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Tyrese declares war on The Rock over ‘Fast and Furious 9’ in new Instagram post

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 12:17 PM

All is not well in the family.

Tyrese Gibson continues to hammer Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, accusing the star of holding up production on the forthcoming ninth installation of the gearhead franchise.

The actor's outbursts have stemmed from rumors of a spinoff focusing on Johnson’s

“Fast”character, Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs.         

On Wednesday, following      the announcement that    “Fast & Furious 9” has been pushed back a year to April 10, 2020, Gibson shared     a graphic of the film's logo and premiere date with some angry words for his co-star. 

         

"Congratulations to @TheRock," he captioned the photo, "for making the Fast and Furious franchise about YOU."          

"#FastFamily right? Nah ... it's about #TeamDwayne," he wrote.

RELATED: Why a “Fast and Furious” star is threatening to quit the series

Earlier this month, Gibson posted several since-deleted tirades on Instagram, both on his own page and in the comments of Johnson's posts, expressing his betrayal over the rumored Hobbs spinoff and accusing his co-star of ignoring his texts.          

In one of the few posts Gibson didn't delete, he shared a photo of him posing with Johnson, with another plea for contact.

"I don't do email, bruh," he wrote in the caption. "You got my cell same San Diego #, hit me."

Neither actor is an original cast member. Gibson joined the “Fast & Furious” franchise with the second film, 2003's “2 Fast 2 Furious,” playing Roman Pearce, a childhood friend of Brian Walker (played by the late Paul Walker)Johnson came aboard for the fifth installment, 2011's “Fast Five.”     

“Fast & Furious 9” studio, Universal, had no further comment Wednesday about the delayed release date.         

 

5 Hallmark holiday movies that feature a piece of the South

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Best Hallmark Holiday movies that feature the south "Angels Sing" - In this oldie-but-goodie filmed in Austin and Bastrop, Texas, a mysterious man helps a fellow rediscover joy after a long-ago tragedy. "Christmas in Conway" - This Hallmark Hall of Fame film doesn't need snow to tug at the heartstrings. Set in Conway, South Carolina, it was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina and debuted in 2013. "Coming Home for Christmas" - Though this holiday favorite is filmed in Canada, the movie, about a nanny and

Made for watching by the roaring fire, cocoa in hand, slippers on feet, the delightful, wintry scenes of Hallmark Channel holiday movies are not typically fit for Southern settings. It only makes sense: how are you going to have the Christmas Festival of Ice and similar “Winter Wonderland” themes set in Charlotte, or Atlanta or Rocky Top, Tennessee?

RELATED: A look at Hallmark’s 67-day holiday movie marathon

What's surprising is that there are some wonderful Hallmark holiday movies that were either filmed in Southern locations or set in some of the beautiful places of the South. 

Here are some Hallmark holiday favorites that are set elsewhere but filmed in the South:

"Christmas In Homestead"

The movie takes place in the fictional "Christmas-obsessed town of Homestead, Iowa," but the 2016 romantic comedy was filmed on location in Dahlonega, Georgia. Setting a Christmas movie (about a famous actress who falls in love while shooting a holiday movie in a small town) in Dahlonega wouldn't have been all that far-fetched, either. The town is fairly Christmas-happy itself, hosting a month-long gala each year with an old-fashioned Christmas parade, visits with Santa and a Christmas market on Candy Cane Lane.

Yes, that's Willie Nelson and Harry Connick, Jr. both featured in the 2013 Hallmark classic filmed partly in Austin, "Angels Sing."(Contributed/For the AJC)

"Angels Sing"

In this oldie-but-goodie filmed in Austin and Bastrop, Texas, a mysterious man helps a fellow rediscover joy after a long-ago tragedy. If it doesn't air during the season, catch it on DVD. It features a star-studded cast of music heavyweights, including Harry Connick, Jr. and Willie Nelson.

"Christmas in Conway"

This Hallmark Hall of Fame film doesn't need snow to tug at the heartstrings. Set in Conway, South Carolina, it was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, and debuted in 2013. The premise: a sweet husband pulls out all the stops to give his ailing wife a ride on a Ferris wheel in their backyard for Christmas.

And two Hallmark holiday movies only set in the South but filmed elsewhere:

"Coming Home for Christmas"

It's common knowledge that so many Hallmark movies are filmed in Canada and British Columbia that perennial co-star Danica McKellar is considered to have honorary citizenship in both places.

