Norwegian comedian Daniel Simonsen takes to the British stage

Norwegian comedian Daniel Simonsen performed at the Camden Head pub in Islington last night as part of the “Free and funny in Angel” series of open mic comedy nights.

Norwegian comedy is a rather unexplored territory in the British comedian industry, but Simonsen has been performing regularly this past month during comedy nights held at the Camden Head every Thurdsay and Sunday.

Daniel Simonsen, who “really likes British crowds”, first gained recognition after winning the So you think you’re funny? Award in Edinburgh in August 2008. According to him, the UK is a place full of opportunities for aspiring comedians like him: “I like all the stage time that you can get. London has so many comedy clubs so there are lot of places to practice acts of all levels.”

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Poll results: So much awkwardness

The masses (or at least the 58 people who voted on my poll) have spoken: we are all a bunch of Socially Awkward Penguins.

The question was “Which of these memes do you fell reflects your personality best?” (and it was a syntactic nightmare for the French person that I am). I suggested eight answers and added an “other” button, aware as I was that I could not possibly have included all the memes in my eight suggestions.

Let’s end the suspense right away: the meme that voters have chosen as the best representation of their personality is [insert dramatic drumroll here]… Socially Awkard Penguin, with 29% of votes! He is followed closely by Me Gusta, who got 25% of votes. Round of applause, please.

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Rant: “Fat” is not an insult. It is (sometimes) an objective comment

Karl Lagerfeld was a guest-editor for the French edition of Metro at the beginning of February. And inside the newspaper, he made a comment about Adele: “She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice”.

Of course, that sentence provoked a real uproar. Kelly Cutrone, a renknowned American fashion publicist, went as far as to call for a Chanel boycott on Twitter. Ultimately, Karl was made to apologize to the lady : “I’d like to say to Adele that I am your biggest admirer. Sometimes when you take a sentence out of the article it changes the meaning of the thought. […] [Adele] is my favorite singer and I am a great admirer of her. I lost over 30 kilos over 10 years ago and have kept it off. I know how it feels when the press is mean to you in regards to your appearance.  Adele is a beautiful girl. She is the best. And I can’t wait for her next CD.”” he said in Metro two days later.

Well, I still don’t think the public’s reaction was fair.

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Just how British are London’s musicals?

West End musicals are such a success with tourists that you could expect them to capture the essence of British culture. And yet, the one that was voted Best New Musical at the 2011 Olivier Awards is Legally Blonde, a theatre adaptation of an American teen movie that tells the story of Elle Woods, a Californian sorority girl who works her way into Harvard Law School. Of course, the musical first made its debut in Broadway, West End’s cousin from overseas. And these two seem to have more and more in common.

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Interview: Elise Costa, pop culture expert

Élise Costa has the coolest job ever. She is a pop culture expert.

“Awesome! And how does that pay the bills?”, you may ask.

Well, Élise  works as freelance writer, enabling several French media (mainly websites) to take advantage of her expertise when it comes to pop culture. She likes to analyze frivolous subjects with a serious method – she could probably write a thesis about Lindsay Lohan’s meltdowns or Britney Spears’s mishaps (instead, she studied law at university). She has encyclopedic knowledge of American culture, whether it be TV shows, books, films, and of course, music. Sometimes, she publishes glimpses of her talented pieces of writing on her blog.

In May 2010, she published a book about Britney Spears, entitled Comment je n’ai pas rencontre Britney Spears, which you could translate by How I did not meet Britney Spears. She wrote it after she took a road trip following Britney Spears’s footsteps, from Louisiana – where Britney grew up – to Los Angeles, where Élise saw her live for the first time.

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Poll : Which of these memes do you feel reflects your personality best?

In case you’re not really meme savvy, here is a little memo about which meme is which:

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We want YOUR! private data

The public seems to have grown increasingly wary of online privacy issues. But are people aware that the greatest threat to their privacy may be coming from their own government?

At some point during Wikileaks’ last press conference, on December 1st 2011 at City University London, Julian Assange asked the audience: “Who here has an Iphone? Who here has a Blackberry? Who uses Gmail?” Seeing many hands raising, he announced: “You’re all screwed.” That prediction was met with a few chuckles by the audience. But pessimistic as he may seem, Julian Assange is probably right. It is very likely that we are indeed all screwed.

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Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

When the American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo came out in December 2011, many people (including Neils Arden Oplev, who directed the first adaptation of the book) commented on how David Fincher’s version was useless. Some felt that it demonstrated Hollywood’s need to assert its supremacy by throwing a $90 million remake in the field while the 2009 Swedish version was perfectly fine.

Truth is, the combination between Fincher’s style and the book’s plot is a match made in heaven and it would have been a pity not to let it unfold. Dear Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, welcome to the pantheon of pop culture. It feels as if you always belonged here.

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