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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Netflix Beginner's Guide + Must-Watch Shows

Netflix, the world’s leading internet television network, is now available in Australia. Trackie daks on, snack food ready, phone on silent.

Now, if this is your first foray into subscription TV, get ready to be blown away. And clear your diary for the next, oh, four weekends. And beyond. (The first few weeks = addiction/obsession. The next, oh, forever will be about managing your obsession and making it work with your life and work, and, you know, sleep).

New to it all?

Let me hold your hand through it!

You see, I am a bit of an expert now that I am a Netflix 'Steam Team' blogger (guys, I can do this in my sleep, and by "in my sleep" I mean I should be sleeping, as I am unashamedly a TV addict), and it means that I can now impart all my knowledge about what to obsess about next. Of course, we all have different tastes, and what you may like, may not be my cup of tea. But there is so much to enjoy on the Netflix menu nobody goes hungry for good, glued to your device TV.

You can watch Netflix on myriad Internet-connected devices: smart TVs, Blu-ray players, home theatre systems, PC and Mac, game consoles (PlayStation 3 and 4, WiiU, Xbox 360 and Xbox ONE), FetchTV’s second-generation box, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Apple, Android and Windows tablets and smartphones. Dying to see it all? Head right this way.

Don't freak out about the cost: Netflix starts at AU $8.99 per month, and with no commitment, users can enjoy unlimited access to all content (series, movies, documentaries, stand-up comedy specials, kids programming) with no interruptions. Yep, no commercials, at all, ever. Love. (Don't worry - just pause to go pee).

Thanks to an intuitive and simple interface, members can easily watch, pause, and resume watching across devices, all without adverts or commitments. You can create up to five different user profiles, which means that everyone in your household can have their own. Family members can easily find their preferred programs with their own unique personalised experience.

Can I tell you how MUCH I love this feature?! We ALL have some kinda device in my home - two adults, and two kidlets age seven, and so all of us can watch what we want, when we want, anytime at all without having to be subjected to someone else's show (ugh) when you have the urge to watch what you like (confession: I am defs the remote control in this house.  And ain't nobody gonna wrangle my iPad from my hands, heehee).

And so, my first two weeks of Netflix has been pure bliss, you guys.

I put the word out on the Josie's Juice Facebook page - what should I watch? Now, the Netflix menu is super easy to navigate, so it's not hard to go "yep, tick, yes, want", I in two secs flat I started adding some shows to my favourites, then added more and more. And MORE.

But I know my audience are such early adopters so I just knew they'd add their tips on what I should be watching right now.

And so, the calls came loud and clear:

First, I was told, I MUST watch 'Grace and Frankie' immediately. I started. Hooked, boom.

(Confession: I am not a binge TV watcher, never have been. BUT: with Netflix, it's very easy to become one, which, trust me, is not a bad thing - gorge on a whole series of, say, 12 eps of your fave new show, at under half an hour each ep, in one lazy afternoon. BRILLIANT!).

Here is the trailer for 'Grace and Frankie'. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, brilliant comedic chemistry, original storyline, bloody funny. (BONUS: it's a Netflix original series, which means it is ONLY screening on Netflix, woohoo!):

Another series all my cool buddies were talking about: THIS ONE:

'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'. SO freaking good.

It's Tina Fey-created so you know it's gonna be good. Nope… it's EXCELLENT. Ellie Kemper - I am in love with this hilarious woman. She plays Kimmy Schmidt. You'll know her from 'Bridesmaids' and the US version of 'The Office', and she her comedic timing is SO good she hosted a whole episode of 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'.

And, introducing: Tituss Burgess - as Titus Andromedon. As Kimmy's new BFF, he positively steals the show. His one-liners are pure Fey, and a huge reason you'll keep watching episode after episode. Too funny. Let's take a moment to admire:

Next on my list has been the original 'The Office', the UK one, in all its Ricky Gervais glory. I have watched this a million times, but how I crave to watch the whole thing in one hit, all over again. Voila! It's possible with Netflix. Added to the Netflix 'My List' personalised bunch of shows I want to watch, and, at any time I can press play on my iPad mini and it'll pick up EXACTLY where I left off. So, if I got tied mid-ep, press play again anytime and bam, it's where I decided to press pause. LOVE this feature.

So, how do you sign up?

Head to www.netflix.com or go to the Netflix App.



That's it.

Now: scaddadle and start streaming (just a fancy word for press play and use the internet in your home) your favourite shows. See you, erm, when you surface.

A few more things:

Those clever little tech-heads at Netflix have set up sophisticated algorithms for each member, with personalised suggestions making it easier to find the content you love.

