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Showing posts with label Entertainment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Entertainment. Show all posts

Kim Kardashian Donated

Kim Kardashian has been widely criticised in the past for only donating 10 per cent of profits from her semi-regular eBay clothing auctions to charity.
And now, new figures have come to light detailing just how much that amounts to.
According to Paypal Charitable Giving Fund tax documents obtained by RadarOnline, the star's November auction, benefitting Life Change Community Church in Agoura Hills, California - co-founded by mom Kris Jenner and her long-time friend Pastor Brad Johnson - reaped just $19,975.
Not so charitable after all? Tax documents obtained by RadarOnline have revealed that just $19,975 of the $399,500 Kim Kardashian raised through her eBay clothing auction in November went to Life Change Community Church, with the star pocketing almost $200,000
Not so charitable after all? Tax documents obtained by RadarOnline have revealed that just $19,975 of the $399,500 Kim Kardashian raised through her eBay clothing auction in November went to Life Change Community Church, with the star pocketing almost $200,000


Last December, the 33-year-old hit out at those questioning her charitable donations, breaking down the numbers in justification.
'When the eBay numbers get broken down, the auction management agency that posts for me gets a percentage for all their hard work, then, eBay listing fees, end of auction fees, eBay Store fees, Paypal fees, etc, all add up to about half the sale. Then I give 10% to charity,' she wrote on her website, under the headline: 'Giving comes from the heart.'
According to those calculations, the auction of unwanted designer garments from the star's wardrobe totalled $399,500, with Kim pocketing a tidy $199,750 at the end of the day, while the Church's cut was less than $20,000.
While no-one can deny that's still a hefty sum, it's not like the mom-of-one - who is estimated to be worth around $40 million - needs the cash.

Final Series of Dancing On Ice

She dazzled in a variety of stunning costumes during the final series of Dancing On Ice.
So it’s no surprise that Suzanne Shaw showcased her toned figure in a bejewelled red outfit as she kicked off on the ITV1 show's farewell tour at Manchester's Phones4U Arena on Friday night.
The former Hear’Say singer looked svelte in her fringed dress which revealed her slender pins, but was slightly upstaged by her rather acrobatic fellow contestant Bonnie Langford.
Lady in red: Suzanne Shaw showcased her toned figure in a bejewelled red outfit as she prepares to start the Dancing On Ice farewell tour
Lady in red: Suzanne Shaw showcased her toned figure in a bejewelled red outfit as she prepares to start the Dancing On Ice farewell tour


Ta-da: Bonnie, who also looked stunning in red, showed off her impressive gynastice skills as she did some splits on the ice
Ta-da: Bonnie, who also looked stunning in red, showed off her impressive gynastice skills as she did some splits on the ice

Bonnie, who also looked stunning in red, showed off her impressive gynastic skills as she did some splits on the ice.
At 49, the actress showcased a figure that women half her age would be envious off and looked more than ready to tour the country alongside her fellow contestants including Ray Quinn.
The former X Factor contestant was crowned the last ever champion of the ITV skating show after winning the final series of the show earlier this month.

Beyonce shares all the intimate backstage moments and racy outfits of her Mrs. Carter Show as the world tour as it finally comes to an end

Have some champagne Beyonce, you deserve it.
It has been almost a full year since the 32-year-old star first stepped on stage for her Mrs. Carter Show and, on Thursday night, the singer said a tearful goodbye to the world tour.
After walking out in front of a screaming crowd 132 times and performing on almost every continent, the former Destiny's Child star paid tribute to the tour, and those who helped her, on her Tumblr page on Friday.
And now we party: Beyonce has posted behind-the-scenes photographs of her last performance of her Mrs. Carter Show world tour, which came an end Thursday night
And now we party: Beyonce has posted behind-the-scenes photographs of her last performance of her Mrs. Carter Show world tour, which came an end Thursday night

The Drunk In Love songstress filled her page with the final moments of her last concert in Lisbon, Portugal.

Taken by photographer Rob Hoffman, the photographic essay shows all the moments the thousands of fans did not see as after the star sung her last song.
A video of the performance shows Beyonce crying as she farewelled her fans, but as soon as she walked off stage she was ready to party.
Controversial look: In one shout the Partition star wears one of her most talked about looks - a sequined bodysuit complete with faux-nipples
Controversial look: In one shout the Partition star wears one of her most talked about looks - a sequined bodysuit complete with faux-nipples

Closing act: Taken by photographer Rob Hoffman, the photographic essay shows all the moments the thousands of fans did not see as after the star sung her last song
Closing act: Taken by photographer Rob Hoffman, the photographic essay shows all the moments the thousands of fans did not see as after the star sung her last song

Susan Boyle concert is struck by tragedy as man collapses in the audience and receives emergency treatment in his seat

A man was taken ill during a Susan Boyle concert after he collapsed in his seat at a Susan Boyle concert at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on Tuesday.

The man, who is understood to have died, was given emergency resuscitation and was carried out of the venue in a stretcher to be taken to hospital in an ambulance. 
Susan began her performance five minutes late, unaware that a member of the audience had been taken severely ill.
Delay: Susan Boyle's performance in Manchester was put on hold while a man was given emergency treatment after collapsing in the audience
Delay: Susan Boyle's performance in Manchester was put on hold while a man was given emergency treatment after collapsing in the audience

According to the Manchester Evening News, audience members were asked to leave a section of the stalls as ambulance crew administered the emergency procedure.

