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Ludacris’ rap of ‘Llama Llama Red Pajama’ is classic

It’s a bedtime story full of fun llama drama, thanks to hip-hop artist Ludacris.

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The singer took the Anna Dewdney’s classic “Llama Llama Red Pajama to a new level when he rapped the book’s text on Power 106’s “The Cruz Show,” the Huffington Post reported.

Ludacris, a father of four, provided a jaunty, bubbly, free-form version of the bedtime story. It’s part of a recurring segment on the “The Cruz Show,” a hip-hop program. The host gives a rapper a copy of the book to read over a beat. 

Other artists who have rapped the text include DesiignerJeezy and Migos.

Penelope Cruz gets Julia Roberts to lip-sync iconic song

Julia Roberts relived a scene from her iconic 1997 movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding” thanks to some prodding by actress Penelope Cruz, ETonline reported. 

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At Wednesday’s Lancome's Stars & Wonders gala in Monaco, California, one of the bands covered Dionne Warwick’s 1967 song “I Say a Little Prayer.” 

Cruz captured the moment on Instagram, then led a lip-sync singalong, which included Roberts, ETOnline reported.

The song was a part of a memorable scene in “My Best Friend's Wedding” as Rupert Everett's character convinces everyone in a restaurant — including Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Dermot Mulroney — to sing along with him.

Faye Dunaway speaks on Oscar's best picture fiasco

Actress Faye Dunaway says she thought co-presenter Warren Beatty was joking when he paused before showing her the envelope that should have contained the Oscar's best picture winner.

Dunaway tells Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News she thought Beatty was stalling for effect.

Dunaway read "La La Land" as best picture winner rather than "Moonlight" after PwC partner Brian Cullinan mistakenly handed them the back-up envelope for Actress in a Leading Role instead of the envelope for Best Picture.

She says she read the movie's title on the card but didn't notice Emma Stone's name.

Dunaway says she felt "completely stunned" and later felt guilty because she thought she could have done something to prevent the debacle.

Holt's interview with Dunaway will air Tuesday on the "Today" show.


This story has been corrected with the accurate spelling of Warren Beatty's first name.

Nintendo Switch emulator: It’s a scam, feds say

Don’t slip on this banana peel, federal officials say; there is no Nintendo Switch emulator on which you can run Switch games on your desktop.

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“It’s a scam,” said the Federal Trade Commission.

Online ads may come with Nintendo branding, but when you try to download an emulator, it can install nasty things such as phony computer problems and a pitch to get you to pay to fix them, officials said.

Also, don’t fill out a survey that you must complete to get a code to unlock the emulator. It’s fake, according to the FTC.

If you find a scam, report it to the FTC.

“Play Nintendo Switch at your friend’s house until you’re able to buy the real one yourself,” an FTC advisory said.

Fiona the hippo turns 3 months old

Fiona — the world’s favorite prematurely born hippopotamus — turned 3 months old Monday.

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The early days of cuddling the tiny, fragile hippo are long gone, Jenna Wingate, the Cincinnati Zoo’s Africa keeper, told our media partner WCPO.

Here are three updates about Fiona that Wingate shared with WCPO:

1. The ‘dung shower’: Apparently, male hippopotamuses mark territory by slinging feces around with their tails in what Wingate called a “dung shower.”

Fiona has taken an interest in the action exhibited by her father, Henry, whom zookeepers have introduced her to, along with her mother, Bibi.

“Fiona is now getting access to that, and she shows quite an interest in it for whatever reason,” Wingate said.

>> MORE: Premature hippo a happy hit for zoo after gorilla death

2. One sassy toddler: Fiona eats about 2 liters of formula five times a day. Zookeepers introduced grain to her diet this weekend and started training her to associate feeding time with a clicker that they can use when she weighs 600 pounds and is too dangerous to approach.

“She’s very sassy. She’s very feisty. If she doesn’t want to do something, you’re not going to make her,” Wingate said. “We kind of act like she’s a toddler, and if she doesn’t want to come, we’re, like, ‘Bye, Fiona!’ We’ll pretend we’re walking away and she’ll be, like, ‘Wait, I want to be with you guys!’ and then she’ll come with us. She has her very big, very own personality already.”

3. Too big to snuggle: “There’s a big difference just in her energy and she’s much stronger and healthier now, so there was a lot of worry and she would kind of lie there and wouldn’t do a whole lot,” Wingate said. “She’s too big and a little bit dangerous to actually cuddle and snuggle, but she does like to lie on our feet or use our leg as a pillow now.”

