International superstar Madonna, in partnership with her manager, Guy Oseary, and New Evolution Ventures (NEV), is establishing an international chain of mega-gyms called Hard Candy Fitness which will open in major cities around the world. The name is taken from her 11th studio album, which topped the charts around the world in 2008.

Madonna Hard Candy Fitness

Madonna said she chose Mexico City because it was a stop on her Sticky & Sweet tour last year, which grossed $408 million, second only to the Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang Tour. She said she liked the energy of the people.

Promotional photo for Madonna's Hard Candy Fitness

“Our plan is to use Mexico as a place to fine-tune our brand and then expand it to other countries and, in the long term, develop a global brand that includes the United States,” she, noting that Mexico is close enough to home for her to be heavily involved.

As the glass doors of Hard Candy Fitness, Madonna’s first gym, slid open in Mexico City yesterday, a mural of white, black and violet images of the Queen of Pop greeted each client.

Madonna murals on the wall of the reception area of the Hard Candy Fitness

The first Hard Candy Fitness, the 30,000 square foot space in the exclusive Bosques de las Lomas area of Mexico City, was officially opened by Madonna yesterday, to the delight of many screaming fans.

Fans waiting for Madonna's arrival at the gym opening

Madonna was surrounded by three burly bodyguards at the opening of her gym. Dozens of police officers and security guards were outside to keep some 300 screaming fans at bay.

Madonna said at the opening Monday night that she also chose the country because she loves its culture, food, art and architecture and that she didn’t worry about Mexico’s wave of drug-related violence when deciding where to open the gym.

Madonna cutting the ribbon at the opening of her Mexico City gym

Madonna poses for photographers at the opening of her gym

After cutting the ribbon last night, Madonna taught a dance class for 20 hand-picked members with music by Paul Oakenfold, the DJ who opened her last tour.

Madonna dancing at the center

New Evolution Ventures, whose chairman is Mark Mastrov, founder of 24 Hour Fitness clubs, is the  designer of Hard Candy Fitness but Mastrov stated that Hard Candy Fitness is a reflection of Madonna’s point of view, with her input on every detail including music space, light and other design cues.

Madonna has been a long time advocate of maintaining a physically fit lifestyle and during her touring career, she has worked out in hundreds of gyms across the world. At 52, the Material Girl’s own workout regimen is legendary and her physique has been both admired and chided for being overdone. Her famously pumped biceps have been labeled scary by some.

Chris Dedicik, Hard Candy’s Managing Director commented, “Hard Candy Fitness is a one of a kind experience merging fitness with entertainment.  We are dedicated to exceeding the expectations of our members.”

Chris Dedicik,CEO of Evolution New Ventures Mexico

Hard Candy Fitness centers will offer the very best in innovative training methods including private, group and dynamic training including traditional classes such as Zumba, Latin Moves and Cardio Kickboxing as well as new programming designed specifically for Hard Candy Fitness. The fitness center will also include a Bike Studio, a Mind Body Studio featuring The Great Wall, where members can practice BarWorks, Sculpting, Capoeria and the newest trends in Yoga.

It will also house a healthy alternative Juice Bar/Cafe.  The lavish locker rooms built with the finest materials will be a sanctuary for members who will be able to relax in sauna and steam rooms. Members will also benefit from state of the art cardiovascular equipment with personal viewing screens and iPod docks, more than 60 pieces of  strength equipment/free weights and the best group fitness, functional training accessories and brands including PreCor, Hoist, Free Motion, Nautilus, Hammer Strength, StarTrac, AbCoaster, and TRX suspension training.

The lobby, whose main wall is decorated with the album cover of Celebration, is open to the public and will feature a health food bar and energy drinks. It also features a small terrace.

On the second floor, which is for members only, you can find an executive area with internet access, the personal training and cardio area with elliptical machines, treadmills, weights, bicycles and equipment for sit-ups or stretching. It also features 6 plasma screens which can be used for exclusive messages by Madonna. Dressing rooms, bathrooms, showers, and sauna are on this floor.

Inside the gym

State of the art equipment

More equipment

The third floor is divided in two areas: the dance-yoga-spinning area and the weight-lifting area. The dance-yoga-spinning area consists of three different halls. In the main 250-square meter hall, dance classes of different styles will be given. The floor of the “Mind and Body” hall, where the yoga classes will be given, is made of bamboo imported from China. The yoga room will also have a special wall used in Iyengar yoga, with ropes, props and steps to help people with less physical ability. The spinning hall is equipped with 35 bikes. In the weight-lifting area, there are 60 machines altogether.

he yoga room will also have a special wall used in Iyengar yoga, with ropes, props and steps

Weightlifting equipment

“If any of you have seen my shows, you know that I don’t skimp on them and the same is true for the gym,” Madonna said. “We spend what it takes to make a globally first-class gym.”

Hard Candy Fitness is the perfect combination of “hard body” and “eye candy.”

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Ten air hostesses with troubled Mexicana airlines, which filed for bankruptcy in August and suspended operations, launched a sultry aviation-themed calendar in a bid to call attention to their own plight and that of their airline – one of the world’s oldest.

Some of the Mexicana air hostesses

The 2011 calendar features glossy shots of the flight attendants, clad only in bikinis and aviation shades or abbreviated uniforms, draped over propellers and striking racy poses in the cockpit.

