Facebook, Twitter Turn to Right-Leaning Groups to Help Referee Political Speech

Advisers on touchy issues include Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and, on the left, the Southern Poverty Law Center. Their involvement behind the scenes, designed to tamp down a furor over social media’s policing of content, has instead kicked up a new range of disputes.


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Meghan Markle Surprises Fans with Emotional Speech at Invictus Games’ Closing Ceremony

The Invictus Games concluded Saturday with a speech from its founder Prince Harry — and an unscheduled one from his new wife Meghan Markle.

The couple both addressed the crowd in Sydney, Australia, thanking the veterans and wounded service members whom the Paralympics-style competition honors for their strength and sense of humor.

For the occasion, the Duchess of Sussex, 37 — known for putting her own spin on classic style — wore an olive green custom tuxedo dress from Italian designer Antonio Berardi. She paired it with peach Casablanca pumps from her go-to shoemaker Aquazzura.

Meghan also wore statement jewelry, opting for large black and gold dangly earrings and bangles to play off the simplicity of her frock — a bold choice for a woman who usually prefers more minimalist accessories.

Pulled into an elegant updo, Meghan’s hair gently draped her face.

RELATED: Hollywood Glamour in Sydney! See Meghan Markle’s Showstopping Bird Gown from Every Angle

Meanwhile, Prince Harry wore a smart grey suit and a white button-down with no tie.

During the closing ceremony, the mom-to-be (Meghan and Harry, 34, are expecting their first child in the spring!) took the stage as the crowd erupted in cheers.

“It’s such an honor to be here tonight with all of you and supporting my husband at the Invictus Games, which he founded four years ago,” she began. “In a short span of time, the games have evolved into an international platform of some of the best athletics and sportsmanship you could ever witness, coupled with a camaraderie and close-knit community, which can only be defined as the Invictus spirit.”

RELATED: Prince Harry Suits Up as He and Wife Meghan Markle Say Farewell to Tonga


Meghan also revealed that she has a special connection to the wounded and recovering service members and veterans who participate in the games.

“​I’m not sure if many of you know this, but a few years ago, before I had met my husband, I had the incredible honor of visiting troops deployed all over the world, from the U.K. to Italy and Afghanistan, and several other countries,” she recalled.

“In traveling to these military bases, I was given a very special glimpse into the lives of those who serve our countries. ​I was able to see the unshakable bonds between service men and women on the ground together, but at the same time to feel the palpable longing for family and friends while deployed,” she continued.

Then she shared how moved she was by one veteran who excitedly gave Harry and her a hug last week.

“The Novak family from Chicago is a prime example of this very thing,” shared Meghan. “When their son Ryan suffered a severe injury leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, doctors said he would never be able to walk again. But after speaking to his mom, Karri, it was clear that it was through Ryan’s strength of spirit, and with the unwavering support of his parents, that he was able to prove all of those doctors wrong.”

Meghan continued: “Not only has Ryan competed in sailing, swimming and athletics this week, but when Harry and I saw him at the finish line of the sailing competition, he literally jumped into our boat — with dexterity and ease, by the way — to give both of us a hug.”

“Seeing Ryan’s mom on the water that day, waving a flag to cheer him on was a moment I will never forget,” Meghan said.

RELATED VIDEO: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Get the Giggles As Choir Performs Comedic Mosquito Song

Earlier in the day, to attend the wheelchair basketball final, Meghan wore a maroon top by Australian brand Scanlan Theodore and black pants as Harry wore a black Invictus Games polo shirt.

The couple was greeted with roaring applause and seated with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Christopher Pyne.

Later, the couple presented gold medals to Team USA as they congratulated each player on their victory.


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CFDA’s Steven Kolb to Give Speech at Istituto Marangoni in Miami

MIAMI BOUND: CFDA’s president and chief executive officer Steven Kolb is headed to Miami on July 23.
The executive will be the first guest to join leading Italian fashion, art and design school Istituto Marangoni in its series of talks named “In Conversation With,” which will kick off at the school’s Miami unit this month. The names of subsequent guests were not disclosed.
The project makes its debut at the Miami school under the guidance of its president, Hakan Baykam, and recently appointed advisory board member Eva Hughes, who joined the school on June 26. Hughes is the founder of the Adira Consulting advisory firm and served as ceo and director general of Condé Nast International’s Mexico and Latin America divisions until last July.
“I’m thrilled to announce the launch of this new project and we couldn’t be more honored with the participation of CFDA’s Steven Kolb. We are closer to reaching our goal of becoming the new fashion hub for Miami and the Americas” said Baykam.
“This project will also help give our students an unprecedented opportunity for exchange, inspiration and creativity, working towards a brilliant future in fashion,” he added, noting that the “In Conversation With” format aims to offer students the

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Keith Urban Thanks Wife Nicole Kidman In Sweet CMT Awards Speech

It’s been quite the year for power couple Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. Kidman’s performance in HBO’s “Big Little Lies” was fawned over by critics, while Urban has been praised for his album “Ripcord.” 

At the 2017 CMT Music Awards in Nashville on Wednesday night, Urban walked away with four wins, including Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year, Collaborative Video of the Year and Social Superstar. But in his eyes, it’s his wife who keeps it all moving. 

During his acceptance speech for Male Video of the Year, the 49-year-old singer thanked Kidman for being alongside him every step of the way, sharing her insight on all his projects. 

“I want to say a massive thank you to my wife, Nicole. You have no idea how much of what I do … she’s involved in every little piece of it,” he said, adding as the camera panned to a blushing Kidman, “She hates me saying this, but I want it to be said. She helps me so much making these videos what they are.” 

Urban also shouted out to the couple’s daughters, Sunday, 8, and Faith, 6. 

“To our little girls at home, Sunny and Fifi, we’re going to bring you next time for sure!”

Kidman has made sure to thank her husband for all the support he gives her, too. Although her role as abused wife Celeste Wright on “Big Little Lies” was tough to play, Urban was there for her every step of the way and encouraged her to get into the mindset of her character. 

