Category Archives: Entertainment

The Roofing Company That Made My House Look Better

I had no idea that there were so many things to decide when I realized I probably needed a new roof. I had moved in here nearly 15 years ago, and the roof was already about ten years old at that time. I never had problems until a few months ago during a rain storm. There were a few water leaks, and I decided to call a company that does repair work as well as complete roof replacement in Brooklyn NY. I was not sure which one was needed for the roof, so I wanted a roofing company that would be able to tell me and then do the work.

I did not want to hire a handyman for this kind of work for a number of reasons.

Albany country by British Museum for temporary exhibition

They have been stored at the British Museum for the past 180 years.

The British Museum’s Oceania collections curator Gaye Sculthorpe said the objects, which include stone axes, spears and knives, are some of the oldest ever collected in Australia.

“They have a significance which isn’t only local but of national significance,” she said.

“It’s really difficult to describe how significant it is.

“It’s a very special day here in Albany.

“I think the people who were here… saw the emotion and the happiness to have these objects here.”

The exhibition is the culmination of four years of negotiations between the Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation (AHRGAC), Western Australian Museum and British Museum.

“It’s been a long time.”

However, the objects’ return has sparked debate over whether they should remain in Albany after the exhibition ends.

Ms Gillies said some Menang elders would like to see them stay on long-term or permanent loan.

“I think that there’s a process for perhaps that happening in time,” she said.

“I don’t believe that time is right now because we do need to go through those processes.”

Menang elder Avril Dene would like the items to stay.

“If we do all the right things then hopefully, if we can’t have them here, then we can maybe have them on permanent loan from the British Museum,” she said.

“It’d just be the greatest thing to bring them back to their home country.”

“We know there are 27 other Aboriginal communities around Australia who are watching and waiting to see what happens as a result of this exhibition.”

Ms Sculthorpe would not commit to the artefacts remaining in Albany.

“It’s not generally good museum practice to have permanent loans, but the British Museum is always keen to look at ways in which its collection could be used,” she said.

“It all depends on many things… so it would be pure speculation.”

DNA testing will prove Steven Avery’s innocence

Since the 10-hour series aired last year, the two middle-aged lawyers from Wisconsin have become unlikely cult figures.

Dean Strang and Jerry Buting have been compared to Atticus Finch, and have been the subject of T-shirts, tweets and even a blog dedicated to their fashion sense.

They have parlayed their notoriety into an Australia-wide tour, speaking about the Avery case and its broader implications.

The lawyers told Lateline they are “excited” about new scientific testing methods that might be able to radiocarbon date blood found at the scene of the crime.

“Probably over 100 scientists all over the world between the two of us contacted us [after the documentary] and said hey, you know there’s new tests you can do,” Mr Buting said.

Since the show aired, Avery has retained a new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, who specialises in wrongful convictions.

In August she filed a motion at the Manitowoc Circuit Court demanding scientific testing that did not exist at the time the case was tried be conducted.

“We actually were contacted before she was retained,” Mr Buting said.

“Some of it was just, oh our ability to detect EDTA, chemical tests have been refined, but some of the more interesting ones were these scientists with things like radiocarbon dating and DNA ageing, it’s called, where you can actually look at somebody’s sample of blood maybe a month or a year ago and distinguish it from their blood right now.”

Mr Strang hopes the DNA ageing method will prove Avery is innocent.

“If it turns out that the blood in the Toyota is older than the car itself — is 10 years older than the time at which it’s found and five years older than the ca — then that’s also good at getting us to the truth,” he said.

“And it also will mean not only a new trial I think for Steven Avery, but the likelihood that he walks free, because his blood from the mid-90s, if it’s in that car, then Steven Avery was telling the truth when he said it was planted.”

‘I’ve always believed that he’s innocent’

It was 11 years ago that 25-year-old Teresa Halbach went missing in Manitowoc County on an early evening on Halloween.

The young photographer was last seen with Steven Avery when she went to his home to take pictures of a car he had for sale.

When Ms Halbach’s charred remains were found on Avery’s property, he and his nephew Brendan Dassey were arrested and charged with her murder.

