AskMen Ranks the Top 99 Most Desirable Women


AskMen.com may very well be the Cosmopolitan for the male species since it’s the world’s number one lifestyle site for men.   AskMen.com provides articles on topics such as fashion, health&sports, dating, money and much more.  AskMen has the widest reach, attracting 20 million unique visitors worldwide.  AskMen gives men the answers they’re seeking and lets them connect with like-minded gentlemen.

A staple of AskMen is a special list called the Top 99 Most Desirable Women.  Now on its 11th year, this list serves as a quick overview of what the AskMen readers find most appealing in today’s hottest female celebrities based on character, beauty, talent, intelligence and other attributes.

So what does this year’s list say about this generation of men?

“With more than a third of the women on this year’s list being first time honorees, it is clear men are intrigued by women who are new on the scene,” stated James Bassil, AskMen’s editor-in-chief.

Who was selected as this year’s number one most desirable woman?  AskMen readers cast their votes and proudly declared Colombian actress Sofia Vergara as the most desirable woman of 2012.

Photo credit to stylefrizz.com

Vergara currently stars on the hit ABC series “Modern Family” as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, a role which has earned her two Golden Globe nominations, two Emmy nominations, and a SAG award.

To learn more about AskMen, do a LIKE on their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.

Great Performances Presents Tony Bennett: Duets II


With over 100 albums recorded and as the winner of fifteen Grammy Awards,  it’s no wonder legendary artist Tony Bennett has become a household name.  Bennett has performed for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama.  Bennett was honored with the United Nations Humanitarian Award and with the Martin Luther King Salute to Greatness Award.

Bennett’s music has captured the hearts of America for seven decades.  His latest album, Duets II, took more than six months to record and was recorded in studios around the world.  When the CD was released in September of 2011, it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.  This was the first album from Bennett to reach number-one status.  It also rose to the top ten on music charts in the UK, Portugal, Poland, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, among other places.

A follow-up to his Grammy Award-winning album, Duets (released in 2006), Duets II brings together a whole new line-up of artists who collaborated with the crooner and brings new life to old favorites such as “The Lady is a Tramp”, “It Had To Be You” “Blue Velvet” and “Body and Soul.”

The list of seventeen collaborators include artists such as Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Amy Winehouse, Carrie Underwood, Josh Groban, Natalie Cole and more.  Duets II has been nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.”

In honor of Bennett and the beauty of his music, THIRTEEN for WNET will be premiering an episode of Great Performances to showcase the album in its entirety.  Oscar-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe (“Chicago”, “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Collateral”) filmed Duets II behind-the-scenes giving viewers a personal look into how Bennett creates the magic and art of each of his songs and performances.

PBS aired this special on Friday, January 27th at 9pm, but select PBS stations will be re-airing it.  Check here to view your local listings and see when Great Performances airs for you.  Whether you’re new to the world of Tony Bennett or you’re a long-time fan, this album is worth checking out.  You can preview the songs from Duets II and buy the album from  Amazon.com.  Check out the photos of Bennett and some of his musical partners below.  You can also check out the short preview of the program here and to view an interview with Tony Bennett take a look at YouTube.  To learn more about Great Performances and other programming, LIKE the PBS Facebook Fanpage and follow their Twitter.

In the studio with guest artist Andrea Bocelli

Mr. Bennett with the late Amy Winehouse

Pop sensation Lady Gaga joined Bennett in studio

Norah Jones joined Bennett on the track "Speak Low"

Bill Douglas, the Visionary Author


Author Bill Douglas has been called a visionary by many because his electrifying novels have a way of coming true.  Bill is aware of his gift, and in his soon-to-be-released autobiography, “A Call to Duty – Miracles DO Happen!”, he opens up and shares the details of this ability which is common in his family.  The Douglas family are descendants of a clan from the highest of the Scottish Highlands.  This clan is known throughout the country for having “the second sight”, or involuntarily predicting events of the future.

