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Wreckage of renowned U.S. World War II carrier discovered

Tuesday, March 6, 2018|9:07 a.m.

BANGKOK– A piece of treasured World War II U.S. naval history, the wreckage of the warship USS Lexington, which was sunk by the Japanese in a crucial sea fight, has been found by an exploration funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

The expedition team revealed that the wreckage of the Lexington, crippled by the opponent and then scuttled on May 8, 1942, in the Battle of the Coral Sea, was discovered Sunday on the seabed in waters 3,000 meters (about 2 miles) deep, more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) off Australia’s east coast.

“To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor,” Allen said on his web page. “As Americans, all of us owe a debt of appreciation to everyone who served and who continue to serve our nation for their courage, persistence and sacrifice.”

The fight assisted stop a Japanese advance that might have cut off Australia and New Guinea from Allied sea supply routes and maimed 2 Japanese providers, leading to a more conclusive U.S. success at sea a month later at the Fight of Midway.

The sea fight is also famous for being the very first in which the opposing ships did not come in sight of each other, performing their attacks with carrier-launched aircraft.

Allen’s teams have actually made a number of previous crucial shipwreck discoveries, including three other U.S. Navy vessels, an Italian destroyer, and the Japanese battleship Musashi.

The ship that found the Lexington, the Research Vessel Petral, has equipment capable of diving to 6,000 meters (about 3 and a half miles). It was released in early 2017 in the Philippine Sea before transferring to the Coral Sea off the Australian Coast.

The Lexington, which had actually been passionately dubbed “Woman Lex,” was severely harmed by bombs and torpedoes, but the order to abandon ship was provided just after a secondary explosion triggered an uncontrollable fire. Some 216 team members lost their lives, however 2,770 others were securely left prior to its sis ship, the destroyer USS Phelps, fired torpedoes to send it to the bottom of the ocean. Allen said on his Twitter account that the ship went down with 35 aircrafts, 11 which had been discovered so far by his exploration.

Allen has stated he undertakes such ventures in part to honor his dad, who served in World War II, by finding and protecting the artifacts of that dispute.

News of the discovery stimulated another father-son relationship, as the present commander of the United States Pacific Fleet provided his congratulations on Twitter.

“As the kid of a survivor of the USS Lexington, I use my congratulations to @PaulGAllen and the exploration crew of Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel for locating the ‘Girl Lex,’ sunk nearly 76 years earlier at the Fight of the Coral Sea,” Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. stated. “We honor the valor and sacrifice of the Lady Lex’s Sailors– all those Americans who combated in #WorldWarII– by continuing to protect the flexibilities they won for everyone.”

Harris linked the history to current U.S. interests in the Pacific, where China in the last few years has actually begun to challenge traditional American naval hegemony, strongly staking maritime territorial claims in waters also declared by other countries, consisting of Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. U.S. Navy aircraft carriers are strong signs of America’s force projection, and one today is making a friendly check out to Vietnam, the first given that the Vietnam War ended more than four decades ago with a Communist triumph.

“Together with our allies, buddies and partners, bound together by shared worths, the United States is committed to preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific, which has brought security and financial prosperity to all who live in this important region,” said Harris, currently visiting Australia.

Chicago goes into its renowned 1970 album for Venetian programs


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=” Image”/ > Courtesy Image Chicago takes the stage at the Venetian Theatre for a series shows this month.

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018|2 a.m.

Chicago is back in Las Vegas for an extended run of concerts and couldn’t be happier about it. Songwriter, keyboard gamer and singer Robert Lamm told me the band has been so ecstatic about its mini-residency at the Venetian, which kicked off Wednesday, that the group members gatheringed to plan an unique and comprehensive setlist.

” Last year, our second album– the one with “Make Me Smile” and “Colour My World” and “25 or 6 to 4″– was completely remixed and remastered by Warner [Music Group] by the distinguished Steve Wilson and we had no idea this was being done,” Lamm states. “As an outcome, the album was in the running for the Grammy album hall of popularity. So we chose to take a look at that double album, about 75 minutes of music, and we practiced it thoroughly last fall and began to play it in its totality as an experiment.”

