Monthly Archive: February 2011

Oscar Winners Stare Bravely Ahead, Holding Their Oscars

It’s easier to look bravely into the future when you’re holding an Oscar in your hand.  Academy Award winners Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Melissa Leo and Colin Firth did just that last nigh

Two-Fisted Oscars for ‘The Fighter’

Melissa Leo and Christian Bale — mother and son in The Fighter — have swept the supporting actor awards at the 2011 Oscars. 

James Franco, Oscar Host

Host — and Best Actor nominee — James Franco has provided plenty of good stuff for fans of Oscar night, thanks to his embrace of a new Twitter account and his lively Facebook page:

Colin Firth Biography (With Photos!)

Colin Firth is our odds-on favorite to win the best actor Oscar tonight. Because “60% of the Academy will be voting for him because they’re still in love with the big lug as Mr.

Madame Tussauds Has a Presidents Gallery

The Washington, D.C. branch of the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum franchise has just come out with an exhibit in honor of all the presidents of the United States.Imagine the thrill of seeing a lifelike politician for the first time.They even gathered them all in one spot for a photo shoot, which you can see here (and there’s rock music, so it won’t be boring).

Anne Hathaway and James Franco Host the Oscars (Plus Predictions!)

It took three views to figure out that James Franco shouts “wardrobe malfunction!” as he tackles Anne Hathaway at 0:21. But no problem: I’m there. I like both actors and I like how game they are in this promo. If you can’t get up for hosting the Oscars, why are you in showbiz?Let’s get right to the predictions for the Big Five Oscars of 2011 (well, 2010):

Whither Pick Withers?

Enid Blyton… Kate Middleton… Jacki Weaver… it’s Commonwealth Weekend here at Who2. 

Kate Middleton Prepares to Launch

You don’t think the Royal Family starts you out bashing a bottle on a new aircraft carrier in downtown London, do you?

Add Another Enid Blyton Novel to the Pile

It looks as if there is such a thing as an unpublished novel by Enid Blyton.
You wouldn’t think so, given that Blyton supposedly published nearly 800 books. Enid Blyton wrote the successful series of books about The Famous Five, as well as the Noddy series of books for younger children. She also wrote several other series, articles, poems, short stories and picture books. Blyton became one of Britain’s best-loved authors. She died in 1968.

Here’s Miss France Kissing a Pig

Miss France 2011, Laury Thilleman, kisses a pig at the International Agricultural Fair at the Porte de Versailles in Paris today. The man is unidentified, as is the pig.

The History of George Washington’s Birthday

Today is the 279th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. He was born on this day in 1732 in Virginia. Or was he?
Well, not exactly. He was born 11 February 1731. At the time the colonies were using the Julian calendar. When Britain and its colonies switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, George Washington’s birthday became 22 February 1732.

How Google Feels About Gaddafi

Heh!  Check out the ad that Google AdSense is placing next to our new biography of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi:Maybe that’s how he collects all those female bodyguards.

Muammar Gaddafi Biography (New!)

We’ve just posted a new biography of Muammar Gaddafi. It’s a bit shocking we didn’t have the Libyan leader already. 

Corbin Bleu, Where Are You, You’re 22!

Yes, today is President’s Day, so you may have been too lost in celebrating the careers of George Washington and Abe Lincoln and Bill Clinton to remember that today is also the birthday of High School Musical star Corbin Bleu.
Remember Corbin Bleu? He’s the dude with the fancy ‘fro who’s NOT Zac Efron.Here is is, all growed up:

You’re a Vandal, Charlie Brown!

The graffiti artist Banksy messed with comic icon Charlie Brown this weekend in Los Angeles. This little slice of subversion was painted on the wall of a derelict building near Sunset Boulevard.

Irina Shayk Biography (With Photos)

Irina Shayk was everywhere this week after making the cover of the 2011 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. We’ve posted a new biography of Irina Shayk, and here’s what we know so far:

Bill Cosby is Back in the Navy

Comedian Bill Cosby was made an honorary chief petty officer by the U.S. Navy this week.

How Tall is Jacki Weaver?

Jacki Weaver is 4’9″ tall.  We just did the research.The Australian actress and Oscar nominee is clearly a bit on the short side. In the gangster film Animal Kingdom she plays a crime boss so tiny she’s nicknamed “Smurf.”

Dale Earnardt, R.I.P.

Racing great Dale Earnhardt died ten years ago today, in the final lap of the Daytona 500.
“The Intimidator” had been racing at Daytona for a quarter of a century. In the race in 2001, Earnhardt was holding off challengers to his teammate, Michael Waltrip, who ended up winning the race.
Here’s a video that captures the moment:

Watson vs. Humans: How’d We Do?

How did we do with our predictions last week about the big Watson vs. Humans showdown on Jeopardy?  Let’s look.

Paris Hilton Turns 30 Today

Happy birthday to one-time internet favorite Paris Hilton!
Paris Hilton is 30 years old today. Our little girl has grown up!
You know you’ll want to read USA Today’s “Paris Hilton Turns 30 With Animals and a Snazzy Car” — that headline really sucks in the reader.

Where’s Buzz? At the Berlin Film Festival!