Box Office Top 20: 'Fast 8' races to No. 1 again

"The Fate of the Furious" topped the box office for the second week in a row with $38.4 million, bringing the total North American take for the film to $163.3 million. With international grosses, the film is expected to cross $1 billion this week.

Holdovers crushed a slew of underwhelming newcomers, including Disney Nature's "Born in China," which opened in sixth place with $4.8 million; the steamy thriller "Unforgettable" that debuted in seventh with $4.8 million; and the costly historical epic "The Promise," which launched in ninth place with only $4.1 million.

The top films looked much the same as the past few weeks, with "The Boss Baby" in second with $12.7 million and "Beauty and the Beast" in third with $9.7 million.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:

1. "The Fate Of The Furious," Universal, $38,408,415, 4,329 locations, $8,872 average, $163,304,635, 2 weeks.

2. "The Boss Baby," 20th Century Fox, $12,712,144, 3,697 locations, $3,439 average, $136,954,014, 4 weeks.

3. "Beauty and the Beast," Disney, $9,662,645, 3,315 locations, $2,915 average, $470,787,029, 6 weeks.

4. "Going in Style," Warner Bros., $4,910,895, 3,038 locations, $1,616 average, $31,671,738, 3 weeks.

5. "Smurfs: The Lost Village," Sony, $4,880,377, 2,737 locations, $1,783 average, $33,418,362, 3 weeks.

6. "Born In China," Disney, $4,790,367, 1,508 locations, $3,177 average, $4,790,367, 1 week.

7. "Unforgettable," Warner Bros., $4,785,431, 2,417 locations, $1,980 average, $4,785,431, 1 week.

8. "Gifted," Fox Searchlight, $4,558,508, 1,986 locations, $2,295 average, $10,773,300, 3 weeks.

9. "The Promise," Open Road, $4,095,718, 2,251 locations, $1,820 average, $4,095,718, 1 week.

10. "The Lost City of Z," Bleecker Street, $2,121,540, 614 locations, $3,455 average, $2,270,953, 2 weeks.

11. "Phoenix Forgotten," Entertainment Studios MP, $1,816,499, 1,633 locations, $1,112 average, $1,816,499, 1 week.

12. "Get Out," Universal, $1,668,555, 965 locations, $1,729 average, $170,306,700, 9 weeks.

13. "The Case For Christ," Pure Flix, $1,584,587, 1,247 locations, $1,271 average, $11,361,296, 3 weeks.

14. "Kong: Skull Island," Warner Bros., $1,491,445, 1,203 locations, $1,240 average, $163,915,391, 7 weeks.

15. "The Zookeeper's Wife," Focus Features, $1,398,325, 1,033 locations, $1,354 average, $13,162,475, 4 weeks.

16. "Power Rangers," Lionsgate, $1,365,550, 1,292 locations, $1,057 average, $83,052,602, 5 weeks.

17. "Free Fire," A24, $994,430, 1,070 locations, $929 average, $994,430, 1 week.

18. "Logan," 20th Century Fox, $972,143, 754 locations, $1,289 average, $223,400,405, 8 weeks.

19. "Ghost in the Shell," Paramount, $883,253, 913 locations, $967 average, $39,114,757, 4 weeks.

20. "Colossal," Neon Rated, $579,389, 224 locations, $2,587 average, $1,352,493, 3 weeks.


Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

O'Reilly surprised by Fox exit, says truth will come out

Five days after being fired from his top-rated Fox News Channel perch, Bill O'Reilly used a podcast to express his dismay and vowed that "the truth will come out."

"I am sad that I'm not on television anymore," he said in an episode Monday of his personal website's "No Spin News" podcast, available only to subscribers after this week's free window. "I was very surprised how it all turned out."

O'Reilly, who exited Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations that he has denied, said he couldn't add much more "because there's much stuff going on right now."

"But I can tell you that I'm very confident the truth will come out and when it does, I don't know if you're going to be surprised, but I think you're going to be shaken, as I am," said O'Reilly, who was Fox's most popular and most lucrative personality.

He declined to expand on that point, he said, "because I just don't want to influence the flow of the information. I don't want the media to take what I say and misconstrue it."

But his listeners have a right to know exactly what happened, and "we are working in that direction," O'Reilly said.

O'Reilly's remarks were the first since his exit on Wednesday, which took place while he was away on his vacation. He had issued a statement after Fox announced his departure, defending himself against what he called "unfounded claims" and saying he took pride in his 20-plus years with the news channel.

O'Reilly's firing came after The New York Times reported in early April that five women had received settlements totaling $13 million after they alleged sexual harassment and other mistreatment and dozens of advertisers pulled out of his show. He was paid a reported $25 million upon his exit.