The eponymous album from 1970, in some cases described as “Chicago II,” will be the first half of a long program at the Vegas gigs, and Lamm says the fans have been eating it up until now. “Most of these tunes, we have not bet 45 years or something like that, so uncovering them for ourselves is actually a journey, and having the audience react in such a positive way is another trip.”

Among 4 founding members of the famous pop-rock clothing still with the band, Lamm wrote the hard-charging “25 or 6 to 4,” as well as a number of Chicago’s greatest hits like “Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?” and “Saturday in the Park.” He was acknowledged for his efforts in 2015 when he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Popularity, a quite extraordinary mix with Chicago’s induction into the Rock & & Roll Hall of Popularity in 2016.

” They were two really different phenomenons for me,” Lamm states. “I enjoyed that the band finally made it and that was a lot of fun with our contemporaries with us and in the audience. But I consider myself mainly a songwriter and secondarily a performer, so that [Songwriters Hall of Popularity] was really an honor. If you take a look at that list, those are individuals that taught me a lot and I seem like I do not belong, but I’m very delighted to accept it since writing is something I have actually never stopped doing, reaching into the unknown to see exactly what else I could learn about music.”

Chicago will be exploring with REO Speedwagon this summer and is refining a brand-new lineup in Vegas: Walfredo Reyes Jr. has actually moved into the drummer’s chair with his bro Daniel picking up other percussion tasks; Brett Simons, formerly of the Zac Brown Band, is on bass; and Canadian singer Neil Donell takes vocal tasks. They join horn area Lee Loughnane, Walt Parazaider, Ray Herrmann and James Pankow; Keith Howland on guitar; and Lou Pardini and Lamm on keyboards. “It’s crazy how the lineup changes and the band improves,” Lamm says. “I hope the audience digs these people as much as we do, due to the fact that we’re pretty fussy.”

Chicago carries out at 8 p.m. Feb. 9, 10, 14, 16, 17, 21, 23 and 24 at the Venetian Theatre (3355 Las Vegas Blvd., 702-414-9000). One dollar from every ticket offered to these shows will benefit the Las Vegas Victims Fund. Find more info at venetian.com.

Hugh Hefner, renowned founder of Playboy, passes away at age 91


Kristian Dowling/ AP This Oct. 13, 2011 file image reveals American publication publisher, creator and Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises, Hugh Hefner at his house at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017|8:40 p.m.

LOS ANGELES– Playboy creator Hugh M. Hefner, the pipe-smoking hedonist who revved up the sexual transformation in the 1950s and built a multimedia empire of clubs, mansions, motion pictures and tv, signified by bow-tied women in bunny outfits, has died at age 91.

Hefner died of natural causes at his house surrounded by family on Wednesday night, Playboy stated in a statement.

As much as anyone, Hefner helped slip sex from the boundaries of plain brown wrappers and into mainstream discussion.

In 1953, a time when states might legally prohibit contraceptives, when the word “pregnant” was not permitted on “I Love Lucy,” Hefner published the very first problem of Playboy, featuring naked pictures of Marilyn Monroe (taken years earlier) and an editorial guarantee of “humor, sophistication and spice.” The Great Depression and The second world war were over and America was ready to get undressed.

Playboy quickly became prohibited fruit for teens and a bible for males with time and money, primed for the magazine’s recommended evenings of dimmed lights, difficult drinks, soft jazz, deep thoughts and deeper desires. Within a year, blood circulation neared 200,000. Within five years, it had topped 1 million.

By the 1970s, the magazine had more than 7 million readers and had inspired such raunchier replicas as Penthouse and Hustler. Competitors and the web lowered circulation to less than 3 million by the 21st century, and the variety of issues published yearly was cut from 12 to 11. In 2015, Playboy ceased publishing images of naked ladies, pointing out the expansion of nudity on the internet.

However Hefner and Playboy remained brand worldwide.

