9 Jan

Celebrity Baby Names

Celebrities are not like everyday people. They have busy schedules, drive expensive cars, and wear jewelry that others can only dream of owning. Maybe it is because celebrities are so far removed from normal life that they often give their babies unusual names.

Some names are just a little different. John Travolta and Kelly Preston have two beautiful children. Their daughter’s name is Ella Bleu. Their son’s name is Jett. Jett is different, but anyone who knows anything about John Travolta knows he has a love for flying. Gwyneth Paltrow, pregnant again, came under scrutiny for naming her first child Apple. While it is unusual, it is somewhat cute, like in the “apple of their eye.” Chris Martin, her husband, tired of the controversy over the name Apple, has jokingly stated their second child, whether male or female, will be named Banana. Another cute name is Dandelion, the name of Keith Richards’ daughter. Julie Roberts recently gave birth to twins – a boy and a girl – and received flack over the names she chose. She received almost as much grief over the choice for her daughter’s name, Hazel, as she did the more eccentric choice of Phinnaeus for her son.

Many people speculated what Madonna would name her first child. Lourdes Maria seems a fitting name for child who’s mother’s name is Madonna, but she often goes by Lola. Her son is named Rocco, which sounds a bit like a cartoon character, but at least it is a tough sounding name. Actor Casey Affleck and fianc

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9 Jan

John Deere

In 1962, a University of Illinois archaeological team unearthed the exact location of the blacksmith shop where John Deere developed the first successful steel plow in 1837. The site is now preserved by an exhibit hall complete with a simulated conversation between John and Demarius Deere talking about their every events on the farm and his development of the self-polishing steel plow that eventually opened the prairie to agriculture.

GO WEST YOUNG MAN

As a young journeyman blacksmith in Middlebury, Vermont, John Deere soon gained fame for his considerable workmanship and ingenuity. It was a golden age of the burgeoning pioneer and John headed west to join the adventure. It took him many weeks by canal boat, lake boat and stagecoach to reach Grand Detour, Illinois – a journey of more than a thousand miles that could easily be accomplished in 16 hours by car today.

BLACKSMITH

The cast iron plows the pioneers used were designed for sandy New England and proved no match for the rich Midwestern soil. So Deere decided to come up with something better, he took an old steel saw blade and made a plow with a properly shaped moldboard and share that scoured itself as it turned the furrow slice, basically it was a self-cleaning plow blade that made the hard work fast.

MASS APPEAL

In his day it was common practice for blacksmiths to build tools as customers ordered them, however seeing the future as it was, Deere decided to start hammering out the new plows without orders. It was an entirely new way of doing business and made John Deere a very popular man.

NOTHING RUNS LIKE A DEER

Ten years after he developed his first plow, Deere was producing a 1000 plows a year. Many years later in 1911, the company purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company and tractors were added to production line. By 1955 they were the leading producer of farm equipment in the world. Today, the company has become globally renowned with net sales exceeding $640 million dollars.

COMMITMENT

Constant research and development has always been key to the John Deere company, as Deere himself once said, “They haven’t got to take what we make and somebody else will beat us, and we will lose our trade.” To this day, the company spends more on research and development than most other companies in its industry.

LEGENDARY

February 7, 2004 marked the 200th birthday of John Deere, the man. His one man blacksmith shop in 1836 has spawned one of the most celebrated equipment manufacturing companies in the world.

LEAPING FORWARD

The famous leaping deer logo has gone through several changes over the years. Deere first registered it for use in 1876, it read “John Deere – Moline, Illinois”. Interestingly, the first deer to appear on the logo was an African deer and not the American white tail used today. Over the years the wording changed and the deer was simplified into line art versus the illustration style of the original. Eventually the deer as the only thing on the logo and it simply read, “John Deere”. The clean cut 1968 version was updated in 200 with the deer leaping up and forward rather than down and forward. The famous green and yellow leaping deer logo has become a hip and modern symbol of John Deere’s and Americans’ ingenuity and integrity.

