Living

Can we trust Oprah? The queen of talk’s questionable endorsements

Oprah’s questionable expert endorsements; James Franco finally discovers Twitter; Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s eccentricities; the loudest cat in the world; and why we should be worried about solar storms.

By now you may have heard about the suicide of former Oprah childhood education expert Dr. Melvin Levine. The doctor killed himself on the same day that 40 of his former patients filed a sexual abuse and malpractice case against him. While Oprah wasn’t the only one Levine fooled, this isn’t the first time the queen of talk has endorsed an expert that later turned out to be anything but trustworthy. Jezebel highlights a few of the less than stellar experts that Oprah has had on her show.  It’s more than a little worrying.  

We should all get down on our knees and thank our lucky stars that James Franco has finally discovered Twitter. The actor/artist/writer/Yale PhD candidate/Oscar host/comedian started Tweeting on Friday, and already has more than 130,000 followers. He’s been kind enough to tweet some of the audio from his Oscar rehearsals, including an absolutely awful rendition of Cher’s “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” from Burlesque. It turns out there’s one thing the wunderkind can’t do: sing.  

As the political turmoil in the Middle East continues, all eyes are on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who has retaliated against protesters with a ferocity unmatched in the recent skirmishes sweeping the region. Gadhafi has been in power for almost 40 years, and has developed a reputation for flamboyant habits, like sleeping in a Bedouin tent guarded by dozens of female bodyguards. He is known to rely heavily on a team of four Ukrainian nurses, including a “voluptuous blond” with whom it is speculated he is romantically involved. Protesters in cities across Libya have been gunned down by the military at Gadhafi’s command, including those attending funerals. 

While cat lovers can surely appreciate the pleasurable hum of a happy feline purr, a record-breaking cat in England is taking the signal of kitty pleasure to a whole new level. Smokey the cat can purr at 92 decibels, roughly the same amount of noise a Boing 737 makes when it lands. The British shorthair apparently drowns out the television and radio with its purring, which Smokey’s owners say is at turns “adorable” and “annoying.” We’re leaning towards the latter. Meow.  

The UK government’s chief scientist is warning that the world needs to prepare for future solar storms, which he says could cause a “global Katrina” that could cost the international economy as much as two trillion dollars. The warning comes on the heels of a solar storm last week that made the Northern lights visible over the UK. Solar activity is cyclical, and the earth is coming to the end of an eleven-year period of calm. Future solar flares will likely produce electrical events, black outs, and interfere with satellite systems.