Six Planets In The Sky

from SPACE.com 

Six Planets Now Aligned in the Dawn Sky

If you get up any morning for the next few weeks, you’ll be treated to the sight of all the planets except Saturn arrayed along the ecliptic, the path of the sun through the sky.

For the last two months, almost all the planets have been hiding behind the sun, but this week they all emerge and are arrayed in a grand line above the rising sun. Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are visible, and you can add Uranus and Neptune to your count if you have binoculars or a small telescope.

This sky map of the six planets shows how they should appear at dawn to observers with clear weather and an unobstructed view.

Astrologers have always been fascinated by planetary alignments, and the doomsayers of 2012 have been prophesying a mystical alignment on Dec. 21, 2012.

[ click to continue reading at SPACE.com ]

Jesus Christ To Be Shopped For Film

from The Huffington Post

‘The Final Testament of the Holy Bible’: James Frey’s Book About Jesus Christ To Be Shopped For Film

Final Testament Of The Holy Bible

James Frey creates plenty of controversy on paper. A big screen version of his latest book could amplify his polarizing profile a million times over.The “Million Little Pieces” author, who admitted parts of his supposed memoir were fiction and received a public scolding from one-time supporter Oprah, recently released “The Final Testament of the Holy Bible,” an imagining of the second coming of Jesus Christ as a bisexual, former alcoholic named Ben who lives in the Bronx and impregnates a prostitute.

According to Deadline, he’s open to movie offers for the book, and the agency WME will begin the process of shopping it to different financiers and studios.

[ click to continue reading at The Huffington Post ]

James Frey President Obama Sits Down With Oprah

from NBC Bay Area

President Obama Sits Down with “Oprah”

By Eric Alt

OWN

President Barack Obama jokes with Oprah Winfrey just hours after releasing a long-form version of his Hawaiian birth certificate.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama taped their May 2nd appearance on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” just hours after the President attempted to silence the growing furor over his birth certificate with a national press conference.

Oprah booked the First Couple as part of her march towards the May 25th finale of her long-running daytime talk show. She also recently confirmed that author James Frey, who famously had the veracity of his supposed memoir “A Million Little Pieces” questioned by Oprah a few years back, would be returning to the show during the final weeks.

Naturally, the subject of the President’s recent birth certificate debacle came up during the taping.

[ click to continue reading at NBC Bay Area ]

EXHIBITION a Collector’s Q & A

from EXHIBITION a

JAMES FREY

 

James Frey during a studio visit with Wes Lang

James Frey is a best selling author whose previous novels include A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard and Bright Shiny Morning. Signed copies of his newest book, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible can be purchased on Exhibition A.

Who did the cover image for The Final Testament of the Holy Bibleand how did you arrive at that visual?

Gregory Crewdson shot the cover. We talked about what it should be, and I wanted a scalpel. If you read the book it becomes evident why. We looked at all sorts of scalpels and trays, and shot it in a studio in Chelsea. I was really honored to have him do it. He’s a great artist and one I admire greatly.

If Jesus came back around, as your book suggests, who would be best suited to paint his portrait.

Richard Phillips or John Currin. Maybe Jenny Saville. Maybe Nan Goldin.

[ click to continue reading at EXHIBITION a ]

IndieReader.com: The Next Coming of James Frey

from IndieReader.com

The Next Coming of James Frey

Whether or not you’re a fan (and we freely admit that we are!) the fact that bestselling, bad-boy author James Frey has self published his next book is very big news.

The novel, out today, is called “The Final Testament of The Holy Bible”.  Published in conjunction with the prestigious Gagosian Art Gallery (whose gorgeous, limited edition art books are also available via IndieReader), Frey’s book is commercially available in a limited run of 10,000 slip-cased leatherette copies, featuring cover art by photographer Gregory Crewdson. The rest will be sold exclusively online, to be downloaded on to digital readers. These will be the ONLY physical copies produced and available in the US.

AHE: Tell us Mr. Frey, why did you decide to self-publish?

JF: I didn’t want a huge number of copies of this book produced. I also wanted to control all of the editorial, publication and marketing decisions. Self-publishing is the only way to do this. And I’m excited about all of the changes in printing and technology that have made self-publishing easier. I wanted to try it, and see how it felt and see how it worked.