“He’s an artist, so he knows that the work is the work, and obviously this character is … it’s important in terms of the way in which the storyline plays out,” she told E! News

Kidman also opened up about balancing her career and family with The Hollywood Reporter this week, saying that there’s no way she can take on every project she’s offered if she wants a stable home life. 

“I’m now at a point where I have to go, ‘What is that going to cost me? And what is that going to cost the people I love? Do I want to leave now to do this?’ Men have that, but they don’t have it in the same way that we have it,” Kidman explained. “We don’t get the choices as much with our careers and our lives because a lot of it is, we have to be there to take care of everything still. Or I do.”  

Well, it’s nice to know her husband appreciates all she does. 

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Helen Mirren Zings Donald Trump In Most Badass Commencement Speech Of 2017

Helen Mirren peppered her address to graduating students at Tulane University in New Orleans on Saturday with the occasional risqué joke and dig at President Donald Trump.

The Academy Award winner also explained her road to becoming a “declared feminist” and shared her own “top five rules for a happy life” ― from ignoring people who judge the way you look to not overcomplicating things.

Mirren, 71, said she’d struggled to find one piece of advice that students in the audience would remember 40 years down the road. But she ultimately settled on a very contemporary piece of guidance.

“Whether you’re in the French Quarter or the Oval Office, no good can ever come from tweeting at 3 a.m.,” she said, a subtle quip in reference to Trump’s late-night Twitter habits.

Mirren noted that she’d always believed women were “as capable and as energetic and as inspiring as men” but initially believed joining the feminism movement seemed “too political.”

Her stance changed, she said, after realizing that feminism was “not an abstract idea.”

“It’s a necessity if we ― and really by ‘we,’ I mean you guys ― are to move us forward and not backward into ignorance and fearful jealousy,” she said. 

“Never again allow a group of old, rather grumpy, rich white men define the health care of a country that is 50.8 percent women and 37 percent other races,” she added. 

Watch Mirren’s full speech in the clip below and read the text here.

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Hugh Jackman’s Logan Costar Dafne Keen Steals the Spotlight During MTV Awards Acceptance Speech

Move over Wolverine, there’s a new mutant in town — and she’s in charge now.

Hugh Jackman got adorably upstaged by his 12-year-old Logan costar Dafne Keen at the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Sunday night.

When the pair took the stage to accept the award for best duo, Jackman reached for the mic to give his acceptance speech.

“Thank you, thank you. Listen, on behalf of —” Jackman began, before Keen interrupted.

“You do 17 years , I don’t speak for half of the movie, and you get to say the thank-yous? Okay, no,” she said as she grabbed the mic from her costar.

“Tonight I want to thank MTV and mom,” Keen continued. “Happy Mother’s Day in Spain.”

But before she could continue, Keen noticed that Jackman left a very important person off his thank-you list — and she wasn’t afraid to call him out for it.

“You didn’t write your parents here,” she said. “He thanks Mom and Dad.”

The two wrapped up their speech with a joint Wolverine-style growl.


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Hillary Clinton Addresses Men Rolling Back Women’s Rights in Planned Parenthood Gala Speech

It didn’t take long for Hillary Clinton to reference The Handmaid’s Tale in her speech at Planned Parenthood’s annual gala.
Ulta Beauty posted to its Instagram an Urban Decay Afterglow Palette that’s exclusive to the beauty chain.
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How to Write a Perfect Wedding Speech

How to Write a Perfect Wedding Speech

In a wedding having wedding speeches is normal and traditional part of the ceremony. Most close people do this task to congratulate and wish the couple of the new stage they have made in life. Creating a speech can be a hard task when you have never tried giving one. It can also be very difficult when you are not used to writing one. Fortunately, this guide is made to solve the problem. This will be your ultimate guide towards writing and giving speeches that will be remembered by everybody. Let your speech be an inspiration of the newlywed couple.

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Cartoon Donald Trump Live Tweeted Barack Obama’s Farewell Speech

Donald Trump surprisingly didn’t tweet about President Barack Obama’s powerful farewell speech Tuesday night.

But what if he had?

Luckily, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was on hand to imagine the president-elect’s reaction, via a live-tweeting cartoon version of the man himself.

Mimicking the often offensive tone that Trump uses on the micro-blogging site, the @toonDonaldTrump account responded in real time to Obama’s words.

When the outgoing POTUS cried, the cartoon Trump blasted him for being “weak” ― and he also criticized the first lady Michelle Obama for not standing for her applause. It’s as if Trump really was tweeting himself.

Watch the cartoon Trump tweeting above, read all the tweets here and see Obama’s full speech here.

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Eva Mendes Shows Ryan Gosling Some Love After Sweet Golden Globes Speech

Eva Mendes might have skipped the 2017 Golden Globes, but her presence was certainly felt during Ryan Gosling’s touching acceptance speech.

The “La La Land” actor, who picked up his first Golden Globe on Sunday, declared his love for his “lady” at the awards ceremony. Now, Mendes, who typically shies away from publicly discussing her relationship with Gosling, has addressed the buzzy Globes moment in a short and sweet Instagram post. 

On Monday, the actress shared a photo of Janelle Monae’s out-of-this-world look on the red carpet, subtly saving her appreciation for Gosling in the caption. 

“Obviously this wasn’t my favorite moment of the night,” she began.

“But it was definitely my favorite style moment of the night. The stunning and talented [Monae] is killing me with this look,” Mendes continued.

Gosling spent his acceptance speech singing Mendes’ praises and thanking her for taking care of their two children, Amada and Esmeralda, while he filmed “La La Land” with co-star Emma Stone, who also picked up a Golden Globe that night. He ended his speech by dedicating the award to Mendes’ older brother, Juan Carlos, who died of cancer in April. 

“While I was singing and dancing and playing piano and having one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer,” Gosling said at the event.

“If she hadn’t taken all of that on so I could have this experience, it would surely be someone else up here other than me today, so, sweetheart, thank you,” he continued. “To my daughters, Amada and Esmeralda, I love you. If I may, I’d like to dedicate this to the memory of her brother, Juan Carlos Mendes.”