The performance began at 7.50pm with supporting act Lance Ellington taking to the stage and introducing SuBo to the Manchester audience.
A witness said: 'It was a member of the audience who started the CPR which was then taken over by the paramedics, who arrived within minutes. I've literally never seen an ambulance crew arrive so quickly'

CNBlue at FNC Kingdom stage day 2

England's Cricket Team (and Piers Morgan's ribs) Take a Pasting Down Under

One day,' I promised my sons Spencer, Stanley and Bertie, years ago, 'we will go and watch the Ashes in Australia.' After England's rampant 3-0 victory in last summer's contest, the perfect time appeared to have arrived.

'We're going to the 4th and 5th Test matches in Melbourne and Sydney,' I declared in September.

'What if it's already over by then?' asked Stanley, 16.

'It won't be.' I chuckled. 'Not even this Aussie team could lose the first three games at home.'
It's a family affair: Piers with sons Stanley, Bertie and Spencer at the Sydney Opera House
It's a family affair: Piers with sons Stanley, Bertie and Spencer at the Sydney Opera House

Thus emboldened, I splashed out a sum of money approaching the national debt of Estonia to book us all flights from various parts of the world (me direct on Qantas from Los Angeles, my sons and youngest brother Rupert from London via Singapore Airlines) and well-recommended hotels in both cities.

Today we arrived in Melbourne with the Ashes already lost. Stanley's ominous comment had come true, though inexplicably, it was England who had capitulated so catastrophically. It was like arriving at a war zone moments after your country has surrendered.

Oh, and just to add to the misery, it was raining!

But we comforted ourselves with an excellent dinner at Squires Loft steakhouse, run by an old South African friend of England batsman Kevin Pietersen. The culinary fare was considerably tastier than KP's batting so far on this tour. In fact, I've been tweeting my disappointment at the lack of courage shown by our batsmen, prompting former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee to throw down a gauntlet: facing him for an over in the nets this week. Bring it on...

Danger zone: Piers is struck by a bouncer from former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee
Danger zone: Piers is struck by a bouncer from former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee

Monday 23 December

Our hotel in Melbourne is The Olsen, a cool, arty boutique property nestling in the equally cool, arty Chapel Street. It's filled with works by famed Australian artist John Olsen, and the rooms are spacious and well-appointed, with notably comfortable beds. Add two excellent restaurants, a decent spa and gym, and one of the world's most helpful chief concierges in Paul Rumpff, and I feel immediately relaxed.

Tonight, former England captain Michael Vaughan invited us to a barbecue (he cooked, and surprisingly well too) and 'garden cricket' at the luxury home he's been renting. A titanic battle ended under floodlights with his eight-year-old son Archie hitting an immaculate, elegant 71 not out as my much older sons peppered him with bouncers, beamers and yorkers. He's got a wonderful cover drive, pull shot, and ruthless determination to spend all day at the crease. Remember the name.

Tuesday 24 December

Spent the morning shopping in Chapel Street, which is like a long, slim version of London's Carnaby Street. The weather's been all over the place - hot and sunny one minute, cold, cloudy and rainy the next. Apparently, it's often like this. Must be why so many Brits emigrate here - it reminds them of home. Dinner was at Caffe e Cucina, a local Italian restaurant. Cheap, cheerful and excellent value. Have the spaghetti vongole - it's quite delicious.

Wednesday 25 December

Christmas in a hot country is weird. I tried it in Los Angeles two years ago and hated it. I like my yuletide festivities to be surrounded by snow, lots of decorations and endless carols. Melbourne had none of these, and didn't feel remotely Christmassy. Most locals go to the beach.

We headed for lunch to No 8 by John Lawson at the Crown Casino and Entertainment complex, where at least they supplied crackers with terrible jokes, silly hats, and an even sillier Santa Claus. They also supplied a quite magnificent traditional Christmas meal, all washed down with fine Puligny Montrachet and Chateau Margaux as the dulcet tones of 1,000 Barmy Army fans, and the Australian team, filled the air from two large suites nearby where they, too, were celebrating the big day.

Chef Lawson is an Essex boy done good. He used to work for Gordon Ramsay, and that pedigree shows in the cooking - this is a top-class restaurant.

At the next table was the widow of legendary Australian tycoon Kerry Packer. Over brandy, I asked Ros if it was true that Kerry once told a Texan cattleman in a casino who was boasting of being worth $100 million: 'I'll toss you for it.' She smiled. 'Yes. Most crazy stories about Kerry are true! It would have been his birthday tomorrow.' We raised our glasses to a great, swashbuckling character who changed cricket for ever, and for much the better, in the mid-1970s with his World Series tournament.
Easy to get around: Trams make their way through a sunny Melbourne
Easy to get around: Trams make their way through a sunny Melbourne

Thursday 26 December

Boxing Day at the Melbourne Test match is one of the most famous sporting occasions in the country, and it didn't disappoint. Our day started with breakfast inside the ground to support the Shane Warne Foundation, which has raised more than £5 million for sick children. A host of stars were there, including Sky Sports commentator David 'Bumble' Lloyd, who told the story of how Jeff Thomson - the fastest-ever bowler - once hit him square in the box during a Test match. As he retold the tale in fabulously gruesome detail, you could actually see tears start to well up in his eyes at the memory.

