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11th February 2001
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The Goss

  • Jennifer and Salma vie for plum Cleopatra role 
  • Meg Ryan ignores womaniser warnings
  • Mark Walhberg needs a girlfriend
  • Jennifer and Salma vie for plum Cleopatra role 

    As sultry actresses Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek face up as rivals for the coveted part of Cleopatra in a new movie, Jennifer confesses her looks aren't perfect. They are marred, she says, by a broken nose. And that injury from her teen years brings back a haunting memory of the accident that nearly cost her life. Jennifer, now 30, was saved by a miracle in a terrifying road accident. 

    So today the actress, who shot to fame after starring in the film Selena, thinks her slight disfigurement is a small price to pay for her life. She says: "I don't remember exactly the second my nose got fractured, but that is why it looks like it does. People always tell me I look as though I were hit by a hammer. But I like my nose. In profile, it's good. But if you look straight at me, you can see the flatness." 

    The horrifying tale of the road accident, which happened in Jennifer's native Bronx, New York, when she was 13, is told in a new biography entitled Jennifer Lopez, by Kathleen Tracy. Jennifer recalls: "A truck carrying compressed gas cylinders hit my mom's car. The only thing that saved my life was the fact that I was bending down tying my shoes in the front seat, because his headlight flew through the windshield and ended up in the back of the car. It would have smashed my face in." But the Latin actress is still favourite to land the part of Cleopatra in the British-produced, $45 million screen epic. It tells the sizzling story of Cleopatra's love triangle with Mark Anthony and Julius Caesar. Jennifer's rival for the plum role, 32-year-old Salma, confesses: "I grew up in Mexico. Jennifer grew up in New York speaking English, not Spanish." 

    Whoever plays Cleopatra will be following in the famous footsteps of screen greats Elizabeth Taylor and Claudette Colbert. Liz starred in the 1963 version, which would have cost $300 million today. 

    Meg Ryan ignores womaniser warnings

    Love-struck Meg Ryan is hap pily ignoring friends' warnings not to jump into matrimony too quickly. She is planning a South Seas island wedding to Gladiator lover Russell Crowe as early as this April. Rumours doing the rounds in Tinsel Town say 36-year-old Russell proposed to the blonde, Sleepless In Seattle star and she promptly said "yes". Although representatives for both stars say they have no marriage plans, a source in New Zealand revealed they are expected there on honeymoon in the spring. Meg, who has shrugged off warnings that New Zealand-born Russell is a dyed-in-the-wool womaniser, says she wants to have his baby as soon as possible. 

    Sources say the couple have already been given the blessing of actor Dennis Quaid, Meg's soon-to-be ex-husband. They have already booked a honeymoon chalet at Blanket Bay, a New Zealand mountain lakeside resort where Russell used to love going camping and fishing as a boy. A New Zealand insider said: "We are expecting them here in April. I understand Meg is bubbling with joy because Russell has promised her a South Seas island wedding, far from the craziness of Hollywood. "This will be followed by a honeymoon in the place Russell thinks is the most romantic on earth. Blanket Bay is super exclusive and the couple will be staying in a luxurious $1,100-a-day chalet. "This will have a magnificent view of the lake. They can also spend evenings in front of the chalet's big stone fireplace." 

    Meg, aged 39, has already travelled all the way from Hollywood to Australia, where Russell's parents are now living. Now he is excited at the prospect of showing her the country where he grew up, say sources. They believe he will try to talk the You've Got Mail star into living in New Zealand full time. He has already moved into Meg's new $8 million mansion in Bel-Air, in which the couple will start their married life. An insider explained: "But Russell hates Hollywood and says it is a place he only wants to visit for work." As all the plans are made for Meg and Russell's future, Meg's friends are still advising her to be cautious. They want her to be absolutely certain about marriage and having a child. 

    Mark Walhberg needs a girlfriend 

    After all his years of womanising, rap star-turned-actor Mark Wahlberg confesses he's never had a true female friend except for his mom - and what he really wants is true love. 

    "For a long time, I never thought I'd make it to my 30th birthday," sighs the star of The Perfect Storm, who hits the big 3-0 in June. "Now, I'm still trying to figure out what life and love is all about." 

    Wahlberg, who has been linked to actresses Reese Witherspoon and Jordanna Brewster in the past, says he's not proud of the lack of female companionship in his life. 

    "I must get a girlfriend of my own - one I can really care for," he admits. 

    *Enya may be one of the world's most successful music stars but she's also one of its most reclusive. Her current top-secret visit to Australia has been planned like a military operation because of her security fears. Here for the wedding of a close family member, Enya flew in on a private jet and forbade her record company to release any details of her trip. In Ireland she has completed a three-year renovation job on a castle, fitting it out with fortress-like security. Now one of the richest women in Ireland, Enya recently bounced back into the charts with another haunting CD, A Day Without Rain. 