The duo, who rarely attend Hollywood events as a couple, have been together for six years, after sparks flew on the set of 2012’s “The Place Beyond the Pines.”

Whether Mendes will choose to accompany Gosling to the Academy Awards in February ― where he will likely be nominated for his performance in “La La Land” ― remains unknown. But after the Globes, we can’t wait to see more of these two. 

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‘Hamilton’ Actor on Speech to Mike Pence: ‘There’s Nothing to Apologize For’

“If you stand for nothing, Burr, what’ll you fall for?” Alexander Hamilton asks Aaron Burr in the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” In an example of life imitating art, the actor currently playing Burr, Brandon Victor Dixon, says he won’t apologize for the speech he delivered to Mike Pence on Friday night after the Vice President-elect… Read more »



Let’s Give This Dude A Tony For His ‘Hamilton’-Inspired Wedding Speech

When Matt Rotner was tasked with giving a speech at his sister’s wedding, he was not about to throw away his shot.

Instead of giving some boring old speech, Matt blew everyone away with a surprise performance inspired by the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” at his sister Jenna’s wedding to Ross Drucker at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday. 

He re-wrote the words to “Alexander Hamilton,” the opening song from the show, tailoring them to fit the details of the bride and groom’s love story.

According to Matt, the Rotner family shares a love of Broadway shows and saw “Hamilton” together in October 2015 ― just a few weeks after Ross and Jenna got engaged. After watching the opening number, Matt knew he had found the inspiration for his speech.

“I turned to my mom and said, ‘Well, I know exactly what I’m doing for the wedding,’” he told The Huffington Post. “I thought, ‘Hey, I might not be able to sing well anymore, but I know I can write these rhymes and put on one hell of a show.’”

Below, a sample of the well-crafted lyrics Matt penned for the occasion:  

How does a Met fan, golfer, Long Island boy, an accountant, dropped right in the meltin’ pot. Yes, New York City, ain’t it pretty, the fancy lights and shows. Go meet this Jew from California ― you know where this story goes?

Yes, Jenna Rotner, the oldest daughter of my father. Moved to The Big Apple with some pressure from her mother said time to be a wife. Said this year you start your life. Israeli mothers, a sharper edge than any knife.

Matt first spent time gathering the information he needed to write the lyrics, namely the particulars of the bride and groom’s “how we met” story, which began on JDate in New York City. In July, Matt started writing the rhymes on the train while commuting to and from work.

Throughout the process, Matt made sure to keep his plans a secret from the bride and groom.

“I told Jenna I had something very special planned and I have been hyping it up to her and Ross for the last year, but I never gave her an inkling of what it could be,” he told HuffPost. 

All of Matt’s dedication paid off when he saw the look on his sister’s face during the performance.

“When the first first few notes of the track hit after my intro, I saw her face and she was in shock,” he said. “I’ll never forget her reaction and I’m so happy it was caught on camera.”

Growing up, Matt, Jenna and their little sister Maddison would perform musical numbers together at family parties, weddings, birthdays ― you name it. 

“It was my first time I really ever did something like that without my sisters by my side, so everyone was kind of dumbfounded when it was all said and done that I did that alone,” he said. 

Watch the Tony-award-worthy speech, shot by Vidicam Productions, above. 

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Integral and Diagnostic Intrusive Prediction of Speech Quality

Integral and Diagnostic Intrusive Prediction of Speech Quality

This work deals with the instrumental measurement methods for the perceived quality of transmitted speech. These measures simulate the speech perception process employed by human subjects during auditory experiments. The measure standardized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), called? Wideband-Perceptual Speech Quality Evaluation (WB-PESQ)? is not able to quantify all these perceived characteristics on a unidimensional quality scale, the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) scale. Recent experimental studies showed that subjects make use of several perceptual dimensions to judge about the quality of speech signals. In order to represent the signal at a higher stage of perception, a new model, called? Diagnostic Instrumental Assessment of Listening quality (DIAL)? has been developed. It includes a perceptual and a cognitive model which simulate the whole quality judgment process. Except for strong discontinuities, DIAL predicts very well speech quality of different speech processing and transmission systems, and it outperforms the WB-PESQ.

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The Duchess of Cambridge Makes Rare Public Speech

HEALTH CHECK: The Duchess of Cambridge attended a Place2Be Headteacher conference in London and made a rare public speech on the topic of mental health issues.
A royal patron of the Place2Be charity, she spoke to teachers and leaders from schools across England, Scotland and Wales late Wednesday about ways to help children with mental health issues.
“I often get asked why I decided to spend time highlighting the mental health of children,” she said. “I imagine my answer might be similar to many of yours. I know that I was lucky. My parents and teachers provided me with a wonderful and secure childhood where I always knew I was loved, valued and listened to. But of course many children are not so lucky. Since beginning my work in areas like addiction, for example, I have seen time and time again that the roots of poor mental health in adulthood are almost always present in unresolved childhood challenges.”
She wore a gray Matthew Williamson shift dress with a jeweled neckline and cuff, an outfit she had sported in 2012 to a London premiere of “African Cats” for the Tusk Trust Benefit.
Earlier this week, the duchess also attended the 2015 Fostering Excellence Awards in BMA

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Reese Witherspoon’s Moving Speech at Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards: “Like Elle Woods, I Do Not Like to be Underestimated.”

At tonight's Glamour Women of the Year Awards, Goldie Hawn presented Reese Witherspoon with an award for her work creating stronger roles for women in film. Witherspoon's speech was so inspiring and powerful, you'll want…

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Kristen Stewart Doesn’t Owe You a ‘Coming Out’ Speech


Kristen Stewart has issued a bold response to those intent on confirming exactly what sexual label to pin on her. In the latest issue of Nylon, in which the actress appears on the cover, she tells anyone interested in her sexuality: “Google me, I’m not hiding.” She added:

If you feel like you really want to define yourself, and you have the ability to articulate those parameters and that in itself defines you, then do it. But I am an actress, man. I live in the fucking ambiguity of this life and I love it. I don’t feel like it would be true for me to be like, ‘I’m coming out!’ No, I do a job. Until I decide that I’m starting a foundation or that I have some perspective or opinion that other people should be receiving… I don’t. I’m just a kid making movies.

