Move over Puppy Bowl, here come the kitties

Updated: Saturday, July 16, 2016 @ 3:54 PM
Published: Friday, April 05, 2013 @ 3:57 PM
By: Russell Mills -

Perhaps someone at the Hallmark Channel noted the proliferation of cat videos on the Internet, or possibly someone just thought felines should have equal time when it comes to faux sporting events.

For whatever reason, the 2014 Superbowl will now have a new foe fighting for eyeballs -- the Kitten Bowl.

The three hour special will air beginning at noon, Eastern Time, February 2, 2014 on the Hallmark Channel.

It will, in the network's words, feature the "world’s most adorable – and adoptable – kittens in the mother lode of cat agility competition."

It goes on to say "the special, which will be presented annually, is supported by the network’s animal welfare partner, American Humane Association, and is just one of many high-profile commitments the company has made to its evergreen Pet Project initiative. With American Humane Association, Hallmark Channel’s in-house production team will scour rescue associations and shelters searching for kitty competitors whose enduring prize will be a loving, forever home."

“Creating another programming event to reinforce Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project, our corporate pet adoption and safety initiative, enhances the profile of the plight of shelter animals in our country while providing fun, family-oriented entertainment to our viewers. We are very proud of our association with American Humane Association and their support of our work in this area,” said Bill Abbott, President & CEO, Crown Media Family Networks, home of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel.

The network added: "The agility competition will consist of a basic obstacle course of hurdles of varying heights, A-frame Alpine Scratchers, tunnels, hoop jumps, and weave poles. Lures, like laser pointers, and toys on a string will be used to get the kittens through the course, but food will not allowed. Cat agility competitions, which are modeled after the equestrian sport of show jumping, normally include rules which state that cats must complete a course in under 270 seconds, completing each obstacle in a prescribed manner. In a typical feline agility contest, a cat would complete between six and fourteen obstacles, with winning cats completing the course in ten seconds or less. In 'Kitten Bowl,' however, the competitors are kittens and any form of cuteness is the key to the game."

Newly released fast version of Queen classic will rock you

Updated: Sunday, October 23, 2016 @ 12:14 AM
Published: Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 11:37 PM
By: Jared Leone - Cox Media Group National Content Desk

            Newly released fast version of Queen classic will rock you
Freddie Mercury

Queen’s “We Will Rock You” is a legendary sports ballad played in arenas around the world but you have probably never heard the song like this.

The band recorded a rapid fire, almost punk version of the song during a 1977 session for DJ John Peel.

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Now, the song and 24 other songs from those BBC recordings will be released in a two-disc compilation called “Queen on Air” Nov. 4.

While the band played this version frequently live, this is the only time the group played the song in a studio, according to Rolling Stone.

Steve Dillon, 'Preacher' and 'Punisher' comic book artist, has died

Updated: Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 11:04 AM
Published: Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 10:50 AM
By: Joy Johnston - Cox Media Group National Content Desk

            Steve Dillon, 'Preacher' and 'Punisher' comic book artist, has died

Legendary comic book artist Steve Dillon has died.

Writer Warren Ellis confirmed the news via Twitter. There was no immediate word on cause of death.

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Dillon was the co-creator and artist of "Preacher," and the artist on "Punisher," "Judge Dredd" and many other comic book series. He was also the co-founder and editor of  Deadline magazine.

Posted by Steve Dillon on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dillion's online biography indicates he was born in 1962, but does not give a month, so his age at time of death has not been confirmed at this time.


Photos: Notable deaths 2016 Oct 22, 2016 - 11:14 AM

Rick-rolled at 50: Astley has new music, new outlook

Updated: Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 3:33 AM
Published: Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 3:21 AM

            Rick-rolled at 50: Astley has new music, new outlook
Rick Astley website

Rick Astley exiled himself from music for a good part of the last three decades, but he never really left pop's consciousness.

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For one, hits like “Never Gonna Give You Up” and “It Would Take A Strong Strong Man,” derided by critics as cheesy at the time, have endured. Then there's the whole rick-rolling phenomenon when a promised link on a website turns out instead to be an Astley video.