During his podcast, O'Reilly didn't address speculation that he might land elsewhere in broadcasting or cable, but he discussed briefly how he intended to build his online forum into a "genuine news program."

On Monday's roughly 20-minute podcast, he discussed topics including President Donald Trump's poll numbers. As the program is developed, guests and other elements would be added, he said.

Not long after O'Reilly signed off online, Tucker Carlson's show moved into the 8 p.m. EDT time slot that had been home to "The O'Reilly Factor."

Carlson tipped his hat to O'Reilly at the top of "Tucker Carlson Tonight" without discussing why he left.

"I watched Bill O'Reilly at this hour for years, and I always marveled at how well-prepared he was, how tough he was, and how crisply and directly he expressed his views," he said. "What O'Reilly did was not easy. He set a high bar, and I'm gonna do my best to meet it."

One of Carlson's guests, Caitlyn Jenner, teased him about being shifted to various Fox News time slots because of the departures of Megyn Kelly, who left for a new job at NBC, and O'Reilly.

"You've been running around .... Hopefully you're here for a while," Jenner said, smiling, and then discussed politics and gender identity issues with the host.

Earlier Monday, former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros filed a lawsuit against Fox News saying she believes network operatives used bogus social media accounts to torture her after she complained about sexual harassment by longtime former CEO Roger Ailes, who resigned last July. The network denied her claims.

Lawsuit claims ex-Fox News host was harassed online by Fox

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros said in a lawsuit Monday she believes network operatives used bogus social media accounts to torture her after she complained about sexual harassment.

She also said she believes someone hacked her computer and phone.

Tantaros' attorney, Judd Burstein, filed the suit in Manhattan federal court. The lawsuit doesn't offer hard evidence that Fox was behind harassing tweets.

It says an analysis revealed surveillance software on her computer, but not who put it there, and it hopes to use the court's power to reveal who was behind the harassment. The lawsuit claims Tantaros was viewed as a threat by Fox executives after she declined an offer of more than $1 million to remain silent.

The lawsuit says Tantaros suspected her emails and telephone conversations were being monitored after she revealed personal information in calls or emails that were then referenced by others in cruel social media posts.

A law firm, Dechert LLP, representing Fox, said in a statement that the network and its executives "flatly deny that they conducted any electronic surveillance" and have no knowledge of the harassing tweets.

"This lawsuit is a flimsy pretext to keep Ms. Tantaros and her sexual harassment claims in the public eye after the State Supreme Court directed her to bring them in arbitration," it added.

Last August, Tantaros sued the network, its ousted chairman, and other top executives, claiming they retaliated after she detailed unwanted sexual advances made by her onetime boss, Roger Ailes. Burstein argued that it should be argued in open court, but a Manhattan state judge ruled in February it should be resolved in a closed-door arbitration.

Tantaros worked as a host and political analyst for Fox News from 2011 to 2016.

Elton John cancels shows following release from hospital due to infection

Singer Elton John has cancelled all of his Las Vegas shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace through May after he was sent to the Intensive Care Unit following a rare infection, according to Rolling Stone.

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The Colosseum at Caesars Palace issued the following statement on its Facebook page Monday:

During a recent, successful tour of South America, Elton contracted a harmful and unusual bacterial infection. During his return flight home from Santiago, Chile, he became violently ill. Upon returning to the UK, Elton's doctors admitted him to hospital, where he underwent immediate treatment to remove the infection. After spending two nights in intensive care followed by an extended stay in the hospital, Elton was released from hospital on Saturday, April 22, and is now comfortably resting at home per doctor’s advice. 

Variety reported that fans who purchased tickets for

“The Million Dollar Piano” shows affected -- April 28-29, May 1, and May 4-5 -- will get a refund.

“I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologize for disappointing them,” John said in a statement. “I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well.”

The Colosseum statement said that the infection John suffered from is “rare and potentially deadly.”

John’s “The Million Dollar Piano” shows are scheduled to resume in October.

Bacterial infection forces Elton John to cancel May shows

Elton John has cancelled more than a month of upcoming shows after contracting an unusual bacterial infection during a South America tour that left him in intensive care for two nights.

John is scrapping all upcoming April and May dates of "The Million Dollar Piano" at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, as well as performance on May 6 in Bakersfield, California.

The "Rocket Man" and "Daniel" singer says in a statement that he became "violently ill" on a flight to the United Kingdom from Chile and "underwent immediate treatment" at a hospital, where he was released on Saturday.

The 70-year-old performer is expected to make a full recovery and hopes to return to a stage in Twickenham, England, on June 3.

