Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers is a group made up of Bob Marley’s children with his wife Rita: Ziggy, Cedella, Stephen and Sharon. Bob first recorded them in 1979 as the Melody Makers. After their father’s death in 1981, the group continued with Ziggy, who is younger than Sharon but the oldest male Marley offspring, emerging as their leader and primary songwriter. They signed an American record deal with EMI and released two albums on the label: Play The Game Right in 1985 and Hey World! in 1986, both recorded in Jamaica. The group’s third album, Conscious Party, was recorded in New York and released on the newly formed Virgin America label in 1988. By this time, Ziggy was 19 and had seasoned as a songwriter and performer. Tomorrow People, released as the first single, found a following and set the stage for the next generation of musical Marleys. Tomorrow People peaked at #22 in the UK and #39 in the U.S. Tomorrow People was the first Top 40 U.S. hit by a Marley. Tomorrow People shows Ziggy takes the torch from his famous father, reminding us that we must know our past in order to progress forward. The “tomorrow people” are his generation – the ones who will carry on in Bob’s spirit.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (20th Century Fox, 1992)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is a 1992 American comedy film directed by Chris Columbus and written and produced by John Hughes. It is the sequel to Home Alone (1990), and is the second film in the Home Alone franchise. The film stars Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Tim Curry, Brenda Fricker, and Catherine O’Hara. It follows Kevin McCallister (Culkin), as he is separated from his family on their holiday vacation.
Hughes finished writing the film by February 1991, after signing a six-picture deal with 20th Century Fox. Culkin’s return was confirmed in May, and the rest of the cast was finalized soon after. Principal photography took place between December 1991 and May 1992, and was done on location in Illinois and New York, including at the Rockefeller Center and the original World Trade Center.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was theatrically released in the United States on November 20, 1992. It received mixed reviews from critics; while the performances were praised, criticism was leveled towards its darker tone, use of violence and similarities to the first film. The film grossed over $359 million worldwide, becoming the third highest-grossing film of 1992, after The Bodyguard and Aladdin. A sequel with a new cast, Home Alone 3, was released in 1997.
One of the Boys is the second studio album by American singer Katy Perry. It was released on June 17, 2008, by Capitol Records. She collaborated with producers Greg Wells, Dr. Luke, David A. Stewart, Max Martin, and Ted Bruner among others, on the album, and wrote all of its songs (except Thinking of You and Mannequin) with assistance of other producers and writers. The EP Ur So Gay, containing the promotional single of the same name, was released in 2007 to generate interest in the singer and the album.
One of the Boys is Perry’s first on a major label and first under the stage name Katy Perry, following her debut Katy Hudson (2001), which was released under her real name on Red Hill Records. It received mixed reception from critics, with some deeming it as being filled with “potential hits” and others criticizing the material they perceived to be weak. Commercially, it debuted at #9 on the US Billboard 200, selling over 47,000 copies in its first week of sales, and also peaked within the top ten charts in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, and Switzerland. One of the Boys earned Perry two Grammy Award nominations, and has sold 7 million copies worldwide, being her 3rd highest-selling album to date. It has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The album’s lead single I Kissed a Girl became Perry’s first Billboard Hot 100 #1 single; the second single Hot n Cold reached #3 three in the United States, while topping the charts in Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, and Austria. The third single Thinking of You reached the top thirty in the U.S., while the final single Waking Up in Vegas became a top ten hit. To further promote the album, Perry embarked on three concert tours: the 2008 Warped Tour, her first solo world tour, the Hello Katy Tour, and served as an opening act in No Doubt’s 2009 Summer Tour.
Once again, toy makers provide us with yet another amazingly inappropriate product. The premise is simple, you shave the baby. It’s not really clear why a baby would require shaving unless it’s a baby werewolf. This is another classic example of a toy that tried to play on the hype of certain big-name sellers. Unfortunately, it falls very flat and ends up looking just plain weird. At first glance of the article, “Playtime is Over: The Weirdest Toys Ever to Make it On To Shelves,” I thought the ‘You Can Shave The Baby’ doll was the latest outlandish toy to emerge from Japan. The doll has tufts of bright orange hair scattered from its head to its creepy, carpeted ankles. I couldn’t help but think that now not only can you dress your doll and change its diaper, but you can also shave its plentiful body hair – freaky! As it turns out, the doll was never meant for toy stores’ shelves. The controversial artist, Zbigniew Libera, created this piece in the mid-1990s as a social commentary.
