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Archive for January, 2013

Al Gore to speak at Savannah Book Festival in February

AP

AP

Former Vice President Al Gore, the environmentalist author and filmmaker who just sold his Current TV network to Al-Jazeera for $500 million, will speak at the 2013 Savannah Book Festival.

His appearance is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. Feb. 16 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Telfair Square. “No photos or recording are permitted” during his remarks, according to festival organizers.

Al-Jazeera, the Pan-Arab news channel owned by the government of Qatar, expands its reach to about 50 million homes by acquiring Current. The network vows to hire more journalists and add U.S. news bureaus.

“Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by Dec. 31, lest it be subject to higher tax rates that took effect on Jan. 1, according to several people who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly,” the New York Times reported. Ultimately the deal was reached after the new year began.

At the Savannah festival Gore, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for …

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Cool to be kind: Atlanta embraces acts of kindness

302163456218563293_BXSLHx3d_cFor a place billed as “The City Too Busy to Hate,” here in the land of “yes ma’ams” and thank-you notes, Atlanta has come in for a bit of knuckle rapping, making Men’s Health magazine’s list of “Angriest Cities” in 2011 and Travel + Leisure magazine’s list of “America’s Rudest Cities” last year.

Happily 2013 seems to be getting off on a kinder, gentler foot.

Federal data suggest Atlanta has been fairly deliberate about random kindness. A report just released by the Corporation for National and Community Service showed Atlanta saw a 4.6 percent increase in informal volunteering (doing simple things like helping neighbors) between 2010 and 2011. Atlanta ranked 23rd on a list of 51 major cities in terms of volunteer hours, a jump from #38 the year before.

From the heart-warming blog, Twitter and Facebook posts we’ve been seeing it appears many Atlantans are engaging in random (or not so random) acts of kindness.

Click here for a gallery on some of our nicest …

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Tim Tebow’s in Atlanta

AP

AP

Tim Tebow is in Atlanta. The New York Jets quarterback (for now anyway) showed up for a Thursday night workout at Flywheel Atlanta. The indoor cycling studio on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead posted a photo of him afterwards.

“Look who joined a full class tonight,” the caption read.

Tebow, who has family in town, shows up in Atlanta from time to time. Last spring he came to Atlanta to serve as one of the featured speakers at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast 2012, a leadership seminar. During that visit he also appeared at an event at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville to discuss sports, leadership and the Great Commission – Jesus’ instruction to the disciples to spread his teachings.

He was in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl earlier this week, where the University of Florida played Louisville (the Cardinals upset the Gators to win 33-23). An Around the League piece posted on NFL.com reported that he ducked questions about his future. Speculation has been strong that he’ll …

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Paula Deen shares dieting tips

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Photo credit: Melanie Dunea for Woman’s Day

Paula Deen shares dieting tips in the February edition of Woman’s Day magazine, on newsstands Jan. 8.

The Savannah culinary mogul, long known (and in some cases derided) for her high-calorie concoctions, has shifted gears to become an advocate of healthier cooking and eating since disclosing her battle with diabetes last year.

Deen’s 2011 cookbook, “Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible,” made it to the list of Five Worst Cookbooks of 2011 by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Since then she’s lent her name to healthier dishes, though. The first recipe that pops up on her website at the moment is one billed as a “Lighter Hoppin’ John salad.”

A slimmed-down Deen graces the cover of Woman’s Day and in an accompanying interview urges moderation and proper portion size.

“I want to be here for my grandchildren,” Deen told the magazine. “I think about them every day. My daddy was dead at 40. My mother …

Continue reading Paula Deen shares dieting tips »

Honey Boo Boo hits Conyers ice rink

AP

AP

Y’all ready to redneckon-ice?

Georgia’s most famous 7-year-old, beauty queen turned reality show star Alana Thompson and her family visited a Conyers ice rink recently. TMZ, which has kept up with the young star of TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” a breakout star of “Toddlers and Tiaras,” dutifully documented the outing. Click here to see photos.

It sounds like TLC was there to record the fun for a future episode, seeing how winter is not mud-bogging or four-wheeling season.

New episodes of “Honey Boo Boo,” a runaway hit that rivaled last year’s political conventions in terms of viewership, start Sunday. You can either tune into Georgia Public Broadcasting this Sunday at 9 p.m. for the season premiere of “Downton Abbey,” or TLC to catch up with Mama, Sugar Bear an’nem.

Me? I’ve already seen the “Dowton Abbey” season opener..

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Samuel L. Jackson demands interviewer use N-word

Samuel L. Jackson demanded a white interviewer use the N-word during an interview about the movie “Django Unchained.” The awkward interchange is below.

“There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the usage of the N-word in this movie,” Houston film critic and producer Jake Hamilton begins in the video clip at the 13:56 mark.

“No? Nobody? None?” Jackson responds. “The word would be…?”

“I don’t want to say it,” Hamilton says.

“Why not?” Jackson asks.

“I don’t like to say it,” Hamilton says.

“Have you ever said it?” Jackson asks, picking up the pace.

“No, sir,” says Hamilton, looking more uncomfortable by the second.

“Try it,” Jackson urges.

“I don’t like to say it,” Hamilton pleads.

“TRY IT!” commands Jackson, beginning to sound like his character in “Pulp Fiction.”

“Really? Seriously?” asks Hamilton, now looking off camera, perhaps hoping someone can step in and help.

“We’re not going to have this conversation unless you say it,” Jackson states.

Hamilton pauses.

“You want to …

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Young Jeezy, T.I. and Tiny party on New Year’s Eve

Photo credit: PRINCE WILLIAMS, ATLPICS.COM

Photo credit: PRINCE WILLIAMS, ATLPICS.COM

Happy New Year!

As 2013 gets cranking we have a couple of New Year’s Eve party photos for you.

First, here in Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy spent the night at the Hennessy V.S New Year’s Eve Takeover event at Compound nightclub. He arrived in a white Bentley and partied alongside  promoter Alex Gidewon and V-103’s Kenny Burns.

That’s Jeezy on the right, looking sharp!

Photo credit: THADDAEUS MCADAMS - EXCLUSIVE ACCESS.NET

Photo credit: THADDAEUS MCADAMS – EXCLUSIVE ACCESS.NET

Atlanta hip hop artist and reality show personality T.I. headed south for the holiday and rang in 2013 with wife Tiny at the Hennessy V.S New Years Eve Takeover event in South Beach. There they are on the right.

T.I. performed at several Miami events over the weekend and was seen hanging out with actor Evan Ross, producer Rico Love and Kim Kardashian’s guy pal Jonathan Cheban.

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Interview: Cobb native Becca Tobin shines in “Glee” role

Photo credit: Tommy Garcia/FOX

Photo credit: Tommy Garcia/FOX

A few years ago, Cobb County native Becca Tobin was a high school student active in the performing arts. Today she’s on a hit show about high school students active in the performing arts. The 2004 Wheeler High School graduate plays caustic Kitty, the mean-girl cheerleader on “Glee.” We talked with Tobin, 26, by phone on New Year’s Eve to discuss her journey from metro Atlanta to the popular Fox show.

Q: Talk about preparing for the role of Kitty.

A: Playing the mean girl is one of the most fun jobs in show business. She’s pretty venomous. She’s very funny and quick which maybe makes the sting land a little more gently. I have an older sister. No one brings out the mean girl in me like she did when I was younger. We’re best of friends now but I kind of draw on those memories.

Q: Has your past experience as a performing-arts student helped you connect to “Glee?”

A: Musical theater was not the cool thing to do when I was in high school. …

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