Avery had only just been released from prison two years earlier after spending 18 years behind bars for a violent rape it was later proved he did not commit.

Both Avery and his nephew were found guilty of Ms Halbach’s murder, but Mr Buting said he never thought the state’s case added up.

“I’ve always believed that he’s innocent for a lot of reasons,” he said.

“They never had a motive for him to do this, he was about to come into $400,000 tax free cheque from the state that very week that she disappeared, that’s over and above the $36 million lawsuit he had that was also succeeding.”

In August this year, the worldwide spotlight on the case helped overturn Brendan Dassey’s conviction, and he is now set to be released from prison.

Power outage at Eagle Farm Racetrack puts punters in dark mood

images-20More than 14,000 people attended the racecourse to watch the Cup on the biggest screen in the southern hemisphere.

But when the on-course electricity transponder malfunctioned, the screen stayed blank.

Brisbane Racing Club general manager Scott Steele said the on-course generator engaged, but it could not produce enough power.

“Our generator puts out 400kVa and we needed 1400 to get the whole track up and running,” he said.

“Unfortunately we just had to wait until Energex come to fix the transponder.”

Mr Steele said he was gutted by the power outage.

“It certainly has put a dampening on what looked like being a fantastic day,” he said.

“For something like this [to happen] that is out of our control it is still a fair kick in the guts, that is for sure.

“We even had a couple of speakers hooked up to some car batteries to try and let the customers at least hear it.”

Mr Steele said bookies were forced to take bets the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper.

“It was certainly a unique Melbourne Cup,” he said.

Energex spokesman Danny Donald said the blackout was sparked by a large amount of power being drawn in a short time.

“It tripped the safety fuses that feed into the track,” he said.

“The fuses did exactly what they’re made to do.

“What we need to know now, exactly what energy intensive equipment the track did bring in on the day.”

Mr Donald said it was a disappointing day for the punters but the power was back on within 40 minutes.

Mr Steele said the Brisbane Racing Club would examine how to compensate the punters.

“We’ll make that call tomorrow, this is obviously just character-building stuff,” he said.

“At the moment everyone’s still having a cold beer, it hasn’t dampened too many people.

“Obviously we lost some of the … punters but we’ve still got plenty of people on course still having a good time.”

Proposes to girlfriend with 4 5 m crocodile

Handler Billy Collett made the proposal during a demonstration while 4.5-metre crocodile Elvis watched on from just metres away.

In a video uploaded to the Australian Reptile Park Facebook page, Mr Collett can be seen inviting his partner Siobhan Oxley to enter the enclosure to “have a crack at feeding the crocodile”, before dropping to his knee to make the proposal in front of a crowd of spectators.

Before inviting Ms Oxley in, Mr Collett coaxed the large crocodile out of its pond with what appears to be a piece of meat on the end of a stick.

“Three years ago, next week, I actually met the girl of my dreams; the girl I love more than anything,” Mr Collett announced to the crowd.

Mr Collett tells the crocodile to “stay there” and “behave yourself” before he turns to his partner to propose.

“Siobhan, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, will you marry me?” Mr Collett asks before the crowd bursts into applause.

After she accepts, a clearly relieved Mr Collett jokes that proposing was “worse than feeding a crocodile”.

The crocodile appeared to be unmoved by the gesture.

Men give wrinkly scrotums the sack

The printing press. The refrigerator. Those stickers you put on your door telling salespeople not to knock.

Human history has seen many inventions that come along and change everything, innovations that you can instantly recognise as something that is going to make life better for everyone.

And it looks like it’s happened again, with the news that a new procedure called Scrotox is becoming increasingly popular with men who wish for a smoother, more youthful-looking scrotum.

GQ magazine reported this week that British blokes are paying as much as $5,000 for Scrotox, while men in the USA and Australia are having their ball sacks smoothed in increasing numbers.

You can see how we of the masculine persuasion view the arrival of Scrotox as a godsend.

We’ve spent our whole lives dreaming of a sleek, aerodynamic scrotum, but never believing such a thing was truly possible.

Now, for a “reasonable” fee, we actually have the chance to turn our Shar Peis into Great Danes, and put an end to years of embarrassment and humiliation.

