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Cynthia Martin

New "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie cast rumors

A director and release date heighten cast speculations

The “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie cast rumors are picking up speed now that the director has been announced along with a release date. Sam Taylor-Johnson (“Nowhere Boy”) holds the directing reins and is looking at an Aug. 1, 2014 release.

That is pretty much the end of the absolutely, one-hundred percent true facts. Now for the rumors.

Everyone from Robert Pattinson to Henry Cavill to Matthew Bomer to Taylor-Johnson’s husband, Aaron has been rumored to be on the short list to play Christian Grey. The rumors are just as rampant on the Anastasia Steele-side with actresses like Felicity Jones, Alicia Vikander and Emma Watson being put forth. (Emma Watson has stated that she will never star in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Too bad.)

But the book’s author, E.L. James, isn’t giving any hints of what might be coming.

“We are still a long way away from casting. I have some ideas … but it may not be who people expect,” James said.

Like with any book-to-movie adaptation, casting is key to the film’s success. Where original screenplays can get away with making the characters look however they want, adaptations have to fit what fans are expecting to see. Taylor-Johnson understands this responsibility.

“I’m so excited to be charged with the evolution of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ from page to screen,” she said. “For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika’s book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin, too.”

Keep checking back for more info on the “Fifty Shades” movie cast rumors. It’ll be awhile till we know anything for sure, but until then, why don’t you tell us who you’d like to see in the movie?

Jillian Bynes, the latest chapter in the Amanda Bynes Crazy Book

Bynes throws her best insult around Twitter

Jillian Bynes is the latest victim in the ever more bizarre and disturbing Amanda Bynes saga. Amanda Bynes used Twitter to call her sister and several celebrities “ugly.”

First off, it’s pathetic that the best insult she can come up with is that a person is ugly. That’s the equivalent of saying “I’m a complete idiot with a vocabulary composed of only four-letter words.” That is the kind of insult a five-year-old would think of.

Her list of ugly people include Modern Family star, Sarah Hyland and her boyfriend, Matt Prokop, singer Drake, her sister Jillian Bynes and actor Zac Efron. Clearly the drugs have completely destroyed her brain if she thinks Zac Efron is ugly. But how could she be such a bitch to her own sister?

Personally, I think she’s just doing it for the attention (I know “Duh!”). She posts these derogatory tweets and then deletes them, but not until someone has a screen grab of them. She’s playing games, and now she’s dragged Jillian Bynes into it.

Now I can’t say this for a fact, but I doubt Jillian Bynes did anything to provoke Amanda Bynes’ Twitter wrath. I feel so bad for her that she can’t deny being Amanda’s sister. That’s really a terrible burden to bear.

So what will she do next? I’m hoping nothing, because I’m tired of writing about her, but that’s not likely to happen.

Amanda Bynes, get your shit together!

Monica Lewinsky’s negligee up for auction

Own an item from one of the more scandalous times in American history

Monica Lewinsky: The woman who brought down a presidency. And for the low price of $50,000, you can be just like her!

That’s right; items owned by the infamous Monica Lewinsky are up for auction. But this opportunity won’t last. Bid today to get a torrid piece of American history. Choose from items like a green silk Kikit blouse, a DKNY navy blue velour jacket and even a floor-length black negligee. With one of these items, maybe you too can hook a president.

Okay, all kidding aside. Monica Lewinsky’s clothing is actually for auction, along with other Lewinsky/White House-related items.

All I’d like to know is: why? Why would anyone want to buy this stuff? Sure it’s a scandal, and yes it’s part of American history, but why would you pay up to $50,000 for this stuff?

But hey, if that’s what you’re into, who am I to judge?

As most of you reading this are probably college age, you might not remember who Monica Lewinsky is. I only vaguely remember seeing things on the television about her (I was only nine when everything came out.) So let me tell you why people would bid ridiculous amounts of money on used clothing that does not belong to an actor/model/porn star.

The scandal broke in 1998. President Clinton initially denied ever having any type of sexual relationship with Lewinsky. At the same time, he was in the middle of a lawsuit with Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee who was suing Clinton for sexual harassment.

