Regina King Joins “American Crime” Cast, Returns to “Big Bang Theory” and will Direct Upcoming Episode of “Scandal”

We’ll be seeing a lot of Regina King during the next season, both in front of and behind the camera.  King has joined the cast of John Ridley’s new ABC drama series, “American Crime,” and will return to CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” to reprise her role.

“American Crime,” which Ridley is writing, directing and executive producing, follows a racially-charged murder case and the trial that follows, as audiences will experience the murder and trial through the eyes of several different people who are, in some way, connected to the events. It’ll frankly tackle matters of race, class and gender politics in the USA.

King will play the devoutly religious sister of one of the series’ key characters, who comes to Modesto in order to help her brother handle a judicial system that she believes is stacked against him.  King will appear in 7 episodes of the new series, with an option for two additional.

As for her return to CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory”… The show is primarily centered on 5 characters living in Pasadena, California: roommates Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, both physicists; Penny, a waitress and aspiring actress who lives across the hall; and Leonard and Sheldon’s equally geeky and socially awkward friends and co-workers, mechanical engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali.

King plays Mrs. Davis (a role she first played in 2013), who is the head of human resources where the physicists are employed, who previously was responsible for questioning Sheldon after he landed in hot water following an uncomfortable conversation with his sexy assistant, Alex (Margo Harshman).

Meanwhile, behind the camera, King will direct the 16th episode of ABC’s “Scandal” during its fourth season, which will air during the second half of the upcoming 4th season.  This comes after the actress made her feature film directing debut with a TV adaptation of author ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s novel “Let the Church Say Amen” for BET.

article by Tambay A. Obenson via Shadow And Act

Microsoft Word U.S. Champion Dominique Howard Earns Spot to Compete in Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship

Microsoft Office World Championship contestant Dominique Howard.

Microsoft Office World Championship contestant Dominique Howard. (Photo: Certiport)

This Microsoft Word master is taking on the world.  Harlemite Dominique Howard will put her software-savvy skills to the test this weekend when she competes for the coveted Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship title against some 30 international computer geeks.

“There’s no way that I can’t be excited,” said the 21-year-old JPMorgan Chase receptionist, who uses Word and Excel regularly at work. “They’re all good feelings. They’re overwhelming, but they’re good feelings.”

Howard proved she could do more than copy and paste in June when she won the U.S. championship as a Microsoft Word 2007 wizard.

She reformatted documents with speed and precision, tracked changes, encrypted and mail-merged like a pro.  It landed her a ticket to Anaheim, Calif., for the July 27-30 event, where she’ll vie against finalists from more than 30 countries for $5,000.  “A lot of people know the basics,” said Howard, who received a perfect score on a Microsoft Word certification test last summer.  “There’s a secret developer tab that helps in design mode,” she added. “There’s macros, which is a whole bunch of fun.”

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James Brown is Celebrated in “Get On Up”, Opening this Friday

Chadwick Boseman as Brown in the new biopic “Get On Up.” (Credit: D Stevens/Universal Studios)

It’s just the kind of movie clip YouTube was made for. In the 1965 Frankie Avalon vehicle,“Ski Party,” James Brown and his backing vocal group, the Famous Flames, enter a ski lodge after rescuing a frozen reveler. Resplendent in a white-and-red sweater, tight black slacks, black pointy-toed shoes and a regal pompadour, Brown performs “I Got You (I Feel Good),” giving the lily-white crowd of clapping skiers a taste of the showmanship that had made him a star on the so-called “chitlin circuit” among blacks. Even in a movie as disposable as “Ski Party,” Brown turned a corny scene into genuine entertainment.

In the biopic “Get On Up,” opening Friday, the filmmakers recreate this moment, trying to see it from Brown’s point of view. While he glides through his steps, we see slow-motion shots of the listeners as if they were creatures from another, whiter planet, one Brown is reluctantly visiting in hopes of reaching a wider audience. In that scene, Brown dances off the set. In the new film, he does a split but doesn’t come up, apparently having ripped his pants. The new moment is slightly comic but undercuts Brown’s mastery.