Asked by The New york city Times in 1992 of what he was proudest, Hefner reacted: “That I changed mindsets towards sex. That great individuals can live together now. That I decontaminated the notion of premarital sex. That gives me great satisfaction.”

Hefner ran Playboy from his sophisticated estates, initially in Chicago and after that in Los Angeles, and became the flamboyant sign of the way of life he upheld. For decades he was the pipe-smoking, silk-pajama-wearing center of a constant celebration with stars and Playboy designs. By his own account, Hefner made love with more than a thousand females, consisting of many imagined in his magazine. One of rock n’ roll’s most decadent trips, the Rolling Stones reveals of 1972, featured a stop at the Hefner estate.

Throughout the 1960s, Hefner left Chicago just a couple of times. In the early 1970s, he purchased the 2nd estate in Los Angeles, flying in between his homes on a private DC-9 called “The Big Bunny,” which boasted a giant Playboy bunny emblazoned on the tail.

Hefner was host of a television show, “Playboy After Dark,” and in 1960 opened a string of clubs all over the world where waitresses used exposing costumes with bunny ears and fluffy white bunny tails. In the 21st century, he was back on tv in a cable television truth program– “The Girls Next Door”– with three live-in sweethearts in the Los Angeles Playboy mansion. Network television briefly embraced Hefner’s empire in 2011 with the NBC drama “The Playboy Club,” which cannot draw viewers and was canceled after 3 episodes.

Censorship was inescapable, beginning in the 1950s, when Hefner effectively took legal action against to avoid the United States Postal Service from denying him second-class mailing status. Playboy has actually been prohibited in China, India, Saudi Arabia and Ireland, and 7-Eleven shops for several years did not sell the magazine. Stores that did offer Playboy made sure to equip it on a higher shelf.

Ladies were alerted from the very first concern: “If you’re someone’s sibling, wife, or mother-in-law,” the publication declared, “and selected us up by error, please pass us along to the man in your life and return to Ladies House Buddy.”

Playboy proved a scourge, and a temptation. Drew Barrymore, Farrah Fawcett and Linda Evans are amongst those who have positioned for the publication. Several bunnies became stars, too, including vocalist Deborah Harry and design Lauren Hutton, both of whom had fond memories of their time with Playboy. Other bunnies had traumatic experiences, with a number of alleging they had been raped by Hefner’s friend Costs Cosby, who faced lots of such accusations. Hefner released a declaration in late 2014 he “would never endure this behavior.” But 2 years later, previous bunny Chloe Goins took legal action against Cosby and Hefner for sexual battery, gender violence and other charges over a supposed 2008 rape.

One bunny ended up being a journalist: Feminist Gloria Steinem got hired in the early 1960s and turned her brief employment into an article for Program publication that described the clubs as pleasure havens for guys just. The bunnies, Steinem composed, had the tendency to be badly educated, overworked and underpaid. Steinem related to the magazine and clubs not as sexual, however “pornographic.”

“I think Hefner himself wishes to go down in history as a person of sophistication and glamour. However the last person I would wish to go down in history as is Hugh Hefner,” Steinem later on said.

“Ladies are the major beneficiaries of eliminating the hypocritical old ideas about sex,” Hefner reacted. “Now some people are acting as if the sexual transformation was a male plot to get laid. Among the unexpected spin-offs of the women’s movement is the association of the erotic impulse with wanting to hurt someone.”

Hefner added that he was a strong advocate of First Amendment, civil liberties and reproductive rights and that the magazine contained even more than centerfolds. Playboy serialized Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and later published fiction by John Updike, Doris Lessing and Vladimir Nabokov. Playboy also specialized in long and candid interviews, from Fidel Castro and Frank Sinatra to Marlon Brando and then-presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, who confided that he had “devoted infidelity” in his heart. John Lennon spoke to Playboy in 1980, not long prior to he was killed.

The line that individuals check out Playboy for the prose, not the photos, was just partially a joke.