The MCG is the biggest stadium in cricket, and today we became part of history when the crowd was confirmed at a new world record of 91,092. It's hard to overstate how intense the atmosphere was by about 4pm, when a throbbing mass of drunken Aussies howled on their bowlers to dismember our batsmen. It was how I imagine Rome's Colosseum must have looked and felt back in ancient times.
Tonight, we dined at a superb Italian restaurant called Becco with Sir Viv Richards, the most exciting batsman I ever saw, and an utterly charming man. 'Have the seafood pasta,' he advised. I did, and it was superb. Henry Blofield, commentator extraordinaire, walked past, spied our table, and came over to say hello. Or rather to say: 'My dear old things, how simply delightful to see you!' He really does speak like that off-air, too. A national treasure.
Friends reunited: Piers and Brett Lee make up over a couple of bottles of wine
Friends reunited: Piers and Brett Lee make up over a couple of bottles of wine

Friday 27 December

AsI outlined in my Event magazine column earlier this month, a baying mob of 5,000 people amassed around the MCG nets as I faced Brett Lee, who hurtled in like a man possessed. After I'd survived the first two deliveries, the third ball - a ferocious 90mph bouncer - crashed into my back as I ducked, resulting in a loud crack, while the fourth whacked my hip. The fifth hit the stumps, while I managed to dodge the final ball. 'I'm still alive!' I gasped when it was all over. Yes, I was battered and bruised but it also was one of the most thrilling moments of my life.


Sunday 29 December

Been here for a week now, and loved it - even though I'm nursing a broken rib thanks to Brett's 90mph bouncer on Friday. The city is very British in many ways, with the same kind of houses and shopping areas, weather, and sarcastic but warm humour. Everyone we've met has been amazingly friendly and welcoming. Australia is a delightful country.

The Olsen's proven to be a perfect location. It's a well-run but at the same time pleasingly laid-back hotel. To my sons' joy it also backs on to school football pitches which the public can use. Thus, most afternoons a titanic battle of wit, skill and stamina ensues between creaking age (my brother and me) and volatile youth.

The regular verbal 'sledging' jousts almost rival the actual football for quality. Or as my youngest boy Bertie put it tonight: 'Dad, there's been a lot of high-class bantering on the Banter-Bus today.'

Monday 30 December

Flew to Sydney for the second leg of our holiday. It's a very different city to Melbourne, much busier, and more vibrant. And with more consistently good weather.

Our hotel is the QT, part of the same group as the Olsen. It's a designer boutique place, where you're greeted by a striking, beaming redhead in full basque-leather uniform, one of several such women dubbed 'Directors of Chaos'. She epito-mises the sense of sexy, quirky fun about the whole hotel.

Our rooms are great, stocked with enough DIY martini kits and other fancy party-related treats to keep James Bond happy for days.
And the lifts are pure comedy, with the music tailored precisely to how many people are standing in it. If there's only one person then Lonely by Akon plays; two people and it's Just The Two Of Us; eight and you get 50 Cent's In Da Club.
Flying the flag: The Australian cricket team celebrate a 5-0 whitewash over England in Sydney
Flying the flag: The Australian cricket team celebrate a 5-0 whitewash over England in Sydney

But the real star for me is the Gowings bar and restaurant. The food, service and drinks are some of the best I've enjoyed in any hotel anywhere in the world.

Tonight, the boys stayed in to watch movies (they're all free for guests at the QT, a nice touch) while Rupert and I joined my rib-breaking tormentor Brett Lee and his elder brother Shane (who also played for Australia) for dinner at Bathers' Pavilion in Balmoral, reputed to be Sydney's best restaurant. It's in an idyllic setting, nestled on a gorgeous quiet beach.

We had oysters, steaks and two magnums of Penfolds and talked cricket for four hours. My idea of a perfect night!


Tuesday 31 December

The QT is a five-minute walk from Darling Harbour, a buzzy area of restaurants, shops and tourist attractions. We had a couple of good seafood meals at the Blue Fish Cafe during the week, and a very palatable takeaway Indian curry from Zaaffran.

Tonight, thanks to the ingenuity of QT promotions chief Stephen Howard, we got on to the 35th-floor roof of the Shangri-La hotel on Sydney Harbour, overlooking the iconic Sydney Bridge and Opera House for the New Year's Eve fireworks. It was a stunning vantage point for what is an absolutely stunning display. Though I was amused to see that at precisely midnight, almost every single guest on the roof pulled out their phone and began taking 'selfies'. We're truly heading to an age where every second of one's life must be instantly recorded and imparted on to friends via Facebook, or complete strangers via Twitter, as a matter of urgency.
Quirky fun: Guests at the QT hotel in Sydney are greeted by a redhead in full basque-leather uniform - one of several such women dubbed 'Directors of Chaos'
Quirky fun: Guests at the QT hotel in Sydney are greeted by a redhead in full basque-leather uniform - one of several such women dubbed 'Directors of Chaos'


Wednesday 1 January

Did a few touristy things. The aquarium at Darling Harbour houses some impressively massive sharks, and the amazing view from the top of the Sydney Tower Eye, the city's tallest building, is definitely worth seeing.

There's also a military submarine in Darling Harbour, which is an incredible experience, if only to see at first hand the ridiculously cramped conditions in which 70 grown men have to exist on these things. I found it claustrophobic after just a few minutes down there. I can't imagine what six months must feel like.

Later I took the boys to a Big Bash game, part of the 20/20 tournament that's hugely popular in Australia. We sat with West Indies batting legend Chris Gayle, who was hilarious, and chatted to Aussie star David Warner in the next box to us ('Who's this, One Direction?' he laughed as I introduced the boys). The only sour note came when former Australian captain Ian Chappell walked past and I held a hand out with the words: 'Hi, Mr Chappell, I'm Piers Morgan. . .' to which he replied: 'Nah, mate, you're a d***head.' As Spencer said: 'It's good when people live down to every expectation.'