This instant Hallmark holiday classic is a prime example. While the fictional Ashford Slate where McKellar's character takes up residence as a nanny and party planner is in Virginia (and certainly portrays the host family's First Family of Virginia/Junior League/debutante attitudes correctly), don't look for any Virginia landmarks on set. "Coming Home for Christmas" was filmed at a multimillion-dollar mansion in Canada.

“The Christmas Cottage”

Still in her 20s, the heroine of The Christmas Cottage has given up on love to concentrate on her interior design career in Raleigh, North Carolina. While most of the romantic action takes place in a family cottage nearby, renowned for its romantic and Christmas magic, the film was made in British Columbia.

Christmas 2017: Top ugly holiday sweater ideas

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:55 AM

A Celebration of Ugly Holiday Sweaters

In recent years, the combination of Christmas and tacky sweaters has taken on a life of its own. Festive people aspire to wear the ugliest holiday sweater possible. Whether it’s including as many adornments as possible, breaking out a ratty and worn polyester pullover or sporting animals in full holiday cheer, here’s a roundup of ugly Christmas sweater ideas to inspire you.
 
Shiny wreath
What’s says Christmas more than a wreath with a little shine? Take your Christmas tackiness to a new level with a shiny wreath pinned to your red or green sweater. For a little extra bling, string some lights to the wreath and load with a battery pack to keep it shining.
 
The fireplace
If the coziness of sitting by a blazing fire in the winter tickles your fancy, you’ll love this ugly Christmas sweater idea. This sweater can be pre-purchased with a trimmed fireplace and a pocket in the middle of sweater for your phone. Download an app on your phone to provide virtual flames.
 
Trim the tree
Get your craftiness ready to whirl with this shiny and embellished sweater. You’ll need shiny garland, small ornaments and lots of glue, but the end result is a tree to inspire even the grinchiest with a smidge of Christmas spirit. By the way: Don’t forget the ornament to top the tree.

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Stuffed stocking
Need some wine or sweet treats to keep you going through the holiday season? This stocking stuffer sweater is just what you need.
 
A beer lover’s Christmas
Yet another DIY ugly Christmas sweater idea, this one entails the usage of hundreds of bottle tops to make a Christmas tree. Take a red or green sweater and gather all your bottle tops. Arrange them on the sweater and glue them into the shape of a tree. Top off the tree with a metallic bow for a touch of glitz.
 
Snow globe
Bring the wishes of a White Christmas to life with this ugly Christmas sweater in the fashion of a snow globe. Take a plastic tablecloth and fold in half, being careful to stuff it with the insides with a pillow to look like artificial snow.
 
An ugly tie tree 
For this creation, all of the old ugly ties of Christmases pasts can be put to good use. Gather your ugly Christmas ties and arrange them in a tree pattern on an old sweater. Easy peasy Christmas sweater to don at all your holiday parties in the season.
 
Matching couple sweaters 
Want to look tacky as a pair? Wear the ugliest Christmas sweater connected to one other person to have double the fun and double the tackiness.
 
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Pay homage to Santa’s favorite reindeer and favorite helper of them all with this Christmas sweater. Start with a black sweater vest and decorate with big eyes and a red nose. Layer a brown long-sleeved shirt underneath the sweater vest, attaching stems to look like antlers on your sleeves.

Being stubborn may help you live longer, new study suggests

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 3:50 PM

Tips for Living a Long Life

Stubbornness may actually be a trait that helps people live longer, a new study suggests.

RELATED: Breakthrough discovery helps scientists reverse aging cells in humans

Published this week in the academic journal "International Psychogeriatrics", the study examined the mental and physical health of elderly Italians living in a remote village nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and mountains. The researchers behind the study, who hail from the University of Rome La Sapienza and University of California San Diego School of Medicine, found many common personality traits between the elderly village residents, including stubbornness.

The research looked specifically at 29 individuals aged 90 to 101, comparing them to 51 younger family members aged 50 to 75. Interestingly, the older group was found to have better overall mental health, even though the younger group was physically healthier.


"The main themes that emerged from our study, and appear to be the unique features associated with better mental health of this [older] rural population, were positivity, work ethic, stubbornness and a strong bond with family, religion and land," Dilip V. Jeste MD, senior author of the study and senior associate dean for the Center of Healthy Aging and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said in a statement.

