Sunday, May 20, 2012
Date of Birth
26 March 1984, Scappoose, Oregon, USA
5' 3" (1.60 m)
Cute, slim, and sunny blonde sprite Sara Jean Underwood was born on March 26, 1984 in Portland, Oregon. Sara was on the volleyball team in junior high school. She graduated from Scappoose High School in Scappoose, Oregon in 2002.
Her first job was assisting in the sales of heavy construction equipment. Underwood worked as a waitress at Hooters in Beaverton, Oregon. She attended Oregon State University as a major in Business Marketing. Sara first appeared in "Playboy" in the pictorial "The Girls of the Pac 10" in the October, 2005 issue (she also graced the cover of this same issue).
Underwood was the Playmate of the Month in the July, 2006 issue of the famous men's magazine. She was named Playmate of the Year in 2007. Sara has been featured in many "Playboy" videos. Underwood not only has appeared as herself in the comedy films "The House Bunny" and "Miss March," but also on episodes of such reality TV series as "Kendra," "The Girls Next Door," and "Bridget's Sexiest Beaches." Moreover, Sara has worked on television as a continuity announcer for the Blackbelt TV cable network and co-hosted five episodes of G4's "Attack of the Show."
Underwood discovered Ida Ljungqvist while shopping on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California; Ljungqvist was the Playmate of the Month in the March, 2008 issue of "Playboy" and was named Playmate of the Year in 2009. Sara has small parts in the films "Epic Movie" and "Two Million Stupid Women." She has more substantial roles in the horror pictures "The Telling" and "Zellwood." Underwood continues to model for "Playboy."
Despite extensive stress-testing, Diablo 3's global launch was bound hit a few snags. And sure enough, as the 23.01 deadline passed and BattleNet servers opened worldwide, literally thousands of gamers started a mad dash to install the game, promptly crashing servers … as it did again the following day.
It may have been a delay rather than a disaster – and it certainly didn't stop me racing through the first act before breakfast – but it did reflect many people's top pre-launch concern: Diablo 3's need to maintain a constant internet connection. Blizzard insists this is to ensure that characters can only be levelled up in one way to prevent fraud as well as retain security and control.
Nevertheless, having already lost some progress and booty between checkpoints myself, it's clear this latest multiplayer intrusion will rankle some single players deeply – at least until Battlenet returns to its usual, stable self. Of course, there are some advantages to having your character ID, stats and items stored online, but more about that in a moment.
In terms of gameplay, first glance reveals everything you would expect from a Diablo sequel: five playable character classes, roughly divided between close-range brawlers like the Barbarian and Monk and rangier characters like The Wizard and Demon Hunter. And, for sheer strangeness, there's the Witch Doctor – whose Demon Dogs skill fast became my defence of choice. For the first time, I was also able to make him a her, even though gender has no bearing on anything but appearance and voice-over.
Once in the game, it's clear that the new 3D engine has been put to work on rendering a level of detail we haven't seen in the series before. Superb lighting effects make even Act 1's formulaic dungeons seem more atmospheric, but once you reach Act 2's Caldeum and beyond, more spectacular locations and draw distances emerge. Enemies may have a tendency to swarm mindlessly towards you, but they come in large numbers and reasonable variety.
Not every improvement pays off, however; there's far too little destructible scenery and context-sensitive traps – such as falling chandeliers or rolling logs – sound like a great idea on paper but require such careful lining up of enemies you won't be troubling with them after the first few attempts.
There's improvement as well as innovation, particularly with the UI. With a permanent Portal spell to take you back to nearby towns and a much smarter way of choosing and comparing items, you can now focus on the important task of killing things.
However, in the 12 years since Diablo 2, RPG combat has moved on in leaps and bounds and D3 seems determined to stick to its tried and tested brawling system. Certainly there's a plethora of pyrotechnic skills for each character, most of which can be customised with up to five Runes each, opening up some fascinating alternative strategies for each class. But the way this is organised onscreen is confusing, with skills taking precedence over weapons by default and no clear overview of the powers you already have, let alone aspire to.
There's also a tedious "cooling down" period once a rune is activated and even longer after taking a Health potion. At least slain enemies now drop orbs that can be collected by running over them but this tends to give you abundant health at precisely the moment you don't need it (ie, once the danger has been eliminated).
Combat itself is fast, furious and varied, with early standout attacks such as the Monk's Exploding Palm or the Barbarian's Wrath of the Bezerker even more impressive once fully runed up. However, compared to the fluidity of, say, Kingdoms of Amular, D3 battles still feel disjointed and unnecessarily frenetic – particularly when taking on the exceptionally mobile Bosses.