Musician Gregg Allman not in hospice care, manager says

Former “Allman Brothers Band” musician and solo Southern rock singer Gregg Allman is not in hospice care, contrary to reports saying otherwise.

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Variety reported that Allman’s manager has been denying reports that emerged over the weekend, but the rumor continues to spread. Country singer Travis Tritt was among the celebrities tweeting well wishes too Allman.

By Monday afternoon, Allman released a statement on his official Facebook page, saying that he was resting at home. He made no mention of hospice care.

“I just wanted y’all to know that I’m currently home in Savannah resting on my doctor’s orders,” the message said. “I want to thank you for all the love that you are sending. Looking forward to seeing everyone again. Keep Rockin’.”

Rolling Stone reported that Allman cancelled June concerts and announced that he would not tour in 2017. In August 2016, he canceled nearly 30 shows due to “serious health issues.”

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ actor Jesse Williams, wife reportedly file for divorce

“Grey’s Anatomy” actor and social justice activist Jesse Williams and his wife, real estate broker Atryn Drake-Lee, are divorcing, according to TMZ. They were married for nearly five years.

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Williams and Drake-Lee were married in September 2012 after dating for over five years.

According to People, which says it confirmed the news, Williams, 35, met Drake-Lee while Williams was a New York schoolteacher.

In 2010, Williams told USA Today Drake-Lee  supported him throughout his career changes. 

“She’s stuck with me through thick and thick and thick and thin,” he said. “We know each other in and out.”

TMZ reported that the divorce is amicable and was filed last week, although it is not clear who filed.

The two are parents to a 3-year-old daughter named Sadie and a son named Maceo, who was born in 2015.

Neither Williams nor Drake-Lee have commented on the reports.

Jennifer Lopez’s twins appear on ‘Ellen;’ singer dishes on relationship with Alex Rodriguez

Jennifer Lopez and her twins, Max and Emme, 9, crashed the stage Monday during their mother’s appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” 

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As soon as they went onstage, Max hid behind his mother’s chair, while Emme embraced the spotlight and sat on Lopez’s lap to speak with DeGeneres.

“We see you back there,” DeGeneres said as a pouty Max reluctantly approached his mother and sat on her lap. “Are you angry? What’s that?”

“No, he’s the sweetest,” Lopez said before Max wandered off again and hid in a coffee table between them. DeGeneres opened the box for Max, and he immediately got in and let her close the lid.

“Yay!” Emme cheered as her brother was locked away.

“Maybe you need to get this at home,” DeGeneres joked. “Whenever you want to scare us, just go ahead and pop up.”

It wasn’t too long before Max decided to pop up and attempt to scare them all. DeGeneres played along and screamed.

DeGeneres continued her interview with Emme.

“Are you a musician also? Do you sing? Do you play anything?” she asked.

“I’m a gamer,” Max’s voice came from the box. He later accidentally kicked the back panel out of the faux coffee table.

“I think you did that. We are going to sue you,” DeGeneres joked. “Your mom has a lot of money. We are going to sue her.”

Before the children took the stage, DeGeneres probed into Lopez’s personal life and got the singer to dish about her new relationship with baseball player Alex Rodriguez.

“Now, where did you meet? And how did this happen? Tell us all about it,” DeGeneres asked.

“It’s very simple,” Lopez said. “I was having lunch somewhere and I saw him.” 

Lopez said she followed Rodriguez out of the restaurant and tapped him on the shoulder. 

“And then, that was it,” she said. “I mean, more stuff happened, but that’s how we met.”

According to Lopez, Rodriguez had just moved to the Los Angeles area and already had her phone number from “years ago.” She claimed that he had called her for another reason years ago and that he texted her, inviting her for dinner.

“I don’t remember what we had for dinner, but we had a nice dinner,” Lopez said.

“And a sleepover?” DeGeneres pressed.

“No, Mama don’t sleep over on the first date,” Lopez said.

Croatian police prevent nationalists from disrupting play

Croatian police have intervened to stop a group of extreme nationalists from disrupting a controversial play that contains scenes of nudity and rape.

Oliver Frljic's "Our violence and Your Violence" deals with Europe's refugee crisis and has been denounced by the Catholic church and previously also by Muslims.

Carrying a banner reading "Satan, leave our city," about a dozen right-wing supporters Monday chanted extremist slogans and sang nationalist songs inside the theater in the coastal town of Split before police pushed them out.

Local media say the play was further delayed by a bomb threat.

Earlier, a few hundred nationalists staged a protest outside the theater demanding that the performance be canceled.

The church in predominantly Catholic Croatia has said the play is insulting for Christian believers. Frljic's plays often stir controversy and spark protests.