Playboy’s clubs likewise affected the culture, offering early breaks to such entertainers as George Carlin, Rich Little, Mark Russell, Dick Gregory and Redd Foxx. The last of the clubs closed in 1988, when Hefner considered them “passe” and “too tame for the times.”

By then Hefner had constructed a $200 million company by broadening Playboy to include international editions of the publication, gambling establishments, a cable network and a film production business. In 2006, he returned into the club business with his Playboy Club at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. A brand-new business in London followed, along with fresh response from females’s groups, who opposed the opening with cries of “Eff off Hef!'”

Hefner preferred to state he was untroubled by criticism, but in 1985 he suffered a mild stroke that he blamed on the book “The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten 1960-1980,” by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich. Stratten was a Buddy eliminated by her husband, Paul Snider, who then eliminated himself. Bogdanovich, Stratton’s sweetheart at the time, wrote that Hefner assisted bring about her murder and was unable to deal with “what he and his publication do to women.”

After the stroke, Hefner handed control of his empire to his feminist child, Christie, although he owned 70 percent of Playboy stock and continued to pick monthly’s Buddy and cover shot. Christie Hefner continued as CEO up until 2009.

He also stopped utilizing recreational drugs and tried less to constantly be the life of the party. He tearfully noted in a 1992 New york city Times interview: “I have actually invested so much of my life trying to find love in all the incorrect locations.”

Not remarkably, Hefner’s marital relationship life was also a bit of a show. In 1949, he married Mildred Williams, with whom he had two kids. They divorced in 1958. In July 1989, Hefner wed Kimberley Conrad, the 1989 Playmate of the Year, who was then 27. The couple likewise had 2 kids.

On the eve of his marital relationship, Hefner was asked if he would have a bachelor party. “I’ve had a bachelor party for Thirty Years,” he said. “Why do I require one now?”

They separated in 1998 however she continued living next door to the Playboy estate with their 2 sons. The couple divorced in 2010 and he proposed in 2011 to 24-year-old Crystal Harris, a former Buddy. Harris called off the wedding days before the event, however altered her mind and they wed at the end of 2012.

“Maybe I must be single,” he said a couple of months later. “However I do understand that I require a continuous romantic relationship. Simply puts, I am basically a really romantic individual, and all I actually was trying to find, quite frankly, with the notion of marital relationship was continuity and something to let the girl know that I truly cared.”

He acknowledged, at age 85, that “I never ever really discovered my soulmate.”

Hefner was born in Chicago on April 9, 1926, to devout Methodist moms and dads who he stated never showed “love in a physical or emotional way.”

“At a very early age, I started questioning a lot of that religious absurdity about male’s spirit and body remaining in conflict, with God primarily with the spirit of man and the Devil residence in the flesh,” Hefner stated in a Playboy interview in 1974.

“Part of the reason that I am who I am is my Puritan roots run deep,” he informed the AP in 2011. “My folks are Puritan. My folks are prohibitionists. There was no drinking in my house. No conversation of sex. And I believe I saw the upsetting and hypocritical side of that from really early on. “

Hefner enjoyed movies throughout his life, calling them “my other household.” He evaluated timeless movies and brand-new releases at the mansion every week. Every year on his April 9 birthday, he ‘d run his favorite movie, “Casablanca,” and invite visitors to wear the fashions of the 1940s.

He was a playboy before Playboy, even throughout his first marriage, when he took pleasure in stag films, strip poker and group sex. His bunny obsession started with the figures that embellished a youth blanket. Years later, a real-life subspecies of rabbit on the threatened species list, in the Florida Keys, would be called for him: Sylvilagus palustris hefneri.

When Hefner was 9, he started releasing a neighborhood paper, which he cost a cent a copy. He spent much of his time writing and drawing cartoons, and in intermediate school started checking out Esquire, a publication of sex and substance Hefner desired Playboy to emulate.

He and Playboy co-founder Eldon Sellers introduced their magazine from Hefner’s kitchen in Chicago, although the first issue was undated since Hefner doubted there would be a 2nd. The magazine was supposed to be called Stag Celebration, until an outside magazine called Stag threatened legal action.