AHE: Did your deciding to self-publish have anything to do with any dissatisfaction with traditional publishing?

JF: Not really. I just love the idea of being free from the system. There are great things about traditional publishing, but I wanted to try to do this book on my own, to try to work within the new digital world. I think it’s a really exciting development for writers. The changes are going to provide us with a ton of new opportunities.

AHE: Can you tell us more about what the book is about?

JF: My idea of what it might be like if the Messiah was alive and living in New York City.

AHE: How long have you been working on it?

JF: I’ve been thinking about it for about fifteen years. It took two years to write.

[ click to continue reading interview at IndieReader.com ]

Yeah Right. The Cosmonauts might not have boffed, but sex in space was certainly had!

from Fox News

Secret Space Sex Experiment Rumors Denied By Russian Expert

Updated: Friday, 22 Apr 2011, 9:39 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 22 Apr 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

By AFP

MOSCOW – Russian cosmonauts never had sex in space during the 50 years of human exploration of the cosmos, and rumors about secret sexual experiments were myths, the Interfax news agency reported Friday.

 

“There is no official or unofficial evidence that there were instances of sexual intercourse or the carrying out of sexual experiments in space,” Valery Bogomolov, the deputy director of the Moscow-based Institute of Biomedical Problems, told Interfax. “At least, in the history of Russian or Soviet space exploration, this most certainly was not the case.”

Rumors have persisted for years of secret Russian and American programs to test the effects of weightlessness on sex, but these were always strongly denied by both sides.

[ click to read at Fox News ]

“Audiences who flocked to Mel Gibson’s film would consider Frey’s vision to be blasphemous”

from Deadline New York

Hollywood & Religion: More Controversy To Come If New Films Anger The Faithful

By MIKE FLEMING

Mike Fleming — Hollywood agency WME will soon shop the movie rights to The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, a James Frey book published this weekend that imagines what the Second Coming of Christ would be like in contemporary America and depicts Jesus Christ as bisexual and promiscuous. Frey wrote the controversial A Million Little Pieces, a memoir that turned out to be semi-fictional. Though his new book is getting strong reviews, there is no getting around the fact that audiences who flocked to Mel Gibson’s film would consider Frey’s vision to be blasphemous. The book launched with a lavishly illustrated limited edition print run of 10,000 books — selling for $50 each –published by Gagosian Gallery. It will then be published published widely through e-book for the Kindle, Nook, iPad, Kobo and Sony ereader. Frey tells me he’s “open” to his book being shopped for films. When I asked who would be the movie audience for it, Frey says, “When I write, I don’t think that way. I wrote a book about what I think it might be like if the long awaited Messiah were alive today, who that person would be, what he would believe in, how he would live, how society would recognize him and deal with him,” Frey told me. “I spent 15 years thinking about it, and about how to do it, and what story to tell. I believe that the Messiah would not eschew the use of alcohol, nor restrict his ability and willingness to love based on what they do for a living or their gender.”

[ click to read at DeadlineHollywood.com ]

‘He’s one of the most terrifying rhetoricians the world has seen’

from The Guardian UK

Amis on Hitchens: ‘He’s one of the most terrifying rhetoricians the world has seen’

Martin Amis hails the peerless intelligence and rhetorical ingenuity of his exceptional friend, Christopher Hitchens

Martin Amis / The Observer

amishitch

Christopher Hitchens, left, on holiday with Martin Amis in Cape Cod, 1985.

Spontaneous eloquence seems to me a miracle,” confessed Vladimir Nabokov in 1962. He took up the point more personally in his foreword to Strong Opinions (1973): “I have never delivered to my audience one scrap of information not prepared in typescript beforehand … My hemmings and hawings over the telephone cause long-distance callers to switch from their native English to pathetic French.

“At parties, if I attempt to entertain people with a good story, I have to go back to every other sentence for oral erasures and inserts … nobody should ask me to submit to an interview … It has been tried at least twice in the old days, and once a recording machine was present, and when the tape was rerun and I had finished laughing, I knew that never in my life would I repeat that sort of performance.”

We sympathise. And most literary types, probably, would hope for inclusion somewhere or other on Nabokov’s sliding scale: “I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child.”