It’s a fitting statement from Kristen Stewart, not only because she’s called fame “the worst thing in the world,” but also because she’s saying, essentially, that the focus on her personal life detracts from discussion of her work — or anything else about her. It’s a reminder that Stewart doesn’t owe the Internet an official “coming out” — and to presume she does is insulting and insensitive.


Already, her sexuality has become part of the cultural conversation about Stewart — this article being no exception, I admit. Whereas Nylon simply went with “Riding Shotgun with Kristen Stewart” for a headline, countless reports about the interview have honed in on her comments about her sexuality, making it the focal point. Some, such as “Kristen Stewart plays coy over sexuality rumors,” made it seem as if she didn’t go far enough in her statement.

This is natural, I suppose, in a world where, as the Advocate explains, before a celebrity like Stewart has officially “come out, “media outlets create “a glossary of queer innuendo that is meant to signal to a reader that a person is gay or in a same-sex relationship, without actually stating it outright.” Their hilarious list of these ways of saying-it-without-saying-it — which includes “tomboy,” “gal pal,” and “sapphic circle” — highlight the absurdity of our need to make Stewart answer the question “What are you?” not for her satisfaction, but for ours.

By phrasing her comments as she did, Stewart turns the question back on the asker, pointedly making us collectively wonder, “Why do we care so much about who she’s sleeping with? What does it change about how we perceive her whether she’s dating a man or a woman?” Those questions, whether we’re talking about a famous movie star or the rest of us, are much harder to answer than a simple word can ever summarize.

In an interview with Beatrice in 1997, writer Jill Nagle said, “Sex is what academics would call oversignified. You can play tennis with a friend without worrying about ‘what it means,’ but you can’t do that with sex.” That quote has stayed with me, because even though in the intervening years, we’ve made a lot of progress in terms of being more knowledgeable and accepting of a variety of sexual orientations, sex acts, and genders, we still want a simple way of framing a topic that’s actually more complex, in many cases, than one word can summarize.

We still get so fixated on who people are screwing we practically salivate over every juicy detail — witness the media frenzy when an interview with Cate Blanchett was edited in a way that implied she’d had sexual relationships with women, followed by her clarification that she hadn’t, actually. Stewart does not want to be a poster child, and her comments, appearing two months after her mother was quoted in the UK’s Sunday Mirror confirming Stewart’s relationship with assistant Alicia Cargile, are a way of making it clear that she takes such fascination with her sexuality as intrusive.

Stewart is also making a larger point about the changing role of labels like gay, lesbian, and bisexual — namely, that for many people, they are beside the point. She went on to tell Nylon, “I think in three or four years, there are going to be a whole lot more people who don’t think it’s necessary to figure out if you’re gay or straight. It’s like, just do your thing.”

We’ve seen numerous similar sentiments in recent pop culture, from people who are proud, unashamed, and not hiding their same-sex attractions and relationships, but don’t want to be defined by them, from Miley Cyrus‘ pronouncements about being gender- and sexually fluid and Raven-Symone’s rejection of the label “gay” (“I want to be labeled a human who loves humans”) to Maria Bello’s embrace of the term “whatever” to describe her sexual orientation and Ilana on Broad City‘s declaration that “I have sex with people different from me.”

In their way, those rejecting sexual labels are offering up a very optimistic point of view, one that presumes that whatever your sexual orientation, you are entitled to explore it and define it for yourself, regardless of what anyone else thinks. This is, of course, true — though it’s vital to note that we haven’t yet reached the point where living either in the ambiguity Stewart praises or as an out gay, lesbian, or bisexual person means you’re free from discrimination.

Stewart’s right to find the questioning off-putting (if you don’t agree, ask yourself if you’d want your every date, kiss or act of holding hands, let alone what you do in bed, obsessively scrutinized). As Sarah Seltzer pointed out at Flavorwire, just as asking celebrities whether they’re feminists has led to an increasingly pointless PR spin cycle, so too does questioning them about their sexuality often come across futile and passé. Seltzer argues it’s in celebs’ best interest to remain as publicly ambiguous about their sexuality as possible, lest they be pigeonholed.

To some extent, I agree, but in Stewart’s case, specifically, her words don’t sound ambiguous. They sound like the opinions of someone who simply feels there are more important things in her public life than her personal relationships.

That’s not to say having out queer celebrities as role models isn’t important; rather, that those who want to take on that responsibility should be able to do so voluntarily, or else it’s pointless — a debate exemplified in the responses to Roxane Gay saying on Twitter that Stewart’s sexuality is not a big deal. Stewart clearly does not want her sex life to precede her acting in the public eye. She doesn’t want her sexuality to oversignified, or even, it seems, brought up at all.

The latter is unlikely to happen, but we can grant Stewart — and by extension, everyone else — the right to define or not define their sex lives as they see fit.

Rachel Kramer Bussel is a New York-based author, editor, blogger, and event organizer. Her work has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Village Voice, and Jezebel.

Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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Two Music Speeches at Cambridge, Spoken at Public Commencements in the Years 1714 and 1730, by R. Long and J. Taylor. to Which Are Added, Dr. Taylot’s Latin Speech at St. Mary’s, 1730; Poems, Essays, and Correspondence. to the Whole Are Prefixed, Memoirs

Two Music Speeches at Cambridge, Spoken at Public Commencements in the Years 1714 and 1730, by R. Long and J. Taylor. to Which Are Added, Dr. Taylot’s Latin Speech at St. Mary’s, 1730; Poems, Essays, and Correspondence. to the Whole Are Prefixed, Memoirs

New – This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1819 Excerpt: … on her hand, can read, How long she’s like to live a Maid. He can with ease recover soon The Thimble lost, or Silver Spoon; And help you to find out the Thief, As well as by the Shears and Sieve. He has an Amulet, or Charm, Put it but on, you ’11 take no harm; Though you should hear

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Kanye West Gave The Most Kanye West Graduation Speech Ever To Fashion Students

Here’s a message to all the celebs currently giving graduation speeches: he’s gonna let you finish, but Kanye West just gave one of the best graduation speeches of all time. Well, he gave the most Kanye West graduation speech, anyway.