Depicting James Brown on screen has always been a seductive proposition. As one of the greatest stage performers of the 20th century, he has inspired documentarians, playwrights, comedians and other artists who see the outlines of his greatness. But capturing the man inside, and the meaning of his life, is a tricky business.

Brown at the Roseland Ballroom in New York in 2004.CreditFrank Micelotta/Getty Images

There was a fluidity to his identity that was reflected in his many stage nicknames: Mr. Dynamite, the hardest working man in show business, Soul Brother No. 1, the Godfather of Soul and the Original Disco Man, as he variously billed himself. All enduring pop stars have the ability to shift with the culture, but Brown’s moves — from staunch integrationist to proto-black nationalist and back, from civil rights role model to wife beater, from disciplined bandleader to drug addict — suggest an inner turmoil that belied his outer confidence. Shortly after his death, I helped edit a collection of articles that spanned Brown’s long career, and in reading the pieces was struck by how many journalists saw the contours of the man but struggled to truly penetrate his psyche. With a feature film about to arrive and a coming documentary, it’s time to take stock of this imposing figure.
Brown, who died on Christmas Day 2006, began his career in the ’50s under the spell of Little Richard and ended it as a major influence on current singer-dancers like Usher and Chris Brown. Michael Jackson and Prince, of course, were acolytes. Reared on gospel, blues and jazz, Brown was a dominant force in the soul ’60s, created funk, inspired disco and laid hip-hop’s foundation with his beats.

As important as Brown was on vinyl, his stage show and personality are legendary: Tilting a mike stand far forward and, before it hit the stage, pulling it back via the cord. Dropping into and rising out of splits. Feigning exhaustion and donning a regal cape before returning to sing again. Executing every new dance from the ’60s to the ’80s with deft steps and body control made Brown a dominant figure during an explosive era for pop music.

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Mike Tyson to Present Evander Holyfield with Boxing Hall of Fame Trophy

Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield

Former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield have come a long way since 1997, when Tyson bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear in the third round and was disqualified in their infamous championship rematch.  Over the years, they have put their ill feelings for each other to bed and even appeared in a recent television commercial spoofing the biting incident.

Tyson, who will hand Holyfield his Hall of Fame trophy, called the opportunity to present Holyfield a “privilege and high honor.”

Holyfield is also looking forward to it.  “That’s great,” he said of Tyson’s participation.

Rich Marotta, a longtime boxing broadcaster and president of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, said: “This is the kind of thing we showed is possible in boxing last year at our inaugural induction ceremony — former and even current rivals coming together under the same roof to celebrate boxing. Everyone checks those rivalries at the door. Tyson presenting Holyfield is sheer magic.”

Holyfield is being enshrined in the non-Nevada-resident category, along with George Foreman and Roberto Duran, as voted on by a 35-member panel.

Tyson was inducted in the Nevada resident category in the inaugural ceremony in 2013. Holyfield and Tyson both fought many of their biggest fights in Las Vegas.

The rest of the 18-man class of 2014, which was announced in February, includes Sonny Liston and Cornelius Boza Edwards (Nevada-resident boxers category), Jack Dempsey and Archie Moore (pioneers), Joe Louis (adoptive Nevada resident), trainer Miguel Diaz (non-boxers), Richard Steele and Kenny Bayless (officials), Col. Bob Sheridan and Kevin Iole (media), Bruce Trampler (promotions), Chuck Minker and Luther Mack (executives), and Clifford Perlman and Steve Wynn (special contributors).

article by Dan Rafael via

11 Year-Old Soap Maker Donovan Smith Donates Proceeds to Help Homeless

Donovan Smith soap maker

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Donovan Smith is 11 years old and has an amazing talent for soap making.  He is starting his own business, and he is trying to help people in the process, donating to the same organization that helped him and his mother find a home.