Sex, lies and physics: 'Genius' drama is Einstein tell-all

The unparalleled brilliance and puckish wit? Check. The trademark wild mop of hair? Check. The marital infidelity and free-wheeling sex?

Yes, check again for Albert Einstein, who in National Geographic's miniseries "Genius" comes across as a full-blooded, hot-blooded figure who lived by his own rules, both scientific and domestic.

The 10-part series, starring Oscar-winning Geoffrey Rush ("Shine") as the mature physicist and Johnny Flynn ("Lovesick") as the budding one, also places Einstein firmly in a 20th-century world engulfed by political chaos and war.

"Genius" (debuting 9 p.m. EDT Tuesday) is both entertaining and intelligent, as befits a drama that's based on Walter Isaacson's acclaimed 2007 biography, "Einstein: His Life and Universe," and is the Nat Geo channel's first scripted series.

Also credit Ron Howard, who brought another complex scientist to the screen in "A Beautiful Mind," the 2001 Academy Award-winning film about troubled mathematician John Nash.

There are some "Mind"-type cinematic flourishes in "Genius," restrained special effects that provide a visual sense of Einstein's thinking and the universe as he sees it and helpful for the science-challenged.

But the series opens with Rush's Einstein and a young woman in the throes of passion (intercut, unnervingly, with an assassination that foretells of the upheaval ahead for him and the world).

It was a deliberate choice, said Howard, who directed episode one and is among the series' executive producers that include Brian Grazer, his longtime creative partner, and Gigi Pritzker. Noah Pink and Ken Biller are the screenwriters.

"Not only did it (the scene) appeal to us dramatically, but it also fulfilled the desire to announce to audiences right away that we weren't approaching it in an entirely straightforward, traditional and academic way," Howard said. "We were looking for the drama in the story and willing to deal with Einstein, warts and all."

"Genius" hopscotches through time as it follows Einstein flailing as an unconventional student; a young lover and imperfect husband and parent; a Jew clashing with the German scientific establishment; and as the conflicted father of the atomic age.

Rush said he was more familiar with aspects of Einstein's world-changing theory of relativity than with the man himself, a distant figure often reduced to a beaming, wild-haired figure with brains.

"We all know the look of Einstein — it should be an emoji," Rush said by phone from Australia. As he delved further into Einstein's life, Rush was struck by his many sides and the fame he achieved for work unknowable by many.

"He experienced a level of global celebrity equal to that of his contemporary, Charlie Chaplin," Rush said. But while Chaplin's Little Tramp film character had an everyman appeal, Einstein "managed that by coming up with theories that 99.9 percent of the world had no idea what he was talking about."

Not all were fans. Einstein was seen as a threat by, among others, fellow German scientists who derided his work as a sign of foreign influence and "devoid" of reality in the changing political order destined to be ruled by Adolf Hitler.

There are parallels with today's clashes over climate change and other science, Howard said.

"This sort of tactic of trying to galvanize support around a particular agenda by narrowing your focus, as opposed to broadening it, by doubting innovation and trying to rigidly hang on to accepted ideas. There's nothing new in that," he said.

Howard wants viewers to appreciate the courage it took the trailblazing Einstein to pursue his ideas against fierce opposition and, despite his own sometimes "less than noble" personal behavior, become a voice for shared humanity.

"There's a kind of courage required for Einstein to have given us everything he gave us, in addition to the transformative work in physics. The role that he ultimately took on as a philosopher and political force," Howard said, "that was not something he welcomed at all. It was thrust upon him."


This story has been corrected to show the spelling of the producer's name is Pritzker instead of Pritzer.


Lynn Elber can be reached at and on Twitter at

'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' author dead

Robert M. Pirsig, whose philosophical novel "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" became a million-selling classic and cultural touchstone after more than 100 publishers turned it down, died Monday at age 88.

Pirsig's publishing house, William Morrow, announced that he died at his home in South Berwick, Maine. He had been in failing health.

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was published in 1974 and was based on a motorcycle trip Pirsig took in the late 1960s with his 12-year-old son, Chris.

Like a cult favorite from the 1950s, Jack Kerouac's "On the Road," the book's path to the best-seller list was long and unlikely. It began as an essay he wrote after he and Chris rode from Minnesota to the Dakotas and grew to a manuscript of hundreds of thousands of words.

After the entire industry seemed to shun it, William Morrow took on the book, with editor James Landis writing at the time that he found it "brilliant beyond belief."

Pirsig's novel was in part an ode to the motorcycle and how he saw the world so viscerally traveling on one, compared to the TV-like passivity of looking out at the window of a car.