It also means that the more you watch, the better the suggestions get. (So, yeah, they're basically telling you to GO AND WATCH LOTSA TV!)

Again: never any commercials and - you’ll never have to pay above and beyond your subscription fee. Everything you see on Netflix is available for a low price of $8.99 per month.

Okay, byeee, and until next time, happy Netflixing folks.

Monday, 25 May 2015

'A Beautiful Mind' John Nash and Wife Alicia Killed in Car Crash

In awful news just in mathematician and Nobel Prize winner John Nash, whose life was the subject of the film "A Beautiful Mind," was killed in a taxi crash along with his wife in New Jersey on Saturday.

Nash and Alicia Nash were in a taxi on the New Jersey Turnpike when the driver lost control and crashed into a guard rail, according to New Jersey State Police Sgt. Gregory Williams. Nash was 86; his wife was 82.
Authorities don't believe Nash or his wife were wearing seat belts since they were both ejected from the taxi, said Williams. The couple lived in Princeton, New Jersey.
Read more here.

Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connolly as John and Alicia Nash in the movie 'A Beautiful Mind'
Here is the movie's trailer:

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Robert De Niro: "You're Fucked" - VIDEO

Robert De Niro was this year's keynote speaker at The Tisch School of the Arts and gave the 'Tisch Salute'. The speech also featured remarks by department chairs, a PHD hooding ceremony, student and faculty processionals as well as two live performances. 

He told the 2015 graduating class of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts on Friday. “You made it,” before the Oscar-winning actor added, “and you’re f--ked.”
The majority of the audience roared with laughter.
The crowd of aspiring actors, dancers, writers, directors, photographers, and filmmakers was told by De Niro that the nursing graduates “all have jobs,” the business graduates “are covered,” and the law students they’re employed, ”And if they’re not who cares? They’re lawyers,” added De Niro cheekily.]
Adding that he admired the graduates of the accounting school, he knew the artists didn’t have a choice when it came to their career paths. “You discovered a talent, developed an ambition, and recognized your passion,” he said. “When you feel that you can’t fight it, you just go for it. When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense.”
“Yeah you’re f--ked,” De Niro added. “The good news is, that’s not a bad place to start.” 
As to how to deal with the rejection that populates he added, “I hear that Valium and Vicodin work.” He then recounted some stories of his own rejections, including auditioning to play Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, a part he told the graduates he “could’ve played the hell out of.” WOW.

He ended his speech by telling the crowd that he was there to hand out his photo to the directing and producing graduates.

Watch it in full here.

Jane Curry Publishing New Name: Ventura Press

Jane Curry Publishing - or JCP - is very dear to my heart.

They believed in me, and published my first book, 'The Australian Ageing Generation Handbook'. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity they gave me, the platform they provided, the enabling and realisation of several dreams coming true for me - seeing my book in print, and having my mother's story honoured in such that will last forever. Words - I should have a million of them here. But I only really have two: thank you.

Jane Curry, the woman in charge of JCP, and a wonderful human being (see pic below) - helped me transform into the person I always wanted to be, and fulfil a dream I could not let go of: to become an author.

Jane Curry, Australian Financial Review Magazine, photographed by Louise Kennerley
And now, JCP has transformed itself into another fabulous entity, closing the chapter of one book, and writing a whole other new tome (see what I did there!): they are becoming Ventura Press.

Yes, in August 2015, and after 12 years of successful publishing, JCP will be rebranding as Ventura Press. This also creates a new trade sales and distribution partnership with Simon & Schuster Australia.

They write in a blog post: 

After 12 years of successful publishing, we are delighted to announce JCP will be rebranding as Ventura Press from 1 August 2015.
The strategic decision to rebrand celebrates a new trade sales and distribution partnership with Simon & Schuster Australia, which will ensure the continued growth of our company across Australia and New Zealand.
The first title to be published under Ventura will be Six Degrees by award-winning author Honey Brown, one of Australia’s best contemporary fiction writers.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for JCP under the new name of Ventura Press to join forces with the trade strength of Simon & Schuster,” said Jane Curry, managing director of Jane Curry Publishing. “Ventura will continue to publish our signature brand of strong Australian non-fiction, health and high-end fiction titles to complement the excellent Simon & Schuster list.”
Dan Ruffino, managing director of Simon & Schuster Australia, said he is thrilled to welcome Jane Curry, one of Australia’s most well respected independent publishers, to the company.
“The experience that Jane and her team bring coupled with her passion and innovative approach both complements and enhances the values we have here,” he said. “We are looking forward to growing the sales and presence of Jane’s books across Australia New Zealand from 1 August.”
Simon & Schuster Australia will take over from current distributors NewSouth Books. The current Jane Curry Publishing frontlist and backlist will be rebranded Ventura Press as titles are reprinted.
Jane Curry told Josie's Juice: "Professionally and personally it is the final piece of the jigsaw. I have built the list over many years but needed to align myself with one of the major publishers to provide the growth we need to take us to the next level. It is an excellent alliance, and I am thrilled."