Mexicana Airlines 2011 calendar

Mexicana Airlines 2011 calendar

It was the brainchild of 10-year Mexicana veteran Coral Perez.

“It occurred to me because we all needed money, and I thought that with so many pretty girls (among Mexicana’s staff) there were bound to be some who’d be interested,” she said.

“We’re seeking to support our coworkers, faced with necessity after being left without work since August,” said Coral Perez.

One of the Mexicana air hostesses

Each of the 10 “aeromozas” – or flight attendants in Spanish – who ended up posing forked out money from her own pockets to help cover the production costs of 100,000 pesos.

Some of the air hostesses posing for photo shoot

“The goal was to try to help ourselves because we lost everything overnight,” said one of the women, 26-year-old Maribel Zavala.

“We’re not models, we don’t have perfect bodies, but we want to keep going,” said Rozy Arcos, one of the stewardesses who presented the calendar to the media.

The calendar has sparked a media frenzy in Mexico, and the first run of 1000 was sold out even before Thursday’s launch. A second edition of 3000 calendars – which retail for 149 pesos, or about US$12, apiece – is in the works.

Some of the Mexicana air hostesses

Heavily indebted Mexicana, one of the world’s oldest airlines, suspended all flights in August and a judge granted it bankruptcy protection shortly afterwards.

The calendar’s release came on the heels of Mexicana’s announcement that a restructuring proposal might allow it to resume some flights by mid-December. Under the plan, just 30 percent of the company’s personnel would be rehired.

Founded in 1921, shortly after Dutch carrier KLM and Australia’s Qantas airline, Mexicana used to serve 65 destinations in Mexico, the United States, other parts of the Americas and Europe.

In fairness, this isn’t exactly a patentable innovation. Russia’s Aeroflot put out a fairly hardcore flight attendant calendar for their VIP’s over the summer, while Air Comet stewardesses took off their clothes and got photographed as part of a wage dispute with their own airline. And the female cabin crew of Ryanair have only very recently released their contribution to the world of scantily-clad cabin crew calendars.

The air hostesses striking poses that show off their curves

For hot ( as in fire) 2011 calendars, please see this blog post of mine.

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Paraguay’s world renowned soccer fan, Larissa Riquelme, arrived in South Korea last week for her dates with three Korean men.

The busty model shot to international fame after she was spotted watching matches in a revealing outfit with a cellphone tucked in her cleavage during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Larissa at the world cup with her handphone tucked in her clevage

According to the matchmaking agency Sunoo(Couple.net), the 25-year-old model arrived in Incheon on Saturday, for her one week stay in South Korea.

Larissa arrives in South Korea

Riquelme signed up with Sunoo in October through an acquaintance who works at the Paraguayan Embassy in Seoul.

A total of 1,592 men, aged between 18 and 44, answered her call. Check out my previous post on this.

During her visit she will go on dates with three Korean men whom she has selected from 1,592 applicants. Each of Riquelme’s dates are said to be at least 180-cm tall and fluent in Spanish and English, and have planned the dates according to what they wished to offer the lingerie model.

Larissa Riquelme, 25, at a press conference in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap News)

Riquelme’s first date on Tuesday will be with a 27-year-old employee of a conglomerate, identified by his surname Huh. During the date, they would stop at a pet dog cafe .

A pet dog cafe in South Korea

On Wednesday she would go to Bukchon Hanok Village near Gyeongbok Palace with a 27-year-old man with the last name Eom who works at a securities firm.

Bukchon Hanok Village

Gyeongbok Palace

Her third date would be with a 31-year-old man, whose last name is also Eom, and he plans to take her to Lotte World and N Seoul Tower.

Lotte World Seoul

N.Seoul Tower

Through dates with her suitors, Riquelme will get a chance to see what Seoul has to offer. Larissa will go from Hongdae’s famous artistic streets to having dinner while overlooking the city’s nightscape and even enjoying an adrenaline rush at Lotte World.

Hongdae

One of the date courses lined up for Riquelme will go from Bukchon Hanok village to Myeong-dong and finally have dinner at Sinsa-dong Garuso-gil, famous for its shopping district.

Myeongdong

Sinsa-dong Garuso-gil

The course was meant to show South Korea’s past and present.

Who will win her heart? South Koreans are waiting with bated breath.

Who would not want a date with her?

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Leslie Nielsen, the veteran Canadian actor whose dead-pan humor was immortalized in “Naked Gun” and “Airplane”, died yesterday in hospital of pneumonia complications. He was 84.

Leslie Nielsen

Nielsen had been battling a staph infection at a Fort Lauderdale hospital for 12 days.

Nielsen’s nephew, Doug Nielsen, told Manitoba radio station CJOB: “Leslie’s been in the hospital with pneumonia now for a number of days, approximately 12 days and just in this last 48 hours the infection has gotten too much, and today at 5:30 with his friends and his wife Barbaree by his side he just fell asleep and passed away.”

Nielsen’s family released a statement confirming his death: “We are saddened by the passing of beloved actor Leslie Nielsen, probably best remembered as Lt. Frank Drebin in ‘The Naked Gun’ series of pictures, but who enjoyed a more than 60-year career in motion pictures and television.”