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" ideally suited a generation's yearning for the open road, quest for knowledge and skepticism of modern values, while also telling a personal story about a father and son relationship and the author's struggles with schizophrenia.

A world traveler and former philosophy student, Pirsig would blend his life and learning, and East and West, into what he called the Metaphysics of Quality.

"But some things are better than others, that is, they have more quality," he wrote. "But when you try to say what the quality is, apart from the things that have it, it all goes poof! There's nothing to talk about. But if you can't say what Quality is, how do you know what it is, or how do you know that it even exists? If no one knows what it is, then for all practical purposes it doesn't exist at all. But for all practical purposes it really does exist."

The book was praised as a unique and masterful blend of narrative and philosophy and was compared to "Moby Dick" by New Yorker critic George Steiner, who wrote that Pirsig's story "lodges in the mind as few recent novels have." Writing in The New York Times, Edward Abbey was unsure how to categorize the book.

"Is 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' a novel or an autobiography?" he wondered. "In this case the distinction seems of no importance; maybe it never was. Call the book, as Pirsig himself does, an inquiry. Therein lies its singular energy and force."

Pirsig's response to his unexpected success was to step away from it. He avoided interviews and took 17 years to complete "Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals," the sequel to his best-seller.

"It is not good to talk about Zen because Zen is nothingness," he told The Guardian in 2006. "If you talk about it you are always lying, and if you don't talk about it no one knows it is there."

A native of Minneapolis, Pirsig was a prodigy who at age 9 scored 170 on an IQ test and six years later graduated from high school. Army service in Korea at the end of World War II exposed him to Eastern thought and culture and profoundly influenced him.

He studied philosophy at the University of Minnesota, traveled to India and back in the states honed an enigmatic teaching style at Montana State College and at the University of Illinois, sometimes refusing to grade papers or asking students to grade each other.

At the same time, he suffered from anxiety so paralyzing that one day he was in a car with Chris and lost his way, needing his son to guide him home.

"I could not sleep and I could not stay awake," he told The Guardian. "I just sat there cross-legged in the room for three days."

Pirsig is survived by his wife, Wendy; son, Ted; daughter, Nell Peiken, and son-in-law, Matthew Peiken, along with three grandchildren.

Chris was killed by a mugger in 1979, and later editions of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" would include an afterword about him. The author told The Guardian his son had not cared for the book.

"He said, 'Dad, I had a good time on that trip. It was all false,'" Pirsig explained. "It threw him terribly. There is stuff I can't talk about still."

At Tribeca, Bourdain reluctantly plays the role of activist

Anthony Bourdain is not one for activism. Tattooed on his arm in Greek is "I am certain of nothing."

But at the Tribeca Film Festival, Bourdain has, a little reluctantly, presented a documentary, "Wasted! The Story of Food Waste," in which he argues passionately against the issue of food waste, from supermarkets to home cooking — even though advocacy of any kind makes him almost physically squeamish.

"Having traveled as much as I do, I constantly go into places thinking one thing only to be shown that I'm wrong and forced by circumstances and exposure to rethink whatever preconceptions I might have had," Bourdain said in a recent interview. "Activism seems to require a level of certainly and dedication that I'm uncomfortable with. I'm a renter, not a buyer, when it comes to ideologies. I'm a skeptic. I believe very much in skepticism. I don't ever want to look like a guy with an agenda."

It's not that Bourdain is apolitical. The countless meals shared on his years of TV, from "No Reservations" to the soon-returning "Parts Unknown," are chiefly feasts — both through the food on the plate and the discussions held over them — of larger cultural conversation. Of the traditions kept alive by immigrants. Of the glories of street food. Of the simple power of breaking bread with people from all walks of life.

But standing out front of an issue in today's ethically charged food world is a step further for Bourdain. So what was it that lured him into combating food waste? A lifetime in which the cooking principle "use everything, waste nothing" was instilled in him, and driven deeper by "one brutal kitchen regime after another."

"The intent of this film happens to align with something that I feel very strongly from the point of view of just a classically trained cook who came up in a system where the whole idea of waste was abhorrent," said Bourdain. "The whole story of food as a professional cook is to maximize your profit, to waste as little as possible, to merchandize what is not used in the principle entree. And of course traveling around the world I see again and again and again how circumstances force people to cook really, really well and make the most of the often very little food they have."

The film is directed by Anna Chai and Nari Kye and executive produced by Bourdain. It's a tragedy of trash, told colorfully by Chai and Kye.