West made an appearance at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College’s Gold Thimble Fashion Show on Friday and reportedly addressed the graduating class, saying, “Usually, when you’re the absolute best, you get hated on the most.” Preach, Kanye!

After an issue with the paparazzi in 2013, West was sentenced to some community service and fulfilled his hours by teaching at the school in 2014. Though all his hours are up, he still decided to make the trip for the show, giving a speech and even smiling.

Yeah, we saw that, Mr. West.

For more, head to TMZ.

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Psychology – Auditory Perception: Acoustics, Auditory Illusions, Auditory Localization, Auditory System, Distance Perception, Listening, Music, Sound, Speech Perception, Absolute Threshold of Hearing

Psychology – Auditory Perception: Acoustics, Auditory Illusions, Auditory Localization, Auditory System, Distance Perception, Listening, Music, Sound, Speech Perception, Absolute Threshold of Hearing

New – This book consists of articles from Wikia or other free sources online. Pages: 170. Chapters: Acoustics, Auditory illusions, Auditory localization, Auditory system, Distance perception, Listening, Music, Sound, Speech perception, Absolute threshold of hearing, Acoustical measurements and instrumentation, Acoustic intensity, Anechoic chamber, Auditory event, Auditory localization, Auditory stimulation, Aural space, Binaural beats, Bioacoustics, Decibel, Equal-loudness contour, Equal-loudnes

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Shonda Rhimes Nails How Much Easier It Is To Be A Man, In One Flawless Speech

Shonda Rhimes knows a thing or two about empowering women on-screen — just watch any of her three primetime TV shows — and on May 18, she used her platform to encourage women off-screen to absorb some of that badass feminist energy.

The Feminist Majority Foundation honored Rhimes and “Orange Is the New Black” showrunner Jenji Kohan at the 10th annual Global Women’s Rights Awards. Rhimes delivered a powerful speech about feminism, declaring: “I absolutely love being a woman. I mean, I love it. It never occurred to me not to love it.” Later, she added, “I mean, I think I’m fabulous.”

She also told a story about a time when her assistant told her that she wanted to experience life as a man for a day, reported Variety. Rhimes said her assistant wanted to know what it would be like “to have all of that,” and then the showrunner proceeded to break down exactly what “all of that” actually means.

My assistant wants to walk through the world just for a day without some guy hitting on her when she runs to Starbucks to get me coffee. She wants to not be called “cute” by the security guard. She wants to not be told that she should be a model. She wants to not see the look of surprise on someone’s face when she tells them where she went to college. She wants her boobs to no longer be a topic of conversation. She wants to no longer make 70 cents on the dollar. She wants to not have old men legislate her vagina’s rights. She wants to not know that a glass ceiling ever existed. She wants to not believe that having a baby would end her career. She wants everything in the world to be made for her, be about her and speak mostly to her. Because that’s how it is for men.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Rhimes said she rejected her assistant’s wish, instead encouraging her to embrace her womanhood — even when it seems like a curse. “Living in the possession of a vagina is not a hindrance. It’s not a flaw, it is a gift,” she said.

“Lead the life you want to lead,” Rhimes continued. “Be whoever you want to be. Have the babies. Be the CEO. Lean out. Lean in — on your own terms. Just run this thing because I don’t want the girls wishing they could be men for a day. I don’t even want men wishing they could be women. I just want those words ‘all of that,’ I want all of that to apply to all of us.”

Yes, Shonda — to all of that.

H/T Variety

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Ed Helms Destroys Rolling Stone’s Rape Story Scandal During UVA Valedictory Speech

“Never let others define you, define yourselves.”

So began a seemingly comedic speech at the University of Virginia’s Valedictory Exercises by actor Ed Helms on Friday. In front of a large audience, the comedian peppered in jokes about Netflix and student loans before turning a harsh eye on the Rolling Stone rape story scandal, which has drawn widespread condemnation and lawsuits against the magazine.

“It has been said that a rolling stone gathers no moss,” Helms said. “I would add that sometimes a rolling stone also gathers no verifiable facts or even the tiniest morsels of journalistic integrity.”

“Rolling Stone tried to define you this year,” Helms said. “As a result, not only was this community thrown deep into turmoil, but the incredibly important struggle to address sexual violence on campuses nationwide was suddenly more confusing than ever and needlessly set back.”

The speech comes a month after Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism called Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s story “A Rape on Campus” a “journalistic failure” — a move that prompted Rolling Stone to retract the entire piece.

“The failure encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking,” the authors of the review said.

During his speech, Helms also delved into the strikingly negative news coverage of the Baltimore riots, chastising many major networks for their portrayal of the protestors as “thugs,” noting “Rolling Stone’s rush to define is just the tip of the iceberg.”

“The reductive labels aren’t helping and we better stop applying them, because there are a lot of Americans in a lot of pain,” Helms said. “We try to define others with simple labels because it makes the world easier to understand.”

“This community didn’t fall for the fallacy that just because Rolling Stone was wrong everything here must be perfectly peachy,” he continued. “You all had the courage to understand you can be outraged at Rolling Stone and still ask yourselves hard questions: When sexual violence does occur in our community, do we have the best possible protocols and resources available to our students? And UVA is charging forward to answer those questions and you should be proud of that.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Lauren O’Brien Impressions – Oscar Nominee Speech Practice (2015) HD

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Lauren O’Brien Impressions – Oscar Nominee Speech Practice (2015) HD

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Lauren O’Brien’s impressions of the nominees practicing their Oscar acceptance speeches. Featuring: Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Rosamund Pike, Keira Knightley, and Laura Dern.

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A Two-Night Conversation on Free Speech

Tonight I’m joined by magazine publisher Larry Flynt, Iranian-American actor and comedian Maz Jobrani, and Peter Eliasberg, the legal director of the ACLU of Southern California, for the first of a two-night conversation on free speech. Tomorrow night we pick up this conversation with KPFK Pacifica radio host Sonali Kolhatkar, comedian Roseanne Barr, and Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

In the clip below, I ask Roseanne whether there’s a fine line between what is offensive and distasteful, and what constitutes an abuse of free speech.

