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Who’s Who (and its sister publication, Who Was Who) has traditionally included entries for the cream of British society, and in this festive season, the Who’s Who team have come up with a theoretical dinner party where key people from all areas of life, alive and dead, could come together to solve the world’s problems.
Where else could you find a table where Roald Dahl, Winston Churchill, Steve Jobs, Clare Balding, Dame Judi Dench, Michael Palin, Caitlin Moran, and Richard Ayoade might rub shoulders, looked after with tender care by Rick Stein and renowned bon viveur Oliver Reed, and hosted at Blenheim Palace by the Duke of Marlborough?
In a classic game of six (or in this case seven) degrees of separation, can you spot the links between Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, Dominic Mohan, Mary Berry, Leon McCawley, Ronald Searle, Christine Lagarde, Ivor Novello, right back round to Martin Luther King?
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Who’s Who is the essential directory of the noteworthy and influential in every area of public life, published worldwide, and written by the entrants themselves. Who’s Who 2013 includes autobiographical information on over 33,000 influential people from all walks of life. The 165th edition includes a foreword by Arianna Huffington on ways technology is rapidly transforming the media.
David Ritz has had a successful ghostwriting career, collaborating with everyone from Ray Charles to Joe Perry, and written quite a few novels too. In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s Hey, How’d You Do That? series, the prolific writer tells how he landed some of his biggest clients, and how gives tips for aspiring ghostwriters.
“When I first met Ray Charles, I didn’t know about ghostwriting; I was just going to do a biography of him,” Ritz recalled. “And then his agent asked me, ‘Which book would you be more interested in reading: a book about Ray Charles written by an egghead or a book written in his own voice?’ I told him that I would much rather read the book written in his own voice, and he told me, ‘You should write the book you would want to read, not the one you believe you should write.’ And that was a big turning point for me.”
For more, read Hey, How’d Do You Build a Successful Ghostwriting Career, David Ritz? [subscription required]
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.Add a Comment
February 13, 2012 marks the 50th Anniversary of the first publication of A Wrinkle in Time. On February 11, 2012 the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group is hosting a special anniversary celebration at Symphony Space in New York City with readings, performances, and celebrity guests, including Rebecca Stead, author of When You Reach Me, Lois Lowry, author of The Giver, R. L. Stein, author of the Goosebumps series, and Jane Curtin, who appeared in the television show 3rd Rock from the Sun.
Tickets can be purchased at http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/7056-thalia-kids-book-club-a-wrinkle-in-time-50th-anniversary-. For those unable to attend the live event, we will be simulcasting a livestream of the celebration here: http://live.todocast.tv/template.ma-top.php?EventNumber=TDC-E1570
if you’d like to host a party of your own in your school or library. We will also be archiving the show so that it can be viewed at any time. We expect that the show will be available in March.
If you would like to host a Wrinkle in Time celebration in your classroom or library, please contact us at email@example.com to order free 50th Anniversary posters and bookmarks while supplies last. Be sure to send us any photos of your celebration and we will post them on our Wrinkle in Time Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wrinkleintime.Add a Comment
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I’ve written before on this blog that I don’t have many pet peeves. It’s true. I really don’t. Perhaps I should qualify what I mean though. For there are some things that I hate with the passion of a lambada dancer. But that’s different than having peeves. Peeves are annoyances. Hate is at once emotional and, in my case, completely rational. It’s about seeing something that’s throwing the world off its axis and knowing you must condemn it for the travesty that it is. I will list some things that I hate here:
Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberg: Look at this smug son-of-a-farmer. He lands a plane in the Hudson River and they book him on Oprah and 60 Minutes. Next thing you know, they’ll be knighting Toonces the Driving Cat for swerving off a friggin cliff. That’s right. Sully ain’t no better than Toonces. I mean, from where I stand, any pilot who can’t land his plane on a runway is a fascist, socialist, French food-eating, soccer-loving kamikaze! You can, and you should, quote me on that. Want a hero? Try John Travolta. Not only was he the yin to Kirstie Alley’s yang in all those Look Who’s Talking movies, but he also never lands his planes on rivers. Case in point.