Some stats: Roughly a third of the food produced for human consumption every year is never eaten. In the U.S., more than 90 percent of wasted food ends up in a landfill, at an annual cost of $1 trillion. The film showcases those using creative solutions to the problem, like a beer called Toast made out of leftover sandwich bread, or a budget grocery store of donated excess foods.

The film also preaches the flavor and thrift of dishes that use typically tossed parts of produce or animals.

"I love tripe, oxtails, cheeks," said Bourdain. "I love going to a restaurant in Japan where they serve nothing but collars and the meat around the fins. Those are the things that cooks are most passionate about. It's so funny when you see all of these things that only poor people used to eat now as the hipster dish of the moment."

Most glaring, though, is the waste of supermarkets where aisles are intended to showcase abundance, even though that means stocking shelves with the intent to not sell all of it.

"In order to have their aisles look a certain way and give an impression of abundance with only the freshest and best, they've deemed it necessary to waste tremendous amounts of food that in another situation would be vital to people," said Bourdain.

"Wasted!" is just the latest in Bourdain's growing presence in movies. Being a "film nerd," he says, is "a necessary qualification" for his "Parts Unknown" crew. He recently listed the 10 films that are constant reference points on his shows, from Wong Kar-Wai's "In the Mood for Love" to Peter Yates' "The Friends of Eddie Coyle." The upcoming season, he vows, will pay ode, "if not outright theft," to David Lean ("Lawrence of Arabia") when he travels to Oman.

Bourdain last week released "Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent," a documentary he produced on the storied chef. More films, even fiction ones, could be on the way. "One of the big joys of my life was being on the writing team for the David Simon show 'Treme,'" Bourdain said. "That was a really fun and exciting experience for me. So that does interest me."

In the meantime, Bourdain hopes "Wasted" gets people thinking "in a non-didactic perspective." Then, at least, he can stop playing activist.


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Chobani yogurt company sues right-wing radio host Alex Jones

Greek yogurt giant Chobani filed a lawsuit Monday against right-wing radio host Alex Jones, accusing the conspiracy theorist of publishing false information about the company.

Chobani says that Jones and his InfoWars website posted fabricated stories earlier this month that linked Chobani owner Hamdi Ulukaya and the company to a sexual assault case involving refugee children. The company filed the lawsuit in Idaho District Court in Twin Falls, where it operates the largest yogurt plant in the world.

"(Jones) is no stranger to spurious statements. He has claimed that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut," Chobani's attorneys wrote. "Mr. Jones has now taken aim at Chobani and the Twin Falls community."

The complaint says InfoWars released a video on April 11 describing Chobani's practice of hiring refugees and a sexual assault case that did not involve the yogurt company.

During the video, an Info Wars reporter republished statements that claimed the Chobani plant brought crime and tuberculosis since it opened the plant five years ago while also pointing out previous reports of its willingness to hire refugees in Twin Falls.

Twin Falls is one of the two cities in Idaho with a refugee resettlement center.

The video was promoted using the headline "Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Important Migrant Rapists," even though the lawsuit points out that InfoWars didn't mention or prove that statement in the report. The story was tweeted out by Jones and other outlets.

InfoWars didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The report was critical of Ulukaya's support of hiring refugees while reporters then reacted to a separate issue involving three Twin Falls refugee boys who admitted to charges involved in the assault of a 5-year-old girl at an apartment complex.

The 2016 assault sparked months of turmoil in Twin Falls after the story about the incident was spun by far-right blogs and anti-immigration groups into accounts that exaggerated and falsified many of the details.

"The defendants defamatory statements were designed to cause — and did in fact cause — customers to call for a boycott of Chobani's products," the lawsuit stated.

Chobani's attorneys say Jones has ignored requests to remove the inaccurate coverage. It's seeking at least $10,000 in damages.

Caitlyn Jenner talks of suicide, secrets in new book

Caitlyn Jenner opened up Monday about her frank new memoir detailing her now 2-year-old transition and the bumps along the way, including her three failed marriages, thoughts of suicide while she was relentlessly pursued by paparazzi and, finally, freedom to be her true self.

And, yes, contrary to the thoughts of many in the trans community, she uses her former name, Bruce, in the book, "The Secrets of My Life," out this week. And, yes, she describes her liberating, below-the-belt gender reassignment surgery — "The Final Surgery" as she calls it — on the very last page, insisting it's the last word for her about that.

And yes, she takes on, briefly, her conservative political views when it comes to President Donald Trump and issues like less government, but not so on issues important to the LGBTQ community as a whole, such as same-sex marriage. She voted for Trump nevertheless, though she feels let down by him and the party in Trump's first 100 days.