What a vast difference it will make. No more teasing. No more jeering onlookers. No more young women screaming and fainting and making sardonic references to Benjamin Button.

What exactly is Scrotox?

Scrotox is a simple procedure involving the injection of Botox — everyone’s favourite neurotoxic protein — into the muscle under the skin of the scrotum in order to reduce wrinkling and increase its appearance of size.

According to Dr Jeremy Hunt from the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, this gives the scrotum “the effect of looking smoother, larger and often will cause the scrotum to hang lower”.

“With 60 being the new 50 or 70 the new 60, these kind of procedures are requested by males who feels [sic] vital and youthful on the inside but may look a little more well worn on the outside,” Dr Hunt told GQ.

Study reveals music industry

Researchers at Edith Cowan University found the sector contributed $985 million in 2014 and employed almost 3,000 people as WA hosted more than 350 live music events each week.

It also found contemporary music made up 49 per cent of ticket sales in Western Australia, compared with festivals at 13 per cent, musical theatre at 9 per cent and classical music and opera at 5 per cent.

The billion dollar figure did not take into account any cash sales, but it was double what industry group WA Music (WAM) chief executive Mike Harris had anticipated.

“To see it to be touching a billion without getting that cash economy was partly surprising but very pleasing,” Mr Harris said.

“For a long time WAM has been concerned that there’s a lack of funding and investment in music in WA and nationally.

“We’ve been pretty keen to get a deeper understanding of the breadth and depth and importance of West Australian music and we’ve set out to do that in terms of economic impact, social impact and cultural impact.”

‘It’s still pretty good in WA’

Until now the sector has largely relied on anecdotal evidence when fighting for funding.

WAM president Al Taylor said the new research allowed the group to mount a stronger argument for private sponsorship and government funding, to put music on a more even playing field with the likes of theatre and ballet.

“We could do so much more with more funding and more support and I think once we start to elevate the understanding of the industry and its value that will be the flow on effect,” Mr Taylor said.

Perth-based singer, songwriter and member of the four-piece Little Lord Street Band, James Rogers, believed the local music scene was healthy despite a decline in arts funding around the country.

“All in all it’s still pretty good in WA,” Mr Rogers said.

“Compared to what you see in other places of the world where musicians play for tips, we still get a wage when we do play which is good.”

Arts Minister John Day said it was important for the State Government to take a balanced approach to arts funding.

“There are those art forms that have been around for, in some cases, hundreds of years and they’re a very important part of our heritage,” Mr Day said.

“Equally important are up and coming contemporary performers who are doing wonderful things.

“They produce really enjoyable music that is socially important and it’s having a major impact on the world scene.”

Hokusai may be the artist of six paintings hanging in a Dutch museum

Many see Hokusai as one of the world’s great masters, best known as a woodblock artist, his image depicting a giant blue tsunami wave has become iconic in Japan and recognised around the globe.

Dr Matthi Forrer, from the Sieboldhuis Museum in the town of Leiden in the Netherlands, said after years of quiet and painstaking detective work, he was sure the six paintings that had been thought to have been painted by a European artists, were actually by Hokusai.

“That was a really exciting moment when I came to realise that,” he said.

The story behind the paintings begins with Philip Franz von Siebold, a German doctor who was sent to the Dutch trading post in Nagasaki in 1823.

His job was to collect any information he could about the natural history of Japan.

election of flowers, stuffed animals, coins, kitchen items and 25 paintings collected from various artists in Japan, to show the Dutch what life was like in the far east.

Then in 2010 Dr Forrer and other researchers were asked to catalogue the collections of Japanese artworks that were held overseas.

Their travels took them to southern Germany, where a descendent of Dr Von Siebold lived in a castle called Burg Brandenstein.

Dr Forrer said it was there, as he made his way through the boxes and boxes containing more than 20,000 documents, that he made a significant discovery.

“Then I stumbled on a very early draft inventory of his [Dr von Siebold] collection of paintings and I could identify basically everything on that list,” he said.

Rupert Murdoch and the Scientologists

What was Rupert Murdoch thinking?