Mr Hitchens isn’t like that.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

NZH: Into the literary “Frey”

from the New Zealand Herald

Into the literary Frey

By David Larsen

I still believe he’s a very talented writer and suspect we haven’t heard the last of James Frey.”

True words, as it turned out. “True words” being the kind Frey once claimed to write, which is why Kassie Evashevski, Frey’s literary agent, who made this comment in 2006, did so while announcing her decision to drop him as a client.

It had emerged that Frey’s bestselling memoir of drug addiction and recovery, A Million Little Pieces, was at least somewhat fictional. Oprah Winfrey had invited him and his publisher on to her show, then demanded they apologise for lying about the book’s veracity. The publisher subsequently offered a refund to anyone who had bought the book under the impression it was a true story.

So Frey went off into the wilderness and pondered on his transgressions and the terrible damage he had done to his reputation. He emerged years later, a quieter, gentler writer, and from that time forth wrote only quiet, gentle short stories, which attracted a small but discerning readership. He insisted his story collections be clearly labelled “fiction”.

[ click to continue reading at NZHerald.co.nz ]

New Book Says The Bible Was Forged

from Newsmax

Book Assailing Bible as ‘Forged’ Promotes Fakery

By Jerry Newcombe

A new book by a major New Testament scholar is sure to make mincemeat of many people’s faith. Needlessly. The scholar is the iconoclastic Bart Ehrman, who teaches religion at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Ehrman, whose book is titled “Forged: Why the Bible’s Authors Are Bible, New Testament, Bart EhrmanNot Who We Think They Are,” said on a radio broadcast that about 75 percent of the New Testament documents are supposedly forged. They’re frauds.

Sam Lamerson, a conservative New Testament scholar who teaches at Knox Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., heard Ehrman on a radio broadcast say words to this effect: “I want to be the scholar that uses the F-word about the Bible. I want people to know that these books were forged.” (By way of full disclosure, I’ll note that I earned a theology degree at Knox.)

“Forged” is a strong word. Several of the New Testament books claim no authorship at all. Church tradition has attributed them to various writers, but the biblical text itself does not claim authorship for these particular books. For instance, none of the four Gospels (of which tradition names the writers as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) actually has the names of the authors at the beginning of their documents.

But if a document is anonymous, how could it be a forgery?

[ click to continue reading at Newsmax.com ]

La Ultima Cena Non

from the Los Angeles Times

Last Supper was not Jesus’ last supper, researcher says

A British academic believes Jesus used a largely abandoned 3,000-year-old calendar that had Passover beginning Wednesday evening, and that the meal was indeed a Seder. So his actual last supper would probably have been jail fare.

Last Supper

Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” as depicted in a 1947 Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. (Los Angeles Times)

By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times

The Last Supper was probably the next-to-last supper of Jesus’ life, a British researcher has concluded after using ancient calendars and astrological data to rethink the chronology of what Christians know as Holy Week.

Colin Humphreys, a scientist who previously explored the Exodus of the Old Testament, believes his studies show that Holy Thursday — the day that Jesus gathered his disciples for the famous supper, according to tradition — was actually a Wednesday.

Humphreys’ book, “The Mystery of the Last Supper” (Cambridge University Press), was published Thursday, a day that many Christians observed as one of the holiest of the year. That’s a mistake, according to the researcher, a professor of materials science at Cambridge University who has made a sideline of biblical research.

“The Last Supper was on Wednesday, April 1, AD 33, with the crucifixion on Friday, April 3, AD 33,” Humphreys writes. He believes that his research not only definitively establishes the dates, which have eluded most scholars, but that it resolves an apparent conflict within the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last days.

[ click to read full article at LATimes.com ]

“Readers with no sectarian axe to grind, or sling to wield, can take another approach.”

from The Independent UK

New bibles for old: Writers are re-casting the Scriptures in secular, humanist and satirical ways

Boyd Tonkin explores their differing motivations

Challenging the church: Titian's David and Goliath
Challenging the church: Titian’s David and Goliath 

What a difference it made tofinish reading AC Grayling’s The Good Book in the city of Buenos Aires. Suddenly, all the current hubbub around the humanist philosopher’s “secular bible”, with its 600-page pastiche-cum-appropriation of the scriptures, faded into a distant background buzz. For inventing or revising systems of value and belief seems to have been a popular pastime in these parts.

