Profile: David Gardner

Author and Journalist

David Gardner is an experienced journalist, writer and PR Consultant. He worked for the Sunday Telegraph as a reporter in London and the Daily Mail for ten years as a crime writer and a senior foreign correspondent. He filed dispatches from war-torn Beirut, covered the first Gulf War – he was the first British print journalist into Baghdad – and travelled around the world on assignments for the award-winning newspaper. He moved to New York to set up an international news agency before relocating to California as the Los Angeles Correspondent for the Mail. He is the US Editor for the London Evening Standard and writes a column for Football.com. He has written two books, a biography of the actor Tom Hanks, and ‘The Last of the Hitlers’, an account of how he discovered the descendants of the German dictator living under assumed names in the US. His latest book, 'LEGENDS: Murder, Lies and Cover-Ups,' will be published next summer.

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NoteStreams By David Gardner

Bet On It: An Inside Look At The Mysterious Affair At Styles

If you have yet to read The Mysterious Affair at Styles you might like to have a literary wager with yourself before you start.
NoteStream Book Club Director David Gardner shares a bit of background behind Agatha Christie's first published novel!

Category: Book Club

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Dickens: 2nd Thoughts & Great Expectations

Most of us wish we had the benefit of a do-over at some point in our lives. Perhaps something we regretted saying, or an act left undone. Second thoughts can be tantalizing, and even our greatest novelists were not immune from doubt.
In fact, the version most Dickens fans are familiar with in modern-day versions of Great Expectations isn’t the original.
Warning: This NoteStream includes spoilers!

Category: Book Club

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So....About This New Charge...

If you've downloaded the latest release of NoteStream, you probably noticed that we're setting up an annual membership for our Book Club. The why behind it has to do with something that we don't do.

Category: Book Club

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Quentin Chat’s Literary Burden

Recently, NoteStream introduced "Chat Rooms" inside the App. Each classic novel we present now offers a dedicated space for readers to connect with each other and talk about the everything they love about these books. Think of them as a sort of virtual Book Club get-together - on your schedule!
David Gardner, legendary journalist and Executive Head of all things bookish for NoteStream recently looked into the history of chat rooms and offers up some startling revelations!
But don't worry: we're keeping a close eye on the Chat rooms...and the cooking sherry from now on;-)

Category: Book Club

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Why Frankenstein is Still Relevant

When Victor Frankenstein sets about creating a living creature his intention is to benefit mankind, not to make a monster.
If only he can breath life into a project nobody believes possible, the possibilities, he reasons, are endless.
Frankenstein is obsessed with his creation. He gives little thought to controlling it.

Category: Frankenstein

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A New View on Jane Austen's Emma

It’s a question well worthy of the best pub quiz - what’s the connection between Jane Austen’s Emma and Game of Thrones?
What the mistress of subtlety and the master of mayhem share, is the fundamental style they used to write their masterpieces!

Category: Book Club

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Déjà vu: The Man Who Would Be King

For The Man Who Would Be King, the journey from scheming adventurer to worshipped ruler wasn’t so far.
He came with the wealth of an empire in his blood fueling an arrogance that he could deceive and subjugate an entire nation.
With him he brought the promise of power and riches beyond imagination, and a godlike hand to wave away the troubles of his swooning supporters.
It mattered not that he was winging it, making it up as he went along.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Here we introduce another Classic presented NoteStream style!

Category: Man Who Would Be King

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Last Word: Olivia de Havilland on Joan Fontaine

WITH any case of sibling rivalry, one party tends to like the last word and even at 100, Olivia de Havilland is no exception.
Her legendary Hollywood feud with Joan Fontaine lasted right until her younger sister’s death in 2013.
Now, three years later, de Havilland, celebrating her centennial at home in Paris, is ensuring that her side of the story is the final one.

Category: Biography

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Jamie Vardy's Having A Party

The incredible story of Leicester City’s miracle season under the charmingly effective Claudio Ranieri has been a joy to behold. Their Premier League triumph will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, in the history of team sports.
We need to recognize ourselves in sport, even if we know that in large part it’s an illusion.
It’s why we can watch a man most of us had never heard of this time last year and will him to score for a team we never cared about.

Category: Sports

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70s Crimewave

From flower power to mass murder: the seventies opened in an orgy of killings and mayhem that left ordinary Americans living in fear.