Things probably wouldn’t have ended up so badly for President Clinton if he hadn’t denied everything. There was a lot of evidence for a relationship with Lewinsky, including recorded conversations and a blue dress with semen on it. And that’s when the lying began.

The lying and the perjury were what did Clinton in and made Monica Lewinsky a household name. And now, though everyone still knows her name, Lewinsky doesn’t have much of a place in pop culture.

That’s what makes this auction so interesting to me. A politician caught in an affair today is no big deal. It happens all the time. So why choose now to auction off these items?

But if you think you can’t live without an item of clothing worn by Monica Lewinsky, you can contact Nate D. Sanders Fine Autographs and Memorabilia. The auction is open till Thursday at 7 p.m.

DOMA: Promoting Discrimination Since 1996

The Supreme Court does their country proud

DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) stood as a medival attempt to deny equal rights. At least that’s what I think. That is why I’m so glad that the Supreme Court ruled yesterday against DOMA and California’s Proposition 8.

As I see it, America has a long history of hating equality. We like to think we lead the way in equal rights because the Declaration of Independence stated that “all men are created equal.” But the fact of the matter is that a large part of the American population doesn’t actually want equality.

Nothing makes that more evident than DOMA. When President Clinton signed it into law in 1996, it was supposed to placate both sides of the gay marriage argument. Gays could be married in certain states, but the federal government would not recognize them as legally married. DOMA basically says to gay couples that their marriage is only sort of legal.

But now DOMA’s done. Sure it was a narrow vote (5-4), but it was ruled unconstitutional. Married gay and lesbian couples are finally being accepted as the same as heterosexual couples.

I have to say that I’ve never been more proud of my country. This is the most important decision the Supreme Court has made since they outlawed segregation and allowed inter-racial marriage. DOMA and legislation like it was holding our country back from becoming the shining beacon of hope that we believe we are.

Of course, not everyone thinks this was a good decision. Justice Antonin Scalia led the opposition to the decision. He believed that the Supreme Court had no business in ruling on DOMA’s constitutionality.

“We have no power to decide this case,” Scalia’s dissent said. “And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation. The Court’s errors on both points spring forth from the same diseased root: an exalted conception of the role of this institution in America.”

I’d like to ask Justice Scalia how the discrimination promoted by DOMA differs from racial discrimination. He’s been strong proponent of integration and racial diversity. I love what he said in 1994 in Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña about racial preference.

“To pursue the concept of racial entitlement – even for the most admirable and benign of purposes – is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred,” Scalia said. “In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American.”

So why aren’t gays and lesbians considered part of the American race?

DOMA is as detrimental to America as the type of racism promoted by giving minorities preferential treatment for past wrongs. It’s time that we stop looking at it as us vs. them. Like Justice Scalia said, we are one race, American.

DOMA was a law filled with backwards thinking and fueled by hate. America should have no place for that. So I applaud the Supreme Court for reminding us what true equality is.

Red panda's escape attempt failed

The National Zoo ends their panda hunt with a successful capture

A red panda escaped from the National Zoo in Washington D.C. on Monday. And it’s been found, alive and well.

Rusty, the zoo’s newest addition to their red panda family, got three-fourths of a mile from the zoo before being found. He is said to be eating well and having regular bowel movements.

“One of our concerns was, did he eat anything funky?” said Pamela Baker-Masson, a spokeswoman for the zoo. “We care a lot about poop around here, with good reason.”

Rusty’s keepers discovered that the red panda was missing around 7:30 a.m. Monday morning. The last time they saw him was 6 a.m. So the almost 1-year-old panda had about an hour and a half to make his escape.

Rusty was captured around 2 p.m. Monday after an Adams Morgan resident tweeted photos of the red panda and called zoo officials.

But the zoo is still pondering how the red panda got out.

“We have to do a thorough assessment of his enclosure,” Baker-Masson said. “We would really like to figure out how he got out. There is no obvious escape route.”

They checked the security footage to see if anyone helped Rusty out of his enclosure. But the camera doesn’t directly face the red panda exhibit. Several tree branches have been cut back, since they might have been party to Rusty’s disappearance.