On Palm Sunday, I climbed a stairway to heaven built by a man who devised its own creed and then, literally, set it in stone. In 1919, the Italian-born cotton baron, Luis Barolo, funded the construction of a palace (really, a speculator’s block of 400 offices) which mirrors from hellish basement to heavenly turret the structure of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Yet Barolo viewed the poet not as a Christian thinker so much as a pioneer freemason who had filled his epic with the sort of wacky numerology to keep Dan Brown in plots for years. In Buenos Aires, you will also find a museum devoted to the maverick author and artist Xul Soler. He not only liked to fashion composite languages – South American answers to Esperanto – but devised synthetic “universal religions” too. Soler once told a close friend that he had cooked up a dozen fresh faiths in a single afternoon. The friend’s name was (of course) Jorge-Luis Borges.

Has Grayling, with his huge compendium of godless virtue, committed a Barolo-scale folly: an act of self-sabotaging hubris that only goes to show the supremacy of the real, supernatural thing? Or has he, a valiant David armed only with a well-aimed moral sensibility, taken on the Goliaths of dogmatic monotheism and slain them on their home ground? Join one of the armed camps, secular or spiritual, if you prefer to carry on the fight.But readers with no sectarian axe to grind, or sling to wield, can take another approach.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

True Blasphemy

from The Daily Telegraph

Good Friday crucifixions in Philippines

DEVOTEES re-enacted Jesus’s crucifixion in gory scenes while millions of other less extreme faithful across the Catholic Philippines prayed with their families on Good Friday.


A handful of people are traditionally nailed to crosses while hundreds more have their backs whipped until they bleed in Asia’s major Catholic outpost, to remember the day when Christians believe Jesus Christ died 2,000 years ago.In the small farming town of Cutud, a couple of hours’ drive north of Manila, thousands of tourists gathered to watch what has over the years become the biggest and bloodiest Good Friday spectacle.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Telegraph ]

Back To The Couch

from the New York Post

Frey to brave Oprah again

Last Updated: 9:29 AM, April 21, 2011

James Frey is either brave or masochistic. He’s agreed to be one of Oprah Winfrey‘s final guests on her syndicated show, even though she famously filleted him for fabricating details of his best-selling memoir, “A Million Little Pieces,” in 2006. The controversial writer — who was so burned by Winfrey’s wrath that he had to flee to France — will face his former nemesis for a full hour next month to promote his novel, “The Final Testament of the Holy Bible,” out tomorrow. A source told us, “Oprah apologized to James a couple of years ago, and he appreciated it. So he agreed to go back on her show and talk about everything that’s happened over the last five years.” Frey is set to ignite another fire storm with his new book, in which the Second Coming of Christ takes place in the Bronx projects — but the messiah turns out to be a former alcoholic who impregnates a prostitute. It’s being published in a limited edition of 10,000 copies by Gagosian Gallery and as an e-book by Frey and WME. Reps for Winfrey didn’t get back to us.

James Frey

WIREIMAGE 

 [ click to read at the NYPost.com ]

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VICE: “JAMES FREY’S IMAGINING OF THE SECOND COMING IS FUCKING BONKERS”

from VICE Magazine

THE GOSPEL OF GLUT

JAMES FREY’S IMAGINING OF THE SECOND COMING IS FUCKING BONKERS

Published April, 2011

INTERVIEW BY ROCCO CASTORO
PORTRAIT BY TERRY RICHARDSON

I’m sitting in a conference room at the Vice Brooklyn office across from James Frey. We’re talking, and I’m still not sure exactly how or why this meeting happened, but I’m listening closely. The main topic of our discussion is his new novel, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, which is about the emergence of a radical new Messiah in modern-day New York City. For the first ten minutes or so, his constant chewing of Nicorette distracts me. I get over it quickly, but by my count he goes through at least five pieces in 45 minutes. I can’t figure out whether he is scared about something or the world’s biggest nicotine fiend, and after spending some more time with him I think he might be both.

Besides his new book, James and I also touch on a random assortment of topics: his plan to bypass the publishing industry (at least in America), whether he perpetuates the controversy that seems to follow his every move, why he is wearing an outlandish fur coat, his struggles with religion, his admiration for William T. Vollmann, the art world, and other miscellaneous crap.

click to continue reading at VICEland.com ]