Thursday 2 January

Lunch at Doyles on Watson's Bay, Sir Ian Botham's favourite place in Sydney. Had absurdly fresh-tasting crab and their signature fish and chips while taking in the wonderful view. It's worth the half-hour taxi ride, but get the water cab back to town - just because it's great fun.
Iconic: Piers got to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks from the Shangri-La hotel on Sydney Harbour
Iconic: Piers got to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks from the Shangri-La hotel on Sydney Harbour

Saturday 4 January

We've spent the first two days at the Sydney Test, and England's cricket has continued its disastrous path on this tour. But the weather's been wonderful, the people genuinely lovely, and we've enjoyed every minute of the holiday. My highlight today was seeing 84-year-old former Aussie Prime Minister Bob Hawke sink a pint of beer in one go, howled on by 100 drunken men dressed as legendary commentator Richie Benaud. If ever a moment made me fall in love with Australia, it was this.

Sunday 5 January

Got up at 4am to watch Arsenal, the fourth time we've had to rise in the middle of the night to watch our team since we've been out here. But we won, and are top of the Premier League, so at least there's some small solace on the sporting front.

Monday 6 January

Flew back to Los Angeles on Qantas. The First Class service is outstanding, making the 13-hour flight a breeze. On landing, the chief steward approached me. 'Mr Morgan, I'm afraid I have some bad news. . .' My heart raced. 'What is it?' 'England were bowled out for 166 in 31 overs! It was a 5-0 whitewash!' So an indescribable horror on the field, and yet a very easily describable joy off it. I loved Australia. And so did my boys. Oddly, we never once went to the beach. We'll do it next time.

After his brush with death, George Michael's finally grown up

GEORGE MICHAEL: Symphonica (Virgin EMI)
Rating: 4 Star Rating
Verdict: Poignant and polished
Having often made the news for all the wrong reasons, George Michael was hoping to put the focus back on his music when he began a tour of Europe’s finest opera houses three years ago.
He was conquering his demons through drug counselling, and had enlisted a symphony orchestra to breathe fresh life into his weighty back catalogue and some well-chosen covers.
But things didn’t work out as planned. On the opening night in Prague, he was almost in tears onstage as he announced a split from his long-term partner  Kenny Goss.
George Michael's in-concert album Symphonica, which was recorded after his recovered from pneumonia, reiterates his resilience as a consummate live entertainer
George Michael's in-concert album Symphonica, which was recorded after his recovered from pneumonia, reiterates his resilience as a consummate live entertainer

Three months later, he lay close to death in a Vienna hospital as he battled acute pneumonia. Despite fears that one of the best voices of his generation might never perform again, Michael made a slow recovery and eventually resumed his tour.
This in-concert album, recorded after his recuperation, reiterates his resilience as a consummate live entertainer.

Produced by George and Phil Ramone, the legendary American producer who passed away last year at 79, Symphonica is a far cry from the kind of fare served up in the Eighties by the singer and his former Wham! buddy Andrew Ridgeley.
Back then, the fresh-faced twosome played to packed houses of screaming teenage girls and sang hits such as I’m Your Man with shuttlecocks tucked strategically inside tight-fitting shorts.
As befits a man of 50, this record is more refined. With elegant strings and horns adding colour without being intrusive, it places the onus firmly on a smooth, expressive voice that is still in magnificent fettle.
Despite the bumpy ride behind Symphonica, this polished return is an overdue reminder of a great British voice that might even be getting better with age
Despite the bumpy ride behind Symphonica, this polished return is an overdue reminder of a great British voice that might even be getting better with age

If the falsetto edge of youth has gone, maturity has conferred a resonant quality that adds richness to numbers like You’ve Changed, a jazz ballad once  sung by Nat King Cole and  Billie Holiday.
Unlike the over-the-top warblers of the TV talent shows, Michael tackles numbers such as Ewan MacColl’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face with soulful understatement.
One of his vocal strengths has always been a sense of economy, and his less-is-more approach also adds intimacy to his own hits, including A Different Corner.
Among the many ballads, there are two upbeat interludes, both revolving around songs once associated with Nina Simone: My Baby Just Cares For Me is cool and nonchalant; Feeling Good is bold, brassy and delivered with real swagger.
The most interesting covers are the less obvious ones. A version of Rufus Wainwright’s Going To A Town respects the original’s artful melodic twists, while George excels on Terence Trent D’Arby’s Let Her Down Easy, a poignant song written by a concerned father about his teenage daughter’s coming of age.
Elsewhere, there are too many inclusions (six, including The Police’s Roxanne) from 1999’s Songs From The Last Century, and three puzzling omissions in New Order’s True Faith, Rihanna’s Russian Roulette and Amy Winehouse’s Love Is A Losing Game — all highlights of Michael’s live set, yet all absent here.
But, despite the bumpy ride behind Symphonica, this polished return is an overdue reminder of a great British voice that might even be getting better with age.