For more of our conversation, be sure to tune in to Tavis Smiley on PBS. Check our website for your local TV listings: www.pbs.org/tavis.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Yale President Peter Salovey: ‘The Most Effective Way To Combat Speech You Don’t Like Is With Speech’

Yale President Peter Salovey spoke on free expression on campuses, reflecting on a recent incident at the University of California, Berkeley, where students protested comedian Bill Maher’s appearance at a graduation ceremony because of controversial comments he made about Muslims.

“It’s very difficult. You see this controversy playing out on many different campuses over the last couple of years,” Salovey said.

Salovey said he thinks people want to live in an environment where others are respectful and civil, but being offended can be a learning experience.

“It’s fine to protest, it’s fine to raise one’s own voice,” Salovey said. “The most effective way to combat speech you don’t like is with speech.”

Below, live updates from the 2015 Davos Annual Meeting:

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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From France to India, Charlie Hebdo Reminds Us of the Real Promise of Free Speech

It took less than a day after the massacre of staffers, policemen, a visitor and a security guard at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris for the discussion in India to swing back towards the need for “responsibility.”

Kiran Bedi, former senior police officer, now a prominent politician, tweeted just hours after the attack by masked gunmen that killed Charb, the editor at Charlie Hebdo, and many of his staff: “France Terror-Shoot-Out sends a message: why deliberately provoke or poke? Be respectful and civil. Don’t hurt people’s sensitivities!”

Even by the thick-skinned standards of contemporary Indian discourse, Bedi’s tweet was remarkably insensitive. But it was also undeniably representative of the way the Indian discussion on freedoms of expression has developed — or been choked off, depending on your perspective. That question, “why provoke?”, needs to be more closely examined, because it has strangled so much of Indian intellectual and cultural activity — and everyday life — for far too long.

In 2006, when the Danish cartoon controversy came to a head, many writers in India felt stampeded into one kind of response or another. To support the stance Charlie Hebdo took, republishing cartoons that carried images of the Prophet Muhammad that many Muslims found offensive, was to support the principle of free speech unhindered by the threats made by the religious.

But there was little space for those who wanted to say that they found the cartoons gratuitously offensive, did not endorse them personally, but felt that those who had drawn them and published them should not be persecuted or harmed in any case. I began following Charlie Hebdo’s work then, especially its provocative covers, which took on the Pope, Jesus, Jews, rabbis, French leaders, the Prophet Muhammad, the Boko Haram victims, Islam, Christianity, Judaism etc. I found its work childish and sometimes offensive, but I admired the magazine’s determination to offend all parties equally.

As I learned about the cases it had fought in the courts, my view of the Charlie Hebdo editorial team shifted: the cartoons might have been juvenile, but the team’s belief that free expression must accommodate all forms of satire, protest and parody was deeply serious, and embedded in a tradition of speaking rude, outrageous truth to power that went back centuries in France. Charlie Hebdo’s flaws, to me, were glaring and remainded worth analyzing: it had mocked Christianity and France’s politicians with a comfortable familiarity, but its mockery of Islam, African politics and even in one cartoon, India, were filled with stereotypes. As the writer Kamila Shamsie said on Twitter: “There are conversations to be had about the distinction between ‘offensive’ and ‘racist’. But the fanatics make it harder to have them.”

“I had thought of Charlie Hebdo with some envy. . . They had, I thought, been able to exercise a freedom that many Indians had not been able to claim.”

I respect the Charlie Hebdo team for one important thing: they really did believe that nothing was sacred, that everything human and every religion founded by humans was open to being satirized. They understood the danger of placing any institutions, political or religious, or any icons, gods, prophets, prime ministers, saints, leaders, beyond the reach of human mockery. If you say that the sacred should be respected, ask whether you really mean that gods, religions and their many interpreters “must” be respected. For between that well-intentioned “should respect” (a request) and that didactic “must” (a demand, often a threat) falls the shadow of tyranny, inquisitions, bullying mobs, fearful silence, blasphemy laws. And deadly execution-style massacres.

It might be hard to believe today, but in the eight years or so that preceded the day when gunmen went into its office, calling, “Where’s Charb? Where’s Charb?” before indiscriminately killing the editor and several staffers, I had thought of Charlie Hebdo with some envy. The staffers had gone to court and won their cases; two of France’s premiers had backed them on the right to continue being offensive in the same decade when we in India had lost the right to offend. They had been able to exercise a freedom that many Indians had not been able to claim.

Despite the threats made by Islamic groups against them, Charlie Hebdo had continued to publish, with the support of its community, its courts and even for the most part, its state. I thought it had found a way to work in relative safety, that it had escaped the always-present threats of violence that had silenced and diminished so many Indian artists, writers, filmmakers, liberals, journalists, rationalists, atheists, academics, scholars and publishers, muting some, turning some into exiles or pariahs, mutating many others into cowards. I thought that Charlie Hebdo’s staff had freedoms we could only imagine, but that was before the carnage in Paris.

pk aamir khan
(Poster of Aamir Khan in Bollywood film PK torn by activists of right wing organizations who accused Khan of hurting religious sentiments of the majority community and demanded a ban on the film)

The Trap of Decency

Why provoke when the price is so high, when the innocent could be and are caught in the crossfire? Why not just stick with art or opinions that are inoffensive? These questions have come up again and again in the Indian context, and elsewhere in the world. Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons raise a related question: do creators, artists, writers, opinion-makers need to be more responsible or more sensitive given the inflammable nature of the times, the legions of those looking for an excuse to perpetrate acts of violence?

In India, many are caught in one of two traps when they try to respond to the body of work produced by Charlie Hebdo.

The first is the trap of decency, even more powerful in a country where free expression is treated as a luxury good, to be bestowed as a treat when circumstances are favorable.