His mother, Mabel Elizabeth (née Davies), was a Welsh immigrant from Fulham, London, and his father, Ingvard Eversen Nielsen, was a Danish-born Constable in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Nielsen had two brothers; his older brother, Erik Nielsen (1924–2008), was Deputy Prime Minister of Canada during the 1980s.

Nielsen spent several years living in Fort Norman, Northwest Territories when his father was stationed there with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Ingvard was a strict disciplinarian who used to beat his wife and children, and that made Nielsen want to escape.

Following his graduation from Victoria Composite High School in Edmonton, at the age of seventeen, Nielsen enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was trained as an aerial gunner during the latter part of World War II (but was too young to be fully trained and sent overseas). He briefly worked as a disc jockey at a radio station in Calgary, Alberta, before enrolling at the Lorne Greene Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto.

He studied acting in Toronto and New York, where he appeared in several live television shows in the 1950s and narrated several documentaries and commercials, using his distinctive voice.

He garnered positive reviews as a serious actor in several films from the 1950s onward, including the science fiction film “Forbidden Planet” and the disaster film “The Poseidon Adventure”, but it took his role as a clueless Dr. Rumack aboard a troubled passenger jet in the 1980 disaster-spoof hit “Airplane” to launch his successful career as a comedic actor.

Forbidden Planet

Leslie Nielsen in Poseidon Adventure

Airplane..the movie that launched Nielsen's career as a comic actor

The clueless doctor with a patrician air inspired the makers of “Airplane!” to bring Nielsen’s newfound comedy schtick to the small screen with “Police Squad.”

Though that show lasted only four episodes before being canceled, it won Nielsen an Emmy nomination and his role as Lt. Frank Drebin was reprised in film with “Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad.” The film spawned two sequels, The Naked Gun 2˝: The Smell of Fear (1991) and Naked Gun 33?: The Final Insult (1994). Naked Gun 2˝ grossed more money than the original, with $86,930,400, while Naked Gun 33? grossed $51,132,600 in receipts.

Naked Gun Trilogy

Leslie Nielsen's character Frank Drebin gets close to Queen Elizabeth in the Naked Gun.

This video clip shows some of the funniest moments from the Naked Gun trilogy:

The “Naked Gun” series of three movies cemented Nielsen’s popularity, who followed it up with other starring roles in spoofs that were poorly received and panned by critics including “Repossessed” (1990) and “2001: A Space Travesty” (2000, parodies of The Exorcist and 2001: A Space Odyssey, respectively.

Even a leading role in a Mel Brooks comic horror parody, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, failed to generate much box office excitement, although it did gain somewhat of a following on its later release to video. Both 1996′s Spy Hard and 1998′s Wrongfully Accused, a parody of The Fugitive, received even more popularity on home video but were not-well received by critics.

Dracula:Dead and Loving It

Nielsen in Dracula

Spy Hard

Wrongfully Accused

His attempt at children’s comedies met additional criticism. Surf Ninjas (1993) and Mr. Magoo (1997) faced scathing reviews.

Nielsen’s first major slapstick success since The Naked Gun came in a supporting role in the 2003 Scary Movie 3. His appearance as President Harris proved popular enough for a second appearance in its sequel, the 2006 Scary Movie 4. In one scene in the film, Nielsen appeared almost fully nude, and one critic referred to the scene as putting “the ‘scary’ in Scary Movie 4.”

Scary Movie 4

In his 1993 autobiography “The Naked Truth,” Nielsen lampoons himself by making up events in his life like winning two Oscars for best actor and having an affair with Elizabeth Taylor.

All in all, Nielsen appeared in over 100 films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters.

Nielsen married four times: Monica Boyer (1950–1956), Alisande Ullman (1958–1973), Brooks Oliver (1981–1983) and Barbaree Earl (2001–2010, his death). Nielsen also had two children from his second marriage, Maura and Thea Nielsen.

With wife Barbaree Earl Nielsen

He is survived by his wife Barbaree Earl Nielsen and two daughters, Thea and Maura, whom he had with Ullman, his second wife.

RIP Mr. Nielsen…you will surely be missed!

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So the woman immortalised in Brunei billionaire playboy prince, Prince Jefri Bolkiah’s sex statue collection does exist after all. The flamboyant prince of Brunei has had to endure the embarrassment of having his former fiancée – the model of four of his by now famous life-size erotic statues – giving evidence in a court case at Manhattan state Supreme Court.

Her name is Micha Raines and she is his former personal assistant-turned-fiancee.

Micha Raines leaving the court after her testimony

Raines, 41, is also the mother of the prince’s five-year-old boy.

While in the witness box she looked little like the statues. Raines was prim, proper and fully clothed as she testified in the prince’s multimillion-dollar court case against two British lawyers he says robbed him in real estate schemes.

The Las Vegas native was immortalized in several of the raunchy royal’s life-sized sex statues – in which they wore expressions of ecstasy and nothing else. The prince commissioned the statues of him having sex with Micha Raines, entwined in a number of positions.

Two of the sex statues

On the statues, her hair was down, but in flesh, Raines kept it in a tight bun in court and wore a diamond-encrusted crucifix.