Rusty has only been on exhibit for a few weeks. His mate, Shama, remains on exhibit while Rusty gets checked out at the zoo’s hospital.

The last time the National Zoo lost an animal was in 1983 when a teenager stole two viper snakes. One of the two bit him. Luckily, the red panda isn’t venomous, and no one or thing appears to have been harmed in the making of this escape.

Dexter cupcakes top off a killer viewing party

Kick off the new season in true Dexter fashion

“Dexter” sparks images of blood, dead bodies, more blood, graphic sex scenes, and more blood. Now think about cupcakes. Sweet, soft, covered in fluffy, delicious frosting. And add blood.

That’s what Showtime and Magnolia Bakery have done. The new Dexter cupcakes are red velvet cake topped with blood and glass shards. Sounds appetizing right?

Okay it’s not real blood and glass. The “blood” is red-colored caramel. The glass? Sugar “glass.”

With all the hype around “Dexter,” it’s no wonder that Showtime is trying this marketing scheme. Probably thousands of cupcakes will be ordered for “Dexter” season premier viewing parties.

But before you rush out to buy some, they are only available in New York, Los Angles and Chicago for $4 a cupcake. Even worse, they’re only available till June 30, when “Dexter” premiers.

If you’re party just simply won’t be complete without the official “Dexter” cupcakes, you can order them online from sho.com. They’re priced at $29.95 for a half dozen, plus $30 for shipping.

Cupcakes are good, but a killer (pun intended) viewing party needs a few more bloody touches.

For decorations, try covering your viewing area in plastic and splattering it with fake blood. Not only will it look awesome, but it’ll be fun to put up.

You could make yourself the same breakfast that Dexter makes in the opening credits. Or you could make whatever you want and cover it with fake blood. (I’d go with the fake blood.) Another sweet treat you could make is blood slide suckers, like Dexter’s souvenirs, except you can eat yours.

Now how bout drinks? If you’re over 21, you could go with the classic Bloody Mary or pretty much anything with cranberry juice. Those who are underage should stick to cranberry juice or red Kool-Aid.

Share some of your plans for the premier with us in the comments or on Facebook.

Man rips off part of his own penis

Use of drugs has gruesome consequence

“Ripped off part of penis” probably elicits groans of horror for guys and squeals of disgust from girls. Or maybe you’re one of those strange individuals who laugh at that phrase. (That would be me.) Either way, you’re probably wondering why anyone would do that.

The answer to that would be mushrooms.

The 41-year-old man from Ohio was high on mushrooms early last Tuesday morning when he ripped off part of his penis. He was found outside of Ypsilanti Middle School, covered in blood.

Authorities were responding to a burglar alarm in the school when the found him. Sgt. Geoff Fox said the man had to be subdued for his own safety. He was taken away in an ambulance, along with the ripped off parts of his penis.

“He really wasn’t saying much at all — a lot of yelling and screaming,” Fox said, adding the man had broken a window to the school but didn’t take anything. “He wasn’t making sense. They couldn’t really communicate with him in terms of constructive conversation.”

If you ever needed a reason for not doing drugs, this should be it. The man has no history of extensive drug use. He just picked some up while he was in town visiting friends. And then he ripped off part of his penis.

The man is still hospitalized but seems to be doing better. Fox said that he had been close to death from his injuries.

“In terms of vital signs, they were as low as they could go without being dead, I could only assume due to the blood loss and the shock and trauma to the body,” he said.

But you know, that’s what happens when you rip off part of your penis.

Two-faced kitten shocks owner

Rare “Janus kitten” born in Oregon

A two-faced kitten was born on Tuesday in Oregon. You heard that right. A kitten with two faces.

Owner Stephanie Durkee couldn’t believe it either when her kids told her about the kitten.

“The kids … came in and said, ‘Mom there’s a kitty with two heads,'” Durkee told Portland’s NBC affiliate. “And I said, ‘I think you guys are just tired, you’re crazy, that doesn’t happen.'”