His first novel, “2012: The Awakening” was a work in progress for five years.  Check out this summary of the book and see why it has since been rated Best Fiction of the Year by Spiritual Enlightenment Magazine.

“When a global human awakening shakes the very foundations of powers that have ruled the worlds for eons, unlikely heroes struggle to find a new way to survive. The lives of a bookish heroine, a burned-out Naval Intelligence Officer, and a deadly covert operations’ professional become entwined in a riveting thriller that unravels threads of the ancient beginnings of human consciousness.  Their struggle parallels that of everyone on the planet today.  Douglas expertly weaves current global issues in an ageless story that blends history, science, socio-politics and spirituality; thrusting the reader into pulse-pounding excitement on a roller-coaster ride of twists, turns and intrigue that leaves readers breathless, riveted and reeling!”

Only a year after the release of “2012”, Douglas released his second novel entitled “A Conspiracy of Spirits – Wall Street vs. The 99%“, another novel that was also a work in progress for many years before the current events of today’s world.   Below is a summary of this thriller.

“This fascinating story is about two people living in different parts of the country who are besieged by visions of the Arctic; one a corporate ladder-climber in southern California who wakes up in the middle of the night to find himself naked in his backyard, compelled to write down the feelings that are tearing his heart and mind apart.   The other is fifteen hundred miles away – the nine year-old daughter of illegal Mexican immigrants who is plagued by cataclysmic visions of polar bears.

Simultaneously, an elderly Chinese woman living in Kansas is shocked by violent visions of a young girl and a man connected in the vast web of life and this web has been disturbed by a crime of such proportion that its perpetrators have the blood of nations on their hands.  She is powerless to do anything but watch as the chaos from the crime tears at life’s fabric, leaving the two strangers’ lives shattered in its wake.  Their survival is entwined with the fate of us all.  The question is – will they make it?  Will we?

 The breakneck pacing of this latest thriller proves to be yet another white-knuckle ride, taking readers deep into our political system and environmental and economic justice issues, with characters who struggle to do what is right rather than what is habit.

So begins . . . a conspiracy of spirits.”

You can learn more about Bill Douglas by subscribing to his Facebook.

Bill Douglas is also known as the founder of World Healing Day and if you go to this Facebook page of his and do a LIKE, if you like what you see and read.

Here is an intro video to Douglas’ “World Healing Day Documentary.”  Within this video clip Douglas mentions 2012 so spend the eight minutes to view the sublimities within this intro clip.

If you have read any of these books, please share your comments with us.

ROAR: You Will Be Heard



Christmas is the time to be giving, but one man wants to make sure it’s possible to give all year long.  Matt McKee is the founder and owner of ROAR, a digital development group that creates mobile apps for non-profit organizations.  These apps can be designed for the iPad, the iPhone and Android devices.

During the month of December, ROAR is giving away free apps for one thousand churches and non-profit organizations.  Each app will be developed individually, offering features such as the ability to download sermons from their favorite church, donate money, make prayer requests and more.  ROAR develops programs that allow access to audio and/or video podcasts of services, workshops or classes. Live video feeds are also available, as well as photo sharing.

McKee believes that some church administrators may feel intimidated by the prospect of working with a mobile app to help keep members connected.  “You don’t need any development experience to run the app.  ROAR takes care of all the heavy lifting for you,” McKee says.  “All you have to do is input the content into our content management system and sit back. We take care of the rest.”

Churches or other organizations can use ROAR to provide relationship-building tools like event calendars, links, location listings and mailing lists for their parishioners.  With ROAR, church members are more easily able to connect with one another and feel like part of a close community.  For those who would like to purchase a ROAR app, the design of the application can cost up to $2000.

McKee has served as a pastor for students and children, and he is passionate about serving through the church.  “I love making a difference,” McKee says. “I am an entrepreneur and I believe creativity is a gift God means us to share with others.”

To learn more about ROAR, visit their website.  You can also learn more by becoming a fan on Facebook and following the company on Twitter.

