- Verizon Sells Yahoo’s Flickr Photo-Sharing Site to SmugMug
- Todd Rundgren and Utopia Talk Reunion Tour, Old Rifts as Hell Freezes Over
- Camila Cabello is painfully shy
- Ricky Martin regrets waiting to come out
- Benedict Cumberbatch knew importance of Weinstein scandal
- Avicii’s ex pays tribute to ‘closest confidante’
- Elderly mother’s friend pressures her to donate money
- OMARR’S DAILY ASTROLOGICAL FORECAST, For release 04/21/18 for 04/21/18
- *Love Is… – Comic Panel – 20180421cplis-a.tif
- *Pluggers – Color Comic Panel – 20180421cpplc-a.tif
Posted: 21 Apr 2018 05:40 AM PDT
Terms of the deal, announced late Friday, weren’t disclosed. SmugMug said Flickr will continue to operate separately, telling users that SmugMug and Flickr accounts will “remain separate and independent for the foreseeable future.” The sites had been rivals, both aiming to attract professional (and semi-pro) photographers to share their work.
According to the company, Flickr currently has over 100 million unique users. According to comScore, the site had 13.1 million unique visitors in March 2018.
“Uniting the SmugMug and Flickr brands will make the whole photography community stronger and better connected,” SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill said in a statement. “Together, we can preserve photography as the global language of storytelling.” News of the deal was first reported by USA Today.
The Flickr deal comes after Verizon offloaded the Oath division’s Moviefone to Helios and Matheson Analytics — the cash-strapped parent of MoviePass — earlier this month. HMNY paid $1 million in cash for Moviefone, which had been acquired by AOL for $388 million, and granted Verizon a 9.3% equity stake in the company.
Also this month, Verizon sold Polyvore, a social/ecommerce site focused on fashion, to Ssense, which folded the website. Yahoo had acquired Polyvore in 2015 under then-CEO Marissa Mayer.
SmugMug released a video celebrating its deal for Flickr, which is really just a sizzle reel showing smug-mugged photographers snapping pics backed by a song called “Bring Your Camera” by Portland, Ore.-based techno duo Phone Call:
Posted: 21 Apr 2018 05:00 AM PDT
Any major fan of Todd Rundgren‘s Utopia has pretty much been living in a constant state of dystopia for the last 25 years. It’s been more than three decades since the band went on seemingly eternal hiatus and a quarter-century since they did their seemingly one and only reunion tour in Japan. But now Rundgren’s not-really-a-side-project group — which, in its late ’70s/early ’80s heyday, occasionally eclipsed his solo career — has finally collectively acceded to fan demands and kicked off a six-week tour of mid-sized theaters this week.
Even bassist and fellow lead vocalist Kasim Sulton, the one member who’s continued to play regularly with Rundgren in the years since Utopia drifted apart, seems surprised by this hell-freezes-over resumption. “Where would I have placed the odds?” says Sultan. “That’s a really good question. I would have said less than a 25 percent chance of it happening again.”
But it’s “Just One Victory” for the fan base after all, with the tour slated for dates like L.A.’s June 5 Wiltern show. Rundgren, Sulton and Wilcox spoke individually with Variety about the difficulty and rewards in picking up where they left off.
Utopia had at least two distinct eras. In the mid-’70s you were doing the concept album “Ra” and wearing Egyptian-themed costumes under a sphinx. By the early ’80s it was short power-pop and matching Beatles-style suits. How do you decide what to wear for a reunion tour?
Rundgren: We’ve broken the show up into two acts. The first focuses more on the original material from when the band was more of a prog-rock fusion outfit, and the songs were sometimes just excuses for us to play a lot. People enjoyed the spectacle that used to go along with those particular tours. In later years, when we got down to a quartet, we started focusing more on songwriting and less on long soloing. So that’s pretty much how things are divided up between the first and second acts. Ironically enough, because the original Utopia concept involves so much playing, the first set is slightly longer but it has fewer songs in it. [Laughs.]