Miss Raines patiently answered a series of questions about Mr Bolkiah’s business practices over the years she was with him.

She described how Prince Jefri had been impressed by the husband-and-wife legal team he’s now suing, Thomas Derbyshire and Faith Zaman, who were put in charge of selling the prince’s 23-room Sunninghill Estate.

Thomas Derbyshire and Faith Zaman

The prince hired them after just one face-to-face meeting in London in the summer of 2004, she said, and Raines herself handwrote several notes, on Prince Jefri’s behalf, to the couple, expressing his satisfaction with them.

Miss Raines shared the prince’s fabulous wealth between 1996 and 2005, when they were together.

Raines testified that Prince Jefri paid her more than a half-million dollars annually when she served as his personal assistant in the tiny, oil-rich nation, and was also rewarded after they got engaged.

“I was paid a salary of 33,000 pounds  a month when I was working for him,” she testified. “And when I was his fiancée, I was given gifts.”

Even now she and their five-year-old son live in a Ł6million Las Vegas house that was a gift from the prince. “He still calls a few times a month,” she spoke fondly of the prince, who smiled warmly at his ex when she brushed past him in Manhattan Supreme Court.

She and the prince have a son together, but Raines said the brother of one of the world’s richest men doesn’t provide a penny in support these days.

Raines said British lawyers Thomas Derbyshire and Faith Zaman were trusted aides who were put in charge of selling the prince’s 23-room Sunninghill Estate.

Among the left-behind goodies at the Sunninghill Estate were the X-rated statues of Raines in action with the prince.

The prince fired the lawyers in 2006 and now says they fleeced him of millions while managing his properties. He has gone to court in Manhattan against the lawyers, claiming that they fleeced him of millions while managing his properties, one of which being the Sunninghill Estate, in Ascot, where he housed the X-rated naked statues of his one-time lover.

At the opening of the hearing at Manhattan’s Supreme Court, the jury was told Jefri hired them in 2004 with a multi-million-pound salary to manage his empire, which included the New York Palace hotel, as well as a 23-room mansion on Long Island, New York, and a home in Las Vegas.

‘He gave them the keys to the palace,’ said Linda Goldstein, a lawyer for the prince. ‘They were given an extra­ordinary position of trust.

‘They abused that trust to line their pockets in ways that were both spectacular and spectacularly petty.’

The lawyers are said to have started ‘seven schemes’ to steal from their boss, including using Ł3.1million of his money to buy themselves homes on the California coast.

Goldstein claimed the royal bank account paid for a 30th birthday party in London for Mrs Derbyshire, her wardrobe of clothes and her home renovation.

She and her husband are said to have made millions when they had the New York Palace pay Ł2.4million for 150 plasma screen TVs from a company which she secretly controlled.

They also charged more than Ł11,000 of beauty treatments to Jefri’s corporate credit cards, it is claimed. Another alleged plot involved her arranging a 68-year lease for a huge apartment at the New York Palace hotel that was rent-free for five years, then a paltry Ł310 a month after that.

The Derbyshires say all the allegations are untrue and have countersued, saying Prince Jefri owes them Ł7.4million or more in promised payments.

Mr Derbyshire, 43, was born in Bootle, Merseyside, and is the UK’s eighth highest-earning criminal barrister, earning about Ł668,000 a year. He lives with his 34-year-old wife Faith Zaman, a non-practising barrister, in Hampstead, North London.

The younger brother of the Sultan of Brunei fought to keep photos of the almost $1million (Ł617,000) pornographic statues depicting himself in various sexual positions with Micha Raines away from jurors in his civil trial against former advisers.

In court filings lawyers for Jefri asked the judge to bar photos of the X-rated statues from the jury.

‘Jurors easily could be offended by their erotic nature and express their anger as prejudice against Prince Jefri,’ Prince Jefri’s lawyers claim in the filing.

In addition to photos of the statues, the playboy prince wants details about his private life barred from the courtroom, including his many wives, estates, his harem and more.

‘As a Moslem, Prince Jefri was entitled to have multiple wives and families, and he did so,’ his filing says. ‘However, polygamy is offensive to many Americans, and trial testimony about Prince Jefri’s personal life may be prejudicial to him.’

Jefri has four wives, 17 children and 18 adopted wards, as well as a harem of roughly 40 women vying for his attention at nightly parties.

His harem was first detailed in 1997 by former Miss USA Shannon Marketic when she sued the prince and the sultan for holding her against her will as a sex slave in Brunei at his 1,788-room palace.

Miss USA 1992 Shannon Marketic

Her lawsuit claimed she and other young women were lured to be sex slaves after traveling there under false pretenses. After arriving in Brunei, she said, they had their passports confiscated and were checked for sexually transmitted diseases. The suit was dismissed.

Earlier this year Jillian Lauren, published a memoir ‘Some Girls’ detailing her 18 months in the harem as one of Jefri’s 40 girlfriends, showered with jewelry, designer clothes and bags stuffed with cash.

Jillian Lauren

Jefri, known for his spending habits, was accused of embezzling $14.8billion from the tiny, oil-rich Brunei, a charge he denied. His purchases over the years have included 600 properties, over 2000 cars, over 100 paintings, five boats, nine aircraft including an Airbus, rugs made of gold, and even a mega-yacht he christened ‘Tits’ ((the lifeboats are names Nipple 1 and Nipple 2).