At first, Astley was annoyed by rick-rolling. Then his daughter helped him realize that it was cool and that it helped boost his profile during his fallow years by keeping his boyish face in ours.

He's even more appreciative now as he releases "50," his first album of new music in 23 years.

"The idea of me releasing a new record now I need every bit of help I can get," he quipped.

He may not have needed it as much as he thought: The album debuted at the top of the charts in his native United Kingdom, and when he performed his first U.S. shows in New York and Los Angeles over the summer, they sold out. He wrapped up a short U.S. tour earlier this month.

The still boyish-looking Astley recently sat down with The Associated Press to talk about life after his '80s pop success, rick-rolling and what music means to him now.

AP: During your break, did you ever long to get back to music?

Astley: I think you never lose that feeling of 'cause you know I still got an ego whether you retire or not. I mean, it's still there and there is a little voice on your shoulder sort of saying, 'You're better than him.'... I think that is one the lucky things about what I chose to do and what I love to do, you know ... it is a young person's world really, but you know an old boy like me can still make a record and can still make a bit of a splash.

AP: You think the whole 'rick-roll' thing was good for you?

Astley: Absolutely it was because I think if you're doing anything like music or movies, there is so much competition. ... And also there have been some really, really clever things done with that song. It has not just been rick-roll. There have been so many different things. One of my favorites is they got (President Barack) Obama to sing "Never Gonna Give You Up" (in a mash-up video) or say it at least, which I thought was brilliant. I mean, it's obviously somebody with too much time on their hands, but they also did that with "Mad Men" as well.

AP: There are some artists who only want to perform their new songs. What's your take?

Astley: I'm not really in that camp, to be honest, because I had a long break from it, so it's not like I have been singing those tunes for 30 years. You know, I am fully aware of the fact that the only reason you know we had a No. 1 album in the U.K. with this record it's like the reason it got played on the radio with the first couple of tunes and stuff. ... When we play live and stuff, there is a part of me thinking, 'Great, we are going to finish "Never Gonna Give You Up," and I know every single person in this room or in this field knows that tune.' They might not all like it, but I know they all know it.

AP: What do you think of your music legacy? Are you resentful that some dismissed your music at the time?

Astley: No. I mean if I'd been a journalist and I had been reviewing my records ... you know I'm not so sure what I would think of it either. I mean, I think there are some really great strong pop songs ... but just looking at it you kind of think. 'Well yeah, but it's a bit manufactured. ' ... I don't hold any grudges for people who had a go at me, you know what I mean? That's for sure.

Celebrity photo hack: Anna Kendrick, Cara Delevingne latest victims

Updated: Friday, October 21, 2016 @ 11:16 PM
Published: Sunday, September 28, 2014 @ 5:35 AM
By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Trending on Facebook

Racy photos of Anna Kendrick, Cara Delevingne and Jennifer Lawrence reportedly were leaked Friday in a third round of celebrity photo hacks.

According to the New York Daily News, Delevingne and Lawrence were nude in the photos, while Kendrick was clothed.

>> RELATED: Emma Watson 'nude photo' threat was a viral stunt to shut down 4chan, report says

The images reportedly were posted to Reddit and 4chan late Friday, and their authenticity has not been verified.

Lawrence, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Kate Upton, Vanessa Hudgens and Gabrielle Union were among the victims of two previous celebrity nude photo hacks, entertainment news site TMZ reported. The stars' iCloud accounts were compromised in the first hack in August, according to the Huffington Post

>> RELATED: Celebrity nude photo hack: Rihanna, Kim Kardashian among victims

Union and her husband, Dwayne Wade, released a statement to TMZ last Saturday.

"It has come to our attention that our private moments, that were shared and deleted solely between my husband and myself, have been leaked by some vultures," Union said. "I can’t help but to be reminded that since the dawn of time women and children, specifically women of color, have been victimized, and the power over their own bodies taken from them. These atrocities against women and children continue worldwide."

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Union said she has contacted the FBI.


Photos: Rihanna through the years Oct 21, 2016 - 11:15 PM
Sundance: Jan. 19, 2014 Oct 21, 2016 - 11:16 PM