What’s it like doing the part of the set where you revive the era of 20-minute, LP-side-length songs, after having pretty much abandoned that after the mid-’70s?
You had an unusual occurrence where Ralph Schuckett had to drop out of the band after you’d already put the tour on sale. Did you see that coming?
For a few days we were all biting fingernails, wondering if we were going to be able to find someone that could at least at least play the material halfway decent. Then Rebop, Todd’s son, said “Hey, you might want to check this guy Gil Assayas out” [an Israeli musician now living in Oregon]. The more that we found out about him, the more we felt that he might be better than just a good fit. There’s not a big call for analog synth these days, except in the prog-rock community, so a big selling point to the band was his ability to play the analog as well as he does. He’s such a great musician that he learned everything within eight to ten days. We gave him the setlist, he sat down and woodshedded, and came in knowing everything probably better than we did.
Todd, you are famous for doing solo tours where you only play two or three of your old songs. You’re not exactly Mr. Nostalgia.
Kasim, what do you think got Todd to give in after resisting for so long?
Wilcox: I was surprised. I first heard about this through [manager] Eric Gardner. Todd was playing with Ringo [on the All Starr Tour] and I went to see the show. Eric and I had breakfast and he said, “Hey, there’s some serious interest from Live Nation for a Utopia tour. I mean, really serious.” With Live Nation being one of the largest promoters in the world, and having them know what the marketplace was, it was pretty interesting that they thought that there was that demand. And recent ticket sales seem [indicate] that it was.
Was Live Nation’s interest a deciding factor?
In Paul Myers’ biography of Todd and Utopia, it’s clear there was tension at the end between Todd and Willie, and fans who knew that wondered if that would be the big hurdle. So some people were surprised when the reunion lineup was announced and Willie was in the band and it was Roger who wasn’t.
Wilcox: We had a lot of ups and downs in our career, financially and logistically, and at the end it was very frustrating, because we put a lot of effort into trying to make a good career of it. That is not easy, as everybody knows. So it wasn’t that there was bad blood. It’s that we were exhausted at trying to do what we tried to do.
Rundgren: How do I put this? I didn’t want to do anything that could turn out to be a political situation. But I think everyone came around to understanding that even though we are paying tribute to the past, we’re not going to talk about the past. We’re going to stay focused on trying to be a band, again, and trying to reproduce the music as best we can. And the hardest part about it is going to be answering questions like this. [Laughs.]
There were those who thought of Utopia as a vanity project of Todd’s, like Wings was to Paul McCartney, and were surprised when it turned out to be a real band featuring lead singing and writing contributions from all the members.
It seemed like you were hampered because your record label, Bearsville, wasn’t happy about Todd dividing his duties and exercising his more experimental side with a band when they were just hoping for another “Hello, It’s Me.”
Sultan: [Bearsville president] Albert Grossman always felt that Utopia was distracting Todd from his more successful solo career … until “Adventures in Utopia” sold close to half a million records. That was a conscious effort on the band’s part to be a little bit more accessible and expand our audience, so we were writing pop songs. But I’m sure on some level it irked Bearsville that the record was successful, because all it meant was that it was going to take Todd further away from his solo work!
What’s the biggest challenge with this tour — apart from replacing a keyboard player at the last minute?
Posted: 21 Apr 2018 01:09 AM PDT
Camila Cabello gets “emotional” when she gets too much attention.
The ‘Never Be The Same’ hitmaker insists she is naturally “shy and introverted” and doesn’t like it when she is in the spotlight too much.
She said: “Actually I’m extremely shy. I’ve always been introverted. There is a picture from my ninth birthday where people are singing Happy Birthday and there are tears in my eyes because I get emotional from too much attention. It happened again this morning. I was being filmed for an interview and there were hair and make-up people in the room, and I froze. You have to stop, block everything out and focus on the job.”
