Duchess Kate was hospitalized last week for Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which is pretty much a fancy way of saying “bad baby morning barfs.” My professional opinion is that her tiny 12-year-old boy body has gone into shock now that it requires more than its usual daily dose of three saltines and a grapefruit. Will and Kate’s baby is approximately the size of a pea at this point and people are already putting Kate’s nonexistent stomach under a microscope, asking absurd questions like "Could it be twins?" And, ever the bastion of journalism, US Weekly has a timeline of the duchess’ body changes over the past 10 years here. See Kate’s shape transform from fettuccine to spaghetti to spaghetti a la fetus before your eyes!
I’m rarely one to say “poor princess” and I love a good celebrity pregnancy as much as the next sad fool, but Kate's gone through more than a year of royal pressure to get knocked up, and now she is, but not even at the standard pregnancy announcement 3-month mark yet. Let up on her womb, yo!
If Kate was like us lowly commoners, she’d likely be Instagramming her tiny bump and tweeting from inside the hospital (Nuthin 2 worry bout, just tummy troubles #preggers). Call it over-sharing, but most people announce their monumental life moments on social media. So, thankfully, if you were trying to recall the major events you experienced this past year, Facebook has gone ahead and just done it for ya. Just go to your page, click See your 2012 Year in Review or go to facebook.com/yearinreview/[your Facebook url]. A slideshow of photos you’ve been tagged in rotates above a list of friends you’ve added and pages you’ve liked in the past 12 months. Scrolling further down, Facebook has generated what it believes to be the 20 “biggest moments” from your year, including status updates, photos and links. I’m assuming those who’ve posted about starting a new job, getting engaged/married, moving to a new city or having a baby — royal or otherwise — would see those types of announcements highlighted, but for losers like me that just incessantly post pointless crap, this feature is pretty damn funny.
3/20 "biggest moments" of my year include fictional characters and alcohol.
Social media is more than just a place to show off how great your life is to all your lame high school friends #thankful. It’s also a platform to reach out to public figures and celebrities. And while a member of Smash Mouth probably doesn’t fall into either category in the year 2012, Jon Hedren became determined to get a response from the band once Smash Mouth got a verified Twitter account in 2011.
Now, for those who don’t remember, Smash Mouth was a San Jose-based Pop/Rock band that provided songs for every major movie trailer and/or film credits in the late ‘90s-early ‘00s (Mystery Men, Shrek, Rat Race, Inspector Gadget — and that’s just “All Star”). They also mastered the art of the pencil-thin chin strap.
Holy shit, it’s Dane Cook…
Jon tweeted multiple silly messages to the band, but the one stood out:
After hundreds of retweets, the dumb challenge turned into a pledge to raise money for charity — all if lead singer Steve Harwell would eat a giant plate of eggs. Weeks later, a San Jose music venue promoter reached out to Jon after talking the challenge over with Harwell. More than $100,000 was raised for St. Jude’s and the Smash Mouth dude agreed to scarf some eggs at the nearby opening of a Guy Feiri restaurant. Best team-up ever, right? As Jon describes in his Vice story, “Guy and Steve were supposedly old friends and not actually the same man, despite the exact same fashion sense and divorced dad aura.”
Go here to read the full first-hand account of how this guy got the Smash Mouth guy to accept an eating challenge.
Everyone knows a good way for an actor to clinch an Oscar nom is by dropping or gaining a ton of weight. By those standards, the stars of Dallas Buyer’s Club, due in theaters in 2013, should be racking up the awards next year because they’re giving a new name to manorexia. Matthew McConaughey, who plays Ron Woodruff — a Texan who contracted HIV in the ‘80s — has been photographed in various stages of emaciation over the past few months (a stark contrast to his recent beefy Magic Mike look). And Jared Leto, portraying a transgendered woman with AIDS, recently posed for photographer Terry Richardson’s camera. I mean, way to commit to your craft but dude is cartoon skinny — like, he disappears when he turns to the side.
In Beyonce news, which should always be its own category, Mrs. Jay-Z is set to perform the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVII, she just signed a major deal with Pepsi and has directed, produced and starred in her own documentary, premiering on HBO Feb. 16. Sounds like 2013 will be the year of the Bey.
And if you attempted multiple times to pause exactly on the shot of what appears to be Beyonce’s pregnant belly (not that I did…), it looks like she’s finally putting those fake baby bump conspiracy theories to rest.
Finally, in case you missed the biggest news story of the week, a very fashionable monkey was found in a Toronto Ikea, becoming an instant Internet celebrity. Darwin is a domesticated macaque and has since been taken by animal control. His owner Yasmin Nakhuda is currently trying to get little Darwin back.
Here at CityBeat, I never get mail. So to make me feel better about myself, sometimes people stick mail they don’t want or things addressed to former employees in my box to make me feel better.
Imagine my delight when there was a 2013 cow-centric calendar from chicken-slinger Chick-fil-A.
Perhaps hoping for some positive press after a summer controversy where the company’s leader told a Christian news organization that the Southern-fried chicken sandwich shop supports “the Biblical definition of the family unit,” Chick-fil-A sent CityBeat’s former food editor a calendar. It included a bribe “gift” card that awards one free specified menu item a month.
