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Friday, September 2, 2011

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VIDEO: Half-Naked Jennifer Lawrence Gets Painted Blue for X-Men: First Class

Next time you think acting on a big-budget film is nothing but free Starbucks and waiting around for effects shots to be set up, think of Jennifer Lawrence. For her part as Mystique in X-Men: First Class, the future Katniss Everdeen had to stand around practically naked for seven hours while a team of make-up artists painted her blue. Now that’s commitment to the craft! Click through to watch, then stick around for more Buzz Break.

[via Awards Daily]

9 Hottest Female Tennis Players At The 2011 U.S. Open



The U.S. Open kicked off earlier this week. This is great news for me, and for two reasons: because (1) I am a big fan of tennis, and because (2) I am an even bigger fan of beautiful talented women. Now, my needs as a tennis fan planning to watch matches on television were taken care of by the U.S. Open selection committee. They seeded the top 16 players so that the tennis fan part of me would have an idea of what matches might be exciting. But what my needs as a fan of hot ladies? Well, I had to take care of that myself. Here, for my own benefit as well as yours, is a list of the 9 hottest women playing in the 2011 U.S. Open. Set your Tivo accordingly.
9. Jelena Dokić

Age: 28

Home Country: Australia (born in Serbia and Montenegro)

Current Ranking: 73

Highest Career Ranking: 4 (2002)

U.S. Open Seed: n/a

Status: will face Jelena Jankovic in round 2 (battle of the Jelenas)
Okay, so I know this photo is a little scary. Jelena is in the process of pulverizing a tennis ball, and is making the typical facial expression that accompanies the tennis-grunt. But if you will just kind of block that facial expression out for a moment, you’ll see that Ms. Dokic is blessed with one seriously impressive physique.
8. Vitalia Diatchenko

Age: 21

Home Country: Russia

Current Ranking: 139

Highest Career Ranking: 105 (2009)

U.S. Open Seed: n/a

Status: eliminated in round 1 by Zheng Jie
Sadly for fans of beautiful women, poor Vitalia Diatchenko has already been eliminated from the 2011 U.S. Open. Have a good long look at her photo here, then cue up Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You” in your head and imagine a slow-motion montage of this beautiful Russian. Whether or not you employ the Ken Burns effect for your imaginary slideshow is up to you.
7. Petra Cetkovská

Age: 26

Home Country: Czech Republic

Current Ranking: 32

Highest Career Ranking: 32 (2011)

U.S. Open Seed: n/a

Status: will face #16 Ana Ivanovic in round 2
The good news about this Czech hottie is that, despite her advanced age (for women’s tennis she’s kind of old), she is currently on the rise in the world rankings, with her current position being her best to date. So, if all goes well, we may be seeing a lot more of her at future tennis tournaments. Unfortunately, there is also some bad news. Have you figured out what that is yet? If not, keep reading.
6. Gisella Dulko

Age: 26

Home Country: Argentina

Current Ranking: 51

Highest Career Ranking: 26 (2005)

U.S. Open Seed: n/a

Status: will face #4 Victoria Azarenka in round 2
You’re probably thinking, “hey, look, finally a hot female tennis player not from Eastern Europe.” Well, while Latin women are often some of the sexiest on the planet, I must tell you that Dulko here is of—drumroll—Hungarian descent. Dulko didn’t sound Spanish to you, did it? So if you are keeping score at home, so far that’s Eastern Europe 4, Rest of the World 0.
5. Caroline Wozniacki

Age: 21

Home Country: Denmark

Current Ranking: 1

Highest Career Ranking: 1 (2010)

U.S. Open Seed: 1

Status: will face Arantxa Rus in round 2
Now it’s Eastern Europe 5, Rest of the World 0. Yes, although Wozniacki was born and raised in Denmark, her parents are from Poland originally. They relocated when Caroline’s father, a pro soccer player, signed with a Danish team. Of course, in this photo the tennis superstar is looking an awful lot like the all-American girl next door.
4. Alona Bondarenko