"Yeah, I've gotten criticized because I come from a more conservative Republican side, but my loyalties are not with the Republican Party. My loyalties are not with Donald Trump. I'm not a one-issue voter. I believe in limited government. I like lower taxes. I like a thriving economy. I like everybody working, but my loyalties are with my community and to make it better," Jenner said.

Why go to any of these places to begin with months after her formal coming out interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC, watched by 17.1 million viewers, then on the cover of Vanity Fair, and finally her now-canceled reality show on E! Entertainment, "I Am Cait," where she went on the road with fellow members of the trans community.

"I needed to pour my heart out on everything," the 67-year-old Jenner told The Associated Press of the book. "What I was trying to accomplish is, one, get it all out for myself, so there was no other secrets left, but two, it was the way I dealt with my stuff."

The book, co-written by Buzz Bissinger (he wrote the Vanity Fair story), has already brought on bitter, hurt tears from Jenner's third wife, Kris Jenner, whose closet Caitlyn once regularly raided as she stole moments to cross dress while struggling with her gender identity. They are moments, Caitlyn said, that Kris was well aware of before "I made love to her" after the two met in 1990.

"To be honest with you I haven't even talked to her about it," Jenner said of Kris' reaction to the book.

There were many dark times for the Olympic gold-medal winning decathlete as he went about hiding his gender struggles, including a false start in transitioning in the 1980s.

Jenner took hormones, then balked at that time, but her enlarged breasts did not disappear after the treatments stopped, requiring liposuction as she continued living as a man.

There was one moment in particular, years later, that took Jenner to the ultimate dark place, suicide. The celebrity news site TMZ distributed a photo of a disheveled Jenner emerging from a doctor's office after a procedure to have her trachea shaved so she could appear more like a woman. This was before Diane Sawyer and her formal coming out, and it felt like a painful, forced outing.

"It got to the point where I thought, you know what, I know the easy way out," Jenner said. "I got a gun in the house. ... But then the next day I thought, wouldn't that be the stupidest thing you've ever done, to silence your voice? You have the opportunity here to really make a difference, to live your life honestly."

Jenner has spent much of the last two years learning from the trans community from a vantage point of white, wealthy privilege that she fully acknowledges in the book, and trying to make amends with her huge family, including six children and four Kardashian stepchildren.

But two family members, Jenner's younger brother who died years ago in a car accident, and Jenner's late father, will never know her secrets.

"He was a good man. We were very close," she said of her dad. "He was very proud of Bruce and the things that I was accomplishing in my life, and especially the Games and everything. ... I think it would have been very difficult for him, just like it would be difficult for me."

Jenner dedicates the book, from Grand Central Publishing, to her father and brother. As for his dad likely not understanding, that's OK, she said.

"Somebody asked me the question the other day, what if Kendall came up to you and said that she was trans and wanted to transition into a guy, and I went, achhhh, my little angel, you know, my cute little girl. That's tough for a parent. I get that," Jenner said of daughter and model Kendall Jenner.

Life these days is good. Better than good, Jenner said, though she looks forward to the day where she isn't thinking about her gender every second of every day.

"I am extraordinarily comfortable with myself," she said. "But I haven't quite got there. ... My life is so simple now. I just get up, be myself, get ready, go out, do my thing. I'm very motivated so, yeah, it's all good."

Serena Williams celebrates No. 1 tennis player ranking with letter to unborn baby

Days after confirming her pregnancy, tennis great Serena Williams has been ranked as No. 1 on the Women's Tennis Association Tour, according to ESPN. Williams ranks No. 1 for the eighth time in her career.

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Williams is expecting her first child with fiance Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and initially announced she was 20 weeks along in a briefly Snapchat post Wednesday.

Her representative, Kelly Bush Novak,confirmed that Williams is expecting a baby in the fall and will be on maternity leave for the rest of the year.

Williams’ leave may affect her No. 1 ranking. Although she plans to return next year, ESPN reported that if Angelique Kerber wins her first two matches at a tournament, Williams’ ranking will fall.

Related: Serena Williams confirms pregnancy; tennis star might have competed while pregnant

Williams indicated she will, in fact, be back on the circuit in 2018 in an Instagram post celebrating her No. 1 rank and her pregnancy. The photo shows Williams in a black bikini as she cradles her bump.

“Dearest Baby, You gave me the strength I didn’t know I had,” Williams wrote in the post Monday. “You taught me the true meaning of serenity and peace. I can't wait to meet you. I can't wait for you to join the players box next year. But most importantly, I am so happy to share being number one in the world with you.... once again today.”

She made the post on her fiance’s birthday and signed the message, “from the world's oldest number one to the world's youngest number one. -Your Mommy.”

See the Instagram post below.

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