The calendar features Chick-fil-A’s signature cow mascots costumed as famous monarchs from throughout history, with cutesy names such as Queen Elizabrisket, King Tutancattle and Queen Heiferhomophobe.
The calendar also reminds you of important holidays, like Administrative Professionals Day, Cow Appreciation Day and Patriot Day.
It also included a warm personal note to Anne Mitchell from the Chick-Fil-A Public Relations Department.The calendars, complete with “gift” card, are available at all Chick-fil-A locations for $6.
When he was released last May, Little Joe weighed 1,515 pounds. He was plump and primed for life in the Sunshine State. The zoo followed his progress in Florida on its blog.
A year ago, when the last sighting was reported, Little Joe was hanging out with six other manatees and feeding on hydrilla — manna to manatees. The species — sometimes called seacows — are endangered and the Cincinnati Zoo is a partner in a federal program aimed at preserving and protecting manatees. The zoo says some rescued animals need long-term rehabilitation and are sent to special facilities for care, including the Cincinnati Zoo. The zoo says its been home to nine manatees, and the majority have been released back into the wild. “While a manatee is with us, it periodically undergoes a medical exam to assess its progress and condition. Once it's healthy, it is prepared for release back into the wild. Accompanied by zookeeper staff, the manatee is transported back to the Florida facility where it gets used to eating natural vegetation and living in saltwater again,” according to the zoo’s 2011 manatee rescue web page.
Slip and Little Joe in happier days at the Manatee Springs tank at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Construction crews working to restore historic apartments in Louisville’s Whiskey Row discovered an underground sex dungeon two floors underground. The Associated Press reports that the dungeon had mural reproductions of paintings by the likes of Salvador Dali, Edvar Munch and Fancisco Goya and contained what appears to be a medieval stretching rack complete with winch and rusty chain.
The artist who painted the murals tells the AP that he did the work at the request of friends, and the room was meant to attract people who were into sadism and masochism.
The artist says the room was only used for one night in the 1990s, but he couldn’t remember the year.
However, digging deeper into the story, CityBeat learned not to Google “Louisville sex dungeon” on an office computer WHAS-TV spoke with the founders of the club, who said that it was in operation from the mid to late '90s and had close to 1,000 dues-paying members.
In stories with pithy titles like "50 Shades of Louisville" (more like "50 Shades of Y'all Need Jesus) the station spoke with one of the dungeon's founders, who said the dungeon included dozens of other bondage and “torture” implements, including a large rope “spider web” with manacles, in addition to the torture rack.
Some of the plumbing had “DO NOT HANG” stenciled on it, but the founder said some people were still hung from their ankles.
He was quick to disclaim that there was “never, ever any nudity or sex acts.”
While much of the dungeon has rotted away, Whiskey Row’s owners plan on preserving the paintings and torture rack as a link to history.
Fashioned after Don Draper's iconic pose in the Mad Men intro, Draping has infiltrated the interwebs! This is all in anticipation for Sunday's long-awaited two-hour season premiere. Read more about that here.
Like many fun Internet bits I stumble upon, Drinkify is a really simple site that has that cool, “Why didn’t I think of that?” factor. Just enter the artist you’re listening to (or plan to that night), and Drinkify matches a perfect beverage to match. Vampire Weekend = PBR, Sleigh Bells = 10 oz. Whiskey (”Serve neat.”) and, because I was curious, Justin Bieber = 8 oz. Red Bull.
Anyone who knows my television habits is fully aware of my love for Bravo shows. I know, it's an abomination, but sometimes you just want a Taco Bell bean burrito instead of a fresh-cooked meal, and sometimes I want to watch Real Housewives instead of quality television. It keeps me grounded.
The latest gem Bravo has bestowed upon us: Shahs of Sunset, a reality show (duh) about a wealthy group of Persians in Beverly Hills. Don't hate me. The following is one of many internet rants from Shahs' hottest piece, Reza (NSFW). I'll never look at Parmesan cheese the same way again.
The award for web video series that will make you snort aloud, revealing that you're screwing around at work goes to...Bad Lip Readings! I'm late on this, I know, but damn if these stupid videos aren't hilarious. Unfortunately Rick Santorum's real words are just as ridiculous as the ones dubbed in this video.
One could not recap recent internet/popular news without mentioning KNOYGATE. Though anyone reading this has access to the Internet and therefore has probably been bombarded with the progressing stories on Kony, allow me to briefly explain.
Joseph Kony is the head of a Ugandan guerilla group that terrorizes the country, murdering villages, kidnapping children from their homes and turning them into soliders. He’s an international villain, and filmmaker/activist Jason Russell has made it his mission to stop him. Russell created the film-turned-movement Invisible Children after spending time in Uganda. The movie’s been around since 2006, but Russell recently started an internet campaign, KONY 2012, to spread awareness about the injustice in Uganda.
The video flooded Facebook walls, news sites and Twitter Feeds like wildfire. It was particularly popular with younger people, because the video targeted American youth, explaining that if enough people know who Kony is, we can get our government to do something about him. That translates to "Young people can make a difference," which is totally a good thing. Kids have been infiltrating malls, sharing KONY 2012 stickers and bracelets to spread awareness. But some people started to get concerned.
See, it’s obviously great that young people are concerned about international injustice. But fad activism isn’t just annoying; following an organization you don't previously research is dumb – and re-posting a YouTube video doesn’t make you an activist.