Carpet made from solid gold threads and 25,000 precious stones

Jefri's yacht Tits with its lifeboats named Nipple 1 and Nipple 2

In 2000 he agreed to turn over his personal holdings to the government in return for avoiding criminal prosecution. But he was accused of hiding assets when he allegedly sold hundreds of millions of pounds worth of diamonds in secret.

But it’s the statues that are now capturing attention.

Judge Ira Gammerman issued a gag order to everyone involved in the real estate trial. The prince’s lawyer, Jeff Stewart, had complained about his opposing lawyer, Mark Cymrot.

‘He passed out photographs of the erotic statues in the hallway,’ Stewart alleged.

Remarkably, considering their cost, the statues bear little resemblance to Jefri. Sculptor J. Seward Johnson Jr claims he was unaware the private commission came from Prince Jefri.

‘The sculptures were a commission specifically featuring positions of the ancient public domain Kama Sutra,’ his spokesman told The Daily Beast.

‘Artists’ models were used and there was no reference to any collector, buyer, or other individual in the making of the pieces. The project was commissioned anonymously via a holding company and the sculptor was not told the identity of the buyer.’

Jefri was reportedly upset when the statue lacked a mustache and some fixes were ordered.

So far, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ira Gammerman has barred defence lawyers from introducing evidence of Prince Jefri’s extravagance and life of sex and luxury.

The Derbyshires’ lawyers argue that the jury should be told about Jefri’s family problems, including the allegation he embezzled billions of pounds from his oil-rich homeland.

The current case has already shone a light into Jefri’s world. His lawyer successfully argued the jury should not be shown photos of his life-sized statues of him having sex.

The case is being followed closely around the world, particularly in the prince’s home nation of Brunei Darussalam.

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Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho bid US$330,000 (RM1 million) for a pair of white truffles, matching the record price he paid in 2007 for one of the rarified fungal delicacy unearthed in Tuscany. The billionaire made the winning bid on Saturday at a charity auction through representatives of his company, Sociedade de Jogos de Macau.

Stanley Ho

The auction was staged at Ho’s Grand Lisboa hotel in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, with bidders participating simultaneously in Florence and London through satellite link. Ho outbid luxo-artist Damien Hirst (of multi-million-dollar diamond skull fame), among others, said auction organizer Giselle Oberti. Ho is best known for his casino monopoly in Macau, a gambling enclave in southern China near Hong Kong.

The pair included a huge truffle dug up in the central Tuscany region weighing 900 grams as well as one found in Molise weighing in at 400 grams.

The larger truffle was dug up recently by truffle hunter Cristiano Savini, his father Luciano and dog Rocco in Palaia, a town about 25 miles from Pisa. The Savinis said Rocco started sniffing “like crazy” when he zeroed in on the fungus.

The $330,000 truffle

Proceeds from the auction were to go to an Italian organization that helps sufferers of genetic diseases, a group that helps street children in London and Catholic charities in Macau.

Guinness World Records lists a 2.86 pound white truffle found in Croatia in 1999 as the biggest.

Truffles are a fungus. They are related to mushrooms, puffballs and bracket fungi. They usually weigh from 1 to 2.8 ounces apiece. Slivers of white truffles, with their strong aroma, are prized in Italy to flavor pasta sauces and rice dishes.

Just about every truffle that lands on your plate has to be found—underground, mind you—by a human being, usually with the help of a specially trained mushroom-sniffing dog. All species of truffle (in the Tuber genus) are ectomycorrhizal, meaning they require a symbiotic relationship with roots of specific trees to live. The truffles, sprouting underground attached to the roots, get easy access to the nourishing sugars created by the tree during photosynthesis. The tree gets the benefit of increased root surface area with which water and nutrients can be better absorbed.

Truffles are one of the outstanding gourmet foods of the world. The best truffles are found in the soils of northern Italy and southern France, but they are found in other parts of the world, too. The European truffle-hunters use trained dogs to sniff out the truffles in the ground and dig them out. Such dogs are worth several thousand dollars. But the truffle hunting man and his dog may find a bushel or so and the man does not have to work for the rest of the year.

Think of them as expensive, top-flight gourmet foods. Truffles are indeed the world’s costliest food ingredient. Now you know why Stanley Ho paid such a high price for them.

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Jenni-Lyn Watson, 20, returned on November 18 to her home in Clay on Thanksgiving break from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania, to spend Thanksgiving with her family in Liverpool, a suburb of Syracuse. But it has turned out to be such a tragic Thanksgiving for her and her family.

Jenni-Lyn Watson

Watson, 20, disappeared the following day, sparking a massive search for her over the ensuing days.

Watson was last seen at home on the morning of November 19 with her parents and 17-year-old sister. When they returned home in the afternoon, Watson was gone, along with her Verizon LG enV3 cell phone, though her purse, wallet and house keys were still there.

A missing flyer with a yellow ribbon tied near it

The massive manhunt culminated with the discovery yesterday of Watson’s body in a heavily wooded swampy area near Clay Central Park in North Syracuse, N.Y., eight days after she had gone missing. The place where her body was found is a spot down a slope behind a storage shed, some 350 yards north of Wetzel Road and about two miles north of Watson’s home. It appeared someone tried to conceal the body, but that it was not buried. She was laid flat and covered up with vegetation.