However, Camila has learned to cope with her own fears because she loves to perform so much.
She added: “When you love something enough you get over your fears, and with performing … I can’t explain it. I get lost in the music and all of a sudden I’m not me any more, I’m a vehicle for whatever the emotion is that I’m singing about. I feel exposed, but not exposed, if that makes sense. If I’m singing, I’m fine. If I win an award my first thought is, ‘Oh my God, now I have to go up there and talk.'”
Camila wanted to be a singer from a young age, like everyone else.
She shared to The Times newspaper: “When you’re nine, everyone wants to be a singer. Everyone is putting on talent shows in their bedroom. It’s just that all of my friends grew out of it and I never did.”
Posted: 21 Apr 2018 01:00 AM PDT
Ricky Martin wishes he didn’t waste so much time in the closet before coming out publicly as gay.
The ‘Assassination of Gianni Versace’ actor announced to the world he was a homosexual man in March 2010 in an emotional post on his official website ending years of speculation about his sexuality.
Ricky, 46, had told his family and close friends he was gay years earlier but had resisted telling his fans on advice from his inner circle who believed it could hurt his pop career because he had been marketed as a Latin heartthrob due to his Puerto Rican heritage.
Following the positive response to his coming out, the ‘Livin’ la Vida Loca’ hitmaker now wishes he hadn’t spent so much time hiding who really was from his fans.
Speaking to the latest issue of Gay Times magazine, he said: “The amount of love I got when I came out was brilliant … The thing is if I had spent one third of the time that I spent manipulating my sexuality in front of the piano instead, I would be a concert pianist by now. It’s not fair and I hope no one has to go through that again.”
Recalling the ludicrous situation he found himself in, Ricky recalled: “I had come out to my friends and family. But everyone was like, ‘Don’t do it in public because that will be the end of your career.’ You live with that fear, you’ve worked so hard to get where you have, but can’t be yourself … And then I came out and it was amazing. A lot of people say, ‘Well, if you had come out back then, maybe it would have ruined your career,’ but I don’t think so.”
Ricky – who is now married to husband Jwan Yosef and raises nine-year-old twins Matteo and Valentino – now tries to help younger stars at the beginning of their careers to come out, if they come to him for advice.
He said: “I just share my testimony with them and talk about my fears and the moments when I had no self-esteem whatsoever, and yes, they eventually come out.”
Posted: 21 Apr 2018 01:00 AM PDT
Benedict Cumberbatch knew instantly how “important” the Harvey Weinstein scandal would be for Hollywood.
The ‘Doctor Strange’ star was on set when news broke about sexual misconduct allegations surrounding the disgraced producer and he believes himself and all those who were on set at the time knew how life changing this would be for the industry.
He said: “You could feel people going, ‘This is important and this will change things.’ And that’s terrific. But having worked with the man twice … Lascivious … I wouldn’t want to be married to him … Gaudy in his tastes, for all his often-brilliant film-making ability. But did I know that was going on? A systematic abuse of women, happening through bribery, coercion, trying to gain empathy, to physical force and threats, physical and to career? No. No. That was the true shock. That this has just literally happened. And it’s been covered up by an entire body of people through lawsuits and gagging and money – hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to silence victims and survivors.”
And it was a huge “revelation” for Benedict that the attitude to women is “so deeply culturally ingrained”.
He added: “That truly was a revelation. I have a film company. Our head of development is a woman. There are two women running the television side of SunnyMarch. Adam [Ackland, his SunnyMarch co-founder] and me are the only men in the office. Countless times I’ve brought up issues of equal pay and billing. And so to realise that this attitude is so deeply culturally ingrained – that was my rude awakening. We have to fight a lot harder.”
Following the allegations against Weinstein, Benedict’s movie ‘The Current War’ – which was to be produced by Weinstein – was shelved and the actor isn’t worried about how long it takes before it is released as he wants to “step back” as far away as possible from Weinstein and the allegations surrounding him.