Jane Curry at her Sydney office

In their newsletter, they write:

As this is the last newsletter as JCP before we relaunch as Ventura, it is a good opportunity to pause and reflect on our first twelve years of independent publishing.

I left my good friends at Macmillan in late 2002 where I had been publisher for five years to establish my own company. My time as Managing Director of Weldon /Lansdowne Publishing and Macquarie Dictionary had instilled in me a love of the corner office, not for the location but for the chance to influence all the variables of a business. Product mix, marketing, financials, budgets, sales, and above all managing people – I enjoyed each and every aspect of being MD and wanted that back.

So to regain the MD’s chair, I had the option of waiting for a reshuffle of the local MDs and putting my name in the ring, going back to England, or setting up on my own here in Sydney.

And I chose the latter. And twelve years later I am delighted that I did. With the friendship and professionalism of Elspeth Menzies, my editorial colleague at Macmillan, we set up JCP in Paddington’s Fiveways and I started publishing under my own name.

I am delighted to say that the first author I signed is still in print– the wonderful Dorothy McRae MacMahon’s Rituals for Life Love and Loss which I acquired via Fiona Inglis at Curtis Brown. It was a moment I will not forget.

Then came Jonathan Chancellor’s (of SMH Title Deeds fame) Sydney Hot Property Guide – which gave us our first Good Weekend cover and was launched a glittering event at Elizabeth Bay House where all of Sydney society gathered. The book had 20 full-page colour advertisements which we sold to leading real estate agents – all wanting to keep in the author’s good books – so thanks to Sydney’s property obsession we had a war chest in our first year.

Petrea King’s You Me and the Rainbow followed, then Daniel Petre’s Father Time. Then in 2008, The Australian Autism Handbook was published which remains to this day the book on Autism most recommended by Australian paediatricians.

We have braved the GFC, the closure of Borders and A&R, the e book revolution and the advance of Amazon. And we have emerged stronger as we have recalibrated the business to face these headwinds.

Our new Ventura with Simon and Schuster is the next phase in our growth. We have the books and the authors and Simon & Schuster have the market strength to allow our sales to reflect the quality of our list.

No longer named after the founder, Ventura now proudly stands on its merits and the last twelve years have been well spent.

Jane Curry

As for my future in books, I am thrilled to announce I will be writing again, this time with the newly rebranded Ventura Press, and I am truly excited. I can't say much right now but I am looking forward to working with an exceptional team, an invigorated company who has partnered with equally inspiring people. Stay tuned.

Coco de Mer: 'X' - VIDEO

"We can help you think about sex."

That's the claim from erotic lingerie and sex toys brand Coco de Mer, with the launch of a new film which is entitled "X."

The only words are seen at the beginning: "They say you think about sex every six seconds" and at the end with: "Sex. We can help you think about sex more.".

The campaign breaks today online and in UK cinemas.

The NSFW (not safe for work) short film is the brainchild of veteran TBWA\London creative director Walter Campbell and was shot by a group of directors including celebrity and fashion photographer Rankin, with Vicky Lawton, Trisha Ward, and David Allain via production company Rankin Film.
In a statement, Rankin says: "What I loved about the concept was how it visualized the way in which we absorb information nowadays. It examines our appetite for visceral and engaging imagery, reflecting how we consume as quickly as a click."
Watch the whole clip here:

Starbucks Supervisor Yells In New York City Store: VIDEO

That Starbucks woman losing her shit story this week…?

You know the one. The Starbucks manager who refuses to give her customer a 'cookie straw'.

What made ME angry? That, as an Aussie, I had to Google 'cookie straw'! :)

Did you know?

They are those 'piccolo' long wafer biscuit things:

Okay, now that's out the way… here is that video:

The Starbucks manager in New York is no longer with the company. Ruby Chen, the customer on the receiving end of the rant, says that it all started when she ordered a Frappuccino and didn’t hear another employee ask for her name for the order.

The manager says she has quit (although it has been widely reported she has since been fired). Ruby, a customer at Queens store, complained about the interaction on Starbucks' Facebook page and posted the above video provided to her by another customer in the store who filmed the entire incident on Tuesday.