Freshlyground is a South African Afro-fusion band that was a one-hit wonder when the group collaborated on this pop tune with Colombian singer Shakira (who is not a one-hit wonder). While some critics panned the song as “sonic vomit,” fans disagreed. It became the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, held in South Africa and became a viral video and global chart-topper. The upbeat song provides encouragement to pick your battles, stay focused on your goals, and when you face setbacks, redouble your efforts.
The song became a success across Europe. In Austria, Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) displaced Somali-Canadian artist K’naan’s song Wavin’ Flag (which was also another promotional song for the World Cup) from the top spot on the Ö3 Austria Top 40 chart, ending its four-week-long run at number one. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) went on the spend six consecutive weeks atop the chart and a total of 63 weeks, making it Shakira’s longest-charting single in the region. It is also Shakira’s most successful single in the country and was certified double-platinum by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Austria, denoting sales of 60,000 units In both the Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia regions of Belgium, the song reached #1 on the Ultratop charts, logging a total of five and eight weeks at the spot, respectively. It was the best-selling single of 2010 in Wallonia and was certified double-platinum by the Belgian Entertainment Association (BEA) in 2012 for completing sales of 60,000 units. In Denmark, the song topped the Hitlisten chart and was certified double-platinum by the IFPI Denmark.
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) debuted at #1 on the French Singles Chart and stayed at the position for six consecutive weeks. The success of the song was such in the country that it appeared on the chart for three consecutive years (2010–13) and for a total of 132 weeks. The Syndicat National de l’Édition Phonographique (SNEP) certified the single platinum for sales of 150,000 units. It was the best-selling single in the country in 2010 with sales of 373,068 copies. The song peaked at #1 on the German Singles Chart for six weeks and became the second highest selling single in the country in 2010. It was certified quintuple-gold by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI), denoting shipments of 750,000 units, making Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) Shakira’s highest-selling single in the country. In Italy, the song entered the FIMI singles chart at #2 and peaked at #1 a week later. It stayed at number one for 16 consecutive weeks. In 2014, the single was certified six times-platinum by the Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI) for selling 180,000 units in the country.
The song topped the Spanish Singles Chart for 17 consecutive weeks and charted for 69 weeks in total. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) was the best-selling single in Spain in 2010. It was later certified six times-platinum by the Productores de Música de España (PROMUSICAE) for selling 240,000 units in the country. The song is one of the best-selling singles in Spain. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) became Shakira’s biggest single in Sweden, where it peaked atop the Sverigetopplistan chart and appeared on the chart for 58 weeks. By 2012, the single had sold 360,000 downloads in the country and had been certified nine times-platinum by the IFPI. The ring tone format of the song has received a triple-platinum certification. In Switzerland, the song debuted at #5 and later peaked atop the chart for four weeks. It spent 86 weeks on the chart and was certified triple-platinum in 2011 by the IFPI. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) peaked at #21 in the United Kingdom and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in 2015 for completing shipments of 400,000 units.
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) was the most-downloaded song of 2010 on the Nokia Music Store, based on its performance in 38 countries, including India and China. In India, it peaked at number three on the Radio Mirchi Angrezi Top 20 chart. According to Manoj Gairola of Hindustan Times, the song was downloaded by more than 300,000 subscribers of a telecom company that held exclusive rights to sell Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) on mobile phones.
The song attained #1 positions in Argentina, Chile and Shakira’s native country Colombia. In Mexico, it spent five successive weeks at #1, and was certified double-platinum by the Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas (AMPROFON) in 2012 for completing sales of 120,000 downloads. In the United States, the song debuted at #43 on the Billboard Hot 100 – Shakira’s second-highest debut on the chart at that time. It later peaked at number 38. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the song platinum in 2011 after it completed sales of 1,000,000 downloads. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the single has sold 1,763,000 downloads in the United States, making it Shakira’s third-highest selling digital single in the country (as of March 2014).