Frights and delights on Liverpool's big night: QUENTIN LETTS reviews Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night (Liverpool Everyman)
Rating: 3 Star Rating
Verdict: A welcome return
Liverpool's Everyman theatre has reopened after a refit costing £27 million and it looks terrific. North-West England’s greatest city again has a major, high-minded stage.
Artistic director Gemma Bodinetz’s Twelfth Night, which gets off to an innovative start, lasts almost three and a half hours. Thank goodness the new seats are comfortable. Several passages, not least the goofing between Sir Toby Belch (Matthew Kelly) and the lighter people, need to be slashed.
The staging is broad and light, the theatre’s old brickwork, pine floor and high ceiling calling to mind a grand barn for the scenes in Orsino’s and later Olivia’s houses. Potted orchids descend to add a bucolic touch.
Singing on the stage: Matthew Kelly as Sir Toby Belch, Paul Duckworth as jester Feste and Adam Keast as Sir Toby's drinking friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Singing on the stage: Matthew Kelly as Sir Toby Belch, Paul Duckworth as jester Feste and Adam Keast as Sir Toby's drinking friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek

When we first see Viola (Jodie McNee) her teeth are chattering from the shipwreck. Good touch.

Miss McNee makes a reasonably convincing Teddy Boy as the disguised Cesario and she sings sweetly — there is much music in this Twelfth Night, as is only right. I could have done with a little more honey and softness, or maybe a little less feyness from her twin brother Sebastian (Luke Jerdy).
Orsino (Adam Levy), in a white suit possibly borrowed from the man from Del Monte, gives us an idea of romantic impatience. Sir Toby wears a corduroy suit and orange beret. His drinking friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Adam Keast), far from being the beanpole we are told to expect, is a shortie with horn curls.
This production has some fine points, among them Natalie Dew’s touching Olivia and a convincingly pathetic Malvolio (Nicholas Woodeson). He divides his line ‘I’ll be revenged — on the whole pack of you!’, reserving the second part until he reaches his exit via the auditorium. This is the moment of the night.
Mr Woodeson also wins a chuckle of recognition from the Merseyside audience when Malvolio is caught poshing up his Northern vowels.
Less successful, I fear, is the decision to turn the jester Feste (Paul Duckworth) into a Lily Savage figure with hairnet, lipstick and transvestite’s high heels. Was it done to assert the theatre’s regional identity? Bigger horizons, please.
Much as one warms to Mr Kelly as a national delight, his determination to pop his eyes and gas with laughter every moment of every scene becomes wearisome. The Sir Toby/Sir Andrew axis is usually better done. Pauline Daniels’s Maria nearly ruins the finale with ‘oops, naughty me’ grimaces as Malvolio’s downfall is explained.
If I sound pernickety it is because the Everyman, having returned to British cultural life in fine physical fettle, deserves to be judged seriously. Though this Twelfth Night is not perfect, it has enough flair to make a respectable curtain-raiser.

The men behind Facebook, Tesla and PayPal (and Ashton Kutcher) unite to help create a computer that works like a HUMAN BRAIN

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, pictured, has invested in artificial intelligence firm VicariousSome of the most entrepreneurial minds in the world are joining forces to help a small tech startup create a digital brain.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla owner Elon Musk join the likes of PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel, actor Ashton Kutcher and Facebook’s co-founder Dustin Moskovitz by investing in San Francisco-based Vicarious. 
The startup wants to create software that ‘thinks and learns like a human’, and to do that, the firm is attempting to build a program that mimics the brain’s neocortex.  
According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, Zuckerberg, Musk and Kutcher have invested a total of $40million (£24million) in the company. 
Thiel reportedly invested $1.2 million (£727,000) in 2010, while Moskovitz was said to have added $15million (£9million) to the fund. 
The neocortex is the top layer of the cerebral hemispheres in the brain of mammals. It is approximately 3mm thick and has six layers, each involved with various functions. 

These include sensory perception, spatial reasoning, conscious thought, and language in humans.
According to the company’s website: ‘Vicarious is developing machine learning software based on the computational principles of the human brain.
‘Our first technology is a visual perception system that interprets the contents of photographs and videos in a manner similar to humans. 
‘Powering this technology is a new computational paradigm we call the Recursive Cortical Network.’
The San Francisco-based startup wants to create software that 'thinks and learns like a human'. To do this the firm is attempting to build a program that mimics the brain's neocortex, which is responsible for thought, spatial reasoning and language in humans. Stock image pictured
The San Francisco-based startup wants to create software that 'thinks and learns like a human'. To do this the firm is attempting to build a program that mimics the brain's neocortex, which is responsible for thought, spatial reasoning and language in humans. Stock image pictured
Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, pictured, is also involved in the projectActor Ashton Kutcher has also invested in the firm
Zuckerberg alongside actor Ashton Kutcher, pictured left, and chief executive of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, Elon Musk, pictured right, are said to have invested a total of $40million (£24million) into the project

WHAT IS THE NEOCORTEX?

The neocortex is the top layer of the cerebral hemispheres in the brain of mammals.
It is approximately 3mm thick and has six layers each involved with various functions. 
These include sensory perception, generation of motor commands, spatial reasoning, conscious thought, and in humans, language.
Vicarious founder Scott Phoenix told the Wall Street Journal if the firm is successful with its current project, the company will have created 'a computer that thinks like a person except it doesn't need to eat or sleep.
A Facebook spokesperson said Zuckerberg’s investment was ‘personal’, and was not affiliated with the company. 
Peter Thiel said: ‘Vicarious is bringing us all closer to a future where computers perceive, imagine, and reason just like humans.’
And Dustin Moskovitz added: ‘The technology that Vicarious is developing has the potential to improve all lives and revolutionise every industry.’
In October 2013, the company announced it had developed an algorithm that ‘reliably’ solves modern Captchas - the world’s most widely used test of a machine’s ability to act human.
Captchas are used when filling in forms, for example, to make sure it’s not being completed by a bot. This prevents people programming computers to buy a bulk load of gig tickets, for example.
A Captcha scheme is considered broken if an algorithm is able to reach a precision of at least 1 per cent. 
By using research into so-called machine learning - in which a machine can learn from its mistakes - and neuroscience, the Vicarious artificial intelligence achieved success rates up to 90 per cent on modern Captchas from Google, Yahoo, PayPal, Captcha.com, and others. 
Company founder Scott Phoenix told the Wall Street Journal if the firm is successful with its current project, Vicarious will have created ‘a computer that thinks like a person except it doesn't need to eat or sleep.'