The shed near the area where Watson's body was found

Police have arrested Jenni-Lyn Watson’s ex-boyfriend Steven Pieper, 21, who is accused of killing Watson and dumping her body in a park. Pieper now faces a second-degree murder charge.

Watson and Pieper had an on-and-off relationship over an 18-month period, according to Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick. Watson has apparently broken off with Pieper in October but Pieper did not take it well. Pieper is alleged to have been at Watson’s residence on the morning of her disappearance and is believed to be the last to have seen her.

Watson with Pieper in happier times

The arrest came hours after Watson’s body was found in Clay Central Park, where the search has focused since she disappeared on Nov. 19.

Watson’s family has been notified and will identify the remains. An autopsy is planned for today.

A friend of Watson’s said the young woman had recently broken off an engagement.

“The break-up didn’t go as cordially as it should have,” the friend said.

Onondaga County Undersheriff Warren Darby said Friday that more than 100 people were searching for Watson.

He said the search expanded from 600 acres to 1,200 acres. Watson, described as a 5-feet-2 weighing 100 lbs. and with dark blond hair and brown eyes, was an accomplished ballerina and dance major at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa.

Friends describe Watson as a “sweetheart” who excelled in ballet for 16 years, performing with the prestigious Moscow Ballet.

Jenni-Lyn in a ballerina pose

Jenni-Lyn Watson in another of her dance pose

Authorities believe Watson was killed in her residence on the morning of November 19 and that her body was dumped in a heavily wooded area a couple miles away.

“Pieper has been interviewed twice,” Fitzpatrick said. “He has denied involvement.”

Detectives are looking for anyone who may have seen Pieper’s black 2008 Volkswagen Jetta in the vicinity of Watson’s home or near the area where the body was found.

Investigators also had asked anyone who had found a cell phone in a blue cover like Watson’s to call them. A transmission from that phone on the day of Watson’s disappearance led officials to search the woodlands and marshes around Henry Clay Boulevard. Clay Central Park is nearly surrounded by the Stanley J. Hamlin State Wildlife Management Area, also called Hamlin Marsh.

For days, Police searched more than 1,200 acres of woods surrounding her family’s home in Onondaga County, focusing on the area where her cell phone was last reported active.

Missing person flyer for Jenni-Lyn Watson

The remains were found as part of the search routine, not because anyone had pointed authorities to the spot. Fitzpatrick credited “good legwork by the sheriff’s department.”

“They were not going to leave this area until they were convinced she wasn’t there,” he said.

Fitzpatrick said there were no visible signs of struggle from Watson.

“Our Mercyhurst family poured their hearts and souls into finding Jenni-Lyn in a genuine outpouring of humanity,” Mercyhurst college president Tom Gamble said in a statement. “Her death is devastating to our entire college community. We continue to pray for her family and extend our deepest sympathies.”

Some 600 students attended a vigil Wednesday night at Mercyhurst for the pretty and popular ballet dancer.

On her Facebook page, she listed one of her favourite quotes as: ‘You are only as strong as the martinis you drink…. tables you dance on and the friends that you have.’

Rest in peace, Watson!

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Looking for a hot 2011 calendar? Well, you’re in luck.

What can be hotter than the four calendars below all featuring female firefighters? The first three are from US while the last one is from Australia. Take your time to pick your choice.

America’s Female Firefighters has participated in many events across the country. They don’t just sell calendars. They work with the public to educate and inform about burn victims. They have also volunteered time to appear in Television Series: Parenting & Beyond- Fire Safety Series and have also helped to raise funds for  charities.

America's Female Firefighters 2011 Calendar

Firehouse Dolls is firefighter owned and operated. Their calendars feature beautiful female firefighters, EMT’s, paramedics, dispatchers and any pretty girl associated with the fire/rescue service.

Firehouse Dolls 2011 Calendar

FireGirls is a homage to the men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis. For the FireGirls Calendar, the most successful firefighters’ calendar for the last 10 years, the astonishing FireGirls plunge into the firefighting action. Only the most experienced and fire-crazy models get the highly sought after predicate of “FireGirls”. The shootings take place at some of the most beautiful locations and amazing settings in the world. The high quality of the imagery makes the FireGirls Calendar a unique worldwide endeavor. The special edition of FireGirls Calendar 2011 features the 12 hottest FireGirls pictures of all time. Their website features a hot saucy video of the firegirls.

ClubFireGirls 2011 Calender

The Girls On Fire 2011 calendar features13 Australian female firefighters who have posed for the calendar to raise funds to send their football team, The Firey Felines, to New York for the World Police and Fire Games next year. The team will donate 10 per cent of profits from The Girls On Fire calendar to The Burns Unit at The Children’s Hospital, Westmead and MND Free, a motor neurone disease charity.

Becky Ambis - the cover girl of The Girls On Fire 2011 Calendar

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Travelling by boat between the Tokelau Islands – three small atolls about midway between New Zealand and Hawaii in the South Pacific Ocean – may seem like a cinch for three teenagers from the islands, but it turned out to be a terrible ordeal for the teenagers.