Combat also remains crippling on the fingers thanks to mapping moves and primary attacks to the same mouse button which too often results in charging enemies you should have tackled at distance. Meanwhile, when you have NPC allies, they offer little in the way of real assistance until fully upgraded – by which time your enemies have taken a quantum leap in hardness themselves.
And what of the adventure? Well, it's set around 20 years after D2 and once again Sanctuary is under attack from hellish forces. It's a subtle introduction, avoiding lengthy cut-scenes except at the start of each of the game's four acts in favour of dropping pieces of "lore" that play out while you continue adventuring. Add to this some top quality voice acting and an stirring soundtrack and D3 works fine as an unfolding story without winning any prizes for original fiction. And although most of the side quests are formulaic search/fight type affairs, there are now many more of them – which means more loot.
However, die-hard fans know that Diablo has never been about finishing the adventure, it's about levelling up your characters and discovering the most valuable items.
D2 players were only able to trade between team members, but Blizzard has annexed all this into D3's own, secure but rather bleak Auction House. Now anyone can trade items for game credits or (among other players in your region) real cash with early visits revealing weapons and armour far in advance of anything NPC traders at my level in the game were offering.
It remains to be seen how this will affect things in the long run, or how long it will take fraudsters, spammers and cheats to find some way to spoil the party. However, it's already clear that capitalism has arrived in Sanctuary – perhaps hinting at another motivation for D3's need to be always online.
But there are other advantages too, most notably the way co-op play has now been fully integrated. This means you can instantly access a random four-player public game from the main menu, or start playing alone and then invite friends or the wider public to join in.
Either way, the game registers which enemies you kill so that you don't have to fight off thieving teammates and all experience is saved to your player profile. Co-op D3 may feature the same single-player levels, but it's only here where you get to appreciate how months of beta testing have paid off.
Having invested time and effort in levelling up a character, co-op is the best way to see the others in action and it's well worth the experience. Playing with a Monk/Witch Doctor combo is nothing like taking it on as a Barbarian/Wizard, and when it comes to customising your characters for co-op you need to consider how particular skill/rune combos serve the team rather than just yourself.
The ultimate test of this character and stat-balancing act is Inferno – a rock hard difficulty level unlocked upon your character reaching level 60 at the hardest difficulty setting. With each Act then increasing in difficulty, adjusted to how many players are taking part, it's D3's ultimate challenge and will surely secure the game's biggest bragging rights for the team that first cracks it. Needless to say, I'm still many levels (and a lot of combat experience) short of that, but it's certainly something to aim for.
So the key question remains, was Diablo 3 worth the 12-year wait? That depends on how you play it – for single players, it's an entertaining and gorgeous-looking dungeon hack but it's a bit short, extremely linear and hardly pushing any boundaries. Playing online (and Blizzard isn't really giving us a choice) makes it a better balanced and more compelling challenge, with all the potential to be the kind of lifestyle substitute that Diablo's legion of hunter-gatherer fans should relish.
With global demand still in a feeding frenzy and PvP levels under development, let's hope the servers can cope.
Date of Birth
1 November 1972, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jennifer Ann McCarthy
5' 6½" (1.69 m)
- Spouse : John Mallory Asher (11 September 1999 - 2006) (divorced) 1 child
- She has three sisters: Lynette McCarthy, Joanne McCarthy (JoJo) and Amy McCarthy.
- She was the MVP of her high school softball & field hockey team.
- In 1993 she was a struggling model, until Playboy appearance.
- Playboy Playmate of the Year 1994.
- Playboy Playmate of the Month October 1993.
- Hobbies: Kickboxing.
- Chosen by People (USA) magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world 
- Dropped out of nursing school to become an actress.
- Had her breast implants removed in 1998.
- Turned down a role in Scary Movie (2000) to star in Scream 3 (2000).
- Auditioned for the lead female role in Showgirls (1995).
- Cousin of actress Melissa McCarthy.
- Gave birth in Los Angeles to son Evan Joseph Asher, on May 18th, 2002, 7 pounds, 13 ounces.
- Attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
- Ex-daughter-in-law of actress Joyce Bulifant and William Asher.
- Graduated from Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School in Chicago.
- Auditioned for the role of Natalie in Charlie's Angels (2000).
- Grew up on the southside of Chicago.
- Has co-written an autobiography, "Jen-X", with Neal Karlen.
- Ranked as #54 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement. (2005).
- Named #7 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006" supplement. (2006).
- Along with her ex-boyfriend Jim Carrey, she was among the guests at Tom Cruise's and Katie
- Holmes' wedding ceremony in Italy.
- Friend of Chelsea Handler.
- Auditioned for the role of Ellie Arroway in Contact (1997) that was played by Jodie Foster.
Another beauty pageant controversy.
Not long after Jenna Talackova was booted from the Miss Universe Canada contest due to her transgender status, Torika Watters has lost her title of Miss Fiji.