Category: History

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Watergate

The early 1970s were dominated by Richard Nixon’s doomed and increasingly desperate attempts to wriggle out of his own sinister skullduggery: Watergate.

Category: History

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Camilla Parker Bowles: Diana’s Death

This is the last in a series of three articles on the life of Camilla Parker Bowles. To begin with the first, please click here
It was a tragic twist of fate that would change the lives of Charles, Camilla and the entire royal family. Charles was spending some precious days with his sons at the royal summer getaway in Balmoral over the 1997 summer break. Then came the news that shocked the world.
Where could he turn for consolation?

Category: Biography

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Lucille Ball & Desi: The Divorce

The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz show filmed on March 2, 1960 wasn’t only the final appearance for that wackiest of TV families, the Ricardos, it also marked the end of the couple’s real-life marriage.

Category: Biography

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Remembering...

Many of you are already familiar with the wonderful articles and stories (and let's not forget our favorite guilty pleasure The iCandidate!) written by our very own Executive Book Club Director David Gardner. If you haven't had a chance yet, be sure to check them out - I'm quite confident you'll enjoy them!
This article is a bit different. Childhood memories stay with us throughout our lives, but rarely are they shared so powerfully.
Bravo David, and thank you.
Michelle Forsythe, NoteStream CEO

Category: Memorial Day

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Famous Gangsters: Carlo Gambino

Carlo Gambino was one of the most secretive and low-key of the major American mob bosses – but he was also among the most effective.

Category: Biography

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Classic Bond: George Lazenby

George Lazenby, the forgotten Bond, went from being a car salesman and male model to win the most coveted role in Hollywood with absolutely zero acting credits.

Category: Biography

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Famous Gangsters: Charles Lucky Luciano

Charles “Lucky” Luciano is known as the father of organized crime in the United States. With childhood friend Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel he went from running extortion rackets on the mean streets of New York to forming a National Crime Syndicate that spread the mob’s tentacles across the country.

Category: Biography

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Cults and Secret Societies: Opus Dei

To its members, it is quite literally “Work of God” – the Latin translation of the organization’s title – and a means of incorporating a deeper, practical faith into everyday life. But to its critics, Opus Dei is a dangerously manipulative, ultra-conservative secret society.

Category: History

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The Titanic: Bon Voyage

All morning on Wednesday, April 10, 1912 an endless stream of passengers and crew walked up the gangways of RMS Titanic and disappeared into the bowels of the biggest ocean-going liner the world had ever seen.
The hustle and bustle of the final preparations were interrupted every so often by an ear-splitting blast from the ship’s enormous stern whistles reminding all and sundry that it was departure day.

Category: History

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Robin Williams: Battle With Depression

Robin Williams may have spent most of his life making other people laugh – but he was often crying inside.

Category: Biography

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Bikini Babe: The World’s Most Wanted Terrorist

FOR years she plotted in plain sight in France, stripping down to a bikini for a candid beach photo, working in a grocery store and dining out with friends who had no clue about the murder in her heart.
On the morning of January 7, 2015, terrorists, armed with assault rifles and other weapons, forced their way into the officers of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and fired up to 50 shots, killing a total of 12 people, including a police officer gunned down as they tried to make their escape.

Category: Social Awareness

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Doris Day Marriage Disasters: Al Jorden

JUST like the sunny characters she played on screen, Doris Day was an incurable romantic.
At the impressionable age of 17 and just embarking on her singing career, the young songbird ignored her bandmates and her mother who warned her not to marry surly trombonist Al Jorden.
Even as a teenager, Doris dreamed of becoming the wholesome housewife she went on to personify in so many movies.
But her 1941 marriage would become more like a dark, violent horror film than a romantic comedy.

Category: Biography

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Camilla Parker Bowles: Deceiving Diana

This is the second article in a series of three on the life of Camilla Parker Bowles. To begin with the first, please click here
They looked like best friends sharing a joke as they huddled against the wind at Ludlow racecourse close to England’s border with Wales.
For Lady Diana Spencer, it was an opportunity to spend some quality time with the royal insider who had championed her match with Prince Charles.
But Camilla Parker-Bowles had a very different agenda – she was lulling the naïve, young future princess into a false sense of security.
As history has borne out, Camilla and Charles never really had any intention of allowing Diana to live happily ever after with her dream prince.