Age: 27

Home Country: Ukraine

Current Ranking: n/a

Highest Career Ranking: 19 (2008)

U.S. Open Seed: n/a

Status: eliminated in round 1 by Sabine Lisicki
After a prolonged injury, Alona Bondarenko was able to get into the 2011 U.S. Open thanks to what is known as a “protected ranking.” Basically, what this means is that a player with a significant injury is allowed to return to action at the rank she (or he) held before the injury. That way, the player won’t have to start all over by having to qualify for every single tournament. Unfortunately for Alona Bondarenko—and tragically for the rest of us—a “protected ranking” status doesn’t help you shake off the rust. She lost in the first round.
3. Maria Sharapova

Age: 24

Home Country: Russia

Current Ranking: 4

Highest Career Ranking: 1 (2005)

U.S. Open Seed: 3

Status: will face Anastasiya Yakimova in round 2
Sharapova became etched in the hearts of tennis fans and sexy female-loving men around the world when she won Winbledon at the age of 17 back in 2004. Back then, if you talked about how hot Sharapova was you were a total pervert. Today the gorgeous Russian is 24, so it’s totally cool.
2. Dominika Cibulková

Age: 22

Home Country: Slovakia

Current Ranking: 15

Highest Career Ranking: 12 (2009)

U.S. Open Seed: 14

Status: will face Irina Falconi in round 2
I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel better knowing that the hottest women’s tennis players at this year’s Open are also some of the best. That’s because I can follow their progress closely without feeling shallow. If anyone asks why I care so much, I can honestly say “because ‘so-and-so’ is a phenomenal talent.”
1. Ana Ivanović

Age: 23

Home Country: Serbia and Montenegro

Current Ranking: 19

Highest Career Ranking: 1 (2008)

U.S. Open Seed: 16

Status: will face Petra Cetkovska in round 2
I doubt anyone will have any real objection with my putting Ana Ivanović at #1. But just in case, my logic was as follows: while there may be (and almost certainly are) women’s tennis players that are hotter than Ivanović off the court, there is no one in the world who is hotter than her on the court. So as far as watching this year’s U.S. Open is concerned, that makes Ana Ivanović the cream of the crop. Sadly, either Ana or #7 Petra Cetkovská will be heading home after the next round, because they are facing off against each other.
Oh, and in case you lost track…
Final Score: Eastern Europe 9, Rest of the World 0.

Vader’s New Blu-Ray Voice Will Make You ROFL


Still reeling with nerd rage over George Lucas adding “NO” to Vader’s murder of Palpatine? Well new footage from the Blu-Ray has leaked out that reveals the real dialog that has been dubbed over the scene, and it’s possibly one of the funniest Star Wars things you’ll see all week.
Check it out:

Road Trip! Russia approves tunnel to Alaska under Bering Strait

Bering StraitThe Russian government has given the go-ahead on an ambitious new tunnel project that could connect Siberia with Alaska via an underground rail line. If completed, the $65 billion project will be the longest underwater tunnel in the world, besting the Chunnel between England and France by twice the distance. The planned course would stretch over 65 miles and would snake beneath the Big and Little Diomede Islands. According to Inhabitat, the project will be funded by a private and public partnership. So why build it?

Aside from being a civil engineering marvel, the tunnel would also provide an efficient way to move 100 million tons of freight per year. In addition, the tunnel could provide an easy transmission route for electricity developed by tidal energy stations and wind plants in Russia to Alaska and Canada. In addition, the rail system would complete a high-speed network that could stretch from London to New York City. Unfortunately, the project doesn't seem to be geared toward passenger travel. At least, not for now. Thanks for the tip, Chad!

Gorillaz Frontman Streams Quirky New Songs From Congo


Last month we told you about how Damon Albarn, the frontman for Gorillaz and Blur, packed up his music gear and a bunch of his producer friends to make a charity album in the Congo.