Sean Combs ditches P.Diddy moniker to return to stage name which made him famous

He has already changed his stage name twice in his career, confusingly ditching 'Puff Daddy' for the more simple moniker 'P.Diddy' back in 2001.
But now, after streamlining yet again to the simpler 'Diddy' nine years ago, Sean Combs is returning to the name which made him famous.
What's more, the 44-year-old rapper rather confusingly claimed on Tuesday that he never changed his name, and has was always in fact, Puff Daddy.
Daddy or Diddy? Sean Combs says he has always been known as Puff Daddy, a name featured in the opening credits top his new video for song Big Homie
Daddy or Diddy? Sean Combs says he has always been known as Puff Daddy, a name featured in the opening credits for his new video for song Big Homie
'For the record, I did not change my name,' he wrote on Tuesday. 'I always have been and always will be PUFF DADDY! :) Be cool Man lol #MMM #BigHomie RT!!!!'
The 44-year-old rapper and businessman initially announced the name change in the opening credits to the trailer for new music video Big Homie.
As if to see the funny side, he later tweeted: 'Diddy or Daddy?'


The rapper dropped the name Puff Daddy back in 2001 after being found not guilty of charges of possession of a weapon in connection with a 1999 shooting at a New York club.
The new video features Combs's old name in the opening credits
The new video features Combs's old name in the opening credits
The new video features Combs's old name in the opening credits
I am not Diddy: The star tweeted that he has, in fact, always been known as Puff Daddy despite his Twitter handle being different
I am not Diddy: The star tweeted that he has, in fact, always been known as Puff Daddy despite his Twitter handle being different
Let's call the whole thing off: Combs himself saw the funny side, later tweeting: 'Diddy or Daddy?'
Let's call the whole thing off: Combs himself saw the funny side, later tweeting: 'Diddy or Daddy?'
'No more Puff Daddy - the first week in June, we're going to have a name-change ceremony,' he told MTV News at the time. 'I just want something fresh. I'm rocking with P Diddy just now.'
The rapper said the new name had been suggested by his friend, the late rapper Notorious BIG, who was shot dead in 1996.
Combs has timed his name announcement to coincide with MMM, his first album in four years. He has released two albums as Puff Daddy, one as P Diddy, and two as Diddy.

Kourtney Kardashian on designing for babies - and why she lets Mason dress himself

It's no secret the Kardashian family loves fashion. They have a women's clothing line called Kardashian Kollection at Sears, Dash boutiques in Los Angeles, Miami and New York, and have now launched a clothing line at Babies R Us stores called Kardashian Kids.
If you have a baby boy, though, you're out of luck. The line is just for baby girls up to 24 months.
'I think girls' (clothing) was easier for me to wrap my head around,' said Kourtney Kardashian while promoting the venture in New York Monday. She said she's 'obsessed with boys' clothes' but found 'it was easier to just start with girls.'
For girls and boys: While Kourtney Kardashian's Babies R Us line is currently only available for girls, she hopes to expand its offerings to boys
For girls and boys: While Kourtney Kardashian's Babies R Us line is currently only available for girls, she hopes to expand its offerings to boys
Vogue approval: Ms Kardashian says that she is incredibly proud of her sister Kim's new Vogue cover
Vogue approval: Ms Kardashian says that she is incredibly proud of her sister Kim's new Vogue cover
She hopes to incorporate boys' clothing into the line in the future.
'I would love to,' Kardashian, 34, said, adding that she started shopping for her son Mason, now 4, when she was pregnant with him. She also has a daughter, Penelope, who is almost 2.
While Penelope is too little to have a say in what she wears, Kardashian said she 'picks her battles' when it comes to dressing her son, who likes to pick out his own clothes and 'surprise everyone and then come out and show us his outfit so it's really cute.' But 'if there's a special occasion and I really want him to wear a suit on Christmas Eve for this or that, then he's so far has been good about still wearing what I want.'

essica Wright leads the way as boyfriend Ricky Rayment and cousin Elliott arrive for family meal

Their families had an almighty row to rival the Montagues and Capulets on Sunday evening’s episode of TOWIE.
But it seems Jessica Wright and Ricky Rayment will get a happy ever after after all – or at least one happier than Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
The star-crossed lovers were seen arriving at the Wright family home in Essex on Monday, shortly followed by Jess’ cousin Elliott – who has undoubtedly been the catalyst for the rows.
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Here we go again: Jessica Wright was seen arriving at her mother's house  in Essex for a meal on Monday evening
Here we go again: Jessica Wright was seen arriving at her mother's house in Essex for a meal on Monday evening
Face off: Jess's boyfriend Ricky (L) and cousin Elliott (R) also arrived at the house
Face off: Jess's boyfriend Ricky (L) and cousin Elliott (R) also arrived at the house
Face off: Jess's boyfriend Ricky (L) and cousin Elliott (R) also arrived at the house
Jess didn’t look particularly enthused ahead of the meeting, almost grimacing as she arrived and not even her floral top with sheer black skirt seemed to be able to raise a smile.
Her boyfriend Ricky, who had the back-up of his parents the week before, looked ready for battle once again while wearing chinos and a deep purple blazer.
Finally Elliott – who seemed to be on a high after beating Lewis Bloor in a charity boxing match – arrived in casual attire and no doubt ready to fight his corner once again.