Category: Biography

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Doris Day – My Heart – Terry Melcher

There was only ever one man in her life that Doris Day could really trust. Sadly, Doris’s only child, Terry, also broke her heart when he died from cancer at the age of 62 on November 19, 2004. Doris was so young when she had Terry at just 18 that she would often say they were more like siblings than mother and son.

Category: Biography

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Q & A With The iCandidates!

It’s nearly time for our first iVote in The iCandidate and the timing couldn’t be more perfect - Super Tuesday!
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, this is America’s opportunity to vote for a true independent.
If you have been reading The iCandidate serialized exclusively in the NoteStream Book Club you will already be getting a feel for which contestants you favor, but it’s still early days and their first challenge is coming up.
It’s tough to think that one of the iCandidates will go out of the contest as a result of this ground-breaking interactive iVote.
So we asked each of our eight finalists a set of revealing questions to help you, the iVoter, decide who should go through to the next round.
Check out the answers and then head over to the latest installment of The iCandidate. When you get to the iVote button please be sure to make your voice heard.
The direction the story takes will depend on it.

Category: iCandidate

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The iCandidate and Super Tuesday

Could a Vote for a Fictional President in a Novel About a Political Reality Show Really Shake Up Washington?
Members of the NoteStream Book Club will have the opportunity to take part in a vote on Super Tuesday - March 1 - that could have lasting repercussions for the White House.
If you are a registered Republican or Democrat in the 11 states (12 for the GOP) involved in the nomination contests that day, the vote will, of course, help determine the two people who will go head to head for the presidency on November 8.
But that’s not the vote I’m talking about. That vote has already become something of a farce.

Category: Book Club

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Bugsy Siegel 1906-1947

Bugsy Siegel wasn’t the kind of shy gangster who pulled strings from a smoky back room. Handsome and charismatic, he was one of the first of the front-page mobsters.

Category: Biography

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The NoteStream Book Club - Welcome!

ONE winter holiday week too long ago I cut out a newspaper article titled ‘100 Novels You Must Read Before You Die.’
Young and hungry to learn, I quickly realized my formal education had only touched on this long list of books. I was in my early 20s at the time and I set about ticking off these great works with a single-minded determination I’d previously only shown trying to get dates for the Saturday night discos.
I raced through the usual suspects - Catch 22, Cider With Rosie, All Quiet on the Western Front, Lolita, The Grapes of Wrath (3 times - I love this book!), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 1984, Brave New World, etc., etc.
But I have a confession about a shameful secret I have kept even from my nearest and dearest all these years - I skipped a few along the way. And I have continued to shun them all these years…until now.
Rather than simply confess my lie I’ve decided to make it moot. I’m going to read the darned books and I believe we have come up with a method that may help others of you out there hiding a similar guilt over your failure to read essential classics even as you try and give an outward impression of being well read.
The idea is that for the next year, we will read one chapter a week of Great Expectations, or Pride and Prejudice, or...
Together.

Category: Book Club

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Cults and Secret Societies: Knights Templar

The Knights Templars supposedly came to a sudden and violent end on a bleak March day in 1314 when the ancient order’s Grand Master Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake in the shadow of Notre Dame Cathedral.
King Philip the Fair of France had orchestrated the annihilation of the once powerful organization to seize its considerable wealth and pressured the then Pope Clement V to outlaw the Christian soldiers.

Category: History

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The Highway Serial Killer

More than 300 unsolved murders are linked to an FBI file that is never closed at the agency’s profiler base in Quantico – the Highway Serial Killer case.

Category: Biography

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I think it’s important for me to warn you about Pride & Prejudice and Zombies. I am a huge Jane Austen fan and have been reading the serializations with great anticipation so it seemed only natural that I should go to my local theater and check out this new movie, even if I wasn’t really that thrilled at the prospect of Hollywood messing with my favorite book.
Special guest author!

Category: Book Club

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Lucille Ball: Marriage To Gary Morton

Lucille’s second husband was perfect for the exhausted star for one reason above all other – he was the anti-Desi!

Category: Biography

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The Steep Cost of Youth Soccer

There is a giant elephant on the pitch of youth soccer that most parents are all too aware of but may not want to complain about – the amount of money it costs to develop a young player.
The pay-to-play club soccer system in the United States is not cheap; it costs thousands of dollars a year in fees, tuition, uniforms, travel and other expenses. Then, because of the way soccer is skewed in this country, the top players are expected to go to college where the demand for talent is not necessarily matched by the amounts of the scholarships.

