15 News Of 2008 – Part III.


Deaths: Heath Ledger, Lydia Shum, Bernie Mac, MC King, Isaac Hayes, Nagi Noda and somewhere on this planet Earth, the world’s tallest woman.

Coming as a shock early in the year, on January 22, Heath Ledger was found dead in his fourth-floor loft apartment in the SoHo neighbourhood of Manhattan. The body was discovered by housekeeper Teresa Solomon and masseuse Diana Wolozin, who alerted Ledger’s friend, actress Mary-Kate Olsen, whom directed a New York City private security guard to check on the scene. The reason for death was an accidental overdose of prescription medication, probably linked to his insomnia troubles and work-related issues from filming two movies, I’m Not There and The Dark Knight, as according to his own words: “… I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” He was 28.

On February 19, Lydia Shum passed away, after battling with various illnesses faced, inclusive of pleural effusion and liver cancer. At 3am on the fatal day, her family made the decision to remove her life support via the breathing apparatus and spent her last moment by her bedside, and she finally left at 8.38am. Coincidentally, or with some fate and miracles in life, her mother died in January 22 too, and they left for a better part together. She was buried at Burnaby’s Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Vancouver, Canada. She was 62.

Bernard Jeffrey McCullough, known for his comedian roles in movies such as the Ocean series (Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen) and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, passed away on Singapore’s national day, August 9, from a case of pneumonia. He was 50.

Also, Issac Hayes, the voice behind Chef on the South Park series and the song “Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You)” passed away on August 10, aged 65; MC King, a local comedian/actor, aged 40, passed away on 4 January, and the world’s tallest woman, Sandy Allen, died at age 53. And who knows, a lot more, known and unknown.

May them rest in peace.


Edison Chen’s sex pictures scandal, with female celebrities included.

Truth, no dare: Truth be told, I dare not post the pictures directly associated with the scandal. The Internet is powerful, go search.
What’s hot: Hongkong entertainment news can never get hotter. It all started with Edison sending his pink (how flamboyant) Powerbook for repairs, and one or more of the shop’s employees gaining access and secretly copying the estimated 1,300 intimate images of Edison Chen with numerous female celebrities. The first picture surfaced on the Internet at approximately 8.30pm on January 27, on Hong Kong Discuss Forum, of a picture with Chen and Gillian Chung, one-half of popular Cantopop group, Twins. Subsequently, more pictures and female “leads” were leaked, and the amount tabulated as according to Wikipedia:
– Gillian Chung: 104
– Bobo Chan: 116
– Cecilia Cheung: 143
– Rachel Ngan: 13
– Mandy Chen: 40
– Candice Chan: 48
– Vincy Yeung: 3
Aftermath: As of 12 February, ten people in connection with the distribution of the pictures were arrested. On 21 February, Chen admitted about the photographs through a public apology, stating, “I failed as a role model”, and announced his retirement from the Hong Kong entertainment industry.
Lesson learnt: The power of sex. Amen.


Food scare: tainted milk from China.

Affected: Parents and everyone alike, but knowing typically Singaporeans, sigh.
Bad Moo!: China is one of the major exports of food products, and the development of kidney stones found in sixteen infants on July 16 after being fed with milk products started the global scandal and shame. Thereafter, it was discovered that the production of several food products had been adulterated with melamine to cause it to appear to have a higher content of protein. A result of 300,000 victims claimed, six infants dead and 860 babies hospitalized had been reported, and a global ban on China food products soon followed. It was also reported that the discovery was initially founded on an earlier date, in December 2007, but no tests were performed until mid 2008. Critics had pinpointed at several reasons, inclusive of the hosting of the Olympic Games, for the holding back of the scandal from being publicised.


Economic recession/slowdown.

High oil prices, leading to drastic high food prices and global inflation were several of the major factors leading to the economic crisis of 2008. A substantial credit crisis and increased unemployment were the aftermath results of crisis. On September 15, Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and controversy struck when it was discovered that Richard Fuld, just before filing for bankruptcy, had approved the increase in executive pay, and gotten US$480 million during the crisis period. Another company affected was AIG, which suffered from s solvency crisis after the downgrading of its bond from AAA and the Federal Reserve Bank. Similiarly, it was reported that in the following week, AIG executives were treated to a lavish California retreat planned before the bailout, which costed $444,000 inclusive of spa treatments, banquets and golf outings. Various other entertainment expenses were reported thereafter.

In Singapore, unemployment increased, as companies retrenched employees, or paycuts were reported, and other means of minimizing costs were practised by companies. The crisis was expected to continue on into 2009 by countries around the world.


Barack Obama elected as the first black president.

Barack Obama was elected as the first black president of the United States on November 4, beating competitor John McCain with electoral votes of 365 as opposed to 173 by the latter. The country rejoiced over his victory, as well as by the other countries around the world. Artistes in the entertainment industry also worked during the victory, by producing movies related to politics and songs celebriting Obama’s victory. In his victory speech, Mr. Obama said, “It’s been a long time coming but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”


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