The 16-year old was set to represent her tiny nation in the upcoming Miss World pageant, except for the detail that representatives must be at least 17 years old. But that's not the only scandal following around this young beauty.
Immediately upon winning the crown last month, Watters faced mounting criticism over her appearance, specifically that she lacked "buiniga," the local word to describe the naturally-frizzy Fijian hairstyle.
A pageant spokeswoman told ABC News in Australia that organizers have received "nothing but negative criticism and remarks from our own people" about the selection of Torika.
"While we appreciate a healthy discussion and feedback on our page, violent or racist comments will not be tolerated," the Miss Fiji spokeswoman said.
Watters, for her part, says she's "proud of my identity as a Fijian" and added, via Facebook:
"I had no intentions of doing anything sneaky or wrong and like the other contestants entered the competition for what I believed to be the right reasons - to be an Ambassador for Fiji and raise money for charitable causes."
A preliminary autopsy has found that "Swamp People" star Mitchell Guist died from natural causes, this according to The Advocate of Baton Rouge, LA.
Guist, who was just 47, collapsed on Monday (May 14) while working on a houseboat in Belle River, LA. He was taken to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The History Channel posted a message on their website remembering the reality personality. They write, "We are extremely saddened to report that our friend and beloved member of the 'Swamp People' family, Mitchell Guist, passed away...Mitchell passed on the swamp, doing what he loved. We appreciate your respect for the Guist family's privacy and hope you join us in sending our thoughts and prayers to his brother, Glenn, and the rest of the Guist family."
The funeral will be held on Saturday (May 19) in Gonzales, LA.
Micaela Schaefer - Micaela Schäfer (born 11/01/1983) was already "Miss East Germany 2004" and the "Campari Face 2005" and has participated in photo shoots for the SuperILLU magazine. Until 2004 did an education as Micaela PTA and modeled only in passing. The 22-year-old Berlin woman but is now full-time model and has worked on shoots for ESPRIT and the glamor. Micaela Schäfer continue working on a television and singing career.
With a height of 1.75 m and the dimensions 85-60-90 Micaela Schäfer has good conditions for a modeling career. In her bosom Micaela has even the artist strives to plastic surgery to beautify her body further. Meanwhile, says the reigning "Miss Venus," but that she likes all things to herself.
- Birthday : 1983-11-01
- Birthname : Micaela Schäfer
- Sign : Scorpio
- Hometown : Berlin
- Country : Germany
- Ethnicity : White
- Height : 5'9"
- Weight : 115
- Job : Model
- Tattoos : Yes
- Piercings : Yes
- Hair : Brown
- Eyes : Hazel
- Breast : 34
- Waist : 24"
- Hips : 35"
THE POP MUSIC WORLD was stunned Thursday by the death of Donna Summer, the original “Disco Queen” who ruled the late 1970s and proved over the next three decades that she and her music were stars, not fads.
She was 63 and died after a secret battle with cancer, her publicist said. She was reportedly diagnosed with lung cancer 10 months ago but had made no public acknowledgment.
“It was a big surprise,”said John (Jellybean) Benitez, the famed deejay, producer and remixer who had worked with Summer and is now executive producer of Sirius XM’s Studio 54 Radio.
Date of Birth
31 December 1948, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Date of Death
17 May 2012, Florida, USA (lung cancer)
LaDonna Adrian Gaines
Queen of Disco
5' 7" (1.70 m)
Donna Summer was the Queen of Disco in the 1970s with a pop/dance/rock sound that was a hybrid of American soul and European synthesizer based music. Summer's musical career was launched on stage in Munich, Germany, in productions of Hair and Porgy & Bess. In Germany, she hooked up with producers, Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, and delivered the orgasmic "Love to Love You Baby" which brought her worldwide fame. Summer was the first female artist to garner back-to-back multi-platinum double albums and the first female artist to incorporate synthesizers as well as the first artist to create an extended play song. Musically, she diversified into pop and rock, while career-wise, she appeared in the disco dud, Thank God It's Friday (1978), for which the song, "Last Dance" won an Academy Award for Best Song, as well as numerous American TV music specials.
Her career continued into the 1980s with the release of the album "The Wanderer", a diverse fusion of rock and dance. Soon afterward, Summer announced that she was a born-again Christian. She was then accused of making anti-gay comments in relation to the AIDS epidemic. Although Summer later claimed that she had been misquoted, thousands of her records were returned to her record companies by angered fans and there was a worldwide boycott of her music in dance clubs. Summer returned to the charts in in the late 80s and early 90s with various dance hits. She recently ended her longtime association with Polygram and moved to Nashville to work on country music and to pursue her other passion, painting. In 1998, she won a Grammy for Best Dance Single and has plans to launch a Broadway musical, "Ordinary Girl", based on her life.