The project, called DRC Music, has released three songs and an album teaser video. The site has been providing constant video and audio updates including clips of Albarn working with local musicians and explaining the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Albarn and his team created the album in partnership with Oxfam. All proceeds from the album’s sale will go towards supporting Oxfam‘s work in the DRC.

One of the best parts of this project is the obvious care and respect the Western producers paid to local musicians and traditions. The three tracks below not only feature local musicians, but play on musical characteristics and patterns from the DRC. It’s not just a way to turn a buck, but also shine a spotlight on the rich musical history of the region.

Take a listen to the tracks below from the album, “Kinshasa One Two,” and the video above and let us know in the comments what you make of the DRC Music project.
Hallo (featuring Tout Puissant Mukalo and Nelly Liyemge) by DRC Music

Ah Congo (featuring Jupiter Bokondji and Bokatola System) by DRC Music
Lingala (featuring Bokatola System and Evala Litongo) by DRC Music
You can find more at DRC Music’s Soundcloud page.

Got a head for heights? World's highest 'Ferris wheel' opens... on top of a 1,480ft tower in China

By Emily Allen


The world's 'highest' Ferris wheel' is set to open for business today on top of a 1,480ft tower in China - with passengers riding in see-through pods.

Built on the 450-meter-high Canton Tower, known as the Guangzhou TV Tower, the amazing wheel consists of 16 pods holding a total of 96 fearless passengers.

Each capsule is just over three meters wide, and built using a special macromolecule material which allows a 360-degree crystal clear view.

An elliptical track has been constructed around the edge of the tower's roof, and the 16 transparent 'crystal' pods take between 20 and 40 minutes to go round the track
On top of the world: An elliptical track has been constructed around the edge of the tower's roof, and the 16 transparent 'crystal' pods take between 20 and 40 minutes to go round the track

This is the world's 'highest' Ferris wheel on top of a 1,480ft tower in China - with passengers riding in see-through pods
Riding high: This is the world's 'highest' Ferris wheel on top of a 1,480ft tower in China - with passengers riding in see-through pods 

Unlike other Ferris wheels, it has a 15-degree incline and can resist 8-magnitude earthquakes and Beaufort scale 12 typhoons.
An elliptical track has been constructed around the edge of the tower's roof, and the 16 transparent 'crystal' pods take between 20 and 40 minutes to go round the track.

It's located in Guangzhou, capital of the southwestern Chinese province of Guangdong.

Unlike other Ferris wheels, it has a 15-degree incline and can resist 8-magnitude earthquakes and Beaufort scale 12 typhoons.
Sturdy: Unlike other Ferris wheels this has a 15-degree incline and can resist 8-magnitude earthquakes and Beaufort scale 12 typhoons 

Each capsule is just over three meters wide, and built using a special macromolecule material which allows a 360-degree crystal clear view
Sky's the limit: Each capsule is just over three meters wide, and built using a special macromolecule material which allows a 360-degree crystal clear view


1. Kingda Ka is the world's tallest rollercoaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, U.S. The top tower is 456 feet tall
2. Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is the world's fastest roller coaster with a top speed of 150mph which it can reach in 4.9 seconds.
3.Takabisha is the world's steepest rollercoaster with a drop angle of 121 degrees  in Yamanashi, Japan.
4. The Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris wheel in Singapore at 541ft tall making it the tallest in the world

5. Superman Ride of Steel in Massachusetts, U.S. wins awards every year as the best rollercoaster in the country. It speeds over 77mph, has a 221ft drop into a tunnel and 10 seconds of weightlessness

The attraction will cost visitors 130 Yuan each. 

Although it's described as a Ferris, its passenger cars are not suspended from the rim of a wheel in the traditional fashion and the track is horizontal. 

The tower is also known by its local nickname - Xiao Man's waist - which refers to a famous Geisha who used to entertain people during the reign of the tang Dynasty. 

She was appreciated for her slim waist and the tower has a twisted and tight appearance.
In August, Las Vegas announced plans to build the world's 'tallest' Ferris wheel, which will be more than 100ft higher than the London Eye.