Category: Sports

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Classic Bond: Roger Moore

For an actor who has starred in seven James Bond blockbusters, Roger Moore is famously dismissive about his acting chops.
“I have three expressions,” he likes to say. “Left eyebrow up, left eyebrow down, eyebrows not moving.”

Category: Biography

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The Birth Of The Titanic

It took just a minute for the giant hull to slide gracefully down the slipways and into the River Lagan in Belfast on May 31, 1911.
At the time, the Royal Mail Steamer Titanic was the largest manmade moveable object in the world.
The floating behemoth was also the trump hand in an intense rivalry among rival shipping lines in the early years of the 20th century.

Category: History

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Welcome New Member - Our First Giveaway!

IT occurred to me as I sat down to write this introduction to our inaugural Book Club members that the title represented something of a conundrum.
Even my position as Book Club Director could be construed as inaccurate.
After all, we’re not reading any books, are we? The premise of NoteStream has little to do with dusty bookshelves or the evocative smell when you open a crinkled, wonderfully sepia-stained Famous 5 paperback for the first time since you were seven and double over with nostalgia for lashings of ginger beer.
It’s about crystal clear type illuminated in a slab of cold, hard steel.

Category: Book Club

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Famous Gangsters: Albert Anastasia 1902-1957

Albert Anastasia was nicknamed “The Executioner” for good reason – he was one of the most feared and merciless Cosa Nostra assassins in criminal history.

Category: Biography

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Investigation: Serial Killers

Sometimes they ARE the next-door-neighbor.

Category: History

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Introduction to Jane Austen

With the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death coming next year, you can be sure that her name will once again be getting the recognition she never found in life and her many, many fans will continue to find solace in her stories from a gentler time.

Category: Biography

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Frank Sinatra and The Mob

It is the most shocking scene in The Godfather – a horse’s head still dripping with blood is discovered in the bed of a Hollywood studio boss who dared to say no to the Mob. In the movie based on Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel, the macabre threat is enough to win fading lounge singer Johnny Fontaine the big screen part that will put him back on top.

Category: Biography

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Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow

DEAN Martin once quipped he had a bottle of Scotch older than Mia Farrow.
When the elfin actress met Sinatra in 1964 he was nearly 50--she was 19, five years younger than Frank’s daughter Nancy. Frank and Mia insisted the 30-year age difference wouldn’t make any difference.
But, of course, it did.

Category: Biography

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Last Love: Sinatra And Barbara

BARBARA Marx had her hair in curlers just one hour before her 1976 wedding to Frank Sinatra when she got an urgent 11th hour delivery – a pre-nuptial agreement from the bridegroom.
After three failed marriages, the 60-year-old crooner wasn’t taking any chances.
This time, he was going in with those old blue eyes wide open.
“I really don't think I want to sign this right now,” Barbara said, pushing the document away.
“Unless you do, there'll be no wedding,” Sinatra’s attorney told her.

Category: Biography

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Sinatra’s First Wife: Nancy

IT was, as Sinatra’s oldest friends liked to say, a match made in Hoboken.
Nancy Rose Barbato was the nice girl from the neighborhood, hand-picked by his mother to keep her son in order.
With her big, noisy Italian family of five sisters and a brother, opera reverberating onto the porch of their large Jersey City, New Jersey house, Nancy was just 17 when she first saw Sinatra, then 19, walking home from the beach.
She would go on to bear him three children, scrub floors, sew her own clothes and scrimp and save while her husband pursued his dream to be a singer.

Category: Biography

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Charles Dickens Quiz! Book Club Bonus

Ebenezer Scrooge may have finally seen the light in the final few pages of A Christmas Carol but he’s hardly Charles Dickens’ most sympathetic creation.
That didn’t seem to matter to readers taking part in a Penguin Books poll to try and find the most popular Dickens character.
Will your favorite be listed?

Category: Book Club

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Robin Williams: Addiction

In the first flush of fame, laughter was enough of a drug to fuel Robin Williams’ manic need to be loved. But like most addictions, it wasn’t long before he needed something even stronger to keep his childhood insecurities at bay.

Category: Biography

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Serialization: Going Back...to Revolutionize Reading

On the surface of it, a podcast about a convicted killer few people had ever heard of who claimed he was unfairly imprisoned for his girlfriend’s murder seemed unlikely to grab anybody’s attention, let alone a young audience with a million and one ways to use a smartphone.
But the clue lies in its title.
Serial is exactly that - a well-told story broken up into installments, each of them invariably ending in a cliffhanger.