Eddie Van Halen (January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020)
Edward Lodewijk Van Halen was an American musician and songwriter. He was the main songwriter and guitarist of the American rock band Van Halen, which he co-founded in 1972 with his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth. He is regarded as one of the all-time greatest guitar players in rock history and was well known for popularizing the tapping guitar solo technique, allowing rapid arpeggios to be played with two hands on the fretboard.
Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Eddie was a son of Jan Van Halen and Eugenia (née van Beers). Jan was a Dutch jazz pianist, clarinetist and saxophonist, and Eugenia was an Indo (Eurasian) from Rangkasbitung on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies. The family eventually settled in Nijmegen, Netherlands.
The family moved to the U.S. in 1962 and settled near other family members in Pasadena, California where Eddie and his brother Alex attended elementary school. The brothers learned to play the piano as children starting at the age of six. They commuted from Pasadena to San Pedro to study with an elderly piano teacher, Stasys Kalvaitis.
Van Halen was never taught to read music; instead, he would watch recitals of Bach or Mozart and improvise. Between 1964 and 1967, he won first place in the annual piano competition held at Long Beach City College. His parents wanted the boys to be classical pianists, but Van Halen gravitated towards rock music. He was greatly influenced by British Invasion bands like The Beatles and The Dave Clark Five. Consequently, when Alex began playing the guitar, Eddie bought a drum kit for himself; however, after he heard Alex’s performance of the Surfaris’ drum solo in the song Wipe Out, he gave Alex the drums and began learning how to play the electric guitar. According to him, as a teen he would often practice while walking around at home with his guitar strapped on or sitting in his room for hours with the door locked.
Eddie and Alex formed their first band with three other boys, calling themselves The Broken Combs, performing at lunchtime at Hamilton Elementary School in Pasadena, when he was in the fourth grade. He would later cite this performance as key to his desire to become a professional musician. Eddie described supergroup Cream’s I’m So Glad on the album Goodbye as “mind-blowing.” He once claimed that he had learned almost all of Eric Clapton’s solos in the band Cream “note for note… I’ve always said Eric Clapton was my main influence,” he said, “but Jimmy Page was actually more the way I am, in a reckless-abandon kind of way.”
Eddie and his brother Alex formed a band in 1972. Two years later, the band changed its name to “Van Halen” and, at the same time, became a staple of the Los Angeles music scene while playing at well-known clubs like the Whisky a Go Go.
At a 1976 concert at The Starwood in California, the band opened for UFO, and in the crowd KISS bassist Gene Simmons watched the performance and as he remembers it, “I was waiting back stage by the third song”. Gene asked the band about their future plans, and the band said “There is a yogurt manufacturer that is going to invest in us.” Gene begged them not to go that route and invited the band to record some demos at Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village in New York City. Gene then signed them to his company and the band recorded early demos of their songs, including Runnin’ with the Devil. Gene went to KISS manager Bill Aucoin, and KISS frontman Paul Stanley, excited about the band, but they weren’t thrilled with the idea and dismissed Gene’s plan to sign them to Aucoin’s management fold. Stanley later admitted that he “rejected Van Halen to protect KISS” and that they made an effort to make Gene drop the band to “keep Gene in check”. The discouraging words from the band caused Gene to rip up the contract and he “let them go” after feeling he may have held the band back.
The next year, Warner Records offered Van Halen a recording contract. As of March 2019, Van Halen is 20th on the RIAA list of best-selling artists in the United States; the band has sold 56 million albums in the States and more than 80 million worldwide, making them one of the best-selling groups of all time. As of 2007, Van Halen is one of only five rock bands with two studio albums to sell more than 10 million copies in the United States and is tied for the most multi-platinum albums by an American band. Additionally, Van Halen has charted 13 number-one hits on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart. VH1 ranked the band seventh on a list of the top 100 Hard Rock artists of all time,
In 1980, Van Halen met actress Valerie Bertinelli at a Van Halen concert in Shreveport, Louisiana. They married in California eight months later on April 11, 1981, and had one son, Wolfgang, in 1991. In 2005, Bertinelli filed for divorce in Los Angeles after four years of separation. The divorce was finalized in 2007.