Natives of the Tokelau Islands, the boys said they had set out in the boat on October 5 to travel from their home island to another one nearby. The islands are pretty close and they can be transited quite easily with these small vessels but the boys got disoriented after losing sight of land and became lost at sea.

New Zealand’s Air Force launched a sea search but there were no signs of the teenagers.

The teenagers’ ordeal would last an incredible 50 days.

From left: Filo Filo, Samuel Perez and Edward Nasau leaning against the craft in which they spent 50 days adrift (Photo by Tai Fredricsen).

The boys, Samuel Pelesa and Filo Filo – both 15 – and 14-year-old Edward Nasau, had left their island with enough coconuts to keep them hydrated for two days. But they used a tarpaulin to catch rainwater and for shelter after their clothes disintegrated. And two weeks ago, they caught a seabird, which they ate.

Authorities concluded that the teens could not have survived and declared them dead. Two weeks ago, their families and friends held a memorial service attended by 500 people, in the island chain that has a total population of 1,400.

The boys were famished, dehydrated, exhausted and sunburned when a crew member on a fishing trawler San Nikuna two miles away spotted their 12-foot metal boat and alerted his superior.

“He alerted us that he saw something immediately on our bow, directly in front of us,” Tai Fredricsen told CNN Thursday from his 280-foot tuna boat. “As we drew closer, we could tell that it was a small boat of some type.”

The boat was a strange find so far from land. “It’s not something you go in the open ocean with,” he said, noting that the boat was 240 miles (385 km) northeast of Fiji when it was spotted.

And it got stranger. Inside were three naked teenage boys — cousins from the Tokelau Islands 750 nautical miles away. Asked whether they needed help, they said yes.

When he learned how long they had been adrift, Fredricsen released his rescue boat and took them aboard his fishing boat, the San Nikunau.

“They looked very bad — bones protruding from underneath the skin, but mentally strong, strong as an ox,” Fredricsen said.

He moved them to his cabin’s king-sized bed, where “they all fit comfortably,” and began administering first aid to their burned skin.

“They were ecstatic,” he said.

He also gave them electrolyte-spiked liquids, as he had been trained to do in a first-aid class. “I just gave them very small doses — they more or less let the drink stay in their mouth, and they swirled it around and let it absorb in their cheeks very slowly.”

After about half an hour, they were able to swallow, but he urged them to go slowly. “They knew I was trying to help, and they did what I said. The cooperation was just incredible from the start.”

After a couple of hours, they were able to eat small pieces of dry white bread, he said. Four hours later, he was feeding them slices of oranges and apples.

“And then they were starting to get a little bit carried away — they were wanting some McDonald’s or some French fries, but I couldn’t allow them to have that yet.”

After six hours on board, the three teenage boys began to mingle with the crew. By 4:30 a.m. local time Thursday, they were transferred to a Fiji coast guard vessel, destined for a hospital in Suva on that Pacific island, “hopefully warm and cozy.”

The teenagers are being helped on their arrival at the Stanley Brown Naval Base in Fuji

Throughout, the boys were smiling, he said.

But their rescue came just in the nick of time. “They did admit to me they had started drinking salt water two days prior to us rescuing them,” Fredricsen said.

Drinking excess amounts of saltwater can shut down one’s kidneys, which can be fatal.

The boys were spotted in an “unusual place” — west of the Tokelaus, between western Samoa and Fiji, said Eric Barratt, the managing director for the Sanford seafood company, whose boat found the boys.

It was dumb luck that the fishing boat came upon the boys, said Fredricsen, since its usual port of unloading and operations is in American Samoa. “By chance, we were going to New Zealand to unload” because the boat was scheduled to be pulled from the water and inspected, a quadrennial event, he said.

Fredricsen called the Tokelau Islands and informed Pelesa’s grandmother of his unusual catch.

“I just told her we found her kids, and it was total hysteria,” Fredricsen said. “It was just amazing.”

“I couldn’t believe my son and his boys were found again. Unbelievable,” Tanu Filo, whose 15-year-old son Filo was among the survivors, told CNN Thursday in a telephone interview from his native Tokelau Islands. “I was on cloud nine. I was so joyful.”

But when Filo Filo first phoned his father from the boat, “he cried more than he talked,” his father Tanu recalled.

Pelesa’s uncle, Lakia Kalolo, told CNN that Pelesa’s grandmother broke the news to him and others. “You should have seen the village, you should have seen the people here,” he said. “They were happy, very happy. Everybody was crying … We gave thanks to God.”

As news of their survival spread, the village erupted in joy that the villagers cried and sang songs as they hugged each other.

Fredricsen said the boys left their mark on him and his crewmates — not only because of what they endured while lost at sea, but because of their attitudes after rescue.

“It was just an uplifting experience to meet these young men,” Fredricsen said. “They didn’t give up.”

Tanu Filo said locals are “trying to plan a celebration in a Tokelean way.” Besides the boys, he would like the tuna boat’s captain and crew to join in the celebratory eating, singing and joy.

“I’d like to say thanks and shake hands and celebrate … together,” Tanu Filo said. “We want to invite them to the feast.”

What an incredible tale of survival against all odds!

