Attention-grabbing shoots

The magazine world is abuzz with accolades and criticisms over two new attention-grabbing photo shoots. The first, a stirring spread in the August issue of Vogue Italia inspired by the Gulf oil spill, shows a lifeless-looking model in various monochrome images covered in oil, spitting up water and choking. Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani’s says the message is “to be careful about nature.” Less controversial but equally hyped is actress Jennifer Aniston’s Barbra Streisand tribute in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Aniston pays homage to some of the living legend's famous poses — sans nose bump.

Idol in Disarray
It looks like Simon Cowell bolted American Idol at just the right time. The hugely successful Fox show is in the news for all of the wrong reasons lately. Former winner Fantasia overdosed in a hotel room, thankfully she is fine now.

And each passing day has new reports of who will replace Cowell but with just weeks away from its return no one seems to have any idea who will be judging wannabe popstars.

Ultimate Triple Bill Cinema
No, there isn’t an actual triple feature playing at a theatre near you. But this week’s big releases — Scott Pilgrim vs.The World (ultimate indie teen flick), The Expendables (ultimate action flick) and Eat Pray Love (ultimate chick flick) — make one delicious combo for film lovers. So pick according to your taste, or even better, binge on them back to back.

Best-Selling Video Game
Despite being released back on July 27, Starcraft 2 is still far and away the biggest story in the video game universe this week. The follow-up to the uber popular Starcraft, which was released back in 1998, claims to be the fastest-selling strategy game of all time.
It was announced recently that the total sales top 1.5 million units (one million of which were sold on the first day.) With its great reviews (an average rating of 94 per cent on Metacritic), it’s likely the game will continue selling for some time now.

Artery Clogging
Because Denny’s feels North American obesity levels could use a helping hand (or seven), the restaurant chain has unloaded a brand new Fried Cheese Melt sandwich upon its, er, growing customer base.

The paean to clogged arteries, which sells for $4, consists of four fried mozzarella sticks and melted American cheese grilled between two slices of sourdough bread. The American Medical Association would also like you to know that it comes with a side of fries and marinara sauce. You know: To fill your daily vegetable quotient.

Quitting stories
A week ago Steven Slater was an anonymous flight attendant for JetBlue. After his dramatic exit from his job on Monday he has become a folk hero to some and a rude bully to others.

Whether you love him or hate him, Slater’s star has soared and prompted many discussions about the best and worst ways to quit a job. Slater’s 15 minutes of fame will be up soon enough but will his impact be felt with more over-the-top job resignations?

Canada’s Biggest Fair
Just as we do for the events like the Calgary Stampede, Canadians from all over the country will flock to Toronto for the venerable Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), taking place Aug. 20 through Sept. 6.

Canada’s biggest fair is a great way to put a glowing cap on a summer vacation, and the always- spectacular Canadian International Air Show on Labour Day Weekend is a time-honoured crowd pleaser. For foodies, the CNE is offering 22 items you can eat on a stick.

New this year will be the Beautiful Women Project exhibit in the Arts & Crafts Pavilion, featuring 120 1ife-size sculptures of women’s bust by artist Cheryl-Ann Webster. Using subjects from age 19 through 91, the project was designed to represent each woman’s story, courage and natural beauty.

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