He told The Telegraph newspaper: “If it takes us not releasing our film for a couple of years just to be rid of that toxicity, I’m fine with that. [I want] to step back and be as far removed from that influence as possible, both as filmmaker and as human being.”
Posted: 21 Apr 2018 01:00 AM PDT
Avicii’s ex-girlfriend has paid tribute to the late star following his passing on Friday (20.04.18).
The ‘Levels’ hitmaker – whose real name was Tim Bergling – passed away at the tragically young age of 28 in Muscat, Oman and now his former love Emily Goldberg has taken to social media to pay tribute to her ex-boyfriend, who she dated for two years until 2015.
She wrote on Instagram: “‘Come on babe, don’t give up on us. Choose me, and I’ll show you love.’ Those are lyrics from a song Tim wrote for me. I wish I could have lived up to them. For the two years we were together, he was my closest confidante, and my best friend. Now I can’t look at Bear without knowing I’ll never see his face again. I’m still collecting my thoughts and thank you for all your kind words and texts. Wake me up when it’s all over, because I don’t want it to be real #ripavicii #avicii @avicii (sic)”
Avicii’s tragic passing was confirmed by his publicist.
They said in a statement: “It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii. He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, April 20th. The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given.”
At the time of writing, the cause of his death has not been made public.
Avicii had been open about his health issues in the past and had previously retired from touring. He had been battling with acute pancreatitis – which is a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas – due in part to excessive drinking, and had his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014.
Posted: 21 Apr 2018 12:01 AM PDT
Dear Amy: My husband and I manage my mother’s finances. She’s 88 years old. After my father died a decade ago, she began to donate to dozens of charities, beyond what she could afford. Anyone that solicited her typically got a donation. In some cases, there were recurring donations coming from her checking account that she didn’t even remember setting up in the first place.
We had her select the charity that mattered the most to her, and shut off all other donations.
Her neighbor of 30 years, “Mary,” is an aggressive fundraiser for her church social group. My mother was always Mary’s first stop when she was looking for donations. One of the largest recurring donations from my mother’s checking account was for Mary’s church group.
Mary had always been very sweet, and helped my mother with small errands and did little things around the house for her. We always thanked her, and always made sure she knew how much we appreciated her help with the occasional gift or bottle of wine.
Mary called me furious that the recurring donation had been shut off. She said that she would no longer help my mother, because we were so “ungrateful.” She seemed to view the donations as payment for her helping out. We told her that our mother picked the charity of her choice, and it was not personal.
Mary told my mother that she could no longer see her, and made my mother very upset. Mom viewed her as a friend and companion, so she was heartbroken when Mary did not come over anymore.
My husband recently discovered that my mother has been giving Mary cash from her monthly allowance. Mary is once again coming over to help out.
This situation does not sit right with me at all, but I’m not sure what I can do.
What do you think?
Dear Worried: “Mary” wasn’t too shy about confronting you directly when your mother’s donation was cut off. You should follow her lead and be very open and honest about Mary’s choice in terms of monetizing her relationship with your mother.
If she is performing “companion” services for your elderly mother, this has real value that many people in a similar situation would happily pay for. You should communicate with both Mary and your mother and introduce the concept of simply paying her an hourly wage, with a maximum number of hours per week.
There are some definite red flags here concerning Mary’s influence over your mother and her willingness to manipulate and pressure her, but your mother has the right to choose her own friends, and to spend her pocket money the way she wants to.
You should be gentle, understanding and willing to work something out — while continuing to keep a close and tender eye on your mother, her household and her finances.
Dear Amy: I am a woman coming up on my 38th birthday.
I know many women who knew they wanted to be moms since they were little girls. Not me. As an adult, the faint urge came at 27 when I met my husband, but we never decided to take the plunge.
I gave myself until 30, then 30 turned into 35, and here I am at 38. I’ve even gone to therapy to make sure I’m not missing something.