The John Deere Classic, a charitable golf tournament is played on a course built in the Friendship Farm in Illinois. For many years the farm had been one of the top Arabian horse breeding operations in the United States and the property still maintains a natural beauty to this day. In 2003, $1.5 million dollars was donated to more than 400 charities to benefit children, families and handicapped individuals. This is just one of the many reasons that John Deere was named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2002 by Business Ethics magazine.

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9 Jan

Elton John A Musical Icon Hits The Stage Once Again

Early Life

Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in England in 1947, and his early childhood was shaped primarily by the women in his life. His father, Stanley Dwight, was a Squadron Leader in the RAF, which meant that he was rarely around his son, as his military duty kept him on tour for years.

John proved to be something of a child prodigy, as by the age of four, he was able to play piano melodies by ear after hearing them either on the radio or record player. He continued to hone his love for music, and he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music when he was 11.

John studied at the Academy for six years, but left before he graduated because he felt he was ready to concentrate on his professional music career. John played in his share of bands while he was a student, and it was during this time that his professional attitude and style were formulated in such a way that they would serve him throughout his career.

Early Career

John’s first band was formed when he was 13, and it was called The Corvettes. The Corvettes ultimately changed their name to Bluesology, which experienced some success as a backup band for such R&B artists as the Isley Brothers and Patti LaBelle. This exposure led to Bluesology being signed to serve as Long John Baldry’s supporting band, and they would tour and play small shows throughout England during this time.

John soon became disillusioned with the tight-fisted control that Baldry exerted over Bluesology and left the band soon thereafter. Even though there were initial failures, as John auditioned for lead singer roles with King Crimson and Gentle Giant without being hired, this part of his life led him to a partnership that exists to this day.

Career Success

John once again failed in an audition with Liberty Records, but as he was leaving the audition, he was given a group of lyrics without music that were written by Bernie Taupin, who has also tried out for a role with Liberty Records. John wrote music to support the lyrics, and the two began corresponding. John and Taupin met six months later, and it was during this time that John changed his name to what it is today. After a couple of years of writing music together, the partners were ready to encounter the 1970’s, which was a decade where they experienced a level of success that was unmatched in history.

Taupin and John began releasing singles with moderate success, and formed a band of musicians that would lead to John’s first number one album, Honky Chateau, in 1972. The album contained such hits as “Rocket Man” and “Honky Cat,” and spent five weeks at number one.

The following year, John started his own label, Rocket Records, and his string of success was amazing. His next nine albums all climbed to the top of the US Album charts, and his 31 releases since his first have sold hundreds of millions of copies around the world.

Awards/Acknowledgements

John is revered by millions, both inside the music industry and by the public in general. He has been recognized in several ways. John has won five Grammy Awards, although this is just the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of his recognition. In 1995, John won an Academy Award for Best Music, Song for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” featured in The Lion King. He won a Golden Globe Award that same year for Best Original Song – Motion Picture for the same score. In 1996, he was appointed a Commander of the British Empire (C.B.E.), and in 1998, he was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his contribution to music and fund-raising for AIDS charities. Finally, in 2000, John won a Tony Award for Best Original Musical Score for his work with Aida. John was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.


9 Jan

Dog Gone It

Enter DMX the rapper (real name Earl Simmons) not wanting to be out done, twelve starving and neglected pit-bull terriers were found out his Arizona home, not to mention the three buried dogs in the back yard of the house one of which had been burned to death.

Interestingly enough just five years ago a a US court ordered DMX to make public service announcements after pleading guilty to animal cruelty, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Does this new breed (no pun intended) of celebrity have so much money and free time that being cruel to animals is the best they can do? This is out of hand.

Pit-bulls in general receive a very bad rap. The reality is it is not the dog it is truly the owners. Pit bulls are loving but emotionally high maintenance dogs that if cared for and loved will defend their family and be the most beloved member.

In addition to the fines and the jail time I think celebrities that are cruel to animals deserve to work at rescue sites for a time that is equal to their jail sentence. There is no excuse for being cruel to animals.