Sustainable Agriculture: Cucumbers are like albino rhinos. When I buy a one, I’d like to know that there ain’t any others like it. It’s the last of its line. So, I would hope that after my cucumber has been plucked from its cucumber bush, the entire plant is torched, the soil is drenched with kerosene, and some overalls-clad hillbilly is tossing his corncob pipe down and banjo plucking the inferno into the night. An extreme view? Not if you’ve ever suffered the humiliation of showing up at The International Cucumber Festival in Suzdal to find that some woman also has a kirby shaped like a duck.
Orphans: I’m not talking the Dickens variety or those Slumdog Millionaire tots, though I’m certainly not big fans of their pickpocketing, gameshow-winning ways. What I’m talking about are the ones who are always hanging out at the hotspots with Sandra Bullock and Madonna and Angelina Jolie. Clearly all they want to do is wink and shoot finger-guns at the paparazzi, then parlay the TMZ coverage into a book deal and a perfume line. I’ve had a hard enough time getting department stores to even sniff Dusky, A Fragrance by Aaron Starmer, now I got some 4-year-old Javanese celebutante to compete with for shelf space! It’s enough to make a man cancel his subscription to OK! Magazine.< Display Comments Add a Comment
Who would you like to bump into today?
In the wake of @Charlie Sheen taking over Twitter and apparently #winning, Lindsay Lohan and the case of the missing jewels, and the myriad of other famous folks whose lives have gone awry it got me thinking about a different kind of celebrity. The kind that deserves every ounce of their popularity and stature.
I'm talking about trees. Celebritrees!
So instead of sticking your tots in front of the mindless updates that Extra gives us, share with them some deserving celebs! The trees featured in this book have earned their title for their global fame and significance. Both in fact and in legend, these fascinating trees remind us not only how much pleasure trees bring, but what they can tell us about history.
And that is what I call #winning.
Happy reading!Add a Comment
The Royal Wedding is days away and every detail – from the regal breakfast to the honeymoon – is under scrutiny. But we think there’s only one thing that really matters: the dress. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to select a few options for Miss Kate. In the off-chance she turns us down, we’ve paired up other celebrity brides-to-be with these charming gowns. Pictures and historical facts courtesy of The Berg Fashion Library.
Artist/Maker: Emenson, ca. 1970
We hope that “Kate the Great” soars in her new role as princess, and she literally can, with
these wing-like sleeves and a 188 cm long cape, eh train, 188 cm long train.
Back-up celebrity: If Kate vetos, we recommend this one for Natalie
Portman (she was after all, a much better white swan).
Artist/Maker: Created for the Corvin Department Store in 1943 (Hungary)
We think the white georgette embroidered apron is a nice way for Kate to let the
people of England know she will never forget her “humble” roots.
Back-up celebrity: Jessica Simpson (we hear she’s on the lookout for a
low-cut dress, which for the 40s this was).
Artist/Maker: Victor Edelstein, 1987 (Great Britain)
Newsweek recently stated: “In a world gone to hell – thank God, a wedding.”
We couldn’t agree more. This a gift to the world, so lets put a bow on it (see: enormous bow above).
Back-up celebrity: Amy Adams (lest we forget her princess flair).
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Elvin Lim is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University and author of The Anti-intellectual Presidency, which draws on interviews with more than 40 presidential speechwriters to investigate this relentless qualitative decline, over the course of 200 years, in our presidents’ ability to communicate with the public. He also blogs at www.elvinlim.com. In the article below he looks at American aristocracy. See Lim’s previous OUPblogs here.
Decades ago, Louis Hartz wrote an opus on American exceptionalism – the idea that America is special because we were never marred by the disease of feudalism that had plagued Europe – and without a confining social order, individualism and the American dream was born.