Hero astronaut Buzz Aldrin and his wife, Lois Aldrin, pose with Alain Visser, a vice president for Opel, on Monday night. They were at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) – Cinema for Peace Gala, held at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, Germany.

J.D. Salinger, War Hero

Something I didn’t know about J.D. Salinger: It’s hard to think of an American writer who had more combat
experience. He landed on Utah Beach on D-Day. Slawenski reports that of
the 3,080 members of Salinger’s regiment who landed with him on June 6,
1944, only 1,130 survived three weeks later.

Wayne Rooney’s Unbelievable Goal

[ Update: original clean video now replaced with muddier video from YouTube. Registration is required to see video on the Man U. site, otherwise we’d send you there. ] Wayne …..

Richard Dreyfuss Does the Right Thing

Here’s something you don’t see every day: someone in the political arena admitting that what they said was wrong:

Hosni Mubarak Has Resigned

Protestors in Egypt have erupted in celebration:  President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down.Here’s a live feed from Tahrir Square in Cairo:

Who Does Elena Kagan Look Like?

Earlier we proposed Burt Reynolds to star as Antonin Scalia in a TV movie about the tea party.That got us thinking about who would play the other justices.  Now we see that the people at AboveTheLaw have already held a lookalike contest for Justice Elena Kagan.

Burt Reynolds Is 75 and Just the Right Age to Play Antonin Scalia

Seventies superstud Burt Reynolds turns 75 years old today.  He was born in Lansing, Michigan on this day in 1936. (Exactly one month before the birth of Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. Reynolds could play Scalia in a film about the rise of the Tea Party, couldn’t he? Maybe in Jack Horner mode?)

Watson vs. Humans: A Jeopardy Champ’s View

As an olde-time Jeopardy champ, I have a few choice thoughts on next week’s big contest pitting IBM’s computer Watson against two humans, former champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.I am also ready to predict the winner.Let’s get to the thoughts. 

Happy 30th Deathday, Bill Haley!

Wow: It’s been 30 years since the death of Bill Haley, Mr. Rock-Around-the-Clock himself.  Haley was only 55 when he died of a brain tumor (or a heart attack, depending on who’s talking) in 1981.

Happy Birthday, John Williams!

Today is the birthday of composer John Williams of movie soundtrack fame. He turns 79.
Millions of people — maybe billions of people — have heard the music of John Williams, whose first movie score was for 1960s Because They’re Young.
During the 1970s, we learned to love Williams for the music in big disaster movies such as The Towering Inferno, Earthquake and The Poseidon Adventure.

Killjoy Mayor to Detroit: ‘No Robocop Statue’

“If I were mayor of Detroit, my top priority would be a RoboCop statue.”So says one angry commenter, reacting to Mayor Dave Bing’s announcement that there will be no Robocop statue in Detroit.  It’s probably a good thing that said commenter is not mayor of Detroit

Warren Beatty Really Likes His Beige Suit

Here’s Warren Beatty with his nominee wife, Annette Bening, at the Oscar lunch yesterday — she in a lovely black dress, he in a simple beige suit.

King Hussein, the Ham Radio Operator Known As JY-1

Jordan’s King Hussein died on this day in 1999, after being in power for 47 years.
King Hussein was proclaimed King of Jordan in 1952, and only 18 when he took the throne in 1953. He died of cancer at the age of 63.
King Hussein was an amateur radio enthusiast. As a ham radio operator, King Hussein was known as JY-1.

Eat Your Heart Out, Captain Hook

A resiliant Aron Ralston gets a laugh out of his missing right arm at the Australian premier of the movie 127 Hours on Monday night. The film stars James Franco …..

Gary Trudeau on War and Cartooning

“In the Sixties, everybody theoretically had skin in the [war] game — anybody,
theoretically, could be drafted. Now we’ve emotionally outsourced the
war.”Gary Trudeau talks to Chip Kidd about Doonesbury, cartooning, and his strips about Gulf War veterans.

Donald Rumsfeld’s New Book is Not Exactly Filled With Regrets

“The tedious, self-serving volume is filled with efforts
to blame others… It is a book that
suffers from many of the same flaws that led the administration into
what George Packer of The New Yorker has called “a needlessly deadly”
undertaking — that is, cherry-picked data, unexamined assumptions and an
unwillingness to re-examine past decisions.”

Ian Fleming Meets Raymond Chandler

Fans of thriller writers Ian Fleming (James Bond) and Raymond Chandler should enjoy this 1958 recording from the BBC.

Farrah Fawcett’s Swimsuit to the Smithsonian

The swimsuit worn by actress Farrah Fawcett in her famous 1976 poster is being donated to the Smithsonian Institute by her former husband, Ryan O’Neal.

Punxsutawney Phil 2011: No Shadow

Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning.  That means an early spring, if you believe in a groundhog’s ability to predict the weather.

Mary Shelley +160 Years

The mother of Frankenstein died 160 years ago today.It’s been closer to 200 years since she first published Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus in 1818.

Egyptian News Lead of the Day

“Having Mohamed ElBaradei atop a million-person revolution is not unlike
having the head of your school’s debate club quarterbacking the varsity
football team in the state championships.”

Black History Month Biography: Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington and guests, about 1906. Washington is front row, center, with the watch chain. Booker T. Washington is our first featured biography for Black History Month 2011.