In fact the only things that makes us superior to animals are logic, the ability to reason and fashion sense. Ah but in this case I digress.

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9 Jan

Olivia Newton John Is Stronger Than Before

She’s wondered “Have You Never Been Mellow,” implored us to get “Physical” and made it clear she’s “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” Now singer, actress and breast cancer prevention advocate Olivia Newton-John wants us to know she’s “Stronger Than Before.”

That’s the title of the multi-Grammy-winning artist’s newest compact disc, a 10-song collection inspired by her ongoing efforts to promote women’s health. It is available only at Hallmark Gold Crown stores in September and October (National Breast Cancer Awareness Month).

Newton-John is a 13-year breast cancer survivor. Fittingly, “Stronger Than Before” features songs of courage and hope inspired by her journey to good health and strong advocacy of early detection. Hallmark specifically selected her to record the company’s first-ever CD designed to raise consciousness about the disease and funds to fight it.

In a career that has seen numerous gold and platinum records, and movie stardom opposite John Travolta in “Grease,” Newton-John says she has never been more personally attached to a project than she is with “Stronger Than Before.” She collaborated with close friends, many of them fellow breast cancer survivors, and chose each track for its meaning and significance.

Included on the album are “Phenomenal Woman,” based on a poem by Maya Angelou, with the voices of Patti LaBelle, Diahann Carroll and others, and “Can I Trust Your Arms,” written by Newton-John’s daughter Chloe.

“Stronger Than Before” is priced at $9.95. Hallmark will donate $2 from the sale of each CD to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Hallmark also is donating $2 from the sale of each $14.95 Angel of Grace Keepsake Ornament to the charity, along with a minimum of 10 percent of the retail price of a gift collection. The collection includes boxed note cards, a pink suede-paper journal, heart-shaped bezel box, pink champagne glasses, and a pink nightshirt.

This is the seventh anniversary of the Hallmark Gold Crown Cards for the Cure program, featuring a free, specially designed card that reminds friends and family about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.


9 Jan

Julie Chen On David Letterman

Surprisingly, when David Asked if houseguests were ‘normal’ and whether or not any of them had ever got dangerously out of hand in the house, Julie replied by acknowledging that there had been several instances in Big Brother past show history where Big Brother houseguests got out of control and were asked to enter the diary room where upon entering, they were immediately escorted out of the house by security. She also stated, “I don’t know if I would say [the houseguests] are normal people?!”

Chen also revealed that the houses on Big Brother are never actually intended to be ‘comfortable’ for the houseguests, but rather, they serve as a catalyst to create tension and drama between houseguests. She reveals this years house will do exactly that. From articles that have touched on house design, and hints from Julie Chen herself, we know the house will feature a “good” vs. “Evil” theme full of twists and surprises. The 15 foot flame wall in the living room and brick kitchen in this years house will take Julie’s desire to make the house full of discomfort to create tension to the next level.

After the announcement of the 20 candidates selected by the Big Brother producers as potentials for the All-Star house that airs this Wednesday, June 21st, viewers will have a chance to Vote in their favorites. Dave letterman follows this explanation by asking what will happen if nobody votes… Julie replies by stating that the producers will just simply pick them instead!

So MAKE SURE TO VOTE AMERICA!! (and Canada!) Julie ends the interview be telling Dave that after the casting premiere she plans to take a one week vacation with her husband.


9 Jan

Big Brother 6 Saskia Howard Clarke

In the first couple of weeks, Saskia proved to be popular with housemates and viewers alike. This was evident in week two when all of the housemates were put up for eviction via a public vote due to rule breaking because when Saskia’s name was announced, the live studio audience cheered her.

However, events took a turn for the worse things took a wrong turn when a divide in the house occurred and two members of her group, Anthony and Maxwell were banned from nominations – leaving Saskia in the vulnerable position of being nominated by the other group who sided with Makosi Musambasi after a heated confrontation between the pair.