Watching the Oscars on Sunday night, I wonder if we have established an aristocracy that is even more powerful than all the peers of the realms that Europe ever had. Our aristocracy is not only insanely wealthy unlike the declining nobility in Europe (or the old money in our east coast), they also set the standards of beauty, morality, and even politics. When I watched the movie industry celebrate its own achievements, I was reminded that for all the human warmth and joviality of the event, the glitz and the glamor are the same escape we seek in our modern aristocracy as we found in the old.
Celebrities are not normal human beings. They are stars. Bright, shining gems far far away even though each performance they make seem to bring them closer and deeper into our own hearts. There were a lot of emotions shared last night, but I’m not sure that universal tears aside, an average American understands what it is like to receive or not receive an accolade to which they are not even remotely eligible and probably will never be.
They say a civilization can be judged by how it treats its dispossessed. But in a country such as ours where everyone is apparently middle-class, we are better judged by the cultural elite we have created. Like the old aristocracy, our aristocracy have taken upon themselves the noblesse oblige to dedicate themselves to the people. They have a duty to entertain, and it is their privilege to be loved in return. So our stars burn bright for as long as they are beloved by the people. Our aristocracy is not hereditary but quite temporary.
This is why it is unclear whether Sarah Palin bestowed on Barack Obama an accolade when she called him a “celebrity” in 2008. Perhaps when now his star is no longer burning so bright, he will stop being an entertainer and become a President. Or perhaps, as the new electoral college, the media establishment will today insist, he must embrace his cultural milieu like the Gipper and Slick Willy, and give us a show worth applauding. The people would not have it any other way.
Hartz was wrong. While we did not inherit a European feudalism, we have made an American one.Add a Comment
Ahhhh, chicklit. Every now and again it's just what the doctor ordered, and yours truly, Lucy B. Parker - girl vs. superstar is pretty much all you could ask for!
It's the beginning of sixth grade, and Lucy is in a rut. She has just been friend-dumped by her BFFs Rachel and Missy, she barely survived the "hat incident", super annoying Marissa has decided to befriend Lucy now that Rachel and Missy are gone, and now Lucy's mother decides that now is the right time to tell her that she has been dating! And where does Lucy's mom decide to drop this bombshell? Only at Barbara's Bra World, which is pretty much Lucy's version of, well...you know.
So, who could this mystery man be? Is it the barista from the coffee place? One of Lucy's teachers? No. It's Alan Moses, the father of teen sensation Laurel Moses (who happens to be responsible for the hat incident). Laurel's in town shooting, and Lucy's mom has be tutoring her, and before she knew it, she was dating Alan.
Lucy cannot imagine anything worse. Not only is Laurel tall and beautiful, but all of the kids in Lucy's school are obsessed with her. Lucy sees a future of being seen as second best.
But, things are not always as they seem, and sometime perfection on the outside belies an imperfect inside.
Robin Palmer has written a delicious piece of chicklit that has a heart. Yes, there are mean girls (trust me...mean girls exist in real life too), but there is lots of charm as well. Lucy is a quirky girl (complete with a fascination with all things menstrual)and her parents are interesting and present. Sixth grade life is represented well complete with the emotional roller coaster climbing to fun loving and plummeting back down to despair in a real time tween fashion. This is the first in a series, and I am looking forward to watching Lucy grow!
I know someone who had dinner with Andre. An friend of mine, through some art world connections, found himself across the table from the man, chatting between mouthfuls of pasta or sushi or some such. My apologies if this bombshell has caused you to drop your mug of coffee or to fall down a well, IPhone in hand, mouth agape. It is shocking, but I assure you it’s true.
If you aren’t shocked, it’s only because you’re thinking, “Andre? Andre Agassi?” Heavens no. This wasn’t some binge of crystal meth and Oedipal rants. “Andre the Giant, then?” Sadly, that glandular wonder is dead, and even if he was alive, I suspect a dinner with Andre the Giant would involve massive turkey legs and troughs of gravy as opposed to the stimulating discussions for which the Andre I refer to is famous. “And which Andre, pray tell, is that?”