The following year, Eddie proposed to his girlfriend, Janie Liszewski, an actress and stuntwoman who was Van Halen’s publicist at the time. The two married in 2009 at his Studio City estate, with his son Wolfgang and ex-wife Bertinelli in attendance. His brother Alex Van Halen is an ordained minister and he officiated Eddie’s 2009 wedding and his former sister-in-law Valerie Bertinelli’s wedding in 2011.
Eddie struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He began smoking and drinking at the age of 12, and he stated that he eventually needed alcohol to function. He entered rehabilitation in 2007, and later shared in an interview that he had been sober since 2008.
Suffering from lingering injuries from past, high-risk, acrobatic stage performances and crashes, Eddie underwent hip replacement surgery in 1999, after his chronic avascular necrosis, with which he was diagnosed in 1995, became unbearable. He began receiving treatment for tongue cancer in 2000. The subsequent surgery removed roughly a third of his tongue. He was declared cancer-free in 2002. He blamed the tongue cancer on his habit of holding guitar picks in his mouth, stating in 2015: “I used metal picks – they’re brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer. … I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it’s possible.”
In 2012, Eddie underwent emergency surgery for a severe bout of diverticulitis. Recovery time required due to the surgery led to postponement of Van Halen tour dates scheduled in Japan. Eddie was later hospitalized in 2019 after battling throat cancer over the previous five years, and his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli also mentioned a battle with lung cancer in an Instagram post shortly after his death. He died of a stroke at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, on October 6, 2020, at the age of 65, surrounded by his wife, Janie; son, Wolfgang, bassist of Van Halen from 2006; ex-wife, Valerie Bertinelli; and brother, Alex. Some of Van Halen’s childhood landmarks in Pasadena became memorials where fans could pay their respects.
On November 16, 2020, Wolfgang announced on The Howard Stern Show that Van Halen would not continue as a band, saying “You can’t have Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen.”
Pizza Hut is never satisfied with a basic pizza. After all, they introduced the original stuffed crust pizza back in 1995. While that’s still on the menu, the Big Flavor Dipper Pizza is not. This two-foot-long pizza was sliced into 24 pieces with your choice of toppings and 10 different crust flavors—everything from pretzel to sriracha.
Upon visiting a department store with her mom, a little girl falls in love with a teddy bear named Corduroy—a purchase her mother pooh-poohs, citing (among other things) that the bear is missing a button on his shoulder strap. Things start getting interesting when the store closes its doors and Corduroy comes to life, searching high and low for the lost button (presumably to make himself a more appealing product). While the bear’s after-hours adventure amounts to naught, there is a silver lining: The little girl comes back the very next day to scoop up her new friend—because she doesn’t care how he looks. As for Corduroy, he realizes it was a friend, not a button, that he really wanted all along.
Corduroy is a 1968 children’s book written and illustrated by American Don Freeman, and published by Viking Press. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association listed the book as one of its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.” It was one of the “Top 100 Picture Books” of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.
In this quiz format, teams of two from the public at large answer questions, with this twist that one must buzz, but may not answer – hence the title which refers to the Dutch expression which literally translates as “knowing one’s Pappenheimers”, i.e. know (at the feudal general Wallerstein, who levied some troops from his native Pappenheim) well who one deals with. After the first round, each team gets to choose blindly a third member from a small pool of Dutch-languages celebrities, only hearing their voices and answers to a few questions probing their interests; the captain (a non-celebrity) must now decide who answers the questions before they are known, based on the announced categories. After team elimination, the members of the finalist team must each answer questions in a race against the clock, wrong answers meaning the number of questions is augmented.
The show has been hosted over the years by Tom Lenaerts, Steven Van Herreweghe, Erik Van Looy and Bart Cannaerts.