Category: Book Club

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Back To Beginnings

“In a very modern way, NoteStream is taking Dickens back to how it was originally written - this is the way my great great grandfather wanted his books to be read.”
The NoteStream Book Club is launching with the greatest holiday classic of all time, ‘A Christmas Carol.’
And we are proud to have the enthusiastic backing of the Victorian novelist’s great great grandson Gerald Dickens.

Category: Book Club

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Meet Gerald Dickens

WHEN Gerald Dickens was at school it wasn’t so much pride he felt at being a great great grandson of the revered Victorian novelist - it was guilt.
“I hated Dickens at school,” he admits. “I had no interest in ‘Oliver Twist’ or any of it. I didn’t feel proud that my great great grandfather wrote the books they were trying to get us to read - I felt guilt because my classmates had to read it. I had no interest in Dickens whatsoever.”
Thankfully, things have changed.

Category: Book Club

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Cults and Secret Societies: Children of God

David Brandt Berg, frequently known by the pseudonym Moses David, was the founder and leader of the new religious movement formerly called Children of God, now called "The Family International"

Category: Biography

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Camilla Parker Bowles: Country Girl

This is the first in a series of three articles on the life of Camilla Parker Bowles. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, born July 17, 1947 is the second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, who is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II.
This is the first in a series of three articles on the life of Camilla Parker Bowles. You'll be automatically linked to the next NoteStream at the end.

Category: Biography

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Famous Gangsters: Al Capone 1899-1947

Al “Scarface” Capone will forever be linked to one of America’s most notorious crimes, ‘The Valentine’s Day Massacre.’ In fact, the legendary gangster was in Florida on February 14, 1929, when seven members of the rival “Bugs” Moran mob were machine gunned by Capone’s henchmen posing as police officers.

Category: Biography

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Classic Bond: Sean Connery

With his virile good looks and an easy charm belying his hardscrabble beginnings, Connery was an overnight Hollywood sensation in ‘Dr. No,’ his first movie as Secret Agent 007.
But few knew that Connery’s first Bond film was very nearly his last.

Category: Biography

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Biker Gangs

By the time the May 2002 melee was over, three bikers were dead and at least 70 members of two outlaw biker gangs had either been shot, stabbed or beaten during the orgy of violence at the annual River Run motorcycle rally in Laughlin, a Nevada casino resort about 90 miles south of Las Vegas.

Category: Social Awareness

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Major League Soccer Must Get Real

Major League Soccer and its players union agreed a deal to allow the league’s 20th season to start as scheduled this season. But I worry that a crucial chance has been squandered to finally set MLS on a path that could actually make a difference to the way soccer is perceived as a second class sport in the U.S.

Category: Sports

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Lucille & Desi – Marriage Made In Hollywood

WHEN Lucille Ball first met Desi Arnaz she had a bogus black eye and was wearing a slinky gold lame dress slit halfway up the thigh.
Although she was in costume as a stripper for the 1940 movie Dance Girl, Dance, Desi thought she “looked like a two dollar whore who had been badly beaten by her pimp.”
In turn, she barely noticed him when she stopped by his table in the studio commissary to say hello to director, George Abbott, and couldn’t remember the swarthy Cuban’s funny Spanish sounding name.
But that was all about to change.

Category: Biography

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When The Voice Met The Shape

THE first meeting between ‘The Voice” and “The Shape” would set the scene for one of the stormiest, most passionate romances in Hollywood history.
Frank Sinatra described Ava Gardner as having “the easy grace of a tigress.”
And although she would become the second Mrs. Sinatra, the famously controlling singer never did get to tame her.

Category: Biography

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Dick On Liz: The Burton Diaries

SITTING reading in bed one night at the height of what was arguably the 20th Century’s greatest love affair, Richard Burton looked up from his book to ask his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, “What are you doing, Lumpy?”
According to his private diary, the actress called back from a neighboring room in a little girl’s voice, “Playing with my jewels.”
Millions of words have been written about Liz’s tempestuous relationship with the mercurial Welsh actor. But only in Burton’s own journal do you find the distorted sense of everyday domestic bliss/chaos such as episodes like this in April 1969 far from the prying cameras and hangers-on.

Category: Biography

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