Flashback Friday: Bruce Lee

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           He is Bruce Lee. He was  was a Hong Kong American martial artist, Hong Kong action film actor, martial arts instructor, filmmaker, and the founder of Jeet Kune Do. Lee was the son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-Chuen. He is widely considered by commentators, critics, media and other martial artists to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time, and a pop culture icon of the 20th century. He is often credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.

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           Lee was born in Chinatown, San Francisco on November 27, 1940 to parents from Hong Kong and was raised in Kowloon with his family until his late teens. He was introduced to the film industry by his father and appeared in several films as a child actor. Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education, at the University of Washington, and it was during this time that he began teaching martial arts. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, sparking a surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in the United States, Hong Kong and the rest of the world.

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           He is noted for his roles in five feature-length films: Lo Wei‘s The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Golden Harvest‘s Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; Golden Harvest and Warner BrothersEnter the Dragon (1973) and The Game of Death (1973), both directed by Robert Clouse. Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, as he portrayed Chinese nationalism in his films. He trained in the art of Wing Chun and later combined his other influences from various sources, in the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist). Lee held dual nationality of Hong Kong and the United States. He died in Kowloon Tong on July 20, 1973 at the age of 32.

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           On May 10, 1973, Lee collapsed in Golden Harvest studios in Hong Kong while doing dubbing work for the movie Enter the Dragon. Suffering from seizures and headaches, he was immediately rushed to Hong Kong Baptist Hospital where doctors diagnosed cerebral edema. They were able to reduce the swelling through the administration of mannitol. These same symptoms that occurred in his first collapse were later repeated on the day of his death.

           On July 20, 1973, Lee was in Hong Kong, to have dinner with James Bond star George Lazenby, with whom he intended to make a film. According to Lee‘s wife Linda, Lee met producer Raymond Chow at 2 p.m. at home to discuss the making of the film Game of Death. They worked until 4 p.m. and then drove together to the home of Lee‘s colleague Betty Ting Pei, a Taiwanese actress. The three went over the script at Ting‘s home, and then Chow left to attend a dinner meeting.

          Later Lee complained of a headache, and Ting gave him an analgesic (painkiller), Equagesic, which contained both aspirin and the muscle relaxant meprobamate. Around 7:30 p.m., he went to lie down for a nap. When Lee did not turn up for dinner, Chow came to the apartment, but could not wake Lee up. A doctor was summoned, who spent ten minutes attempting to revive him before sending him by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Lee was dead by the time he reached the hospital.

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            There was no visible external injury; however, according to autopsy reports, his brain had swollen considerably, from 1,400 to 1,575 grams (a 13% increase). Lee was 32 years old. The only substance found during the autopsy was Equagesic. On October 15, 2005, Chow stated in an interview that Lee died from an allergic reaction to the muscle relaxant (meprobamate) in Equagesic, which he described as a common ingredient in painkillers. When the doctors announced Lee‘s death officially, it was ruled a “death by misadventure”.

          Don Langford, Lee‘s personal physician in Hong Kong, had treated Lee during his first collapse. Controversy erupted when he stated, “Equagesic was not at all involved in Bruce’s first collapse”.

             Donald Teare, a forensic scientist recommended by Scotland Yard who had overseen over 1,000 autopsies, was assigned to the Lee case. His conclusion was “death by misadventure” caused by an acute cerebral edema due to a reaction to compounds present in the combination medication Equagesic.

           The preliminary opinion of Peter Wu, the neurosurgeon who treated Lee during his first seizure, was that the cause of death should have been attributed to either a reaction to cannabis or Equagesic. However, Wu later backed off from this position, stating that:

Professor Teare was a forensic scientist recommended by Scotland Yard; he was brought in as an expert on cannabis and we can’t contradict his testimony. The dosage of cannabis is neither precise nor predictable, but I’ve never known of anyone dying simply from taking it.

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          At the 1975 San Diego Comic-Con convention, Bruce Lee‘s friend Chuck Norris attributed it to a reaction between the medication he had been taking since 1968 for a ruptured disk in his back and the medication he was given for his headache on the night of his death.

          Lee‘s wife Linda returned to her hometown of Seattle, and had him buried at lot 276 of Lakeview Cemetery. Pallbearers at his funeral on July 31, 1973 included Taky KimuraSteve McQueen, James Coburn, Chuck Norris, George Lazenby, Dan Inosanto, Peter Chin, and Lee‘s brother Robert.