    *If you fantasise about owning a pair of Brad Pitt's undies, check out Hollywood's oldest Catholic Church, The Blessed Sacrament. When the church put out a plea for much-needed clothes, the mega movie star weeded through his closet and drawers and turfed out designer gear and undies. Brad of course insisted the donations be anonymous.

    *Actor Noah Taylor, brilliant as young David Helfgott in Shine, is now making his most commercial movie to date. Noah, who usually favours offbeat art-house films, is in Iceland making Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie. Now living in London with plans to marry fiancee Emily Jenkins in April, friends believe his pay from Tomb Raider will allow him to buy into London's pricey property scene.

    Atomic power

    The UK Signals chart has been hit by atomic power this week. The trio Atomic Kitten surged into the No: 1 position with the single 'Whole Again'. Katona's recent departure following confirmation that she was expecting a baby by Westlife member Bryan Mc Fadden, did not affect interest in the group's new song 'Whole Again'. The track is a pop song with a touch of r'n'b. When 'Whole Again' was released it was not expected to reach the top spot. But the song with its catchy tune coupled with the news of Kerry Katona shot sales up. By midweek reports indicated 'Whole Again' was to become the next No:1 song racing ahead of the new U2 release 'Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of'. 

    Since July last year Atomic Kitten has been able to place 3 singles in the UK top 20 singles chart. 'I Want You Love' peaked at No:10 in July while the follow up 'Follow Me' peaked at No: 20 in October. 'Whole Again' is Atomic Kitten's debut No:1 song in the UK. With Kerry Katona moving over to Dublin with Westlife's Bryan McFadden, Atomic Kitten will be reduced to a duo comprising Natasha Hamilton and Liz McLarnon - Frost, unless the girls seek a replacement. 

    The best song to enter the UK top 20 this week is U2's 'Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of'. There's no doubt about it. But as we all know, the chart is tabulated on sales. Thus the new U2 singles entered the chart at the No: 2 position. Unlike the previous single 'Beautiful Day' which was faster, rock song 'Stuck In A Moment..' is a much slower typical of the vintage U2 slow tracks. The new single and the previous release are both featured on the Irish band's critically acclaimed album 'All That You Can't Leave Behind'. Hence with an excellent album in the market it could be another reason why the single 'Stuck In A Moment...' could only manage to figure out at the No: 2 position. Most fans of U2 and other rock music enthusiasts would prefer to own the album rather than only pick the singles. The rest of the market is teenage taste and the floating buyer of CD singles with a few exceptions. But it's not late for U2. If there is no rival campaign this week and if the new song can muster big sales, by next weekend it could the No: 1 song. 

    Remember the hit 'Ghetto Superstar' back in 1998? The song was performed by Pras, ODB and Mya. It peaked at No: 2. Now Mya has emerged on her own to crack the UK scene with her single 'Case Of The Ex.' Mya's single which is a r'n'b track mounted with a slight Jennifer Lopez-ish rhythm has checked into the chart at No: 3 this week. 

    Meanwhile, Ash the rock band from Northern Ireland is back after a break of four years. The band appears to be more in control of themselves unlike when they debuted on the scene as teenagers in 1994. The youngsters from County Down gained their debut chart entry into the top 20 with 'Girl From Mars' in 1995 as it peaked at No: 11. Carried away by the wave of popularity Ash went on to notch up scores in the chart with songs such as 'Goldfinger' No: 5 and 'Oh Yeah' No: 6 in 1996. The rock band's fortune slipped away but still they managed one more chart entry with 'A Life Less Ordinary, No: 10 in 1997 before disappearing. Ash is back with 'Shining Light', a very good song and mostly as a simple act. 'Shining Light' once again appeals to radio and has checked into the chart at No: 8 this week. 

    Jimmy Gulzar the ex-husband of Spice Girl Mel B was charged with assaulting his former sister-in-law Danielle Brown. Gulzar is alleged to have held Danielle by her throat. 

    Emma Bunton is reported to be in love with Jade from the group Damage. On February 5, it was announced the couple had recorded a duet. 

    The dance act Moloko is reported to have broken up. After a string of chart entries last year the group has decided to call it a day. 

    Who is Madonna scared of? The stars, the media or stalkers. Conflicting stories have begun to emerge about why the "Queen of Pop" will not perform at the BRIT Awards. 

    Teen star Britney Spears who is causing a bit of a stir in the fashion scene has bought another set of dogs to protect her from stalkers. 