The veteran media mogul launched an extraordinary attack on Scientology in July 2012, following the marriage breakdown of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

“Scientology back in news,” Murdoch tweeted. “Very weird cult, but big, big money involved with Tom Cruise either No. 2 or 3 in hierarchy.”

In case anyone thought he didn’t mean it, the News Corp CEO published a second edition a few hours later: “Watch Katie Holmes and Scientology story develop,” he warned, “Something creepy, maybe even evil, about these people.”

Those two tweets became big news at the time. Murdoch was calling the world’s most litigious religion a weird, wealthy, creepy cult.

In the US, Scientology had become a no-go zone for most media organisations. Murdoch’s archrivals at TimeWarner became bogged down in a costly decade-long legal battle after the Church of Scientology unsuccessfully sued TIME magazine over Richard Behar’s searing expose, The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power, published in 1991.

So why would Murdoch tempt fate and brazenly bait Scientology and its golden boy Cruise?

Murdoch wasn’t just a media proprietor; he also ran a movie studio, which could financially benefit from keeping one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars onside.

What wasn’t reported at the time was that Murdoch had a long history of going after Scientology. His views on what he called a “very weird cult” were formed more than 50 years previously, and can be found inside the fading pages of a muckraking Australian scandal sheet he published long before he became a global media player.

Truth’s pursuit of ‘Bunkumology’

In 1960, Rupert Murdoch bought his first big city newspaper, Sydney’s Daily Mirror. As part of the deal he also acquired the Mirror’s wayward sibling Truth, a newspaper that survived on a staple of scandal, crime and racing form. It also had built a reputation for exposing scam artists and charlatans.

After Murdoch purchased Truth, it started going after Scientology.

On Saturday December 2, 1961, Truth published a “special investigation” under the headline: Bunkumology — Cult of Experts at Smear Tactics.

Fourth wall in final Trump and Clinton sketch

images-18In the show’s final pre-election take, Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton — played by Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon respectively — made amends in an attempt to convince Americans to vote in the November 8 election.

The sketch opened with a mock interview of the candidates by CNN’s Erin Burnett, played by actress Cecily Strong.

During the interview, Baldwin-as-Trump denies close ties with the FBI, Vladimir Putin and the Ku Klux Klan despite appearing to exchanging kisses with each of them.

All the while, Mr Trump’s interruptions are casually ignored, with the interview returning to probe the issue of Mrs Clinton’s emails.

“What is happening?” McKinnon-as-Clinton’s character asks, “Is the whole world insane?”

Baldwin and McKinnon broke character to address the audience, with Baldwin saying “I just feel gross all the time … Don’t you guys feel gross all the time about this?”

Breaking down the fourth wall on live television, the two ran hand-in-hand outside NBC’s New York studio into the streets.

They embraced their critics — Baldwin with ethnic families, McKinnon with Trump supporters.

On a final and more serious note, Baldwin and McKinnon came together to deliver their key message to the American people: “Get out there and vote”.

Baldwin and McKinnon have entertained the masses throughout the US election campaign.

Their parodies of the presidential debates on SNL poked fun at the often bizarre twists and scandals that popped up along the way.

SNL gave audiences their first take on the US campaign when it kicked off its 42nd season with a sketch of the first presidential debate.

Veteran actor and frequent host Alec Baldwin debuted as a scowling, blustering Donald Trump to thundering praise.

The sketch focused on the issue of Donald Trump’s tax avoidance, or as McKinnon-as-Clinton called it, “Trumped-up, trickle-down economics”.

But not all feedback was positive — Mr Trump took to Twitter to tell the world he thought Baldwin’s portrayal of him “stinks”.

Baldwin and McKinnon reprised their roles to parodythe second presidential debate as Mr Trump took aim at former US president Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual assault of four women.

Taking on the third presidential debate, SNL parodied Mr Trump’s sentiments towards the Latino community and his promises to build a border wall between Mexico and the United States.

As the 2016 US election campaign nears its end and with the election looming, this latest episode broke character to offer the audience a moment of levity.

The show will air a special episode on Monday night and is set to include a compilation of its 2016 campaign coverage.