          Lee‘s iconic status and untimely demise fed many theories about his death, including murder involving the Triads and a supposed curse on him and his family. There is also a theory that Bruce Lee used electrical muscle stimulation and that may have exacerbated or resulted in his condition.

To know more about Burce Lee, just go here: http://www.brucelee.com/

Throwback Thursday: Jonas Brothers

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           The Jonas Brothers were an American pop rock band. Formed in 2005, they gained popularity from the Disney Channel children’s television network and consists of three brothers from Wyckoff, New Jersey; Paul Kevin Jonas II, Joseph Adam Jonas, and Nicholas Jerry Jonas. In the summer of 2008 they starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock and its sequel, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. They also starred as Kevin, Joe, and Nick Lucas, the band JONAS, in their own Disney Channel series JONAS, which was later re-branded for its second season as Jonas L.A. The show was eventually cancelled after two seasons. The band released four albums: It’s About Time (2006), Jonas Brothers (2007), A Little Bit Longer (2008), and Lines, Vines and Trying Times (2009).

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           In 2008, the group was nominated for the Best New Artist award at the 51st Grammy Awards and won the award for Breakthrough Artist at the American Music Awards. As of May 2009, before the release of Lines, Vines and Trying Times, they have sold over eight million albums worldwide. After a hiatus during 2010 and 2011 to pursue solo-projects, the group reconciled in 2012 to record a new album, which was cancelled following their break-up on October 29, 2013. They have sold over 17 million albums worldwide.

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           The band started as a solo project for Nick Jonas. At the age of 7, Nicholas began performing on Broadway. He has acted in several plays, including A Christmas Carol (in 2000 as Tiny Tim and as Scrooge at eight), Annie Get Your Gun (in 2001 as Little Jake), Beauty and the Beast (in 2002 as Chip), and Les Misérables (in 2003 as Gavroche). After Les Misérables closed, he performed in The Sound of Music (as Kurt) at the Paper Mill Playhouse.

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Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas

           In 2002 while performing in Beauty and the Beast, Nick had written a song with his father called “Joy to the World (A Christmas Prayer)“. With background vocals from the Beauty and the Beast cast, Nick performed the song on the 2002 annual Broadway “Equity Fights AIDS” album, Broadway’s Greatest Gifts: Carols for a Cure, Vol. 4. In November 2003, INO Records received a demo copy of “Joy to the World (A Christmas Prayer)“. The label released the song to Christian radio, where it quickly became popular on Record & Radio’s Christian Adult Contemporary Chart. While Nick was working on his solo project, Joe followed in his footsteps to Broadway, appearing in Baz Luhrmann‘s production of La bohème. According to Nick, this was also the first year the brothers started writing songs together.

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          By September 2004, an executive at Columbia Records found out about Nick‘s song. Nick was soon jointly signed to INO Records and Columbia Records and released the single “Dear God“. A second single, a new solo recording of “Joy to the World (A Christmas Prayer)“, was released on November 16. It was supposed to be followed by a December release of a self-titled solo album Nicholas Jonas, but the album had been pushed back; it did, however, get a limited release. Nick, along with his brothers, Kevin and Joe, had written several other songs for the album. In early 2005, Columbia Records‘ new president, Steve Greenberg, listened to Nick‘s record. Greenberg liked Nick‘s voice. After meeting with Nick and hearing the song “Please Be Mine“, written and performed by the brothers, Daylight/Columbia Records decided to sign the three as a group act.

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To know more about Jonas Brothers, just go here: http://jonasbrothers.com/

Woman Crush Wednesday: AJ Lee

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           She is April Jeanette Brooks, or also known as AJ Lee. She is an American professional wrestler signed to WWE under the ring name AJ Lee. She is a former three-time WWE Divas Champion and holds the longest reign in the title’s history at 295 days.

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           AJ began her career performing on the New Jersey independent circuit as Miss April, mostly in Women Superstars Uncensored. After joining WWE in 2009, she spent two years in its developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling, and took part in the third season of NXT in 2010, placing third in the competition. In 2012, after being involved in several on-screen relationships with wrestlers feuding over the promotion’s world championships, while also serving as Raw General Manager for three months, AJ was named WWE‘s “Diva of the Year“. In June 2013, AJ captured her first WWE Divas Championship by defeating Kaitlyn.

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            April Jeanette Mendez was born March 19, 1987, in Union City, New Jersey. She is of Puerto Rican heritage, and the youngest of three siblings. She describes her family’s experience while growing up as having to live in motels, other people’s houses, and their car. She cited her brother’s childhood interest in WWE as an influence on her decision to break into the male-dominated world of wrestling, and she cemented her ambition to pursue a professional wrestling career when she was 12 years old. She was inspired by the female WWE stars that came before her, especially Lita, whom she met as a child at an autograph signing. A video of the encounter, which shows the young Mendez being brought to tears by the meeting, has surfaced on YouTube.

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            After graduating from Memorial High SchoolMendez worked several jobs in order to save up the money she needed to both support her family and enroll in wrestling school. She attended New York University‘s Tisch School of the Arts in New York City, where she majored in film and television production and writing, until family and financial issues led to her dropping out six months into her studies. As an homage to her brother, who was in the U.S. Army, Mendez once wore camouflage wrestling attire.

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            Mendez married Phil Brooks, better known as CM Punk, on June 13, 2014. They live in Chicago, Illinois. She was previously in a relationship with her trainer Jay LethalMendez describes herself as a “tomboy” and credits her brother for getting her interested in comic books, anime and video games. She has a tattoo in tally marks on the back of her neck, which read as “6-16-13”, commemorating the date on which she won her first WWE Divas Championship.

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To know more about AJ Lee, just go here: http://aj-brooks.com/

Tuesday Shoe Day: Adidas

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          Adidas AG is a German multinational corporation that designs and manufactures sports shoes, clothing and accessories. The company is based in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. It is the holding company for the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade-Adidas golf company (including Ashworth), Rockport, and 9.1% of FC Bayern Munich. Besides sports footwear, Adidas also produces other products such as bags, shirts, watches, eyewear and other sports and clothing-related goods. Adidas is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the second biggest in the world, after Nike.

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            Adidas was founded in 1949 by Adolf Dassler, following a family feud at the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik company between him and his older brother RudolfRudolf had earlier established Puma, which quickly became the business rival of Adidas. Both the Adidas and Puma companies still remain based in Herzogenaurach, Germany to this day. The company’s clothing and shoe designs typically feature three parallel bars, and the same motif is incorporated into Adidas‘s current official logo. The company revenue for 2012 was listed at €14.88 billion.

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           Adidas, like other sports brands, is believed to engender high consumer brand loyalty. Brand loyalty towards Adidas, Nike Inc., Puma AG and several other sportswear brands was examined in a recent study. The study found consumers did not exhibit unduly high loyalty towards such brands.

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          During the mid to late 1990s, Adidas divided the brand into three main groups with each a separate focus: Adidas Performance was designed to maintain their devotion to the athlete; Adidas Originals was designed to focus on the brand’s earlier designs which remained a popular life-style icon; and Style Essentials, which dealt with the fashion market; the main group within this being Y-3 (which is a collaboration between Adidas and renowned Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto – the Y representing Yamamoto and the 3 representing the three stripes of Adidas).

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          Adidas is all in is the current global marketing strategy slogan for Adidas. The slogan aims to tie all brands and labels together, presenting a unified image to consumers interested in sports, fashion, street, music and pop culture. There appears to be connection with the phrase “all-in” meaning “exhausted” in some English speaking nations.

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          Celebrities wearing Adidas

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Gerard Butler

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Lana Del Rey

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David Beckham

To know more about Adidas, just go here: http://www.adidas-group.com/en/

Man Crush Monday: Ed Sheeran

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          He is Edward Christopher Sheeran, also known as Ed Sheeran. He is  is an English singer-songwriter. Born in Hebden Bridge, raised in Framlingham, Suffolk, he moved to London in 2008 to pursue a musical career. In early 2011, Sheeran released an independent extended play, No. 5 Collaborations Project, which caught the attention of both Elton John and Jamie Foxx. He then signed to Asylum Records. His debut album, +, containing the singles “The A Team” and “Lego House“, was certified quintuple platinum in the United Kingdom. In 2012, he won two Brit Awards for Best British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act. “The A Team” won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.

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           Sheeran began to become known abroad in 2012, in the United States he made a guest appearance on Taylor Swift‘s fourth studio album, Red, and wrote songs for One Direction. “The A Team” was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards and he performed the song in duet with Elton John during the ceremony. He spent much of 2013 touring North America as the opening act for Swift‘s The Red Tour. His second studio album titled x (read as “multiply“) was released worldwide on 23 June 2014, charting at number one in the UK and US. He was nominated for Best New Artist at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.

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          Sheeran was born in Hebden Bridge near Halifax, West Yorkshire but moved to Framlingham, Suffolk as a child. His father, John Sheeran, is an art curator and lecturer. His mother, Imogen Lock, is a culture publicist-turned-jewellery designer. His parents ran the independent art consultancy, Sheeran Lock, from 1990 to 2010. Sheeran, the younger of two boys, has an older brother, Matthew, who is a classical composer and postgraduate music student.

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           Sheeran‘s paternal grandparents were Irish and he was raised as a Roman Catholic. He sang in a local church choir from the age of four, learned guitar at a very young age, and began writing songs during his time at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham. His early childhood memories include listening to Van Morrison during his trips to London with his parents and going to an intimate Damien Rice gig in Ireland when he was eleven. In addition to Rice, he has also cited The Beatles, Bob DylanNizlopi and Eminem as his biggest musical influences. He is a patron of the Youth Music Theatre UK. He was accepted at the National Youth Theatre as a teenager.

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          In 2012, Sheeran purchased a farm near Framlingham, Suffolk, which is currently undergoing renovation. He has stated that he hopes to raise a family there.  Sheeran lived between Hendersonville, Tennessee and Los Angeles for the duration of 2013. Sheeran is the second cousin of broadcaster Gordon Burns.

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To know more about Ed Sheeran, just go here: http://www.edsheeran.com/splash/x-buy-us

WWE Survivor Series 2014 Predictions

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AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella

           Even I’m tired of seeing AJ Lee as the champion, I think AJ Lee will retained her Divas Championship against Nikki Bella. With or without Brie Bella‘s interference, AJ Lee will still be the champion.

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Damien Mizdow vs. Stardust & Goldust vs. Los Matadores vs. The Usos

           I’m such a huge fan of The Usos and I want them to win so bad and I like Cody Rhodes not Stardust to win, of course with his brother. But I’m rooting for Damien Mizdow to win, I think it’s time for them to steal the spotlight. But if Goldust and Stardust wins, it is maybe by cheating.

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 Team Natalya, Alicia Fox, Naomi, Emma vs. Team Paige, Cameron, Summer Rae, Layla

           Honestly, when I see only 8 divas in this match, I’m disappointed. Why don’t WWE let Eva Marie and Rosa Mendes wrestle with them? They’ve been getting a lesser spotlight recently in the ring. By the way, in this match I think Team Natalya, Alicia Fox, Naomi, Emma will win this traditional elimination match, of course by Alicia Fox putting the win on her team.

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Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt

          I like these 2 wrestlers, this is what business all about. I like Dean Ambrose for playing a bit crazy and I like Bray Wyatt  for playing crazier. But as long as I want Dean Ambrose to win, Bray Wyatt for what I predict.

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Team Cena vs. Team Authority

           This match will be sick and this match will make history. I think Team Authority will win this match maybe because of Triple H cheating. You can’t blame the Authority, they always wanna win.

To read more predictions, just go here: http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2014/survivor-series-2014-predictions-26837013

Flashback Friday: John Lennon

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            He is John Ono Lennon, born John Winston Lennon. He was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of the rock band the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. With Paul McCartney, he formed a songwriting partnership that is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century.

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           Born and raised in Liverpool, as a teenager Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze; his first band, the Quarrymen, evolved into the Beatles in 1960. When the group disbanded in 1970, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Working Class Hero“. After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to raise his infant son Sean, but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the new album Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release.

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            Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, writing, drawings, on film and in interviews. Controversial through his political and peace activism, he moved to Manhattan in 1971, where his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a lengthy attempt by Richard Nixon‘s administration to deport him, while some of his songs were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement and the larger counterculture.

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John Lennon

               As of 2012, Lennon‘s solo album sales in the United States exceeded 14 million and, as writer, co-writer or performer, he is responsible for 25 number-one singles on the US Hot 100 chart. In 2002, a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted him eighth and, in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all time. He was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

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           At around 10:50 pm on 8 December 1980, as Lennon and Ono returned to their New York apartment in the Dakota, Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times at the entrance to the building. Lennon was taken to the emergency room of nearby Roosevelt Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:07 pm. Earlier that evening, Lennon had autographed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman.

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          Ono issued a statement the next day, saying “There is no funeral for John“, ending it with the words, “John loved and prayed for the human race. Please pray the same for him.” His body was cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Ono scattered his ashes in New York’s Central Park, where the Strawberry Fields memorial was later created. Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life. As of 2014, he remains in prison, having been denied parole eight times.

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John Lennon’s Signature

To know more about John Lennon, just go here: http://www.johnlennon.com/