Wal-Mart came, saw, and conquered China.
Wal-Mart came to China in 1996. I wanted to buy more red paint for my signature chops – the Chinese only use one, but I must have two (“Victoria” and “Alexander” at bottom of the column), so I went to the Wal-Mart Supercenter store on Zhichun Road in the Haidian District of Beijing. It was a revelation of how the Chinese have embraced consumerism! It makes our Wal-Mart Superstores look like a Mom-and-Pop grocery store.
The first Supercenter and Sam’s Club were opened in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. Today, there are 104 units in 55 cities, including 99 Supercenters, 3 Sam’s Clubs and 2 Neighborhood Markets. Across China Wal-Mart employs over 50,000 associates.
There is one objective: Serve the customer. I asked a salesgirl a question, and she became my personal shopper! She had a iphone she used to help translate English into Chinese. Wal-Mart’s Superstore is a vast 4-floor maze with a fantastic food court. You can fish for your supper! The special huge carts can travel up the flat escalators. Along the way there’s bins of stuff to buy. Tourists spend the entire evening there. If you go to Beijing, put Wal-Mart Superstore on your itinerary.
Why I Gave Up Covering Red Carpets.
You must ask kindergarten questions if you want a star to look directly at you for 30 seconds. New York Daily News columnist Jo Piazza wrote:
“You the 'Man' now, Downey.” “Now that Robert Downey Jr, is big time [His drug arrests and prison time made him a has-been who couldn’t get a decent acting job, but now he’s starring is the summer’s first huge blockbuster, Iron Man], he doesn't need to entertain our dirty little questions anymore. When we asked him about the worst thing his assistant had ever caught him doing, he yelled, "NEXT" and explained, "I've just been bumped up to another echelon. I don't have to answer those questions anymore. You missed me by like two weeks." (Photo of Downey’s mug shot.)
The Calculated PR Transformation of Miley Cyrus.
Entertainment Weekly did an interesting story on the furor over tween icon and soon-to-be billionaire Miley Cyrus’s Vanity Fair photo spread. They said it was a PR move to take 15-year old Miley forward (how long can you be a tween idol?) without her getting drunk, getting a DUI, dating the lead singer of an emo band, or leaking nude photos of herself on the internet.
But how do they explain the incestuous photo of Miley with her father, Billy Ray?
Another Cult Leader Arrested.
Just one day before his National Geographic Channel documentary, “Inside A Cult” aired (Wednesday, May 7), the messiah-star of the documentary, Wayne Bent, 66, leader of an apocalyptic sect in northeastern New Mexico, was arrested and charged with felony sex crimes against children.
Bent, who claims to be the Messiah, is the leader of the Lord Our Righteousness Church, whose members moved in 2000 to a remote, former ranch they call Strong City.
Wayne Bent has acknowledged having sex with followers - including his daughter-in-law - and lying naked with virgins. He said the virgins asked for sex, but he refused.
Bent had predicted the end of the world last Oct. 31.
Interestingly, I recall that Mahatma Gandhi also slept with young females and often both parties were naked. I did some google research on your behalf:
Gandhi was 77 when this odd practice came to light. Sleeping was all they did. His sleeping arrangements attracted public attention in 1946-47, when he was trying to quell violence between Muslims and Hindus. It came out that Gandhi was sleeping nightly with his 19-year-old grandniece, Manu. In part this was an effort to stay warm in the winter chill (since he did not have rupees for a blanket!), but Gandhi soon acknowledged there was more to it: he was testing his vow of brahmacharya, or total chastity in thought and deed.
If he could spend the night in a woman's embrace without feeling sexual stirrings, it would demonstrate that he had conquered his carnal impulses and become "God's eunuch." It turned out that Manu was not his first brahmacharya lab partner--he'd also gotten naked (partly, at least) with another young woman in his extended family, starting when she was 18.
Gandhi believed that sex for pleasure was sinful (also, eating chocolate was sinful), that sexual attraction between men and women was unnatural, and that husband and wife should live together as brother and sister, having sex only for purposes of procreation. (Pitured: Gandhi’s sister-wife.) He swore off sex at age 36, required a similar vow of his disciples, and publicly freaked out when he had a nocturnal emission in 1936 at age 67.
What about Gandhi giving daily enemas to all the young girls in his ashrams (his daily greeting was, "Have you had a good bowel movement this morning, sisters?"), or the girls giving him his daily enema? Gandhi also took a great deal of interest in the bowel movements of his friends. He also experimented with diet, to see what effect different types of food had on excretions. Weirdest of all, he also made a habit of drinking his own urine.
The Society for Scientific Exploration.
The SSE is a multi-disciplinary professional organization of scientists and other scholars committed to the rigorous study of unusual and unexplained phenomena that cross traditional scientific boundaries and may be ignored or inadequately studied within mainstream science.
The next SSE Conference will be held in June 25-28, 2008 in Boulder, Colorado. The theme is “Emerging Paradigms at the Frontiers of Consciousness and UFO Research.”
The Society was founded in 1982 by fourteen scientists and scholars and now has approximately 800 members in 45 countries worldwide. The SSE publishes a peer reviewed journal, the Journal of Scientific Exploration (JSE) and holds annual scientific meetings in the USA and periodic meetings in Europe.
Former Acting Titans Now Artistic Failures.
If you see Al Pacino’s latest movie, 88 Minutes, you will shake your head. We know how old Pacino is. We grew up with him. What’s he doing with that Eva Gabor wig on his head? How come 20 year old hot students are swooning over a 68 year old teacher? It’s damn creepy – unless he’s playing a billionaire hooked up to an oxygen tank intent on burning his money before his heroin addicted kids get their hands on it.
Yes, that’s damn creepy as well, but since when do brilliant students hunger after a tiny, old teacher to get an “A”?
What has happened to Robert De Niro?
De Niro and Pacino are teaming up again in a $60 million independent film Righteous Kill. Directed by Jon Avnet, the film follows two senior citizen cops chasing a serial killer.
In an article in the Los Angeles Times by Patrick Goldstein, De Niro and Pacino will make any movie that pays them their “quote” plus major perks.
According to Goldstein’s insider article, De Niro left his talent agency, CAA, for Endeavor. A CAA agent sent an email all over L.A. claiming that “De Niro asks for a $1
-million production fee on his pictures to help fund his Tribeca empire in New York.” The anonymous emailer also said: "Bobby held us responsible for his own greed, his own avarice and his own megalomania. And it's just like the studios now ask us: Why should we pay this guy -- who doesn't open a movie -- the payoff to his production company, just so he can add his name as a producer?"
Goldstein says that Pacino got paid $9 million to do 88 Minutes.
To read the entire, scathing article, go to www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/la-et-goldstein22apr22,1,727022.story