    As the trial of rapper Puff Daddy contines, a club-goer giving evidence last Friday said he saw the rapper run out of the club with a gun. Puff Daddy is standing trial for assault and carrying a gun. If found guilty he could face up to 15 years behind bars. 

    Rod Stewert has spoken about the recent operation he underwent on his throat since it has caused a cancer scare. Rod was relieved that it's all over and he has got his voice again. 

    Another manufactured group comprising young boys and girls has been formed in the UK as a result of the Pop star talent TV show. The hitherto un-named act returned to London after recording a single which is due to be released towards the end of March.

    Techno Page

  • Driver
  • Hacktivism
  • Driver

    I wonder how many peo ple would want to read just my limbs if I say that NFS Porsche Unleashed is not the greatest driving game around?


    Thought so. 

    But allow me to state my case. Allow me to introduce you to Driver V6.3.

    Some of you may remember the tidgy little arcade game that Driver used to be. That mes amis, was quite a while ago. Since then GT Interactive and Reflections, the motive forces behind the game, have done some major reworking, it seems, to create a driving experience that is bound to throw you out of your seat. 

    So what exactly does this thing have? The title screen isn't particularly impressive. No mouse cursor, and none of the steel-smooth graphics that the Porsche Unleashed crew have managed to dish-out. But take Driver for a spin, and you'll have two of the four cities (Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and New York) at your disposal. Check out the city maps. Four entire cities, complete with working traffic systems. Let's see that in NFS 5! 

    You can drive through and past all the well-known landmarks, like the Golden Gate Bridge in 'Frisco and Beverly Hills in LA. Feel like dissin' a cop? Easy. Either jump a light, pass 60mph or slam into a car or parking meter. You'll have more fun than Hot Pursuit and NFS 5's Factory Driver assignments combined could ever come close to. 

    The greatest thing about Driver, though, is the unbelievably realistic (does that make sense?) driving experience. The car handles just like the genuine article. The speed limits are believable. You sustain real damage - this is not a game for sissies - and you can wreck your car pretty fast. Police activity increases with your felony level. If there's rain, you skid. You can go wherever you like in the cities: through restaurants, parks, alleyways, parking lots, the works. 

    Loads of interesting driving games like Getaway, where you're up against a cop car with unlimited damage allowance and your only option is to out-drive him. Survival, where you're up against what seems like an infinite number of cop-cars swerving at you and running into you at 100mph, while you're to set a time record for endurance. A hell of a lot of fun.

    But all that is chicken-feed compared to the Undercover section. The first time in, you're given a car to "Show Us What You Can Do", inside a darkened, sealed parking lot. The list seems endless: A 180-degree turn, a reverse 180, a 360, Burnout, Brake and speed tests, a lap around the lot, a slalom, to name a few. And you're given just one minute to do it all. One minute. And if you do get through, that's where the fun begins. You're now the "Wheelman", the best Driver in the Mafia. Assignment after assignment, each one a bit more difficult than the previous, comes up at you. As you progress, new cities are opened up for you, including Los Angeles and New York. You pay visits to people with "a bad memory", scare the hell out of someone after taking over a taxi, rob a bank, smash up a chain of restaurants- I've played maybe twenty five separate assignments so far, and I'm still not through to New York. NFS 5, I'm afraid, starts looking like Test Drive in comparison.

    So maybe the graphics aren't as great as NFS. So what? It's a game, not a desktop theme. And you need only 4 MB PCI onboard with a 3D accelerator to run this thing. NFS 5, on the other hand needs a minimum of 16MB! and AGP at that! Play it and see. I'm sure you'll trash NFS 5 the minute you get through Undercover. 

    Better still, Driver 2 (not V2) is out now ! Due to a slight slip by our usually reliable pirating agencies, the only copy in circulation at present is in French. But, even so, I can hardly wait.

    Sent in by Buddhika Dassanayake


    Word on the street is that a rebellion is at hand. What can you do to help the brothers out? March around town in angry mobs screaming the slogans of the cause? Or maybe plaster the country-side with posters which carry the message of righteousness? Possible. But times are changing, and the wars that are waged, can more often than not be "bloodless".

    A new trend in the field of activism - electronic activism over the Net. Subversion in the name of public interest has so far been the only visible face of this phenomenon. 

    The Nike website was recently hacked into and the site itself was redirected elsewhere. The story goes that this was done in protest of the alleged ill-treatment of employees by Nike. Just an example of what people (who care) in the free world are up to.

    Don't be surprised if Green Peace launches an Internet wing which would do their level best to pull the cybernetic rug from under the world's "ecocriminals".

    Like it or not, the inevitable wars have begun. This time on a virtual plain.


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