Ruby says she'd placed an order for a Frappuccino at the store on Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens, and was pulling up the Starbucks app on her phone to pay (actual money is so old school, you guys! I too am a PayPass fan). The Starbucks employee asked her name for her order - but Ruby says she didn't hear her.

And that's when the worker began shouting at her, Ruby says.

The worker then yanked away the app scanner when Ruby tried to pay, and then "told me to leave and never go back" to the store, Ruby says.

The worker then accused her of trying to steal the cookie straw she was holding. She asked a co-worker to call the police.

Next, Ruby was told: "You're talking to the manager," said the worker told Ruby asked who the manager was. "Get out. You're not going to be served here. Period. Bye. Bye. Bye." 

Actually, the worker was a shift supervisor, not a manager, according to a spokeswoman for Starbucks.

The shift supervisor is heard telling Ruby: "Give me the straw and leave. Or you can leave with the straw and not be allowed back in. Which one do you want to do? Because when I told you the price, you wanted to keep on arguing. So which one do you want to do? You're not going to be served here."

When other customers in the store began to speak in Ruby's defence, the supervisor began yelling at them, too.

"Excuse me, nobody's talking to you. Get out of here. Bye," the supervisor said.

However, a spokeswoman for Starbucks told NBC 4 New York the employee was in fact fired as soon as they learned of the incident - the shift manager had not quit.

"This customer's experience is not reflective of the service our partners provide to customers every day," the spokeswoman said in a statement. "Our leadership team is reaching out to the customer to apologize and make this right."

Ruby confirmed that Starbucks reached out to her in a comment on her Facebook video, saying that the district manager apologised and promised "the leadership team would do everything to prevent terrible customer service of this kind from happening ever again."

Ruby said she was offered a $100 gift card and assured that the company was taking her complaint seriously.


Do you work in retail? Do you have any horror stories?

Eurovision Semi-Final Two breaks record: most successful SBS Eurovision broadcast ever

TheEurovision semi-final two has broken the record as most successful SBS Eurovision broadcast ever.

Last night the SBS broadcast of semi-final two of the 60th Eurovision Song Contest attracted a combined average metro and regional audience of 880,000 and a peak audience of 1,074,000, making it the highest ever recorded audience for a Eurovision broadcast on SBS.

The second semi-final had an average metro audience of 639,000, peaking at 755,000 and an average regional audience of 241,000, peaking at 319,000.

The second semi-final also recorded a metro free to air share for Total People of 17.2% and 12.8% for regional. People 16-39 recorded a 24.4% share (metro) and 11.4% (regional). People 18-49 recorded a 22.2% (metro) and 13.6% (regional). People 25-54 recorded a 19.7% share (metro) and 13.8%(regional).

The broadcast of the second semi-final also saw a lift in audience, year on year, with a 7.7% growth in Total People for metro plus regional audiences.

The annual event, hosted by Julia Zemiro and b, reached a combined metro and
regional audience of 1,837,000 for Total People, and was the number one most watched show for People 16-39 and People 18-49 (metro). It was also the second most-watched program for People 25-54 (metro) and ranked number three for OG1s (metro).

Last night the hash tag #SBSEurovision was once again trending at number one in Australia and number seven worldwide on Twitter, peaking at a phenomenal 700 tweets per minute.

Eurovision 2015, Eurovision, Eurovision's Greatest Hits and Eurovision Song Contest 2015 have served a total of 179,000 Online Video Chapter Views to 83,000 Unique Browsers in May 2015 to date. This includes all video episodes, clips and interviews associated with the program. At the time of reporting,Eurovision 2015 ranked number 2 most watched Entertainment program for May 2015 to date with 79,000 Video Chapter Views.

Eurovision, which includes Semi Final 1 and Semi Final 2 video episodes, served 70,000 Video Chapter Views to 28,000 Unique Browsers. The Eurovision Song Contest 2015, which includes the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 promo video, served 9,000 Video Chapter Views.

Eurovision 2015: Australia remains the most watched video episode of Eurovision 2015, serving 19,000 Video Chapter Views, followed by Eurovision's Greatest Hits with 14,000 Video Chapter Views.

Eurovision 2015 marks the first time in Eurovision history Australia has been invited to compete in the contest with wild card entrant Guy Sebastian to perform in celebration of 60 years of Eurovision.

Australia’s performance by multi-talented singer and ARIA Award winner Guy Sebastian will feature during the grand final tonight Sunday May 24 from 7.30pm on SBS ONE.

Join the conversation by using this hashtag: ​#SBSEurovision