Cast your mind back through 2011 and you probably have your own ideas as to who you’d label a ‘female face of the year.’ Any one of the three female winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, for example, or perhaps Lady Gaga, who has just been crowned the most charitable celebrity of 2011, having put her mind to anti-bullying, this year, in addition to her well-known work against AIDS.
Not so the BBC who chose to include giant panda Sweetie, also known as Tian Tian, in the 12 females appearing on its ‘Faces of 2011.’
Having last week failed to name a single woman its its Sports Personality of the Year shortlist, the BBC have again courted controversy and faced a huge media backlash.
“Whilst we all love a good panda story, in a year when Christine Lagarde became head of the IMF, or Helle Thorning-Schmidt became prime minister of Denmark or even the sad death of Amy Winehouse, it’s frustrating the BBC couldn’t think of 12 human female faces who have made the news this year,” said British MP, Stella Creasy.
Rumours are circling that pop royalty Beyonce and Jay-Z may become parents later today as nurses at New York’s Saint Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital told mediatakeout.com that half of the hospital’s luxury delivery floor was reserved on December 28.
The pregnancy has been shrouded in secrecy, not to mention controversy, and the due date is not widely known. However, a tweet made on September 23 by the 30-year-old pop icon indicates that she will now have reached the nine month mark in her pregnancy and is therefore due to give birth any day.
As John Legend adds himself to the list of celebrities celebrating a festive engagement, for others the holiday season has been somewhat less romantic.
It’s been a year of short-lived marriages, with Kim Kardashian making the headlines last month having filed for divorce after 72 days, and this morning, news broke that Irish singer Sinead O’Connor has ended her fourth marriage after just 16 days.
“Within 3 hours of the ceremony being over the marriage was kyboshed (ruined) by the behaviour of certain people in my husband’s life,” O’Connor wrote on her blog, explaining the breakdown.
O’Connor, who is known for her 1980s record ‘Nothing compares 2 U’, has been married three times before. Her most recent union to musician Steve Cooney ended earlier this year after one year.
It’s said to be the most popular time of the year to get engaged and, as New Year’s Eve approaches, US actor Matthew McConaughey has set the standard, proposing to his long-time partner and mother of his two children, Camila Alves.
McConaughey posted a picture of him and Alves kissing beneath their Christmas tree to celebrity website whosay.com on Sunday, with the message “just asked camila to marry me, merry Christmas.” Congratulations to the happy couple.
Following yesterday’s unsettling earthquakes in Christchurch there is more sad news ahead of Christmas day, as Prince Phillip has been rushed to hospital to undergo an “invasive procedure of coronary stenting.”
Fortunately, having gathered for Christmas at Sandringham, the Duke of Edinburgh and his family were not far from the UK’s largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital in Papworth, Cambridgshire, when he experienced chest pains. We wish the the Duke a speedy recovery.
Forbes magazine has released its latest list of young-achievers, with famous faces such as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg and pop star Lady Gaga named as people aged under 30 to watch.
But not everyone on the list is as well known.
“Others like Danielle Fong, a Canadian-born science prodigy who entered a Princeton PhD program at age 17 before founding alternative energy company Lightsail at 20, are just getting their first taste of the limelight,” Forbes Executive Editor Michael Noer said in a statement.
Human rights activist and the only son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, Ronan Farrow, was noted in the law and policy category. Other categories include art and design, energy, food and wine, media, social/mobile and technology, with 30 people chosen for each category.
The full list can be seen at forbes.com/under30.
The British royal family will celebrate 60 years of the Queen’s rule next year, but their festivities will not be confined to English soil. Rather, the royal family are taking their celebrations global, visiting each of the 15 countries where the Queen is the Head of State.
Following in the footsteps of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who enjoyed a successful trip to Australia earlier this year, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will make the trip to Australia.
Perhaps the most popular royals, Prince William and Catherine Middleton will bypass Australia and New Zealand, visiting Singapore, Tuvalu, Malaysia and the Solomon Islands.