My husband says he’s fine with either choice.
Even though my family has been great about not pressuring me, there is so much pressure from society, TV, commercials — everywhere — that a woman must give birth to fulfill her destiny.
I have led an experientially rich life, helping others in careers with what I consider my God-given gifts. Is there something wrong with a woman who doesn’t feel the need (or urge) to have children?
— Confused about Kids
Dear Confused: Nope. There is nothing at all “wrong” with you. Being childfree is a choice, and a perfectly legitimate one to make. Unfortunately, given societal pressure to have children, it can sometimes seem like a radical choice. There are online interest groups devoted to being childfree — you might receive more support and positive reinforcement by connecting with other people who feel exactly as you do.
Dear Amy: Thank you for your support of “Husband and Father,” who, after three children, did not want to have any more. Too often, you automatically side with women. It’s your knee-jerk feminism showing, so I was surprised to see that you backed up the man here.
Dear Surprised: Um … thank you?
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: email@example.com. Readers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.)
Posted: 21 Apr 2018 12:01 AM PDT
BIRTHDAY GUY: Actor Tony Danza was born in Brooklyn, NY on this date in 1951. This birthday guy is a former professional boxer known to TV fans for his roles as Tony Micelli on “Who’s The Boss?” and Tony Banta on “Taxi.” He earned a 1999 Emmy nomination for playing Tommy Silva on “The Practice” and played the recurring role of Fred de Cordova on the 2017 series “There’s…Johnny.” Danza will next star in the upcoming series “The Good Cop.”
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Live and earn. Your business acumen helps you earn respect from those in close connection. Your intensity of purpose can be put to good use on the job or for a business project.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Networking has the word work in it. You may shine when you involved in community or charitable activities. You might find that you will be asked to provide time and effort to a project.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Anything worth having is worth waiting for. Communications might temporarily break down, but a decision doesn’t need to be made immediately. Wait for better timing for a discussion.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can accomplish today. Get on top of a project you’ve been neglecting for some time. A day off doesn’t mean you should be unproductive or idle.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Live and learn, placing the accent on learning. The new concepts you investigate can spur creativity and foster ideas that improve your home life. Write down innovative ideas for future use.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Confidence is king. You might receive the royal treatment when you meet a new group of acquaintances. Keep a tight grip on your pennies at the grocery store or shopping the local mall.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Attend to family matters in a responsible manner. You may realize that your actions are held up to scrutiny and subject to criticism. Avoid acting on your suspicions or on doubts and fears.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): You are more attractive than you think. You have world enough and time to make the most precious goals a reality. A special someone might be on the very same wavelength.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If you are going to dream then you might as well dream big. You might think you must beat the competition, but you have already won the race. Keep the lid on your piggy bank.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Juggle necessary tasks with bustling social activities. You may need to clean the house for guests or prepare a treat for a party. The more effort you put forth the more pleasure you will receive.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You will reap what you sow; it pays to be generous and conscientious even if it requires extra effort. Use a flair for diplomacy to make a valuable contribution to the community.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Be discreet. Your natural tendency is to be vague, so you may give someone the wrong impression. Accuracy is necessary; it is advisable to speak with discretion.
IF APRIL 21 IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: The next five to six weeks may be trying because people feel threatened by your competitiveness, but the good news is that you will have plenty of energy to handle any extra responsibilities. In May and June, you may experience a change of heart or find that you are motivated by new and inspiring ideas. Promote your business ideas or launch financial plans in late June or early July when your shrewdness about material success is at a high point. You may be unsettled in October as major life changes disrupt your life. In January your efforts may be rewarded by a promotion, job offers or a chance to show off your skills. That is when you are at your best in the public eye, at your most attractive and when you can make a rock-solid commitment.
Posted: 21 Apr 2018 12:01 AM PDT
Posted: 21 Apr 2018 12:01 AM PDT
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