Some of the comments Saskia made in her argument with Makosi sparked a debate about racism being a factor in the house and both Maxwell and Saskia were put up for the public vote. Saskia was evicted by a majority 71% of the vote and greeted the crowd to a mixed reception on Day 36. She received the highest percentage of any eviction vote during the whole series.

In her post-eviction interview, she later denied the matter by stating she was a quarter-Sri Lankan, a statement that did not justify or alter the opinions of many viewers.

This was Saskia’s nomination history during her stay in the Big Brother house:

1st (Day 5) – Saskia was nominated by Derek and Mary.

2nd (Day 11) – Saskia was nominated by Craig, Derek, Lesley and Vanessa.

3rd (Day 18) – Saskia was nominated by Science only.

4th (Day 25) – Saskia received no nominations.

5th (Day 32) – Saskia was nominated by Derek, Kemal, Makosi and Vanessa and was evicted via the public vote.

During her time in the Big Brother house Saskia coined phrases such as “end of” and “it’s dog eat dog” although she didn’t last too long and was evicted fifth when she and the oafish Maxwell were both nominated.

Even before her stint on Big Brother, Saskia enjoyed dating “famous” people and past boyfriends have included an Olympic swimmer, a Premiership footballer and she also dropped down a few divisions to hook up with Nottingham Forest striker Adam Nowland.

Saskia claims to go to the gym five times a week, she gets her nails done every month and is obsessed by fake tans.

Since leaving the house Saskia has been busy touring grotty nightclubs in a double act with Maxwell while also posing for glamour shots in lads mags to ensure she remains in the public eye.


9 Jan

The Artful Dodger Becomes Sexy The Rise Of Clive Owen

“Derailed”, about a happily married man who begins an affair with a beautiful, young woman he meets on a train only to find out all may not be as it appears, is Owen ‘s latest movie. The complicated character he plays in this film is the kind of part that he prefers because he ‘has never been interested in playing good guys. I’m always attracted to dangerous characters. Those roles are usually far more interesting and I hold no fears about doing them…’ (Clive Owen quoted at AllMoviePortal.com)

This film caused controversy when Anniston claimed that she was covered in bruises after her steamy, sex scenes with Owen, but Owen denies this. In an article by Jack Ryan at The Post Chronicle website (November2, 2005) Anniston reportedly said that she didn’t mind, describing Owen as ‘dreamy’ to work with. He had nothing but praise for her, admiring her courage in handling her divorce from Brad Pitt.

Owen who comes from Coventry, England aimed to be an actor ever since playing the Artful Dodger in a school play but. according to his biography on the IMDB database, a teacher told him that: “You’re a working-class boy from Coventry. What do you know?”

His rise to fame after attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art began with classical parts on the stage and he joined the Young Vic Theatre Company where he met his wife, Sarah Jane Fenton, who played Juliet to his Romeo. They now have two daughters: Hannah and Eve. Although he’d had an extensive stage and film career in England by his late 30’s he was still little-known in America. His big chance came in “Croupier”, in which he played a struggling writer working as a casino employee who is taken in by a female scam artist. Robert Altman, impressed by the actor’s performance, asked him to join his all-star movie, “Gosford Park” and Owen’s career has shot ahead ever since with starring roles in “King Arthur” and “Closer”.

Owen’s latest role is in the brilliant director Spike Lee’s “Inside Man” in which he plays a bank robber and hostage taker. His co-star is Jodie Foster. Owen loved spending time in New York while the movie was filmed, which he said in an article on the Star Pulse website (Starpulse News Blog: 03/13/06) is “the best city in the world and the capitol of the world…There’s so much to do and never enough time to do it.” If it weren’t for his daughters, Owen would like to move to New York.

The gorgeous actor’s career appears to be going from success to success. His next role is likely to be Essex alongside Cate Blanchett in a new movie about Queen Elizabeth 11 . This swashbuckling character who won the heart of the flame-haired, young queen is likely to suit the actor who likes to play ‘dangerous roles’.