Several hours after his departure, Sydney is still talking about George Clooney’s fleeting visit to speak at the inaugural Global Leadership Forum. Here at the MiNDFOOD office, however, we’re all talking about our own appearance at the event. With Clooney gracing the cover of our December issue, MiNDFOOD were on hand at the Forum to distribute magazines. See if you can spot us in the clip below.
Late British singer Amy Winehouse roared her way to the top of the UK’s album charts yesterday, with her posthumous album Lioness: Hidden Treasures.
Released more than four months after her death, the album achieved the biggest weekly sales of her career, according to Reuters.
Produced my Salaam Remi and former collaborator Mark Ronson, the album includes 12 songs compiled after listening to thousands of hours of vocals performed by the singer, who was found dead in her home in Camden on July 23.
Proceeds from the album will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which was set up in Winehouse’s honour to support charitable activities in the UK and abroad.
As George Clooney boards his flight for Australia today, he is no doubt looking forward to a lucrative 24 hours. En route to Sydney to take part in the Global Leadership Forum, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported that heart-breaker Clooney is being paid $600,000 for his one-day-stay in the land Down Under.
Appearing alongside Martha Stewart and Russell Simmons, current MiNDFOOD cover-star Clooney’s fee is reported to be six times what his co-presenters are being paid.
The Herald has some good news for all the single-ladies who have paid the top-price to have their photo taken with the Hollywood heartthrob at the Darling Harbour seminar, however: he will not be bringing current girlfriend Stacey Keibler to Sydney with him.
Look out on mindfood.com next week for photos of the event.
Angelina Jolie’s first foray into film directing has been plagued by plagiarism allegations. Having written, produced and directed In the Land of the Blood and Honey, Jolie is facing a legal battle with reporter James Braddock who is hoping to stop the film’s US release (scheduled for later this month).
Based around a romance between a rape and kidnap victim in Bosnia during the country’s Civil War, Braddock alleges Jolie’s film is based on his own book The Soul Shattering, which he claims to have shown Jolie’s colleague on the project, Edin Sarkin, back in 2008.
However, Jolie appears unfazed.
“It’s par for the course,” she told 24 Frames. “It happens on almost every film.”
Since its launch, Twitter has been used as a guage as to the most talked-about topics of the moment and, as we approach the end of 2011, the micro-blogging site has revealed the most popular ‘hashtags’ of the last year.
Used as a search feature, hashtags were introduced to Twitter to enable unconnected contacts to discuss the same topic, grouping together tweets relating to the same subject.
At number one, #egypt was the most used hashtag, referring to the unrest in Egypt during the Arab Spring. In number two was #tigerblood, referring to a comment made by US actor Charlie Sheen to RadarOnline shortly after he was fired from the hit US show Two and A Half Men.
Sheen famously signed up to Twitter after the incident and collected one million followers within 24 hours.
The top Twitter hashtags for 2011 were as follows:
Have you ever wondered which celebrity you’d like to invite over for dinner? Hollywood sweetheart Jennifer Aniston has topped the list as the preferred holiday dinner guest for most Americans, taking out 30 per cent of the vote in a recent survey.
Aniston’s ex-husband Brad Pitt was the third most popular celebrity dinner-guest with 16 per cent of the vote, while Prince William’s new wife the Duchess of Cambridge came in second with 21 per cent.
Ashton Kutcher, Charlie Sheen and Kim Kardashian completed the top six, all of whom have had their personal lives paraded in the media over the last 12 months.
The survey, conducted by retailer HomeGoods, questioned 1,008 Americans in an online poll in October this year.
Millions of people in the US visit Walmart to pick up a bargain every year, but this week, one man has been jailed for trying to sell something slightly more unusual outside the doors of a Walmart in California.
Patrick Fousek, a 39-year-old American man, was this week jailed for trying to sell his eight-month-old baby daughter for the bargain price of just US$25. Allegedly on drugs at the time, Fousek was arrested in June 2010, along with his wife, when spotted attempting to sell his daughter outside the store in Salinas.
“I’m very, very remorseful – I wish I didn’t have this problem,” Fousek said in court, according to the local newspaper, the Salinas Californian. “I’m asking the court to consider probation, so I can go home.”
Despite his remorse, Fousek was sentenced to the maximum six year term.