For far too many people, support for an artist or content creator is conflated with endorsement, and it is genuinely hard to understand why you might defend the right of someone to create work that you might dislike, be bored by, think in bad taste, or even consider offensive.

Decency demands — or used to, in a crowded and once-secular society — that we try not to offend others, that we adjust out of politeness. The idea that you might defend an essay by A.K. Ramanujan, a book by Salman Rushdie, a series of paintings by M.F. Husain, a film by Deepa Mehta or Aamir Khan, or an attempt by rationalist Sanal Edamaruku to debunk “miracles” on principle without necessarily agreeing with or liking their work is still an alien one. Free speech debates often veer into a discussion on content — why should x have chosen this subject, why should y have written in this particular way when they had other choices — and this tendency is particularly pronounced when people are personally uncomfortable with or offended by the content in question.

The second is the trap of fear, which leads to a belief in the value of appeasement.

The fear is usually the fear of violence that might be unleashed in an irrational, unpredictable manner by either committed groups of religious fundamentalists, as in Paris, or by political goons, as has been increasingly common in today’s India. It is this fear that makes many blame the victims of violent attacks, from the team at Charlie Hebdo and the two police officers murdered alongside, to artists and writers like Rushdie or the late Husain, for the violence visited upon them. Some blame the victims openly, suggesting that they had it coming and that they should have known better than to choose incendiary subjects.

Some use more subtle methods, suggesting that artists, too, have a responsibility to act with sensitivity, to rein their worst impulses in, to refrain from offending. Often, the real fear is that the artist or writer or journalist will bring threats, or escalating discomfort, or terrifying violence, rolling in the direction of others, will threaten the uneasy balance that still allows for a semblance of normalcy in India. Without this fine balance, the country might have to discard what is left — the holding of exhibitions and literary festivals, the publishing of books and magazines, the year-round university seminars and lectures.

In this scenario, publishers who pull back books, as Penguin India did so disgracefully with Wendy Doniger’s “The Hindus,” or agree to subject their books to a further process of review, as Orient Blackswan and Aleph have controversially done, are condemned only by a small section of liberals for caving in. Many others, including many writers, journalists and opinion-makers, see the compromises made as a pragmatic reaction to the pressures of the times. Many have argued that freedom of speech must be limited in India, that the creative and academic community must be prepared to sacrifice some rights for the sake of preserving the peace.

The problem with following a policy of appeasement is not just that this is ideologically dangerous, as the respected Indian historian and professor Romila Thapar pointed out in a blunt speech in late 2014:

“It is not that we are bereft of people who think autonomously and can ask relevant questions. But frequently where there should be voices, there is silence. Are we all being co-opted too easily by the comforts of conforming? Are we fearful of the retribution that questioning may and often does bring?”

Why was there so little reaction among academics and professionals, Prof. Thapar wanted to know, to the banning and pulping of books, the changing of educational syllabuses, the questioning of the actions of several organizations that act in the name of religion, if not in conformity with religious values?

Appeasement becomes a habit, and then so does silence, and the avoidance of difficult questions. The anger that could not be safely expressed by many for fear of reprisal, against, say, either Rushdie’s Islamic fundamentalist persecutors, or M.F. Husain’s Hindu right wing detractors, turns in another direction. In India, that anger is often directed at the victims — why did they have to provoke, did they not know what response they would get, and crucially, do they not see the trouble they might get everyone else into?

“It is easier to believe that a massacre was the victim’s fault, than to accept that one’s own comfort and safety depend almost entirely on not attracting the attention of fundamentalists, terrorists, thugs or the private armies controlled by corrupt and violent politicians.”

That anger, born of fear and powerlessness, is justified in many ways — personal attacks against the character of the victims, an airing of one’s own discomfort with the content under discussion. Often in FoE crises, victims are blamed, as in domestic violence or sexual assault cases, for the violence visited on them, in eerily similar rhetorical terms. It is easier to believe that a massacre was the victim’s fault, than to accept that one’s own comfort and safety depend almost entirely on not attracting the attention of fundamentalists, terrorists, thugs or the private armies controlled by corrupt and violent politicians.

This is how the artist M.F. Husain was exiled, the author U.R. Ananthamurthy hounded before his death last year, and Rushdie made to feel increasingly unwelcome in his own country. Dislike is useful; it allows people to step away from both their fear and their dismay at being unable to protect the books, art, conversations, and free spaces that they were once able to claim. And yet none of these gestures of appeasement have been effective in stemming the rise of hate speech across religious or political groups in India — in fact, the relative suppression of more moderate voices has in effect handed over the loudspeakers and the mikes to the bullies and the bigots.

salman rushdie
(Indian born British writer Salman Rushdie)

The Price of Not Offending

It is only when you stop sifting through the content, looking for possible flaws of taste or insensitivity, and stop interrogating the creative community over the purity of their intentions that you can move to more useful ground: the question of principle.

The right to offend was only one part of the principles that the team at Charlie Hebdo lived (and died) by; the other part was the principle that has most sharply divided humanity in this century, ie, the idea that all of us have an absolute right to question religion. This is where the argument that Charlie Hebdo could have somehow avoided the terror attacks by being a little less offensive or a little more sensitive falls apart.

In August 2014, Bangladeshi TV host Nurul Islam Faruqi, was visited by five men at his home in Dhaka; they tied up his family and slit his throat. Faruqi used to host religious programs, and was an imam himself. His crime was not that he used offensive or insensitive speech — he was murdered for speaking out against superstition and for his criticism of Islamic fundamentalism.

A year before Faruqi’s murder, the rationalist Narendra Dabholkar had been killed in August 2013 in India, by two unidentified gunmen. Dabholkar was not someone whose speech was either incendiary or deliberately offensive. But his work on bringing in anti-superstition laws had been strongly opposed by some members of the BJP and the far-right regional party, the Shiv Sena, which claimed that an anti-superstition/ black magic law would adversely affect Hindu culture.

Nor was Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, being disrespectful or offensive when he did his many exposes of “holy men” and their fake miracles. And yet in 2012, when he exposed the phenomenon of holy water apparently dripping from the toe of a statue of Christ as a consequence of bad plumbing, he faced a barrage of hate speech cases and escalating threats. Edamaruku now lives in Finland, not by choice, but out of necessity — it is not safe for him to come back home.