Donuts, ice cream and hamburgers—treats that look so good you could just take a bite out of them.  “Someone actually licked one,” said 11-year-old Donovan Smith.  That someone quickly regretted it.  The treats are actually Donovan’s soap creations.

He makes soap with Aloe Vera and goat’s milk for his bath product business, Toil and Trouble.  Donovan chooses the molds, the colors and the fragrances.  “Darth Vader smells kind of like cologne. I tried to make it smell what Darth Vader would smell like,” he said.

Once Darth Vader smells just right, he sells him and the rest of the gang at the Rail Yards Market in Albequerque each Sunday.  He is the youngest vendor there.  He said his Yoda soap is one of the best sellers. It takes about an hour to make twelve of them.

Twenty percent of the sales from his pie-shaped soaps will go to Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico, an organization Donovan and his mother, Casey, said helped get them back on their feet three years ago when they struggled with homelessness themselves.

“He was still going to school every day. I was having meltdowns during the day because I could not see this getting any better at all,” Casey said.

Casey is a former Navy cryptologist, still dealing with PTSD and a leg injury as a result of her time in the military.  She said she couldn’t find a job during the recession, hearing she was overqualified.  Now, with the support of local groups, she has a job, an apartment and a hobby, helping her son with his budding business of soaps.

“They’re fun and the fact that they have the potential to help someone else makes it even better,” Casey said.

To see video of this story, click here.

article by Lysee Mitri via 

The Wayans Brothers Kick Off Brand-New Comedy Tour in U.S.

Wayans brothers Keenen (56), Damon (53), Shawn (43) and Marlon Wayans (41) are known around the world as some of the funniest comedians in the game.  Continuing to build on their huge successes on television (“In Living Color”, “Last Comic Standing”, “My Wife and Kids”) and in film (“Scary Movie”, “White Chicks”, “Haunted House”), the Wayans’ are currently on traveling the U.S. with “The Wayans Brothers Tour”, bringing the siblings on stage together as they’ve never been before.The tour kicked off last week on the East Coast – check below for upcoming cities and tour dates:

The Wayans Brothers Tour Dates

July 23-24, 2014- Potawatami Casino / Milwaukee, WI

July 25, 2014 – Star Plaza Casino / Merriville, IN

August 1, 2014 – NJPAC / Newark, NJ

August 2, 2014 – Tower Theater / Philadelphia, PA

August 8, 2014 – Chuckchansi Casino / Coarsegold, CA

August 15, 2014 – Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena / Hollywood, FL

August 16, 2014 – Hard Rock Live / Orlando, FL

August 21, 2014 – Wagner Noel Pac / Midland, TX

August 22, 2014 – Abraham Chavez Theatre / El Paso, TX

September 12, 2014 – Jackson Convention Complex / Jackson, MS

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

11 Year-Old Genius Ramarni Wilford Scores Higher Than Einstein on IQ Test

072114 11-Year-Old Genius

An 11-year-old in the U.K. found out he’s a genius after taking an IQ test. His 162 score makes him smarter than Bill Gates – and Albert Einstein – according to the Romford Recorder.

Ramarni Wilford was invited to take the IQ test after writing an essay an essay snagged him an invitation to a graduation ceremony at Oxford University. Although he was very surprised and happy by the results – he’s in the top one percent in the U.K. – he remains modest.

“I can’t begin to compare myself to these great men whose hard work clearly proves that they are true geniuses,” Wilford says.

RELATED: Child Prodigy Adam Kirby, 2, becomes Youngest Ever to Join Genius Club Mensa

A member of a gifted and talented program as well as the Brilliant Club, he can now add a membership to Mensa to his future college applications. Mensa, the world’s oldest IQ society, has invited Wilford to join so he can attend exclusive events and mingle with like-minded kids.

“I don’t really see having a high IQ as a big deal, but I do feel very privileged to be invited to join Mensa and can’t wait to attend some of the events,” he says.

Read more at the Romford Recorder.

article by Teronda Seymore via