In the 1980s, if you wanted to make a joke about intellectualism, Louis Malle’s My Dinner with Andre was always a good place to start. It was a film featuring Wallace Shawn, most famous to the masses for his “inconceivable” role in The Princess Bride and now for his joyously goofy part on Gossip Girl. In the film, Wallace (or Wally, as he’s known to pals) eats dinner with Andre Gregory. They talk about art retreats and existentialism and all things well-heeled and white. And that’s it. Roll credits.
As much as people were baffled that this could be a movie, there were critics such as Roger Ebert, and plenty of turtle-necked philosophy majors, who ate the junk up. I saw it when I was green and impressionable and while I can say it wasn’t an entire bore, I definitely didn’t buy into it. Just like I didn’t buy into Waking Life or I Heart Huckabees or similar exercises in navel-gazing cinematic blather. That said, should I ever be invited to a dinner with theatre stalwart Andre Gregory, I would be honored and humbled. Because it is the equivalent of winning the culinary/conversation lottery.
Really, it is. Think about it.
Let’s say Andre eats dinner every day, a safe assumption. Let’s also say he eats at home most often, but regularly goes out with his wife or friends, and occasionally dines at art openings and parties and business functions. From this, we can make a generous guess and assume that, on average, Andre eats dinner with a person he has never met once every five days. Now you can’t count any person who happens to be in the room while he cuts a t-bone. Having a conversation with Andre is essential to having dinner with him. So all things told, for each year of his life, Andre has had about 73 new dining companions. It’s been almost 30 years since the film. In that time, it multiplies to 2,190 folks.
Now let’s rounAdd a Comment
I try to keep up with the Bieber-stream media. You see what I did there? Rather than writing “mainstream” or even “lamestream,” I went with “Bieber-stream.” It’s something I do here. Keep folks on their toes. Comment on culture in clever ways. Thank me by buying a book.
In any case, the Justin Bieber-slanting CBS News has asked the kids of New Zealand (The Kiwiettes, if you will) to chill the hell out. Bieber Fever has reached George Romero-like levels, resulting in a frightening mob scene at the Auckland Airport, and Justin’s “mama” has suffered as a result. I want to think the best of our very distant neighbors to the southwest (or southeast should you decide to fly Air Emirates), so I’m a skeptic. I smell a PR person behind this. And if not that, then I smell Germans. Because as anyone who has set their watch to NZST will tell you, if you want meet someone from Munich, go to the Auckland Airport. I swear, it’s like Paris in 1942.
Of course, this is from a tourist’s perspective. I spent 3 months in New Zealand a couple years back. My wife and I bought a cheap car, and filled the trunk with camping equipment and drove down every road and hiked in as many corners of that lovely little country as we could and slept in huts and yards and hostels and on beaches. We met plenty of locals, very few Americans, and a shocking number of Klauses and Ilsas. We ran into one intrepid young Bavarian on two separate occasions: once while doing a jigsaw puzzle in a headlamp-lit hut along the Milford Track; once along the steaming, sulfurous moonscape of the Tongariro Circuit. He (and every other German we met) spoke flawless English and was a perfectly lovely fellow, so I don’t mean to disparage an entire people. I’m just intrigued by the disproportion. The French and Spanish and English and Italian combined didn’t even have half the representation.
I’m sure if I actually lived and worked in New Zealand, I’d shrug this German infiltration off as some backpacker urban legend. But I assure you it’s true, and I think it has resulted in a Bieber bumrush. Germans get a bad rap for their taste in music. So perhaps a band of backpackers were trying to regain some cred. Perhaps they weren’t fans at all, but musical freedom fighters trying to rid the world of a devastating future filled with soulless bubble-gum pop. Perhaps Bieber is lucky to have gotten out with his reputation intact. Have you ever read The Dead Zone?
It seems far-fetched until you watch the following clip. It’s taken from an interview in New Zealand shortly after the airport fiasco. Cunning as ever, Bieber strikes back by denying that the German language even exists. “I don’t know that means. We don’t say that in America,” he quips. It’s a brassy move, and will spark numerous conspiracy theories. I expect Glenn Beck to break it dDisplay Comments Add a Comment