Durkee took the two-faced kitten to the vet, who said the kitten is in good health. The vet determined that the kitten’s organs are all in tact. She just happens to have four eyes, two noses and two mouths. But the two-faced kitten will require a lot of care if it’ll have a chance at survival.

The mother rejected the two-faced kitten, so Durkee has been feeding both faces using a syringe. Animals often reject offspring with deformities, as in the wild, such young aren’t likely to survive long. The family has named the kitten Deucy.

Two-faced cats are rare, but not unheard of. Often called “Janus cats” after the two-faced Roman god, most kittens born with two faces don’t survive long. Two born in the states in 2012 both died within a few days of their births. The kittens were named Harvey Dent (after the two-faced villain from Batman) and Gemini.

But with the right care and luck on their side, two-faced kittens can live long lives. Frankelouie was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2011 for being the longest lived two-faced cat. He was 12 years old.

Kanye West, owner of world's largest ego

West compares his cultural impact with that of the late Steve Jobs

Kanye West thinks he is next Steve Jobs. In an interview with the New York Times, West said “I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period.”

All I have to say is “What the f***?” Steve Jobs changed the electronics industry. He changed cell phones, music and built one of the most well known brands in the world. And Kanye West thinks he’s destined to fill the hole that Jobs left when he died.

“I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z,” Kanye West said. “I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.”

Now I’m not a rap fan. That being said, the only reason I know who Kanye West is, is because of when he interrupted Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Awards. And I don’t think anyone who is a rap fan would call him the “nucleus” of anything.

He is not the most popular rapper. He is not the highest earning rapper. And I struggled to find a “top rappers” list that put him in the top ten (he only got top ten when it was just rappers of today, not all time). So why does Kanye West think he’s going to mean so much to society one day?

I will give Kanye West the fact that he’s won an impressive number of Grammys (21 so far). In the past three years, he’s won 7. But according to the Grammy website, 6 of those 7 have been for work he’s collaborated on. That makes me question whether he’s the one winning the Grammys or if it’s his collaborators winning them for him.

Kanye West is probably not the successor to Steve Jobs. He did have one quote, though, in the NYT interview that might show him following in another celeb’s footsteps.

When asked about his incident with Taylor Swift, West said, “It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness.”

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the next Charlie Sheen.

E3: Battle of the Systems

Microsoft and Sony face off, while Nintendo plays in the corner

E3 2013 gives gamers lots to look forward to. The Electronic Entertainment Expo is chocked full of new games, consoles and some helpful clarification. So what does each system have to offer?

Microsoft: The Xbox One May introduction didn’t have the effect Microsoft probably intended. Gamers were less than thrilled with the de-emphasis on gaming. Well Microsoft fixed that at E3, and then some. Microsoft released a list of games for the Xbox One, including 13 exclusive Xbox One games. Add on all the upgrades to the hardware and software, and the now-standard Kinect, Microsoft might have shown at E3 exactly what they needed to get gamers excited about their new system. (November release, $499)

Sony: Sony went up to bat against Microsoft at E3 with the introduction of the PlayStation 4. But the only thing about the PS4 that got people excited was the things it won’t do. “If you enjoy playing single-player games offline, PS4 won’t force you to check in and it won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated within 24 hours,” said Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America. This is its defining feature against the Xbox One. While it allows for a lower initial price tag, online play on the PS4 will now be by subscription, set at $49.99 a year. Sony also announced at E3 future releases of long-awaited “Kingdom Hearts 3” and “Final Fantasy XV.” (Winter release, $399)

Nintendo: E3 didn’t see a new Nintendo console. Instead, Nintendo is trying to raise some interest in the WiiU with some new games from its biggest franchises. Here are the big games in order of release date: “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker”; “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze”; “Super Mario 3D World”; and “Mario Kart 8.” But if you’re waiting on the “Wii Fit U” or the “Wii Party U,” you’re gonna be waiting a while. Both have been delayed till this winter to add on more features. “After the Wii U launch, we couldn’t release games as smoothly as we had planned,” Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said this morning at E3. Iwata then bowed to the crowd in apology. At least they understand that people are upset about the delays.

So what do you think about E3 so far? Do the new systems look worth the wait? And if so, which are you most excited for?