To analyze the participants, the researchers used a quantitative rating scale as well as qualitative interviews. They discussed topics including migrations, traumatic events and beliefs with the elderly individuals. Younger family members were also analyzed using the same quantitative scale, while also being asked to describe the personalities of their older relatives.

"The [older] group's love of their land is a common theme and gives them a purpose in life. Most of them are still working in their homes and on the land. They think, 'This is my life and I'm not going to give it up,'" Anna Scelzo, first author of the study with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Chiavarese, Italy, explained.

"We also found that this group tended to be domineering, stubborn and needed a sense of control, which can be a desirable trait as they are true to their convictions and care less about what others think," Scelzo said.

"This tendency to control the environment suggests notable grit that is balanced by a need to adapt to changing circumstances."

Many in the elderly group spoke about their passion for life, sometimes despite heartache and sadness.

"I am always thinking for the best. There is always a solution in life. This is what my father has taught me: to always face difficulties and hope for the best," one participant said.

RELATED: 4 secrets to slowing down the aging process

The new study is also unique in that it examined long life from a psychological perspective.

"There have been a number of studies on very old adults, but they have mostly focused on genetics rather than their mental health or personalities," Jeste pointed out.

"Studying the strategies of exceptionally long-lived and lived-well individuals, who not just survive but also thrive and flourish, enhances our understanding of health and functional capacities in all age groups," he said.

So, while the study does not conclude that stubbornness is guaranteed to make you live longer, a strong correlation was noted. Jeste also points out that the study shows "well-being and wisdom increase with aging" despite a decrease in physical health.

Beyond stubbornness and strong mental health, numerous recent studies have suggested correlations between particular habits and longer life. 

A survey of previous research published last month suggests that drinking three to four cups of coffee per day is connected with lower risks of premature death, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, dementia and some cancers. Other scientific studies suggest that calorie restrictive diets, dancing and having sex regularly may all slow down the aging process as well.

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5 ways to stick with your New Year's fitness resolutions

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 2:37 PM

Tips For Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

Many people make fitness-related New Year's resolutions, only to see them fall by the wayside. It's why gyms are packed in January, but back to normal by April.

RELATED: Yes, you can actually enjoy the holidays without gaining lbs. Here’s how

How can you keep the momentum going throughout the year to achieve your goal of better health and/or weight loss?

These five tips will help you stick to your New Year's fitness resolutions:

Make one change at a time

It's easy to start off the New Year full of energy and grand plans, but starting small will give you a greater chance of success, according to the Mayo Clinic. Instead of planning an unrealistic workout schedule, aim for three days a week. Rather than swearing off all your favorite unhealthy treats, vow to limit them to a day or two a week.

As you succeed with smaller steps, these habits will soon become a routine that you can build on as you add new goals.

In this May 25, 2016 photo, members of the running group “November Project” run up and down the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington. Fitness buffs around the country are bringing the ‘take the stairs’ advice to a whole new level as noteworthy landmarks have become unlikely, yet popular new workout sites. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Don't go it alone

CNN cites a study that showed social interaction makes people more likely to work out. Instead of going it alone, sign up for a fitness class, join a local running club, walk with a friend during lunch or hire a personal trainer. The social aspect will help keep you going, and you'll be less likely to bail on your plans to exercise.

Even if you don't have people to work out with, a virtual fitness community like those you can create with a FitBit can help you keep on track.

RELATED: 5 epic New Year's Eve destinations that aren't New York 

Make it fun

Exercise doesn't have to be drudgery, positive psychology researcher Michelle Gielan told WebMD. Find a way to get fit that also lets you have fun, such as a dance class or other type of exercise that makes you feel happy. If you don't dread it, you'll be more likely to keep going.

Keep a food diary

Losing weight is a popular New Year's resolution. While no one strategy works for everyone, a food diary can be a helpful part of your success. Otherwise, it's easy to underestimate just how much you're eating, forgetting about that vending machine candy bar at work or the snack you had while watching TV.

One study found that people who kept a food diary lost more pounds than people who didn't, according to Business Insider. Consistency was key, whether you keep a printed diary or use an app to help.

Don't be too hard on yourself

It's unrealistic to think that you'll be perfect as you strive to attain your exercise or healthy eating goals, the American Psychological Association says.

Accept that you're going to have some ups and downs, and realize that what's important is getting back on track. Otherwise, a missed workout or two can derail you for the rest of the year.

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