Mad Max Renegade Short Film


Flor Siqueiros and I went to the CAP Theater for the Los Angeles premiere of the  “Mad Max Renegade” short written, directed and edited by Paul C. Miller who is a friend of ours as well as a FILMLOOK client.  In fact, Paul has been a FILMLOOK client for many years and had us do the color correction on this short and we love his work.

The lead actor on “Mad Max Renegade” brought the idea to Paul since the lead actor wanted to be the actor on the next “Road Warrior.” “Mad Max Renegade” is a wonderful blend of keeping with the original characters and story and also elaborating on future adventures.

Another key factor to Paul creating “Mad Max Renegade” is one special car.  Paul bought a 1973 Australian Ford Falcon, from Australia, and spent 3 years building it up into a replica of the Mad Max Interceptor. It features an on/off blower, just like in the original film, an authentic Australian Police Siren, side pipes, custom front, roof and trunk spoilers and fender flairs.

Paul wrote “Mad Max Renegade” in hopes of showcasing the car and also as an homage to George Miller, the director of “Mad Max” and “The Road Warrior.”  Miller’s films inspired Paul to become a director himself.  The script sat on the shelf for a year until actor Liam Fountain contacted Paul with the desire to play Mad Max in a short film.  The film was shot in the Mojave Desert over a span of a year and a half.  Countless hours of time were dedicated by the crew in the creation of this fan film.

In addition to a screening of Paul’s film, there were a few other surprises at the CAP for us.  Vernon George Wells, who played Wez in “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior”, and his manager were in the audience.

Wells originally started his career in entertainment in Australia (his home country) as a singer in a rock band before moving on to theatre and small parts in television shows. Originally discovered by director George Miller’s girlfriend, Miller pulled Wells in for an interview after hearing the critically acclaimed reviews from Wells’ theater acting.  Shortly after, he cast him in “The Road Warrior.”

Wells is a character actor, and producers and directors love his laugh. Let me just say…his evil laugh was chilling.  Wells admitted to us though that when he was first starting out in the beginning of his career, he couldn’t figure out how to play himself.  Director George Miller placed all of the actors in a room and had them all write up their bios which covered their life from youth up to their casting in “The Road Warrior.”  Wells believes that this, along with many other qualities, makes Miller an amazing director.  Wells states that his personal favorite characters he’s ever played are his roles of Plughead in “Circuitry Man”, a film directed by Steven Lovy about an Earth that’s become a wasteland, a bodyguard smuggling a caseful of narcotic brain chips, and a psychotic chip dealer called Plughead who wants all the chips for himself.   His other favorite role was that of Beckett in “King of the Ants”, a thriller film directed by Stuart Gordon about a handyman and an electrician who meet up with a corrupt constructor to take on the job of stalking and killing one of the most esteemed men in the city.

The last segment in this two-hour program Jared, the event coordinator, premiered a riveting traiiler of Wasteland Weekend. So what is wasteland weekend?  Wasteland Weekend is an event that launched in 2010 and is a time where mad max fans replicate the mad max lifestyle since the first Mad Max film was released in 1979.  Fan events have been popping up in all sorts of countries except for America, but one man decided to change that all in 2004.  Over the last seven years, event director Karol Bartoszynski has organized events such as Roadwar USA and other Roadwar events across the country.  Then, in 2010, after the success of an event called Road Warrior Weekend in 2009, Bartosynski and a man named Jim Howard assembled a team of Mad Max fans to create Wasteland Weekend.

Wasteland Weekend 2011 attracted nearly 700 to the event site.  The high-energy, heart-throbbing sinister musical event features entertainment, costumes, events, and live music all provided by fans of the Mad Max series.  We got to see a short documentary covering Wasteland Weekend 2011, but it’s not posted to the website just yet.  You can take a look at the website here, and you can watch media coverage of last year’s event below.