The Year Awards

There were plenty of famous faces and deserving winners when the Tesco Mum of the Year awards were held on Sunday at the Savoy Hotel.
As the Ambassador of the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2014, Coleen Rooney, lent her star presence to the proceedings.
Dressed in an LBD that was equally daring and demure at turns and with her hair pulled back off her face, Coleen looked very regal in appearance and a fine representation of what the awards were all about.
As Ambassador for Tesco Mum of the Year 2014, Coleen Rooney lent her star presence to the event
As Ambassador for Tesco Mum of the Year 2014, Coleen Rooney lent her star presence to the event



Sport great Sarah Storey attended the event with her cute baby Louise Marie
Sport great Sarah Storey attended the event with her cute baby Louise Marie

This is the ninth year that the Tesco Mum of The Year Awards have run. They are to honour women who, according to the supermarket chain, 'go above and beyond the call of duty to help others and are a wonderful way to recognise ordinary mums who do extraordinary things'.
As the event's ambassador, the position carries a lot of responsibility with it, but that something that's not new to Coleen, who is married to Manchester United and England footballer Wayne Rooney has two boys - Kai, aged four and Klay, six months.
'I am so excited to be involved with these awards and wanted to be part of this campaign to give it the recognition it deserves,' she explained on the awards website. 'There are so many truly inspirational, courageous and selfless mums out there who do an amazing job but have no idea how special they are. There were so many incredible mum nominated this year.'

Stephanie Okereke Begins TV Show For Lovers

Nollywood actress Stephanie Okereke is currently shooting parts of her new Tv show called ‘Make Me Fabulous’. The Tv show is all about bringing couples together. The actress believes the daily activities of most partners are always too much, which leaves them with little or no time for each other, talk less of having a romantic time together. 
Her own Tv show, is to pick a lucky winner, who will be pampered and ‘transformed’ for her husband/boyfriend, which she believes will excite the partner and make them start their romance all over again. See pictures from one of the scenes after the cut.

Dr Frabz has been crowned The New Music Director On Nigerian Idol

Africa’s biggest music reality show, Nigerian Idol has announced a new music director for its fourth season as the competition gets set to separate the wheat from the shaft for the Top 30 rounds.
Acting as the music director this season is, Award winning producer/singer Ayo Faboro, who is well known as Dr Frabz. He started his own music production company called N'sayne Entertainment and has produced smashing hit songs like Chuddy K's Slow Slow, Shank's Too late and Weird MC's Riranwo among others.
“I expect that this season we will be able to help the best of the contestants to shine,” said Dr. Frabz.

Nigerian Idol airs on Saturday and Sunday’s on HIP TV, STV, Various Startimes Channels, DRTV Warri and CRBC Calabar.

Chidi Mokeme Beverly Naya cover Redsheet magazine 24th edition

Nollywood stars Chidi Mokeme and Beverly Naya cover the latest issue of Redsheet magazine...


I Will Not Accept A Penny From FG For The National Conference As A Delegate - Pastor Bakare

The General Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare has said he will not accept a penny from the Federal Government for accepting to be a delegate at the three-month National Conference which started today.
The Pastor while explaining this to his church members said he will be doing so, so that people will not think he is there for the monetary aspect.
Each of the 492 delegates to the National Conference would be paid N4m per month for the three month duration, which means they will go home with N12m each at the end of the conference.

Though some Nigerians have condemned this , saying N12m each for 492 delegates for three months is outrageous.

Pastor Tunde Bakare will be representing Ogun State at the conference.

Exclusive To JJD Readers! Sad Story of a Smoker.....Funny!

I just read this online and i think i should share it with you guy!
Please read it all and don't laugh too much guys.