Caesar's Entertainment, which runs the Caesar's Palace hotel and casino, revealed its wheel will be called the 'Las Vegas High Roller' and measure 550ft.

That would pip the Singapore Flyer (541ft) to the title of world's highest wheel.
The London Eye is 443ft tall.  

Built on the 450-meter-high Canton Tower, the amazing wheel consists of 16 pods holding a total of 96 fearless passengers
Great view: Built on the 450-meter-high Canton Tower, the amazing wheel consists of 16 pods holding a total of 96 fearless passengers

Hitching a Ride: Happy Feet Heads Home

Cruisin', Penguin-Style
He's an emperor penguin, now cruising like a king. Happy Feet, the wayward penguin who drifted thousands of miles off-course in June, landing in New Zealand instead of his Antarctic feeding grounds, is on his way to a cool homecoming. Traveling in customized crate, climate controlled to stay frosty with 60 buckets of ice, the penguin who embraced Wellington, New Zealand, is getting a lift on the research vessel Tangaroa. The Tangaroa, New Zealand's biggest such ship, was scheduled to travel into the freezing southern waters, researching numbers of fish to set fishing quotas. It seemed the perfect way to get Happy Feet to a place where he'll find friends and food, and perhaps start a family.
Since he arrived on a New Zealand beach more than two months ago, Happy Feet has gone from lost traveler to local celebrity. Originally, observers left him alone, figuring he'd make his way back into the sea and turn around. But he remained on the shore, consuming sand that he mistook for snow. Poor guy gobbled more than six pounds of twigs and sand, which the staff at the Wellington Zoo removed after seeing how weak Happy had become. The caring staff nursed him back to health, keeping him very cool and serving perfect penguin meals, from plain delicious fish to seafood smoothies, which made Happy, well, happy.
As he gained weight and displayed a more confident attitude, the big question was what would happen to Happy Feet, and whether he was healthy enough to be released in his native waters. But Lisa Argilla, one of the vets who helped Happy get well, said he is "definitely a survivor," and has a stronger attitude
 than when he arrived at the zoo, listless, with poor feather condition. He's gained weight (lots of calories in those smoothies!) and he's been cleared for a return to the wild. He's now wearing a GPS tracker, so we all can monitor his progress. Karen Fifield, the zoo's chief executive, said that the 3-foot-tall penguin "brought a lot of hope and joy to people. His story has driven to the heart of what makes us human."
Almost Home!
Happy Feet's stay at the Wellington Zoo cost a bit more than a hotel, but the $28,000 was covered by donations from those who were charmed by the penguin. During his recovery, they followed his activities on a zoo web-cam. And on Sunday, just before Happy Feet said Bon Voyage to his temporary home, more than 1700 visitors hovered outside the glassed-in area where the zoo staff administered Happy's last medical checks.
Happy Feet boarded the Tangaroa on Monday, relaxing now and dining on fish. Sometime Thursday, when the ship reaches a latitude of 51 degrees south, skipper Richard O'Driscoll will cut the engines. Then, at the drop-off spot, Happy Feet will be released into the water, making a little splash via a makeshift canvas slide. His departure from the Wellington Zoo left his friends there with bittersweet feelings: sad to see him go, but hopeful he'll find new adventures in a cool clime, and will not return to New Zealand, no matter how much he enjoyed the hospitality. Happy Journey, Happy Feet!

Every Airline Should Board Airplane Passengers Like This (It Cuts Boarding Time in HALF)


Boarding a plane is a completely miserable, time-consuming experience. How often are you left waiting for that oversized man jam his oversized luggage into the undersized overhead compartment? Ridiculous! That's why every airline needs to try this new boarding method. It cuts the time in half.

Amazingly, it was invented by Dr. Jason Steffen, an astrophysicist in his day job but a man more adept at running airplanes than the airlines themselves. In his method, window seats on alternate rows on one side of the plane boards first. Then alternating window seats on the other side. Then alternating middle seats on the original side, then alternating middle seats on the other side. And then on and on and on until the plane is filled. Watch the video, you'll see a perfectly choreographed dance that maximizes aisle space and overhead compartments.