The hope of the “Mad Max Renegade” team is that the film will be accepted into the 2012 ComicCon Fan Film Festival.  To learn more about “Mad Max Renegade”, check out the website here.  If you want to become a “Mad Max Renegade” fan go to Facebook and do a LIKE.

Leeza Gibbons – “Caregiver Confessions”


As many of us know Leeza Gibbons has recently talked about her struggles with caring for her mom. Her mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s more than a decade ago. With Gibbons personal experience of the caregiver’s journey it was no surprise when she partnered with Caring.com to create an online video series. The online video series entitled “Caregivers Confessions” is a 13-part series that covers a variety of topics such as how to keep your family together during difficult times after a loved one is diagnosed and how to deal with the guilt many caregivers feel. To relate with her viewers, Gibbons reveals her own personal journey with her mother, delivering her own insights and expertise to the series.

“The truth is, ALL caregivers sometimes feel afraid, overwhelmed, resentful, angry, and more,” Gibbons says. “There’s just not a safe place to confess those feelings. That’s why I wanted to create this video diary of my own caregiving journey to share what I learned. With Caring.com, we have a chance to support caregivers by acknowledging what’s real, so we can help them be ready.”

Results from a recent study by Caring.com indicate that caregivers rate the emotional stress of caring for a loved one twice as high as the physical or financial stresses.  The survey also revealed that caregivers’ own health is impacted, with about 24% suffering from depression.

In addition to “Caregiver Confessions”, Caring.com also offers Steps & Stages, the first-ever interactive guide and support system to deliver specific, stage-appropriate advice for those caring for a loved one suffering from forms of dementia.

“The Caregiver Confessions series is one of the most important introductions to the site since we launched,” said Andy Cohen, CEO of Caring.com. “Leeza is an amazing person and her knowledge, combined with her unique talents in telling a story and connecting with others, helps make this video series vital viewing for all caregivers.”

Gibbons has advocated for caregivers for years, and her book Take Your Oxygen First: Protecting Your Health and Happiness While Caring for a Loved One With Memory Loss tells the story of her family’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease after her mother’s diagnosis. She also created Leeza’s Place, a resource that provides free support services and programs for family caregivers whose loved ones have a memory disorder or any chronic and/or progressive illness.

The series can be watched at http://www.caring.com/articles/caregiver-confessions
.

Take the time to share this with anyone you know who is on this path with a loved one.

The Hollywood Legends Collection


The Hollywood Legends Collection is valued at more than $10 million and is now up for sale. The proceeds from the sale will benefit two charities, The Giving Back Fund and Americana Dance Theatre.

Bette Davis called the collection “a sumptuous treat…a glorious collection…so vast and so very complete.” Joan Crawford found it to be a “totally impressive collection of movie treasures…Thank God someone had the sense to save all these wonderful memories.”

The Hollywood Legends Collection is a one of the world’s largest private collections of American cinematic history from the infancy of the silent film era to the modern age. For three decades, former costume professional John LeBold http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1895424/combined and his collection traveled to every continent of the world.  The collection has been on display at several museums and venues in the U.S., and it has also been used to raise money for a variety of causes and charities. Take a look at this video clip to see some of the items in this one-of-a-kind collection.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmvoij_hollywood-legends-collection_news

This collection of Hollywood treasures includes pieces such as Vivien Leigh’s green velvet “drapery dress” from Gone With The Wind, Judy Garland’s blue checkered pinafore and white blouse from The Wizard of Oz, Marilyn Monroe’s gold lamé gown from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Humphrey Bogart’s blue pinstripe lucky suit from The Maltese Falcon, Bob Hope’s cream and gold wool jacket from Road to Morocco and Yul Brynner’s red brocade slippers from The King and I.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can view a portion of the collection on exhibit at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  For those of you who aren’t local, check out the pictures below for a taste, and visit www.HollywoodLegendsCollection.org.

And Then Something Startling Happens


For those of you who are writers, what do you think is the most important part of telling a story?  Is it having compelling characters?  Is it setting the story in an interesting location?  Todd Klick seems to think that it’s all about the pacing, and we agree with him.

As a screenwriter and a film fanatic himself, Klick has written and delivered one of the most useful tool a writer can pick up.  Aimed toward screenwriters but beneficial for any fictional writer, Something Starling Happens: The 120 Story Beats Every Writer Needs To Know is a dive right into the world of storytelling and how it can go from flat to fabulous.

In Something Startling Happens, Klick breaks down over 300 movies into the standard beats, explaining to his readers how they all use the same minute-by-minute blueprint.  It doesn’t matter if the movie is “Juno” or if it’s “The GodFather”, they all use the same pattern in their storytelling.

Currently sitting at a 5 star rating on Amazon, many other writers seem to agree that Klick’s book is just the ticket to kickstart your writing.  Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, there’s something for everyone in Something Startling Happens.

To get a taste of the kind of advice Klick offers, you can check out his website www.writerwrench.com  Writer Wrench is designed to consolidate all of the best tips for writing into one convenient location.  According to Klick himself, Writer Wrench offers a decade’s worth of collected links to share.

Klick currently is the Vice President and Directory of Story Development for White Oak Films.  He has recently signed a deal with the Hallmark Channel, and four of his screenplays are currently optioned.  Be sure to become a fan of the book on their Facebook page and follow Todd Klick on Twitter.

A Mother’s Memorial: The Sherry Wolf Collection


Designer Sherry Wolf has been a favorite among the fashion-forward world for her line of unique and practical handbags.  Each of Sherry’s collections of handbags are innovative and fresh, sought after by not only Hollywood celebrities, but stores like Bloomingdales, Nordstorms and Henri Bendel’s.

However, tragedy struck for the artist on Christmas Eve of 2009.  Wolf’s daughter, Chelsea Rae Propper was a vivacious young woman, living her dream in New York City.  On Christmas Eve 2009, the 22-year-old was out at a night club with several of her friends when someone spiked her drink.  Chelsea had a fatal reaction to the drug placed in her drink and her life was cut short.  The incident haunts Wolf every day, causing her to pause in her work for years.

One day though Wolf found the strength to carry on.  Recently she has relaunched her collection of handbags with a new purpose, the purpose of preserving the memory of her daughter.  Wolf hopes the revival of her handbag line will serve to raise awareness about date-rape drug tragedies and keep her daughter’s spirit alive.  In honor of Chelsea, Wolf dedicates one handbag from each collection to her and donates the profit of sales to Bereaved Parents of the USA.  Bereaved Parents is an organization dedicated to helping parents and families living with the loss of a child.

You can check out some pictures from the Sherry Wolf collections, and be sure to visit her website at www.sherrywolf.com.

Harper’s Bazaar: Greatest Hits


Originally printed in 1867, Harper’s Bazaar is the longest-running fashion magazine in America. Over the last decade, Editor-in-Chief Glenda Bailey has revolutionized the fashion world, providing Harper’s Bazaar readers with quality images and quality content.

On September 1st of 2011, Bailey published Harper’s Bazaar: Greatest Hits. This art book highlights the vision of Bailey and with section titles like “A Dash of Daring”, “Bold and Bright” and “Astonish Me!”, Bailey chronicles the magazine’s most memorable moments from the past decade through a collection of more than 300 images. The book spotlights a decade of award-winning photography, iconic fashion and art direction, and stellar writing, and features some of the most talked-about pop cultural, political and celebrity icons of the day.

This Saturday, November 26th, from noon to 2pm, Bailey will be signing copies of her book at the Coach Boutique on Rodeo Drive. An event open to the public, guests will have the opportunity to meet with Bailey and purchase her book during a special reception in her honor. In addition, guests get the opportunity to shop and peruse the newest bags from Coach.

Take a look below at some of the photos featured in the book, and we hope to see you at the Coach store on Saturday.