I had just moved out of my parents house and was sharing a room with my "friend". I had no idea he smoked weed, despite his suspicious movements and signature weed scent (abi na odour?).
Barely two weeks after moving in with him, my worst fears were confirmed as he started bringing home his weed smoking buddies and they would occasionally roll a wrap and smoke it right there in the room or mix the weed with beans or spaghetti.
Being a very curious person I always wondered what made them happy after smoking, so I decided to find out for myself (wrong move).
It was a very hot day in February, a Saturday I think it was, my friend was out as usual. I searched everywhere for his stash but couldn't find it so I decided to go and get mine.
I arrived the weed joint all sweaty and nervous, half expecting to get mugged but nobody seemed to be aware of my presence there, they were all on different planets all expect one I concluded that he must be the seller so I approached him and the following conversation ensued:
Me: how far?
Weed seller: I dey
Me: I wan buy weed
Weed seller: how many parcel?
Me: parcel ke? Iro oo, na just small i need
Weed seller: laughs really hard. bolo leleyi sha (meaning this guy is a dunce oo)
Apparently, a parcel of weed is that small wrap, I didn't know that. I thought it was something very large.
I gave him 1000naira and he gave me a tiny wrap of weed with a white paper, I was surprised when he gave me 950 as change. I couldn't believe weed was that cheap.
On my way home, I decided not to smoke it but mix it with beans because I thought that it will be better that way (another wrong move).
Long story short, I cooked beans and added the whole weed, ate it and called my friend, I told him ogbeni, I just ate weed oo and nothing happened to me this one that you people will eat and be feeling funky, I don chop am oo. My friend was like, ehen you be strong man oo.
I decided to take a quick nap before doing laundry, I woke up about 20 minutes later on the floor, I was banging my head on the floor, and I couldn't stop, my heart beat was so audible and fast, everything was extra bright and extra loud.
After a few minutes of head banging, I was able to get up from the floor,
I felt as if I had just gained access to a part of my mind that I never knew existed previously.
It was scary and cool at the same time. I could feel the blood flowing in my veins (you have to experience it to believe it. Though I strongly advise against it). I felt so uncomfortable in the room, it felt like I was in an oven.
Suddenly, a voice in my head wisphered ogbeni bo aso e joor (off your clothes), I obeyed. The voice came again oya sa re (now run). That was when I realized that the weed had taken effect, so I decided to take a shower to see if it will calm me down, but the water felt so hot on my skin so hot I ran out of the bathroom.
I called my friend to see if he could help me make sense of what was going on but he laughed at me, he asked me the quantity of weed I took and I told him I used a whole parcel, he said guyyyyy you don eff up! If you no sleep in the next 30mins, you go mad oo. Go chemist make you go explain yourself.
By this time things had escalated, I had a severe itch at the back of my head that wouldn't go away no matter how hard I scratched and I was convinced that the beating in my chest was an evil spirit that could only be killed with a punch.
I ran to my neighbor - Champion and told him, Champion e jo e fun mi lese laya(champion pls punch me in the chest). ti e ba gbami lese laya mo ma ku oo (if you don't punch me I will die oo).
He hissed and walked out having had enough of such nonsense from the boys in the boys quarters.
The voice in my head came again - iwo na o de gba ara e lese laya abi o ti fe ku ni (why don't you punch yourself in the chest or do you want to die?) I punched and punched but there was no difference.
The house was getting hotter, the voice in my head was getting louder, the itch in my head was getting worse, and the evil spirit in my chest was getting louder.
Then came the voice again - oya ma sare lo (start running). So I started running but on getting outside in the sun, I felt so cold I was shivering but that didn't stop me from running (I would have given Usain Bolt a run for his money on that day).
On getting to the chemist, i realized I was bare footed, I told him I had a severe headache I needed something to make me sleep immediately. He gave me the drug and I chewed it right there in his presence.
Next I asked him to give me a drug for evil spirit, that was when he realized something was wrong with me and chased me out.
I got back home and tried to sleep but my heart beat wouldn't let me, so I ran back out this time around to a nurse in the area, first thing she asked was - kilode o wo bata ni? (why don't you have your shoes on?
I told her Jackie Chan ti gba bata lowo mi (Jackie Chan collected my shoes). I was finally able to explain my situation to her and she took me in, tied something around my elbow and injected me directly in the vein.
I passed out immediately only to wake around 1 or 2am in the middle of the night with the worst kind of hunger I have ever felt in my life. I ate a whole loaf of butter field bread in one sitting without butter or tea.
I came home to a hero's welcome, my friend told me e be like say your head no carry am but e go better make you try am once more so you go dey use to it.
The following day while the house was empty, I packed my Ghana must go and like the prodigal son in the bible I went back home to my parents.
It's been a few years since that experience but the lesson I learnt is an unforgettable one. My curiosity hasn't gotten me in trouble again and my circle of friends have since changed

Mark Wright and fiancée Michelle Keegan enjoy a sunny day out with their parents

They recently returned home from a romantic trip to Dubai.
But Mark Wright and his fiancée swapped the sun-drenched beaches of the United Arab Emirates for the paved streets of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk on Sunday.
The couple headed out for some retail therapy with her mother Jacqueline and her father Michael, while Mark also brought his parents, Carol and Big Mark Wright along for some family bonding.

Happy families: Mark Wright (second right) and Michelle Keegan (left) enjoyed a day out with their parents in Bury St Edmunds
Happy families: Mark Wright (second right) and Michelle Keegan (left) enjoyed a day out with their parents in Bury St Edmunds

Michelle showed off a hint of her tanned midriff in a gorgeous white crop top, but covered up the rest of her slim figure in a pair of
blue jeans and nude shoes.
Mark, 27, opted for his trademark attire of a black T-shirt together with a pair of blue jeans and a black leather jacket.
The Coronation Street actress – who plays Tina McIntyre in the ITV soap - had her raven-coloured tresses up for the day in a cute white bow. 

Kristen Bell accidentally flashes underwear at the Los Angeles premiere of Veronica Mars

Wardrobe malfunction: Kristen Bell's pink dress billowed open to reveal her nude underwear at the LA premiere of Veronica Mars on WednesdayShe played a teenage private investigator in TV show Veronica Mars, the movie version of which is set to hit theatres on Friday thanks to a Kickstarter funding campaign.
And while leading lady Kristen Bell was keen to show she is all grown up as she stepped out in a stunning strapless pink J Mendel dress at the Los Angeles premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on Wednesday, she didn't reckon on almost baring all.
Wardrobe malfunction: Kristen Bell's pink dress billowed open to reveal her nude underwear at the LA premiere of Veronica Mars on Wednesday
The blonde beauty's dress, featuring a
daring thigh-high split, billowed open to reveal her nude underwear but she quickly got things under control as she pulled it back together. 
And the incident didn't seem to upset Kristen who flashed a wide smile, along with her underwear.
Earlier Kristen showed only a glimpse of toned leg as she walked the red carpet in the silk dress which flattered her figure.
The 33-year-old actress looked every inch the leading lady with her hair slicked back in a low ponytail to allow emphasis on her dazzling earrings.

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