Responsibility cuts both ways. It is true that you cannot reason with a fundamentalist, of any religion, that there is no rational argument to be had with armed men bent on murder. But civil society and religious organizations have their responsibilities, too, and one of them is to enable and support those who want the freedom to question, to create, to debunk, and yes, even to mock. It must be kept in mind that what the team at Charlie Hebdo died for was not just the right to offend, but also the right to challenge and question everything — including religion, including Islam.

The promise of free speech goes far beyond the schoolboy thrill of being able to offend; the real promise of free speech is that we all hope to live uncensored lives, free to create in peace, and free to ask questions of or satirize the leaders, and the institutions, that run our everyday lives.

Why provoke, why defend those who are deliberately provocative? Because the bullies and the men with guns are at one extreme, and the Charlie Hebdos of this world — offensive, irreverent, deliberately pushing the boundaries of satire — are at the other. It is not necessary to follow in Charlie Hebdo’s footsteps in order to respect, or mourn the team. But if we want to live lives that are not muffled, censored and fearful, we must learn to give those who do provoke our support. If we don’t, the trammelled freedoms we have left will shrink even further.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Johnny Depp Slurs Words In Bizarre Awards Show Speech

Johnny Depp‘s awkward speech during at the Hollywood Film Awards on Friday has caught fire online. The “Into the Woods” actor took to the stage to honor Shep Gordon, storied talent manager and the subject of Mike Myers’ documentary “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon,” and proceeded to slur his speech, swear and wobble around.

“I’m not very good at this kind of thing,” Depp said at the start, after commenting on the “weird microphone.” Maybe he was just being modest: Depp has presented at numerous awards shows in the past without a hitch, including the 2009 Golden Globes Awards. Perhaps, like Depp said, it was “just one of those nights.” Watch the speech above and decide for yourself.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Watch Harry Belafonte’s Powerful Speech On Social Injustice

Harry Belafonte was this year’s recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award during the sixth annual Governors Awards on Saturday night. The honorary Oscar is Belafonte’s first, and the 87-year-old singer, actor and social activist used the award as an opportunity to discuss Hollywood’s complicated history with racial injustice:

In 1935, at the age of 8, sitting in a Harlem theater, I watched with awe and wonder incredible feats of the white superhero, Tarzan of the Apes. Tarzan was a sight to see. This porcelain Adonis, this white liberator, who could speak no language, swinging from tree to tree, saving Africa from the tragedy of destruction by a black indigenous population of inept, ignorant, void-of-any-skills population, governed by ancient superstitions with no heart for Christian charity. Through this film the virus of racial inferiority — of never wanting to be identified with anything African — swept into the psyche of its youthful observers. And for the years that followed, Hollywood brought abundant opportunity for black children in their Harlem theaters to cheer Tarzan and boo Africans. […] But these encounters set other things in motion. It was an early stimulus to the beginning of my rebellion. Rebellion against injustice and human distortion and hate. How fortunate for me that the performing arts became the catalyst that fueled my desire for social change.

Belafonte went on to cite “The Defiant Ones,” “Schindler’s List,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “12 Years A Slave” and Sidney Poitier as moving the discussion forward in a positive way throughout the last 60 years. But he closed his speech with a call to arms for all of Hollywood, now and in the future:

I really wish I could be around for the rest of this century, to see what Hollywood does with the rest of the century. Maybe, just maybe, it could be civilization’s game changer. After all, as Paul Robeson said, artists are the radical voice of civilization. Each and every one of you in this room, with your gift and power and skills, could perhaps change the way in which our global humanity mistrusts itself. Perhaps we as artists and visionaries for what’s better in the human heart and the human soul could influence citizens everywhere in the world to see the better side of who and what we are as a species.

Watch the full video of Belafonte’s acceptance speech above.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Jared Leto Is Stressed About His Potential Oscar Speech

Despite a torrential downpour and flash flood warnings in L.A. on Friday evening, Jared Leto hit the ground running, in fancy black-and-white shiny shoes with a red sole. The Oscar-favorite spoke to The Huffington Post at LA Confidential’s annual Oscar event, which this year honored Leto, who graces the magazine’s Spring Issue with wide-open eyes and his signature silky long locks.

Dressed like the rock star that he is in all black, Leto laughed when he saw the giant blow-up of his magazine cover. “I’ve never seen my head so big. Only on the inside,” he joked.

Leto first heard the announcement of his “Dallas Buyers Club” Best Supporting Actor nomination at 5 in the morning but didn’t share the news right away. “Oh I didn’t call anybody. Didn’t want to wake anyone up,” he said.

He’s might be a man of few words, but his performance as Rayon in “Dallas Buyers Club” is nothing short of brilliant. And playing a transgender woman has certainly brought a spotlight to the community. “It’s been wonderful and supportive and generous — from the very beginning when I started research and preparation for the role,” Leto told HuffPost.

jared leto dallas buyers club image

He described being nominated for the film as “truly mind-blowing” and “a thrill,” but clarified that there’s some anxiety involved. “It’s a great time to stress out about what you’re going to say for 45 seconds,” Leto said, musing about his potential acceptance speech. Luckily, Leto will have more than enough support at the awards Sunday — he’s bringing his mother and brother as his dates. “It’s the whole family. And that’s just a dream. I couldn’t think of a better way to do it.” Leto said.

Staring directly into the actor’s electric blue eyes causes one to consider to a certain theory that Leto does not age (Google images of Leto in 1994 and 2014). Unfortunately, HuffPost could not confirm with the 42-year-old the validity of whether or not he is in fact the real life Dorian Gray. “I don’t know. I have no idea,” said Leto. “But I’m sure happy to be alive.”

There might not be an aging painting of Jared Leto locked away in his house, but based on reputable Oscar predictions, there likely will soon be a little gold man in its place.

“Dallas Buyers Club” is nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor for Matthew McConaughey and Best Original Screenplay. This is Leto’s first Academy Award nomination.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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