9 Jan

Coaching Celebrities

I have clients that still call me periodically for coaching that used this cell phone years ago. They like knowing that I’m just a call away if they need me. Several of these clients would probably have names that you might recognize, and don’t use a coach on a regular basis, but if the need arises, they know I’m there.

I’ve spent a large part of my career working with and for celebrities. Whether I marketing for them, do PR for them or consult and coaching with the them, I’ve made a part of my career working in that market. As a result, I’ve gotten to know many agents, publicists and Event Planners.

I also coach individuals in business. Right now, it seems that a large bulk of my clients are in new jobs, businesses or about to make a transition. I don’t work by contract, only on an as needed basis. Some of my clients show up every week. Others are clients that are only once a month. I’m flexible because my clients are busy. So am I, and I’m fine with them rescheduling with me a day in advance.

I started coaching this way because the high profile clients that I served couldn’t meet on a regular basis. They were traveling or unavailable at normal business times so I made allowances for them. As my business and experience grew, I found that working with high profile types was going to be different than a traditional client that may be.

I work on a project basis with many of these high profile types. Some of them are high level executives, besides celebrities and I’m there as a personal consultant that they call upon for many different issues. Most of them found me through the communication coaching that I provide and we’ve kept the relationship going through the years. Whenever they call I merely write it down and keep a log. I usually bill once a month. On projects, I’ll estimate a cost for the project and always try to come in under the estimate.

I have clients that will fly in for the day and for that, my fees are a bit higher than on the phone. It’s a concentrated coaching session that can deal with family issues to creating a work out schedule or recreating a brand or speech. We’ve discovered projects to create that they can market and we’ve written the outline of books.

I noticed right up front that celebrities are keenly aware that people try to make a buck off of them so I actually charge them less in some cases. Regardless, overestimating the bill is the way to go, and they always appreciate the financial break. I learned this early on when I had a repeat customer and I sent a bill that she questioned. She didn’t feel that I had put in that much time with her so I told her that I had struggled with the bill myself because the project was so “off and on”. So, I told her to rip up my invoice and to pay me what she thought she should. I got a nice check in the mail that was just a little bit less than I had originally charged and it had a nice note attached. It was definitely the right decision because I’ve continued to coach this person here and there over the last many years.

Coaching high profile types are a great gig if you can get it. But don’t make the mistake of holding to your exact requirements or you might lose a client in the process. The ones that I know appreciate my willingness to be flexible with my schedule and to reschedule if something else comes up. I’m fair with the money and I always try to deliver more than promised.

I love the coaching people who are successful, energetic and ambitious. They never refuse a challenge and they’re always up for new ideas. They appreciate others who are hard working like them.

That is why I keep my cell phone number the same. Being available to these people is the name of the game.

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9 Jan

Madonna Born Under The Gladiator Flower

Though it has ancient associations with working class gladiators, the gladiolus is also marked by nobility. The gladiolus was chosen by the founders of the French monarchy to appear in the fleur-de-lys, the royal emblem of France.

The gladiolus is also a flower of romance. An arrangement of gladiolus shows the recipient that he or she “pierces the heart” like the sword after which it is named. In fact, the roots of the gladiolus were once thought to be an aphrodisiac.

Gladiolus make an excellent choice for flower gardens, though they grow best in warmer locations since they have their origin in the hot African climate. However, they are a relatively inexpensive flower, so they’re a good choice even in colder areas of the country since they can be planted in stages throughout the gardening season.

Though its blossoms resemble the trumpet shape of the daffodil, the gladiolus grows not from a bulb, but from a corm with a level bottom and spiky top. When you plant the corm, be sure to plant it with the point up in a hole that is about four inches deep. For the most attractive arrangement, be sure to plant them in groups of at least seven with five inches of space between each corm.

Gladiolus also make excellent cutting flowers and are frequently used in professional flower arrangements. If you plan to cut them from your own flower garden, you should bring a deep container of warm water with you to the garden. After cutting the stems at an angle, immediately place them in the water. Before arranging them in a vase, place them in a cool dark place for a few hours. Thereafter, cut about an inch off the stem every few days to keep them fresher longer.