Maria Menounos wears Giants bikini in Times Square after Patriots loss

Last seen at the Super Bowl Tebowing with the man himself, “Extra” correspondent Maria Menounos was back in New York on Monday, standing in the middle of Times Square donning a red and blue bikini.

The 33-year-old Massachusetts native stripped down to the bikini due to a lost Super Bowl wager on her New England Patriots. Menounos lost the bet to colleague A.J. Calloway, who picked his hometown New York Giants. Continue Reading…

Dickens’s 200th birthday celebrated around the world and on the web

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

A 24-hour global “readathon”, celebrations in two British cities and a special Google Doodle were among the highlights of the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’s birth on Tuesday.

For the readathon, organised by the British Council, 24 countries hosted consecutive readings of Dickens novels. Starting in Australia with an extract from Dombey and Son, it was due to hit the UK at 9pm, where the author David Nicholls was planning to read from Great Expectations at the British Film Institute.

In Portsmouth, where Dickens was born, a day that actor Simon Callow warned would be “a dangerously moving occasion” started with the laying of a wreath outside the author’s birthplace by Ian Dickens, his great great grandson, then continued with a service at St Mary’s church which included readings by Callow and Sheila Hancock from David Copperfield and Oliver Twist.

In London, festivities began at his old house in Doughty Street, now the Dickens Museum, where Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were treated to a private reading of his work by Gillian Anderson, who played Miss Havisham in a BBC adaptation of Great Expectations.

The house, where Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby were written, recently raised eyebrows by announcing that it would close for a £3.1m refurbishment from April, despite the potential boost in visitors that Dickens’s bicentenary and the Olympics would be expected to bring. Continue Reading…

Beyonce debuts her post-baby body at Jay-Z charity concert

Beyonce is back in her high heels — and back in fighting shape — nearly one month after giving birth to daughter Blue Ivy Carter.

Attending a charity concert put on by her husband, Jay-Z, Bey rolled up to Carnegie Hall flaunting serious curves in a coral dress on Monday. With her own mama Tina Knowles at her side, the star mingled with benefactors and fans alike.

Benefiting the United Way of New York City and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, Jay performed a full set list with the help of a 40-piece orchestra. He belted hits like “99 Problems” and the endearing track “Glory” — dedicated to little Blue. Continue Reading…

Prop. 8 decision cheers gay marriage supporters as Supreme Court awaits

In a landmark victory for gay rights advocates, a federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled California’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

A court-ordered stay on gay and lesbian marriages, however, remained in place while proponents of Proposition 8, the ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriages, prepare to appeal.

In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued withering criticism of an electorate the court said used its “initiative power to target a minority group and withdraw a right that it possessed,” violating the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.

“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for the majority, “and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”

The case has long been thought destined for the U.S. Supreme Court. It may still be, though the narrow grounds on which the appeals court ruled Tuesday – focusing on California law and ignoring the broader question about whether same-sex couples may ever be denied the right to marry – cast doubt on the prospect. Continue Reading…