns, to the rise of Google which could eclipse both these news items as well as a neighborhood. Back in 1999, when Google Inc. arrived to Mountain View, California, they came bringing possibility, improvement to the area, job creation, and more of a Google presence. The search engine and scientific exploration company has definitely brought all of the above, but it has also brought a level of control and influence over the neighborhood.

Flash forward to now, Google is expanding and it wants to propose new headquarters. The expected structures will be that of canopy-like buildings. Designing these structures are the people that brought the fiery cauldron at the 2012 Olympics. Google’s current space and size in Mountain View is that of three Empire State buildings.

Here is the breakdown of the search engine’s size. The company currently has 200,000 employees; it has its own fleet of buses for employees going to and from the company; and Google owns and leases approximately 7.3 million square feet.

But one of the largest technology entities in the world wants more space. Mountain View, which is located 40 miles south of San Francisco, has a population of 80,000. The populace is apprehensive of Google’s growth. Google’s expanse has added to most if not all of the horrendous traffic that residents face now. One resident stated that they remembered when they could see the landscape years ago, now it is filled with buildings.

Another resident also stated that they have to schedule their doctor’s appointment around the time that the traffic is less congested.

The city fears being overrun. Politicians and local nature conservancy groups in the area are attempting to stop the expanse of what Google calls new housing units, but residents are adamant that this is the technology company’s way of advancement. With these 5,000 planned housing units, the residents fear that Google is planning on bringing in more employees and therefore more traffic.

Google’s plans for “Googleplex” has to go to a board and then voted on before the foundation is even dug up.

(Deadline, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly.)