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Just when you thought you have seen it all in the world of reality TV, E! brings you “Bridalplasty”, the utter nadir of cultural decrepitude.

The new series, premiering November 28 at 9 p.m., will feature 12 brides-to-be pitting against each other each week in wedding-themed challenges (such as writing wedding vows and planning honeymoons) for nose jobs, implants, lipo and the ultimate prize: a celebrity-worthy dream wedding. All twelve of them will begin the journey living under one roof.

Bridalplasty

Bloggers refer to Bridalplasty as “The Brides of Frankenstein”, “horroreality”, and “the Final TV Show Ever Made Before Mankind Slips Quietly Into The Dust”.

The show, which appears intent on seeing a young brides-to-be transformed into plastic barbies, will be hosted by former Playboy model and Miss USA Shanna Moakler.

Shanna Moakler

Of course, “Bridalplasty” is not the first TV show about plastic surgery. “The Swan” and ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” both followed subjects who went under the knife to modify their appearance.

But “Bridalplasty” will be the first American reality show to have participants compete for plastic surgery, pushing the limits of medical ethics.

Despite “Bridalplasty’s” unsettling tagline — “the only show where the winner gets cut” — the reality competition follows a surprisingly standard format: Each week, the contestants will participate in a wedding- or relationship-themed challenge, such as picking the perfect dress, according to Jason Sarlanis, vice president of original programming and series development for E!

And like many reality competition shows, a winner is granted immunity each week and thus is exempt from competing the following episode. But, on “Bridalplasty,” immunity is also a form of “medical leave.”

Bridalplasty - The only show where the winner gets cut

“Contestants will wait until they’re ready to return — doctor’s orders,” Sarlanis said. “They won’t participate in any part of the episode that could mess with recuperation.”

But recovery time is not the only concern for Dr. John Diaz, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California, who is not affiliated with the show. Diaz says, “By competing in a show like this, patients might feel pressured to undergo surgeries they wouldn’t have under normal circumstances.”

That pressure, he says, can stem from contestants’ peers on the show, as well as the fact that the surgeries are free.

“If a contestant is only interested in her nose, but every other woman around her is talking about her breasts, all of a sudden, she may feel pressure to do her breasts, as well,” Diaz said. “It’s almost like a peer pressure spurred on by this competition.”

Supporters and critics alike agree that “Bridalplasty” will most likely be a hit.

Sarah Polonsky, senior editor at BettyConfidential.com, said she’s worried the show will send a negative message to viewers — “equating cash to plastic surgery.”

“Anyone emotionally unstable enough to desire that much plastic surgery really needs Botox for the soul,” Polonsky said. “They should be giving out therapy instead of nose jobs. … When you start planning a wedding to include lip injections and rhinoplasty in addition to flower arrangements, it’s almost as belittling to your groom as it is to yourself.”

“In today’s entertainment landscape, the most absurd and crazy idea wins,” Hall said. “This certainly feels like the most absurd and crazy TV show in a long time.”

Under the American Society of Plastic Surgeons code of ethics, “We’re technically prohibited from giving procedures away as a prize for a contest. It totally undermines the doctor-patient relationship,” says Dr. Gayle Gordillo, associate professor plastic surgery at Ohio State University. “The ethical and social implications of this show are frightening.”

From a medical and ethical standpoint, many plastic surgeons objected to the use of plastic surgery as a prize to be fought over in the new show.

“It’s a bad idea on two counts. One, they’re rushing a surgery which is dangerous, and more importantly it’s totally unethical to offer plastic surgery as the result of winning a contest,” says Dr. Garry Brody, professor emeritus of plastic surgery at the University of Southern California.

In the first episode, 12 eager brides-to-be from across the country move into a mansion where they live together and compete to collect plastic surgery procedures and fabulous wedding prizes along the way. But before the competition heats up, they first meet with Dr. Terry Dubrow for a private consultation to create a personalized plastic surgery “wish list” that they hope to complete before walking down the aisle – from muffin tops to crooked noses to flat chests, the perceived imperfections they hope to fix are extensive and dramatic. Each bride will leave the consultations with a clear vision of what her new body could be.

Dr. Terry Dubrow is a board certified plastic surgeon in southern California with over 15 years of experience. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a Certified Expert for The California Medical Board. He was the plastic surgeon on the Fox television show “The Swan” and his surgical practice includes reconstructive cancer surgery as well as cosmetic surgery.

Dr Terry Dubrow in The Swan

The competition begins and the women go head to head in wedding-themed challenges, ranging from writing wedding vows to planning honeymoons. The winning bride receives the chance to choose a procedure from her “wish list,” which will take place immediately and be revealed at the beginning of the next episode. Each episode ends in a dramatic elimination with one bride being voted off by her competitors, possibly walking away with nothing and losing her chance to be the perfect bride.

The “Bridalplasty” champion will be named and viewers will follow her journey as she prepares for her dream wedding, which includes undergoing all of the procedures on her plastic surgery “wish list,” and her fiancé’s anticipation as he waits to see her full transformation. In a moment anticipated all season long, viewers will witness his emotional and possibly shocked reaction as they stand at the altar and he lifts her veil to see her for the first time following her extreme plastic surgery. The dramatic finale marks the end of her quest for perfection and reveals if her dream wedding does in fact become a reality.

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