Steffen figured out this method using the Monte Carlo optimization method and promises that it can cut boarding time in half. It won't cure the ineptitude of airlines in other areas but it can make air travel less of a pain in the ass. Delta? United? American? JetBlue? Virgin America? Who's in? [WBEZ via Consumerist]

Burning Man: What is it, exactly?

Burning Man kicks off on Monday. Here's a list of frequently asked questions about this annual celebration of free expression and self reliance.

Burning Man festivalgoers gather at sunrise in front of the Temple during the 2008 Burning Man Arts and Culture Festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.
k97/ZUMA Press/Newscom

By Eoin O'Carroll 

 Q: What is Burning Man?
A: If you have to ask, you'll never know.

Q: Seriously, what is it?
A: It's a weeklong annual festival held in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Some 50,000 people gather to create Black Rock City, a temporary 1.5-square-mile settlement dedicated to self expression and radical self reliance. Burners, as participants are known, dress up in costumes, dance around, show off their artwork (whatever form that may take), make friends, and hang out together in the desert. A week later, they depart, ostensibly without leaving a trace.

Q: How did it get started?
A: It started in 1986, with 20 people gathering on San Francisco's Baker Beach for the Summer Solstice. Artist Larry Harvey and his friend Jerry James erected an 8-foot wooden human effigy, which they then lit on fire. By 1989, more than 300 people convened to watch the Burning Man, as police attempted to break up the gathering. After that, they moved to the desert.

Q: Isn't it hot in the desert?
A: Yes. Daytime temperatures exceed 100 degrees F. Burners who don't want the descriptor to become literal are advised to wear lots of sunscreen. Drinking lots and lots of water is also essential. The festival's organizers say each person should drink at least a gallon a day.
Q: What sorts of amenities are provided?

A: Very little. Burners are expected to bring their own food, water, and shelter. The city is mostly made up of RVs and tents or other temporary structures. There are portable toilets, however.

Q: Who's in charge?
A: In theory, Black Rock City is a Temporary Autonomous Zone, territory that is free of authoritarian control. In reality, it is organized by the Black Rock City corporation, which obtains permits from the federal Bureau of Land Management, which also conducts law enforcement.

Q: Can I sell my handmade Anasazi-themed jewelry there?
A: No. Black Rock City is a largely commerce-free zone. With the exception of an area that sells ice and coffee, there's no buying or selling anything. Instead, the city runs according to gift-giving principles, in which people give away products without expecting anything in return.

Q: Whoa.
A: I know, right?

Q: Can I bring my dog?
A: No. Dogs are not allowed. Your dog is already largely free from the strictures of mainstream American culture, and therefore does not need to have its mind blown at Burning Man.

Q: What is "moop"?
A: Litter. "Moop" is an acronym for "matter out of place," a term for dirt coined by social anthropologist Mary Douglas in her influential 1966 book "Purity and Danger." Because burners are expected to leave the desert exactly as they found it, leaving moop behind is frowned upon.

Q: Is Burning Man inspired by the 1973 horror classic "The Wicker Man"?
A: You'd think so, but apparently it isn't.

Q: How do I get around Black Rock City?
A: On foot or by bike. You can camp near your car, but you're not allowed to drive it around the city. The one exception is a Mutant Vehicle, an auto that has been radically transformed into sort of a moving interactive sculpture. These need to be licensed by the Department of Mutant Vehicles. The speed limit is 5 mph.

Q: Is there an age limit?
A: No.

Q: Sounds cool. Where can I get tickets?
A: You can't. For the first time in 25 years, the festival is sold out. So you'll have to wait until next year. Burning Man takes place the week prior to and including Labor Day weekend. Tickets are $300, but there are discounts for students and people with low incomes.

Van Damme Friday - Van Damme vs. Kamsing K-1 Fight

Updates coming soon at the official Claude Goetz & JC Van Damme CNK group!
CNK Group: