Archive for Stemware

Eventually she spoke

Hull, Yorkshire, 1914. Dorothy Mackaill was eleven years old, and her parents were going their separate ways. After living with her dad, she took off for London and the stage, but somehow ended up in the Ziegfield Follies.

By 1920, she was seventeen and ready for “real” roles. It wasn’t long before she because a capital-S Star, and made a relatively smooth transition to talkies before giving it all up in 1937 to take care of her aged mother.

Dorothy Mackaill parties hearty

Dorothy Mackaill in Safe in Hell

Dorothy Mackaill in Safe in Hell

Dorothy Mackaill checks herself out

The two middle shots come from 1931’s Safe in Hell, a perhaps-raunchy pre-Code thriller in which Mackaill stars as a New Orleans hooker who is smuggled to a Caribbean island. A clip therefrom:

Let’s just say it doesn’t end well for the young lady.

In the Fifties, she moved to Hawaii, and remained there for the rest of her life, surfacing occasionally in the Hawaii Five-O television series.

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Which one is the centaur?

And would you please give her my number?

Three women with eight legs among them

(Via Bored Panda.)

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Now that we’ve seen Paris

Originally, the plan was for Paris Berelc to be a gymnast. And she was a darn good one, too:

But after a stint at Ford Models, showbiz beckoned, and she wound up in the Disney Channel stable of terminally cute teenagers, playing the same character in 44 episodes of Mighty Med and then 16 in Lab Rats: Elite Force. In between, she was mostly not seen in Disney’s Invisible Sister. Next year she’ll be in a Netflix original series, Alexa & Katie.

Paris Berelc takes a walk

Paris Berelc takes a sip

Paris Berelc for Variety

The text on that black top: DON’T TEXT HIM BACK. Probably not a bad idea at that.

Between Christmas and New Year’s, she’ll turn 19.

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Working up a Szwed

It being 8/8, I figured I’d look for someone born on this date, and I wound up with Polish singer/actress Aleksandra Szwed, who turns twenty-seven today. She was born in Warsaw, but a significant branch of her family tree runs through Nigeria, a combination I’ve literally never seen before, and that closed the deal right there.

Aleksandra Szwed on the cover of Shape

Aleksandra Szwed rocks a tank

Aleksandra Szwed on the red carpet

I think I like the close-cropped ‘do.

Szwed appeared on the TV series Rodzina zastępcza (“Foster Family”) for the entirety of its eleven-year run. She’s also made a few records, none quite as insane as this one: “Powiedz, że nie kochasz” (“Say you do not love”):

Though you may already know this one in its original language: German.

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A land of fevered mystery

Screenshot from South Korean television:

Korean television program concerning Kenneth Bae

Marina Mangiaracina, who unsuccessfully ran for City Council some months back, is now in Korea, and she explains this picture, sort of:

This Korean TV show has to blur out this woman’s inner thighs every time they do a closeup on Kenneth Bae… Lack of foresight? Prudish? I don’t even…

Bae, a Christian evangelist, was convicted by North Korea of trying to overthrow the Pyongyang regime; in 2013 he was sentenced to 15 years at hard labor. Dennis Rodman (!) went to North Korea the next year to seek Bae’s release; several months passed, and then Bae was indeed set free. As far as Bae is concerned, Rodman was responsible for springing him.

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Geenu

It’s the 30th birthday of Genelia D’Souza, a major figure in Telugu and South Indian cinema, something she’d never intended to be: she’d done a few television commercials in her teens, but producers saw something more. It took several weeks in 2002 to persuade her to take a role in Tujhe Meri Kasam (“Swear On Me”); the film, released in early 2003, did decent business, and it also produced rumors that Genelia and the male lead, Ritesh Deshmukh, were An Item, which were routinely denied for nearly a decade. (They were wed in 2012; they have two children.)

Genelia D'Souza putting on the cute

Genelia D'Souza read the news today, oh boy

Genelia D'Souza not messing up the furniture

Geenu, as family and friends called her, has never shied away from working in commercials. These early ads, including her first and second, are easily found:

Cute or not, she’s occasionally run into controversy, sometimes silly. For instance, in Force (2011):

“We were shooting in Malshej Ghat and there was this old temple where we had got a local maharaj for the wedding sequence.

“Unfortunately the pandit has never witnessed a wedding and did not understand the concept of ‘cut’ and ‘action’ while shooting. It was a multi-camera set-up and so we needed to have minimum shots.

“However whenever [director] Nishikant Kamath would say cut, the pandit would not stop. Finally after the sixth phera someone from the unit realized that the mantras were real and if not stopped John and Genelia would be actually married. So, they were stopped before the final round.”

There is a Force 2, but D’Souza isn’t in it: her character apparently died in the five years between the two films.

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At the sign of the Kat

Katherine Timpf’s name was dropped into last week’s QOTW, and at some time between then and now I decided to go look for a few more pictures, because there are always pictures of a News Babe. In her 28 years she’s evidently annoyed lots of people. From the fall of 2015:

Last month, Fox News contributor Katherine Timpf jokingly insulted fans who were excited for the newest trailer during a guest stint on the late-night political comedy show Red Eye w/ Tom Shillue. Now, Timpf has revealed she’s receiving death threats for her comments.

“I have never had any interest in watching space nerds poke each other with their little space nerd sticks, and I’m not going to start now,” Timpf shared on the original broadcast. “You people are crazy. You Star Wars people are crazy. Yesterday I tweeted something, and all I said was that I wasn’t familiar with Star Wars because I’ve been too busy liking cool things and being attractive — people threatened my life. You’re not really branding yourself in a way that makes me want to join your life-threatening club.”

Jaws was never my scene and I don’t like Star Wars.” — Freddie Mercury, in “Bicycle Race” (1978).

Timpf has a BA in English from Hillsdale College — magna cum laude, yet — and not quite comically large spectacles:

Semi-serious portrait of Kat Timpf

Kat Timpf with an actual cat

Timpf also seems fond of the Inverse Selfie, which is easiest explained by showing you one or two:

Kat Timpf getting ready for the first shift

Kat Timpf getting ready for the second shift

The vast majority of pictures of this sort are taken on the beach or at poolside, so this is Timpf being a noncomformist again.

For the heck of it, here’s a demo reel, generally from Red Eye:

Which explains her on-again-off-again career in stand-up, even while sitting down.

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The Berry nicest

It says in all the reference materials that Halle Berry is 50 years old. It might even be true. (In fact, she’ll be 51 in a couple of weeks.) Maybe some day she’ll look it. But for now:

Halle Berry takes questions

Halle Berry meshes with her surroundings

Halle Berry at San Diego Comic-Con

Meanwhile, photogs and civilians still go wild in her presence:

All three of her 2017 films start with K: Kidnap, due for release next week; Kingsman: The Golden Circle, scheduled for September; and the romance Kings, which will be seen for the first time at the Toronto International Film Festival, also in September.

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Quote of the week

Are you familiar with Katherine Timpf? I’m not. But the Z Man says he knows the type:

Katherine Timpf in unofficial uniformMx. Timpf is probably a nice person. I only had a vague recollection of her so I looked up some clips of her on YouTube. Here’s a longish one. From the photos on line and her video clips, it appears she figured out that she could work the naughty librarian look into a paying gig in conservative media. Her bio says she is a libertarian, but exactly no one gives a damn about her political views. She’s on TV because she is easy on the eyes and willing to play the sex kitten on these chat shows. That’s how it works.

There’s nothing new about this, but in the past, the women doing the TV bimbo roles knew why they were on TV. In fact, many had made it to television via modeling or beauty pageants. Phyllis George was the winner of the 1971 Miss America pageant and that got her a gig on CBS as a sportscaster in 1974. She provided the legs, while gnarly old dudes like Jimmy the Greek and Brent Musberger talked football. George never carried on like she was an expert on football. She was eye candy and the moderator of the show.

Today, young women like Katherine Timpf are walking around thinking they are where they are because they are important thinkers. The exchange she had with Colin Flaherty was sadly comical. She picked up some libertarian talking points and she repeats them, making “criminal justice reform” her issue. In the old days, the beauty pageant girls would cast about for a talent that they could use in shows. Today, TV bimbos cast about for a social cause they can champion on TV, while showing some leg.

One should not assume, though, that the various male “thinkers” on cable TV are necessarily any brighter: Sean Hannity ain’t exactly Brainiac 5, but he has a scowl that, not unlike Timpf’s gams, goes on for days. Still, the conventional wisdom here is pervasive enough that you’ll probably never see Rachel Maddow in a skirt.

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I’m too sexy for this tour

Paige Spinarac is to golf what Anna Kournikova was to tennis: perhaps not championship caliber, but who cares?

Paige Spinarac on the edge of the Marvel Universe

Paige Spinarac on the outside of a golf cart

For now, though:

Paige does not yet have a permanent spot on the LPGA Tour, though she has played events on it several times in recent years. The next time she plays — which she hopes will be her full-time career sooner rather than later — she may look different, however.

Spiranac believes that she’s been deemed too sexy for pro golf, by virtue of the women’s tour’s strict new dress code restrictions. Plunging necklines are now banned, and the new rules include no leggings unless under a skirt or shorts and no jogging bottoms.

The 24-year-old, who has become Instagram-famous for her tantalizing photos (and for her golf game too, we suppose), is upset.

Paige Spinarac snaps a selfie

Paige Spinarac wields a mighty scepter

And she does have a cause:

I offer no prediction on how this eventually works out.

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The great Trentini

Caroline Trentini was thirteen or so when she was spotted by one of those mysterious people who spend their days looking for girls with modeling potential. Why was he looking at this town in the far south of Brazil? He’d struck gold in southern Brazil before: Gisele Bündchen, about as golden as you can get in the fashion biz. She quickly started getting work, and eventually moved to New York, a fairly gutsy move for a girl who spoke no English. Then again, fashion photographers ask, not how you’re doing or how’s the weather, but “Can you wear this?” She could.

Caroline Trentini for Victoria's Secret in 2005

Caroline Trentini doesn't quite sprawl

Caroline Trentini apparently not wearing anything

Or, regarding that last shot, “Can you not wear this?”

And we have a brief interview with her on the occasion of a Versace campaign for 2015:

Her English, of course, is fine. And if you’re curious, she just turned 30 this month.

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More laurels yet

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Musical America Artist of the Year for 2017:

Yuja Wang before a concert in Munich 16 July 2017

She represents a new breed — the complete, thoroughly modern package. Wearing stunning gowns chosen specifically to match the repertoire she is playing, she has cultivated a persona of visual beauty as well as musical brilliance. And then there are those dynamite encores — wow!

In a recent video for Giorgio Armani, Musical America’s Artist of the Year, Yuja Wang, performs Liszt’s arrangement of Schubert’s Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel, the work’s dark, dulcet tones swirling against a dimly lit backdrop of piano and pianist as the music gently weaves a spell of soulful mystery. The performance, technically impeccable and full of subdued passion, is intercut with images of Yuja in a variety of tasteful fashion poses. There was a time when this would have raised eyebrows, along with protestations about classical music’s chaste role in a world full of commercial taint. Welcome to the 21st century, when women play the piano as well as men and feel free to flaunt their other gifts as well.

On the off-chance that you might have wanted to hear the entirety of Gretchen am Spinnrade:

She is, after all, only thirty, so I can believe this:

She has a keen interest in popular culture as well. Hence her attention to fashion, as well as her usual reported practice of listening to rock music before stepping out on stage. She uses Spotify to keep on top of new things, and goes to live concerts as often as possible. Though she values working with older masters, she loved performing with Gustavo Dudamel’s Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolivar (“What a crazy bunch of outrageous musicians!”) partly because they are mostly her age, and their youthful outlook matched her own. After the concert, she reports, they could all agree, “Let’s go to a bar and listen to electronic music.”

A party girl? Who knew?

Yuja Wang after a concert in Munich 16 July 2017

Here, she plays some fiendishly difficult Bartók, with Dudamel at the helm of the Los Angeles Philarmonic:

You’ve had a rough night, mademoiselle. Is there somewhere we can take you?

Yuja Wang gets a ride to somewhere 2017

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FLOTUS blossoms

From the increasingly misnamed neo-neocon, a bit of political fashion commentary:

Shortly after Donald Trump was elected, I said that one thing I planned to enjoy was Melania’s fashions.

And so I have.

I especially love the simple, elegant suit that Melania wore today on her visit to France. Not everyone can wear these midi skirts; it helps to be tall, and Melania is almost six feet tall even without her heels, so she can wear it with tremendous panache (hey, that’s French!).

Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron, side by side in Paris

I point out merely for completeness that Michelle Obama is almost six feet tall even without her heels, though I concede that this red suit would not have been ideally cut for her; Mrs O would not have looked her best with that skirt length.

Then there’s Mme Macron’s dress, which is not especially loved:

I feel for Macron’s wife Brigitte having to stand next to her. Not only is she about fifteen years older than Melania, but she’s so much smaller she would look like a pipsqueak in comparison no matter what she wore. But I see her choice as especially infelicitous. A miniskirt? Why? I know she must think her legs are her best feature (I share that conceit about myself) and the legs tend to be the last thing to go, but miniskirts except for the most casual of occasions are not flattering to those over 60. Maybe not even for those over 50. They make us look somewhat desperate, I think.

Brigitte Macron on the beachI admit here that I’m not entirely sure about that last bit. In my experience — caution: small sample — women who think their legs are their best feature are usually correct in this judgment, and with few exceptions, they know how to deploy them for maximum effect. This shot of Mme Macron on the beach, wearing a presumably tiny swimsuit and a short coverup, persuades me that she knows what she’s doing. Admittedly, beachwear is expected to be somewhat abbreviated, and it seems unlikely that she’d wear a dress that short, but the First Rule of Hemlines — you can go as high as you like so long as you don’t expose something that really ought not to be exposed — tells me that she could go at least a couple of inches above the knee without any hint of scandal. (And, come to think of it, she has.) For a woman my age (we were both born the same year) this isn’t exactly miraculous, but it is something I would never, ever want to discourage.

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But never, ever pitiful

Linda Ronstadt hasn’t sung so much as a note in public for most of a decade; Parkinson’s disease has taken what can only be described as a terrible toll. But during her four decades as a musical legend, she gave us some of our favorite records and a few thoughts which we will not dwell on here.

Linda Ronstadt holds serve

Linda Ronstadt stands there demurely

Waiting for the Double E

Warren Zevon wasn’t exactly a star when Linda recorded “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” and her cover version, released early in 1978, fell just short of the Top 30 in Billboard. She says she learned it from Jackson Browne, who’d produced Zevon’s own version. The video here is the standard album track, from Simple Dreams, with rather a lot of more or less vintage photos pasted over the audio.

Its chart position notwithstanding, it’s one of her best-remembered songs. At the opposite end of the familiarity spectrum, there’s this seriously weird commercial for the Remington electric razor:

And yes, that was Frank Zappa. This was a radio spot, over which a fan dubbed some startlingly appropriate visuals.

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Their eyes are up there

Not that you’re supposed to look at their eyes:

Be Ambitious by Dal ShabetThis spiffy Dal Shabet number from the summer of 2013 isn’t particularly weird as K-pop goes, until you find out that there are two titles: “Be Ambitious,” which is duly rendered on the sleeve in English, and “Look At My Legs,” which clearly doesn’t have to be.

Three days before the scheduled release of “Be Ambitious,” word came down from The Authorities that the lyrics were scurrilous and could not be broadcast on Korean television. New vocal tracks were duly patched in, but there was apprarently no time to reshoot the video. And shortly after the release, a men’s-rights group sought an injunction against Dal Shabet and their management, complaining about the portrayal of the males in this video. A couple weeks later, a joint press conference was held to announce that all charges were being dropped. But the damage was done: “Be Ambitious” was the lowest-selling Dal Shabet single up to that point, moving a mere 500,000 copies to Korea’s ambitious downloaders.

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Consider her still here

You have to dial back quite a number of years before you get to a point where Reba McEntire wasn’t a presence in country music or in American culture generally: her first album came out 40 years ago, her most recent this past February, and in between (early 1991) came a tragedy, in which one of her band’s two chartered planes crashed into Otay Mountain east of San Diego. She’d always sung, of course, though she expected to come out of Southeastern Oklahoma State University as a schoolteacher.

Reba McEntire in motion

Reba McEntire on the red carpet

Reba McEntire in portrait mode

Since 1976, Reba has released ninety-five singles; her six-year sitcom run notwithstanding, only three of them made it to the Top 40 on the pop chart. The most recent of these is 2009’s “Consider Me Gone”:

This was the second single from the album Keep On Loving You, which has nothing to do with REO Speedwagon.

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Imperfect angel

Apparently nobody knows for certain how old Mariah Carey is: we know her birthday, which is the 27th of March, but we’re not quite sure how many birthdays she’s had, and it’s not like she’s front-page news these days. Still, she sells a fair number of records, and she’s always had the looks to go with the voice.

Mariah Carey on the steps

Mariah Carey draws a crowd

Mariah Carey is backlit

During her 1990s heyday, I paid little attention to Mariah, but then I paid little attention to most musical performers in the 1990s, mostly because I had to put my own life in order, but at least partly because she seemed just a hair gimmicky to me: just because you can sing over a five-octave range doesn’t mean you should. The newer, darker Carey did put out some good records, though, including this Foreigner cover:

The second single from her 2009 album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, “I Want to Know What Love Is” died at #60 in Billboard— but spent half a year at Number One in Brazil.

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Bucking buck privates

Buck Privates was an early-1941 Abbott and Costello film, which introduced the Don Raye/Hughie Prince jump blues called “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” sung by the Andrews Sisters. As technology improved, it was no longer required to have three singers to do three vocal parts, as Bette Midler will readily testify.

And there things stood, until further technology permitted a single singer to triplicate herself on camera:

Michelle Creber is seventeen; among other things, she’s the voice of Apple Bloom on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Here she looks kind of Carol Burnett-y, which fits: like Burnett, she has a gift for physical comedy, and also like Burnett, she has killer gams.

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Shocking possibilities

I got my hands on an electric shaver for the first time around 1967. It was a hand-me-down, and it wasn’t exactly in new condition: I actually managed to cut myself with the darn thing. Worse, the handy detachable electric cord kept wanting to detach itself during the process, and though the water wasn’t running, I’d learned a healthy respect for dryness in the presence of 110 volts.

It was about this time I learned that women often shaved in the shower, and suddenly this didn’t make much sense to me:

1962 advertisement for Lady Norelco shaver

I wasn’t about to ask my mom: we were a family who avoided at all cost discussing anything bathroom-related.

And I should probably point out that the electric weasel that ripped my flesh was not, in fact, from Norelco: it was, you guessed it, one of those scrape-back-and-forth jobs.

(Indirectly suggested by Chuck Pergiel.)

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Head to the sky, just about

Ekaterina Lisina, twenty-nine, gets a Wikipedia page because of her basketball prowess: she played for various teams for a decade, including a stint with the Russian Olympic team in 2008. (They took the bronze.) And they mention, purely in passing, her height: six feet, nine inches (2.04 m).

Right now, though, she’s had enough of sportsball, and wants to go on to something else: modeling. Oh, and getting into Guinness:

The Olympic medallist and former basketball player, from Penza, now wants to set the world record for being the world’s tallest model as she switches careers — as well as being awarded a prize [for] having the world’s longest legs.

The number you want to hear: 52.4 inches. 1.33 meters. You’ve heard of legs that go on for days? These take a good fortnight.

Ekaterina Lisina, seated

Ekaterina Lisina, not seated

She is generally acknowledged to be Russia’s tallest woman, and you don’t even want to imagine her shoe size.

Oh, you do? She takes a 47 European, which is about a 14 US.

Guinness hasn’t come calling yet, but surely they will at some point.

(Via American Digest.)

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In which I repeat myself

Note: In the summer of ought-eight, I submitted a send-off for the late Cyd Charisse for my first-ever Rule 5 contribution, despite not actually including any pictures, only links. This is mostly the same article, less the last paragraph, but semi-lavishly illustrated for once.

In the late 1960s, one of our high-school classes was semi-regularly packed off to see classic films at the old Garden Theater, and one of the films I saw was Brigadoon, an Alan Jay Lerner musical put together by MGM’s famed Arthur Freed unit.

The trick about the town of Brigadoon, you may remember, is that it’s not always there: the enchantment that preserves it does so by bringing it to life only once every hundred years, thereby making sure it’s not influenced by contemporary evils. Which means that when Tommy Albright (Gene Kelly) falls hard for one of the town girls, he’s faced with the sort of choice you wouldn’t give Hobson: either he stays with her, thereby giving up his life in this world, or he returns to New York and never gets another shot. I remember yelling at the screen: “You fool! Go back to her!” (I saw the greatest minds of my generation garner detentions for just such breaches of conduct.)

Cyd Charisse on a big gane hunt

This was my first exposure to Tula Ellice Finklea, known to the rest of the world as Cyd Charisse. At the time, I didn’t know that she’d been primarily a dancer; once I got a chance to see more of her work, I discovered that she’d been one of the all-time greats. As an actress, she was respectable if not noteworthy, and I’d noticed early on that her Russian accent in Silk Stockings was largely indistinguishable from her Scottish burr in Brigadoon. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Cyd Charisse takes the top rung

(Aside: Allow me to recommend the scene in Silk Stockings where she replaces her coarse Communist unmentionables with Parisian finery: the ratio of sheer eroticism to volume of actual exposed flesh is among the highest in motion-picture history.)

Cyd Charisse takes a love seat

There. That’s better.

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Another manic Munnday

The last time we checked in with Olivia Munn, back in the spring of 2010, she’d done one of those gratuitous nude photos for PETA, not that we were complaining or anything. But we don’t really pay enough attention to her, which is a shame considering she’s a graduate of Putnam City North who went on to get a journalism degree from OU, then hung around the state just long enough to decide she’d like to try to act instead.

So here’s some of what she’s done in the interim: spent a long time doing Attack of the Show! and a shorter time doing The Daily Show, assumed the role of Elizabeth Braddock aka Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse, and played some golf in inappropriate shoes.

Olivia Munn sitting pretty

Olivia Munn as Psylocke

Olivia Munn in wedges putts

Oh, she also wrote a book called Suck It, Wonder Woman, and was eaten by a cartoon snake.

Olivia Munn goes down the hatch

She’ll be in Ocean’s Eight next year.

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Under the metal clouds

Solange Knowles, you know as Beyoncé’s kid sister, and occasionally as a fill-in in Destiny’s Child. But she’s had a recording career of her own, starting with Solo Star in 2002. (Now what could she mean by that?) She’s thirty-one, and distinctively different from Queen Bey.

Solange in yellow

Solange in Complex

Solange in a chair

The first single off her 2016 album A Place at the Table was called “Cranes in the Sky,” and it won her a Grammy for Best R&B Performance. It’s dreamy and reflective and, yes, sorrowful.

And props to Solange for beating the snot out of Jay Z, something that didn’t occur to Beyoncé until several months later.

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Frost in June

British actress Sadie Frost, fifty-two this week, is the daughter of an artist who specialized in psychedelia, and said artist’s teenaged muse; after they split, they each went on to several relationships, so Frost (whose original surname was Vaughan) has nine half-siblings.

Sadie Frost at the British Fashion Awards 2008

Frost and friend Jemima French set up a fashion label called Frost French in 1999; it is now mostly defunct.

Sadie Frost on the cover of the Sunday Telegraph magazine in 2015

Sadie Frost on the talk-show couch

She’s appeared in a wide range of films, as good as The Krays and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and as bad as Rancid Aluminum, which rates a 6 from Rotten Tomatoes. Her most recent appearance was in a good film, Set the Thames on Fire (2015).

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Once upon a time in Storybrooke

We presume that every young girl wants to be some sort of Disneyfied princess. In actual fact, some of them aspire to Evil Queen status, and if we’re talking contemporary Evil Queens, we’re definitely talking Queen Regina Mills of the ABC-TV series Once Upon a Time, who at the conclusion of Season Six sacrifices herself. The Queen has been portrayed all these years by Lana Parrilla, who has a few weeks of her thirties left.

Lana Parrilla in a fashion-magazine spread

Lana Parrilla looking Evil Queen-ish

Lana Parrilla relaxes on the couch

Against such an entity, the poor, deluded Charmings don’t stand a chance:

Season 7 will begin in September. Is the Queen really, truly dead? I’m not betting on it.

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Perhaps somewhat devilish

From this week in 2010:

On a whim, Monday I dialed over to Wikipedia for June 14 birthdays, and found the likes of Boy George, Donald Trump, and Che. (Che, of course, rates a footnote.) None of these fit into Rule 5, not even Boy George.

And so I’m doing now what I did then: a brief piece about Oscar-winning screenwriter (for Juno) and former stripper Diablo Cody.

Diablo Cody with David Letterman

Diablo Cody in something sort of filmy

Diablo Cody in something sort of autumn-y

Among some of her current projects: a musical based on the Sweet Valley High book series; a pilot for Fox called Prodigy, about a girl genius who up to that point had been homeschooled; and the current Amazon Prime series One Mississippi, starring Tig Notaro.

And while she’s legendary for passing on the occasional barb, she’s all sentimental here accepting her Academy Award:

That Kinks tune, of course, was heard on the Juno soundtrack.

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Stan tall

Actually, Romanian singer/songwriter Alexandra Stan is a middling five foot six, but it’s her birthday — she’s twenty-eight — and she has, shall we say, a certain visual appeal.

Alexandra Stan on the cover of FHM

Alexandra Stan looking sort of rural

Alexandra Stan looking not even slightly rural

Her signature song, “Mr. Saxobeat,” was #1 in Romania for eight weeks in 2011, and just missed the US Billboard Top 20.

She sold well in Japan, which may well explain “Cherry Pop,” a J-pop pastiche she recorded in 2014:

And her most recent single, “9 Lives,” got little chart action but lots of airplay. The chap who looks like a Bulgarian reggae jammer is Jahmmi, a Bulgarian reggae jammer.

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She’s half the band

The synthpop group Goldfrapp consists of two individuals: Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp. Both of them write, and both of them synthesize, if that’s the word, but generally only Alison sings. And they’ve been at it since 1999.

Alison Goldfrapp about the time of Super Nature

Alison Goldfrapp in some magazine spread

Alison Goldfrapp in multiple colors

This came up largely because I’d stumbled across a few tracks by the band, including “Beautiful,” which showed up on Sex and the City, Vol. 2: More Music alongside tracks by Ingrid Michaelson and Amy Winehouse. The melodies tend to be catchy, the vocals wide-ranging. (Alison is rumored to have a five-octave range, which might be something of a stretch.) My favorite of the bunch has been the Eighties-drenched “Rocket,” from the 2010 album Head First:

But lest you think they’re just pure pop for now people, here’s a 2001 live version of “Utopia,” from the Felt Mountain album, in front of Conan O’Brien.

At the very end, I got the feeling that Conan figured out what the song was about, and made up his mind not to mention it.

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By her gams shalt thou know her

I was Farking along one evening when I caught this ad for Katy Perry’s new shoe line:

Online ad for Katy Perry Collections

The logo was swell, I thought, but what’s with the disembodied legs? I mean, yeah, hers are fine, but it’s not like they’re much of a trademark. And the last time there were any serious candids of Katy, she found herself upstaged by Orlando Bloom’s tallywhacker. (They are no longer a couple.)

Still, this is apparently what she wants. Dial up KatyPerryCollections.com and this is the second sliding image:

Online splash for Katy Perry Collections

And from the About page:

Katy Perry’s vision, eye for detail and cheeky spirit give her footwear collection a distinct personality.

Inspired by Katy’s travels, humor and extraordinary imagination, the footwear reflect her whimsical approach towards life.

Designed 100% by Katy Perry

Okay, I’ll take “whimsical.”

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Aquiline noses of blue

We got to hear from some of those beaks this past week:

Megastar actress Priyanka Chopra has been bombarded with accusations of immodesty after sharing a picture of herself meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week. In a post made to Instagram, the former Miss World competition winner and star of ABC’s Quantico could be seen sitting with Modi after the two took advantage of an opportunity to meet while in Berlin, where their paths crossed. Chopra was there promoting Baywatch, in which she stars.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, conservative users on social media took exception to the photo. Some complained that the 34-year-old’s dress showed too much of her legs, and accused her of forgetting her Indian heritage. Other users even complained about Chopra crossing her legs for the photo, claiming that in so doing she had shown the prime minister a lack of respect.

Whatever she showed Mr Modi, he didn’t look like he was complaining about it:

Priyanka Chopra with Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Just to give you a verbal picture of the Prime Minister:

Modi has also been called a fashion-icon for his signature crisply ironed, half-sleeved kurta, as well as for a suit with his name embroidered repeatedly in the pinstripes that he wore during a state visit by US President Barack Obama, which drew public and media attention and criticism. Modi’s personality has been variously described by scholars and biographers as energetic, arrogant, and charismatic.

He’s sixty-six years old and evidently not losing his vision.

And Priyanka isn’t the sort to hide herself in fabric:

Priyanka Chopra in Hello for November 2016

Priyanka Chopra in not much of a swimsuit

Priyanka Chopra relaxes on the sofa

And her own reaction to the controversy? Subtle as a flying mallet.

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