Hefner remembered that he initially transformed himself in high school in Chicago at 16, when he was rejected by a woman he had a crush on. He started referring to himself as Hef rather of Hugh, found out the jitterbug and started drawing a comic book, “a sort of autobiography that put myself spotlight in a life I developed for myself,” he stated in a 2006 interview with the AP.

Those comics progressed into a comprehensive scrapbook that Hefner would keep throughout his life. It spanned more than 2,500 volumes in 2011– a Guinness World Record for a personal scrapbook collection.

“It was probably just a method of developing a world of my own to show my good friends,” Hefner stated, seated amidst the archives of his life throughout a 2011 interview. “And in retrospection, in considering it, it’s not a great deal different than producing the publication.”

He did it once again in 1960, when he began hosting the TELEVISION show, bought an elegant car, began smoking a pipe and purchased the first Playboy mansion.

“Well, if we had not had the Wright bros, there would still be airplanes,” Hefner stated in 1974. “If there hadn’t been an Edison, there would still be electric lights. And if there had not been a Hefner, we ‘d still make love. However perhaps we would not be enjoying it as much. So the world would be a little poorer. Come to think about it, so would a few of my loved ones.”

Bellagio’s Curtis Briggs guides renowned Vegas experiences

Spend 10 minutes with Curtis Briggs and something ends up being apparent: He loves his job. As the supervisor of the water fountains at Bellagio, Briggs manages a crew of 29 guys whose task is to make sure the program goes off without a drawback, night after night.

Briggs has actually operated at the water fountains given that Bellagio’s 1998 opening– first working on the set up as a staff member of Wet Design, then acting as a maintenance engineer prior to ending up being manager. But it was his background in building and construction and putting concrete for O at Bellagio that paved the way.

“I attempted to pick something that was the hardest thing I could discover,” Briggs states. “My point of view was, if I can master the hardest thing, then the rest of life must come much easier.”

When he was lastly hired to deal with the water fountains, Briggs had some doubts, he states. However he powered through it. “I believed, ‘Am I going to have the ability to do this?’ I wasn’t sure. Nobody had actually done this before. It was a brand-new program, so everyone was going to have to learn at the very same pace, and I believed I can learn simply as quick as everyone else. So I did.”

Briggs worked as a maintenance engineer for more than a decade, diving and working on the massive water shooters embedded more than 10 feet under the lake’s surface– the ones that introduce dancing streams of water 460 feet into the air.

Now, the majority of Briggs’ task is on land, and in addition to overseeing the fountains, he and his team are tasked with building and assembling structures for the Bellagio’s conservatory.

“When it pertains to the hotel, I am extremely proud to work on the water fountains and the conservatory– two things that are complimentary to the general public,” Briggs says. “The other thing I really like is working as a group and attaining a goal like the conservatory and being able to see it when it’s ended up. The satisfaction that you receive from watching it, and the happiness it puts on individuals’s faces– for me, there’s nothing like that.”

The Art of Rap brings renowned hip-hop to the DLVEC

It’s nearly difficult to picture a generation of Americans that understands Ice-T only as Sgt. Fin Tutuola on Law & & Order: Unique Victims System, however that’s how the entire passage-of-time thing works. It ‘d be easier to accept if we might get all the TV addicts off the couch and into the crowd at the Downtown Las Vegas Occasions Center this weekend, to see among rap’s elder statesmen do his thing at the Art of Rap performance tour.

Ice-T launched the first version of this all-star trip last year as a sort of follow-up to his 2012 documentary Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, which wanders through hip-hop history and admires its endless creativity. The show has the very same effect, with efficiencies arranged from legends like KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah from the Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep and Onyx. The present lineup is heavy on East Coast rap stars, but Ice-T himself takes the phase to balance things out; he was born in New Jersey but matured in California and participated in Crenshaw High School before beginning his music career as a DJ (rapping came later).

Anyone in need of a severe education on beats and rhymes and a small slice of hip-hop’s effect should prepare to invest Saturday night Downtown. The Art of Rap at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, June 17.